Saturday, May 20, 2017

The 24 Hours Of Horror Challenge The Final Chapter

 Around 8:00 AM we hit the home stretch with three movies left to watch.  Nightmare Maker was our 11th film and it filled the Video Nasty category.  This is one of those movies that was banned in the UK in it's original uncut form.  This 1982 film was also called Night Warning and it is an updated version of the Oedipus tale. Starring Jimmy McNichol, Julia Duffy (from Newhart), and Bill Paxton in one of his first films.  Once you get past the incestuous feelings of Jimmy's aunt and the homophobia of the detective investigating a murder case which involves Jimmy and his aunt there's nothing much left to this one.  Truth time?  OK, I did fall asleep during this movie so I might have missed around half of it but what I saw of it I can definitely say this was my least favorite movie we saw during the 24 hours.  1 and a half stars out of 5.

 The Battery was our pick for Low Budget Indy film.  This zombie apocalypse flick only cost $6,000 to make.  Two minor league baseball players find themselves lost in the world after the zombie apocalypse occurs.  Let me say this right off the bat, pun intended, this movie was a huge surprise.  First of all how did they make this film look this good on just six grand?  The strength of this zombie apocalypse film is that most of the time it doesn't seem like a zombie apocalypse film.  It's  more of a character study of the relationship of two men who are just trying to survive.  Couple side notes about this movie: Denise got to see some full frontal male nudity, finally, so she didn't feel like this was all a waste of time for her and the funniest/ weirdest scene of the entire movie came when one character attempts to practice a moment of self love while a zombie tries to get into the car he is in.  Mark that last one down as something I never thought I would see but am so glad I did.  4 out of 5 stars. 

We started this journey nearly 22 hours before we hit "play" for this final movie, The Foreign Movie category selection, Train To Busan.  This 2016 South Korean movie is another zombie apocalypse film.  We had more than our share of zombie apocalypse movies for our first run at this.  A divorced workaholic tries to refresh his relationship with his estranged young daughter.  While they are on a train heading to Busan the zombie apocalypse breaks out.  They must work with others to try and survive until the train reaches Busan where they are told the military have a handle on the outbreak.  So many emotional scenes, so much action, and it was all done with some great character interactions.  I couldn't imagine having a better one two punch for the last two movies in a 24 hour movie marathon.  4 and a half stars out of 5 we saved the best for last it would seem.       

The 24 Hours Of Horror Marathon Part 3


 The 8th film we chose was Let Sleeping Corpses Lie or any of the other dozen or so names this movie has gone by.  Although there will be other zombie movies on the list, this is the film that served as our Zombie Movie entry.  This 1974 Spanish-Italian film is standard zombie fare.  Nothing horrible and nothing exceptionally great.  Lots of gore which, of course, you expect from a zombie movie.  This movie shares a common thread with Shaun of the Dead in that the trigger that makes the zombie plague (for lack of a better term) both seem to come from the same odd type of source.  2 and a half stars out of 5.

When we first made 1955's Night Of The Hunter our Black and White film selection I wasn't really sure it was a horror film.  Well, Robert Mitchum does play a serial killer who stalks and terrorizes two children as he tries to find where they have $10,000 stashed away that their father gave to them right before he was arrested and later executed.  That is he does so after he marries and then kills their mother, played by Shelly Winters, so yeah, I have to say this is definitely a horror film.  This movie has appeared on many lists as the second best film ever made right behind Citizen Kane, which, by the way, I don't particularly care for.  Robert Mitchum is creepy good and even Billy Chapin from Father Knows Best fame scratches out another great performance notch in his child actor belt.  4 out of 5 stars.    

The original movie we chose for the Movie You Have Never Seen Before category wouldn't play on any of the devices we had on hand so we went with a backup plan.  Sounds like it should be easy right?  Not so fast when you consider there's three of us and two of us have seen tons of movies over the years.  So we went with 1979's Zombi 2 which was an Italian sequel to George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead.  This is another one of those "Video Nasties" I mentioned earlier as it has one of the most graphic and cringe inducing moments of the entire 24 hours we spent watching films.  It's also the first time I watched a zombie fight a great white shark.  Italy and Santo Domingo serve as beautiful backdrops for most of the film plus, and here's that 13 year old boy again, lots of naked boobies!  3 out of 5 stars.    


