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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 19/06/2009 :  02:35:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by thefoxboy

Really enjoying this thread Joe.
Not sure when you will get to Driller Killer, but it's poo! :)
Don't know why Monsturd isn't on there.



Glad you're enjoying the thread. Driller Killer, believe it or not, is a movie I'm actually kind of looking forward to. Why? Because it's one of the movies profiled in Marshall Crenshaw's Hollywood Rock. Its relatively high IMDb rating (4.7) means it'll be Movie #31, sandwiched between Lady Frankenstein and Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory.
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 19/06/2009 :  02:40:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Se�n

I'm intrigued by this project, and for $8 for 50 movies you can't go wrong. I recall one of the makers of Monsturd saying that if you only had a few thousand dollars to make a movie then you may as well make a horror; a B-grade horror is likely to be a lot more watchable than a B-grade drama / action / comedy etc.


I think a collection of 50 B-grade dramas or comedies would be absolutely unwatchable. But I'd be up for 50 B-grade action flicks... maybe. But I think the advice here is probably correct. If you're low on funds and not very experienced, opt for a horror movie.

quote:

I'm sorely tempted to do this myself (with that same collection) and watch them on my "didn't get anything from netflix today" nights. I'd also use the same IMDb-score viewing order. I checked out the list of movies in that set and was shocked to see I've only seen one of them.



I'd seen exactly 5 of the 50 beforehand, two on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and three on public access TV.



Edited by - Joe Blevins on 19/06/2009 03:51:03
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 19/06/2009 :  03:22:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And somehow, as the ratings climb ever higher, the movies keep getting worse. Case in point:

16. Slashed Dreams

It's strange the direction a movie can take after its release. This one started out as Sunburst and was originally marketed as "a very different kind of love story." And now here it is with a very clumsily inserted, hacky alternate title, lumped in with 49 other cheap horror flicks in a bargain basement DVD set. This misbegotten film is kind of a hippy-dippy variation on Deliverance or maybe Straw Dogs: an idealistic young couple go traipsing around in the wilderness, only to find themselves attacked -- and in the woman's case, raped -- by deranged mountain men. The guy, an intellectual college boy and not normally a man of action, must later confront the attackers with (I think) a hatchet. There's lots of very 1970s-style dialogue about "dropping out" and "the age of Aquarius," and the filmmakers may well have been trying to make some statement about the beauty of nature contrasted with the savagery of man. The supporting cast includes a young Robert Englund and an old Rudy Vallee, if that whets your appetite. (It shouldn't.)

There's a well-acted but enormously depressing sequence near the end which deals with the aftermath of the woman's rape. Otherwise, this film is almost uniformly dismal, including a wretched and inane folk rock score. Achingly pretentious and dripping with pseudo-profundity, Slashed Dreams made me instantly nostalgic for the likes of Panic.
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  00:16:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For those following along at home, here is the complete list of movies in order with their respective ratings. (Already-reviewed films have been crossed out.)

For those who don't want the upcoming movies spoiled, the upcoming titles are in beige.

1. TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST (1.6)
2. THE DEMONS OF LUDLOW (1.9)
3. OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (2.0)
4. DRIVE-IN MASSACRE (2.0)
5. HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND (2.0)
6. JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER (2.2)
7. WAR OF THE ROBOTS (2.3)
8. SNAKE PEOPLE (2.5)
9. I EAT YOUR SKIN (2.6)
10. MEMORIAL VALLEY MASSACRE (2.7)
11. THE COLD (2.8)
12. THE REVENGE OF DR. X (2.8)
13. MEDUSA (2.9)
14. THE WITCHES' MOUNTAIN (2.9)
15. PANIC (3.0)
16. SLASHED DREAMS (3.1)

17. CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD (3.2)
18. THE DEMON (3.3)
19. METAMORPHOSIS (3.4)
20. CATHY'S CURSE (3.5) ( "Here he coooooomes / That's Cathy's Curse!")
21. LEGEND OF BIGFOOT (3.6)
22. SCREAM BLOODY MURDER (3.9)
23. THE ALPHA INCIDENT (4.0)
24. THE BLOODY BROOD (4.2) ("That's the way they became the Bloody Brood!")
25. THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD (4.2)
26. SISTERS OF DEATH (4.2)
27. THE DEVIL'S HAND (4.3)
28. DEATH RAGE (4.7)
29. DR. TARR'S TORTURE DUNGEON (4.7)
30. LADY FRANKENSTEIN (4.7)
31. DRILLER KILLER (4.7)
32. WEREWOLF IN A GIRL'S DORMITORY (4.8)
33. HANDS OF A STRANGER (4.9)
34. THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER (4.9)
35. HAUNTS (4.9)
36. NAKED MASSACRE (5.0)
37. SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (5.0)
38. DEVIL TIMES FIVE (5.1)
39. FUNERAL HOME (5.1)
40. GOTHIC (5.4)


