Horror 365 Movie(s) 266: CatalAugust Day 28, My Banished Movie List Part II

Almost 100 posts ago, I did Part I of this list, but I think it’s worth clarifying a few things before Part II. If you like, admire, enjoy, the films on these lists, that’s great. No judgment here. But like Harry Callahan said in Magnum Force, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” So these movies on my banishment lists are specific to me for any number of reasons and are of course subject to change. I could, for instance, probably convince myself to sit through Antichrist.

One big factor (of many) is that a movie is just too relentlessly bleak for me. Don’t get me wrong—bleak is fine. But sometimes it crosses a line that’s too much even for me. For example, if I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn’t have watched Requiem For A Dream. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, “Sell depressing someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”

I hasten to add that I’m well aware there is far worse stuff out there. I’ve even seen some of it, my point being none of this is based on blind refusal. I’ve read enough about and seen enough clips of these movies to form what is (again, for me) a reasonable position. All of which leads me to My Banished Movie List Part II.

Antichrist

I’m not dealing with child death first of all. Enough bad shit happens to kids in the real world. I don’t need it in my fictional world. Also, right up there with bad stuff happening to kids is bad stuff happening to animals. I watched Red (based on a novel of the same name by Jack Ketchum), and it stuck with and literally depressed me for weeks. Even now my blood pressure still goes up just recalling it because I think the vicious little shit who killed the dog should have been dragged across barbed wire. I guess that’s why I like the first John Wick movie so much. You killed my dog, so I’m gonna destroy you all. Every. Last. Fucking. One of you.

The Girl Next Door

See Anitchrist. This is based on another Jack Ketchum novel. The fact that this is said to be based on a true story makes it even worse. Kidnapping, imprisonment, rape, torture, death…I can find that on the news.

The Other 2 Human Centipede Movies

The first of these is on Part I, and these are here for a somewhat different reason: the fact that they don’t even look interesting. Like, seriously, this is what you came up with? On top of that is a logistics problem. If the movie takes place in a world that more or less follows the real world rules we’re used to, then certain physical realities have to apply. This is one of the problems I have with some zombie movies (an argument that my friends likely don’t ever wanna hear again). Anyway, this cause the whole “suspension of disbelief” to fail spectacularly. So are the Human Centipede movies gross? Sure. But that I can take. What I can’t take is the ass-to-mouth thing because, at the very least, there’s stuff like E. Coli and Salmonella. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Melancholia Der Engel

I remember reading something years ago about Marian Dora being a satanist and using that to defend the torture and murder of a cat in the making of this, uh, “film.” I also remember something about LSD and the cat’s eyes. Supposedly this was all proven to be fake. Whatever. I did a halfhearted search for my source, couldn’t find anything, and gave up quickly cuz it ain’t worth my time. Plus, if Dora is in fact a satanist and using his films to forward such beliefs, well, that’s just one more religion-foisting nutcase. So yeah, we’re done here.

Morituris

I’ve seen the trailer for and several clips of this. Looks vile. That I can handle, but vile in service to what? Like The Lobster which I hated for being Lanthimos’s excuse for being all “Hey, look how bleak I can be” edgelordy, Morituris is little more than gratuitous shock value. Vile isn’t a big deal for me, and I can sit through boring and derivative schlock. But vile, boring, and derivative? Hard pass. Even Brad Miska at Bloody Disgusting hated this and went so far as to riddle his review with spoilers, call the director “a narrow-minded piece of shit writer/director,” and give the movie “negative 100 million out of 5 Skulls.” A follow-up interview (that showcases everyone’s mutual hostility) ends with the director taking Miska to task: “Leaving aside the personal insults, which are not worth replying to, in my opinion, writing such a spoiler and misleading review is unfair to both those who are eager to watch the movie and those who are just curious about it.” In Miska’s defense, the review makes it clear there are spoilers, telling me the director regards potential viewers as pretty fucking stupid.

Well, I’m in a mood now. Still, let me know what’s out there that you refuse to watch. While you’re deciding, I’m gonna go wash all this off in the shower then spend the day cleansing my psyche with some Mr. Bean, Blackadder, and Monty Python.

 

Horror 365 Movie(s) 265: CatalAugust Day 27, Full Moon Friday

This edition of Full Moon Friday comes to you in part from Catnip Cafe in Norfolk, Virginia. As some of you know, we here at Castle Blogferatu recently had to say goodbye to our resident mouser, Her Royal Majestic Graciousness, The Bonster Monster. So today seemed like a good day to sit around a place full of adoptable felines. Several contenders emerged, but for now, I’m still sorting out whether or not it’s too soon.

That said, hello and welcome to the final Full Moon Friday list for CatalAugust! Also, this is Post #265, meaning we’re down to the Final 100! How the hell did that happen? The obvious question, of course, is “How does one mark so auspicious an occasion?”

How indeed.

