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Posts tagged “1950s

Devil’s Pass (2013)–Wow: A Good Found Footage Horror Movie–These Are Rare

Devil's_Pass2013’s movie, Devil’s Pass, tells the story of a group of Americans, led by amateur film maker Holly King (played by Holly Goss), who head to Russia to investigate the Dyatlov Pass incident and the now infamous doomed hiking party of nine that were found inexplicably dead, mutilated, nearly nude and one member dosed in radiation. Over the years many people have put forward theories as to what happened to the original group, but know one really knows the truth. This group wants to be the ones to find the real reason for the slaughter. The group makes it to the area of the original events faster than expected. Once there they notice strange foot prints that seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear the same way, leading some of the group to accuse Holly of faking the prints for her film, something she categorically denies. Things get weirder: Holly and another member of the group uncover a large metal door that locks from the outside in the side of the mountain. Later, in the middle of the night the group is wakened by deafening noises and forced from their tents due to an avalanche, in which they lose one of their group and another gets a nasty compound fracture of the leg. Shortly after this, one member fires off a flare, hoping help may come. Soon two men approach, and while at first they believe it’s help, one of the group  notes that the would be rescuers have no packs or supplies and therefore are most likely a threat. This turns out to be true when the two start firing at the group. Holly and one member have to leave behind the injured member whom they witness getting shot by the two men. Holly and friend open the mysterious door into the mountain and enter, the door immediately being locked (from the outside) behind them. Once inside, things start to get even weirder. Finding evidence of an old, secret US experiment in teleportation via photos amongst other documents, they start getting the idea that perhaps strange forces are at work. Soon the movie switched from horror to Science Fiction/Horror.

Devil’s Pass is a found footage style movie – a style that has been ridiculously over used ever since The Blair Witch Project proved you didn’t need expensive cameras and production values to make a good, scary movie. Unlike most of those found footage movies, this one is actually pretty good. I chose it seemingly at random on Netflix, I recommend this movie if your looking for something creepy and new to watch.

Check out the trailer below:

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Deranged (1974)–Interesting if Flawed Docu-Drama About The Man That Inspired So Many Horror Movies

derangedLast night I watch the masterful biopic, Hitchcock, about the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock and absolutely loved it. The movie takes place during the filming of Psycho. What I learned was that Psycho was loosely based upon the crimes of Ed Gein, a serial killer, body snatcher and possible necrophilliac  from Plainfield, Wisconsin. This left me wondering about who this Ed Gein was and were there any movie based specifically about him and not just inspired by his crime. A quick Google search and I foung the movie, Deranged from 1974.

Deranged starts with a warning that everything in the film is based on real events and that the names have been changed to protect the innocent…. blah, blah,blah! Telling the story of a man that was raised by an overbearing religious fanatic mother that taught him that all women, aside from herself, were diseased whores out to corrupt him. Not allowed to socialize with others outside of school, Ed was bound to come out twisted. Ed, obsessed with his mother, devoted himself to her caretaking. When she suffered a stroke, he became even more so. Upon her death he boarded up the rooms that she used and left himself a small area in the house for his own use.

In the movie, Ed soon finds himself missing his mother terribly, and convinced himself that she was actually sleeping and not dead. His mother’s voice calls to him telling him to retrieve her and bring her back to their home. Exhuming the body, Ed does just that. Mother, having been buried for the better part of a year was not in prime shape, so Ed decides to make repairs to his mother. Using bits of fish skin and the like he fixes her up as best he can. Eventually, he studies taxidermy to improve his skills. Not content with animals, Ed exhumes bodies from the grave yard, taking parts of or whole bodies from fresh graves. Ed’s a ghoul.

Soon Ed ups the ante when he becomes smitten with a local bar owner and kidnaps her. Hoping she’ll be his wife, he introduces her to his mother and dinner guests: posed bodis of the peopl he stole from the graveyard. Playing along, she convinced him to release her bound hand, and attempts to escape… Sorry! Ed ain’t letting you go. Instead of a wedding, she’s dead now.

Ed keeps up his shit with no one suspecting him at all, until a girl keeping shop dissapears with signs of foul play. The last person in the shop was Ed and the local Sherriff goes off to Ed’s farm house to talk to him. That’s where they find the body of the girl and evidence of all of Ed’s grisly crimes. The movie then ends with a write up of Ed being found insane…

Okay, this is not a great movie, but I did find it interesting as I knew little of Ed Gein. There have been a lot of movies about Ed and based on him. Not many of the biopics are very good, but this is one of the first. Should you watch it? If your interested in the crimes of Ed, then yes.  If not, then don’t bother.


House of Wax (1953)–A Must Watch Classic

howThe first time I watched The House of Wax was around 1984 when a local theatre was showing classic 3D films each Friday for a few months. I was 14 at the time and thought I was in for a hokey experience – what I ended up with was a new appreciation for the classics, for 3D cinema (when done well), and especially for Vincent Price.

Released in 1953, it was a remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum without the humour of the original (thanks Wikipedia). The film was one of the first colour 3D movies from a big American studio, and apparently one of the first with stereo sound… pretty innovative for 1953. The movie tells the tale of Professor Henry Jarrod (played by Vincent Price), an master in the art of wax sculptures and his quest for vengeance against his financial partner,  who burns down the Wax museum to recoup his investment through insurance. In an attempt to stop the blaze,  Matthew Burke (played by Roy Roberts) knocks out Jarrod in a fight and leaves him to burn in the fire.

