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08/22/2015 15:56


Number 3: The Autopsy of Jane Doe
 
A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets. This mystery, horror thriller is from the United States and United Kingdom from the year 2016.
08/22/2015 15:45
 
 

 
Number 9: Apt Pupil (1998)
 
A boy blackmails his neighbor after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal. This crime, drama, thriller film is from the United States and France in the year 1998.
08/22/2015 15:41


Number 10: American Horror Story: Season 5: Hotel

 

This season takes place in at a haunted hotel where a couple of vampires and murderers roam the halls. Any of their victims become trapped to live the rest of their days. This series is a drama, horror, thriller from the United States.

 

08/22/2015 15:36


Number 11: American Horror Story: Season 4: Freak Show

This season takes place in at a freak show and we see what happens to these people who are different on the outside. This series is a drama, horror, thriller from the United States.

08/22/2015 15:25

I have posted all of the horror films that I have currently viewed and wrote a review about. I will now be starting my countdown of the best horror films that begin with the letter A. In another post I will have them listed and will make separate posts for each film as well. I also want to point out that this is a fluid list because there are still a lot of horror films that start with A that I have not seen or haven't reviewed yet.
 
Without further ado, here are films that didn't make the cut, but are honorable mention:
 

Honorable Mention:

  1. Audrey Rose (1977) – Mine: 7; IMDB: 5.9
  2. American Horror Story: Season 2: Asylum (2012) – Mine: 7; IMDB: 8.5
  3. Addams Family Values (1993) – Mine: 7, IMDB: 6.5 - P
  4. After.Life (2009) – Mine: 7, IMDB: 6.0 - P
  5. Afraid of the Dark (1991) – Mine: 7, IMDB: 5.8 - P
  6. Amer (2009) – Mine: 7, IMDB: 6.3
  7. Alien: Covenant (2017) – Mine: 7; IMDB: 6.8
  8. Altered States (1980) – Mine: 6, IMDB: 6.9
  9. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) – Mine: 6, IMDB: 7.6
  10. Anatomy (Anatomie) (2000) – Mine: 6; IMDB: 6.1
08/22/2015 15:12

Film: The Awful Dr. Orlof (Gritos en la noche)

Year: 1962

Director: Jesús Franco

Writer: Jesús Franco

Starring: Conrado San Martín, Diana Lorys and Howard Vernon

 

Review:

This film begins with a young woman walking toward a building. She is clearly tipsy and she is singing. She goes inside and we learn that this is her apartment. She opens her closet and finds a scary man; he is played by Richard Valle. She screams and they get into a tussle. Many of her neighbors look out their window and see the struggle. Valle carries her out of the building and meets up with Howard Vernon. They leave.

We cut to the next morning and we are in a horse drawn carriage. We have Conrado San Martín, who is a very good police inspector. With him is Diana Lorys. We learn that she is a famous ballerina and they have fallen in love. They are engaged to be married. Martín goes in and meets with a co-worker. We then learn that his boss wants to see him. It turns out that Martín has been doing great work and now he is given this case of five missing women. They all have less than favorable reputation and no one has been able to figure anything out.

We then cut to the inside of a bar where Vernon is watching a woman sing for the crowd, she is played by María Silva. She then ends up drinking with Vernon to the point where she is drunk. He gives her a necklace and she agrees to come home with him. He takes her to a mansion that we learn isn’t his, but for sale. Valle ends up attacking her and knocking her out. They take her in a coffin and drive her to a dock. By boat they arrive outside of a castle. As they are taking her off the boat, the necklace Vernon gave her falls into the river.

Inside we learn that something has happened to a woman. Her face is disfigured. This woman is also played by Lorys. It turns out that this is Vernon’s daughter. He is kidnapping women to try to fix his daughter’s face. We also see that there is another woman that is living there as well; she is played by Perla Cristal. She is against what Vernon is doing and tells him constantly.

Martín is frustrated by this investigation. None of the leads seem to make sense. He decides to have a drawing done of the man that the witnesses have seen. This leads them to believe that there are two men doing this. He gives this to all of the officers to keep an eye out for them while making their rounds.

Back in the castle, we learn that Vernon used to be a prison doctor. He was doing an experiment and it caused a fire. This is how his daughter was disfigured. He put Cristal and Valle into comas to get them both of out prison. He believes now that he has figured out why his experiments have been failing.

That night, Martín and Lorys go out. Martín leaves the carriage and Vernon sees Lorys. He falls for her being that she looks so much like his daughter. He speaks with her and she knows that he is the killer. She tells this to Martín, but Vernon has already gotten away by the time that she does.

