Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Movie Challenge 2012 (10/30)

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!

Case of the Scorpion's Tale, The (1971) (1st viewing) d. Martino, Sergio (Italy) 90 min.

Terrific giallo (complete with black sparkly masked killers, bottles of JB everywhere and hot babes getting knifed every 20 minutes) that genuinely had me guessing throughout as to whodunit and who was gonna get it next. Great fun.

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) (1st viewing) d. Martino, Sergio (Italy) 96 min.

The greatest movie title in the history of movie titles. Not so much based on Poe’s “The Black Cat” as it simply incorporates the essential story elements throughout its twisted tale of sadistic burnt out writer Luigi Pistilli, emotional punching bag of a wife Anita Strindberg, and trampy niece Edwige Fenech who comes to stay and play (doctor, head games, et al) with them both. Another marvelous guessing game of who’s the victim, who’s the villain and who will take their clothes off next.

Vampire People, The (aka The Blood Drinkers) (1964) (1st viewing) d. de Leon, Gerardo (Philippines) 88 min.

For a simple genre programmer, this Filipino horror effort packs in a wealth of emotionally (if melodramatic) complex characters as well as cinematic artistry (colored filters and gels galore!) into its narrative. Lovesick vampire Ronald Remy attempts to revive his ailing mate by replacing her heart with that of her twin sister (both played by Amalia Fuentes); meanwhile, the beset village attempts to ward off the resident plague of bloodsuckers. On the one hand, we empathize with Remy’s plight; on the other, we can understand the locals’ issueswith he and his toothy band gumming up the joint. Very enjoyable.

Phantom Carriage, The (1921) (1st viewing) d. Sjostrom, Victor (Sweden) 107 min.

A gorgeously wrought and beautifully performed silent effort that continues to resonate nearly a century since it was first unveiled. A drunken wastrel (Sjostrom, pulling triple duty as actor, writer and director) at the hour of his death is forced to recall his pitiful life, as well as the many opportunities for redemption he has rejected throughout, by the titular vehicle’s driver. While there are indeed ghostly spectres drifting throughout the film (the translucent image of the carriage itself is both lovely and haunting), the real horror is of the Christmas Carol ilk – the pain of reliving each of one’s most damning missteps, helpless to change the past. Just wonderful.

Total Movies: 100
First Time Views: 100
Money Raised for Friends of Children: $1101.00

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you got to see The Phantom Carriage. That was one of my favorite discoveries last year.