Thinking Jarrod perished in the fire, we learn that Burke collected the insurance payout through a conversation with Burke and his girlfriend/Fiancé at dinner. Burke also tells her a tale of how sad he was at the loss of his friend and partner… a lie of course.

Well, it turns out that Jarrod was not killed in the fire, but was burned, leaving his hands useless. He has decided to create a school to teach his art and to recreate a new wax museum, but this time dedicated to the macabre, depicting true life horror scenes in wax. Working through the hands of his students, he even goes as far as to model the faces of the wax figures on victims of crime in the news papers.

Well, all is not as it seems, and a shadowy figure is seen leaving the wax museum/school and descending on Burke, murdering him while making it look like a suicide through hanging. We catch a glimpse of the killer who is horrible disfigures – it is the true face of Jarrod, dis-figured in the original wax museum fire. Shortly after the suicide is reported in the news, Burke’s body disappears, and a new exhibit opens in the museum depicting Burke’s apparent suicide with a picture perfect model of Burke as the centerpiece. Next to go is Burke’s fiancé who is murdered in her sleep by the grotesque Jarrod. Almost caught, he is seen by a flat mate of the now dead lady. When she describes the horrible face of the killer, she is not initially believed. Soon Burke’s Fiancé’s body disappears and a new exhibit depicting Joan of Arc at the stake takes it’s place with a model that looks exactly like the freshly dead woman.

What’s happening? Burke, enraged and crazed after the loss of his life’s work and his disfigurement in the fire, has decided to get revenge on his former partner and all those that may stand in his way. He has taken to creating wax sculptures by covering the bodies of his victims in wax and making them the centrepiece of his works. The burn make up on Price, in my opinion looks great and the performances by all are top notch. I really don’t think that it should be considered scary by today’s standards, but is a classic in any case. The movie has recently been re-released on Blu-Ray and in 3D and I must say it looks fabulous. This is a movie that I heartily suggest you watch, even if you’ve seen it before.

Check out the Trailer below:


Watch a Cheezy Movie For Free, Write a Simple Review and Get a DVD in the Mail

CrabmonsterWhat are you doing right now?

Nothing?

Good.

Watch this movie, write a review and send it to me. I might post it, and if I do I’ll give you full credit and maybe send you a cheezy movie on DVD or something silly like that. To be fair, if I get 100 entries I’m NOT sending out 100 DVDs. I will choose one review and send that reviewer the movie. How will I choose? I don’t know yet – most likely I’ll just pick the one that I like. Not scientific, I know but I will try to be fair and open minded.

Hell… I’m okay even if it’s not this movie that you review, just as long as the review is original, and the movie is cheezy.

Also, I hope the winner of the DVD will allow me to publish the fact that they one, but I’ll respect a request for anonymity if asked to.

Click Here To Submit Your Reviews

Here’s the movie (let me know if the link dies):

Click Here To Submit Your Reviews


Parents (1989) – Ghoulishly Good Flick

Parents is a 1989 film, set in 1950’s suburbia is the story of a boy, Michael who discovers that his meat loving parents are cannibals.

This is a fun, funny stylish flick that I am surprised that I had never even heard of until earlier this week. Starring Randy Quaid as Nick Laemle and Mary Beth Hurt as Lily Laemle, Michaels parents, they play convincing mid-20th century parents… with a taste for Human flesh.

Michael, already an odd little boy,being raised by odd parents, suspects that something just isn’t right with his folks. Poking around, he finds hints but no answers to their weirdness – that is, at first. Eventually he discovers their secret, and that of course, put him in jeopardy.

This film is stylish with great visuals and a great cast. The story, while macabre, is engaging and fun. I have absolutely no issues recommending this silly film.

Check out the trailer here:


Rocket Ship X-M (1950) – Cheezy Pulp Fluff… And I Liked It!

The story of the first manned space flight, set for a voyage to the moon, when something goes wrong and the ship and crew end up on Mars. Silly enough, I know but this has movie has charm.

Starring Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery, Jr., and Hugh O’Brien as the crew of the rocket-ship X-M, this is the story of the brave crew of the first human space flight. They are to go to the moon – pretty lofty goal for the first flight but hey – it’s a silly movie! A problem with the life support system causes the crew to pass out for a couple of days and they over shoot the moon and end up on Mars. On Mars they find evidence of a once mighty civilization – and have to deal with barbarous, but strangely human like natives. Our heroes protect them selves by shooting to miss, frightening the Martians enough to allow them to make it back to the ship safely. While on Mars, the entire the scenes are given a sepia colour,that adds to the quaintness. Then there’s perilous the return journey to Earth Sure, not the most realistic story line, but it is silly fun.

This film very much reminds me of the classic Sci-Fi radio plays of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Only 70 minutes long, this is a quick, easy watch and somewhat of a breath of fresh air after some of the films I’ve watched over the last few months. Plus Lloyd Bridges rocks. According to Wikipedia, this movie was rushed to production to ride the public enthusiasm for another Sci-Fi flick that was in production, Destination Moon (it self an interesting film with the screen play written by Science Fiction great, Robert Heinlein). Also, according to Wikipedia, some of the special effects were re-shot in the 1980s and edited in in a VHS release – I have not seen this copy, though. The film was also known as Expedition Moon and Rocket Ship XM-1.  

Watch the whole movie on the Internet Archive here:

http://archive.org/details/RocketshipXM