Reviews written by registered user
melvelvit-1

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357 reviews in total 
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Livid (2011)
Stylish but sedate compared to Italo-horror, 2 December 2016
7/10

A young home health aide finds out her new patient, a comatose old woman in a dark, gloomy mansion, was once a famous ballet instructor who's said to have a fortune hidden somewhere in the house. That night, the girl tells her beau about it and together with a friend they go back to rob the place -on Halloween, no less. Once they break in, the nightmare begins...

A less garish blend of Mario Bava's "A Drop Of Water" (BLACK SABBATH) and Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA with a stately, "sedated" sort of style that gives the rural landscape, crumbling estate, and supernatural happenings a weird kind of MASTERPIECE THEATER vibe. The budget wasn't bad and the FX were pretty good but overall a 7/10. It would have been nice if whoever did the subtitles actually knew English.

Not bad in the right frame of mind, 2 December 2016
6/10

Mexican comedian Clavillazo stars as a funeral parlor employee who comes to the aid of a penniless girl burying her last relative but their budding romance is interrupted when she's kidnapped by a mad scientist and Clavillazo must enter the monsters' castle to get the damsel in distress back. Once inside, he battles Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and even the Creature from the Black Lagoon as he dodges all sorts of mayhem in what's basically a south-of-the-border ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN with "everything but the kitchen sink" thrown in. "Mexico's Christopher Lee", Germán Robles, guest stars as the vampire, a signature role for him. I fully expected "painfully unfunny" but it wasn't that bad if you're in the right frame of mind for this sort of nonsense and I guess I was. Otherwise, it's strictly "kiddie matinée".

Kwaidan (1964)
Slow-moving and surreal, 2 December 2016
7/10

Four tales of the supernatural drawn from Japanese folklore: in the first, an ambitious samurai returns to the wife he abandoned many years before only to find she hasn't aged in all that time; in the second, a beautiful vampire makes a young man promise never to mention an encounter they had or else; in the third, a blind balladeer has fans from beyond the grave; and in the last, there are reasons why some authors never complete their stories...

Slow-moving and surreal, the hypnotically beautiful mis-en-scene kept me watching even if a couple of the stories weren't exactly riveting. My favorite was "The Woman Of The Snow" which was reworked in a segment of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE called "The Lover's Vow". Ironically, when KWAIDAN was released in the U.S. this segment (the best, IMO) was left out ...and folks still liked the film (even the NY Times' usually clueless Bosley Crowther). Nominated for an Oscar as "Best Foreign Film".

Unbelievably bad ...and not in a good way, 2 December 2016
3/10

A milquetoast whose only friends are his plants gets a chance to come to the rescue of the pretty neighbor he's been spying on when he catches her boyfriend beating her up. He begins a masochistic relationship with the cruel girl but when she pranks him in a greenhouse, they both turn into plants and start bickering like George & Martha in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLFE? They soon tire of each other and try to lure new mates to the greenhouse through telepathy.

And this isn't a comedy.

What starts out as a Spanish updating of Fritz Lang's film noir classic SCARLET STREET goes completely off the rails once the pair enter the greenhouse and honestly, I don't know what to say. Nothing good, that's for sure.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A multitude of juvenile sins..., 2 December 2016
6/10

A former geisha girl returns from the grave to take revenge on the servant who drove her to suicide, married her husband, and is trying to kill her son...

It starts out like an episode of the old TV series THE NAKED CITY with a deformed narrator telling us there's a million stories in a public cemetery and this in one of them. He says he used to narrate silent films (an old Korean custom?) and his tale plays like one too, laying old-time melodrama on with a trowel. There's murder, revenge, adultery, drug addiction, a girl driven to become an "entertainer", a prison break, eye-gouging, acid to the face, and a vengeful ghost whose grave splits in two so she can ascend to heaven when she's done. I don't know what was going on politically at the time but the ghost's husband was tortured by the police and sent to prison for protesting the Japanese government. It's lunatic sh!t on a low budget with lots of Mario Bava-style colored lights trying to cover a multitude of juvenile sins.

Pretty good at capitalizing on a craze, 2 December 2016
8/10

A troubled young Count (Franco Nero), living in a crumbling villa with his domineering mother, takes comfort in taxidermy (sound familiar?) until he falls in love with a girl (Erica Blanc) his mother naturally doesn't approve of. The old battle ax tells a servant she treats "like a daughter" that she'd be forever grateful if the girl would make her son's fiancée disappear and not only does the servant kill the son's intended, she offs his mother, too. The Count takes his mom's death hard but not as hard as his fiancee's, whose body he stuffs before he starts strangling strippers. The servant tells him she'll help cover up his crimes if he'll marry her and he agrees but when his dead fiancee's look-alike sister (also Erica Blanc) shows up looking for answers, complications ensue...

