This one is going to be much longer, since i haven’t had time to write properly since the middle of october up till now. I remind you, my readers, that Shocktober is our own “horror” festival, which means watching only horror/weird/freaky movies throughout the month of October. So here comes the second half of the movies we’ve watched:
Requiem for a Vampire/Vierges et vampires (1971)
Directed by Jean Rolllin
This is a trippy French vampire flick, it has a groovy psychedelic soundtrack, a lot of the movie is shot at a castle and around the graveyard, has lots of nudity and almost no dialogue. The vampires are also quite amuzing, and they have cheesy-looking fangs. We had a good laugh with this movie and enjoyed it.
Tears of Kali (2004)
Directed by Andreas Marchall
This movie is extremely bad. We were really disappointed because it didn’t quite correspond to its’ description on the cover. It is shot with a home camera and most of the action happens in one room. The movie was supposed to show “the dark side of the new age”, but we only saw the dark side of german low-budget cinematography.
Directed by Benjamin Christensen
Now this is a true classic. Haxan is a Danish/Swedish silent film depicting witches and the European witch hunt throughout the ages. Many of the classic medieval images of Satan, demons and the Black Mass are shown in this brilliant film. Parts of this film were used in a video from Danish satanic metaller King Diamond, “Sleepless Nights”.
Directed by Freddie Francis
This is a Hammer House film about a young student, who is haunted by the visions of her dead mother. I would say that this movie is more suspense than horror, unlike the other, more famous Hammer House films starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
I liked this movie a lot. It is a rather original vampire movie about a vampire grandpa and a mysterious golden scarab, built by a medieval alchemist. The scarab grants immortality but with a deadly price. The plot unfolds at a steady pace, keeping the viewers interested throughout the entire film, and the visuals are really good as well.
Directed by Clive Barker
This movie is a bit cheesy, but i still like the character design. If this film was remade nowadays, it could be quite a good movie.
The Bloody Judge / Trono di fuoco (1970)
Directed by Jesus Franco
This is an early 70′s Italian horror flick, starring the brilliant Christopher Lee. It’s a great film, similar to the Witchfinder General, but much better in my opinion. The director Jess Franco is famous for injecting quite a bit of erotica into his horror films, and this movie is no exception.
Exorcism / L’Éventreur de Notre-Dame (1979)
Directed by Jesus Franco
Another good Jess Franco film about a perverted priest, who witnesses hippies engaging in a mock Satanic rituals / orgies, and decides to exorcise the participants through sadistic torture. Jess Franco himself plays the priest.
Hiruko the Goblin / Yôkai hantâ: Hiruko (1991)
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
This is a film by the director of Tetsuo, the Iron Man – the Japanese sci-fi cult classic. Although not nearly as good as Tetsuo, Hiruko is still a strange and interesting film, filled with gory cyber images. Hiruko is the goblin sent to earth, who has to behead many girls and assemble their heads onto spider bodies.
Directed by Richard Wenk
This is a cool 80s vampire horror/comedy, starring the unusual pop-singer Grace Jones. She is wonderful as the main vampiress in a gloomy strip club, located in a bad part of town, mostly inhabited by ghouls and vampires.
Summer Scars (2007)
Directed by Julian Richards
This is not a horror film at all, but an adult psychological thriller. basically, the movie is about a bunch of British kids, who go play in the forest and come across a creepy stranger who psychologically tortures them. Although this is a pretty low budget production, it is quite an interesting and original film
Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1 (2008)
Directed by Phil Messerer
We saw this movie at a Spooky Movie Film festival in Virginia. This is a very low budget film, but quite enjoyable, with a dark comedic touch. The story is told from the point of view of a goth teenage girl, who hates her cheerleading sister and decides to put a voodoo curse on her. This film is very unpredictable, and surprisingly original, considering that it’s basically a vampire flick.
