Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Amanda's Horror Years- 1991

So, this time, I am covering 1991. There were some good movies and some bad. I consider this year  not great for the horror genre but that is just my opinion.

Let me begin with the good- The People Under the Stairs was a Wes Craven offering starring Everett McGill and Wendy Robie. I liked this movie, even though it would not be my favourite Craven film. I think that it deserves to be included in this post. My next movie is Sometimes They Come Back. This is not one of Stephen King's well known movies, but I love it. I love the story of the man whose brother was killed by a group of bullies in the 1950's. They died in a train accident afterward but have come back into his life as ghosts and he has to relive the memories of his childhood and deal with the ghost bullies. This movie is one of my top King adaptations, but it seems that it is not revered which is a shame. Though strictly not horror, The Silence of the Lambs in included here as it is a classic movie. I read the book and I enjoyed the movie too. It is a worthy contender for best movie of 1991. Another thriller which I have to mention is Cape Fear. Now, I like the original movie so this one paled in comparison. I am not saying that it was bad or anything, it just didn't match up to the classic Robert Mitchum/ Gregory Peck movie.

There are some films that I felt were not brilliant, but not awful either and Popcorn was one of these.
 I did enjoy it in parts, but I wouldn't say that it was great. It is a mediocre slasher. Servants of Twlight is based on a Dean Koontz novel and it is about a young boy who is pursued by a weird cult who think that he is Satan. Another middle of the road one. The Sect was released in this year, but I have not seen that one yet, so I cannot comment. I wanted to include it here all the same. A few other lesser known movies released in 1991 are Dolly Dearest and The Unborn.

Now for the fun part- the sequels!!! So many for this year, I have to say. The first one is Freddy's Dead:The Final Nightmare which is great fun! I love the Freddy movies and this one was just great.
Chucky was back with Child's Play 3 and this was another fun sequel, I think. Puppet Master 2 was released in 1991 and it was straight to video. I liked this film. It was a lot of fun with some hilarious moments with the puppets, especially Torch! Bizarrely, Puppet Master 3 was released in this year too and I watched this today. I thought that it was really good and I loved the Nazi angle. Some not so great sequels from this year were Scanners 2, Critters 3,Omen 4, Howling 6, Silent Night Deadly Night 5 and 976-Evil 2.Wow, so many sequels and most of them, not all, are so so, in my opinion.

There you have it. I know that I will have omitted some movies from this year, but I can't fit them all in. If you have any that you would like to mention, let me know. I am always looking for new horror movies to add to my ever growing to watch list!!! I think that 1991 was an okay year for horror. There were a few decent movies, but there were a lot more duds. The 1990's as a whole were nowhere near as good as the 80's for horror, in my opinion. Anyway I hope you enjoy my movie selection from this year.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Aenigma Movie Review

Aenigma is a 1987 horror movie directed by Lucio Fulci and starring Milijana Zirojevic, Lara Naszinski and Jared Martin.

A lonely girl called Kathy(Zirojevic) is a student at St.Mary's College in Boston. She doesn't have any friends. She is asked out by creepy teacher Mr. Vernon. She is helped by some of her fellow students to get ready and when she meets him and they begin to get close, she finds out that it was all a cruel prank played on her by the teacher and the students. They chase her in their cars, forcing her to run out onto the road and get knocked down. She ends up in hospital and is being monitored by Dr. Anderson(Jared Martin)Meanwhile, at the college, a new student called Eva Gordon(Naszinski) is beginning her first day. She had suffered a nervous breakdown but now, she is fine.

She moves into her room with fellow student, Jennifer. Eva and Jennifer get on well. Eva is man crazy. We see that somehow, Kathy's spirit has entered Eva. Eva goes to meet Mr. Vernon for a date but he somehow gets killed by his own reflection. Kathy is still in her coma, but she is showing some activity when the killing is taking place. She is supposed to be brain dead. Kathy's mother is called Mary and she is the cleaning lady in the college. She is watching everything that is going on. Vernon's body is found and the police are called to investigate.

The consensus is that it is a heart attack that killed Mr. Vernon. Virginia, another student involved ih Kathy's accident goes back to her room and gets covered in snails. Oh yes, I said snails!!! Loads of horrible, slimy little snails who proceed to suffocate her. When the police come, they are puzzled as the snails have vanished. When Dr. Anderson is called to the school to help Eva who is having trouble breathing, she likes him and he asks her out on a date. Another student gets killed in a gallery when a statue falls on her. Eva was with her, but she headed off and left her to her fate. Eva is questioned by the police.

Eva begins to turn Dr. Anderson off and he dumps her for her roommate(nice!!) Eva gets more revenge for Kathy at the school when she kills off more students. Mary sees her doing it. Eva heads to the hospital and tries to kill her roommate and Dr. Anderson. She is going to kill them when she suddenly freezes and drops dead. What has happened? Mary has arrived at the hospital and she turns off her daughter's life support and lets her die. Kathy's soul emerges and heads off into the night.

