Sure Mario Bava has done better, yet Lisa and the Devil is still a solid horror movie that in the tradition of Italian horror doesn’t quite make a lot of sense to me. That’s alright, it’s part of the film’s charm and the visuals are fantastic as usual when it comes to a Bava movie. One of my favorite scenes is a dinner party of the damned, all of the undead guests decked out in their finest. A demonic last supper if there ever was one!
Telly Savalas plays a man who is probably the Devil, yet acts the part of a man servant for a pair of rich people in one of those old mansions in the countryside. Elke Sommer, who embodies the title character, spends a lot of this movie running and screaming while dealing with being as confused by what is happening as the rest of the audience.
There is an airplane scene that is definitely partly inspired by the famous Carnival of Souls bus scene, and this movie has plenty of mayhem and gore. Even mid tier Bava is worth a watch, and yet I wonder if this movie wouldn’t benefit from a second viewing, as some of his films have from my experience. Also I have little interest in seeing the American recut version, which is just an Exorcist ripoff from the sound of things. Sometimes director’s cuts are highly unnecessary.
Well it is that time of the year again. I think a bit more Tubi than Shudder will be used this time. Perhaps even a dash of Netflix. Also all reviews will be actually linked in the titles since I figured out that looks better. Gonna try to keep up this time with the reviews for a change.
This concludes Horrorfest 2020. I think it went insanely well all things considered despite wifi issues and a pandemic, and I may have overdone it a bit. On to next year!
How to discuss a movie called Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama? I am literally shaking my head as I write a review for a film that I only saw because of Joe Bob Briggs. This is what I get for being a fan. Poor Linnea Quigley (from Davenport, Iowa! Neat!) agreed to make this gutter ball of a film (using turkey would imply something good) after rising to fame in Return of the Living Dead, a much better film in every way. Regardless a movie that doesn’t even really live up to its title has a few charms, and this flick was not a total waste. Andras Jones is actually likable as the film’s goofy hero, and Quigley gets some cool moments. If only the film’s villain was not Uncle Impie, and yes if that reminds people of a drunken uncle who gets busted for multiple crimes then it should. Uncle Impie is one of the worst horror villains of all time, and he lives up to his awful name in every way. Oh and this film was made in 12 days, and it really shows. If you want to be a filmmaker, this movie should be an inspiration to you to follow your dream: I doubt you can make a movie any less outrageous than this one.
The plot…is really not important. A bunch of idiots end up locked in a mall with Quigley and Uncle Impie, who they unleash and then fail to realize that he is an evil creature that causes mischief. At least the film has a reason they can’t leave: the mall is locked by doors that Impie electrifies. If we are going by reasonable film standards I cannot recommended this film, and even if we are going by horror movie standards the same applies. Yet I was not bored at all, and I did enjoy some of the kills. Also having a girl turn into the Bride of Frankenstein was kind of amusing. In the hands of a better director this could have been more than a curiosity, a type of “Geek show” to somewhat quote the late great Roger Ebert.
Look, I know the last one was a bust. I blame work, laziness, whatever. However this time I have a new, better resource: Shudder. Also not going with a list again, just showing the ones I have seen so far. Plus this is the 10th year of me doing Horrorfest. Wow. So I plan on going all out this time.
Based on the viewing list, I think I did pretty well.
There’s no theme this year. Also this might be the last one. Maybe. List which is always subject to change endlessly and whenever I feel like it. Especially when Netflix decides to pull horror films before October like they often do. Bad Netflix:
Wandering through the English countryside a group of deserting soliders flee a battle gone horribly wrong. Having witnessed death they seek comfort and shelter at a distant ale house. Only too late do they realize that two men have commandeered them for a dark purpose: the finding of a great treasure. Having escaped one master they are now under new management; one of them says of their new lord, named O’ Neil, “It does not surprise me that the Devil is an Irishman, though I thought perhaps a little taller.”
This is only the beginning of their horrors, both seen and lurking beneath the surface. A Field In England has many of the grace notes of a Ben Wheatley film, only in this case he dials up the surreal factor to new heights. Part drug trip part nightmarish journey into a fresh green hell, filmed in glorious black and white, this is a jarring and harsh movie. There is even some grin inducing bleak humor, followed by sharp and nasty violence. Each man falls prey to their own nature, with one of them transforming. Into what, well….that is a bit unclear.
As in all of Wheatley’s films truths emerge and people’s real selves are unwrapped, as if they were nasty presents from a demonic Santa. Chaso erupts and lives are changed forever. That stark final shot is perhaps the most jarring and odd climax to any of Wheatley’s works, and I have no idea what it means. Still this is a creepy and excellent movie, fine tuned and crafted to give the viewer an outer worldly experience.
Lon Chaney and some creepy woman are so happy that you stopped by for the introduction to this year’s Horrorfest. I’m carrying this over from my last blog, and I’ve been doing Horrorfests ever since 2008. From August until sometime in November I watch as many horror movies as I can, only this year I’m actually planning a theme for October-you’ll see. Just sit down, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. Don’t be alarmed if you scream or if sharp fangs press against your neck. Its all part of the show, see….
The List: (Subject to Change Whenever I Feel Like It)
28. 5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970, Mario Bava), Slasher-Netflix Instant Viewing=81/100
29. Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970, Mario Bava)-Slasher-Netflix Instant Viewing=92/100
30. Bay of Blood (1971, Mario Bava)-Slasher-Netflix Instant Viewing=88/100
Thus ends Horrorfest 2013. I enjoyed watching a ton of movies and being scared and thrilled during a three month period. I can’t wait for Horrorfest 2014. Cheers.