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Vampire Circus (1972)
Horror Galore for All Sexy Vampire Lovers Who Can Smile!
***MIGHT INCLUDE SPOILERS!***Here it is! A great horror film from the sexy and wild 1970's! No slow build-up! The film even begins with the typical end of a Gothic horror movie, but after that, there is no slow segment of character development. As soon as one villager says "- ...Vampires only exist in legends..." we hear the sounds and noises from the vampire caravan! The film has unusually many characters for us to deal with and many we care of. It is fantastic! Delivers horror and vampire scenes in loads! As soon as the thrills and creepiness are over, we are exposed to sensual or right down sexy scenes!
Romantic take on creepy looking vampires as if they would like to take you along on this very unchristian ride! The stunning thing in this film is that the vampires seem to gladly victimize the young, really just children! A vampire has a beautiful erotic scene with a woman slave! A gorgeous panther man and a huge magnificent tiger, the crazy but witty dwarf, the silent strong man, the womanleader of the circus (Corri's best filmrole!) A plague causing a village to go quarantine! Never a dull moment! A seminude woman in reptileskin in an animalistic supersexy dance scene! Beautiful girls and women! Psychic sibling twins that are transformed into bats! The Darth Vader actor! The Mirror of Life...a mirror that...No, I won't tell you! Pleasure mixed with blood, bloodsuckers and wild animals! Seduction of the underage! Colorful acting! You care as much for the poor villagers as you do for the sexy and beautiful vampire men and women! Highly imaginative film making!
It actually engages us to enjoy these satanic things! If you feel that Hammer films bore you! Forget it! This is it! Give it a special viewing! The film has ONLY sex, boobs, sensual lovemaking, blood, chock, ugly vampires, nudity, violence, heads, the mocking laughter of the nasty vampires, thrills, mutilations, vampire stakings, huge fangs, corpses, eyeballs, wonderful 70's colours, great music and atmosphere! AND a 2 seconds scene where a mans shadow is transformed into a black panther in the middle of the stairs..
This is a classic! If you don't like it, you either don't like horror films or your libido hasn't matured yet! Wonderful! I Must see it at least once a year!
The Ultimate Adult Fantasy!
I am a person who consider Art, or rich Art, being able to elevate our minds and from which we are able to draw huge amount of information. Fantasia is not only a unique film, its also the only film which with musical pieces illustrates evolution at work and prehistoric scenes pretty scary and violent with the last groups of dinosaurs parading towards doom. Development and Extermination. Also, here you have sceneries of the Hellenian mythological world portraying the mating ritual and the Bacchus celebration, "sex, drugs and party!", and the battle between the light and the shadow world - the world of death and decay and that of light and peace. We get the living Nature in its transgressions through the different seasons, comical portraits of animals and veggies impersonating humans, and a moral tale of a young who forgot that he is not the tutor yet, etc. The basic thread of the movie is the music of course! To begin the film with J S Bach's Toccata and Fuge in d minor, is not only supercool, but is the perfect upwarming piece. As the music itself is pretty impossible to create a simple visual story with characters from, the visuals we see are closer to abstract and expressionism in form, with natural elements to illustrate Bach's famous cosmic flow of his fugues!
Walt Disney was so serious with this project, that a psychological consult with experience of peyote, was hired to give guide lines to the different segments, not to mention all the ideas which came from the big crowd of artists that was working with the pictures and the translation of the music into pictures. Just like other Disney films of the period, like Three Caballeros 1946 and certain scenes in Dumbo and others, could easily be placed side by side with Yellow Submarine and experimental underground shorts in the late 60's, in a period when LSD, Psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis was the inspiration, for both young hippies and soul searching intellectuals. Disney was really psychedelic!
The imagination at work in this film is so rich, that one can view it over and over again, to find details as well as new interpretations to the different segments. When viewing this multi artwork from beginning to end, through the music to the visuals and its themes, it seems to encompass the human and natural world on Earth,in a trancendental way, so it seems to be the perfect movie to send with a probe out into outer space, hoping to encounter an alien species, who might be able to watch it! They would not only consider it a colorful gem, but would find the film be a treasure for understanding Humans from the planet Earth. Of course, I am exaggerating, but still, if NASA could pack a satellite with chosen music, which I know they had, why not a movie?
