Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge 10/18

GETTIN’ HUNGRY OVER HERE

Killer Tongue (1996)
(2nd viewing) d. Sciamma, Alberto (Spain) 98min
Bank robbin’ lovers Jason Durr and Melinda (Return of the Living Dead III) Clarke pull a double cross on their partners, only to have all kinds of unholy and extraterrestrial karma come back and bite them…literally. While Durr sits out his prison sentence, Clarke and her color-coordinated poodles have a close encounter with a bit of space droppings (via a bowl of soup, no less) that transforms the pooches into a quartet of flamboyant drag queens and her tongue into a weapon of mass destruction. Courtesy of Image Animation’s worthy f/x, the titular premise lives up to its promise, with la lengua loca ramming, ripping and rending everything within reach – and considering its elastic properties, that’s covering some ground. Robert Englund devours the scenery as a tight-assed prison captain, while Doug Bradley (credited as “Dough Bradley”) lends able support as Durr’s fellow inmate. Alternatively deliriously madcap and batshit bonkers, this under-the-radar gem deserves some attention, in particular by fans of Clarke (who spends the majority of the film in a skintight black latex bodysuit).




Ravenous (1999) (3rd viewing) d. Bird, Antonia (UK) 101min
“It’s lonely being a cannibal. Tough making friends.” Director Antonia Bird serves up heaping helpings of black comedy and gory carnage in this hilarious, edgy period horror. Set in the waning days of the Mexican-American War, Guy Pearce’s cowardly Army captain is stationed at a remote outpost in the Sierra Nevadas where daily routine is stultifying dull…until Robert Carlyle staggers in from the wilderness with tales of survival that would turn the hardiest soul into a vegetarian. A clever combo of mysticism, vampirism and cannibalism, with Bird’s superb cast – which includes Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, and Neal McDonough – licking their lips and devouring Ted Griffin’s script with gusto. A decidedly underrated flick, with Slovakia’s Tatras Mountains (standing in for the Pacific Northwest) providing the picturesque exteriors.




NO ONE SAID LOVE WAS EASY


My Bloody Valentine (2009)
(2nd viewing) d. Lussier, Patrick (USA) 101min
The one ’80s slasher remake in recent memory to get it right. Director Patrick Lussier’s redux of 1981’s classic pickaxe-wielding boogeyman flick earns its red wings by providing a straight-faced, straight-up whodunit/body-count pic loaded with blood, guts and nudity. True, it does have the requisite TV heartthrob (Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles) in place, but the entire enterprise is handled with panache and skill, delivering more than enough jump scares and heavy gore to satisfy anyone. While the 3D effects – so well executed in theaters, providing plenty of the usual “comin’ atcha!” gimmicks as well as giving the eerie mineshaft scenes a claustrophobic feel – lose some of their impact on the small screen, there’s still enough solid material to carry the day. Finally, big time kudos to clothes-shy starlet Betsy Rue for her brave and bare extended hotel room sequence (yielding both titillation and vulnerability – no mean feat) and genre vet Tom Atkins for their strong support.




Love Me Deadly (1973) (1st viewing) d. Lacerte, Jacques (USA) 95min
Who knew that daddy issues and necrophilia were so intricately connected? Lovely, frigid blonde Mary Wilcox carries a deep, dark secret: She can only derive sexual pleasure from visiting funerals and kissing corpses, much to the dismay of her suitors Christopher Stone and Lyle Waggoner. But when serial killing funeral director Timothy Scott recognizes a fellow stiff-lover, he draws her into his underground coven of like-minded, black-candle burning, black robe-wearing, dark hymn-chanting… Oh, heck, they’re Satanists, all right? Goody two-shoes Wilcox isn’t so sure about all this, but baser desires prevail and there’s some unintentional comedy derived from the fact that every time she attempts to satiate her cold flesh desires, either Stone or Waggoner show up and ruin the party. Phil Moody’s easy-listening, love-ballad heavy soundtrack nearly keeps the lurid atmosphere in check, which somehow makes the whole enterprise that much more bizarre.

RUNNING TOTAL:
First Time Views: 35
Repeats: 43
Total Films: 78

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