Lorys then takes it into her hands to try to catch him. She goes to that bar where Vernon picks up women and he sees her. She begins to come up with a plan to catch Vernon. She doesn’t tell Martín about this. He learns from a different source more information about who could possible be doing this.

Will Martín figure out that it is Vernon before it is too late? Can he be stopped before there are too many more victims? Can Vernon fix his daughter? Will Vernon make Lorys a victim in the process?

I have to say that I found this film quite interesting. The concept of Vernon making a horrible mistake and then trying to correct it is interesting. He did a really solid job in this film. He is really a selfless criminal, even though he doesn’t see that he is going about it in the completely wrong way. I thought Lorys was beautiful and her acting was pretty good. Martín was good too and this film builds suspense pretty well. Especially when Lorys writes a letter to Martín, but he doesn’t realize it and puts it off. The information could solve the case much quicker, but it has a feel of the boy who cried wolf. The ending I wasn’t a huge fan of, but it isn’t horrible.

One of my biggest issues with this film was that it never really explains what is wrong with Valle. Is he blind? Or is there something else wrong with his eyes? How can he walk around and do everything he does while being blind. Vernon expects a lot out of him, but would you really rely on a blind man this much? The film also really doesn’t flesh out most of the characters, so I didn’t connect as much so the film doesn’t get much of that emotional feel that can help to enhance a film.

With that said thought, I did like this one. This has a moral dilemma of causing a horrible accident to disfigure your child and going to whatever lengths needed to fix this problem, even if it means killing others. I think acting is pretty good, the story isn’t too complex and everything gets explained about halfway through. There isn’t a lot of mystery since we know who is doing this. This one is more of seeing if Martín can figure it out before it is too late, which means Lorys possible dying. The copy I watched wasn’t in the greatest condition, plus I had to watch it dubbed in English. This is a Spanish film and that is the language that it is intended. It is also in black and white, so if that could sway your decision to see this. I would recommend giving this film a viewing though.

 

My Rating: 6 out of 10

08/22/2015 15:09

Film: The Awakening

Year: 1980

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: Chris Bryant, Clive Exton and Allan Scott

Starring: Charlton Heston, Susannah York and Jill Townsend

 

Review:

This film takes place in Egypt, 18 years in the past. We have a married couple played by Charlton Heston and Jill Townsend. He is an archeologist and his wife is pregnant. She has followed him there so they can be together. They are interrupted by another woman, played by Susannah York. She is Heston’s assistant. Townsend believes there is something more going on between them and she doesn’t trust York.

Heston and York are searching for an unnamed queen that no one is sure exists. There was a Dutch archeologist who claims to have found evidence of her existence, but there has been nothing concrete. There are hints about her in some of the hieroglyphics. Where their excavation site is, they are finding nothing. Heston takes York for a ride and apologizes for what Townsend said the previous night. Heston knows that York heard it. She informs him that she is fine.

They stop off and decide to see if they can find anything here. After a small rock slide, they find evidence of another tomb that has been hidden. The top of it states that the Unnamed One is inside and she should not be released. They shift all their attention to this location.

Once the door is discovered, Heston attempts to open it with a sledge hammer. Every time he hits it, Townsend feels a sharp pain. By the time he gets inside, she has passed out. Heston comes back to camp to find that Townsend needs a hospital. He takes her there. She is sleeping and Heston knows there is nothing he can do. He gives his number to the nurse and how to reach him. He goes back out into the field.

As Heston gets into the tomb to find this mummy, Townsend needs to have her baby delivered immediately. The doctors do everything they can to save it, but they cannot get it to breathe. That is until the mummy is uncovered. The baby then begins to breathe on its own, even though the doctors and nurses had given up heroic measures. Heston goes to touch the hand of the mummy and it moves, much to his horror. York doesn’t see anything and he doesn’t speak of it.

Heston comes back to find his daughter is born. He is happy, but Townsend knows that he was not around. She tells him that she is going to visit her parents in the United States, with their daughter. She wants him to come too. He tells her that he cannot and this is where they part ways.

His attention is more on trying to get the mummy of this Queen, known as Kara, back to the United Kingdom. Egyptian officials will not allow this. The man he speaks with though does give him an ankh made of gold, with jewels and a mirror in the loop to give to his new daughter when she comes of age. He thanks him for the gift.

The film then shifts 18 years into the future. Heston and York are now married. He is a professor in England. We also see that he is still wrapped up in what he is doing that he forgets about everyone else. He has the urge to return to Egypt. His main reason for going is to get Queen Kara’s mummy there. There is an issue being raised as well about there being a bacteria or virus that anyone who entered the tomb may have.

