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Author Topic: Seen and not seen's, recommendations and queries on top films in general.  (Read 1082334 times)
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ConcreteMascara
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« Reply #3180 on: June 18, 2021, 03:24:49 PM »

Last night
Burial Ground aka The Nights of Terror - [dir. Andrea Bianchi, 1981] - my first viewing... this went from dumb to dumb and fun to dumb and fun and weird real quick. Something like Zombi and Tombs of the Blind Dead had a dumpster baby, with a healthy dose of sleaze. What really helps this movie is things keep happening. The action, albeit slow in one sense, is non-stop. There's no exposition either which is a plus. The zombies look like a perfect cross between Fulci's zombies and the Blind Templars, not as gross as the former, and not quite as shambling as the latter, but surprisingly resourceful. Despite being extremely tired when I watched this I enjoyed the whole thing and never dozed off. Recommended!

And let me recommend Chris Sienko's excellent review which got me watching the first place: https://letterboxd.com/el_sienko/film/burial-ground/
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« Reply #3181 on: June 21, 2021, 06:37:58 PM »

between listening to a lot of Anatomia, playing Nioh and watching Burial Ground the other day I've been in a mood for a lot zombie action. So what better film to turn to than Zombie Flesh Eaters aka Zombi 2 aka Zombie aka aka aka aka. Decided to watch it with the Troy Howarth commentary, one of two authors to write big ass books on Lucio Fulci. Holy fuck does this guy have an absolute torrent of info to deliver. My guy knew the bio of every person who flashed across the screen for a second or more and mixed in a lot of on set anecdotes, history of Italian cinema and Fulci and even comments on the impact into it. He does not stop talking for the entire film. It was a little bit like a shotgun blast to the head but I really can't complain and appreciated his prepared thoroughness. I also watched some of the more recent extra that are part of the set I have, some of which I'd seen before, and just reveled in Zombie for a few days.

Saturday night was The Return of the Living Dead by dir. Dan O'Bannon [1985]. I tried to watch this once before in college but I was so incredibly high I couldn't handle it's combo of horror and comedy and fun. I could barely handle staring at the wall.... Anyway seeing it now for the first time properly, I recognized so many lines of dialogue from goregrind and electro-industrial and speedcore tracks. had me chuckling. The movie is legitimately funny, with Clu Gulager being the highlight. But I really liked Don Calfa the mortician as well. A lot of the zombie effects/makeup were non-existent, but some of the stuff looks really great. I can easily see how this movie loved by so many and how it would be influential if you saw it young. Also, real quality titties in this one too.
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« Reply #3182 on: June 23, 2021, 06:15:55 PM »

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie - [dir. Jorge Grau, 1974] - Second viewing of the best and only English countryside zombie film I've ever seen. A slow burn, but such a delightful one. I kept thinking about the Red Riding trilogy whenever Arthur Kennedy was being a tremendous asshole, which is the entire time he's on screen. Did Northern English cops really get to run their towns/cities like little fiefdoms in the '60s and '70s? It certainly appears that way between this film, which plot wise is admittedly far from reality, and Red Riding. But I know dick about the history to real make a comment about accuracy.
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« Reply #3183 on: June 24, 2021, 08:43:11 AM »

Locked inside for the week due to getting covid tested. Got through quite a stack of films -

Unhinged - Russell Crowe goes insane. Good.
Bio Hunter - anime demons tearing shit up. Not bad.
Spasms - bland film about a telepathic snake. Some ok body horror scenes.
High Tension - Better the second time 'round. Overhyped but alright.
Samurai Reincarnation - Sonny Chiba and co. Weird film with terrible english dub.
Touch Of Death - Weak moment for Fulci. Trash.
The Machinist - a modern fave.
The Being - Giant mutant creature on the poster, maybe 2 mins of it in the film. Don't bother.
Candyman - childhood favourite, still entertaining for the nostalgia factor but a bit overly dramatic at times
Candyman 2 : Farewell to the Flesh - Couldn've done way more with the New Orleans setting but falls pretty flat
Eliminators - cyborgs, hillbillies, a ninja...and it's from Full Moon
Nobody - Bob Odenkirk as a badass. Not bad.
House 2 - should've stopped after the first one
Fear City - Abel Ferrara directed. A guy kills ladies of the night using nunchuks in greasy 80's New York. Not bad.
Bad Boy Bubby - "get off the road ya fuckin' poofter bastard"
Possessor - Decent. Cronenberg's son. Worth a watch.
Psycho Goreman - Garbage.
Stagefright - can't fault Soavi or killers in owl masks
The New Barbarians - Mad Max 2 from wish.com and Fred Williamson.
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« Reply #3184 on: June 24, 2021, 05:21:25 PM »

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie - [dir. Jorge Grau, 1974] - Second viewing of the best and only English countryside zombie film I've ever seen. A slow burn, but such a delightful one. I kept thinking about the Red Riding trilogy whenever Arthur Kennedy was being a tremendous asshole, which is the entire time he's on screen. Did Northern English cops really get to run their towns/cities like little fiefdoms in the '60s and '70s? It certainly appears that way between this film, which plot wise is admittedly far from reality, and Red Riding. But I know dick about the history to real make a comment about accuracy.

When Red Riding was first shown on British TV a retired police detective went on the record as saying " Come on, we weren't that bad..." Make of that what you will. Cf. Daniel Morgan case.
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« Reply #3185 on: June 25, 2021, 12:04:05 AM »

The New Barbarians - Mad Max 2 from wish.com and Fred Williamson.

Hahaha! That's a great description!
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« Reply #3186 on: June 29, 2021, 05:02:38 PM »

Friday
Warriors of the Year 2072 aka The New Gladiators – [dir. Lucio Fulci, 1984] – watched this on Amazon and it was the shitty Troma transfer but in spite of that, the visuals of this movie still impressed with their inventiveness and wackiness. I didn’t get to finish the film but I watched the first hour and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. Fulci certainly put a unique touch on this ‘80s Italian action schlock. Very excited to revisit this once I get my copy of the new Severin blu-ray.

Saturday
The Black Cat – [dir. Lucio Fulci, 1981] – started this one a few years ago but never finished. Upon a fresh watch I was able to appreciate the atmospheric storytelling even if I missed the heavy gore of other Fulci horror films. Patrick Magee absolutely crushes it as the spooky old professor. The story is okay and there are lots of detours that go nowhere, but I still enjoyed it. Something that would be definitely benefit from a viewing in October when the mood outside matches.

Sunday
Twins of Evil – [dir. John Hough, 1971] – after all these years this is amazingly my first Hammer film. I was regularly chuckling to myself recognizing all of the dialogue that had been sampled for various metal releases. While not quite as lascivious as I hoped, it was still a damn enjoyable dose of gothic horror. Having a heavyweight like Peter Cushing on board helps sell the whole thing as does having Playboy centerfold twins, albeit for different reasons. Worth a watch just to spot those metal dialogue samples alone!
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« Reply #3187 on: June 30, 2021, 03:24:34 PM »

Last night

The Resurrected - [dir. Dan O'Bannon, 1991] - Another film I started ages ago and never finished. Over 10 years ago to be specific, when I was at the height of my HP Lovecraft mania. At the time I was put off by the modernization of my favorite Lovecraft story and the flat acting of the lead. Watching last night, I was impressed with how effectively they did the modernization, combing the original narrative with the private detective investigation thread. The thing that stuck out most was just how much of a slow burn this was compared to any "horror" movie you'd see for the last 10 years, or at least anything mainstream. Also shockingly different in tone and style compared to O'Bannon's previous The Return of the Living Dead. Much like the book it's all about building dread, however, unlike the book, the acting and sometimes the score hamper the effect here. Also some of the lighting. Things don't look cheap per se, but it feels like its shot like a TV show at times, and other times it looks great. All said, as a Lovecraft geek, I enjoyed this modernization of an old story and was impressed or at least amused by some of the creature effects towards the end. Also it reminded me of Carpenter's later In The Mouth of Madness at times, which is a compliment to the film. However, if I had to pick a favorite Lovecraft film adaptation, excluding The Re-Animator, I'd go with Dagon by Stuart Gordon because it's got fish pussy and humans being skinned, but I guess it's a matter of taste.
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« Reply #3188 on: July 06, 2021, 03:31:51 PM »

Sunday
Band of Brothers - [2001] - in celebration of American superiority my fiance and I marathon watched the first half of band of brothers. Pretty easy to feel patriotic when you're watching paratroopers fight Nazis in western Europe. but seriously, this is such a well done show that's less about flag waiving and more about the people that fought the war. always nice to watch this one every 5 or so years. will have to check out The Pacific one of these days too.

Last night
All the Colors of the Dark - [dir. Sergio Martino, 1972] - second viewing since my original watch 10+ years ago. I couldn't remember a lot other than feeling let down the first time. this second time, well... it's not my favorite Sergio Martino film by a long shot, but I was able to enjoy it a lot more. Edwige looks really great in this one and some of the trippier visuals are cool, but it's not as satisfying as a gore-hound and I often can't enjoy "women having breakdowns" movies. Would be interested to eventually pick up the Severin Blu-ray one day to see it in it's full glory though.
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« Reply #3189 on: July 08, 2021, 12:17:20 AM »

Sunday
Band of Brothers - [2001] - in celebration of American superiority my fiance and I marathon watched the first half of band of brothers. Pretty easy to feel patriotic when you're watching paratroopers fight Nazis in western Europe. but seriously, this is such a well done show that's less about flag waiving and more about the people that fought the war. always nice to watch this one every 5 or so years. will have to check out The Pacific one of these days too.

Last night
All the Colors of the Dark - [dir. Sergio Martino, 1972] - second viewing since my original watch 10+ years ago. I couldn't remember a lot other than feeling let down the first time. this second time, well... it's not my favorite Sergio Martino film by a long shot, but I was able to enjoy it a lot more. Edwige looks really great in this one and some of the trippier visuals are cool, but it's not as satisfying as a gore-hound and I often can't enjoy "women having breakdowns" movies. Would be interested to eventually pick up the Severin Blu-ray one day to see it in it's full glory though.

The Pacific is like Band Of Brothers minus any glory or moments of comfort (aside from some romantic subplots I could have done without). Just sheer degradation, hate, and callous violence pushing people to the brink of insanity. Of course it’s still told in a typical Hollywood manner. Don’t get me wrong. However, it’s must more pessimistic and brutal. One scene of an American soldier casually tossing rock into the remnants  of a Japanese soldiers skull that has started to pool with blood and rancid rain water. Plenty of rotting corpses and human waste. Like I said, by no means out of the Hollywood mold totally, but I thought the more brutal take on the subject matter was refreshing considering Band Of Brothers is heavy on the good vibes in a lot of ways. Not a bad show either though.

Also All The Colors Of The Dark… what more needs to be said. One of the greatest of all time. Edwige… one of the greatest. I even have two lobby cards of this movie framed in my hallway. Total classic.
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« Reply #3190 on: July 09, 2021, 10:24:50 AM »

Appassionata (1974) : Mother crazy. Teen daughter's friend fucks Dad. Daughter hates mother and wanna fuck with Dad. Ornella Muti [Ah, Ornella, love you] . Eleonora Giorgi.
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“ἀθάνατοι θνητοί, θνητοὶ ἀθάνατοι, ζῶντες τὸν ἐκείνων θάνατον, τὸν δὲ ἐκείνων βίον τεθνεῶτες”
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« Reply #3191 on: July 09, 2021, 03:18:01 PM »

Appassionata (1974) : Mother crazy. Teen daughter's friend fucks Dad. Daughter hates mother and wanna fuck with Dad. Ornella Muti [Ah, Ornella, love you] . Eleonora Giorgi.

Sounds sexy! i'll have to check that out.

The New York Ripper - [dir. Lucio Fulci, 1982] - watching this again last night for the 15th+ time I can't help but think, "is this Fulci's best"? it's easily the sleaziest, it's got some of the best gore, the soundtrack is awesome, there's quality nudity and the level of NYC grunginess rivals a William Lustig film. Plus the performances, as much as you can rate dubbed performances, aren't terrible. And the occasional bizarre English dialogue choices are a bonus, not a detriment. The New York Ripper has now reached the "comfort film" status of The Predator, Robocop or Starship Troopers. i think i could watch it any day of the week.
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« Reply #3192 on: July 12, 2021, 03:47:55 PM »

