Sunday, October 23, 2016

Orgy of the Dead

Orgy of the Dead is a 1965 horror film. This has a frame story but only enough of one to provide space between the all-but-nude women "dancers" who then receive their just punishment. This may well be the worst movie I've ever seen, and I've seen some bad movies. I could embed it here, but I'd hate to subject you to the pointless drivel. Poorly done soft-core porn/S&M. Surely this trailer will be enough.

Topless female nudity alert in case that offends you:

"A pussy cat is born to be whooped."

Please spare yourself. I didn't finish it.

DVD Talk calls it "ridiculous" and says, "This isn't really a horror film but a cheap girlie show as primitive as the one-reelers of strippers seen in the omnibus collection Best of Burlesque" and "This is basically 90 minutes of repetitious and numbing strip acts, with poor cutaways to the presiding ghouls who bicker about how much time they have before dawn or who gets to stab who."

Moria gives it 1/2 star and says, "There is really little more to the film than this parade of strippers doing their thing." Million Monkey Theater describes it as a "weird exploitation/horror/smut movie". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 0%. Yes, you read that right -zero%.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Face at the Window

The Face at the Window is a 1939 horror film directed by George King and starring Tod Slaughter, who played the title role in the 1936 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. "They dared call me mad." Bwahaha.

via Daily Motion:

Time Out calls Slaughter's performance "oddly chilling". Cult Reviews concludes:
it’s a great joy to watch the talent of two artists at their best moment, and one can only wonder what would had happened with their careers if they had been hired by Universal or Columbia. Just like Boris Karloff is American cinema’s icon for the horror genre, I see no problem with considering Slaughter as his equal in British cinema. Classy, grim, sinister and even fun, “The Face at the Window” is definitely the proof that George King was a true artist of the genre, and Tod Slaughter the British master of Victorian shock and horror.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Blood Feast

Blood Feast is considered the first splatter film, and the novelty of that is all I see here. It's a 1963 American film about an Egyptian caterer who kills young women to use the body parts in his business and to offer sacrifices to the goddess Ishtar.

Moria says, "Blood Feast is one of those films that is so bad it exerts its own fascination for reasons that lie somewhere between the terrible and the outrageous." calls the acting "downright atrocious" but likes the ending. Stomp Tokyo concludes, "it should be watched for its historical value, but be sure to warm up your hooting and jeering equipment beforehand -you will need it." Roger Ebert's site says, ""Blood Feast" is a terrible film, and a historically important one, too." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 36%.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Babadook

The Babadook (2014) is a deep exploration of the effects of denying grief. It's a scary look at the life of a young mother whose husband was killed in a car accident on the way to the hospital to deliver their son. The son is now 7 years old. The pair is deeply disturbed. There is no gore here, more psychological terror than the more traditional jump scene-dependent horror movie. I highly recommend this one.

I'll wager with you, I'll make you a bet. The more you deny, the stronger I get.


The Rolling Stone has a fascinating article on the inspiration of the film. The Atlantic says, "Those lucky enough to have already seen the movie, which the director of The Exorcist called the most terrifying film he'd ever seen, quickly realized it wasn't quite about the titular boogeyman itself". The New York Times has a positive review.

Entertainment Weekly opens their positive review with this:
Any parent with young kids lives in a constant, almost paralyzing state of fear that they won’t be able to protect them from danger. It may be the most primal emotion there is. Maybe that’s why Aussie director Jennifer Kent’s bogeyman chiller The Babadook zapped me with the high-voltage force of a cattle prod.
Empire Online concludes: "One of the strongest, most effective horror films of recent years — with awards-quality lead work from Essie Davis, and a brilliantly designed new monster who could well become the break-out spook archetype of the decade." Slate describes it as "a terrifyingly great horror movie about motherhood". Village Voice calls it "a rare horror triumph". Slant Magazine says, "It's a shattering psychological study whose supernatural aspect is a mere catalyst or perhaps even misdirection."

Moria says, "The Babadook belongs more to a school of psychological horror – if it has an ancestor it is surely Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965), which follows the mental disintegration of a woman as she remains locked inside her apartment where her sanity begins to crumble to the point she has a difficulty distinguishing between reality and nightmare." DVD Talk calls it "a winner".

The Guardian says,
It got a rapturous response at the Sundance festival when it was first screened earlier this year and has received uniformly positive reviews. Kim Newman, the doyen of horror film criticism, described it this month as “one of the strongest, most effective horror films of recent years” which “imparts a lingering sense of dread that will stay with you for days”.

Roger Ebert's site says, "Kent’s directorial strategy is a marvel." Rotten Tomatoes has a 98% critics score.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Exterminating Angel

The Exterminating Angel is a 1962 Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Luis Buñuel. Guests at a formal dinner party find themselves inexplicably unable to leave. Bizarre, but then it's a surreal film, so I expected that.

