Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Three Films Make A Post: Satan's only gift is death...

Ghosthouse (1988): I've repeatedly gone on record stating that I'm generally not as much of an admirer of the film's of Umberto Lenzi as many of my peers are. I do make exceptions for Lenzi's exceptional films, though, so the glorious insanity of Spasmo does have a giant place in my heart, where now also dwells the glorious insanity of the improbable TV movie Ghosthouse. It's a bit of a different kind of glorious insanity you can find here, a very 80s one that appears in form of a completely nonsensical script, acting so stiff one can never be quite sure the actors were actually alive or awake during the shoot, a creepy little girl with a creepy clown doll that plays a creepy clown doll jingle, and reams of rubbery gore.

Also featuring are heroine Lara Wendel wrestling said doll, a character dying in what looks rather like a sea of semen, and ham radios. Not featuring at all is Lenzi's tendency to drag his feet until I get bored, so there's everything to recommend this thing.

Skinwalker Ranch (2013): Somewhat based on a real place of supposed paranormal activity, Devin McGinn's and Steve Berg's film might be the most plain fun POV film I've seen in quite a while, seeing as it features alien abduction, cattle mutilation, a giant canine, what may or may not be a transdimensionally travelling little boy, a vague conspiracy, and what looks like the giant zombie version of a Grey to me. Sure, it's not brilliantly original stuff (there are more alien abduction based POV horror movies than most people know, though Skinwalker's creatures seem to be closer to John A. Keel style transdimensional entities) but it is made with a real sense of fun, often shows very well composed shots, and does know a thing or two about pacing and escalation.

As an old X-Files fan, I can't help but approve of it all.

Horror Stories 2 (2013): 2012's Horror Stories made enough at the South Korean box office to make a sequel commercially interesting, so here's a second anthology movie of (surprise!) horror stories, two serious ones, one comedy tale, and a framing narrative. None of the stories is all that original (though Jeong Beom-sik's comedy tale "Escape" is at least utterly bizarre), but they are fun, competently made, and don't overstay their welcome, which really is all I ask of the segments in an anthology film.

No comments: