Monday, October 24, 2016

October Horror Challenge 2016 - Days 16, 17 and 18

My plan to catch up by the end of the weekend was a failure but here we are with days 16 and 17 so lets get in to it...

First up was LEGEND OF THERE WEREWOLF which is an entertaining mix of werewolf horror, Peter Cushing, a wolf boy raised by carnies, and a brothel. Sadly it is not available on DVD or Blu-ray which I hope is remedied soon because this movie really is good. It's not Hammer or Amicus quality but this Tyburn Films production deserves a better legacy and preservation than VHS.

Next was RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and what can I say other than "Do you wanna party!?". This is one my top 5 favorite films of all time and possibly the movie I've seen more than any other.

CRUCIBLE OF TERROR was next and it was decent but the word "cock tease" comes to mind with it. It teases the viewer by promising exploits but it holds back on them never giving us the excitement  it could have. It's a decent "mad artist" type horror movie in the wax figure horror vein but it settles in mediocrity.

Then came NIGHT OF FEAR which is an Australian film that was originally intended to be the first episode in a horror TV series called Fright but the show was never picked up so NIGHT OF FEAR exists as a bit of an anomaly of Ozploitation history. It's well made and features virtually no dialogue but the tension is heavy and the filmmaking and direction creates a great sense of fear in this story where a pretty woman crashes her car and is terrorized by a crazed hillbilly and his dozens of pet rats.

Day 17 was a bit of a Hammer day that started out with RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK which stars Christopher Lee as a maniacal monk who can heal or take life by the touch of his hand. He's also quite the womanizer and drinker using his supernatural abilities to drink to no end and hypnotize women. The film has some memorable scenes and this is probably the craziest performance you'll ever see from Christopher Lee but it falls short of being great.

My feelings are similar for THE WITCHES. The finale is ultimately the most memorable scene of the film and it's certainly not bad but it is a bit uneventful and could have used another couple of scares to spice things up a bit.

Finally was THE PIT from 1981 which was a strange movie centered around a 12 year old boy named Jamie who is a complete and total creep. He has no friends and is in love with his babysitter. He also knows of a secret pit in the woods that houses carnivorous Troglodyte creatures that Jamie feeds his bullies and anyone he doesn't really like too. It's much more about how fucking weird Jamie is and it's pretty uncomfortable to watch him being potentially the creepiest child in film history. I can't figure out if I like it or hate it.

Day 18 started with INN OF THE DAMNED which is from the same direction of Night Of Fear but this film isn't as much of a success. INN is a horror western that would have been a fun and interesting watch at 80 minutes but at 2 hours it drags and drags and feels like two totally separate movies. The western parts are okay and the horror parts would have made for a fine little film on their own but thrown together it's messy and way too long.

In the category of great titles but disappointing results is INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS. Low budget 70s trash, even when it isn't very good, which is the case here, I still can find some entertainment most of the time and that is also the case here. I wouldn't mind a remake of this film to be honest.

And we close out day 18 with BASKIN which is a really good Turkish film from 2015. A group of police officers respond to a call and find themselves in the middle of a black mass in an old abandoned building and we get treated to some seriously gruesome visuals along with a story that has depth that lends this film to multiple viewings to pick up on everything. This is one of my favorite movies of the last two or three years.

Today's Rundown
Legend Of The Werewolf - 6/10
Return Of The Living Dead - 10/10
Crucible Of Terror - 5/10
Night Of Fear - 6/10
Rasputin The Mad Monk - 6/10
The Witches - 6/10
The Pit - 5/10
Inn Of The Damned - 4.5/10
Invasion Of The Blood Farmers - 4/10
Baskin - 7/10

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