(The video is over three hours long for some reason, but the film is just over an hour and a half and the rest of the video is dark. At 94 minutes, this is well worth watching.)

Slant Magazine says, "From the start, Buñuel is pointing out all manner of innate and prescribed modes of behavior, offering up this spectacle of human folly for our shocked bemusement." The Guardian calls it "one of the most disconcertingly profound films ever made." Senses of Cinema explores the film in a short essay best read after viewing the movie.

The NYT says, "In his customary fashion, Mr. Buñuel stages this play with cumulating nervousness and occasional explosive ferocities. He whips up individual turmoils with the apt intensities of a uniformly able cast; and he throws in frequent surrealistic touches". DVD Talk reviews the Criterion edition and says the film "is endlessly fascinating due to its labyrinthine concepts, but it's also an enigma compelling enough to spark actual desire to witness the material many times over," calling it "Surreal and utterly gripping, it's one of Buñuel's best - and a tour de force in its own right."

Roger Ebert gives it 4 out of 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 95% and an audience rating of 93%.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Every-Night Dreams

Screenshot from the Youtube video embedded below

Every-Night Dreams is a 1933 silent film by director Mikio Naruse. It is the tragic story of a family struggling during the Depression. The woman works as a bar hostess trying to earn enough money to support her son. The estranged man of the household returns, insisting he'll get a job to support them. In the scene above, which takes place before her son's father returns, the older woman has brought the tea kettle to the younger woman's room and tries to convince the young mother to seek more respectable work for the sake of her son.

This is just an hour long and free to watch. You can't go wrong here, unless of course you prefer happier subject matter:

via Youtube:

Senses of Cinema says, "Everynight Dreams was successful not only because it created a convincing social context for the melodrama but also because it featured a very delicate performance by the silent star, Sumiko Kurishima, in the role of the heroine." Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 4 stars.
DVD Talk calls it the "least hopeful" of Naruse's silents. says,
Mikio Naruse's elegantly distilled early silent film Every Night's Dreams provides an archetype for the filmmaker's recurring themes: pragmatic, determined women who tenaciously hold onto their failing relationships, weak men who lead a life of increasing dependence on the women they mistreat, life stations that grow baser as characters paradoxically strive to improve their situation.
I'm sure there are more hopeful posts over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's weekly T party. Please join in the fun.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Images is a 1972 psychological thriller directed by Robert Altman and starring Susannah York and René Auberjonois. IMDb offers this plot description: "Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality." This is fascinating.


DVD Talk says it's
a relentlessly artsy picture that nevertheless amounts to a good puzzle picture about schizophrenia, experienced from the inside out. Susannah York gives one of her best performances as a woman so mentally fractured that determining what's real and what is not is a fruitless quest.
Moria says, "Images is sort of, if one can imagine, Last Year in Marienbad by way of Repulsion (1965)." Roger Ebert praises it saying, "“Images” is a film Altman admirers should make a point of seeing. Its very differences with most of his work help illuminate his style, and he demonstrates superb skill at something he’s supposed to be weak at: telling a well-constructed narrative."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Big River Crossing 42

photo from The Memphis Flyer

They're installing a pedestrian crosswalk on a bridge here that crosses the Mississippi River. It's not open yet, but here's a video from the Memphis Business Journal:

Here's a 5-minute history of the Harahan bridge:

I can hardly wait to walk across!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a 1974 zombie movie, with a modern technology twist. It's a decent zombie movie, and I'm glad I've seen it.

via Youtube:

Images Journal gives it a positive review but says, "A word of caution concerning Let Sleeping Corpses Lie: the first hour of this movie is extremely slow-moving, constructed more as a mystery than as an out-and-out horror film" and concludes, "Modern audiences might demand a little bit more gut-munching, I suppose, but I’m quite happy with Let Sleeping Corpses Lie just the way it is."

Stomp Tokyo concludes by saying the film:
has lapsed into semi-obscurity, overshadowed by the more graphic and intense Romero films and the wave of Italian gut-munchers that followed the success of Dawn of the Dead. This is truly unfortunate, as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is not as immediately disposable as many of its kin, and deserves more recognition as an attempt to expand Romero's zombie genre in a new, halfway thoughtful direction.
Moria says it "emerges as one of the better copies of Night of the Living Dead (1968)." Horror Movie a Day has a positive review. Horrorpedia has screenshots. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 79%.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Dark Water (2002)

Dark Water is a 2002 horror film, a ghost story, but not a scary or gory one. Such a sad story of trauma and sacrifice. Not many horror stories will make you cry, but this one will.

On the other hand, the mother makes me so mad!


Moria gives it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. calls it "a first class horror film". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 77%.