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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 07:55 am:   

Forgive my posting on the old thread...


I just checked out the UK ending of THE DESCENT on YouTube (we LOVE us some YouTube). It made perfect sense. It was artistic, and it provided a sense of psychological closure to the film. Chop it off and you're left with corned-beef hash, the kind of ending an accountant would devise. Bulls***. Within 12 months, the US "version" will be excised from the book of memory. The UK film is the film.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 08:01 am:   

Too right.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 09:56 am:   

I got a couple interesting discs in the mail today. The Douglas Buck films Nathan recommended a while back, Family Portaits: A Trilogy of America; and a compilation of "13 award-winning shorts" from 8 countries called Fantasia: Small Gauge Trauma. I'm looking forward to watching both of them.

I must say, the packaging for Family Portraits is dynamite. Douglas Winter offers an audio commentary (with the filmmaker) and Peter Straub provides the liner notes. Though I haven't seen the movies yet, this is a classy DVD package that's got me itching to watch these films.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 10:12 am:   

Report back, will ya?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 10:14 am:   

Will do.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 01:00 pm:   

   By richard morgan on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 09:02 am:  Edit

I can't fucking believe they did that (Descent US ending). I remember when I saw the movie, all through that escape sequence I was thinking ah come oooooonnnnn, how the hell did she find the SUVs in all that woodland, how ridicul-eeeek!!!! And there you are, back with the inescapability of death, and an almost samurai-like acceptance. Interestingly, I differ from Lucius here and see it as transcendence rather than doom. As one of the other characters says, the worst thing in the world already HAS happened to Sara - death is going to be a walkover by comparison. She transcends the horror and walks into the light. It's beautiful, and in a sense far more uplifting than chopping back to the escape can ever be - which any studio exec with half a brain ought to have been able to see.

My two cents worth on the Juno thing - Juno doesn't say anything because her guilt is general rather than specific. Sara has found her out for what she IS (ie a false friend) rather than for any one thing she's done. The catalogue of Juno's crimes is too long to bear any explanation, and she perhaps realises this herself, so in finding her out Sara has also revealed her to herself for what she is.

The fact the characters were all female deepens this context even further, I think, because, friendship, real and false, between women seems to be much more of a complicated and fraught thing than between men. And I think it's no coincidence, Juno's behaviour is generally the most man-like of all the women - she shatters the female bonds by behaving like a (male) asshole.

Sorry to babble on....just I SO loved that movie....
   By Lucius on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 09:23 am:  Edit

Well, that's what's nice about the UK ending, its ambiguity. It's solid. You know nothing good can happen, no salvation comes, but the rest is left up for grabs by that brilliant final shot.
   By Nathan Ballingrud on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 12:24 pm:  Edit

I'm going to YouTube to check it out.

Richard, I think you're spot on about Juno's guilt. The little bauble clearly implicated her for the affair, but as you say she was guilty in a much larger sense. Incidentally, one of the things I liked about the characterization of Juno was that I think she was aware of this as well; it was Juno, after all, who refused to leave the caverns without Sara, even after having found those arrows.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 01:06 pm:   

Much better.

I'm a nut on this movie, but I think it's one of Sam Neils best roles. Death in Brunswick is now available on DVD from Xploited for a measly 11.95....

A terrific black comedy from Australia.
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 03:55 pm:   

Is "Children Of The Revolution" out on DVD in the US? No Sam Neill, admittedly, but great Aussie black comedy, nevertheless, and I'd like to upgrade my vidoetape of it. (I'm assuming Lucius has seen it, if not several others here.)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 04:16 pm:   

Mikal, the Children of the Rev with which I'm familiar DOES have Sam Neill in a leading role--he plays David Hoyle, Agent Nine. All that and Judy Davis, too. Yes, it's on domestic DVD, and I agree, it's fine movie.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 06:15 pm:   

Watched Buck's "Cutting Moments" -- whoa! I intended to watch the trilogy of shorts straight through, but this movie disturbed the hell out of me. It had me on pins and needles all the way through, especially since I expected a shocking ending and, boy oh boy, I could not have prepared myself for the unflinching self-mutilation that takes place. Words like uncompromising don't do this finale justice. I believe Ellen Datlow said in an earlier posting that she'd never want to watch this again; I concur with that. Buck certainly has talent, fully capable of developing a heavy atmosphere and the ability to link character's emotions with physical horror. But in my opinion he goes too far in this one. If the other two films on this disc partake in the same level of realitic gore, I can't say I'm looking forward to them. Verdict: Buck's a talented filmmaker, but maybe even too extrme for many the jaded horror-film viewer.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 06:29 pm:   

Nathan said the other two aren't as tough, so that's good. Guess I'm gonna have to buy it.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 06:32 pm:   

This is super exciting news. A new movie from Bahman Ghobadi, maker of Marooned in Iraq and Turtles Can Fly:

http://www.mijfilm.com/movie.php?m=71&lang=1
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 06:48 pm:   

That's good.

I was just looking up Sam Neill on IMBD and his next two sound good. ANGEL dir by Francis Ozon (Under the Sand) and with the suddenly ubiquitous Charlotte Rampling, about an eccentric British writer (not Neil) at the turn of the previous century. Then there's Telepathy starring Neill and Cilian Murphy, about twins, one of whom is put in orbit to see if they can mentally communicate.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 07:45 pm:   

Kelly: watch the other two. I liked "Cutting Moments" mostly for what it tried to be; I think it was only partially successful. The next two are less gruesome and also much stronger films. You can really watch this guy grow as a filmmaker over the course of these three movies.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 06:11 am:   

Nathan: I will definitely watch the other two. But it'll be a while: the disturbing imagery of Cutting Moments is lodged in my head, and I need to clear that out before I return to horror films. I honestly cannot recall being so disturbed by a film before.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 06:34 am:   

Speaking of C Rampling, isn't it great to see an actress in her late fifties working as much as she does? Couldn't happen here.
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 09:43 am:   

Oops--guess I should have known Sam was in 'Children...', all things considered...been a while since I've watched it, obviously.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

Neill seems to be in the lion's share of good movies that get exported over here from Australia. And he and Davis must be pals--they've done several films together, beginning with My Brilliant Career.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 10:47 am:   

Last night I watched Craven's RED EYE. A boring turdlike piece of product. It moved me to take a bunch of American movies off my Netflix list and move up all the foreign stuff...including the new Gamera movies, which are bound to be better.

Brian Cox fans, don't bother with this one.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 11:00 am:   

I had no interest in Red Eye. However, I did watch a bad horror movie last night: Land of the Dead. It wasn't very interesting, and again Romero plays weird games with geography (there's no drawbridge between Mount Washington and downtown Pittsburgh). Could he make the social commentary any more obvious?

My Netflix queue is getting short again. Maybe in a few more months I can cancel it again.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 11:07 am:   

That gives me an idea...

Bryan Cox is.....GAMERA.

I saw Flightplan, which I've heard is even worse than Redeye, and can equally unrecommend it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 11:46 am:   

Was REDEYE the one with Rachel McAdams? For my shot of air travel terror, I'm waiting for SNAKES ON A PLANE! Although I feel like the real-life horror of HAIR GEL AND BABY FORMULA ON A PLANE might dwarf the celluloid thrills.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 12:09 pm:   

Yup.

As far as snakes on the plane, I would set foot in that shit. A movie whose only attraction is the joke of its name? No thanks.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 12:12 pm:   

er, wouldn't set foot...
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 12:18 pm:   

My friend was watching FLIGHT PLAN at the same time I was watching RED EYE. We compared notes this morning and I think they came out even.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 12:26 pm:   

Well, then Redeye was really, really stupid.... :-)

Is Jody Foster still a movie star? She makes basically the same movie every time out so I guess she is. But di they do any business?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   

After I finish SHE-POPE AND THE CHIMP, I'm going to start roughing out HAIR GEL AND BABY FORMULA ON A PLANE.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 01:03 pm:   

The world holds its breath and trembles...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 02:25 pm:   

As well it should...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 02:38 pm:   

...for they have no airsick bags at the cineplex.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 02:39 pm:   

Anybody heard the Frost, a band with members of IQ?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 02:58 pm:   

I saw a trailer for the Wicker Man today which made me ETBH. Nicholas Cage bellowing, "Where is this girl?" and pointing at a blackboard; Judi Dench mailing in another performance, and the usual bs CGI stuff -- girl dissolving into a silhouette of bees (I think), etc. Looks absolutely Horrid.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 03:39 pm:   

FLIGHTPLAN would have been way more awesome set on a bus.

