31 Days 31 Days of Horror, Thrills & Supernatural: Week 2

First seven films were mostly lackluster, lets see if week two can bring up the quality.

October 8th-Opera from 1987 (Director/Writer: Dario Argento, Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson and Urbano Barberini, Runtime: 107 min)

A stage actress, daughter of a famous stage actress, gets her shot at the stardom in Macbeth. However a sadistic killer is torturing her by killing people around her. Its a simplistic story with a few lackluster plot threads and has some rather dumb decisions made by female leads but GOD DAMN! Its good to watch a film that is fun. Dario Argento did Suspiria, a true horror classic. Also Phenomena which I didn’t like but at least was competent film that inspired others. This is a good looking film, some great moments throughout, and the raven scene at the top of the third act is magnificent. Sure it drags toward the climax but easily the best film I’ve watched thus far. The one thing I’d have changed is the hard rock music cues. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the movie. But yeah, Opera, was very good. I got hype back for whats coming next.

Warning, the linked trailer gives away too much.

[Trailer]

October 9th-Gates of Hell 1: City of the Living Dead from 1980 (Director: Lucio Fulci, Writer: Lucio Fulci and Dardano Sacchetti, Stars: Christopher George and Catriona MacColl, Runtime: 93 min)

A journalist and a woman with a horrible vision look to stop the rising of the dead. There’s some cool deaths and effects but I was not too invested. I thought there was a little too much stuff going on, and while most threads connect later. With the exception of two sets of characters. The movies set in Dunwich, a ficitonal city created by legendary HP Lovecraft, and in a way you can see Lovecrafts influence in elements in the film. It’s an okay flick. The coffin scene near the start was brilliant though.

Warning, the linked trailer gives away too much.

[Trailer]

October 10th-Gates of Hell 2: The Beyond from 1981 (Director: Lucio Fulci, Writer: Lucio Fulci, Giorgio Mariuzzo and Dardano Sacchetti, Stars: Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck, Runtime: 88 min)

The second flick of the thematic trilogy Gates of Hell is the more popular film and one of director Lucio Fulci’s best known works. This cult classic has a woman trying to fix up a hotel she had inherited. Only to be warned that reopening the hotel is a mistake. Seems she’s reactivated a portal to hell. There are some gnarly deaths but the story is second to the visuals. Which apparently is on purpose. The acing is okay, I guess. Its an Italian made movie filmed in the states with voices dubbed over. Like the previous Gates of Hell film. There’s a Lovecraft reference in the film. Nice ending too. Overall, pretty decent. Liked it better than the last one.

Warning, the linked trailer gives away too much.

[Trailer]

October 11th-Gates of Hell 3: The House by the Cemetery from 1981 (Director: Lucio Fulci, Writer: Lucio Fulci, Giorgio Mariuzzo and Dardano Sacchetti, Stars: Catriona MacColl, Runtime: 87 min)

The final Gates of Hell film, this one does not quite feel like it belong. Dropping the nightmarish feel and the whole “opening gates to hell” concept of the others. Played straight forward as a family moves into a new home where there’s a killer on the loose. A lot more attempts at character and plot development here. Its a supernatural film and an okay one. Like the previous films some very cool deaths.

Warning, the linked trailer gives away too much. (Note: most trailers I’m posting seem too)

[Trailer]

October 12th-Chopping Mall from 1986 (Director: Jim Wynorski, Writer: Jim Wynorski and Steve Mitchell, Stars: Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, John Terlesky, and Russell Todd, Runtime: 95 min)

Best film thus far. This silly, stupid, scifi horror/slasher flick is amazing. Eight teenage mall employees hang out after hours the same night as the new security robots go faulty and start on a killing spree. It takes slasher logic including ‘the final girl’ trope, throw in scifi slant with evil robots, and just a small dose of black humor. The robots are armed with lasers, tranquilizers, electrical cords, and explosives. Why? I don’t know but thank you. The score by Chuck Cirino is 80s cheesy synth goodness. Not sure if it wants to be horror or scifi and awkwardly mixes the two. I loved this. I was even able to get my brother to watch it. He generally hates horror films but when I told him the title and said “I think it has evil security robots” he was like “yeah.” He had fun with this great bad movie.

[Trailer]

October, Friday the 13th-Friday the 13th from 1980 (Director: Sean S. Cunningham, Writer: Victor Miller, Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, and Kevin Bacon, Runtime: 94 min)

One of the reasons I chose to do the 80s was a reason to watch Friday the 13th. I’ve seen a few, only part of the original and learning there were 8 made arranging this far easier. Having watched the original, on is namesake of all days, I was disappointed. It was only okay. A mysterious killer is killing the counselors of Crystal Lake which is looking to reopen after years of troubles. This includes a child drowning, a couple of murders the year after, and more trouble. Here’s the thing-there is solid acting the film. The score is good. The story is simple and effective. It just lacks suspense, the kills are dull, and… Well… Thats it. I can see how this was a game changer in its day and revelation of the killer I’m sure was a shock but I went in knowing what was what. Now, I know that might make you think it put the film at a disadvantage but I knew the big twist in Sleepaway Camp and the film still rocked. IN fact, while I liked that when I watched it on October 1st, the more I think about it the more I like it. So yeah. Sleepaway Camp > Friday the 13th. Now lets move on to Jason proper…

[Trailer]

October 14th-Friday the 13th Part 2 from 1981 (Director: Steve Miner, Writer: Ron Kurz and Phil Scuderi, Stars: Amy Steel, John Furey and Adrienne King, Runtime: 87 min)

We’re back with Part 2. Whats the story? Jason unleashes revenge, oh, and kills camp counselors. The film does not really care to stray from a formula here and the opening with a recap of the first film is a bit much. Also, no hockey mask yet. We’re here with the bag mask, like the Phantom Killer of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders. Which is dramatized in the far less then steller The Town That Dreaded Sundowon. Despite the formulaic plot and useless cold open I liked this better than the first film. Not much else to comment on.

[Trailer]

1 Chopping Mall
2. Opera
3. Sleepaway Camp
4. Critters
5. Friday the 13th Part 2
6. Lady in White
7. Friday the 13th
8. Tie: The Wraith, The Beyond
9. Tie: City of the Living Dead, The House by the Cemetery
10. Tie: Superstition, Hell Night
11. The Majorettes

Week 1

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About CM Towns

I like comics, wrestling, and other junk.
This entry was posted in film, horror, movies, reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 31 Days 31 Days of Horror, Thrills & Supernatural: Week 2

  1. Pingback: 31 Days 31 Days of Horror, Thrills & Supernatural: Week 3 | My Geekdom

  2. Pingback: 31 Days 31 Days of Horror, Thrills & Supernatural: Final Days | My Geekdom

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