The baby has grown up to be Stephanie Zimbalist. Her 18th birthday is coming up and she decides that she wants to see her father. Zimbalist has money due to her grandfather leaving her a sizable sum. Her mother is against this, believing that she was abandoned by Heston for York. She does tell Zimbalist that she is an adult and if she wants to go him that is her choice.

She goes to him. Heston is elated to see her. He wants to spend all day with her. York seems to be getting a little bit jealous of this shift. Heston takes Zimbalist with him to Egypt, to show her the tomb of Queen Kara. We also learn that this queen believed that she could resurrect herself. She needs the seven star jewel and her organs, which are kept in jars. They were never found during the initial search.

Going back to the tomb, they find these jars. Zimbalist begins to feel weird and like Queen Kara, she comes on her to father. Heston fears that his daughter wants to resurrect this queen. He also wants to as well, going as far to steal the jars that were found by Ahmed Osman. He also gets Queen Kara’s mummy to England by wanting more tests run on a possible virus she is carrying.

Can Queen Kara be resurrected? Is Zimbalist needed to bring her back? Or is there something more horrible in store for her?

This film is interesting. Growing up I was interested in Egyptian history and mummies, so I really enjoyed that aspect of this film. I like the idea of this ruthless queen knowing how to bring herself back and being able to control those who are easily manipulated into helping. I thought Heston was very good in his role. One thing that really struck me about him was his obsessive nature. I really don’t think anything holds his attention for long enough for him to realize the repercussions. I also liked Zimbalist. I thought she was very attractive and the change of her nature was well done. I also really liked the ending as well, definitely breaks that Hollywood ending concept.

There were quite a bit of issues for me in this film. First off, I think that is quite boring. They focus too much on the build up and the ending doesn’t do enough to save this. I feel the searching and discovery of the mummy takes a little too long. Heston and York stumbling upon her tomb seemed a little too convenient as well. I didn’t care for York or Townsend, as both were bland. Townsend especially makes some rash, life-altering decisions without much thought. I also felt the film took way too long arguing about getting the mummy out of Egypt, while not fleshing out this possible virus her mummy is carrying. I also thought Heston’s reaction as to what he is doing in the end of the film to be confusing, I mean if you see it, how could you not know what you were doing?

With that said, I will give credit to this film where it is due. This film was the first Egyptology film to be filmed in Egypt. There was some really good acting from Heston and Zimbalist. The story is decent, but drags some things out too much. The ending though is good, but it just doesn’t do enough to save this film. I would recommend giving this a viewing if you have read the novel this is based off of, The Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker. If not, there are much more entertaining mummy films out there.

 

My Rating: 5 out of 10

08/22/2015 15:07

Film: Audition (Ôdishon)

Year: 1999

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Daisuke Tengan

Starring: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina and Tetsu Sawaki

 

Review:

This film begins in a hospital. The main character is played by Ryo Ishibashi. His wife is dying and she is played by Miyuki Matsuda. Matsuda dies and right as the doctor leaves, their son comes in.

We then shift seven years into the future. Ishibashi is fishing with his son, who is now played by Tetsu Sawaki. Sawaki tells his father that he is looking older and he needs to remarry. He thinks it will be best for him. There is a scene where Ishibashi interacts with an employee. She acts funny around Ishibashi, but he doesn’t seem to pay her much attention.

Ishibashi meets his friend, played by Jun Kunimura, at a bar. They talk about their lives and we learn that Kunimura works in the film industry. Ishibashi informs him that he is going to remarry, but he has not found who that will be yet. Kunimura asks how he will find her and Ishibashi states he doesn’t know. He says that ideally he will be able to watch a few and then pick the best one. Kunimura comes up with having an audition for him.

Kunimura takes a story that Ishibashi gave to them. He will use this audition to possible cast it, but he can also use it for his friend to find someone as well. Ishibashi goes through lots of resumes. Sawaki interrupts him, forcing him to put down his coffee on one of them. Sawaki tells his father that he has a guest, his new girlfriend. Ishibashi was upset at first, but then happy for him. This seems to put more pressure on his father.

Ishibashi picks up the resume that he put his coffee on it. As he reads through it, this is the young woman he really wants to meet.

They audition 30 different women. Kunimura asks some pretty crazy and off the wall questions. He finds some that will work in different projects that are in the works, but Ishibashi is quiet until Eihi Shiina’s audition. He asks her some pretty odd questions and Kunimura knows that he was interested in from the beginning.