Yes, that's Gamera. There was a recent trilogy of Gamera movies...the first one (GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE) was pretty great, and the other two are supposedly even better. Great, obviously, in terms of modern Japanese giant monster movies. They're not for anyone who hates that sort of thing. But G:GOTU is way better than any of the recent Godzilla movies.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 03:48 pm:   

That Wicker Man looks better than I expected a Wicker Man remake trailer would look. I like the honeycomb crop circles and some of the other visual elements. But the acting looks full of portentous pretentiousness.

Mostly it made me want to dig up a copy of The Blood on Satan's Claw (aka, according to IMDB, Satan's Skin).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066849/

At any rate, I think Satan's Claw is far superior to the original Wicker Man.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 03:53 pm:   

A pretty good review of Satan's Claw, which used to be a regular on late night TV horror shows when I was a teenager.

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=6486
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 04:00 pm:   

Now if only someone would release a DVD of "Let's Scare Jessica To Death"...sigh.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 04:03 pm:   

The first one features a girl with a telepathic connection to the big radioactive turtle. And a bit where they try to trap a couple of evil prehistoric birds inside a stadium by piling up cattle carcasses for bait. Not only was this awesome in its own right, but I'm pretty sure it gave rise to Beat Takeshi parodying it in GETTING ANY?, his skewering of the Japanese movie industry. In one sequence, he plays a giant radioactive housefly; and the government tries to trap him by setting an enormous turd for bait.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 04:10 pm:   

Your wish is granted. You can buy it on Amazon for about 11 bucks on August 29.

Satan's Claw sounds cool...
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 05:16 pm:   

Boy, I gotta get some better sources...heh.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 06:10 pm:   

Look on IMBD. It usually works.
I don't think I saw Jessica. Sounds interesting.
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 11:14 pm:   

Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a creepy little film, definitely worth seeing. It's due to be released later this year on DVD.
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 11:17 pm:   

Uh, sorry 'bout that... In my excitement at seeing one of my favourite obscure movies discussed, I didn't notice Lucius's comment about Jessica being released this month.

It's a weird little film, full of creepy images.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 04:38 am:   

I like the concept of a "transient vampire." I don't know what it is, but it sounds intriguing.

Looking forward to Jessica,
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:07 am:   

Anybody see the adaptation of Thomas Tryon's The Other? It's directed by Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird) and, like Let's Scare Jessica, has a reputation for being atmospherica and creepy. It'll also be released on DVD this fall.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:24 am:   

I saw the Other at a drive-in when it first came out, so I don't remember much of it except that it was atmospheric and creepy. JESSICA is one of those special memories of my childhood, when I would watch horror movie ads on New York TV channels for films I would never get to see until much, much later (Tales From the Crypt, Asylum, Suspiria, etc.). Made them much scarier when I finally did see them.

Saw a little gem called HORROR HOTEL with Christopher Lee last weekend. Cheesy, but full of eerie atmosphere. A campy good time for fans of old-time horror.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:29 am:   

I saw the other back in the 70s, so recall it blurrily. It didn't make that much of an impression on me. Uta Hagen was good, but then she was always good. The 70s was such a great decade for American film, however, and I saw it in context of better films, so maybe I underrated it. It just didn't affect me that much at the time. I'd be interested in another opinon. Maybe I'll watch it again.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:54 am:   

Thanks Dave and Lucius. A comprehensive list of quality horror films of the 70s would be invaluable, written by someone who doesn't believe 70s horror begins and ends with Jaws, Halloween, and Alien.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 07:05 am:   

Watched the Festival of the Goat, a movie about the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic, dir by Luis Llosa, the cousin of novelist Mario Vargas Llosa who's directed several B pictures in the US (Anaconda, etc.) I stopped reading Llosa when I realized what a right-winger he was, so I haven't read the book, but it's a pretty incomplete take on the subject. Trujillo is depicted as a monster and the portait doesn't connect with the history of the times. His methods were part and parcel of the political power he wielded on behalf of the local ruling elite and as an American ally in the Caribbean. When geo-political relations in the region changed, he was as expendable as many of those he had disposed of or abused. But none of this is evident in the film, or even, it appears, to have been taken into consideration.

