Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Fungus Among Us

Film: Matango (Attack of the Mushroom People)
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

Matango, also released as Attack of the Mushroom People, may be a film that is cursed with a poor name choice. Under the name Matango, there’s no clue what it’s going to be bout, and that’s going to keep some people away. Called Attack of the Mushroom People, it’s going to create some unrealistic expectations. The idea is an interesting one, though, and if you twist my arm, I’d suggest that there’s a little bit of influence here on the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis.

We will start, as many an adventure/horror film does, on a boat that soon becomes lost at sea. We have a veritable Gilligan’s Island here in the sense that we’re going to have seven people shipwrecked. First, we have to have a terrible storm that gets them knocked off course and into the middle of nowhere. Our people are Kenji Murai (Akira Kubo), a professor; his assistant Senzo Koyama (Kenji Sahara); writer Etsuro Yoshida (Hiroshi Tachikawa); celebrity and owner of the yacht Masafumi Kasai (Yoshio Tsuchiya); singer Mami Sekiguchi (Kumi Mizuno); student Akiko Soma (Miki Yashiro); and yacht captain Naoyuki Sakuda (Hiroshi Koizumi).

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

Film: Bodies Bodies Bodies
Format: Streaming video from Hulu Plus on rockin’ flatscreen.

Genres go through very definite periods where tropes get changed or rewritten or played with. Scream did that for slasher movies, and after its release there have been a number of slasher and horror films that played with the idea of being more meta. Bodies Bodies Bodies appears to be at least in part another step in the evolution of modern horror and horror-adjacent movies. This is as much a commentary on many aspects of modern culture as it is a bloody whodunnit.

The elevator pitch here is that a group of very privileged 20-somethings who have known each other for years decide to have a party at the opulent house of one of their number during a hurricane and things get out of hand quickly. There’s a lot more that goes into it, but that really is the basics of the film. Our group of friends is going to include a couple of outsiders including who is clearly going to be our final girl since she is the character we tend to focus on.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Three Rings of Danger

Film: Circus of Horrors
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

The “there are two types of people” idea is one that is pretty played out, but I think it’s also true in some cases. It’s kind of true or almost true when it comes to circuses. I think you either like them or don’t. I don’t in general. They’re hot and smell bad and always feel dirty on more than just the physical level to me. So, that being the case, Circus of Horrors was not an easy sell for me.

Beyond my dislike of circuses, though, I love the idea of this movie. We start with Dr. Rossiter (Anton Diffring), a plastic surgeon who is convinced of his own genius. He’s wanted by the police for a botched operation on a socialite named Evelyn Morley (Colette Wilde). Rossiter evades capture along with his assistants Angela (Jane Hylton) and Martin (Kenneth Griffith). They escape to France where Rossiter changes his name to Schüler. They meet a young girl named Nicole (Carla Challoner, then Yvonne Monlaur as an adult) scarred from WWII. Schüler performs plastic surgery on her, restores her face. When her father (Donald Pleasance) dies in an accident, Schüler takes over the circus that he ran.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

What I've Caught Up With, October 2022

October is horror movie month, of course, which makes the non-horror movies I watched a little bit anomolous. I've already got a stock of reviews done for next year's 10-day review fiesta (horror movie month, after all), but I didn't just watch horror movies. I removed a bunch from the big list in October, and it was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of how I liked them.