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  • Mystics in Bali

    Mystics in Bali 1981

    ★★ Watched 20 Oct, 2016

    I'm so disappointed. I've heard for years about how this movie is one of the great Asian horror films, only to find it's actually immensely boring. When it's crazy and weird, it's enjoyable, but it's actually fairly tame considering the film's cult legend.

    I did greatly enjoy all of the special FX work, which is well-done and effective for what was assuredly a very low budget. The video-edited FX bits were quite charming, as well, allowing me to imagine it as some kind of off-the-wall public access TV show.

  • The Fog

    The Fog 1980

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 19 Oct, 2016

    Haven't seen this in almost 20 years. Back then I thought it was slow and somewhat boring.

    Now I think it's fog-nomenal. A perfectly creepy, classic ghost story. The fog itself is incredible; Carpenter makes it feel like a sentient character moving with purpose. This really hit me when I watched some behind-the-scenes footage as they were trying to work with the fog. It seemed so normal, just dudes blowing fog across a set, but in the movie it's a purely supernatural force. Fuckin' movie magic!

  • The Outing

    The Outing 1987

    ★★★ Watched 17 Oct, 2016

    2016 ABC Horror Challenge

    O is for The Outing

    I love the premise of having a horror movie around a magic lamp inhabited by a killer genie. The execution in The Outing leaves much to be desired, though. At times it's interesting, but more often than not it's just kind of a "wait till the next kill" movie. And for a movie from 1987 with a good premise and a pretty large budget (supposedly $3.7 mil), this is unforgivable. This…

  • Curse of Evil

    Curse of Evil 1982

    ★★½ Watched 16 Oct, 2016

    There is a lot to like about Curse of Evil and its twisted family dynamic and ultra-gooey FX work. Unfortunately, the film is pretty hard to penetrate, with a muddled story and characters who are hard to keep track of (in part because the writing isn't strong enough to distinguish them from one another).

    I wonder if this was one of the many unfinished Shaw films laying around, only to receive some reshoots to finish it up for release. There…

  • The Brotherhood

    The Brotherhood 2001

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Oct, 2016

    The Brotherhood is a perfect example of a B-Movie that I would have never fully appreciated a few years ago. As a David DeCoteau film, it's one of his most accomplished, and when seen right alongside of the work he did for Full Moon around this time (Prison of the Dead, Talisman), The Brotherhood stands out as something unique. The films for Charles Band were work for hire, crafting movies for Full Moon as it tried to stay afloat in…

  • Shakma

    Shakma 1990

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Oct, 2016

    Spoiler alert: The baboon goes apeshit!

    It easily could've been 10-15 minutes shorter, but it's quite entertaining. The humans are playing some kind of LARP game that I never really understood, but figuring it out adds to the experience. Everything with the baboon is riveting, even if it's mostly just running down hallways or furiously trying to break down doors. I wonder what they did to make him attack the doors like that, because he REALLY goes for it. There's…

  • The Nail Gun Massacre

    The Nail Gun Massacre 1985

    ★★ Watched 10 Oct, 2016

    2016 ABC Horror Challenge

    N is for Nail Gun Massacre

    I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't get into it. It's not effective as a horror movie, it's not wild enough to be a great B-movie, it just kind of hangs in this middle ground between the two. I'm willing to suffer through this sort of thing on the promise of nice FX work, but Nail Gun Massacre is pretty tame in this regard.

    What I did…

  • Haunted Tales

    Haunted Tales 1980

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Oct, 2016

    Haunted Tales is a two-film horror anthology from the Shaw Studio, but those expecting some kind of common theme between the tales should seek such synchronicity elsewhere. The first story is a reserved, classically shot ghost story, and the second is a debaucherous, exploitative morality play that's closer to something Kuei Chih-Hung would have made. But while the tales do not complement one another, they are both engaging and quite entertaining in their differing ways, so Haunted Tales comes out as a great Shaw Brothers take on the horror anthology.

  • Vampire Resurrection

    Vampire Resurrection 2001

    ★★ Watched 23 Sep, 2016

    At times atmospheric and alluring, at others amateurish and dull, Song of the Vampire remains interesting for fans of Denice Duff, romantic vampire films and B-Movies. There’s also a surprising amount of effective comedy. I wish it were more fun, but I liked it for what it was. My biggest takeaway is that Denice Duff should have continued directing; she shows a lot of promise, and female perspectives on the horror genre are always welcome and refreshing.

  • Spirit of the Raped

    Spirit of the Raped 1976

    ★★★★ Watched 02 Oct, 2016

    The protagonist of Spirit of the Raped suffers violent and shocking rape on a number of levels (physically, financially, emotionally, etc.), but when the tables turn, director Kuei Chih-Hung makes sure the villains get every last bit (and then some) of what they deserve for their deeds. At only 76 minutes, Spirit of the Raped is incredibly potent, and it sees Kuei laying the gnarly moral groundwork that would underpin his crowning achievements in the horror genre (Bewitched and The…

  • Prison of the Dead

    Prison of the Dead 2000

    ★★★ Watched 30 Sep, 2016

    I can't argue with anyone that calls Prison of the Dead an awful movie, but I unashamedly enjoyed the hell out of it. It's also lit very well and DeCoteau nicely takes advantage of this with his camera, although if you don't love the color blue you might be of a different opinion (because EVERYTHING'S blue).

    And surprisingly for a DeCoteau film, there's only one shirtless guy in his underwear! Even his more mainstream film, Skeletons, had a couple!

  • Messiah of Evil

    Messiah of Evil 1973

    ★★★½ Watched 03 Oct, 2016

    2016 ABC Horror Challenge

    M is for Messiah of Evil

    Messiah of Evil excels when it focuses on visual storytelling, because the cinematography and the editing (and really, all the technical elements) are excellent. Everyday places such as the grocery store and a movie theater are turned into horrific, confined spaces of dread, and it's really something to see.

    The flip side of this is that the dialogue parts are just kind of OK. What seems like half of the…