This post is part of a new series I'm calling Stale Crumbs, a collection of posts I've written months or years ago that have never been published. Hopefully, they won't be as unpalatable as actual stale crumbs. Of course, it's entirely possible the Stale Crumbs series may end up going nowhere, that my posts on The Dunwich Horror, Psych-Out, and Mystery of the Wax Museum, among others, may continue to lurk in draft form. I always have the best intentions to get back into blogging and then something suddenly comes up.
The following post was written back in January 2023.
My absence from blogging during this year's Season of Horror may have led my dwindling readership to ponder whether the Aging Broad may have made it to the final curtain. Good news, everyone! I'm still here. Despite not finding time to write, the Season of Horror came. Somehow or other, it came just the same. Here are a few highlights from this year's viewing:
I started off by diving into an exploration of the many movies based on the Mexican folktale of La Llorona.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)I saw The Conjuring and this felt like more of the same with La Llorona as the featured malevolent spirit. It had some scary elements that ended up being less effective since I'd seen them before. Meh.
The Legend of La Llorona (2022)This movie didn't make much sense, was poorly written and, for the most part, terribly acted. I should have listened to other reviewers who said the same thing. There were a few parts that made me laugh, though that was not the intention, and my misplaced amusement did not make up for the WTF feeling I had through the rest of the film.
|"Vaya con dios, Maria."|
La Llorona (2019)This retelling does not adhere strictly to the traditional legend and focuses more on the Mal hombre who wronged La Llorona. Interesting and well done. Unsettling more than scary. It is the best of all versions I watched.
La Llorona (1933)This version seemed more of a mystery than horror. It covers two of the folklore origins which makes for a long digression, but also gives it a greater sense of authenticity. I enjoy it mostly for the period in which it was made, which makes it my favorite version of the tale thus far.
La Llorona (1960)I enjoyed this retelling, though it was rather frustrating that La Llorona was reluctant to carry out her curse in the end. She may have had the best wail of all the Lloronas. "Ay! Mis hijooooooos!"
Next, I revisited some movies featured in the '80s Horror Collection on the Criterion Channel.
Near Dark (1987)I've seen a lot of vampire movies. For the time, this was a novel take and is still enjoyable to watch.
Christine (1983)I have not seen this since the '80s. As with many movies based on King novels, the book is better. Quite a bit is lost in the screen adaptation.
I watched this on Thanksgiving. It's a great movie that the whole family can enjoy, especially Raymond Burr fans. I do enjoy him, but the constant voiceover does detract.
Gojira (1954)Of course, I had to follow up with the original Godzilla, which is much more enjoyable without the incessant narration. It's interesting to revisit this well known movie monster from childhood and wonder how it became such a beloved monster. Son of Godzilla may have been a factor.
The Devil Bat (1940)Now this was a real humdinger! Bela Lugosi engineers a giant bat that kills anyone wearing a special aftershave he formulated in order to exact revenge on his greedy employers who have enriched themselves from his work while he remains a poor mad scientist. This bat has a wail that could rival La Llorona. It's an absolutely ludicrous movie that entertains nonetheless.
So glad to see that you're posting again! I started reading your blog a couple of years ago but never sent a comment even tho I enjoy the blog so much. I discovered it via our mutual love of the Mexican horror movies of the '50s and 60s. I hope you will stick with it and "real life" will allow you to post more often again. Stay well and stay safe, and thank you!
I am happy to know you enjoy the blog, Paula. Thank you for your kind comment and encouraging words. You can expect me to cover more Mexican horror classics. Let me know if you have any to recommend.
Welcome back! I'm so glad to see you posting again, and sharing your thoughts on some chillers and thrillers! I look forward to reading more of your excellent reviews! Hope all is well!
John of John V's Eclectic Avenue
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