Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)
Director: Amando de Ossorio
Main Stars: Cesar Burner, Lone Fleming, Maria Elena Arpon
Storyline: In the 13th century there a cult of death knights known as the Templars who found eternal life by drinking human blood.
Review (Spoils): Way back in the 13th century an evil cult of knights known as the Templars were on quest for eternal life by drinking human blood and killing people in the name of sacrifice. Because of the unholy hatred the group was left for dead and the crows peck out their eyes.
This brings us to modern day Portugal when a small group of people come across the old Templar’s monastery which raises them from the dead to continue their unholy rage. Some of scenes of the death knights riding their horses and stalking and cutting bodies down are actually very nice and the final scene is somewhat a classic in eurohorror but the acting can be a bit slow and painful to watch. We have some nasty sword swinging, decapitations, amputations and some good old bloodletting.
Rating: We have blood, boobs and death knights on horseback what more do you need? Don’t expect a zombie fest in this one as the Blind Dead trilogy is not like that. This is a bit of an exploitation film and it is a classic even though the plot is slow. The ending alone is worth checking out and the mood of the film fits well but it could have used more Templars.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Director: Robert Fuest
Main Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffon, Virginia North
Storyline: A man seeks revenge on the nine doctors that he blames for his wife’s death.
Review (Spoils): Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) is a talent man; he is a doctor, scientist, organist and a biblical scholar. But when he and his wife are in an accident that leaves him speaking through a microphone through his voice box and her dead, he blames the doctors that tried to save her for her demises. Being a madman of religion he starts to master plan of revenge upon the medical professionals. Bringing forth the biblical plagues to their deaths such as blood draining, locusts and the classic frog mask, all done by Dr. Phibes and his sexy assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North).
Vincent Price was made for this role and the he is both the victim of heartbreak pain and a madman. The film is bright, colourful and fun to watch. The overlay of the voice so that Vincent Price had to mimickeeps it entertaining and the movie also has some fun parts. There are some creative ideas in this film which makes me wonder how much of an influence this film was to such as Saw or even Seven? The connection between Vincent Price and Virginia North is never fully explained which makes it even creepier.
Rating: Robert Fuest created a horror classic with this gem and Vincent Price is at his very best in this film.If you’re a classic horror fan you need to see this film as it is one of most unique tales yet.Dr.Phibes is one deadly villain and a work of art.
Scream 2 (1997)
Director: Wes Craven
Main Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jada Pinkett Smith, Heather Graham, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Marisol Nichols, Laurie Metcalf
Storyline: 2 years later and Ghostface is back haunting Sidney and her friends.
Review (Spoils): 2 years after the great Ghostface murders people have moved on such as Sidney (Neve Campbell) is now in college, Cotton is out of prison, Gale (Courteney Cox )wrote a book on the event and now is becoming a movie called Stab. As the movie is about to be released Ghostface returns or is it a new murder? The film starts to follow the same lines as the first in the series.
Another “who did it?” murder film under the Scream name. The film is not horrible but it is pretty much the same as the first one, same characters, same actors/ actresses and more dead bodies. We have more blood in this one which is a good thing and the babes grace the screen on this one. The ending has a very interesting twist and the gore is present. The only thing that drove me nuts on this film was the point of making it a film within a film. I hated the whole Stab idea.
Rating: If jam your film full of beautiful Hollywood ladies does that make it a good film? If it was a porno yes but it’s not so the answer is no. This is actually the last decent part of the series so get this one in before the series becomes dead.
The Golem (1920)
Director: Paul Wegener, Carl Boese
Main Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinruck, Ernst Deutsch
Storyline: A jewish rabbi creates a clay golem using sorcery to protect the people from persecution.
Review (Spoils): After hearing a ton about this classic film I figure I would hunt down a copy of The Golem and finally see if this compares to the other German classic The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari. After searching and searching I finally got hold of a copy of the film and sat back to see what the raving has been all about.