Sunday
Le Cercle Rouge - [dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970] - My first trip to an indoor movie theater since Covid, the Philadelphia Film Society played the new 4K scan/restoration/whatever over the weekend. I watched Army of Shadows and Le Samouraï 10+ years ago and really liked them but never got around to watching this one. It was just as cool and deliberate as I expected. I'd almost say methodical. There's a ton of visual panache and excellent performances, but it all remains coolly understated. This quality is one of the things I remember loving about Army of Shadows and Le Samouraï when I watched them. Alain Delon is the coolest of them and I only wish I could have partied with him back in his hey-day. From the decades of stories and rumors, it seems like it must have been pretty wild. Also, I found the actual heist segment to be pretty nail-biting since this felt like the kind of movie where anything could happen to the characters at any time. My only issue with the film is that it was impossible to sit through two and half hours of people chain smoking without having to step out for one myself, and miss a little of the movie.
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« Reply #3193 on: July 12, 2021, 06:34:53 PM »

Melville is the fucking king. I've been marathoning him all week. I'd actually started Le Cercle Rouge the night previous but had to sleep, then once I saw you had logged it on Letterboxd I immediately rushed to finish it. Extremely jealous that you were able to see it at the cinema.

Army of Shadows is probably my favourite of his, but all of his crime films are incredibly good. Le deuxième souffle might be my favourite of those. His use of silence as natural suspense is amazing. The heist in Le Cercle... is nearly 20 minutes long without a murmur in the soundtrack! Makes the alarm siren at the end all the more piercing.

It would have been interesting to see how Melville would have developed if he'd not died: He hints at a homoerotic romance between Corey (Alain Delon's character) and Vogel in Le Cercle Rouge (the first scene between them, in the field, is almost comical how the camera lingers on their faces), as well as Coleman's (Alain Delon's character) relationship with a transgender character in Un Flic, his final film (another great, silent heist kicks off the whole thing).

Started Bob le flambeur last night, will finish it after work.
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« Reply #3194 on: July 13, 2021, 03:39:26 PM »

Melville is the fucking king. I've been marathoning him all week. I'd actually started Le Cercle Rouge the night previous but had to sleep, then once I saw you had logged it on Letterboxd I immediately rushed to finish it. Extremely jealous that you were able to see it at the cinema.

Army of Shadows is probably my favourite of his, but all of his crime films are incredibly good. Le deuxième souffle might be my favourite of those. His use of silence as natural suspense is amazing. The heist in Le Cercle... is nearly 20 minutes long without a murmur in the soundtrack! Makes the alarm siren at the end all the more piercing.

It would have been interesting to see how Melville would have developed if he'd not died: He hints at a homoerotic romance between Corey (Alain Delon's character) and Vogel in Le Cercle Rouge (the first scene between them, in the field, is almost comical how the camera lingers on their faces), as well as Coleman's (Alain Delon's character) relationship with a transgender character in Un Flic, his final film (another great, silent heist kicks off the whole thing).

Started Bob le flambeur last night, will finish it after work.

I will say that seeing Le Cercle Rouge at the cinema was an awesome experience but for the fact that theater was colder than the damn movie! the AC was on so high I was shivering in my t-shirt. Should've worn a damn parka.

I remember being blown away by Army of Shadows when I watched it. I'll have to pull my Criterion DVD of it off the shelf and give it a re-watch. If I can manage to rewatch the same 10 Italian flicks over and over I should be able to manage a French re-watch once a decade or so. Will have to check out his other films as well. Like you said, the use of silence is so effective and if that's something he continues in his other films I haven't seen I'm sure I'll like them too. I can typically appreciate any movie that can shut the fuck up and rely on its imagery.

Interesting thoughts too about the sex politics, for lack of a better term. Not the kind of thing I even notice a lot of the time.

Speaking of re-watching Italian films, last night was The Beyond by Fulci, another film that's reached comfort movie status. I'd call it my favorite but didn't I just say that about The New York Ripper? And I might say that about Don't Torture a Duckling... it's hard to pick, and unnecessary . I re-watched The Beyond several times in rapid succession a couple of years ago and had given it a break since. That break allowed me to forget about some of the amazing death sequences which made them this much better this go round. Having watched maybe 10 Fulci films in the last month or so it's really interesting to see how different they can feel. I'd say a lot of that can come from the different DPs, and of course budgets, ingenuity, scripts... but I am impressed by the range.
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