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What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby moira finnie » May 6th, 2011, 4:55 pm

I am very interested to see that you had this reaction too, Kingme. When this movie came out, my 20-year-old nephew and his father (my brother) went to see this. I was so glad that the younger beat-of-my-heart said that it didn't have half the impact of the old black and white version. He and his father used to watch the Robert Wise version about once every three months on video when he was little. He also felt that the special effects in the new version were dazzling, but had no impact emotionally. How wonderful that a young man like him and you could both conclude the same thing. Though I do like Keanu Reeves, I hope he does more than sci-fi in the future.

I can watch The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) about once a year and still be moved and entertained by it.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Rita Hayworth » May 6th, 2011, 6:08 pm

Moria,

Your Post is very interesting ... I do like Keanu Reeves ... but when he did the Matrix Series ... I did not care for it. It's too weird for me ... and not my "cup of tea". I watched that Movie with an open mind ... and felt that his role does not match the mastery of Micheal Rennie. Micheal Rennie is far better than the actor than Reeves ever will be - as far as Sci-Fi concerned.

I read your post three times ... I find it very enlightening and very well written ... I just felt that remake wasn't good enough and I love the Special/Visual Effects ... but ... lots of of it its out of whack here and I felt that the producers of this movie added way too much stuff in it ... and its a little too long of a movie ...

I still think the Original is better than the Remake.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MichiganJ » May 12th, 2011, 3:33 pm

Caught up with a few films I haven't seen since I was a kid:

The Cyclops (1957) I barley remembered this film, which is better than its reputation, although, perhaps, for the wrong reasons. Written and directed by Bert (B.I.G.) Gordon, the wacky plot concerns a woman trying to find her missing husband, lost for three years somewhere in deepest Mexico, a place noted for its high uranium and radioactivity…and you know what that means.
As one might expect, the acting is unconvincing (to say the least. "Star" James Craig has zero charisma), and only Lon Chaney, Jr. really gives a performance. Well, Chaney and The Cyclops, who, by the way, is the most sympathetic character in the film. Shame that B.I.G. didn't notice that, because he puts the big guy through the ringer. (No fair guessing who the Cyclops is--which is as obvious as the single eye left in his head--except, that is, to his wife…)
Effects are terrible, in the best possible way, and, although I think there are only three locations in the whole film, the 66-minutes flies by.

The Giant Claw (1957) Truly one of the greats, but again, for some wrong reasons. Loved the film as a kid and enjoyed it even more now, but with a tinge of guilt. Not for really liking the film, but for the actors, all of whom do a terrific job in conveying the horror that they thought was a UFO but turned out to be….well, that's where the guilt comes in. Direction, acting, and even the screenplay are pretty good. "Monster" and effects, not so good. Indeed, laugh-out-loud funny. It's a shame, really. But in a good way.

City of the Dead (1960) As a kid I knew this by its American title, Horror Hotel and I distinctly remember my brother and I sleeping over at my grandparents' house, nestled in our Cowboy and Indians sleeping bags (mine blue, his brown) and being scared to death watching this on Chiller Theater. It holds up extraordinarily well today and the plot, about witches in New England, is best left discovered. Just beware any New England town that has ever-present low fog.
Christopher Lee stars in the British production, and it is fun hearing the accents of the mainly British cast slip out a little as the film progresses.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby markfp » May 12th, 2011, 10:58 pm

Ahh, memories of my misspent youth. I don't recall THE CYCLOPS, but THE GIANT CLAW is one of my favorite cheap sci-fi films from the fifties. I was so glad when it came out on DVD. Great fun even if it does have the goofiest looking monster.

I first saw HORROR HOTEL at a drive-in where it was playing as the second feature to PSYCHO. Now that was a great double-bill. I remember seeing with my Dad. A few years ago I got the uncut of CITY OF THE DEAD, but it was so long since I had seen the other version I really don't remember the difference. Loved the ground-fog all over the place. :D

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby feaito » May 19th, 2011, 9:06 pm

I have just watched, because I caught it on TV (in general I plan my viewings) "The Brides of Dracula" (1960), a film of which I had vivid memories from my childhood. I must say that certain magic was gone now, because I last saw it in B&W, on a small TV and the print was not clear and sharp. Oddly, watching a crisp print in Technicolor took away the eerie quality with which I remembered it. Nevertheless, it was a great experience, because it has some very good points.

First, it's not too long and the plot runs smoothly, no unnecesary delays or twists in the plot. Yes, the bats look as fake as those in the 1931 Dracula, but on the other hand Martita Hunt is superb as the Baroness and Mona Washbourne is another asset as the lady in charge of the Boarding School (along with her unpleasant husband). David Peel makes a different kind of vampire, younger-looking, more menacing, predatory and seductive for women and with a stronger sexual quality. I like Peter Cushing but he struck me a as a little bit clumsy -sometimes- in his quest. The leading lady Yvonne Monlaur, looking a lot like Michele Mercier, had little to offer, except for her looks. Andree Melly as Gina, gave a much more interesting portrayal. In all a good entry, especially due to the swift conclusion and some interesting aspects of the story (how we believe to have lost Van Helsing to the Vampires and how he "solves" it and the final scene). Quite engrossing! I forgot, OTT Freda Jackson as Greta was another asset!

