Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October Movie Challenge 2012 (10/21 – 10/22)

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2012 (benefitting FRIENDS OF CHILDREN) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to let me know how much you would like to pledge per film. Your donation is tax deductible, 100% of goes directly to aid the kids, and seriously, even a penny per film helps. Thanks in advance!

Autopsy (aka Tarot) (1973) (1st viewing) d. Forque, Jose-Maria (Spain) 91 min.

Sue Lyon (of Lolita fame) is all grown up, playing a free spirited woman who falls for Christian Hey, the hunky manservant of blind rich fat cat Fernando Rey. She marries the moneyman, playing around behind his back with the lad, until former lover Gloria Grahame threatens to blow the whistle. So-so giallo that only wandered into my possession because I thought it was the 1975 Mimsy Farmer flick.

Atrocious (2010) (1st viewing) d. Luna, Fernando Barreda (Spain) 75 min.

Lazy if well realized “found footage” flick that has two siblings pursuing the urban legend of a girl in a red cloak while visiting their mother. Surprise, surprise; mysterious events occur with all the hysterical shaky-cam you can stomach and a ridiculous, tacked-on twist ending. It’s not that it’s terrible, just that it sets its bar so very low.

Arcane Sorcerer (1996) d. Avati, Pupa (Italy) 96 min. From the writer/director of underrated Italian horror efforts The House with Laughing Windows and Zeder comes another smart and atmospheric chiller about a seminary student sent to serve as secretary to a mysterious monsignor who spends his days communing with the dead.

Bluebeard (1972) (1st viewing) d. Dmytryk, Edward (France) 125 min.

A notorious bomb in its day, this Richard Burton vehicle probably could have done with some trims to its excessive running time (starting with the troubling hunting sequence where we see several animals encountering the wrong end of a gun) and the distracting literalized shade of Burton's chin whiskers. However, the black comedy has an array of lovely ladies losing their clothes preceding their fateful encounters with the titular serial killer and well, that goes a long way.

Blood of the Vampires (1966) (1st viewing) d. de Leon, Gerardo (Philippines) 90 min.

Filipino bloodsuckers provide the familial intrigue for young lovers being denied permission to wed. Pretty standard stuff, although it’s one of the few times where the vampires are more or less prayed to death, which had me thinking, “Hell, why don’t more people try that trick instead of fumbling for a crucifix?”

Beyond Evil (1980) (1st viewing) d. Freed, Herb (USA) 94 min.

John Saxon and Lynda Day George play newlyweds who head off to a Caribbean island where Saxon’s been assigned the task of building some new condominiums by an old friend and former flame of George. Oh, they’ve also been given lodging in a mansion that just has the slight hitch of being the former resident of an occultist madwoman whose spirit is none too quiet. Clumsily staged creative deaths abound while George wraps her particular thespian stylings (Pieces, anyone?) around the dialogue. Her taciturn co-star, on the other hand, barely restrains himself from looking at his watch to see if he can still catch a flight home. Goofy fun, but not enough to be a classic.

Total Movies: 68
First Time Views: 68
Money Raised for Friends of Children: $690.20

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