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.
Last October, my charity was the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. I watched 90 movies and we raised over $500 for needy pugs! This year, I’ve chosen a different pug rescue: Curly Tail Pug Rescue, based out of New York City. From the CTPR site:
“Curly Tail’s Mission is to rescue owner surrendered, puppy mill rescues, homeless, unwanted for any reason, sick, or injured Pugs.
We fully rehabilitate medically needy pugs. We also provide behavior modification (if needed) to help place them into loving, permanent homes. Our goal is to set up our pugs for success!
We strive to educate the public in every possible way to help reduce the # of pugs & all animals needing rescue, shelters and the like.
We have placed pugs throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New England Area, Rhode Island….. often as far as Maine and New Hampshire! Although, we will take any pug in need from any location.”
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!
Please contact FPM if you’d like to help out!
Nothin’! After a long day of work, I helped a friend move a bunch of film prints up to his third-floor apartment. Exhausting work, folks. I got home and crashed.
Hypothermia* (2010, dir. James Felix McKenney)- McKenney is the mad genius behindAutomatons and Satan Hates You, but this is a much more conventional type of horror show compared to those films. Michael Rooker plays a father whose family is endangered by a creature living under the ice on the lake where the family vacations every year. Super tight at 72 minutes (including credits!), Hypothermia is definitely worth a watch. Full review here:http://www.filmmonthly.com/film/hypothermia
The Shiver of the Vampires* (1971, dir. Jean Rollin)- Digging into Rollin’s films on Netflix this month, and decided to start with this one. Maybe not the best choice! Despite some interesting surreal imagery (a woman awkwardly climbing out of a grandfather clock, a man assaulted by flying books in a tiny library), The Shiver of the Vampires seriously drags. The constant psych-rock accompaniment by Acanthus is alternately awesome and irritating. The dreamlike (or “incoherent,” if you’re feeling less charitable) storyline of the film is typical of the Rollin films I’ve seen before, but here it’s more dull than anything. Really hope they get better from here, because I plan to watch a lot of Rollin this month!
Brain Dead* (1990, dir. Adam Simon)- I remember nearly renting this movie about a thousand times when I was a teenager, but for some reason I never did. The VHS had a great, creepy cover (see the photo that accompanies this note), and it sounded really interesting, but I never got around to it. Damned shame, too, as the film is frequently as creepy as the cover would suggest, albeit in more subtle ways. Bill Pullman plays Rex Martin, a neuroscientist who mostly works with brains in jars. Bill Paxton plays his old college pal Jim Reston, now a corporate shark, who asks Martin to visit a former employee of Reston’s corporation who has some important information. He asks Martin to do this because this particular employee (Bud Cort as Jack Halsey) has gone insane and murdered his family, and now resides in a mental hospital. As Martin gets closer to the truth, his reality begins to splinter and fray at the edges. The ending is a bit anticlimactic and predictable– it was written by Charles Beaumont, well known for his work on The Twilight Zone TV series– but getting there is often quite a ride. A much-overlooked gem.
The She-Beast* (1966, dir. Michael Reeves)- Michael Reeves directed three features in his tragically short career, the first of them being this odd beast. Barbara Steele is top-billed but is hardly in the movie, and the film frequently takes a nose-dive into Benny Hill territory. The climactic chase scene at the end of the film is hilariously out of place and inept; apparently it was shot by a second unit, who seem to have gotten the screenplay forIt’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World on accident. Still, there are occasional flashes of the bleak brilliance that Reeves would bring to The Sorcerers and Witchfinder General, making it well worth a look.
The Tall Man* (2012, dir. Pascal Laugier)- After making Martyrs, Laugier was courted by the Weinsteins for a bit to do the long-awaited Hellraiser remake, but that fell through. Laugier ended up making The Tall Man instead, and for most of its running time it’s pretty great. Jessica Biel stars as a young nurse running a free clinic in a dying coal mine town (comparisons to Silent Hill and the real-life Centralia, PA are apt) where children have been going missing. The locals blame a shadowy figure called “The Tall Man,” but the truth is considerably more complicated than anyone could guess. Biel is really good in the lead, and it’s always good to see Stephen McHattie, here playing a worn-down FBI agent. Like Martyrs (and to some degree, House of Voices, his debut feature), The Tall Man is clearly concerned with class issues, although to say much more would be to spoil some of the film’s secrets, which are many. For most of its run time, The Tall Man is a cleverly constructed puzzle box, but by the end it’s taken one turn too many, and the final moments of the film are a little too on-the-nose a capper for what has come before. There’s no question that Laugier is a talent to be reckoned with; hopefully next time he’ll stick the landing and leave us all with our jaws on the floor.
Werewolf: The Beast Among Us* (2012, dir. Louis Morneau)- This is the direct-to-disc “sequel” to Universal’s remake of The Wolf Man, although you’d barely know it! Full review coming next Tuesday, but the short version is: Seriously, it’s a hell of a lot more fun than The Wolf Man was.
Running totals for October:
First-time views for October: 6
Total views for October: 6