Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Films Make A Post: In the wilderness you can't dial 911

Mask Maker aka Maskerade (2010): If you're in the mood for a pretty generic slasher, Griff Furst's Mask Maker should scratch that itch well enough. It's competently directed and acted, features the obligatory mini role for Michael Berryman, has a smidgen of gore, even a bit of atmosphere, an impressively crappy ending, steals/quotes from many a more original film, and even has one or two scenes that are actually suspenseful instead of reminding you of other movies' suspense. If this sounds a bit like damning with faint praise, that's a fair assessment of my tone. For what the film is, though, it's perfectly watchable.

Cry of Death aka Carogne si nasce aka If One Is Born A Swine…Kill Him (1968): Talking of films that aren't exactly brimming with originality, house favourite Alfonso Brescia delivers a Spaghetti western with slight mystery elements. While the film's supposed twists and surprises are anything but surprising, Fausto Rossi's photography is pretty good, Glenn Saxson and Gordon Mitchell (as a gunman with a most disturbing smile and the most excellent name of - depending on the version you see - Donkey or Mule) seem to enjoy themselves quite a bit, and Brescia's direction keeps the film generally entertaining and somewhat stylish. As it goes with competent films, there are two or three stronger scenes that seem to belong to a more intense and complex movie.

Entity (2012): The final film in our Trilogy of Competence (the anthology movie Amicus never quite got around to make), Steve Stone's Entity is actually a wee bit too good for its companions, what with it ending on a pretty great fifteen minutes that give it something not exactly common in horror movies - a genuinely good and fitting ending that's not pissing away everything that's come before to set up a sequel. The only reason why Entity still belongs in this company (and doesn't warrant a full write-up) is that it still is another "film team stumbles through haunted industrial building" movie, containing exactly the kind of scares you'd expect from it, only really distinguishing itself by rather more than just decent acting (particularly Charlotte Riley and Dervla Kirwan are strong), and the decision to use some elements of the POV sub genre yet to still go for a more standard filming style. It would have been great if the visible talent of Stone and his cast had been used for horrors of a rather less trite sort, but one can always hope for the next movie. This one is at the very least worth watching once, which is more than a lot of industrial building strollers manage.

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