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Week in Review: 10/12/14

Movies I Watched in the Last Week

1) The Legend of Hell House - I was disappointed in this one.  It's a British production from the '70s featuring classic horror tropes and scripted by Richard Matheson?  Sounds incredible!  Too bad the actual movie is kind of a slog.  I guess it's got some good mood and ambiance, but there's other movies that have done this better.  Y'all ever see The Changeling?

My Rating: 2.5 / 5

2) The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) - Once you get past the cheesy docudrama style, this is actually a pretty entertaining B-movie.  It's bizarre, nonsensical, low-key, and ultimately kind of silly.  It's ripe material for a remake (which is coming out like... now, I think) and doesn't outstay its welcome, so I guess overall I'd recommend it.

The main problem(?) is that it's filled with a bunch of inappropriately-timed slapstick antics that make up a good half of the run-time.  So you've got this B-movie slasher that'll run through the motions with a masked madman killing some teenager for twenty minutes, and then it'll cut to Deputy Doofus and his Cranky Captain acting like goofballs for another fifteen.  I'll leave it up to you if that sounds amazing or not.  It's at least interesting.

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

3) Body Snatchers (1993) - Wow, I didn't think I'd see a Body Snatchers movie that was worse than the 2007 Invasion, but here we are.  I'll get into this in more detail when I eventually do a Body Snatchers mega-post, but let's just say that there's a good reason this is easily the least-watched of the movies.

My Rating: 2 / 5

4) The Awakening - This was almost a good movie.  There's some amazing cinematography and some great performances.  It's got an interesting, if cliched, premise and I was even willing to overlook its extremely insulting representation of atheism.  But despite its many virtues, The Awakening just cannot get past its awful screenplay.

I've often heard the trope that bad direction will sink a good script, whereas good direction can always save a bad script, but The Awakening easily disproves that hypothesis.  This has one of the worst stories ever committed to film.  It devolves into complete nonsense by minute 60 and starts making shit up like a compulsive liar being interrogated by the police.  It's logical only if you assume that none of the characters are remotely human.

My Rating: 2.5 / 5

5) The Abominable Dr. Phibes - I loved this movie.  I am astounded that I had not seen it until this week, especially considering my recently-discovered affinity for Mr. Price.  Dr. Phibes is my favorite performance of his that I've seen so far.  The movie hits all the right notes that you want from your '70s horror... it's a little bit camp, a little bit comedy, a little bit creepy, a little bit preposterous.  An excellent movie.  This is unadulterated fun.

My Rating: 5 / 5

6) Dr. Phibes Rises Again - The sequel to Dr. Phibes loses a few points early on.  It opens with a brilliantly silly explanation as to how Dr. Phibes can Rise Again, but then it seems to take its sweet-ass time trying to establish some semblance of a plot.  The good news is that once it hits its stride, it falls right into place with the same tone and fun of the original.  Certain scenes, in fact, are arguably better than moments from the original (the scorpion-themed proto-Jigsaw murder is especially memorable).  Rises Again is a worthy sequel and definitely worth your time - especially since you can buy a cheap DVD copy of both films packaged together.

My Rating: 4 / 5

7) Triangle - This was an excellent film.  I'm definitely going to have to write a full review about it sometime.  It works better the less you know about it going in, so I won't get into too much detail.  I'll just say three quick things:  1) Despite what its categorization on Netflix might tell you, it's not a horror movie.  It's a science-fiction thriller.  2) You may want to have a pen and a pad of paper to help decipher the plot.  3) This is one of my new favorite movies.

My Rating: 5 / 5

8) Resolution - I hate to admit it, but I didn't totally get this movie.  Probably this was because I was a little tipsy when I watched it and there were moments that I was passing in an out of consciousness.  That said, I still had a great time with it.  The performances were good, the direction was excellent, the editing was effective, and there were plenty of sufficiently creepy moments that I loved.  I'll easily recommend it to anybody who's looking for a mind-trip movie, though I'll probably want to rewatch this one before I try to discuss it at any length.

My Rating: 4 / 5

Total: 8 Movies

Minutes I Spent Writing in the Last Week

1) I Need a Job - About 3 hours to wrap up everything and publish it through Amazon KDP.  By the way, did I mention yet that you can buy this book now?  Because you totally can.

Total: 3 Hours

The Winner:  Movies...

It's kind of nice to just binge on movies and not worry about deadlines.  October's always a relaxing month.