After this, Ishibashi calls Shiina to meet with her. They have drinks together and he gets to know her more. She is quiet, but seems very happy that he wanted to meet with her. Ishibashi tells Kunimura about her, but he is cautious. He states that he looked into the agent she claimed to work for, but this person has never heard of her.

Shiina has a haunted and tortured past. She stated in her resume that he was training to do ballet, but she broke her hips and had to give it up. She claimed giving it up was a lot like dying. This is part of the reason Ishibashi is drawn to her. She tells us that she is lonely and really has no one to talk to. Kunimura warns Ishibashi and makes him promise not to call her.

We then get Ishibashi going about his days, looking at the phone, wanting to call her, but keeping his promise. We also get another odd scene with this employee who is supposed to be getting married, but seems frazzled. There is history there that bothers her, but Ishibashi ignores it. This whole time we see Shiina sitting in a messy room, on her knees looking at the floor. There is a sack in the room with her that moves and makes a weird sound. There is also a phone. We also get her as a child doing the same thing, just waiting.

Ishibashi finally calls her. She smiles as the phone rings. They go out again. Ishibashi tells his son that they are taking a trip and he will propose to her then. On this trip, she stops him from talking and gets undressed. She wants him to look at her naked body, to look at her scars that are on her upper thigh. They then make love. Ishibashi is woken up in the middle of the night by the phone. It is a man from the hotel telling him that Shiina has left.

Ishibashi goes about trying to find her. He remembers things that are said to him from her past and from her resume. As he searches them out, things become very weird. The ballet school she went to is closed, but there is a wheelchair bound man, played by Renji Ishibashi, who is cryptic in talking about Shiina. Ryo also goes to the bar she said she worked at and learned the owner met a cruel fate.

Can Ryo Ishibashi find Shiina? Is there something wrong with her? Did she cause these people pain or was it a just a coincidence?

I have to say that this film really isn’t that scary, but it definitely is disturbing. This film plays the fact that Ryo Ishibashi is lonely. After his wife died, he focused on giving the best life for his son. He wants to find a woman who is similar to that, so they both make each other happy. The problem ends up being in the way that he goes about it. I thought Shiina was great role as well as Ryo. I don’t mind that really nothing happens in this film, but we get glimpses of creepy things. It definitely comes to a head in the final 30 minutes.

My biggest issue with this film is that you don’t really know it is a horror film until those final 30 minutes. If I didn’t know what I was coming in to watch, I could not have told you for most of the film. I think this film has a good enough following where anyone coming in has an idea of what is going to happen, but if not, some people might have turned it off as a bad romance film. Like I said, there are some things throughout that make a lot more sense in the end, but that is that struck me while watching this film.

I would recommend giving this film a viewing. I will warn you that this is from Japan. The version I watched was in Japanese with English subtitles. I do believe there is a dubbed soundtrack for those that need it in English. I think that the acting for this is really good, the story is as well and the ending is great. It has a very surreal feel that make you question what is going on. This film definitely plays on something that many people go through and that makes it that much scarier. This film is definitely worth giving a chance to.

 

My Rating: 7 out of 10

08/22/2015 15:04

Film: Attack the Block

Year: 2011

Director: Joe Cornish

Writer: Joe Cornish

Starring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker and Alex Esmail

 

Review:

This film begins with a young woman leaving work, she is a nurse and she is played by Jodie Whittaker. She got out late and it is dark. A celebration is going on with fireworks. On her way she is blocked by a group of hoodlums, led by John Boyega. They rob her of her money and a ring she is wearing. During this attack, something falls from the sky onto a nearby parked car.

Boyega goes to steal what he can from it and is attacked by whatever crashed into the car. He gets anger when the thing flees. With his gang they chase after it, cornering it inside a shed where they kill it.

They return to their block riding high from killing the thing and go up to a weed grower who lives on the top floor. They bring the dead alien to store in his weed room until they figure out what to do with it. While there, Boyega talks to the local gangster who runs the area, who is played by Jumayn Hunter. Hunter recruits him and gives him drugs to sell for him.

Boyega returns to his friends to see more things falling from the sky. They decide to get weapons and kill more of them. While this goes on, Whittaker goes to the police about the attack and the police tell her they will make a pass of the area to find them.

When the gang gets out there, they find out these monsters are a lot larger and they are angry. Boyega gets busted by the cops and as they are locking him up, the police get attacked. To escape he steals their van, with Whittaker in the back and tries to hide it in a parking garage. The problem is during this, they crash into Hunter’s car.

