It was a rainy Halloween here in Chicago so my usual program of manning the front door, blasting creepy sound effects records and watching old (mildly) kid-friendly horror movies was cut a little shorter than usual. I did manage to watch Mario Bava's Baron Blood. Not his best work but it has its moments. If you think burnt pilgrims are scary, this is the movie for you.
Movie Related Ramblings
A hodge podge of writings by me that warranted a little more gravitas than a blog post. This particular sub section filters down to only posts about movie related things.
I managed to watch a couple more Halloween themed films this weekend. This included another Fulci film, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, which I rank as his best along side The Beyond. Unlike most of his other work, this one is tightly plotted and suspenseful. It features a bunch of deranged hippies, surreal dream sequences, a fantastic Morricone score and a compelling performance by David Horowitz of TV's Fight Back:
Each year around this time I always tell myself that I am going to watch a different horror movie every night in the lead-up to Halloween. I never seem to get around to it and end up cramming two or three films in at the last minute—usually Halloween evening while the rest of the family is out trick or treating. Well, this year I have managed to be a little more on top of things. Especially now since we have a DVD-ready laptop positioned in front of my treadmill. There's nothing like a bit of Fulci close-up gore to motivate the fat burning.
The Italian thriller Death Walks on High Heels is not terribly noteworthy even within the tiny cinematic sub-genre of giallo. There is, however, one scene in the movie that does jump out like a breaching marlin. It is the only film that I know of that sexualizes the eating of a grilled fish dinner.
Nothing foreshadows an evening of passionate romance like a cart of dead fish.
Luigi Cozzi's Hercules is one of the greatest movies ever made about bear punching. Part of what really sells the bear punching in this film is the pure rage depicted in the facial expressions of the movie's star, Lou Ferrigno. In order to demonstrate this, I have compiled some best stills from the movie for your browsing enjoyment. Note the vein-popping fury shown here as Mr. Ferrigno enters his fugue state of uncontrollable ferocity.
Well it's the first day of the New Year. This day means different things to different people. For my wife it means washing off the post-New-Year's-Eve-bash Sharpie moustache that she woke up with this morning. For me it means it's time to assess what I thought was the best of the media I consumed this past year.
My Halloween movie fest continued last night with a re-watching of Mother of Tears, the third film in the Three Mothers trilogy. When I first watched the film I pondered if it would get better on rewatching. Nope. It was actually more painful on the second viewing. What a rambling mess of a film with awful acting and dialogue all around. No screengrabs for this film. It doesn't deserve that level of respect.
My Halloween movie fun-run continues with Mario Bava's Kill Baby, Kill. Not really his finest work, but it is memorable for the scenes of the ghostly child at the windows:
What you see pictured here is some of the DVD packaging for the independently produced documentary film about text adventure games, Get Lamp. In the digital age, packaging matters and the creators of Get Lamp went above and beyond in creating a DVD package that satisfies collectable object fetishists like myself. The inner gatefold sleeve is covered with a nostalgic fantasy illustration that looks like it came straight off of an Atari 2600 cartridge. The DVD also came with a fancy numbered and editioned coin (mine's number 1540), which would seem kind of cheesy (alá the tin coin that came Ultima V) but is actually very well crafted and, dare-I-say cool. All this comes together in a well made cardboard DVD case that alone almost justifies the $40+ dollar price tag.