The 31 horror flicks in 31 days contest continues. Still on pace, though I’ve slowed down a little bit. Looking forward to watching Sleepaway Camp, Black Christmas, Dr. Phibes, and I fear I will have to watch some more difficult films for a well rounded experience. Slightly worried by the concept of sitting through Cannibal Holocaust or Inside again, but one has to do what one has to do….
Rosemary’s Baby – With all this Roman Polanski media coverage lately, it seemed like an appropriate time for a viewing of this classic which I had not seen in five or six years. This second viewing proved much more enjoyable than my first. As often happens with younger generations reviewing older classics, it’s difficult not to be little underwhelmed by the lack of real scares or gore that they are accustomed to. Rosemary’s Baby can almost be considered more comedic than scary. Cassavetes plays the terrific shmuck of a husband, and the intrusive neighbors simultaneously elevate viewer curiousity while serving as comic relief. Nevertheless the general theme is quite horrible, with an unforgettable finale. Despite its 136 minute running length this one really engrosses the viewer and moves along quite tidily.
Pathology – More of a thriller than a horror film really, but it contained some gore so on the list it goes. A group of pathologists who all work in the ‘autopsy department’ form a special club in which every week one member kills somebody. The other members of the club must guess how it was done; an interesting and ridiculous premise. The new guy in the club turns out to be some kind of genius in this area and he immediately threatens the former champ who is a real bad-ass wild card. The whole thing kind of feels like a ski movie from the eighties, except instead of the best skier it is the best murderer that comes out on top. Lots of gore and sex beside corpses make this a fairly entertaining, though preposterous movie.
Friday the 13th Part 6 – Jason Lives – This movie kind of sucks. Redeemable only by a group of horribly unlikable cops who just refuse to believe that Jason is back again. These guys are serious assholes and are pretty much the only reason Jason has so many people around to dispatch. Typically most of the victims are introduced only minutes before execution, including some bumbling paint ballers who attempt to add comedy to the film. A couple of preteen campers at peace with their expected demise is also quite funny. Too bad they don’t actually bite the big one. The worst of the first six, but not worse than Jason in Space. This franchise in general is pretty poor.
It’s Alive - Should of watched this right after Rosemary’s Baby, as it almost serves as the perfect sequel. This one was quite pleasing, and surprisingly bloody for a PG flick. Immediately after birth, a freak baby goes on a killing spree, starting with the doctors in the delivery room. The father has much difficulty coming to terms with his child’s problem. The tone of the movie is different from anything I’ve seen before. The pre birth scenes play out like an afterschool special, with everything going so well for the family that you know something must go wrong. And when it finally does it’s quite amusing how nonchalant everybody is that there is a killer baby out there. The baby suspect is discussed the same as any adult suspect, as if there is nothing at all bizarre about the situation. For how ridiculous the film is, it is actually quite serious and touching below the surface. Ultimately this is a film about a father accepting his abnormal son, kind of like a coherent version of Eraserhead.
Feast – Part of Affleck and Damon’s Project Greenlight initiative, this is probably the most successful of the series due to a fairly big home video release and a number of sequels. A self aware horror film that tampers with conventions isn’t really a new thing, but this still has a few surprises. The story of a group of strangers stuck in a bar with bizarre, horny creatures outside is a good gore fest but otherwise unremarkable. One scene in which a baby monster does something really foul to a female victim is particularly memorable. Recommended if you’ve seen every important movie out there and are just looking for blood and guts.