And at last, the "Top 10" highest rated according to the IMDb:

41. THE GHOST (5.8)
42. A BELL FROM HELL (5.8)
43. MAN IN THE ATTIC (6.1)
44. MESSIAH OF EVIL (6.1)
45. VIRUS (6.2)
46. I BURY THE LIVING (6.2)
47. HORROR EXPRESS (6.4)
48. A BUCKET OF BLOOD (6.8)
49. BAD TASTE (6.8)
50. DEEP RED (7.8)




Edited by - Joe Blevins on 11/07/2009 03:20:19
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demonic 
"Cinemaniac"

United Kingdom

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  00:29:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Given it all away now... tsch.
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  00:47:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Finally, I get to add another film to the "done" pile:

17. Crypt of the Living Dead

I meant to watch this Friday night, but Mother Nature had other plans. A thunderstorm knocked out the power in our neighborhood, and the ensuing blackout lasted the rest of the night and well into the next day. To alleviate the boredom, I actually went out and saw The Hangover -- namely because it was the only film starting between 8:00 and 9:00 that night. After all these gloomy horror flicks, I was in the mood for a light, brainless comedy, and The Hangover definitely fits that description. But, anyway, back to the project...

Crypt of the Living Dead got on my good side right away by being a spooky, atmospheric Gothic horror film somewhat in the Universal tradition, despite being released in 1973. The film's vintage is given away by the facial hair sported by virtually every male character. (Did EVERY man in the 1970s have a porn 'stache?) Judging by the title, I thought this might be another zombie film, but instead it was the project's first vampire film. An American archaeologist (an arrogant, turtleneck-wearing jerk) travels to a remote island near Turkey and unwittingly releases a silent, often-smirking vampire queen from her tomb. The film's weakness is a slow, talky, and largely action-free middle section, which may account for its low rating. But I thought the film regained its momentum near the end with an action-packed climax and bizarre epilogue. And there's some moody, sort of arthouse-ish cinematography, too, along with the standard Gothic horror touches. Not terrible.

SIDE NOTE: Remember the sort of Karen Allen-ish looking love interest from Witches' Mountain? Well, she's the love interest here, too, and it turns out she's acually an actress from South Carolina named Patty Shepard. She's a real cutie, but even after two movies I don't know whether she can act or not.

Next, we tackle the project's THIRD Cameron Mitchell movie, The Demon. Hooray...?

Edited by - Joe Blevins on 21/06/2009 00:55:36
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  07:44:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, heck, one more before bed:

18. The Demon

Released in 1979, this seems to be a ripoff of the previous year's Halloween. Like that film, this one features a silent masked killer who stalks women by daylight -- often seeming to vanish instantly once he's been spotted -- and kills them by night, preferably right after they've had sex. Grafted onto this is a second, almost unrelated plot about a retired Marine (our boy Cameron Mitchell) who uses his ESP to track the killer and does a pretty miserable job of it, I must say. The ESP plot goes off on some weird tangents and is brought to an abrupt end, never to be mentioned again. A climactic showdown between The Final Girl and The Killer starts out as being genuinely suspenseful before becoming ridiculous. (The director figured out a way to have his heroine running around in her underpants for several minutes of screen time.) In its defense, I can say that drive-in audiences probably got their money's worth out of The Demon, and it is not as bad as the two previous Cameron Mitchell movies.

The next stop on the tour is 1990's Metamorphosis, which should be pretty good. After all, I never met a morphosis I didn't like.
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Conan The Westy 
"Father, Faithful Friend, Fwiffer"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  11:28:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep up the good work Joe...only 32 to go.
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  19:43:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Conan The Westy

Keep up the good work Joe...only 32 to go.



Thanks! And now only 30, as I've just watched films #19 and #20. By the way, readers, if you're familiar with Criterion Collection DVDs you have probably seen the "About the Transfer" section of their DVD liner notes. I thought I'd write my own "About the Transfer" for 50 Chilling Classics.