This movie was interesting and fun. There were some unusual scenes, especially the one with the snails, but I enjoyed it all.  I liked the idea of the girl Kathy controlling Eva and making her kill for her. It is a great idea, I think, and it worked well here. The acting might not be the best, but the film was entertaining for me. I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. I certainly recommend it and I will give it a 6/10.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin Movie Review

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin is a 1971 horror/thriller directed by Lucio Fulci and starring Florinda Bolkan, Stanley Baker, Leo Genn and Anita Strindberg.

A woman called Carol Hammond(Bolkan) is having weird dreams about her neighbour, Julia(Strindberg). Julia is a party girl and she is always having parties and taking part in questionable activities in her apartment. She has a husband called Frank(Jean Sorel) who is cheating on her and her dad is a top lawyer, Edmund Brighton(Genn) and he is protective of his daughter as he suspects that Frank is not faithful to his daughter. Carol has to go to a psychoanalyst as the dreams go from being lesbian in nature to murdering Julia. She sees two people in the dream who see her murdering Julia.

It turns out that the next day, Julia really has been murdered and Carol goes in for a look and faints. Inspector Corvin(Stanley Baker) comes to investigate. He finds a fur coat at the scene and they think that the killer is a woman. They get a confession from an Irish guy but he is just a nut. Carol sees the two people from her dream who are actually two weird hippies. She follows them but they don't know her. The cops take fingerprints and Carol's turns out to be a match. She is arrested. Carol's dad comes to visit her in custody and she tells him that she did not murder Julia. He and Frank go to see her psychoanalyst and he thinks that the two hippies from her dream might have been witnesses to the crime. Meanwhile, Frank is with his lover and someone is taking photographs. Carol has been put into a nursing home to rest. Someone is watching her. He comes up to her and chases her. It is one of the hippies from her dream. She runs away from him and sees a horrific vision of dogs being experimented on and she passes out.

She tells the staff about her vision, but they put it down to her mental condition. Carol's dad finds out that Frank has been unfaithful. He accuses Frank of framing Carol. He tells him that he could have 
used Carol's dream to set her up. Carol is contacted by one of the hippies and she goes to meet her,
and is attacked but the police come in time. Frank's daughter gets stabbed by one of the hippies and they get caught by the police. They confess to the stabbing and to attacking Carol but they have no information about the Julia killing. The cops don't think that they did it. Carol's dad kills himself and he sets himself up as the killer of Julia. Convenient?

Carol is at her father's grave when Inspector Corvin comes to talk to her. She gets caught in a lie and he realises that she DID kill Julia, with whom she had been having an affair. She thought that the hippies would squeal. She made up her dreams so that she would evidence of being mentally unbalanced and get a lighter sentence should she be caught. Carol is taken away by the Inspector.

This film was interesting. There were some weird images in this. The dream sequences were really unusual and psychedelic. They were so out there. The dog scene made me a little uncomfortable, as I always am with animal scenes in horror, but I know that it wasn't real, so I just go with it. I enjoyed the story, with its twists and turns and it was an enjoyable mystery on the whole. All in all, this was a decent film with some weird scenes, but a good murder mystery story at the centre of it. I liked it and I would recommend it to lovers of the genre. I will give it a 6/10.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Faculty Movie Review

The Faculty is a 1998 sci fi /horror movie directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Robert Patrick and Famke Janssen.

The movie begins with Coach Willis(Patrick) chasing after Principal Drake(Bebe Neuwith) at Herrington High. He and a teacher, Mrs. Olsen(Piper Laurie) chase her and stab her. Cut to the next day and the students are arriving. They are the nerd, Casey(Wood), the cool guy Zeke(Hartnett), new girl Marybeth(Laura Harris),bitch Delilah(Jordana Brewster),athlete Stan(Shawn Hatosy) and weirdo Stokely(Clea DuVall). Casey sees the Coach at school and he is acting really strangely. Casey finds something on the football field and he brings it to  Mr. Furlong(Jon Stewart), the science teacher.

Zeke is selling drugs out of his car at school. A meek teacher, Miss Burke(Janssen) tries to tell him off but he laughs at her. Meanwhile, Mr. Furlong looks at what Casey has found and it turns out to be a sea dwelling creature. He thinks that it is a new species. He puts it in water and it comes to life. It bites the teacher. Casey takes pictures of the Coach. He and Delilah hide and watch the Coach and Mrs. Olsen infect the school nurse played by Salma Hayek. They run away and tell their teachers, but they are all infected too. Casey gets his partner and the cops to come to school to investigate but it backfires on him when there is no evidence of anything amiss. His parents think that he is taking drugs. He looks out of his window and sees the teachers outside. He doesn't want to go to school, but his parents make him.

