Runtime: 1h 28m
Rated: not rated
Director: Lamberto Bava
Writers: Dardano Sacchetti, Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava
Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny
Initial: I figured I’d finish out the month with a couple films from the 80s. In this case, a film known to be a gore-fest
What Did I Think:
And gore-fest it is.
Actually, the first 30 minutes or so, while the audience watches the movie, are quite well done. Bava parallels action and mirrors earlier scenes in some really nice ways. Unfortunately, it feels like some of that care goes by the wayside when the demons start attacking. Then, it’s all screaming chaos and colorful ooze.
To some extent, no matter how artistic the setup, a movie with a group of characters under siege needs a certain fictional structure to have anything near an interesting plot. The Mist (2007) and Night of the Living Dead (1968), for example, rely on inter-character struggles to drive the plot, more-so than zombies or creepy-crawlies. This probably isn’t actually realistic. Realistic is coming to bad conclusions about what’s going on, formulating bad plans that lead nowhere, and probably having a demon burst from your back. Realism doesn’t necessarily make a good movie.
Unless you just want to watch a gore-fest.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Runtime: 1h 38m
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writers: Tommy Lee Wallace, John Carpenter, Nigel Kneale
Stars: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy
Initial: Rewatch, sort of. I used to watch a lot of movies while doing other things. I don’t do that anymore. I figured this would be the perfect wrap-up of my Countdown to October.
Production Notes: Halloween III gets categorically dismissed for being the one without Michaell Myers, kind of like Bourne Legacy is dismissed for being the one without Jason Bourne. I guess I’m the patron saint of unloved sequels.
What Did I Think:
For me personally, Halloween III is one of the movies I most remember hearing as a kid. My parents watched a fair amount of horror films, but of course, they would do this past my 9pm bedtime. But, our house was small. The walls were not thick. And Halloween III has that annoying/creepy commercial . . .
I do think that Halloween III is under-appreciated. Looking at contemporary reviews, it seems like audiences just didn’t get it, if they managed to get over the fact that this is the one without Michael Myers. If you think about it differently, though, this film is folk horror that decides to use modern technology to achieve its end. Is it a little “out there?” Yes. It’s also fairly inventive and would be a great double feature with John Carpenter’s They Live (1988).
Well, there it is: 50 movies in 75 days. Fourteen of those were rewatches. What were the gems among the new-to-me movies? Here are ten movies that I either enjoyed or thought a bit about in the order I watched them:
- Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
- Prey (2022)
- Coherence (2013)
- Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
- Last Night in Soho (2021)
- Glorious (2022)
- Ganja & Hess (1973)
- Byzantium (2012)
- Speak No Evil (2022)
- Wishmaster (1997)
I’m certainly not done with horror for the year, but I’ll be branching out into other genres for a while.