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Rita Hayworth » June 4th, 2011, 2:44 pm

KING KONG 1933 Classic
Starring Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong

This movie is a legend itself. No doubt about it. Fay Wray as Ann Darrow and Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham ... with Bruce Cabot as Charles Driscoll made this movie memorable for generations to come. It was a big hit back in 1933 and when I watched this movie today it's holds up VERY WELL after all these years.

I loved the fast pace actions, prehistoric monsters on Skull Island, the romance of Beauty and the Beast, and most importantly the unseen dangers that lies ahead throughout this incredible film that was made in 1933. The climax on top of Empire State Building was spectacular and the last lines of the film ...

Police Lieutenant: Well, Denham, the airplanes got him.
Carl Denham: Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.

remains immortalized on film forever.

Two Classic Images from the 1933 film.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MichiganJ » June 16th, 2011, 3:57 pm

Watched a few lady vampire films:

Daughters of Darkness (1971) A film that is slow as molasses but just as sweet. It's all atmosphere, as a young newlywed couple visit a nearly deserted resort in it's off season. Then two new guests arrive, one being Delphine Seyrig, who is perhaps more motionless in this resort than she was in Marienbad. That is until…

It really is all atmosphere, and the washed out color palette, used throughout, adds to the hypnotic feeling, so that when the blood starts to flow it's wonderfully jarring.

Twins of Evil (1971) One of Hammer's best later films, Twins has it all: burning witches, satan worshipers and vampires. It's all held together by yet another amazing performance by Peter Cushing, whose character is quite complex and is both evil and, well, less evil. A little more sax and violins as this is the early 70s, but hardly gratuitous (well, maybe not hardly; the "twins" were Playboy Playmates after all), Twins of Evil is the third in the Karnstein Trilogy (following The Vampire Lovers and Lust For a Vampire), and may well be the best.

Blood and Roses (1960) Haunting, sensual and beautifully shot (by Claude Renoir), there is no question that this is director Roger Vadim's masterpiece. Starring Vadim's wife (at the time), Annette Vadim is hauntingly gorgeous, and plays the (perhaps) possessed Carmilla as sympathetic and sinister. The plot works fine, but the film is really about the look and atmosphere. There are plenty of Jean Cocteau-like dream sequences, which are surprising, haunting, gorgeous and demand multiple viewings.

The U.S. version is shortened and has a voice-over that negates some of the plot's mystery, and worse, it's pan-and-scanned! And STILL the movie is a visual feast.

Vadim-Masterpiece? Who'd a thunk? (Barbarella notwithstanding of course.)
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby mrsl » June 17th, 2011, 3:13 pm

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My problem with remakes like War of the Worlds, and The Day the Earth Stood Still, is although they are fine examples of science fiction films in the original, when they are remade for today's audiences, they become horror movies. I wish today's directors would recall that old saying of - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". i.e. remake the story, don't change it!!!
.
Anne


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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Rita Hayworth » June 17th, 2011, 3:56 pm

mrsl wrote:.
My problem with remakes like War of the Worlds, and The Day the Earth Stood Still, is although they are fine examples of science fiction films in the original, when they are remade for today's audiences, they become horror movies. I wish today's directors would recall that old saying of - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". i.e. remake the story, don't change it!!!
.


I agree with you 100% mrsl :!:

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby mrsl » June 18th, 2011, 7:48 pm

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A Christmas Carol

While channel surfing, I spotted this just beginning and turned it on. IN music, movies, TV programs, books, etc., there are certain things you have such faith in that you don't feel you have to research it, and the Walt Disney studios is one of them for me, but HOLY CANNOLI, thank goodness my grandkids are too old for movies as gifts because I would really feel like garbage if I had given this one to them. Personally I can't stand Jim Carrey, but seeing the Disney name made me think, well okay, I'll try it. The whole movie scared me. There are so many things frightening about it, that I can't decide which is worse. Now I KNOW that most of it is on purpose to demonstrate the aura of London as shown in the original book by Charles Dickens, but please, a little break now and then? Starting with the color scheme of moody browns, greys, and blacks, a morose feeling hovers from the beginning. All of the people, with the exception of the girlfriend in the Christmas past section, are grossly ugly. Scrooge himself is so skinny with bulging eyes, and sunken cheeks, which seem to be evidenced throughout the movie, including horrible teeth. Shockingly loud noises and voices scare the bejesus out of you constantly starting with Marley's chains and going on through Scrooges future session. I would hate to be in an IMAX theater and have all of this wildness coming at me from somewhere unknown. Yes, the story was good, and kept to the original, but I gotta say, I don't think Uncle Walt would have given his stamp of approval to this one.
.
Anne


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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 19th, 2011, 2:14 pm

