Archive for the Horror Category

Stoker’s Dracula Police Sketch

Posted in Horror, Lee & Cushing with tags on January 16, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

Christopher Lee made a dead-on Dracula based on the literary description. This is his appearance in Jess Franco’s Count Dracula (1970). Bela Lugosi (1931) as the count for comparison.

 
http://m.mentalfloss.com/article.php?id=73316

French Wildside DVD-BR, Curse/Night of the Demon

Posted in Film Noir, Horror, Miscellania with tags , , on August 13, 2015 by MONSTERMINIONS

A package arrived today from France. It’s the Wildside DVD-Bluray of Night of the Demon. Both cuts are presented with option for English language, with French subtitles and French language. There is no option to remove the French subs. The Night of the Demon print is superb and the details of the demon are extraordinary in HD. Also included is a super cool preview of Gun Crazy and a 144 page essay book on Jacques Tourneur and “Demon”. About $60 USD. Need Region Free player!


  
  

The Wolfman Attacks!

Posted in CONS, Horror with tags on July 9, 2015 by MONSTERMINIONS

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RIP Sir Christopher Lee

Posted in Horror, RIP with tags on June 11, 2015 by MONSTERMINIONS

The last of the horror icons has passed and he has left us with an exhaustive and artistically diverse legacy of film portrayals, punctuated with unforgetable villains, and important contributions to literature, history and being better people.  RIP Sir Christopher Lee.

Christopher Lee

WER, 2013

Posted in Horror with tags on January 12, 2015 by MONSTERMINIONS

WER_Titles

To me there are at three variants in the Lycanthrope film genre: 1) those that predominantly rely on CGI and those that use traditional prosthetic makeup effects, 2) films which go for broke and just assume yes werewolves are real and supernatural beasts, as opposed to films that explain the lycanthrope affliction through a medical condition, and 3) films that portray the monster as an upright walking man-beast (Lon Chaney, Jr.), which is contrary to the four-legged shape-shifting werewolf as popularized in films like An American Werewolf in London (1981). I like all kinds of Lycanthrope films, from upright walking beasts in Werewolf of London (1935) and The Wolf Man (1941), Cry of the Werewolf (1944), which featured a German Shepherd, to the modern CGI-mapped Underworld films (now tentatively on the table for reboots), which are not so modern anymore.

WER_Tragedy

This all brings us to the American-made and Romanian-shot WER (2013), which is one of the better Lycanthrope films of the last 10 years.  I found it infinitely better than Universal’s idle-brained remake of the Lon Chaney classic, starring Benicio Del Toro and retitled as The Wolfman (2010). The film opens right off the bat with action and grabs your attention when a family of three is brutally attacked by what appears to be a large animal, while camping in rural France. The husband and young boy are killed, but the woman survives to explain the attack to police.

WER_Surviving Victim

Soon afterward, a hulking and unkept peasant named Talan Gwynek, aptly played by Brian Scott O’Connor, is apprehended by police, led by prickish Klaus Pistor (Sebastion Roché).  Human rights activist and attorney Kate Moore (A.J.Cook) agrees to represent the shackled Talan. Her legal team consists of asshole mole Eric (Vik Sahay) and former boyfriend and forensic examiner Gavin (Simon Quarterman). Kate’s interview and encounter with Talan suggests she is representing a gentle, introverted, and crippled client incapable of mobility, let alone violent and brutal slayings.

WER_Autopsy

Gavin performs an autopsy on the victims. The lower mandible of the father was removed and portion of the tongue was consumed. One of the thighs was chewed to the bone.  The child’s arms, abdomen, lower torso and legs are missing. Gavin concludes that the bite marks and patterns are consistent with a large animal attack.

WER_Child on Slab

Upon meeting with Talan’s mother (Carmilia Maxim), the legal team learns that Talan is not French, but Romanian, and has a “condition” passed down through the paternal lineage of his family.  After consulting with a doctor in the USA, Gavin believes the affliction may be Porphyria, described in the film as an extremely rare blood condition that leads to limbic motion retardation.  The legal team decides that by demonstrating that Talan has a muscular-skeletal debilitating disease is the best defense that he couldn’t possibly murder the campers. The team finds a medical specialist to perform a Porphyria test, which consists of a corneal impression and wet reagent assay and a blinking light test.  In real life this is all hogwash, but it looks good on film.

WER_Talans Eye

Let’s run this glass slide across your eyeball….

WER_Eye Test

Now, let’s run the strobe test….

WER_Talan Qwynek

WER works both as a faux-documentary film (thankfully, it’s not a found footage movie) and a good old-fashioned horror film. Some of the cock-fighting between the lead guys gets old, but it serves a plot device. In the end we get to see some blood-letting and it delivers the goods. It’s also refreshing to see CGI used for key scenes where it would be cost-prohibitive or dangerous to use real sets, or in one key scene, have a human jump out of a building several stories above ground level.  The story is unusual, with a lawyer defending someone who may or may not be a Lycanthrope.   This is no classic, but director and writer William Brent Bell has fabricated an underrated, interesting and welcome additional to Lycanthrope filmdom.  Claws up! I’ll watch this one again.

WER_Negotiation with the Lycanthrope

 

The Woman in Black 2 (2015)

Posted in Horror with tags on January 2, 2015 by MONSTERMINIONS

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In many ways, Hammer’s sequel The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014) is better than the original. Both films clock in at short running times less than 100 minutes, which I find refreshing in today’s opulence of three hour CGI synthesizia, and center around odd dealings in Eel Marsh Manor, a creepy abandoned estate stuck on a tidal-locked and fog shrouded Tombolo in Northeastern England. WIB2 takes place 40 years after WIB, during the Luftwaffe bombing raids on England in WWII. This sets up a nice plot device to relocate several adolescent war orphans from the war torn landscapes to the foggy coastal environs of Eel Marsh, and you guessed it -a haunted house. The central characters are an introverted and shell-shocked boy Edward (Oaklee Pendergast), nannie Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox), RAF pilot Harry Burnstow (Jeremy Irvine), and head mistress Jean Hogg (Helen McCrory, who you may recognize from some of the Harry Potter films and the latest 007 Skyfall).

Once the party reaches Eel Marsh Manor, the usual hijinks occur, including cliché bullying of young Edward, creaks and thumps, shadowy apparitions, plenty of bus shots, broken windows, explorations of chests and basements and a very creepy room full of weathered mechanical toys. Of course only Edward can see the woman in black at first.

However, the film is indeed atmospheric and expertly lensed. Some of the cinematography is striking and the amateur photographer in me senses that portions of the film were shot by candlelight using extremely fast and wide open lenses (ala Kubrick). The film looks like a ghost story should be and most closely resembles Guillermo del Toro’s superior The Devil’s Backbone (2001), and his production The Orphanage (2007). It’s also well acted by a fine British cast. I much prefer Phoebe Fox’s heroine in the lead over the somewhat stiff Daniel Radcliffe (no, I’m not a big fan) in the original. As far as ghost stories go, this is competent work, but why release this in January? I would have loved seeing WIB2 this past Halloween.

Only $478,000

Posted in Collectibles, Horror with tags on November 25, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

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