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Schloß Vogelöd (1921)
I'm not going to give away any of the plot in this review, it's worth simply watching the film and going with it.
However, I did want to address a couple of things in previous reviews.
Firstly there is a review from MARIO GAUCI that isn't exactly complementary. The thing is, the reviewer clearly saw a very inferior print of the movie, likely missing almost 30 minute3s of footage.
Like all movies, you really ought to give the benefit of the doubt to movies that you're seeing in 16mm reductions prints with a third of the film (which, true, at the time the other DVD of this came out, was considered "lost") missing. If you're into silent film, then don't go the cheapo route - spend the money on good restorations, it really pays dividends.
Secondly there is mention of the acting here being "stagey". This is a comment I see often, but i never truly understand it. This was made in 1921! If you're watching a piece of early cinema you can't expect the realism that we see on the screen today. Not only did the rules of cinema not exist at the time these films were made, but the technology available at the tie didn't allow for it. The call this film "stagey" is, if you don't mind me saying, rather ignorant. What did you expect? Instead, approach this for what it is. It is an early mystery film. There are some good performances, but I mostly enjoyed the shots of the rain drenched roads and fields. The dream sequences do a good job of balancing fear and comedy, and while the plot is rather transparent to modern minds, if you can set aside your critique and just allow the film to wash over you, it really works quite well.
Legend of the Bog (2009)
The English Have Another Meaning for the Word 'Bog'
I'm not going to bother to decide if this deserves a 3 out of 10, or a four, or even a 2. It was bad, so I'm leaving this comment at a 1.
Horror fans don't mind if their films aren't original, as long as it's done well. The genre is full of conventions, and originality occurs only with the smallest of twists on them. Fair enough.
The fact that the poster for this one has a big picture of Vinnie Jones on it - when in fact he's not the lead - if forgivable. Vinnie is always fun to watch anyway. However, just about everything else is poor, very poor.
Where to start? It's a film set in Ireland (outside Dublin) that has, as one would expect, a bunch of Irish people in it. And then there's the cockney "hunter", Vinnie Jones - along along with three Americans for good measure. One of the Americans is an evil property developer, building houses on the Bog.
Anyway, Bog Men can, apparently, be reconstituted when dipped into water. Okay, I can live with that as a horror fan. What i can't live with is the fact that the Bog Man make-up consists entirely of a set of bad teeth and a grunt. He wears an old kit from Giant Haystacks (if you're old enough to remember some classic wrestlers from yesteryear.
The film tries to tie up why these people are doomed to die, but it's never tied into the Bog story. Vinnie's character is one-dimensional and he's cruising through the roll. They (badly) CGI some flames at the end.
It's all so..... bad. The main thing it does wrong is that it's not even funny. It has sprinkles of humour in it that don't really work. It's not entertaining.... I was strained at the leash to tear myself away from the remote to turn this off.
Pity but this is a stinker, really poor. Oh well.
The Strong Man (1926)
Excellent Piece of Slapstick
Having read the comment proceeding my own, I felt compelled to write a brief comment about this film (that I watched yesterday).
Sadly the previous reviewer didn't laugh a single time, which is in direct conflict with my own experience, I laughed out loud at several places in the film (and I watched it at 4:00am, so laughing out loud isn't ideal!) I enjoyed just about every aspect of the film, from the actors to the set-pieces, to the silly and poignant. There is even one moment of pure cinematic brilliance when a last curtain/sheet tears into shreds (when you see the film you'll know the sequence I'm talking about) which I thought was visually arresting.
Sadly we are too often drawn to categorize and judge films based on what is "best" or "more worthy". It seems every film must be judged against the very best at all times. I think this is a little unfair, and prefer to maintain a more open mind.
The bottom line was, this film actually did make me laugh out loud, and I was entertained throughout. From the opening sequences on the battlefield to the finale at that den on inequity. I highly recommend it to everyone, and it's certainly worth seeking out.
10 out of 10 for me, I'm going to rewatch this tonight with my good wife. Good times!
Il plenilunio delle vergini (1973)
Excellent Hammer-esquire Title
Unlike the only other reviewer of this title, I thought this was quite terrific. Actually I was amazed at how good it is.
My overall impression was of a film that had a Hammer vibe, with a couple twists - the twists being more blood (though there's not a tremendous amount), and more overt nudity (several topless shots).
Other than that it is as good - and silly - as Hammer vampire flicks of the day. Sure the plot is a bit daft, the whole thing turns on possession of an ancient ring, but what do you expect from a vampire film of this era? It didn't matter to me at all.
The copy I saw was from tape, so the quality wasn't great. Never mind though, seeing it was better than missing out.
As for the previously mentioned "lesbian" sequences, they're tame, and along the lines of the classic Hammer film "The Vampire Lovers".
So, if you're a Hammer fan who doesn't mind a slight Euro influence on the ambiance, then this is a film you simply must seek out. I think it's terrific and would buy a remastered edition in a heart beat.