Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Challenge Totals to Date:

Movies Watched Today: 2
Total Movies Watched: 43
Total First Time Views: 18
Scare-A-Thon Donations: $898.70

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2015 (benefiting PLANNED PARENTHOOD and GREENHOUSE SHELTER) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971) d. Miraglia, Emilio (Italy) (2nd viewing) 98 min

Grieving the loss of his beloved wife, Lord Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen) engages in sadistic role play with various night club dancers and prostitutes (including lovely Erika Blanc) on a regular basis, with lashings of flesh and lashings of flesh. On the advice of his doctor (Kill Baby Kill’s Giacomo Rossi Stuart), he impulsively marries the lovely Gladys (Marina Malfatti), much to the seeming consternation of his former bride’s spirit. Murders abound. The opening half hour is quite enjoyable, thanks to the sleazy scenes in Alan’s homemade torture chamber and rambunctious exotic dance sequences, before settling into more familiar “ghostly appearances making people craaaaaaaaazy” terrain. But hang in there for a wingding of a denouement, with poisonings, stabbings, and a pool of sulfuric acid coming atcha fast and furious! Writer/director Miraglia is also the man behind the supremely titled giallo, The Lady in Red Kills Seven Times.

Oculus (2013) d. Flanagan, Mike (USA) (2nd viewing) 104 min

Following a long stint in a mental institution, Tim (Brenton Thwaites) meets up with his art dealer sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) to begin his life anew. However, his sibling has no intention of forgetting their past, and the dark forces that shattered their childhood. Seems that the mirror acquired by their father (Rory Cochrane) possesses the ability to warp visual observations and entrap minds, leading to some very twisted and disturbing consequences for the kids and their mother (Katee Sackhoff). Literally “eye” in Latin, oculus is a word with a marvelously oogey, sinister sound, one that will now be synonymous with writer/director Flanagan’s smash follow-up to his acclaimed feature debut, Absentia (another Latin term meaning “absence”). If all this high-minded vocabulary hasn’t tipped you off already, the young New England native isn’t shy about delivering smart scares in place of lowbrow gross-outs, and though his nefarious looking glass ultimately proves to be perhaps too omnipotent (come the final credits we realize that the power struggle we’ve been watching is akin to a Pete Sampras vs. Stephen Hawking tennis match), it doesn’t diminish the achievement of what has gone before. Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard keep us on the edge of our proverbial seats, dancing back and forth between timelines and character viewpoints, unveiling some undeniably visceral imagery while their assembled actors render uniformly grounded performances.

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