a welcome reprieve…

Yes it’s October again, time for the HPLFF! Luckily I actually went this year! I couldn’t resist? Why? Well, we went to see From Beyond! Yes, a very rare treat for the big screen, but this one had a bonus… It was presented by, yes, Barbara Crampton! Not only is this movie a general must see, in a theater and with the star? No way to miss it! Though the picture quality was mediocre (like my ol’ bootleg dvd, I can’t wait to get a look at the delayed new official dvd release), this Combs/Crampton/Gordon/Yuzna story is a must see. A entertaining glimpse into the world beyond our five senses (what we could see and be if only we could enlarge the pineal gland). It is, of course, a great crazy story that doesn’t stray too far from the original story (though not only does it add the expected un-lovecraftian twist of a “girl” in the story, it goes even further with some s&m concepts!) of a scientist whose research has gone too far and ends up overtaking him. It features some crazy creatures, some great concepts and Ken Foree in a comedy relief role that is really the acting highpoint of the film! Combs is fine, but his wackiness seems a bit unconvincing, Crampton really seems a bit cardboard in her role, reminding me of Mikael Petrov in Fit To Kill. It’s probably my least favorite of the CCGY films, but whenever I do see it, I am always positively surprised with elements of it. Also surprising, for the Lovecraft film festival crowd, is that about half of the folks there had never seen it before!

Oh yeah and Barbara Crampton, the special guest… she presented the film and did a q&a which, while I’m not a q&a fan, wasn’t half bad. It was great to have her there. And she also handed out the statues at the Howie awards which took place right before the other feature we saw… Dead Birds!

Well, I liked it. I thought it was special for two reasons. First, it was a conventional, old time ghost story. Most films now seem to try and find some kind of angle in presenting a ghost story. Not here.. Just a plain old haunted house of spirits of a family wrongly killed. Also, the time setting. Most ghost stories are 20th century stories with ghosts of folks killed in the 19th or 18th centuries. this though was a civil war story and took place in the old days. It is low budget but the few effects were interesting enough that it didn’t seem bad and the limited sets (a corn field, and old house and a little town) made it easy to not notice it. Anyway though, a good basic story of Civil War soldiers turned thieves turning on themselves… With a little spiritual help. it has some nice effects and some darn good scares.. I would highly recommended this to any ghost story fan..

Then, Downfall again. The wife hadn’t seen it so we ran it. Again, a great film… We both think it’s great. It loses none of its greatness the second time around. It looks good, it has an involving story and the casting is great. At times, is requires either a close eye or an ability to just let stuff glide by because who people are isn’t always clearly stated, people are referred to whom we only briefly have seen, without it being clear when we saw them who they were. But, the casting is done in a way that if you have a passing knowledge about these folks, they will be apparent.. I believe that this story of the last weeks in Hitler’s bunker was based on the diaries of ol’ Traudl, but it is way more interesting then that Blind Spot documentary that she is in. That was way dull… I say skip it and check this out.. This films casts a great story of Hitler and who he was and the doubts of those around him (and the lack of doubts of some of those around him) and a great glimpse into the personalities of some of his people. It is a great and interesting way of showing the people behind the reputations, without excusing their actions.

And then, as our second WW2 film, we watched one of my old favorites… Slaughterhouse Five. From one of the great books of american literature, one that I would have thought “unfilmable”, comes this great film! … The story of a aging optician who becomes unstuck in time, it all comes along great: the moving back and forth in time is well done, Michael Sacks does a good job (though I especially like Eugene Roche) but everyone does a good job and the story is great fun! I can’t help but wonder if it was controversial when the book was released for its frankness about the Dresden bombing…

welcome to traflamadore…
slaughterhouse five 01:30:18
And yet again, The Fog. I am becoming thoroughly convinced that this has little going for it, unless one is some kind of Carpenter completist… This is certainly one for the “sell” stack… While I like John Carpenter and Adrienne Barbeau and the story concept has good potential… It really just doesn’t work out. First, the music she plays on her KAB radio station is unworldly, there would never be a radio station that plays only that stuff. Two, it’s not scary at all! Not one bit.. The baddies come close to looking good, but then they don’t and there is absolutely no suspense. Three, some of it is just plain ridiculous. The candle parade to see the statue? Yelling warnings over the radio without saying why you are warning people and no one has power anyway? The hokey golden cross? Of course, I feel like when it was first on late night tv after it came out, I thought it was scary, but now?? nothing..

are you scared yet…
the fog 01:20:18
And in keeping with last times DeNiro/Scorsese classic, we watched The King of Comedy. A forgotten classic, but certainly one of my favorite Scorsese films and and even better role for De Niro. The King of Comedy is a brilliant example of a “comedy” that’s not funny at all. Jerry Lewis is great, playing his plain old terrible self…And he has some nice suits, which are nice to see in a film from this ugly suit era. The chase scene with Jerry’s great 60’s suit and his rat-packy walk, the smug walk of pinky rings and a drink in hand, it’s great fun… He is perfect in this. It’s the best film about fandom with some great bit of the truth behind the entertainment business. It’s a black comedy crime caper that can’t be beat. For my money, De Niro is at his best, Rupert Pupkin is his best role after Travis Bickle. Kidnapping his way to the top, acting tremendously naive, yet not naive at all…

such a nice suit… oh yeah, and sandra bernhard…
the king of comedy 39:41

such a bad suit… oh yeah, and what…
the king of comedy 22:50
And again I watched Metal: a Headbangers Journey.. Well, call it a subconscious attempt at conversion, I had some of the boys sit through this. I admit that watching this kind of stuff with other folks does make me a bit self-conscious (not nearly as bad as watching Heavy Metal Parking Lot at the bike-in theater, but the same idea). But gosh, I love this movie. His enthusiasm for the subject is refreshing. Later, the wife and I watched the “Black Metal Documentary” on the specials disk. First, it is too hard to hear most of the dialogue, it lacks depth and, though it kind of goes without saying, the wifes comment that “these guys are basically just assholes” certainly rings true. But I love them, just the same! Though I’m not a fan of burning down Stave Churches like Fantoft…

Fantoft stavkirke…
And yes, it’s a rarer trip nowadays, but another hike was to be had. This was a rugged one for me. I don’t know if I’m just not cut out for 13-14 miles of hiking, or if it was all the twistings of my ankle or being a little out of practice, or the fact that once we went up the hill and started going down, that we ended up having some more sizable ups.. Anyway, it kicked my butt. But you can read here all about the Conquerering of Devil’s Peak AND Hunchback Mountain!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention last time that I watched Explorers! It’s sort of a Forbidden Planet for kids. It does feature a couple of soon to be stars and it’s a lot of fun. A good clean kid’s movie with lots of adventure and funny stuff.

One Response to “a welcome reprieve…”

  1. Wes on January 27, 2009 16:27

    I love your website! I’m trying something similar. You’ve seen a shitload of movies. I’ll save your blog in my favorites and check it more often. You’re awesome!


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