About The Transfer

50 Chilling Classics was created from a stash of heavily-worn VHS tapes we found in Satan's dank, mildew-infested basement. Each videotape was then specially dipped in sulphuric acid and thoroughly covered in Vaseline to ensure that the picture was as blurry and scratchy as possible. The audio for these films has been erased and re-recorded using a Fisher-Price "My First Tape Recorder" we bought at a garage sale for seven cents. The transfers were carried out by a group of blind, deaf, and sadistic lunatics who were parachuting out of an airplane at the time.

...which is to say that the picture and sound quality are not terribly good. The transfers range from "passable" to "pretty rotten," sometimes dipping into bootleg quality. In Crypt of the Living Dead -- presented in B&W even though it's a color film -- each reel change was marked by several seconds of blackness and static. And then there's The Demon, which was apparently recorded over a compilation of Three Stooges shorts. The Stooge audio kept seeping onto the soundtrack throughout the entire film and was especially evident during the movie's many quiet scenes! I heard the unmistakable Stooge theme song ("Three Blind Mice") at least three times as well as a clearly audible "Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!" and even a "Soi-ten-ly!" These audio problems made The Demon into a one-of-a-kind surrealist comedy.

I'm not too upset about it, though. These are mostly low-budget, grindhouse-type pictures, and the VHS picture and sound quality take me back to the good old days of home video when I would go to the local mom-and-pop video store and look for obscure horror flicks. 50 Chilling Classics is a monument to that era.

Edited by - Joe Blevins on 21/06/2009 19:47:50
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  20:13:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two more flickeroos, both in the mid-"3" range, are done:

19. Metamorphosis
20. Cathy's Curse

Metamorphosis dates back to 1990, making it the youngest film in the collection. It's old enough to vote but not to drink. It came directly to video at about the same time Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were first taking the tabloids by storm with their on-set romance while making Days of Thunder. I mention this because the movie's main character is a very Tom Cruise-ish mad scientist and his leading lady is a vaguely Nicole Kidman-esque redhead. Our young hero is a good-looking hotshot who's long on talent but short on patience and humility -- exactly the kind of character Tom Cruise was playing back then in movie after movie. Anyway, a committee of grouchy old men is about to take away his funding, so he decides to Prove Them All Wrong by injecting himself with a top-secret experimental serum. You know where this is going, right? I have to give this movie credit for a truly laughable, credibility-destroying climax... which almost makes up for the preceding 90 minutes of tedium.

Cathy's Curse is an extremely cheap and stupid attempt to climb onto the Omen/Exorcist "evil kid" bandwagon with maybe a little bit of Carrie thrown in. A wimpy guy and his shrewish, mentally-unstable wife move into the creepy old family homestead, and their young daughter almost immediately starts acting strangely and violently. Everyone in this movie is screechy and hysterical at all times, which makes watching it a painful experience. The credits inform us that little Cathy's outfits were supplied by Enfants Deslongchamps, which is apparently still in business. See Cathy's Curse only if you're a completist who insists upon watching every single horror movie in which blood starts coming out of the faucet. One of the worst in the collection so far.

We're about to take a left turn into pseudo-documentary territory with the next film, Legend of Bigfoot.

Edited by - Joe Blevins on 21/06/2009 20:14:36
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  22:24:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And the legend continues:

21. The Legend of Bigfoot

This one lumbered onto drive-in screens in 1976, maybe riding the coattails of the success of The Legend of Boggy Creek. This is a documentary about outdoorsman and tracker Ivan Marx and his obsessive, drawn-out search for Bigfoot, a large "dome-headed" creature whose aliases include Bushman, Sasquatch, and Oh-May. (Oh, my!) This film includes a lot of dull, non-Bigfoot-related nature footage, all of it narrated by the excitable Marx. There's even footage of a moose breeding ground, and the film threatens to turn into Welcome to Moose Porn for several uncomfortable minutes. I felt sorry for Marx's devoted wife, Peggy, who follows her husband around on his silly quest and doesn't even get one line of dialogue!

As far as hoaxes and conspiracies go, I've never found Bigfoot all that intriguing. Give me UFOs or the JFK assassination any day. Elvis is alive, Paul is dead... they're all more intrinsically interesting to me than the breeding and mating habits of some smelly apeman wandering around in the woods. (Marx himself comments on Bigfoot's "overwhelming" odor.) But if you're into Bigfoot stories and like 1970s nature footage, well, this movie exists. No denying that.