The Happening (2008)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
This is one of my favorite directors, who has proven himself again with his latest apocalyptic picture. This is, perhaps, his most shocking film to date. The basic storyline is that a mysterious plague has infected the USA, where people suddenly stop what they’re doing and immediately kill themselves. There is something of an environmental statement made in this film.
Room 205 / Kollegiet (2007)
Directed by Martin Barnewitz
A neat Danish ghost story film, that is similar to some of the modern scary Asian horror movies. It’s really well done, good plot, good cinematography, good acting and the creepy soundtrack. There’s a good deal of violence in the movie, which seemed unrealistic to me, because I can’t picture nice Danish people being violent.
Dark Floors (2008)
Directed by Pete Riski
This is a Finnish movie starring the guys from the shock rock band, Lordi. It’s a haunted hospital flick, which also seems to be inspired by Asian horror films. It’s actually quite good and has a scary atmosphere, great CG, however it would have been a lot more scary if Lordi guys were not in the movie, except for the girl, because they created a great CG image for her, while the dudes in their costumes just made it look more comical.
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
Directed by Dan Curtis
This is a horror movie with 3 short stories, all starring the same actress, Karen Black. The first story is a bit boring and forgettable, the second one is interesting, but not scary, and the third one is awesome. The 3rd story talks about a little african witchcraft doll, which apparently comes to life, once it’s little chain is removed.
Kill Baby Kill / Operazione paura (1966)
Directed by Mario Bava
This is another cool Italian horror movie, about a village being terrorized by a ghost of a dead little girl. Inspector Kruger goes to investigate the case and gets into deep sh*t. The little girl is the best part of the movie, and the title “Kill Baby Kill ” has nothing to do with the actual story.
The Gore Core Girls (1972)
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
H.G. Lewis was famous for making several ridiculously gory and cheesy films in the 60s and early 70s. This one is , obviously, a very gory movie. We had fun watching it, because most of the characters are pretty ludicrous, as well as most of the gore scenes. Yet the film still has its’ charm.
Cat People (1942)
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
This is the classic in the Film Noir genre, with great use of shadows and light. If you like kittycats, watch this movie.
This is the sequel to the previous film. We didn’t like it because there’s no cat action except for a one little black kitty on a tree in the beginning of the movie.
The Bad Seed (1956)
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
This is another classic film about a naughty little girl, who does mean things but nobody notices except for her poor mother. It’s a good movie, but not as shocking today as it must have been in the 50s.
Directed by Glen Morgan
This is the movie starring the terrific Crispin Glover, who plays a psychotic guy who commands rats to do his bidding. I thought the movie was fun, and i liked the big gloomy rat named Ben.
The Substitute / Vikaren (2007)
Directed by Ole Bornedal
This is another movie from the Ghosthouse Underground collection, which is also quite good. I can definitely recommend renting movies from this company. This one is also Danish, and it’s about a very evil teacher, who has a special mission. I won’t give out the details, because it will be a spoiler.
Directed by Dario Argento
This is not one of Dario Argento’s best movies. The colors and cinematography of the film are cool as always, but the story is lame and confusing. However, the film score by Keith Emerson from the British prog rock band, Emerson, Lake and Palmer is quite groovy.
Werewolf of London (1935) and She-Wolf of London (1946)
These are two classic black and white werewolf movies. First one is about a scientist who gets bitten by a Tibetan werewolf, and has to use the special moon flower to prevent his lycanthropic attacks. The second one is about a woman who’s afraid of having inherited the family’s werewolf curse, and thinks that she goes out at night killing little children. First movie was much better.
Dracula’s Daughter (1936)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
We don’t remember much of the movie, but we remember that we liked it and that it had a cool gothic atmosphere.