The gang escapes back to the block, with the aliens seeming to know where they are at all times. Plus with Hunter angry and on their trail, will they survive this attack?

This film was surprising good. The action is solid. It is realistic, outside of the aliens sometimes. They are pitch black with no eyes, but have glowing teeth. Sometimes their mouths look like eyes with how they have them and that is a good effect. There are some good camera angles with things to see in the background which makes this better to me.

Another thing I like, this film makes a lot of references to other movies and I liked that. They reference British and American movies of variety of genres which makes it interesting.

I would recommend giving this one a viewing. They are all British and talk in slang, so subtitles where needed for me to fully enjoy this one. The action is good though, the story moves along nicely and the pacing is well done. A fun movie that has a different take on the alien invasion genre makes for an interesting view.

 

My Rating: 7 out of 10

08/22/2015 15:01

Film: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

Year: 1978

Director: John De Bello

Writer: Costa Dillon, John De Bello, J. Stephen Peace and Rick Rockwell

Starring: David Miller, George Wilson and Sharon Taylor

 

Review:

This film begins telling us about Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The film states that it was laughed off as not being possible, but then states there was a town where birds really terrorized the citizens. It then states that this film could possible happen too.

We then see a woman in her kitchen. She is doing the dishes and something catches her eye. A tomato rolls out of the drain and then gets out of the sink. It proceeds to kill her. The police investigator thinks she is covered in blood, but it turns out to be tomato juice. We shift to a dining room of a couple. The man drinks some tomato juice and is killed. From this point on, most everything we see is outrageous or is parodying something.

The film then lets us know that things are happening like this all over. The president wants this figured out immediately. The town wants to keep it quiet though. It is decided that a group of no-name scientists and generals will be called in to handle this situation. Also in the area is the president’s press secretary, played by George Wilson.

The man that is called in to head up the investigation is David Miller. With him Sam Smith, who is an undercover specialist, an Olympic swimmer and the final member is an underwater expert. There is another member, but he finishing up another mission.

A committee of senators, lead by Eric Christmas, are called together to help decide what should be done about this. While they are passing out the top secret information, they learn that one of them is missing.

We see that the missing report is in the hands of a local newspaper editor, played by Ron Shapiro. He tries to find someone to cover this story, but everyone is gone. He is informed that the only writer available is a young woman with little experience and is currently doing fashion pieces. Despite this, she is called into the office and given the story; she is played by Sharon Taylor.

Wilson goes to see the president, who is played by Ernie Meyers. We learn that Meyers is incompetent and has done some horrible things while in power, but they are pretty comical as well. He tells Wilson that he needs to go see Al Sklar to help fix their image and get ahead of this crisis.

He does as he is asked, but Sklar is horrible. He has ideas, but they do not seem to be doing what they are supposed to. He also breaks out into a musical number. Wilson leaves with a look of complete shock.

All the while this is going on, the tomatoes continue to attack and kill people. They have tried everything they can think of, but that still won’t stop these fruits/vegetables. Miller does meet the final member of his team; he is played by J. Stephen Peace. Peace is not very intelligent and the whole film he walks around as a paratrooper with his parachute deployed.

Taylor is also trying to figure out the story from these two, but she can’t seem to get anywhere. Smith wears some outrageous get-ups from a revolutionary colonist, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler and his last task is to dress up as a tomato to infiltrate their camp. There is also a masked man that that is attacking Miller and Peace, but who is he?

Will the tomatoes be stopped before they kill all of mankind? Can they be stopped? What does this masked man want? Is there anyone competent to even come up with a plan to stop them?

I don’t want to judge this film too harshly, because it is a comedy/parody film. I can see how it is poking fun at The Birds or Jaws. I thought there were some things that were pretty funny and some of it was just outrageous. I will give that the concept is humorous as well. I also respect those that made this film since it was low budget, but they made a film that looks pretty crisp despite that.

Now where to start with my issues? The biggest one I had was that this film does not put together a coherent storyline. I would have rated this film a point or two higher, if it had. As someone who likes to write, I like to piece the story together and this film is just so off the wall, it could not be done. I thought some of the jokes were too over the top and I think that is why some of them are not overly funny. The acting isn’t good, along with the action and the effects. Now I commended this film on its low-budget, but it clearly shows in these aspects though.

With that said, if you want to see an outrageous film with your friends to have a good laugh about how bad it is, this one should be near the top of your list. The film is a comedy and there are some funny parts. If you are looking for a film that has a coherent storyline, good acting, effects or action scenes, then I would definitely avoid this one.

 

My Rating: 4 out of 10

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