While I was Busy Cutting Off Faces

quelle_horreur2

OK, running more than a little bit late for the “Quelle horreur!” round table, but…well…some French excuse. I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve finally pulled my act together and completed my entry.

Eyes Without a Face/Les yeux sans visage

feat“With a few exceptions scattered throughout the past hundred years or so of feature filmmaking, the French never really embraced the horror film. Instead, the French response was cinema fantastique. Certainly it had elements of horror, sometimes more overt than others, but more traditionally recognizable characteristics of horror were mixed into a dreamy mist that also included romance, science fiction, mystery, and melodrama all spun with a disregard for logical narrative structure and progression in favor of a dreamlike (or nightmare) quality. Of the many films that make up the body of cinema fantastique, few have developed an enduring reputation, good and bad, quite like that of Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage, aka Eyes without a Face.

Keith Allison is the ruthless overlord of Teleport City.


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    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    As promised, the witless and the indefensible

    …although not as much of either as I anticipated, I’m sad to say:

     

    Lust for Vengeance (2001), in which a bunch of skeezy Brooklynites occasionally take time out from their busy schedules of snorting, screwing, and toking to get killed by a black-gloved psycho in a motorcycle helmet…

    Repligator (1997), in which there supposedly is a reason why an experimental teleportation machine turns everyone who uses it into a sex-crazed female were-alligator, but it wouldn’t be worth your time or mine for me to try explaining it…

    Sexsquatch: The Legend of Blood Stool Creek (2012), in which you have no one to blame but yourself if you watch a movie called that…

    and…

    Stripperland (2011), which amazingly diverges early and often from its stated business of being Zombieland with boobies, and turns out not to be nearly as witless or indefensible as I was expecting.

     
     
     

    El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.


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      Dead funny

      Over Her Dead BodyHad the distributor of the hilarious Over Her Dead Body not gone bankrupt – resulting in the movie being dumped straight to video – the movie would more likely than not have a strong cult following today.

      Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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        Canadian movie posters give me chills

        Edison & LeoThe animated movie Edison & Leo is the first feature length stop motion animated movie to come out of Canada. Based on the results, it will be a llloooonnngggg time before Canada makes the next one.

        Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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          99 Yellow Balloons?

          House of Last Things

          … or, the House is a Lonely Hunter.

          House of Last Things (2013)

          I have no idea what to make of this movie. Either it’s a satire working on so high a level it went wa-a-ay over my head, or it’s The Room 2: Haunted Room. What starts as a fairly intriguing, technically-excellent story of interwoven fates soon skips a couple of grooves and tries to make itself a “meaningful” horror movie. Trouble is, the film-makers are even more ham-fisted with their attempts at symbolism than they are doing straight horror.

          But… was this intentional? Were they trying to match form and substance, in a movie about the deadening effect of Suburbia? Maybe you can tell me

          Will Laughlin is the Braineater.


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            The First Serial Killer

            A decade before Fritz Lang brought the master criminal Dr. Mabuse to the screen, French director Louis Feuillade’s helmed five films centered on the incredibly popular, murderous and highly surreal Lord of Crime, Fantomas. Mr. Feuillade’s work kicked off a European predilection for sadistic cinematic supervillains that continues to this very day.

            I will be looking at each film over the next week, so don’t be confused by the fact that we begin our examination with Fantomas in the Shadow of the Guillotine.

            Ken Begg is the proprietor of Jabootu: The Bad Movie Dimension.


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              Hydeing in plain sight

              quelle_horreur2

              LTDDC59-opale6b

               

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              Un examen ressuscité:

              LE TESTAMENT DU DOCTEUR CORDELIER (1959)

              While the Parisian suburbs are being terrorised by a maniac inflicting random attacks upon the vulnerable, the solicitor M. Joly learns a terrible secret about his lifelong friend, the respected and highly ethical psychiatrist, Dr Cordelier…

              Jean Renoir’s 1959 made-for-television adaptation of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde manages to seem revisionist via the simple expedient of going back to the book, with the actor and mime artist Jean-Louis Barrault having a field day in his dual roles.

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              Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!


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                Also not about cloning Harold Sakata

                Odd JobsNo, Odd Jobs is not a biopic on the cofounder of Apple Inc. Instead, it is an extremely unfunny comedy, with its only interest being that it showcases several then unknown actors who later became famous.

                Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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                  Another face for Edith Scob

                  The Burning CourtOh good: it looks like I have the opportunity not only to contribute to the Roundtable, but also continue my series on the surprisingly few film adaptations of books by the Golden Age mystery writer John Dickson Carr.

                  If it seems a little odd that I can use a Roundtable on French movies to talk about an Amercian author who spent most of his career turning into an Englishman, you’re right: it is odd. But then again, La Chambre ardente/The Burning Court (1962) is something of an odd film. As a late work of the great French director Julien Duvivier, the movie falls midway between his art films and his strictly-commercial ventures. Duvivier takes a few liberties with Carr’s novel… some of which were necessary to make the detective story filmable, some of which help the film stand on its own as an independent work, and some of which (including the most noteworthy) really don’t work so well.

                  quelle_horreur2

                  Will Laughlin is the Braineater.


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                    You remember when DVDs with especially dreadful cover art used to give Nathan chills?

                     

                    Well, I decided it was long past time one of us reviewed something from that series.  See if you can spot it:

                     

                    Along with Ghosts (1969), in which a haunted swamp is the worst imaginable place to carry out a mob hit…

                    The Big Doll House (1971), in which the Philippines are the worst imaginable place to go to prison…

                    Galaxy of Terror (1981), in which of course you’ll have a bad impression of Organthus if you only focus on the doppelgangers and the rapeworms…

                    House of the Damned (1996), in which human sacrifice makes a lousy birthday present…

                    Interstellar (2014), in which the Earth is screwed, but that’s no reason why humanity has to be…

                    Interzone (1987), in which the Earth is also screwed, and humanity frankly has it coming…

                    The Iron Rose (1973), in which a picnic in the cemetery is a bad idea for a first date…

                    Night Tide (1961), in which Dennis Hopper’s girlfriend may or may not be a killer mermaid…

                    Schoolgirl Hitchhikers (1973), in which we see the importance of not getting too friendly with jewel thieves…

                    and…

                    The Student Nurses (1970), or as I’ve come to think of it, I Am Curious (Red Cross).

                     
                     
                     

                    El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.


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