Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Season of Horror Has Risen from the Grave: October Recap

"We don't know what kind of murder-happy characters we have here." -NOTLD

I did quite a bit of casual viewing in October and felt the need to document what I've been watching. I'm not sure I have anything particularly insightful to share as I've mostly just been drifting from one movie to the next in a bit of a mind numbing escape. 

This was one of the films offered by the Criterion Channel as part of its "Home Invasion" themed films. Ruthless killer, Hal Wilson, has broken out of jail and is taking it on the lam with his gang. They decide to invade a family home, while waiting for their means of escape across the lake.

Wilson appears to take pleasure in killing, but despite being a ruthless, cold killer, he is no match for the wits of Dr. Shelby, who dissects his mind, exposing what's at the heart of his urge to extinguish people through some wonderfully designed dream visuals. 

I like Chester Morris, but I did not find him particularly well suited to this role. What I enjoyed most were the wonderfully weird dream sequences. 

True crime stories aren't my cup of tea, but it's hard to pass up on cinematography by Conrad Hall and a score by Quincy Jones. 

The story of the murder of a Kansas family by Perry Smith and Dick Hickock is revealed in an unexpected way, which makes it all the more disturbing. 

The realism inspired by filming where the crime actually occurred brings the horrifying reality home.

I must not fail to note that Conrad Hall is a master. I love his work.

Back to NOTLD again. This was another one of the "Home Invasion" offerings on CC, making it easy to watch again. There is always some new takeaway from this movie, which may be what makes it ideal for repeated viewing.

This time around, I'm thinking about mindless consumption.

A woman is impregnated by AI gone rogue. I have not seen this movie for quite a long time and found it much more disturbing in the age of Alexa. 

Let's hope life will not imitate art.

It's frighteningly prescient that the AI-human progeny should so closely resemble Jeff Bezos. 

It's hard not be impressed by the special effects in this film. I love that Claude Rains plays the title character and we never actually get to see that it's him until the end. 

I also appreciate that he addresses the elephant in the room, that he's actually running around naked while playing his invisible man tricks on folks. 

I have seen this movie multiple times, but have not seen the other films in the series. I anticipate they may be a bit of a letdown, but perhaps I will find something to appreciate about them anyway. 

I came across this movie about a serial killer pursued by a retired police officer while I was browsing the Criterion Channel. It's directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation to Akira K.), so I can now claim to have seen a Kurosawa film. Eventually I'll get around to The Lower Depths, Seven Samurai, and Rashomon

The serial killer character truly is creepy, and will have you looking at your own creepy neighbors in a different light.

I found it difficult to understand how he entranced some of his victims. It was hard to tell if he had some powers of hypnosis or supernatural abilities. It was interesting to watch something off my usual beaten path, and I found the ending satisfying. 

I am not sure why I chose to watch this movie, since true horror disturbs me, but I guess I felt like being disturbed. And I was. 

I can't say I enjoy this kind of movie, but it was interesting. 'Interesting' seems to be my favorite word today.

I finally got around to watching the Spanish language version of Dracula. I can't say I like one better than the other. I can appreciate each of them for what they are. 

This film was another unexpected selection on CC. A student is a passenger in a car driven by a demon that becomes involved in a hit and run accident. Apparently it's enough to send him to hell, though it seems he goes through quite a bit of hell before actually arriving there. 

Hell is not a nice place, and it appears that everyone in the movie has gone to hell.

The gory visuals are quite a sight to see. It must have been truly terrible on the big screen. That exposed, pulsating heart would have been awesome in 3D!

You might think it would inspire folks to walk a straight and narrow path, but this film has me thinking that you'd still end up in hell even if you did. 

This is one of my favorite old movies, and it was perfect to watch while an atmospheric river was being unleashed. In it, some folks get caught out in a deluge, and when the roads become impassable, they foist themselves upon a strange family for the night. 

It wouldn't be pre-code if there wasn't a bit of disrobing going on. It's made all the more weird and sinister by the leering old gal poking her finger into the young lady's chest, claiming her flesh will rot.

There are many great shadowy shots to enjoy here.

Not everyone is having a bad night.

I am not convinced this ancient character was played by a man. The effect was completely creepy.

Boris Karloff plays a lecherous, drunken hulk of a man, pawing at the ladies and being generally menacing.

Charles Laughton is fun to watch in this early role as a guy willing to let his good-time-gal go to another suitor. 

A cheerleader is possessed by a demon and goes about consuming guys she would have never given a second glance before. This is another movie that wouldn't ordinarily interest me, but I was lazy and cruising the Criterion Channel a lot in October. I actually found it quite fun to watch.

The Season of Horror may have tapered off a bit as I've been led astray by noir in fog laden November, though I am hoping to explore a few more monster movies before fall turns to winter.

*11/23 Addendum

I forgot a few. This is why I have to write these things down...

This was a fun movie about a 1950s family, whose son discovers his parents are cannibals. I enjoyed the acting and the visuals, and would watch this one again. 

Martin is an awkward kid who thinks he's a vampire and doesn't have much experience with "sexy stuff," so he's got to get his blood and good lovin' through unconventional means, and is not very adept at it.

It's difficult to tell whether or not he really is a vampire, but he claims to be 84 years old and has what could be either flashbacks or fantasies of being a vampire in earlier days. 

He goes to live with his cousin Cuda, who calls him Nosferatu, and says he will save his soul and then kill him. Kinda makes me wonder why he'd choose to stay with him. 

The appeal of this movie is never actually knowing if Martin is a vampire or not, which can elicit different feelings about the way the movie ends. 

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