And then it hit me: Jeffrey Combs. He’s one of my favorite cult horror actors, and one day, I’ll no doubt do a list of my favorite Jeffrey Combs movies that aren’t from Full Moon (Would You Rather will likely rank very high). For now though, here are my Top 5 Full Moon Flicks Featuring Jeffrey Combs. Alliteration always makes me happy.

#5 The Evil Clergyman

Yeah, even though Barbara Crampton handled this nicely, the movie overall was not great. Nonetheless, Combs effectively stole every scene he was in, and certainly outclassed the “Dreams In The Witch House” rat-thing that was no doubt designed to be the highlight. I dunno if it’s his appearance, his mannerisms, his sinister voice, his suspicious facial expressions, or some eerie combination of these factors, but there’s just something about Combs that always makes me a little uneasy.

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#4 Doctor Mordrid

Band had an option to adapt Dr. Strange, but it expired before he was able to film it. Doctor Mordrid was the result of Full Moon’s attempt to salvage what they could while still trying to access concepts similar to those of the Dr. Strange mythos. Once you know that, what, really, is left to be said? I like the idea of Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, but I have yet to see any of those movies, and I’m not exactly eager to do so. But I think Combs it totally buyable as such a character, especially the ol’ Silver Age Dr. Strange. Probably more fantasy than horror, but there’s enough supernatural evil that I consider it close enough. So yeah, this one makes the list.

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#3 The Pit And The Pendulum

I’m hedging my bets a little with this one because Combs is not really a major figure in it, but he does provide a good amount of that trademark Full Moon twisted humor. Plus his wig is just killer. And I like Stuart Gordon although I appreciate his Lovecraft stuff over his Poe stuff which this, in terms of its title, technically is. But it borrows pretty obviously from other sources. There’s a “confessed” witch named Esmerelda. Maria, another suspected witch, becomes the sexual obsession of the creepazoid sicko pervert, Torquemada (ready for this? Lance Henriksen). I dunno about you, but I have a hunch(back) that all of this should, y’know, ring a bell, right? There are also some connections to MG Lewis’s The Monk. Plus there’s Oliver Reed.

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#2 Necronomicon: Book Of The Dead

I had to toss in an anthology. As such, this one’s got quite a lot going for it. All the stories are Lovecraft, and the framing device is that of HP Lovecraft (a fairly Bruce Campbell-looking Combs) finding the monastery that houses The Necronomicon in a secret library the few are granted access to. The monks may or may not be trying to keep the cosmic horrors associated with the book in abeyance. The stories themselves are based on 3 of my all time favorite Lovecraft stories: “The Rats In The Walls,” “Cool Air” (which is interesting in that “Cool Air” is not in fact a Cthulhu Mythos story), and “The Whisperer In Darkness.”

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Honorable Mentions

Castle Freak, From Beyond

#1 Re-Animator

I love this movie. For one thing, Combs is exactly how I pictured Herbert West when I first read Lovecraft’s story. Still, I’m not sure if it’s for the gore, the humor, or both. Ultimately, I think I lean more toward the humor. A decapitated head looks for its body while the head gives it directions (the Britcom The Young Ones will make use of this in the quiz show episode). West puts Dr. Hill’s talking severed head on a spindle so it will sit upright. There are bad puns. And finally, West delivers one the all time great lines in the history of ever (which I included in an earlier post): “Who’s going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow.”


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In truth, I hesitated while deciding on this list, mainly because in my little Full Moon Venn diagram, there’s a lot of crossover between Combs and the eternally watchable Barbara Crampton. Still, for good and/or ill, Combs is one of the iconic faces of Full Moon. And it was the first idea that came to mind. And like Allen Ginsberg said, “First thought best thought.” So there ya go.

Horror 365 Movie(s) 264: CatalAugust Day 26, Thrift Store Thursday V

Sometimes these posts involve stuff I picked up at some thrift store some time in the past. Other times, it’s stuff from a used DVD joint. But not today. No today is a for really reals, authentic, dyed in the wool, bona fide, actual Thrift Story Thursday that involved an actual trip to an actual Children’s Hospital Of The King’s Daughters thrift store. Known ’round about these here parts as KD, a big ol’ heapin’ heppin’ of the proceeds benefit the hospital. Here’s today’s haul.

The things I don’t already have always surprise me, like Carnage Park, The Relic, and Trollhunter. Death Race 2050 I picked up cuz who doesn’t love a Roger Corman joint? Okay, Corman produced this one, but still. And it has Malcolm McDowell. Groom Lake I’d heard of but only bought it because of 3 glorious words: William Shatner Presents. Can’t go wrong. I don’t really care for The VVVVVVitch, but figured, eh, should probly have it, especially for $1.98.

But it’s not always just movies that I come across on a thrift store run. My favorite colleague spied this. Is that not awesome? Being a movie nerd and a big Wes Anderson fan, it seemed like a professional obligation to buy it.

All told, today’s outing took a whoppin’ $17.85 outta my paycheck. Well, $20 cuz I left the change in the “For The Children” jar.