23 October 2009

6WH: October 23rd

J returns for week 5. Without the slightly sensitive C coming, it's our chance to pop in Inside after the missus goes to bed.

The Fly (1958) trailer
The Fly (1986) trailer
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror VIII: Fly vs Fly"

Tales from the Crypt: "Forever Ambregis" (1993) directed by Gary Fleder
Roger Daltrey tries and fails to steal Steve Buscemi's hot girlfriend... only in Tales from the Crypt land. Also only in this land is some disease transmission that works at the speed of plot. Said disease does cause some fantastic melt-down special F/X, sort of like if Troma had a larger budget to work with during Class of Nuke 'Em High. It's all good Crypt fun. (7/10)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) trailer

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) trailer
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror VI: Nightmare on Evergreen Ter."

An American Werewolf in London (1981) directed by John Landis
Whatever I may think of the director, I can't deny that this is the best werewolf movie ever made (though, admittedly, I cannot remember anything about The Howling). Some may complain about the humor in the film, preferring a more serious werewolf movie. However, the humor is never silly and doesn't diminish the seriousness of the plot. It simply arises naturally from the rather unusual situation David finds himself in, talking to ghosts and changing into an animal.

Folks usually praise the werewolf transformation -- which rightly earned Rick Baker an Oscar -- but I think the make-up job he does on the victims is even better. Jack's transformation from fresh corpse to not-so-fresh corpse sports some of the best gore make-up ever. I think it's the dangly bit of skin on Jack's neck that wiggles when he talks that pushes it over the edge.

If I had any complaints, it's that the film seemed like it might focus on the investigations of the Scotland Yard detectives and David's doctor a little more than it did. They're sort of set up to unravel the mystery of the killer who attacked David, but this is all dropped in order to focus on the werewolf attack in Piccadilly Circus. It's a minor complaint; I'd probably rather stick with David's adventures in wolfdom, anyway. (8/10)

Dolls (1986) trailer
Dollman vs Demonic Toys (1993) trailer
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror III: Clown Without Pity"

Inside (2007) directed by Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury
What if an American slasher movie, instead of Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees, had a woman as brutal and insane as Asami from Audition in it? This film is pretty close to what you'd get, I think. The story is relatively simple. A recently widowed, pregnant woman is attacked in her home by a crazy lady who wants her baby. Immediately. What follows is a savage battle between the two women.

Unlike an American slasher, however, the victim in the film doesn't fight back very effectively. She spends most of the movie hiding in her bathroom. When her anger finally replaces her fear, she tries and mostly fails to disable her attacker, then gets a toaster in the face. This is frustrating, perhaps because it plays with our expectations of these types of movies. We've come to expect and savor the cathartic pleasure of the victim harming her tormentor. We get that a little bit in this film, when the crazy lady is burned terribly in the face, but it is brief and not repeated.

The police in the film are so ridiculously stupid, it distracts from the movie. One officer hears gunfire coming from inside of the house. Does he first call for backup? Nope. He grabs a kid he arrested earlier in the night, chains him up, and they both rush into the house. Later, he gives the kid a weapon, but leaves him chained up. Their fates inside of the house can hardly be unexpected. I suppose this was a way to generate more people for the crazy lady to kill, but it could've been handled better.

One bit that I did think was well-done were the repeated shots of the fetus. We're shown the fetus being jostled and bumped around as the mother is attacked. It's a clever way of reminding us that their are two victims to worry about.

Ultimately, I'm not really sure what the point of this movie is, other than the shock people. It does play with the slasher formula in some original ways, but it's also equal parts frustrating. It does contain some things I can't say I've ever seen before in a horror movie, so there's that. (7/10)

Lil K's Job at Daycare is Producing These