Anyways, this is a way for me to say, that Fantasia, as the film looks, could not have been made today, as the most powerful film companies would not bet a huge some of money on a project like this. Also, a feature film, all drawn and painted by hand, gives a decidedly more impressive look than one that is made in a computer. The fact is, that around 1939 - 1940, in the midst of Second World War, some of the most popular, hailed by critics and audience alike, greatest films were made. If the time consuming, painstaking efforts behind Pinoccio, Wizard of Oz, The Thief of Bagdad and Fantasia all are made to be true fantasy films, they seem to tell us that during war time it better works to make "timeless" films. In other words, films which not occupy themselves with the ever changing societies of Humanity and the issues of the times in which they were made. Instead, and this is what make them work as true art, they seem to speak to us, in matter of symbols, archetypes and themes which have been with us through the history of time. It could be seen as a work of a great shaman, who wants to remind us about the most important and utterly most sublimely beautiful things we have on this Earth. The Greatest Movie Achievement Ever In History!
I only give full points (10/10) to films that are more than a film!
Imaginary friend comes alive!
Per Oscarsson plays a lovesick lonelybird nightwatch at a larger store when he becomes mesmerized by a mannequin doll. When he, one night, manage to steal and take this wax lady home, she becomes his imaginary friend. He is not insane, just very very lonely and isolated. In the beginning she is placed in his small shack, where he kind of talks to himself but also playfully to her.......But didn't the doll just move? The residents of the house where he lives play an important role to this story. Everybody is pretty poor, and live with their own problems and conflicts, but as the sweet and shy virgin man starts to change and act erratic and aggressive, the others start to fear the worst.
Creepy! In the hands of another director the story and certainly some of the scenes would have come out as really silly and unconvincing, but veteran Arne Mattsson treats this whole scenario with a flair backed up by the psychologically strong script that perfectly balances between insanity and reality. I consider this brilliant little film with the equally stunning Per Oscarsson in the lead as one of the strongest studies of insanity there ever was, done small scaled but with ultra atmospheric photo and gritty, believable actors. Actor Oscarsson has, from the mid 1940's to the late 1970's, been playing odd, solitude, frustrated and very eccentric characters on film in Sweden and this may for all, be his lifetime achievement.
It feels kind of strange that I, after I watched this film again, remember that in TV shows and documentaries have seen real men declaring that they prefer to live with a synthethic "doll" rather than with living women. It's as if a part of the mysteries and dark corners of humanity have been exposed so much and normalized so hard in our informative age, in such a degree that real mens' sexual relationship with mannequins can become reality TV show entertainment.
The films director, Arne Mattsson, who became one of Swedens most prolific and talented, made in total 61 films where sex, crime or insanity were the major themes/subjects, from the early 1940's to the mid 70's. In his merit list there are for many Swedes famous titles as Farlig Vår 1949, the legendary succéss of Hon Dansade en Sommar 1951 (She Danced One Summer - worldfamous nude swimming in twilight!), the atmospheric criminal/ thriller comedies of Damen i Svart 1957 (Lady In Black), Vita Frun 1962 (Lady in White)och Mannekäng i Rött 1958 (Mannequin In Red) which clearly inspired Mario Bava to shoot the first considered giallo film , Blood and Black Lace 1964), his masterpiece Yngsjömordet 1966(Dramatizing Swedens last death sentence case), Mördaren - En helt vanlig person 1967 (The Murderer - A completely normal Person!), the sex drama Ann och Eve - De Erotiska 1970 and the really nasty exploitationfilm Smutsiga Fingrar 1973 (Dirty Fingers). They were suspenseful and beautiful, and showed, when Mattsson was at his best, a sophisticated and powerful sense of "mise-en-scene".
Stora skälvan (1972)
Unique probe into teenagers deepest fears!
Stora Skälvan 1972 (The Big Chill) by director Leif Krantz, famous in Sweden for his contribution to youth oriented suspenseful TV series. This Series is about a group of bored teenagers who are forced to spend the summer holiday on a small fishing isle and who decide to gather inside a shipwreck by the shore, every night. They chat, play guitar and sing (yeah, this is the 1970's) and drink coffee and soda. But it all boils down to an agreement that any one that can, shall tell the others the creepiest or most unsettling experience they have had. So, every episode is an individual story!
In the first one, a dreamy "twilight zone" kind of story - "The Disappearance", the girl Kia meets a strange flirting boy no one ever seen, and the boy acts strange and make her do naughty things, as stealing a posh looking boat and driving out to some isle, but when they have a boat accident, the boy disappears mysteriously. Was he ever real? In the second entry "Falcons", maybe the most suspenseful and rather beautiful one, is about the boy Tor who while deciding to climb an interesting mountain ridge, somebody starts shooting at him with a rifle! Terrified he does not know what to do hanging by his hands off a cliff. After a manhunt sequence in the forest it shall not be revealed why this happens, but the message is very beautiful actually. As no 3 we have a rather comical episode "The Fortress" which is about a young history nerd who gets himself locked inside the name building encountering ghostlike figure, and the fourth - "The Black Boat", a rather paranoid and actually realistic story about alcohol smugglers of the archipelagos.
