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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              With an interesting outside viewpoint

              quelle_horreur2
              The Outside ManThe French filmmakers behind The Outside Man may have filled their movie with American stars and American locations, but the movie as a whole is unquestionably French.

              Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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                A true “jeopardy” game show

                quelle_horreur2
                The Prize Of PerilFour years before the movie The Running Man was released, the French released The Prize Of Peril, which uses the same basic idea as the Schwarzenegger movie.

                Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.


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                  Not so much “Quelle horreur!” as “WTF!?”

                  quelle_horreur2

                  ROTV68-bat4b

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                  LE VIOL DU VAMPIRE (1968)

                  In which vampirism-as-disease runs a red light and collides violently with vampirism-as-delusion.

                  And as is the case with most such accidents, the results are horrifying, but you just can’t look away…

                   

                   

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                  [NB: NSFW. Boobies. Also some blood, but mostly boobies.]

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


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                    More connerie than an early Bond flick

                    Devil Story

                    Devil Story / Il était une fois le diable (1985)

                    It’s not very often you run into a movie that is so epically terrible that you come away convinced it’s trying to destroy its entire genre. But then again, there aren’t any other films like Devil Story. The first (and only) horror film by a director who’d specialized in tacky comedies, Devil Story is so obvious and unapologetic in its shortcomings that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t made that way intentionally.

                    Director Bernard Launois’s occasional flashes of competence only make the situation worse. It’s been called the French Plan 9, but it’s really in a category all by itself.

                    quelle_horreur2

                    Will Laughlin is the Braineater.


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