Horror Movies Watched & Books Read (July 2011)

July 2011


Eyes of the Mothman
Eyes of the Mothman (2011) ****
A very in depth documentary on the legend of the mothman and the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia who had its share of sitings in 1966-1968.
This covers what the monster could be, the strange events in the town during these years, and the general creepy history of Point Pleasant.

The Prowler (1981) *1/2
A crazy man comes back to a college years later to pick up where he left off.
I only watched this bad 80's slasher because Tom Savani did the special effects. I wished that I would have skipped it though.

Unholy Women (2006) **1/2
A Japanese anthology film with a theme of haunted women. As in most movies like this, certain segments stand out more than others.
"Rattle, Rattle" - A woman gets chased down by the ghost. The ending & beginning were rather cool. The middle part was simply running around and screaming.
"Steel" - A girl is wrapped in a burlap sap from the waist up. Her father lures boys in to date her. One falls for her and gets to see underneath the sack, which leads to his demise. The girl remains lonely. This was my favorite segment as it simply bizarre and unique.
"The Inheritance" - A grandmother is hiding a secret from her young grandson. This was one the creepiest and more in the traditional J-Horror.

The Frankenstein Syndrome (2010) ***
A group of scientist illegally work on a serum to revive the dead. They have a breakthrough but with dire consequences.
This movie exceeds its B movie budget with an good cast and interesting script. Plus the lovely Tiffany Shepis stars.

The Screen At Kanchamod (2007) ***
A doctor tries to recreate an incident which occurred in 1987 as a group screened a movie in the jungle to a seemingly empty audience. When the film ran out, the group sees spirits.
Like many Thai movies the good guys aren't necessary good and the break up in linearity storytelling makes for a good mystery as you are trying to figure out how all the pieces come together. A nice ending too.

Halloween: 25 Years of Terror
Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006) ****
A documentary covering the success and failures of the Halloween movie franchise.
I cant believe that I never watched this before as it's a few years old. A tad on the short side, as most horror fans cant get enough of this stuff, but excellent none the less.

Chawz aka Chaw (2009) ***
A giant boar roams a muck and terrorize a small Korean village. The police call in hunters to help kill the beast.
This Korean movie has some strange this happening in it and plays many scenes for comedic value. A nice blend which works. I have no idea why America distributors but a 'z' on the end of the title.

Prowl (2010) **1/2
A group of kids have a breakdown. They get a rid from a trucker. He dumps them off in an abandoned warehouse where they get hunted. If that part sounds cliche, well, it is. The hunters are actually a subspecies of human. And it turns out that one of kids is actually part of the pack, but she didn't know it.
I loved the concept of this movie with the hunters/pack. But I have to think if story was centered on the pack instead of teens in peril it would have been far better.

Spasmo (1974) **1/2
An Italian giallo where a man rescues a woman on the beach. They spend some time together and weird stuff starts happening. Like people getting killed and missing corpses. Is it all in his mind?
A good mystery but it felt like nothing more than standard giallo of its time.

Cherry Tree Lane (2010) ***
Some local hoodlums bust into the house of a couple. They are looking for their son, who they have an issue with. They hold the couple hostage while they wait for his return. Tension fills the air as night goes on and ends up in a violent outcome.
In new subgenre of urban terror this movie does provide a good premise and acting. But I really didn't like any of the characters, including the victims, who are basically bound and gagged after the first ten minutes while the hoods sit around talking and acting tough. Take a shot at it, maybe you'll like it better than me.

Demon Seed (1977) **
This movie, based on a Dean Koontz novel, is about super computer locks a woman inside house and wants to mate with her.
Not even Julie Christie could save this thing. Like many films where new technological advances are the center piece, they quickly become outdated.

Diagnosis Death (2010) **
During a cancer clinical drug trial two test subjects start think the medical facility is haunted.
The movie tries to be a dark comedy and doesn't really succed. Some parts are amusing and some parts are slightly creepy but they dont play well in this New Zealand flick. It does have cameos from the Flight of the Conchords members though.

Cannibals (1980) *
A man loses his daughter to some jungle natives. Years later he tries to retrieve her.
This is the worst Jess Franco movie I've ever seen. Nothing was enjoyable about the movie and not sure why I stuck it out until the end.