Here's an excerpt from a review.


"The movie explores some of the dark secrets of a middle class family during the last years of the brutal dictatorship of President Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina (played by Tomas Milian). Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until May 30, 1961, when he was assassinated.

In the early ninties, Urania Cabral (Isabella Rossellini), a successful New York-based lawyer, returns to the Dominican Republic, having fled her country 30 years earlier. The purpose of her visit is to confront her 80-year-old stroke-afflicted father Augustin about his past.

The film alternates between a dinner party organised by Urania’s family to celebrate her return, and a series of flashbacks that she introduces and partially narrates. These include several interrelated incidents involving Trujillo, Urania and her father, and lead up to the dictator’s assassination. As the story progresses, Urania more and more openly confronts her father who, although unable to speak, is increasingly distressed by his daughter’s revelations.

Trujillo is accurately portrayed as a ruthless megalomaniac, who revels in other people’s misery. In one incident, he sacrifices one of his officers in order to cover up an embarrassing international scandal. In another, he sleeps with the wife of one of his generals and then loudly boasts about it to leading local politicians and army personnel. On another occasion, Trujillo “suggests” to his newly appointed personal guard not to marry the fiancée he loves because it would interfere with his ambitions.

Urania is also the dictator’s victim. On the advice and suggestion of another officer, Urania’s politically disgraced father “offers” his beautiful teenage daughter to the president in order to re-establish his career in Trujillo’s regime. Urania, completely unaware of the situation, is taken to Trujillo’s country house, where she is sexually abused.

In the end, a number of senior military figures who have been disgraced by Trujillo organise his assassination. Thirty years later, Urania is unable to forgive her father for sacrificing her innocence and honour to save his own position and privileges."

Llosa places too much emphasis on Trujillo as an evil guy, without examining the political and historical processes that produced him. The assassination is handled like a mafia hit and, for those who know little about Dominican Republic history, appears to be driven purely by pride and personal factors. No consideration is given to the role played by American imperialism in Trujillo’s rise and fall. In fact, the American diplomats who do make a brief appearance are presented as benign political figures. It ignores the fact that Washington politically educated and sustained Trujillo, a vicious racist, over many years. During the US occupation of the Dominican Republic, he joined the National Guard and was trained by the marines to maintain order in the wake of the occupation. He overthrew President Horacio Vasquez in 1930 and remained in power, with American support, for most of the next three decades. Excerpting again:

"Trujillo introduced various national development measures during his rule and gained some international attention during the 1930s for allowing European Jews to migrate to the Dominican Republic. His decision was not motivated by genuine concern for the plight of Jewish refugees, however. Trujillo shared many of Hitler’s racialist views, but believed that the immigration of European Jews would “whiten” the Dominican Republic. It was on this basis that he allowed Spanish Republican refugees to settle in the country as well.

During the mid-1930s, as the impact of a depression in sugar prices impacted on the economy, Trujillo began denouncing Haiti, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. He and his supporters falsely claimed that Haitians had darker skin, were therefore inferior, and posed a serious threat to jobs in the Dominican Republic. In October 1937, he ordered the slaughter of more than 20,000 Haitian sugar workers.

Trujillo later sided with the allies during World War II, and in the post-war period his vehement anti-communism made him an important “friend” of the United States. However the Cuban revolution, which overthrew the corrupt Batista regime in 1959, coupled with Trujillo’s extreme dictatorial measures, saw a shift in US policy. Washington increasingly began to regard Trujillo as a destabilising factor in the region and in 1960, after Trujillo’s agents tried to assassinate the Venezuelan president, began to move against him.

In August 1960 the US broke diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic, recalled most of its personnel, imposed economic sanctions and began conspiring with dissident elements inside the country. CIA agents made clear to Washington that Trujillo should be prevailed upon to quit. If he refused, he should be eliminated. While the film vaguely alludes to this, there is no reference to American “dirty tricks,” let alone to the previous US support for Trujillo’s regime and his racialist massacres."

