Saturday, April 3, 2010

Three Films Make A Post: In Illusion-O

Ringo, Face Of Revenge (1967): Four men of dubious morals (Anthony Steffen! Frank Wolff! Eduardo Fajardo! Armando Calvo!) form an alliance to acquire a hidden treasure. There are copious shoot-outs, a bar brawl and a number of double-crossings. The US (Andalucia) have seldom looked prettier.

Another Mario Caiano-directed Spaghetti Western that is sprightly and entertaining, but still leaves me wishing for a bit more substance (especially when it comes to the character work, which is just all over the place) and style, possibly even some surprises. Or some of that revenge promised by the title, now that I think about it.

 

Brain Twisters (1991): Neurological experiments of a near comatose college professor on some of his students cause a series of murders and suicides. It all turns out to part of a big mind control conspiracy. Only a cop-on-the-edge-of-falling-asleep-while-walking and a college-student-cop-love-interest can save the day. Nothing can save the beleaguered viewer from falling asleep. The acting is zombie-esque and the film is only 90 minutes long because everything in it happens very, very slowly. On the bright side, this could be the final cure for insomnia.

 

Paranormal Activity (2007): Given my love for POV horror, and my respect for anyone using a shoe-string budget to not make a backyard zombie massacre, Oren Peli's film should be right up my alley, but it never worked for me while watching it.

I had major problems with the male half of the haunted couple's jerkiness. I never found Micah convincing as a character, his scruples against getting help are transparently there to keep the film's plot from going into a direction it isn't prepared to go in, and not based on anything in his character the viewer is made privy of. I also had my problems with Skippy the cowardly medium. I understand that he's in there to convince us of how serious Katie's and Micah's problems are, but his actions feel as contrived to me as do Micah's, giving the film a very artificial "my first script-writing project" sort of feel.

Despite those contrivances and some pacing problems in the rather draggy first half, I don't think Paranormal Activity is a bad movie. It is just one that doesn't work for me beyond two or three mildly creepy scenes.

 

2 comments:

Pauline said...

I have to agree with you 100% on paranormal activity. All the possibilities were there but none of them really panned out. I saw it at home on DVD, though, and kept thinking it would have been a lot creepier in a dark theatre. But then I think I would have been pissed about laying out the necessary cash to see it. *sigh*

houseinrlyeh said...

I think I agree with you about the film possibly being creepier in a dark theatre.

At least it wouldn't have been one of the films which you as the viewer should be paid to watch.