#31DaysOfHorror: Oct 28

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Halloween. The franchise that some (including some of the creators) say should never have become a franchise. After the runaway success of the first film, John Carpenter returned to lend a hand in writing the sequel as well as produce, even though he never intended for a sequel to be made in the first place. For the Third installment, Carpenter serves as producer only. The Intention was to drop the Michael Myers story and turn the franchise into an anthology with each film telling a separate story taking place on Halloween. Great Idea! Halloween III: Season of the Witch was ultimately a flop as fans clamored for the return of Myers. Well be careful what you wish for, fuckers…

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The ensuing three film arc was really only good for two things. Starting Danielle Harris on her path to becoming one of this generations greatest Scream Queens, and bringing back the always wonderful Donald Pleasance to reprise his role as Dr. Loomis. The plot involved Michael stalking and attempting to kill his Niece(Harris playing the young Jamie Lloyd) while Loomis tries to foil him. Part 5 sees the introduction of The Curse Of Thorn plotline which was fully explored in part 6 in an attempt to explain why Michael cannot die, and what compels him to kill his family. The concept behind the Curse of Thorn is that Michael had been under the influence of an ancient Celtic curse that drove him to  murder all family members in his bloodline. Once this task is complete, the curse would be passed to another small child. Right from the beginning of production, the film was waylaid by Jackassery on the part of Producer Paul Freeman and Director Joe Chappelle.

These two reportedly rewrote the ending on-set, sometimes even from shot to shot, all with deadlines looming. Freeman would do stupid things like send the crew home when crucial scenes needed to be shot, deleted scripted scenes indiscriminately, rewrote dialogue and action sequences, decided to direct second-unit shots as well as supervise the post production. Eventually his many fuck ups and bonehead decisions resulted in Miramax stepping in to take control of the film, and order reshoots.

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After filming and editing was completed, the film was given a test screening and in the ensuing Q&A, one viewer expressed displeasure at the ending. So Naturally, Miramax decided to excise the intended ending and a new one was shot, an ending which almost completely dropped the Curse Of Thorn Plot Line. Not only that, but 20 additional mins of footage was removed creating several glaring plot holes and resulting in the disappointed piece of shit we’ve known as Halloween 6 all these years.

For years, bootleg copies of “The Producers Cut” have been floating around. This version of the film contains all the cut material as well as the original ending. On Sept 23rd, the Producers Cut finally saw official release as part of the Halloween Complete Blu-Ray collection, and this is the film I watched. Its hard to erase the stink of the original release, however the restored version feels like a much more cohesive story. Things make more sense and the loose ends are tied up. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not crazy about this ending…But for Fuck sakes, just about ANYTHING would be better than the original release. Even with the restored footage, I still feel it’s a weak film…it’s just better than it was before. I know I’m very much a minority in that I wanted the anthology concept to take off instead of telling more stories about Michael Myers. What made the first Halloween work so well is that we had no idea what Michael was, or why. We were to project our worst fears onto him as he became a living Bogeyman. The more films you make with him, you are faced with a problem: You have to either keep doing exactly the same thing as before, or you have to define what he is. That is what killed the Halloween series to me…and to put it into perspective just how bad this was, the next Halloween film, H20, completely ignored films 4-6, rendering then non-canon! Would I recommend this film? Absolutely! If for no other reason than to see the final performance of the late Donald Pleasance.

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Lets Get NASTY: Bloody Moon, and The Boogeyman!

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Jesús Franco is primarily known for Directing both Low Budget horror films, and Sleazy Adult films. As you can imagine, several of these films would blur the line between the two. While Bloody Moon(1981) doesn’t go into outright pornographic territory, it does seem to have a certain…pornographer’s sensibilities. This German film is an oddly kinky, violent, disjointed mess. Depictions of attempted Rape, incest, a lone dick-slinger servicing a whole schools worth of nubile young ladies, are sandwiched between graphic and bloody murders which in and of themselves have their own sexual overtones.

Our story is centered around twins Manuela and Miguel. Manuela is pretty and popular, while Miguel is disfigured and creepy…but not so much as to stop his twin sister from having an incestuous relationship with him. (Before i go any further, i feel i must acknowledge something.  Wordpress allows me to track the terms people type into search engines  to find my blog, and the sheer number of views from people searching for incest related terms is staggering…and that was all from 1 post. I imagine my numbers will skyrocket now. Thank you, you warped bastards! I may even do a future piece just looking at some of the weird searches my creeps have entered…anyway, back to it!) One night, Manuela rejects Miguel and he retaliates by donning a Mickey Mouse Mask and attempting to trick a girl into having sex with him (I bet Disney LOVED this scene). When the girl fights him off, he brutally stabs her with a pair of scissors. Miguel then spends the next 5 years in a mental institution before being released into the care of his sister, who brings him back to live with her at the school she runs. The school is called Europe’s International Youth-Club Boarding School of Languages. No Joke. That is not an awkward translation…that’s what it’s actually supposed to be. On the train ride to this all Girls school, a pretty Brunette catches Miguel’s eye and he begins stalking her around campus. Miguel attempts to resume doing the dirty deed with his sister, who declines because people just don’t understand them, and says “Only if we could get rid of everyone, then things could go back to the way they were.”

