October 8th-Messiah Of Evil from 1973 (Directors/Writers: Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, Stars: Marianna Hill, Runtime: 85 min)
Garbage film. A woman looks for her father in a creepy town, stuff happens. The first few minutes were actually interesting and then went to shit. Skip it. Its boring and only has a few decent moments through its short running time that feels so long.
October 9th-Demon City Shinjuku from 1988 (Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Runtime: 80 min)
Two former friends do battle with the evil Rebi Ra making a deal with demons to possess the city of Shinjuku. Decade later he plans to hand over the whole world and only his now dead former friends son can save the day. Or something like that. The story is less important than the aesthetic and action. Which is real cool. Based on the novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi which featured art by Yoshitaka Amano, Demon City Shinjuku is a great looking anime. Based on Amano’s art, it has that more realistic and Western influenced look. I dug the designs, and the characters were okay. They were mostly thin but served there purpose. Generally likeable, nice and mysterious in the case of Mephisto. Look, this was not a great film but it was a fun action/horror/fantasy and I dug it. Though the final fight was anti-climatic…
October 10th-Vampire Sensou from 1991 (Director: Kazuhisa Takenouchi, Writer: Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, Runtime: 50 min)
Sex, violence, vampire killing. Sounds neat until you watch. The story? You ever watch something and in the first few minutes you know it would be bad? Yep. So some dude is hired… to do stuff? There’s a girl with special blood. Whatever. The animation is passable at best. The set up just feels way to random, like their hurrying to get to the action which makes sense at 50 minutes. It rushes through without much to be excited for. I got bored pretty quickly.
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October 11th-Lily C.A.T. from 1987 (Director: Hisayuki Toriumi, Writer: Hisayuki Toriumi, Runtime: 67 min)
Lily C.A.T. is about a team of space explorers who get infected by an alien bacteria. Like you’d expect, alien monsters are a foot. is a knock off of Alien and the Thing, but unlike other rip offs it had potential, wasted due to its short running time and lack of suspense for most its time. Plus over reliance on one subplot and lack of gore. But there’s a lot to like. It looks good with designs by Yoshitaka Amano and Yasuomi Umetsu (of Kite fame). There are some great ideas. I like how they dealt with suspended animation and the idea of ‘time escapees’ which is people who commit a crime, forge an identity to work a space crew, and then return home home 20 to 40 years later looking the same. There’s a little too much Alien in a few bits, but overall its pretty good.
[No Trailer Available]
October 12th-Wicked City from 1987 (Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Writer: Kisei Choo, Runtime: 80 min)
The Black Guard are agents who protect their worlds. A human and demon from both sides are assigned to protect an emissary important to the signing of a peace treaty between the human and demon world. Demon terrorists are out to crush this. From the people behind Vampire Hunter D, Demon City Shinjuku, and Ninja Scroll. This has sex, violence, and demons. Its one of those classic trash anime cult classics. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Sure its problematic, bordering on hentai at times but enough of it worked for me. The pacing, the look, the designs of the characters and monsters, and the twist you catch right before they spell it out for you. I wouldn’t recommend this to women, casual anime fans or a young generation of anime fans but for people into mahco, old school anime. Or just cult classic ad trashy films this is a keeper.
October 13th-The Devil Rides Out from 1968 (Director: Terence Fisher, Writer: Richard Matheson, Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Niké Arrighi and Leon Greene, Runtime: 95 min)
A group try to stop a devil worshiping cult from baptizing friends and family. That’s the jist of it. The first half of the film is fine, introducing the players and the threat. After that I sort of lost interest and my mind wander. Its a well acted film, and looks nice for the most part. It just lacked any building of suspense. It was never scary. It gets a shoulder shrug.
October 14th-Young Frankenstein (Director: Mel Brooks, Writer: Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, Based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Stars: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars and Madeline Kahn, Runtime: 105 min)
Saw this a long time ago, maybe in French Class when the semester was winding down. Anyway Mel Brooks and Gene Wilders classic comedy take on the gothic horror classic. Frankensteins grandson continues his work, reanimating the dead the ridiculous results. Such as performing putting on the Ritz with his monster in front of a theater full of people. I didn’t originally put this down as a list of possible films but thanks to TCM I had to DVR this and as the week rolled on after the string of dark anime flicks and the boring Devil Rides Out felt like I needed some laughs. Luckily Horror Comedy is horror. This one brought smiles. Beautifully filmed and excellently executed. Good way to close out this week.
The weeks changed my feeling on Creature from the Black Lagoon, so it dipped down. I know its a classic, and technically better than half the films I’ve watched, it really left little impression. The choice to do anime films seemed to work out with 3 out of 4 being at least good. A note, #10 is a distant from #9.
2. Young Frankenstein
3. Little Shop of Horrors
4. Tie: Neon Demon and Carnival of Souls
5. Demon City Shinjuku
6. Wicked City
7. Lily C.A.T.
8. Night of the Comet
9. Creature from the Black Lagoon
10. The Devil Rides Out
11. I Drink Your Blood
12. Vampire Senshou
13. Messiah of Evil