In no 5, "10 000 cold" (10 000 SEK) with the pretty 17 year old girl Maria (played by Maria Lindberg who starred in Krantz earlier series!), is about the agony this girl feels as her father suddenly demands her to bring, all alone, all that money in a bag to an associate in the southern city of Gothenburg. She feels like everybody on the train wants to peek into her bag, and as she looks and dress kind of sexy for her age, some guys start to approach her for another reason then she thinks. Finally arriving, Maria messes things up by delivering the money to a creepy looking total stranger. Maria shows her acting experience here and is truly pulling off a fun one-girl-show!
The legendary last episode, "The Ambush", was about a fear pretty much any teenager, back then or in present day, experience when groups of youngsters seem to be ready for nasty things when grownups are not near. The fear of being caught by another gang in a gang war in the forest, and being humiliated, abused and tortured mentally and physically. The episode is not as creepy as it sounds, but the psychological threat is there and pretty realistic. It shows that violence can get overhand with any person.
But the TV audience never got to view this last episode. To our disappointment, it was turned down by the TV censor-board. Stora Skälvan (The Big Chill) was aired once and I think, repriced in a non public TV channel in the late 1980's, but not until now do we have the chance to view this legendary and actual unique portrait of Swedish teenagers in the land of free, with the carefree atmosphere the young experienced void of techniques and commercialism. There are some light nudity here, one topless shot and girls walk around without bra of course and swim unashamed as they appear. Violence is mild and there is absolutely no sex here, of course. Apart from a spooky funny intro song for each episode, the stories are backed up by some really groovy sounds from a free soft sounding rock band that adds a dreamy dimension to some of the episodes. Leif Krantz' series are all highly watchable and of course I wish they could be sold outside Scandinavia with English subtitles!
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
A masterpiece about sexual repression
What a great film! Wonderful, solid old fashion storytelling, timeless in both theme and exposition. The maintitles bursts Toccata and Fuge in d minor by the psychocosmic composer Johann S Bach. That choice of music alone stands well to present one of the 5 greatest horrorfilms of the 1930's. Then we are taken for a ride in a respected mans POV until we are met by a mirror. That nice Jekyll! We hear him having a speech that sounds like he is speaking of LSD or some similar psychoactive drug that he wants to use to release the bad side of/ inside Us. That reminds me of how LSD was used in psychoterapy during the 60's. Even here in Sweden till 1973, to release traumas or bad habits.
Jekyll is presented as being an urgent man, a human soul with lots of fire burning. Passion. And he loves Muriel. They are so rampant they sit and glare into each others eyes, saying -I love you, I love you sooo much, oh how I love you! Not because the screenwriter is a fool, but because we are suppose to understand that the only way they can make love before marriage in that Victorian age, is to fantasize together.. ..gosh. Poor young people!
This is one of the earliest sound horror films, made as it is side by side with Dracula, Dr X and Frankenstein, this film experiment with sounds where the other films have pretty much nothing but stagesounding talk. Jekylls first experiment is a swirling experience with flashbacks of faces and voices with that panting and moaning sound from his breathing, and the loud pounding of the heartbeats....
Jekyll has a very nice chemistry with Ivy. And when Hyde have Ivy in her arms both Fredric Marsh and Myriam Hopkins show us what true strong acting is. He is horrible. She is tortured mentally. The sex element is so clear in this film that it hurts and it makes this film probably the first horror film to deal with sex,(Ivys bare leg is a pendulum of seduction in Jekylls subconsciousness), just like say, Cat People 11 years later... but not like this. This is not hinting at sex. This is showing us what he thinks about. Isn't it interesting how surprising many films made before the censorship code in 1933, appear? I watched Ben Hur from 1926 and saw decapitated heads rolling on a ship and a womans bare breasts. Violence and sex was something we were not able to watch for along time since that code.
Cameraman Karl Struss never shot Frankenstein or Dracula, but he could make a film look so good. Concerning the transformation scenes, even *SPOILER* the special makeup paint and camerafilter effects was unknown to audience and critics for decades. And the film was considered LOST for 30 or 40 years!Unbelievable! The only weaknesses in the film is due to some crude jumpcuts which otherwise would have shown us a little more evil actions: Mr Hyde running being nasty in the dimlit streets of Soho, and his whipping of Ivy. A beautiful, but at the same time very uncomfortable portrait of a man and his mental, physical and sexual grip of terror upon a poor woman.