Monday, October 3, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge 10/1


Silent Scream, The (1980) (2nd viewing) d. Harris, Denny (USA) 87min
The costume designer must have thought that putting everyone, especially the boys, in tight pants was a good idea. Great atmosphere and score, a good classic well-made indie flick. Barbara Steele totally steals the show with her wordless second-act performance. Rebecca Balding is c-u-t-e, and the way to her heart is via a bunch of soft, slow kisses. Good cinematography prowling around the seaside mansion where the college co-eds are rooming. Totally underrated flick, with solid pacing, and interesting (if sometimes clichéd) characters.

Screamplay (1985) (1st viewing) d. Seder, Rufus Butler (USA) 90min
Lovely exaggerated sense of play and stark, stylized lighting. Writer/director/editor and star Rufus Butler Seder knocks it out of the park with this exercise of style and wit, playing an aspiring murder mystery screenwriter who imagines numerous gruesome scenarios with himself inserted a la Walter Mitty. Underground film legend George Kuchar puts in a welcome appearance as the scummy landlord. Why does no one talk about this flick?

Scream and Scream Again (1970) (2nd viewing) d. Hessler, Gordon (UK) 95min
Convoluted plotline, weak ending and the crime of putting Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price in the same movie and not letting them do anything interesting together. Cushing is killed off after a four-minute cameo, and Lee and Price are barely in the same scene together at the end. A Nazi-like military state is creating sexually ravenous, virtually indestructible supermen, but why and how and to what end is a total mystery. Interesting vignettes, but hardly pulls together.


Oblong Box, The (1969)
(2nd viewing) d. Hessler, Gordon (UK) 97min
Lee, Price, Uta Levka (who plays the sinister nurse in Scream and Scream Again) and Hessler together again. Price’s brother is deformed after an encounter with the native tribes in Africa, then put into a cataleptic trance, and buried alive only to be resurrected by grave robbers supplying bodies for Lee’s surgeon. Any wonder why he’s a little ticked off and killing off half the population? So-so.

Tower of Evil (1972) (2nd viewing) d. O'Connelly, Jim (UK) 89min
Great looking British birds Jill Haworth and Candace Glendenning are only two of the highlights of this terrific little sleeper about a deserted lighthouse and its creepy secrets. Extended review here:

First Time Views: 1
Repeats: 4
Total Films: 5

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