I'm not hugely into horror movies, probably because I scare very easily and object to gore but I do like some of the earlier horror movies, I'm thinking particularly of the first two Karloff Frankenstein movies and The Black Cat. I think I'm going to have to search out more from this time period and because I'm reading a book on Karloff at the moment I decided to watch the one I had never watched The Son of Frankenstein, what strikes me first is the great cast, Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi as well as Karloff. It's difficult to follow up the first two movies, they just occupy a shelf of their own but I found Son equally entertaining, helped by the brilliant character of Ygor and the superb characterisation by Bela Lugosi and Basil Rathbone as the son of Professor Frankenstein who in turn gets bitten by the bug of creating life. The sets are very angular with angular shadows, reminding me of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, such an emphasis on style. A very good follow up movie. After reading the book and watching Karloff not only carry the weight of his enormous costume but carry Lugosi as well and knowing how long it took to make him up, the man was a professional in the highest sense of the word.

The next movie I watched stars Karloff but he's in it for only a short time, Lured directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Lucille Ball and George Sanders. It concerns a serial killer who meets young ladies through the personal columns, a couple of red herrings, Karloff's segment is one such red herring and he's fabulous in it. Unfortunately the movie suffers from being a little too rambling, it was obvious who the killer was and for me once that has happened it's time to wrap the movie up but it didn't happen. Charles Coburn and Cedric Hardwicke also have parts, a well acted drama but not very tight drama.

Stranger on the 3rd Floor might classify as a film noir but it also classifies as horror for me. The first segment has a noir feeling to it but the second segment from the time Peter Lorre appears it feels like a horror, he plays a wonderful part as a throat cutter, so wonderful that he illicits sympathy from the audience. He's vulnerable and chilling, childlike and sinister and a complete original. I think I colud watch Peter Lorre in anything, same with Boris Karloff.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MikeBSG » June 19th, 2011, 2:23 pm

Just want to comment on some things people have said.

"Twins of Evil" is a very good late Hammer vampire film. I think "The Vampire Lovers" is better, but then it has Ingrid Pitt. Peter Cushing is wonderful in both "Vampire Lovers" and "Twins of Evil." I also think that "Vampire Circus" is another terrific and underrated late Hammer vampire film. I don't care for the Dracula films they made in the 70s, and "Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter" never did anything for me.

I agree that Karloff is brilliant in "Lured." He doesn't have much screen time, but he shifts from being pathetic to funny to terrifying so rapidly it makes my head spin. The movie itself is only so-so. "A Scandal in Paris" is a much better Douglas Sirk-directed film from the same era.

I also like "Stranger on the Third Floor." (Part of me always wants to ask "Stranger than what on the Third Floor?") Lorre has a great entrance in that film. We see his hands at the diner counter. They summon the waitress and then we hear Lorre's voice asking for a raw hamburger. That is very creepy.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 19th, 2011, 4:11 pm

Yes and then we follow him outside and he's feeding the hamburger to a dog who has been following him, the fact he doesn't look like he has much money for himself makes it all the more surprising and endearing.

Karloff is great in Lured, he does a lot with his little screen time. After reading about him I wish he'd had more chance to play a variety of roles, this he did on TV but not so much on film, he was typecast to some extent.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby mrsl » June 19th, 2011, 4:18 pm

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The Long Weekend

Another discovery made while channel surfing for something to watch, I thought I'd take a chance on this one for the heck of it. Made in the same vein as the original Jaws [color=#0000BF] (meaning the horror is not shown immediately), The Long Weekend is not bad. A young, feuding couple go for a long weekend to an open beach to live pretty close to nature and try to make things up, but although he is in his element, she hates camping of any kind, so naturally she is not a happy camper -- thinking of it, he was pretty stupid to plan this kind of getaway, knowing her feelings. So things happen but you never really know what is going on. I don't know the girl at all, but the hubby is played by Jim Cavieziel who I first took an interest in when he starred in Frequency, one of my all time favorite sci fi films. It's almost exactly one and a half hours long and although not great, good enouch to use up some time until something better comes along.[/color]
Anne


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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 22nd, 2011, 2:21 pm

I don't often review a film that is half watched, half watched because everyone came home before I'd finished viewing but I've been so moved by what I've watched so far. I'm referring to Bela and Boris's outing in The Raven, Bela is so sinister and charming, a seemingly respectable surgeon with an obsession with Poe. Boris, an escaped convict who turns to the doctor to help disguise him with plastic surgery, he's willing to pay but the doctor has other demands, ones distasteful to Karloff but needing a new identity to escape he reveals that he hates his ugliness. The resulting operation turns him into an unfortunate disfigured soul. His unveiling, tormented by Lugosi, is a lesson in fine screen acting, getting us to feel all his horror, shame, revulsion and desperation. Later when seen by the dinner guests, all who scream and shun him, his face is a mirror to his shame and torment. Unfortunately that's where I left it, with Karloff, a murderer the object of all sympathy in this piece. Can't wait until tomorrow's installment.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin


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