6WH: Week 6.5: Speed Round!

Just a few days away from Halloween and I figured I’d do a bunch of short reviews for movies that I’ve seen recently, but that haven’t been covered in the Six Weeks of Halloween marathon so far (See Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6). Some of them just didn’t fit with a given week’s theme and some were just awful and I didn’t want to spend too much time on them. So here goes:

  • Braindead (aka Dead Alive): Before the Academy started handing him Oscars, Peter Jackson made some of the bloodiest, most disgusting horror comedies ever. This particular film is one of the goriest ever, and it’s absolutely brilliant. ***
  • Ravenous: Did you know that cannibalism imparts superpowers? I didn’t. Anyway, I actually kinda enjoyed this movie. **1/2
  • The Midnight Meat Train: Stylish but cliched and not terribly scary. Some of the worst and unnecessary CG effects and an uneven ending detrack from what is an otherwise relatively decent movie. **
  • The Call of Cthulhu: If someone made a movie of HP Lovecraft’s short story at the time it was published in 1928, it would probably have looked something like this 2005 silent film. It’s an interesting idea, and it works reasonably well, though the filmmakers rely too heavily on intertitles (often inserting them when they weren’t even really necessary) and personally, I like the story better. **1/2
  • Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence: It’s like a Die Hard reunion! It’s got Robert Davi and Grand L. Bush (Special Agent Johnson, and Agent Johnson (no relation)) and even Paul Gleason. Oh, and a rampaging cop too. **
  • God Told Me To: Larry Cohen’s cult favorite is… weird. It has some interesting ideas and some creepy scenes, but ultimately falls apart. You can see why it’s become a cult classic though. **
  • The Lost Boys: Shocking confession: I never saw this movie before a few weeks ago. It was entertaining enough and reasonably well made (except for Corey), but a little overrated. ***
  • The American Nightmare: This documentary covers the horror film from a political perspective. Interesting enough, and they focused in on some of the more obscure films… but I would have liked to have seen more films covered. ***
  • Ichi the Killer: Takashi Miike’s ultra-violent epic is entertaining at times, disgusting at others, and ultimately incomprehensible. Miike is talented, but I think this is one of his more overrated efforts. **
  • The Blair Witch Project: I’ve heard that this movie hasn’t aged well, but I don’t know what those people are talking about. It’s just as creepy as the first time I saw it. ****
  • Masters of Horror: Pro-Life: I enjoyed John Carpenter’s other MoH episode, Cigarette Burns, when I watched it last year, so I had high hopes for this episode. Alas, this was probably the worst MoH episode I’ve seen. *
  • Masters of Horror: Dreams in the Witch-House: This episode, on the other hand, is one of the best MoH episodes that I’ve seen. Based on an HP Lovecraft story and directed by Stuart Gordon (of Re-Animator fame), the film follows a witch that haunts a boarding house using creepy dimensional tactics. Good stuff. ***
  • Masters of Horror: Sounds Like: Frank Sobotka with really sensitive hearing. Not a bad episode, just not a particularly good one either. **

That’s all for now. Just a couple days left, and a few old standards to watch – The Shining, Evil Dead II, and of course, Halloween

5 thoughts on “6WH: Week 6.5: Speed Round!”

  1. Have you seen “The Raven“? It isn’t scary, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And it’s really got the cast: Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and a young Jack Nicholson with a full head of hair.

    Nicholson was particularly good in this; it’s one of his first roles, and you can see the star power already.

    (Sorry if you’ve already seen this comment; I tried posting it earlier this evening and had a strange browser burp happen.)

  2. Another film I haven’t seen and it doesn’t even appear to be available in Netflix, which is mildly surprising given the cast.

  3. Ugh. Yeah, I’m glad to see someone else thinks that Ichi is overrated. I’m much harder on it than you are, but I think it’s just an annoying pile of whiney garbage.

    Lost Boys. Ah, I looove Lost Boys. I think that it’s a move that benefits greatly from nostalgia, though. If you didn’t see it when you were younger, it doesn’t surprise me that you’d find it overrated.

    I haven’t watched any of the Masters of Horror stuff, yet. I’ve been sort of leary, because… well… most of them look terrible.

  4. Steven, I checked Amazon, and it appears to be part of a double feature DVD. It seems to be out of print, but there are plenty of cheap copies…


    Roy, Ichi is kinda whiney, but it’s hard to say that because it’s so brutal and violent as well. I settled on incoherent. Also, in terms of my going easier on it than you, I think that’s a bigger discussion. I’ve been thinking about why I tend to not give really low reviews (i.e. one star reviews) or really high reviews (i.e. four star reviews). Not sure what that means, but I have noticed that **1/2 is my most frequent rating, which seems kinda strange…

    I kinda figured that Lost Boys was a nostalgia type movie. I have plenty of those myself. I do sometimes find myself surprised by movies that I remember vividly liking when I was little and how bad they are when I watch them today. There are also a bunch of movies where I can’t help but wonder why on earth I ever watched it…

    The Masters of Horror series has been hit or miss for me. I really enjoyed Don Coscarelli’s episode (Incident on and Off a Mountain Road), but some other episodes aren’t very good. And a lot do sound rather silly. A whole slew of them are available on Netflix Watch Online, which takes some of the sting out of it – I don’t have to waste a DVD rental on something that could be awful.

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