P.S. - Apparently Ivan Marx was a controversial figure among Bigfoot/Sasquatch devotees. Grab a shovel and dig this.
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Larry 
"Larry's time / sat merrily"

Posted - 21/06/2009 :  23:37:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Blevins



About The Transfer

50 Chilling Classics was created from a stash of heavily-worn VHS tapes we found in Satan's dank, mildew-infested basement. Each videotape was then specially dipped in sulphuric acid and thoroughly covered in Vaseline to ensure that the picture was as blurry and scratchy as possible. The audio for these films has been erased and re-recorded using a Fisher-Price "My First Tape Recorder" we bought at a garage sale for seven cents. The transfers were carried out by a group of blind, deaf, and sadistic lunatics who were parachuting out of an airplane at the time.

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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 22/06/2009 :  03:01:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One last update for the weekend, and it's a doozy:

22. Scream Bloody Murder

A sleazy, blood-drenched shocker, Scream Bloody Murder is sort of a 1970s version of Misery with the genders reversed. It concerns Matthew, a hook-handed, sex-hating young man who keeps a kidnapped prostitute named Vera (he creepily insists on calling her "Daisy") prisoner in a mansion. Matthew's killed the mansion's rightful owner, naturally, along with a whole bunch of other people, including his own mother. Matthew's aversion to sex is so strong he makes Michael Myers look like Dr. Ruth. Matthew spent much of his youth in a mental institution, and you have to wonder what on earth they were thinking when they let him out. Is there any evaluation he could have passed?

A NOTE ABOUT CHEAP SLASHER FLICKS: We're approaching the halfway point in this project, and I sincerely hope that the majority of the remaining films have some supernatural element to them. Give me vampires, zombies, monsters, ghosts... ANYTHING but slashers. Some of the greatest movies ever made have dealt with psychotic killers, of course, but there is something about cheaply-made, exploitative slasher flicks that make you wish movies had never been invented. I know there's a movie coming up in this project based on the Richard Speck case, and I am already dreading it. I may have to have something like Yellow Submarine cued up to watch immediately afterward. (If anyone has suggestions for the sunniest, most cheerful and reassuring movies ever made, please let me know.)
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Sean 
"Necrosphenisciform anthropophagist."

New Zealand

Posted - 22/06/2009 :  03:15:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Blevins

(If anyone has suggestions for the sunniest, most cheerful and reassuring movies ever made, please let me know.)

Fucking �m�l is the feel-goodest movie I've seen.
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Joe Blevins 
"Don't I look handsome?"

Posted - 23/06/2009 :  00:17:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I feel like I need to write a little bit more about film #22, Scream Bloody Murder, because last night it managed to do what 21 previous films had not: it invaded my dreams. I watched it right before bed, of course, but I've watched many of these films right before bed without dreaming of them later. Somehow, Scream Bloody Murder must've hit a nerve.

Let me expand on that. The actual "scare factor" of Scream Bloody Murder is diminished greatly by two main problems: the hamminess of Fred Holbert in the lead role of Matthew and the unfortunate attempts to "dramatize" Matthew's paranoid hallucinations. Holbert was apparently directed to overact wildly throughout the film (his only screen credit), squealing and braying his way through dialogue scenes. Worse yet, his frequent delusions are shown by having actors in Halloween-type makeup mug foolishly for the cameras. The hallucinations do not work at all and should have been cut from the film entirely. Holbert does have scenes in which his character is more composed -- either because he's brooding or because he's putting on a show of friendliness -- and these are much more effective and menacing. I think while watching Scream Bloody Murder, I was seeing past the film's mistakes and envisioning the nasty but brilliant little shocker that might have been.

But even with the mistakes, Scream Bloody Murder has a diabolical, get-under-your-skin quality which is difficult to deny. The lead female character, the prostitute Vera, is a genuinely sweet and likeable woman who is well played by Leigh Mitchell (whose only other screen credit is The Incredible Melting Man). Vera almost emerges as a plausible human being (a rarity in these films), and so her awful treatment at the hands of Matthew is made all the more difficult to watch. Here is the story of a woman being punished -- brutally and at length -- for the "sin" of trying to befriend this sad, weird kid. It was that aspect of the story which depressed the holy living hell out of me and caused me to relive Scream Bloody Murder in my dreams.

Sigh.

I realize I've now spent more time reviewing this movie than its cast and crew probably did making the damned thing.

Here's hoping The Alpha Incident is lighter fare.
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