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  • Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing

    ★★½

    Hooptober 4.0
    Director 3/6

    While this comic book hokum seems pretty far removed from the brutal films Craven made in the 1970s, I think we can make some connections between this and Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes: all are about the juxtaposition of the city and the rural. Here this is expressed through the placement of high-tech gadgetry and mysterious experiments within the realm of the backwoods monster movie. The first section of the movie…

  • Stranger in Our House

    Stranger in Our House

    ★★

    Hooptober 4.0
    Director 2/6

    An okay TV movie starring Linda Blair as the suspicious daughter who suspects her cousin Julia of being a witch. After Julia’s parents die in a car crash, she comes to live with them, quickly taking over Blair’s life: stealing her boyfriend, hanging out with her best friend, and charming her parents, especially her father. The film is infuriatingly plotted: at one point Linda Blair’s character tells Julia literally everything she suspects her of and exactly…

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  • The Witch Returns to Life

    The Witch Returns to Life

    ★★★

    Hooptober 4.0
    Country 3/6: Finland

    While it’s from Finland and not Sweden, this film reminded me a lot of Bergman films from the late 40s and early 50s, especially the comedies. A group of upper-class archeologists and explorers sit around making jokes about sex that inadvertently reveal their various hangups and sexual dysfunctions: one guy is in love with another’s wife, one is impotent, etc. So despite the light tone, there is a disturbing sexuality lurking beneath the surface.

    This…

  • Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

    Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

    ★★★

    Hooptober 4.0
    Sequel 4/6

    Damned if this isn’t the best time I’ve had with a Hammer mummy movie since Fisher’s original. The whole movie is just outright strange: the outer space opening credits sequence; cool surrealist imagery like a severed hand crawling on its own in the desert; and the juxtaposition of a bunch of old eccentric scholars with young Valerie Leon and her hip, swinging London-style boyfriend. Some interesting nightmare sequences also keep things delightfully off-kilter. The plot concerns…