Ah, my friends…can you believe it’s already five years since the B-Masters gathered together to celebrate their 10th anniversary by sharing with the world the wonder that is the screen’s only were-jellyfish?
Those intervening years have not been kind. The combination of a generally hostile universe with that fact that one of our number evidently crossed an old gypsy woman and provoked her into putting a curse upon our collective technology has resulted in a certain degree of attrition…and yet we continue to defy our manifest destiny, laughing in the face of danger and climbing mountains to hurl anathemata at those who think that any amount or degree of obstacles can stop us going where no film reviewers have gone before.
It helps to be clinically insane, of course.
So we invite all of you who have generously put up with our erratic behaviour and broken promises over the years to join us on this very special occasion—not just our 15th anniversary, but also our 50th Roundtable. To mark this double milestone, we’ll be taking a look at some films that are also about the marking of an anniversary…if not necessarily about a celebration…
|1000 Misspent Hours And Counting||The Anniversary (1967)||What I didn’t realize was that The Anniversary is less a Baby Jane cash-in than a Mulligan for The Old Dark House, a film I hated intensely, remade from one I hated even more intensely. Ostensibly a black comedy of manners, in practice it’s just 95 minutes of Bette Davis being extravagantly shitty to people who’ve done very little to deserve it, and coming out on top in the end. It’s like Thanksgiving Dinner with Your Brother’s In-Laws: The Movie.|
|The Unknown Movies Page||Bloody Birthday (1981)||What did the child actor think about the material before signing on? What was he thinking while acting in the movie? And what was his mind like after the movie was completed? Oh, he was probably fine and treated the experience as a lark – remembering my childhood, I am sure I would have felt the same if I as a kid acted in his role. Still, there’s a part of this grown adult that feels a little uneasy when I see a movie where a kid commits vile acts like murder – how do the child actors react to it at the time, and later in life?|
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||The Exorcist III (1990)||There were always going to be difficulties in adapting Legion for the screen. The novel is, in essence, a murder mystery that progressively takes on supernatural overtones. However, much of the narrative is spent within the minds of its characters; while its ending is uncinematic almost to the point of being unfilmable. To his credit, Blatty recognised this and made a number of significant changes, including to the nature of his ending. But when he turned over his cut of the film to Morgan Creek—who had, we presume; we hope—read the novel before purchasing the rights to it, their response was a blank, “Where’s the exorcism?”|
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||My Bloody Valentine (1981) (revised)||My Bloody Valentine, on the other hand, after flicking a wink at its predecessor – its Valentine’s Day falls upon a Saturday, meaning that some of its killings take place on Friday the 13th – has an absolute field day corrupting and undermining this most dubious of “holidays”. (Thus earning itself an enduring place in the affections of anyone disgusted by the crass commercialism of a day supposedly about disinterested emotion, sick of singularity being treated like it was some kind of shameful disease, or both. Not that I know anyone like that…)|
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) (revised)||Okay— Up until now IKWYDLS hasn’t been too bad; hardly brilliant, but not totally moronic; but here the film takes a sharp right-hand turn into Stupidsville and feels so much at home there, it decides to stop and sit a spell…|
|Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension||Halloween (1978)||So it was with the Shape, the murderous psycho of John Carpenter’s Halloween. He was scariest when we knew the least about him. Inevitably, as each new film revealed more of his ‘backstory’ and ‘motivations,’ our interest drops. In Wes Craven’s New Nightmare an evil spirit is defeated by trapping it in the form of Freddy Kruger. Definition is constraint, and a constrained monster is patently less fearsome than a free one.|
|Braineater||100 Days (1991)||There’s something wildly entertaining about a movie named 100 Days featuring a girl looking for a videotape of a movie called “100 Days” on her 100 Days Anniversary. The video store employee swears there’s no such movie as “100 Days”… but if there was one, he says, he’d be sure to carry it, because it sounds really interesting.|