This film is very close to the feel of The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari but not as dark. The film is a story of a jewish rabbi who lives in fear and traps his own beliefs into witchcraft to bring faith to the people buy creating a guardian of clay called the golem (Paul Wegener). I can see the influence of this silent film to the later Frankenstein but with more of a religious and political statement hidden in the film. Dealing with the relationship between the Jews and Christians in Prague the monster itself it not hideous but instead viewed as a huge guardian or protector. The scenery of the film like other classic German horror films is amazing such as the ghetto itself and all the shadows and twisted dark looks.
Rating: Don’t expect scares or anything that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat with this one. That’s where I would drop the Golem below The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari but this is still a classic film of art. The shadowy imagery of the evil presence during the ritual, the golem and plot alone is enough to keep you enticed.
Saw 3 (2006)
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Main Stars: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Donnie Wahlberg, Bahar Soomekh, Dina Meyer, Debra McCabe
Storyline: Amanda takes over where Jigsaw left.
Review (Spoils): Amanda (Shawnee Smith) is back and this time she has a Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) under wraps and places an explosive around her neck that is connected to John Kramer’s (Tobin Bell) life support. She must save John from the cancer in his brain. Jigsaw is back to his games even though Detective Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg ) escapes. In this new twist of the game we have a young man who is trapped in it because of his inner anger over his loss of his child during an accident.
This time in Jigsaws fun games we have rib cages, freezing water, dead pigs, shotgun shots, explosions and throat slits. The gore is in the house for this part of the series and the games are wilder and tighter than before.
Rating: This is one of the last of the SAW series before it starts to become dry and stall. We have Kramer on his deathbed and Amanda doing everything she can to save his life. The movie is worth checking out and there are some nasty scenes such as the rib cage bit. The series should have died out after this one but Hollywood took over and wanted more cash under the name.
They Came from Within / Shivers (1975)
Director: David Cronenberg
Main Stars: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Barbara Steele, Susan Petrie
Storyline: An apartment building gets infected by a parasite that turns people into mindless sex fiends.
Review (Spoils): A scientist lives in large apartment complex in Montreal which he murders a young girl, strips her, cuts her open and uses acid to burn out her internal organs then finally slitting his own throat. This all leads to a strange investigation which brings to the truth of experiments using parasites as organ transplants. This parasite escapes and starts to infect resident by resident turning them into sex crazed zombies.
This strange film does bring out the red as we have throat slitting, a nasty opening of a body, lot’s of vomit of blood, strange parasites and the classic bath tub scene with Barbara Steel. This parasite is the cause of zombie like sex orgy and everyone should run in fear. Some of the special effects are actually pretty decent and the storyline itself is touching the symbolism of sexual transmitted diseases. Remember this film is from 1975 so this was before the actual awareness of such disease such as A.I.D.S.
Rating: This is the first if not one of the first films from David Cronenberg. The film follows the pace of his other later films but this one stands out as it is a strange piece of art. The topic is buried in the movie but it is not hard to see what his point was. The movie can move a little slow at times but to be honest the more I think about the film the more it makes sense. I’m personally not a huge fan of David Cronenberg but this one I do get.
Director: Dario Argento
Main Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini
Storyline: A fan stalks and kidnaps a young beautiful operetta and torments everyone who is connected to her to win her over.
Review (Spoils): Young opera singer Betty (Cristina Marsillach ) gets the big break she needed when a past singer gets hit by a car. She has had haunting dreams of man since her childhood and it all comes to life when she gets confronted with a stalker. The stalker is a true madman and in love with the new star Betty. This leads to a kidnapping and the classic needles taped under the eyes forcing her view his torment.
We have coat hooks, the classic eye scene, stabbings, scissors and some rock bashing. We have some background story on to poor Betty’s childhood and her mother. This sick childhood leads to what I feel are what claims Betty’s reaction to a number of the events in the film. Sure the storyline is out there but keep in mind when watching this film it is an Argento film.
Some of the scenes are fun such as the needles, the crows and the gunshot which makes this film as classic as some but still worth the watch. The true downside of the film is the music, I’m a metal fan but it just does not make the film.
Rating: Not his best but sure not Dario Argento worst.I enjoyed this film for what it was and to be honest you have to have a certain mind set for his films. This one is worth a throwing on and having a good drinking time just remember “I am nothing like my mother. Nothing like her ”.