|Daria Nicolodi in Beyond the Door II aka Shock.|
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HMG: Beyond The Door II
Friday, March 17, 2023
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
HMG: Beyond The Door
Jessica (Juliet Mills) has a lot on her plate, not only being possessed by a demon, but also apparently carrying the devil's child. Levitation, regurgitation and desecration ensues.
It's funny to me that I just watched Beyond Evil, a film with similar themes to Beyond The Door, but couldn't be more different. Evil attempts to tell a coherent story - it fails, but at least tries - whereas Door has no such allusions. This is textbook Italian replication at work here. Mix together a large helping of The Exorcist (which came out the year previous) with some Rosemary's Baby, add some weirdo badly dubbed children and sprinkle a Euro-funkadelic score on top and voila; you've got Beyond The Door!
I have so many questions, chief among them, why is the son obsessed with pea soup, to the point he drinks it from the fucking can? Is it some sort of in-joke about Pazuzu vomit? Both these kids talk like they're from outer space. Man, onscreen children that call their parents by their first names always irk me. But I digress. Whatever the deal was with those kids was irrelevant anyway because they are mercifully shuffled away in the third act, save for the nonsensical final freeze frame.
|Like, what the fuck dude?|
Beyond The Door is just so perplexing. It should be simple, but just can't help going off on these strange tangents, like that extended scene when the husband, Argento regular Gabe Lavia, is accosted by nose-fluting buskers on the sidewalk. Oh, I forgot about this... the movie opens with narration from the Devil himself. I don't know why the Prince of Darkness felt the need to lay everything out for us, but thanks I guess? You know what I'd like to forget? That skeezy goodnight kiss scene. Ick.
This all results in a movie that feels loooong. However, I did appreciate that at some points two scenes were super-imposed over each other to save time. I guess the only real takeaway - apart from the usual bonkers Eurotropes - was Mills' performance as she really gives her all in the possession scenes. I'm sure this wasn't what she was envisioning when she signed onto this project - her last film in Italy was alongside Jack Lemmon - but that's the nature of the biz I guess.
It looks like the Guide had even less tolerance for Beyond The Door than I did, finding the kids equally as boggling.
Friday, March 10, 2023
Jennifer! *whispers* Jenniferrrrr!
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
HMG: Beyond Evil
Friday, March 3, 2023
A Wolf In Creep's Clothing.
|-“It shrinks?” -“Like a frightened turtle!”|
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
HMG: The Best of Sex and Violence
On those two things I can safely say it delivers, showcasing the goriest and sleaziest bits and pieces of Wizard Video's catalogue circa 1981. These were the early days of Charles Band before he moved onto greener(?) pastures with Empire and Full Moon. What's amusing is I think that's Brinke Stevens on the poster and she's not even in this...
As a trailer reel, it serves its purpose, but as a spectator, it doesn't have the prestige of Terror In The Aisles which followed three years later or even the entertainment value of watching dtunk Cameron Mitchell cosplay it up with Michelle Bauer in Continental Video's Terror On Tape the year after that.
Let's face it, the only thing breaking up the trailers in The Best of Sex and Violence are awkwardly cheesy asides from John Carradine. He's slumming here and considering we're talking about John-fucking-Carradine, THAT is really saying something. Jesus, some of these one-liners were cringe even in the eighties.
On the bright side, my takeaway here is being introduced to some lovely ladies like Dixie Peabody and Phyllis Davis (whom I guess I did see in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls). Everything about this is the epitome of thrown together, but hey hope they sold some tapes out of it. The Guide had some understandable disdain for it;.
As for admonishing people for watching ninety minutes of trailers, they obviously didn't foresee the YouTube generation. or the Trailer Trauma or Video Nasties DVD compilations or five-hour long documentaries like In Search of Darkness. Different strokes (stabs?) I guess...
Monday, February 27, 2023
If Ya Know... Ya Know.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Feb 2023 Horror Trivia Screening List
To all those who came here from the Storm Crow FB page, welcome! I am Jay, one half of the horror trivia quizmasters and this is my humble blog.
If you heard a title while at the February event and thought “oh that movie sounds cool, I should check that out”, here's a comprehensive list of all the films that were mentioned.
For everyone else, maybe there's one or two here you have yet to catch. Horror Trivia Night happens the last Wednesday of every month at Storm Crow Manor in Toronto. If you're in the area, come on down! Register here. If you're not local, we do often stream the event on the @ruemorguemag Insta.The Invisible Man(2020) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1051906/
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Horror Movie Guide: Before I Hang
I'm really starting to see how much modern science, which was surprisingly astute in this for a film made in 1940, played in these silver screen horror movies (and how often Karloff was in them). I mean, the mad scientist is a timeless trope, but I'm seeing that it was never more prevalent than during the atomic age.
The Guide seemed to proclaim that Karloff looked bored in this movie, but I found his presence was still pretty strong in this, even if the subject matter may not been enough to fill a feature. I also maintain there are some interesting angles to Before I Hang. It's curious that the idea of assisted suicide still remains as objectionable some eighty years later and I did notice the DNA of things to come decades later like Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode Escape Clause and Eric Red's script for Body Parts (I'm sure there are earlier movies featuring killer parts possessing their owners, but that's the one that comes to mind) in this movie, as well.
|Boris Karloff as Dr. Garth in Before I Hang.|
This was a short one, clocking in at just over sixty minutes, but it seemed to drag at points. Well, maybe not drag, but it did get rather repetitive as the cycle of Karloff trying to cure someone and then just strangling them instead occurred over and over during the course of the picture. Not much more to say on this one. It wasn't anything special, but my opinion isn't as harsh as that of the Guide.
Friday, February 17, 2023
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Valentine Reunion, Part Three
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Horror Movie Guide: Bedlam
Set in 1761, a young protégée (Anna Lee) seeks to improve the conditions in an infamous London asylum, only to be committed herself by its sadistic head physician Sims (Boris Karloff).