So, as a movie it's pretty good, as a history lesson not so good. But it does illuminate to some extent the dark cormer of our history that is Central America.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 07:09 am:   

A list of 70s horror. I don't know that I'm qualified. Any volunteers?
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 08:22 am:   

That's a pretty tall order. It would have to start with THE EXORCIST, ROSEMARY'S BABY and ALIEN, and include all the 1970s Amicus anthology films like TALES FROM THE CRYPT, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, ASYLUM and VAULT OF HORROR. I would also sprinkle in some of the best made-for-tv movies like CROWHAVEN FARM with Hope Lange, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and TRILOGY OF TERROR. I'd drop in low-budget gems like Ulli Lommel's THE BOOGEYMAN, Bob Clark's DEATHDREAM AND George Romero's MARTIN. I guess chestnut's like the original HALLOWEEN and TEXAS CHAINSAW would make the cut.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 08:28 am:   

Oh well, in Hollywood, he who hesitates...

http://craphound.com/images/liquids-on-a-plane.jpg
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 08:37 am:   

Thanks for that image, Dave. Very funny. If Snakes on a Plane could distill the essence of that one image of Jackson into a 90-minute movie, it may be worth seeing.

I'd add Don't Look Now and Lemora to your list.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 08:47 am:   

Too often, foreign language films get overlooked when compiling best horror films lists. I'm convinced there's some gems lurking out there, waiting to be found. For instance, I just read about this Italian director, Pupi Avati. Particularly, two of his films sound really cool. The House With Laughing Windows and Zeder. Has anybody seen these?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008975Y/ref=sr_11_1/104-9635443-4915901?ie=U TF8
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 09:08 am:   

Heard of The House with Laughing Windows but never saw it. Sorry.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 10:12 am:   

Off topic, but have to break in to say R.I.P. Mike Douglas (1925-2006). Quintessential talkmeister of the 1970s.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 11:51 am:   

In the 70's, of course, Larry Cohen was at his peak: IT'S ALIVE, GOD TOLD ME TO, IT LIVES AGAIN.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 02:16 pm:   

Best movie I've seen in a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Genl242_ZU8

("I'm the President of the great United States. YEAHHHH!")
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 02:20 pm:   

And here are two that are genuinely good, but may have been posted to this list before, from Neil Blomkamp, the first guy they've lined up to direct the Halo movie:

Alive in Joburg
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4Zep9TlaPSo

Tetra Vaal
http://analogik.com/multimedia/video/tetra-vaal.mov
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Robert Wexler
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 02:57 pm:   

Okay, someone tell me why Domino (which I saw last night) is supposed to be some fucking masterpiece because I thought it was stupid, annoying, badly written, and boring. But what do I know.

Robert
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 03:05 pm:   

What beknighted idiot told you Domino was a masterpiece? It's very probably on the worst movies of the last twenty years.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 03:12 pm:   

And why would you believe that Tony Scott (Top Gun) is capable of a masterpiece?
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 03:55 pm:   

By Googling "Domino" and "Masterpiece," I've come up with a couple suggestions.

"Domino" [Genesis] is often cited as a masterpiece, along with "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," by proponents of progressive rock. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Touch)

I also learned that "Director Tony Scott befriended Domino, who early on rejected the "Masterpiece Theatre" heritage of her famous father to become, of all things, a bounty hunter." So there's a Masterpiece Theater connection.

And finally, perhaps this phrase gave rise to the conflation of Domino and Masterpiece: "Nothing tames an appetite like fresh hot Domino's Pizza. Create your own pizza masterpiece or choose one of the Domino's Feast Pizzas."
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 03:59 pm:   

I take it back. Here's a college film critic who seriously considers it an artist's masterpiece:

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/media/storage/paper818/news/2005/10/18/Pulse/Film- Review.domino.Puts.Actors.In.Unfamiliar.Roles-1106562.shtml?norewrite20060811185 6&sourcedomain=www.iowastatedaily.com
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Robert Wexler
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 04:34 pm:   

Actually, I watched it knowing nothing about it, couldn't believe how crap it was and looked for some reviews figuring it would be universally panned, and it wasn't. I knew I'd find support here. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 04:43 pm:   

If you want to watch some good movies, Robert, you know where to come for recs. Everyone here knows there stuff. Otherwise, stick with the Iowa State Daily.... or maybe the Colombus student paper can set you on the right path. I never thought to hear that movie called Gritty Realism. Then I never thought I'd read the words "genius" and "90210 stars" in the same sentence.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 05:09 pm:   

