I should note that I will be dealing heavily in spoilers for some of these movies, but in general those are movies I would absolutely not recommend another human being actually watch. Still, fair warning. Also, films denoted with an asterisk are first-time watches. Films denoted with TWO asterisks before the title are available on Netflix Instant!
My request is simple: For every movie I watch, I am asking for a small donation. As I mentioned above, I watched 90 movies last October. This year I will probably not quite hit that number, but I will still try to watch as many films as I can. Assuming I hit more around 50-60 films, a donation of just 10 cents per movie would be a total donation of $5 or $6. For the price of a bargain matinee, you could help out needy pug dogs! Even if you just pledged 5 cents or a penny per movie, every cent will go to help out pugs who need homes and medical care. You could alternately make a straightforward donation of whatever amount you wish if you prefer. Additionally, if you would like, I will take requests to watch excruciatingly bad movies and write them up in my reviews for extra pledges! Every little bit helps and many hands make for light work. Together, we can make a big difference for some sweet, weird-lookin’ little dogs who need our help! This year, I’ve chosen a different pug rescue: Curly Tail Pug Rescue, based out of New York City.
Sorcerers, The (1967, dir. Michael Reeves)- Michael Reeves’s second film was this great late-career Boris Karloff vehicle that portrayed the battle between the older generation and those wild, wild kids of the 1960s in a very unique manner. While Karloff is great in this, Catherine Lacey very nearly walks off with the entire movie as his wife. A great, under-seen 1960s British horror film that is finally getting a legit US DVD release thanks to Warner Archive. Full review here.
Spasmo* (1974, dir. Umberto Lenzi)- Spasmo has one of the all-time great giallo trailers, six minutes of nonsense that just fly by, punctuated by a very distressed person shouting “Spasmo!” every so often. Luckily the film nearly lives up to the trailer– nearly!– in no small part thanks to a fantastic score by Ennio Morricone and a few well-placed mannequins. Christian (Robert Hoffman) discovers a woman lying on a beach who appears to be dead, but she’s not– she’s just Suzy Kendall (as Barbara), back for another giallo! Christian and Barbara are powerfully attracted to each other, and Christian stalks her to a boat party and follows her home. When a mysterious man attacks Christian in Barbara’s bathroom, Christian shoots him in self-defense, and then stuff gets weird. Is Christian’s brother Fritz actually a savage murderer? Who is leaving these mannequins all over the place? What the hell is going on? It’s not as crazy as Lenzi’s Eyeball, but it’s still pretty great.
The Vampire’s Ghost* (1945, dir. Lesley Salander)- This is a fairly unusual story of a vampire who takes up residence in Africa and makes life difficult for an engaged couple. Roy Hendrick (Charles Gordon) visits his fiancee Julie (Peggy Stewart) and her father Thomas (Emmett Vogan), but finds he has come during a tragic time: the jungle drums beat constantly to ward away the evil that is killing people in the night. Roy decides to ask bar owner Webb Fallon (John Abbott), who has recently moved in and learned all about the local underworld. When Roy and his friends put together a team to visit the natives and see if they can figure out how to help, Roy learns that Fallon is actually the vampire. Fallon wants Julie for his companion after centuries of boredom, and it’s up to Roy to stop him. This is an interesting little vampire film from RKO, and if you’re looking for a little something to pad your October horror film totals, it only runs about 55 minutes!
The Sleeper (2012, dir. Justin Russell)- I presented the Chicago premiere of Justin Russell’s early 1980s slasher replica The Sleeper at Facets Cinematheque as a midnight movie on October 12th. This was part of Facets Fright School, their annual October run of midnight movies, which are always really fun. This was especially fun since I managed to convince the projectionist to show the VHS copy of The Sleeper, and it looked amazing. I seriously think if I’d tried to pass the film off as being made in 1981, the way the VHS looked projected onto the Facets screen would probably have convinced everyone that it was legit. The film is a dead-on replication of the look and tone of the heyday of teen slasher films, down to the pointless pre-credits sequence, the occasional disappearing character, completely useless police, and a completely pointless/hilarious dance sequence. If you love this type of film, you’ll find a lot to like in The Sleeper; if you don’t, it’s not going to change your mind.
Running totals for October:
First-time views for October: 17
Total views for October: 21