Monday, October 29, 2012

October Movie Challenge 2012 (10/28)

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 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!

Ghost Eyes (1976) (1st viewing) d. Kuei, Chih-Hung (Hong Kong) 98 min.

A shockingly underrated/under-viewed (only 29 votes on IMBd) flick with a novel narrative: a young beautician receives some unusual contact lenses from a mysterious optometrist. Cursed with extrasensory vision, she falls victim to a ghost/vampire/demon who first sexually assaults, then forces her to procure other female victims. Numerous jaw-dropping sequences, including a Taoist monk exorcism that puts its own spin on the head-spinning tropes.

Hypnotic Eye, The (1960) (1st viewing) d. Blair, George (USA) 79 min.

Genuinely macabre subject matter highlights this offbeat programmer, with a hypnotist (Jacques Bergerac) who sends his onstage female volunteers with a post-show suggestion to mutilate themselves in the privacy of their homes. (Acid, fan blades, oven ranges and lye are just some of the methods used…) Sexy Allison Hayes shows up as Bergerac’s assistant…or is she the one pulling the strings? Good stuff, released a few years back via Warner Archives.

Iron Rose, The (1973) (1st viewing) d. Rollin, Jean (France) 76 min.

A young couple wanders into a cemetery to make time…then find they can’t get out. Unfortunately, the Exterminating Angel story conceit runs out of gas even with an abbreviated run time – despite lots of shrieking and hysteria – leaving viewers stranded right alongside the increasingly obnoxious pair. (Based on this month’s views, can’t say I’ve become any more than the reluctant Rollin fan I already was. I like Grapes of Death, Living Dead Girl, Fascination and profess some grudging admiration for some of his 70s-era lesbian vampire flicks. Other than that...)


Invisible Ghost (1941) (1st viewing) d. Lewis, Joseph H. (USA) 63 min.

While the title may seem either redundant or a double negative, it’s actually a pretty entertaining vehicle for Lugosi who stars as an tormented cuckold whose wife’s reappearances at his window spark murderous trances. Also notable for Clarence Muse’s well-crafted performance by as the loyal servant Evans. (Having recently watched Mantan Moreland and other stereotyped “yassah, boss” Negro characters from the 40s, it was a refreshing to see a sensitive, intelligent and noble black man onscreen.)

Devil Bat, The (1940) (1st viewing) d. Yarbrough, Jean (USA) 72 min.

For years, I thought I had already seen this, but turns out that I was thinking of the Lionel Atwill flick The Vampire Bat. Here we have Lugosi as a disgruntled former perfume company employee who develops not only a way to enlarge a vampire bat’s size, but also whips up an aftershave lotion for his enemies that attracts the giant winged monster. Fun stuff.

Human Monster, The (1939) (1st viewing) d. Summers, Walter (UK) 73 min.

Bela hops the pond to play an evil insurance agent, one that preys upon the residents of a home for the blind where he serves as doctor-on-call. I mean, really, how cold can you get? There’s some unnecessary monster makeup applied to Blind Jake (Wilfred Walter) who Lugosi utilizes as the muscle in his operation, but it’s a small distraction.

Total Movies: 93
First Time Views: 93
Money Raised for Friends of Children: $958.83

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