Domino was one of the worst reviewed movies of last year, even amongst mainstream critics. It received a wopping 17% from rottentomatoes.com:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/domino/
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 05:33 pm:   

My movie viewing schedule was cut into by finally get ahold of Season 4 of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

And I'm deeply depressed because Steve Coogan's wonderful SAXONDALE wrapped up a 7-episode run on BBC. They pulled the episodes from Youtube, so if you missed it there, I guess you missed it.
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jk
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:12 pm:   

I've seen both of the Avati movies, House With Laughing Windows and Zeder. Zeder was an Italian made for tv movie, with pretty poor effects and dubbing, nothing very good about it. House with Laughing Windows was a pretty interesting Italian horror movie. It's not as over the top as Fulci and Argento, and there are some interesting bits, like the ending is kind of a weird surprise. It's a sort of occult thriller in the vein of the recent British film Close Your Eyes.
Avati also directed a medieval-set film with Edward Furlong that I've never been able to find. Supposedly that one is good too.
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jk
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:18 pm:   

Speaking of foreign horror, I saw a real monstrosity called Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye the other day, a real piece of crap. An Italian/French production, I think. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg are in it, and both are dubbed with Scottish accents. If you want to watch Serge Gainsbourg as a police inspector with a Scottish accent, it's pretty funny to see.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 - 06:35 pm:   

I liked Close your Eyes, which was based on a novel by Madison Smartt Bell...
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 07:27 am:   

jk: Thanks for the info on Avati. When you read about these films on the web, the only people writing about them are those in love with them, so there's little objectivity. I don't care for Fulci at all and have grown out of Argento, so I think I'll give Avati a shot. He seems like a more mature version of the three filmmakers.

From the omnibus DVD Small Gauge Traumas, I checked out "I'll See You In MY Dreams." It's an 18-minute Portugeuse action-zombie-comedy about a ruthless zombie hunter in a bucolic village who gets his comeuppance. It's atmospherically directed and makes the most of its small budget, with many shots echoing The Evil Dead films. Not great, but a worthy entry into the zombie genre.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 05:30 pm:   

Hey Kelly, how is that disc? I've been thinking seriously about ordering it.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 06:08 pm:   

For those who enjoy the more extreme in horror, let me recommend Nail, a sixty minute Russian film about a hitman who becomes addicted to trepanning himself.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 06:11 pm:   

I've heard about that. Is it really any good?
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 06:26 pm:   

I don't know how to answer that. It's graphic, surreal, involving...but good?

I just saw it. It really gets you into the guy's head.

Judging movies like this is weird for me. I'm so put off by the sensiblity that informs them, not the gore, the mindset of the creator. So...
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 08:10 pm:   

Now I have to see this. Have you heard of the International Trepanation Advocacy Group?

www.trepan.com
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 08:32 pm:   

Interesting. Let's all do it. :-)
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 08:42 pm:   

Nathan: As I progress through Small Gauge Traumas, I'll post updates here. So far I've only viewed "I'll See You In My Dreams," which did not disappoint. There's 13 total horror films from 8 different countries on the disc, and the reviews at aintitcoolnews and DVD Talk were positive. Not to mention it's available for $15 at deepdiscountdvd.
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 02:22 pm:   

Back to "The Other", I saw it in the theater as a kid in a double feature with "The Legend Of Hell House".

Not sure about anyone else, but I loved them both.

And, while more thriller than outright horror, I also loved "The Night Visitor" with Max Von Sydow -- and saw it years later on video, where it still held up wonderfully. It apparently came out on a limited dvd release at one point, but copies are rare and pricey.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 03:01 pm:   

I did an ebay search for the Night Visitor, found a copy for 18 bucks, 3 shipping. Not too pricey. I've dealt with store before, Daveedee, and theyre very reliable.

On another note, saw Terry Gilliams Tideland,
a Gothic Alice in Wonderland in which Alice is the daughter of two junkies (Jennifer Tilly as Courtney Love; Jeff Bridges as Captain Pissgums). Wonderland is two bedraggled farmhouses furnished with the decorating sensibility of a serial killer. I don't know. This is the movie Gilliam wanted to make, had the freedom to make, and I wonder if its releasable. I wonder if it's even watchable...I watched it, but not altogether happily. Pedophilia is intimated in grotesque fashion and the movie culminates with a comedy train wreck. I'm not too sure....Judge for yerself.
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 03:57 pm:   

Thanks, Lucius. I don't really play around with e-bay much (just Amazon), so I didn't even think to look there.