The Two Faces of Dr.Jekyll (1960)
Directed by Terence Fisher
This is another Hammer House movie, following the classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This one stars Christopher Lee, who plays the secret lover of Dr.Jekyll’s wife.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much / La Ragazza che sapeva troppo (1963)
Directed by Mario Bava
This is yet another Mario Bava movie, but has little to do with horror, and more with suspensefull Hitchcockian film noir. It’s more of a detective story, which has an interesting plot, and an awesome song by Italian pop singer and actor Adriano Celentano .
The Birds (1963)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
We were rather disappointed after watching this classic film for the first time. Even though it is a stylistically great movie, the birds only come out in the end! We thought there would be several bird attacks throughout the movie and that it would actually be creepy, like Psycho. But it was not.
Monster Dog / Leviatán (1984)
Directed by Claudio Fragasso
Do not rent this movie, unless you want to have the god-awful Alice Cooper song looping in your head for the next 2 weeks. The terrible song i’m referring to is frightfully catchy and absolutely dumb. The movie itself is not total crap, but it’s not very good either. I think that Alice Cooper was not taking anything at that time, and that is why he agreed to do this terrible film. I wanted to see this movie, because i actually like Alice Cooper, but i felt bad after renting it.
City of the Living Dead / Paura nella città dei morti viventi (1980)
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Directed by John Carpenter
Who wouldn’t watch Halloween on Halloween? This is the movie that started the whole subgenre of horror films, known as Slasher movies. This is a stylish and timeless film.
Thus concludes this year’s Shocktober film fest!
October is the Halloween month. The nature is going through it’s gothic phaze, the nights become colder, darker, longer and spookier, and it’s the perfect time to have Shocktober-fest. Shocktober is our “movie festival” we have every October, which means watching nothing but the horror/weird/freaky movies every night of the month. This way, by the end of the month, you are perfectly prepared for Halloween.
Since the beginning of October, we have watched quite a handful of movies. I thought it would be fun to make a list of the ones we’ve watched so far, so here you go (in more or less chronological order):
We started out with -
Army of Darkness (1992)
Directed by Sam Raimi
I’ve seen this movie before but not all of it. I always liked Evil Dead 1 and 2, and this one is also very entertaining and funny, I enjoyed it a lot, but there’s nothing scary about it whatsoever, it’s more of a fantasy than a horror movie.
This is a Portuguese exorcism/cursed house movie. The atmosphere of the movie is good, you get to see the grim places in Portugal, but the story unfolds a bit slow, and the “grand finale” is too short and a little confusing.
Season of the Witch / Hungry Wives (1972)
Directed by George A. Romero
This is one of the first movies of George Romero, it’s about a suburban housewife who gets interested in witchcraft and slowly goes crazy. It’s more of a suspense movie than a horror. It has a great 70′s atmosphere, so it is quite interesting to watch, not so much for getting scared though. In the 70s this movie was probably considered scary, but today it wouldn’t, because our minds are too accustomed to horrific and truly scary images and stories.
At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul / À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma (1964)
Directed by José Mojica Marins a.k.a Coffin Joe
This Brazilian movie is pretty awesome and very entertaining. Coffin Joe plays an evil gravedigger who doesn’t believe in any supernatural powers, pisses people off and kills them if they get in his way.
Crazy Eights (2006)
Directed by James K. Jones
Total crap. A movie about a bunch of friends who share a trauma from the past, being brought up in an asylum where they were experimented on. They come back to the place and die one after another. The storyline is pretty dull, not much going on throughout the movie, not so many good effects, and the movie leaves you with a thought – what the hell did i just watch and why did i choose this movie?
Spirits of the Dead / Histoires extraordinaires (1968)
These are 3 short movies based on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories: “Metzengerstein”, “Toby Dammit” and “William Wilson”. It’s a must-see classic.
Directed by Chao-Bin Su
A very interesting Asian ghost movie, really good storyline and great effects. It’s both horror and sci-fi, which makes it more original than many Asian ghost story movies.