Friday, May 19, 2017

The 24 Hours Of Horror Challenge Part 2

Our fifth film is a Creature Feature.  As we interpret it it calls for any monster that doesn't already fit into one of the other categories like vampire or werewolf.  The Babadook is an Australian-Canadian psychological horror movie about a widowed mother and her young son.  As the woman goes into labor, her husband gets her into their car and rushes to her to the hospital.  They get into a car accident on the way and the husband is killed the same day their son is born.  The boy is different to say the least and it doesn't help things any when he finds a mysterious book titled Mister Babadook.  The book tells of a mysterious creature that cruelly torments it's victims once they "let it in", which the mother does and soon after hilarity ensues.  Or maybe not.  3.5 stars out of 5. 

Frightmare is written and directed by Peter Walker and serves as our Cannibal Film.  A husband and wife are arrested for murder and sent to a mental institute where they spend the next 15 years trying to get well.  Turns out the wife had a taste for human flesh and the husband was all to happy to help, ah-hem, feed her habit.  Now they are back on the streets and the wife still has a hunger that only fresh people meat can fulfill.  2 and a half stars out of 5, which is a good grade for a cannibal movie in my book.  Not a cannibal film fan.     

As I said in my last post werewolf movies are my favorite horror genre and my second favorite is horror anthology.  We went all the way back to 1945 and plucked Dead Of Night to be the representative for this category.  Dead of Night is credited as being the horror anthology movie that just about every horror anthology is based upon.  This one holds up pretty well and is fairly enjoyable for a movie that is more than 70 years old.  3 out of 5 stars. 


A Message To Rickster Rick: "What Have You Gotten Me Into?"

Well, here we are, the day has finally arrived.  The 24 Hours of Horror Challenge is here.  24 hours, 13 horror movies, 0 percent chance of making it without falling to sleep but we're gonna try.

First offering is Lesbian Vampire Killers, our vampire themed movie.  Here we have a horror comedy from 2009 starring James Corden and Paul McGann better known as the 8th doctor of the Doctor Who franchise.  Exactly one minute into the movie and we got our first naked boobies!  YES!! My inner 13 year old boy is happy.  I gotta say this movie surprised me as I am not much of a James Corden fan although he was good in his short guest starring stint on Doctor Who.  I also like carpool karaoke on his late night show, so there's that.  With all that being said however, he is the best part of this movie.  Well, take out the lesbian vampire stuff that is.  Think Shaun Of The Dead meets Bram Stoker's Dracula and this is sort of what Lesbian Vampire Killers is. "Hahahahahahahaha! It's got a big metal cock for a handle!" - Fletch (James Corden) 4 out of 5 stars. 

In the "Slasher" film category we chose The Burning from 1981.  This movie has all the earmarks of something that should be great.  It's the first film the Weinstein Brothers company Mirimax ever made.  This is also the first film for Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Holly Hunter (The Piano and Broadcast News), and Fisher Stevens (Hackers).  Add in Tom Savini doing the make-up effects and it could be an excellent movie.  It's not but it is very enjoyable.  Made at the height of the low budget slasher craze at the beginning of the '80's, it never garnered a large fan base.  In recent years it has received a cult following and the reviews today are much more positive than they were when it was first released.  3 out of 5 stars.       

When I saw that one of the categories called for a werewolf movie I was chomping at the bit as this is my hands down favorite horror genre.  We chose a movie I have never seen before; neither had Rickster Rick or Denise for that matter.  So while we were all flying blind, so to speak, I looked forward to seeing this one.  Wer, while being listed as an American film was first released in Japan in 2013 and not until nearly a year later in the states where it was released straight to video.  While it had some great make up effects and some of the best jump out of your seat moments this one still sort of fell short for me.  I'm not even 100% sure how it ended and I was paying attention.  2.5 stars out of 5.   