BTW, Chris Roberson told me last night about being slapped down by you for being a cigarette mooch...heh.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 05:16 pm:   

Yeah, I mostly do film geek sites like Xploited, Diabolik, and, as well, Amazon. But I have bought off Ebay occasionally and Daveedee has some great bargains once in a while.

I like Chris--he laughs at my stories. But he's definitely a mooch. It's a fatal flaw, I'm afraid. They'll probably deny him prizes and awards and such.

;)
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 06:46 pm:   

Yeah, poor sad deluded fool that he is...heh.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

Maybe Chris' wife will buy him some smokes next time.

:-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 07:00 am:   

Has Marlon Brando's "The Nightcomers" ever come out on DVD?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 07:02 am:   

just a note -- IFC is showing Gangster No 1 tonight, which features Paul Bettany's remarkable performance as a pyscho killer, perhaps the best ever put on screen...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 07:34 am:   

Isn't he married to Jennifer Connelly?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 07:49 am:   

I don't know who he's married to...

And I doubt Bettany's carreer is over. Or Ian McKellan's. Or, unfortunately, Tom Hanks. Bettany certainly has made worse movies since coming to Hwood, but he's made one decent one (master and commander), which is more than many actors have managed.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 07:52 am:   

And Dave, I didn't see yer earlier post. Yes, the Nightcomers is readily available.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 11:19 am:   

Idiocracy shelved indefinitely:

http://www.twitchfilm.net/archives/007185.html

Watched FOUR BROTHERS last night. Entertaining, solid B movie, fair bit of cheese but the tasty kind.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 11:32 am:   

Yeah, I know. I have to review the Wicker Man instead. Sucks. Gee, I wonder why a parody of Bush America got shelved?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 01:22 pm:   

Checked out The Matador, a black comedy with Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, and Hope Davis. Brosnan plays an asassin suffering a mid-life crisis; Kinnear a middle-class husband striving for success. While on a business trip, Kinnear meets Brosnan in a Mexico City bar, eventually learns he's an asassin who wacks corporate honchos, and the plot unfolds from there. Brosnan, as a lascivious, immoral killer is great, and Kinnear perfectly captures the everyman persona. The problem: the director doesn't let the actors act, marring their performances, and his film, with fancy editing and a superfluous use of mish-mash music. This could have been really good, if the early-1990s Coen Brothers got their hands on it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 02:23 pm:   

I'm still trying to perfect the "anyman" persona...:-(
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 02:41 pm:   

Oh, I didn't see Kelly's post,
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 02:50 pm:   

When i was a little kid I was in Batista's Cuba, and my most salient memory of the place is the horrendous poverty. The Cuban-American population is in denial. They see it as a golden age.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 03:00 pm:   

I'd think the rich in Cuba were the ones who were able to get out of the country. So the ones that made it here were probably better off than the vast majority who lived in poverty. They probably don't understand that not everyone is like them and not everyone in Cuba were as well off.

I'd rather skip films that are nostalgic for periods like that.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 03:16 pm:   

Diverting to a book discussion, Martin Cruz Smith's HAVANA BAY was great. It's the best thriller with a Cuban setting that I've read since Bernard Wolfe's fantastic and completely forgotten IN DEEP.

Wolfe got a lot of cred in the sf community for writing the amputee-utopian novel, LIMBO. But I preferred IN DEEP.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 04:33 pm:   

There are a considerable number of books with Cuban settings that are effectively drawn. I found the Cruz Smith boring and I usually like him--didn't bother to finish it. His descriptions are pretty good regarding setting. As regards the people, not so much...but then he was writing a thriller, and phyisical setting is more important to that genre than the human setting, which I felt he did in broad strokes.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 04:57 pm:   

I thought HAVANA BAY was the weakest of the Renko books, but still pretty fun. And you're right about setting: It felt fresh for the series.

Have you ever read IN DEEP? Wolfe was an interesting guy.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 05:10 pm:   

Me, too, regarding the weakest Remko.

I haven't read In Deep. Thinking of ordering a copy used.

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