The Wizard of Gore(2007)
Directed by Jeremy Kasten
This remake of the 1970′s movie is pretty confusing and hard to follow. After watching it, we were trying to figure out what exactly was going on in the movie, but eventually gave up. It’s always good to have some mystery in a movie, but this one has too much of it. Although i haven’t seen it, i am sure that the original movie by Herschell Gordon Lewis is much better.
The Holy Mountain(1973)
Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
The Holy Mountain is one of the most artistic and awesome movies I have ever seen. This was the first movie of Alejandro Jodorowsky i’ve seen, and i am planning to watch more now. Every single set in the movie is a perfect work of art. The movie has lots of symbolism and occult connotations. A must-see for everyone (although it’s not a horror movie).
O Ritual dos Sádicos / Awakening of the Beast(1970)
Directed by José Mojica Marins, a.k.a. Coffin Joe
Really weird movie by Coffin Joe, has strange sex and drug-taking scenes.
Mother of tears / La Terza madre(2007)
Directed by Dario Argento
It was not bad, but i like Dario Argento’s old movies more. Some parts of the movie were pretty funny. Also, the soundtrack in the end is pretty ridiculous. One of the best things about the old Argento movies is that the soundtracks were written and performed by the spooky Italian progressive rock band, Goblin, thus making the movies very special.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Directed by David Slade
This movie is an unusual vampire flick, set in an obscure town in Alaska ( actually filmed in New Zealand ). It has a really spooky atmosphere, great cinematography, pretty decent film score and lots of good gore. The vampires in the film are not the elegant sophisticated types, but rather savage and vicious killers who speak some weird unknown language.
This movie has 3 different short stories: “The Telephone” – more of a suspense story, “The Wurdalak” – a vampire story featuring Boris Karloff and “A Drop of Water” – a creepy ghost story with a scary looking dead granny- the best one in my opinion. This is the movie, which the band Black Sabbath took their name from. It was pretty amusing to imagine Ozzy shivering with fear on the chair in the movie theater, pleading to go home and Tony Iommi trying to calm him down.
To be continued….
Last weekend we went to a horror convention in Adelphi, Maryland. The convention featured different movie celebrities, writers, a great horror fair and screenings of indie and non-indie horror movies. I enjoyed the place a lot, though we spent there only a couple of hours and didn’t get to see much, except for a couple of actors and the horror fair. I wish we had more time to check it out.
Here are some photos i took:
A character from Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
Me and Tony Todd – Candyman .
Now i am not afraid to say “candyman” 5 times in a row.
Some nice freaky dolls:
The werewolf dude:
I loved the Dracula doll! (Creations of Terry Cruikshank)
Regan MacNeil and more puppets (Creations of Terry Cruikshank):
Some more stuff:
Army of Darkness book:
Soviet animation was in a way unique. There were lots of extremely weird cartoons which, i think, left a heavy impact on the psyche of the growing generation. Take “Hedgehog in the Fog“, for example – there’s no single way of interpreting of this creation. Apparently, it won the “â„–1 Animated film of all the time” at “All time animation best 150″ in Japan.
Anyway, this week i remembered that when i was a child, i used to like and was even scared by a particular cartoon – Caliph Stork (Kalif Storch) – the animation from 1968, based on the fairy tale by the German writer Wilhelm Hauff. I rewatched it and i still think it’s a great, weird, creepy and very artistic animation with a bit of Bosch / Escher vibe.
Now here’s a weirdness to be proud of.
Here are the videos in 2 parts, with English subtitles.
- Black holes and astrostuff
- Brochure Printing
- Computer Arts mag
- Curious Expeditions
- Designers who blog
- El Gigante Verdoso
- Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka photography
- Julian Bennett
- Just Creative Design
- Notcot-New and Cool
- Run bulldog run
- Shop like us
- Smashing Magazine
- Solipsistic Photography
- The art of R.S. Connett
- Viking Youth Power Hour
- Web design company
"Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves." - The Buddha