The fourth film we watched as day turned into night was Possession which we chose for the Demonic Possession/Exorcism category.  Before Sam Neil was taking on dinosaurs in Jurassic Park he was dealing with a failed marriage while also trying to do his job as a spy in this 1981 film.  After coming home from a mission he discovers his wife  is acting weird.  She has been disappearing while leaving their young son to fend for himself and carrying on an affair with another man.  She's got other secrets too making this one of the most dysfunctional marriages I have ever seen.  Violence, gore, weirdness, and two words: subway scene.  A head scratcher for sure.  2.5 stars out of 5.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lett's Announce The Best Producer

The Favorite and Best Producer Award goes to:

Barry Letts

That is a fairly potent one-two combination right there. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Bestest of the Bestest Who's

It's time to unwrap the nominees for Best Producer so here they be:

First up is Philip Hinchcliffe.  The list of stories he produced reads like this:  The Ark in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Terror of the Zygons, Planet of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, The Android Invasion, The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, The Masque of Mandragora, The Hand of Fear, The Deadly Assassin, The Face of Evil, The Robots of Death, and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.  Of those, six were included in the Field of 64.


Verity Lambert was the first producer and the one who started it all.  Does that also make her the best?  Her credited stories:  An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction, Marco Polo, The Keys of Marinus, The Aztecs, The Sensorites, The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Rescue, The Romans, The Web Planet, The Crusade, The Space Museum, The Chase, The Time Meddler, Galaxy 4, and Mission to the Unknown.  Seven of her produced stories appeared in the Field of 64.

Although his life was cut short while he was in his 40's, Graham Williams left behind a rather impressive list of Doctor Who stories that he produced.  The list includes:  Horror of Fang Rock, The Invisible Enemy,  Image of the Fendahl,  The Sun Makers, Underworld, The Invasion of Time, The Ribos Operation, The Pirate Planet, The Stones of Blood, The Androids of Tara,The Power of Kroll,Destiny of the Daleks, City of Death, The Creature from the Pit, Nightmare of Eden, and The Horns of Nimon.  Six of his  stories were included in the Field of 64.     

Nobody had more entries in the Field of 64 than John Nathan Turner or JNT if you are so inclined.  Nobody produced more stories in Doctor Who history.  While too numerous to list individually, JN-T began his producing career during Tom Baker's final season.  He would stay at the helm of the show until the final Sylvester McCoy story Survival.  50 stories in all and of those 22 were included in the Field of 64.  He certainly has the quantity but does he have the quality?

After Barry Letts was a writer for Doctor Who he became a producer.  He began producing stories after Spearhead From Space; making him just one story shy of producing Jon Pertwee's entire run.  He ended his main work on the show after producing Tom Baker's first story Robot.  He would return to co-produced Logopolis with JNT.  Of his twenty-five produced stories ten of them appeared in the Field of 64.

Now I also have the job of awarding Best Director.  This was the most difficult category to pick a winner in but a winner was picked and it is David Maloney.

 I shall announce the winner of favorite producer in a day or two.  Stay tuned.         

Monday, June 1, 2015

Who's Ewhatsits

Time to make known the list of nominees for Best Doctor Who Director.

Douglas Camfield who's body of work includes: The Crusade, The Time Meddler,  The Daleks' Master Plan, The Web of Fear, The Invasion, Inferno (he directed all the location film work; he became ill with a heart condition during the recording of the studio scenes. The remainder were directed by producer Barry Letts, though Camfield was given sole credit), Terror of the Zygons, and The Seeds of Doom

State of Decay, The Visitation, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors, The Twin Dilemma, and The Two Doctors are all listed on the resume of Peter Moffatt.  

David Maloney's impressive list of directorial credits looks something like this:  The Mind Robber, The Krotons, The War Games, Planet of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, Planet of Evil, The Deadly Assassin, and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Richard Martin was one of the very earliest directors on the show and his credits include:  The Daleks (episodes 3, 6, 7), The Edge of Destruction (episode 1), The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Web Planet, and The Chase.

While some would think of Barry Letts as more of a Doctor Who producer, he was also quite the accomplished director.  The list of stories that he directed include:  The Enemy of the World, Inferno (uncredited, episodes 3-7), Terror of the Autons, Carnival of Monsters, Planet of the Spiders, and The Android Invasion.

I will have the winner posted along with the nominees for best producer of Doctor Who in a few days.  I also promised to name the winner of Best Doctor Who writer of all time.  That honor goes to:

Robert Holmes 

Responsible for writing eighteen of the 64 stories that was in my Field of 64.