Torchwood, Season 1 (2006) ***
It's another one of those sci-fi, adventure, horror hybrid shows like you'd find on SyFy except this series comes from the UK. This Doctor Who spin off is about a team of people who battle alien and supernatural things.
Not being a Doc Who fan, I didn't know what to expect. Overall I found the series to be fun. It's a well mixed concoction of the things I tend to like. I'll probably continue on to season 2 before long.

Feng Sui (2004) **1/2
A movie from the Phillipeans about a mother who finds an charm that brings her family good luck. Of course for all the amount of good luck it also brings equally bad luck later on. The mother must solve the mystery behind the curse before its too late for her family.
Kind of a typical Asian haunted item movie. It's not bad but not anything special either.

The Last Wave: The Criterion Collection
The Last Wave (1977) ****
A lawyer must defend a group of Abrigonies who commited a ritual killing of one of their members in this Aussie classic.
Combine a court room drama with mystery and creepy supernatural elements and its makes for an unique flick. Highly recommend.

Scarce (2008) **
Some kids get lost in lower Pennsylvania during a blizzard. They wreck their car. They search for help and stumble into a man's cabin, who gladly gives them shelter. What they dont know is he's a cannibal.
An ultra low budget movie with a couple slick twists and turns ultimately falls short due to no one to cheer for. I hoped for the hillbilly to feast on Jersey college kids.

Horror Express (1972) **1/2
An anthropologist find a frozen creature. He transports it via the Trans-Siberian railroad where the creature thaws out and starts brain melting people.
A cast of greats pack this wildly bizarre flick. It is campy deliciousness.

Beneath Still Waters (2005) **
On the 40th anniversary of a dam being built strange things start happening around to towns people. Perhaps its the abandoned village which got flooded because of the dam many years ago.
Nothing riveting about this Spanish flick. In fact some parts just dont make any sense.

Shadow (2009) ***
A ex-soldier is biking through the woods of Germany where he meets a girl biker and a couple of brutish hunters. After an altercation the hunters want payback and chase the other two into part of the woods supposed haunted by crazies. Well, the rumor is true and the crazies capture the others. Then the fun begins.
Even though the movie has flaws I ended up enjoying it. It's nothing new, especially the ended. And the wood scenes are beautiful.

Ban the Sadist Video (2005) ***1/2
This documentary deals with the UK's ban on the "video nasties" in the 1980's. Movies deemed too violent, gory, and sexual for view. It's fascinating as both sides are laid out fairly equal and shows the kind of power a few can hold over the many.

Don't Look Back
Dont Look Back (2009) ****
A woman starts to see changes in her apartment, her family, and eventually herself. Is she going mad? Is there another reason behind all of this?
I loves me a good mental breakdown film. When you add the lovely Sophie Marceau and Monica Belucci (playing basically the same person) then I am surely on board. The movie is full of cool special effects, powerful performances and pure emotions.

Amusement (2008) **1/2
Three woman are captured by a man they dismissed as weird when they were children.
This familiar plot goes slightly above the norm slasher flick with some good kills and set ups.

Burned at the Stake aka The Coming (1981) **
A small girl is possessed by the spirit of a witch in modern day Salem.
I've never seen a child actor have such a command over a character yet be so damn annoying. Probably that is where the film lost me.

The Final Destination (2010) *1/2
A group of people once again escape death only to have it catchup with them.
The usual from the franchise. Some decent sequences but once again watching a movie made for 3D in 2D makes the movie look terrible.


Dead Man's Song
Dead Man's Song by Jonathan Maberry ****1/2
Book number two in the Pine Deep Trilogy picks up where number one ends.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ***1/2
In the near future North America is divided up into a capital and 12 districts. Each district's main reason for survival is to supply the capital with resources. Each year, the capital holds The Hunger Games as a reminder to the districts never to revolt against the capital again. One boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18 from each territory are selected to fight for survival against the others where there is only one winner. Katness Everdean volunteers for the games after her younger sister is chosen. And the games begins.
I admit to getting sucked into this story as the familiar tale had enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.

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