To say THE THIRD EYE was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO would be an understatement but it does go off on a crazy tangent of its own and was obviously capitalizing on a spate of Hammer "mini-Hitchcock" thrillers popular at the time (MANIAC, PARANOIA, HYSTERIA). In black & white with cool-looking red subtitles, the damn thing was never dull, that's for sure. Cult director Joe D'Amato "unofficially" remade this as BEYOND THE DARKNESS in 1979.

Canevari's second giallo wasn't worth the wait, 2 December 2016
3/10

I was blown away when I saw Cesare Canevari's UNA IENA IN CASSAFORTE (Hyena In The Safe 1968) a couple of years ago, thinking if Radley Metzger had made a giallo this would have been it, so I was very much looking forward to the director's second stab at the Italian horror sub- genre and boy what a letdown it turned out to be. I've seen this film compared to sleazy gialli like GIALLO A VENEZIA, PLAY MOTEL, and THE SISTER OF URSULA but that would be a disservice to those venerable video nasties since there's no plot, mystery, violence, or gore to speak of when a posse of pretty people gather at a hotel to await the funeral of an uncle and pass the time having sex even after a couple of bodies turn up. So do the police to ensure they all stay right where they are so everyone's more than happy to keep on coupling and the killer, when revealed, is even more ridiculous if such a thing is possible. That said, the talented director knows how to compose a shot and the soft lens does give the film a dreamlike quality but wow, what a wasted opportunity. The epitome of "there's less to this than meets the eye", CRIMES OF THE FLESH is a plot less soft-core sex film that's not very explicit and a little too whitebread (except for some lesbianism) so even voyeurs get shortchanged. Future XXX star Moana Pozzi's in this but I don't know who she was since there's no character names next to the actors on the film's IMDb page.

An '80s "splatterfest" that made Santa Claus a controversial cause, 1 December 2016
7/10

A kid who sees his parents get butchered by a maniac in a Santa suit grows up to be a killer Claus himself in another '80s gorefest with a sense of humor and Linnea Quigley.

After HALLOWEEN, Friday THE 13th, MOTHER'S DAY, and MY BLOODY VALENTINE, it was only a matter of time til Christmas rolled around and when it finally did in November 1984, the film even out-grossed A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, which opened the same week. I actually remember the tidal wave of backlash which soon followed, making SNDN one of the more controversial films of the decade, along with William Friedkin's CRUISING.

Outraged by TV & print ads showing Santa with a bloody ax, "the PTA fought to have this film removed from theaters" and "large crowds (mostly angry families) formed at theaters and malls around the nation to protest the film". Siskel & Ebert read off the filmmakers' names on their TV show, saying "shame, shame" and the film was soon withdrawn from theaters for awhile. (The free-wheeling '70s were a lot more chill - when I saw BLACK Christmas at the drive-in back in December 1974, there wasn't an uproar in the press or anywhere else.)

SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT was eventually re-released with cuts and without the offensive ads that scared so many kids and the DVD I have is "the most complete version" spliced together from two different film elements -one crisp and the other dark- so it was interesting to see just what had been cut (mostly lingering or explicit shots of the more gory murders). No better or worse than most '80s slasher films, the low budget didn't hamper the decent kills and Linnea Quigley as a randy babysitter helped make this something of a cult film over the years.

The epitome of '80s "splatterfest" fun, 1 December 2016
8/10

A bunch of teens hold a Halloween party in an abandoned mortuary with a grisly past. They get possessed ...and you can guess the rest.

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is the epitome of an '80s tongue-in-cheek splatterfest with good FX and a "Through The Looking Glass" motif with the heroine dressed as Alice encountering a possessed mirror. The demons are cool and the kids get divested of eyes, tongues, and arms all in good fun. I didn't even mind the decade's hideous fashions and hair, maybe because my copy was "The Unrated Version Featuring Additional Gore & Violence!"

A buddy gifted me with the DVD along with a personally autographed photo of petulant sexpot Linnea Quigley (who sort of reminds me of Gloria Grahame) inscribed with a line from the movie: "To ___, I just wanna look good for the boys". Don't we all.

Not much horror here (but lots of lesbians, at least), 1 December 2016
7/10

Yet another sapphic blood cult's on the loose in an old castle as the female descendants of a sixteenth-century vampire get together to receive their sanguine inheritance. There's also a brother & sister whose car break down, a Mrs. Danvers-type housekeeper, garlic crosses, puncture wounds on the neck, and other familiar horror trope in this CARMILLA-esque yarn that's short on hetero coupling and long on lesbianism and incest. Sarno borrowed Mario Bava's colored lights as well as the plot of BLACK Sunday (more-or-less) to spotlight a castle full of T&A, mostly from a naked coven, and even has a woman getting her clothes torn off by bats. From an American director who filmed in Germany to make the very essence of Eurotrash.


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