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The pretty Brunette from the train, who we learn is named Angela, quickly becomes acclimated to her new school, making fast friends and being introduced Antonio, who all the girls fuck and rave about his skills. He’s a gardener…or something, i dunno, it really wasn’t important. When Angela’s friends start being killed of in sexually inventive ways (one is stabbed through the back, the blade exiting through her nipple, another is tied up(something she finds kinky) only for her head to be cut off with a table saw in an intensely bloody scene), nobody seems to notice it except for Angela. Everyone just assumes the girls are off fucking Antonio. Between The stalking of Miguel and the grisly murders of her friends, how long will it be before she reaches out to the school administrators? quite a damn while as it turns out, as she waits until the finale of the film where it all culminates in a ridiculously cheesy clusterfuck. Not literally…although with how weird the film is, a full on murder orgy wouldn’t surprise me.

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I kept a bunch of the hilarious details out, because this filth REALLY is worth it’s own look 😉

 

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The Boogeyman is the kind of film that i imagine had a troubled time going through production. I can’t help but think that the creative direction changed drastically during production and the result is a confusing film that suffers infinitely for it. The film begins with two young siblings who are spying on their mother as she prepares to have sex with her boyfriend. When the children are spotted by the couple, the young boy, Willy is tied to his bed, and Lacey is sternly told to go to bed. While it is not implicitly stated, we are left to assume this i s a regular occurrence. Lacy instead goes to the kitchen, and retrieves a large butcher knife to cut Willy free…but Willy decides to go all Michael Myers on us (complete with a POV style camera angle) and use the knife to kill his mothers boyfriend in brutal fashion. The murder is captured in the reflection of a mirror. Keep that in mind…it comes up again later *shakes head*

Years later, Lacey, now an adult is married with a young son and lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm. Willy also lives with them, but has not spoken a word since the night he killed his mother’s lover, and sometimes, Willy takes various knives from the kitchen and hides them in a drawer…cuz y’know…you never know when you might need to stab someone again, and apparently this family has so many knives, that they don’t notice the 15-20 that Willy is hording. After receiving a letter from their estranged mother, requesting to be allowed back into the lives of her children, Willy is visibly upset and wants no part of it, and Lacey begins to have strange dreams of an unseen figure tying her to a bed then stabbing her. Her Husband takes her to a shrink to confront her fears…neither of them making the connection that the clearly still traumatized Willy is the likely cause of these fears. At the urging of the shrink, Lacey and her husband decide to visit the home in which the murder occurred, only to find that the Mother has a new daughter, and a new son (apparently, as nobody makes the connection that Lacey is the estranged daughter, and it is seemingly glossed over). As Lacey and her husband tour the house under the premise of being prospective buyers, they find that the young boy likes to jump out and scare people while yelling “Boogeyman!”. Apparently the two times he did this were impactful enough to name the whole film after it. Now the next logical step would be for there to be a family re-union, and the unstable Willy goes on a bloody killing spree, as that is clearly what has been lead up to until now…but the film takes a bizarre twist and fucks everything up.

Lacey sees the reflection of her Mothers Murdered lover in the same mirror from that fateful night, and decides that screaming bloody murder and smashing the mirror with a chair is the way to go. The shards are cleaned up, all except for one, and Lacey’s husband takes the frame and shards home so he can re-assemble the mirror in an effort to show her that there was nothing there…uh-huh…meanwhile, Willy sees his reflection in a mirror and it causes him to nearly kill a girl who comes on to him (after he snaps out of it and lets her go, she runs off in tears, but strangely doesn’t call the police). His solution: paint every mirror black. Meanwhile, back at the old house, the one remaining shard glows red, apparently unleashing the vengeful spirit of the murdered lover, who kills all in the home.

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With me so far? The Mirror shards are evil and are out for vengence! Apparently just reflecting light from one of the shards onto a group of teens across the lake is enough to result in grisly murder from the unseen evil. We are treated to several shots of floating objects preparing to strike victims, horrible acting, and even a priest trying to dispell the evil. When the priest touches the shattered mirror, it’s officially go time, as a shard flies out and rests over Lacey’s right eye, seemingly possessing her and making the priest bleed from the head

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Ooooooooo…SPOOKY! Eventually they manage to destroy the evil shards all except one…which set up for a sequel…yes, this piece of shit generated a sequel! Honestly I have no idea why this film wound up on the Nasty list…maybe it was feared that anyone who watched it would become dumber…but since it’s nearly impossible to watch all the way through, i don’t think anyone needed to worry. There are two very distinct directions to the film, The traumatized boy growing up to continue the rampage, and creepy folklore about mirrors and what happens when they are broken. Both ideas would have been fine on their own, but when smashed together, fucking suck! And yeah…the title…I truly feel that title was used as either a Bait and switch strategy, or they literally had no better ideas.