Delilah meets him there and she tells him that the teachers are after her. Zeke notices that some of the students are acting strangely too. The once meek teacher Miss Burke is now bitchy and confident and she gives Zeke a hard time. Casey tells Stokely about it but she doesn't believe it. The kids all come together and talk about it. Casey tells his pals what has been happening. They go to Mr. Furlong and he has been turned and tries to attack them. Zeke uses his drugs that have been stored inside a pen and stabs him with it. It kills him. It turns out that the alien things don't like the drugs. The group make a plan to get out of the school. They get into Zeke's car and drive away to Zeke's house. He has a drug lab there.

Zeke works out that the drugs dry the creature out and it dies. They squabble as they don't know who is infected. They all have to try the drugs to see. It is Delilah. She escapes. They decide that they need to find the queen and destroy her. They go back to the school. They are chased by the football team who are super strong as they are infected. The creatures come and try and stop them from leaving the school. They kill Principal Drake but she isn't the queen. Zeke needs to get more drugs to kill the aliens.Stan gets infected. Zeke needs to go out to his car and get his drugs. Delilah shows up and tries to infect Casey. Miss Burke tries to get them, but they kill her .

It is revealed that Marybeth is the alien queen. She didn't take the drug earlier so she was not found out. She chases them and tries to kill them. Casey kills her. The movie ends with everyone being back to normal and happy. Everyone was reverted back to their former selves after the creature was killed.
This was a good, fun movie. Think Dawson's Creek with a bit of sci fi and horror thrown in. I liked it a lot and the cast were great. This was more of a teen movie, I think, but that wouldn't put me off at all. I had fun with it and I would certainly recommend it. I will give it a 7/10.

Twin Peaks, The Return, Episode 4

The episode begins with Dougie in the casino. He keeps winning and the casino boss is worried. He calls Dougie to his office to give him his winnings. He asks him where he lives and gives him a chauffeur to take him home. He arrived there and his wife Janey-E(Naomi Watts) comes out and gives him hell for disappearing. She tells him that he has been gone for three days. She sees the money and she is amazed. He can pay off his debts. She is delighted. Meanwhile, Gordon Cole goes to see Denise(David Duchovny) who is the FBI Chief  of Staff. He tells her that they have found Cooper.

In Twin Peaks,Sheriff Frank Truman(Robert Forster) is in charge at Twin Peaks Sheriff Department now. He is Harry's brother. We find out that Bobby Briggs(Dana Ashbrook) is a cop!!!!Who would have imagined that! Frank and Hawk bring out the old Laura Palmer files to have a look. They discuss the Log Lady's message. Bobby sees Laura's photograph and tears come to his eyes as he remembers her. They talk about Cooper and Bobby tells them Cooper was the last person to talk to his dad, Major Briggs, before he died. Cooper left town after that and Major Briggs died in a fire.
Lucy and Andy's son Wally(Michael Cera) turns up and gives a speech. He is dressed like Marlon Brando from The Wild One movie.

Cooper/ Dougie is at his house and he looks at his son, Sonny Jim. He is unsure of what to do. His son laughs. Gordon and Albert arrive at a jail in South Dakota to see evil Cooper. He talks to them and tells them that he was working undercover with Phillip Jeffries. He tells them that he was going to tell them all about it. He tells them that he left messages with Phillip so that he knew that it was safe.Albert tells Gordon that he authorised Jeffries to give some information to Cooper years ago about their man in Colombia and a week later, the man was killed so something is very wrong. It has  something to do with the Blue Rose. They don't think that the person that they talked to is really Cooper and they need to bring 'her' in to see if it really is.Who is she??? That is food for thought. Is it Diane? Audrey? Annie? So many possibilities!

This episode was great. It was good to see Duchovny reprising his role as Denise.There was some real emotion in the scene where Bobby sees Laura Palmer's photograph. It was a very powerful scene and I loved it! I like that Gordon and Albert are not fooled by evil Cooper's facade and it will be so interesting to see who 'she' is!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Rawhead Rex Review

Rawhead Rex is a 1986 Irish horror movie directed by George Pavlou and written by Clive Barker and starring David Dukes and Niall Toibin.

Howard Hallenbeck(Dukes) is an American who travels to Ireland on holidays. He is also photographing religious stuff such as graves and churches etc. He has his wife with him and his son and daughter. Some locals are trying to dig up a large stone pillar which is in a field. They fail and head off. There is a storm coming  and the pillar is hit by lightning. It falls over and a monster is unearthed. A local priest, O'Brien touches the altar in the church and becomes insane for some reason. Howard is looking for Reverend Coot(Toibin) and he wants to look at the parish records. He is also looking for sacred sites.

The monster, called Rawhead Rex, goes around the town killing the locals. The cops come and they are bewildered by the happenings around town. Howard spots the monster and he tells the police but they don't believe him. Howard is further frustrated when the Reverend tells him that the parish records have been stolen. Howard is in the church taking photos when O'Brien comes in and breaks his camera. He threatens Howard. Howard and his family are going to leave and go to Dublin when his wife sees something in a field. Howard stops the car when his daughter needs to pee behind a bush and Howard with his wife go into the field when their daughter says that she sees something. It is just a scarecrow. Their son is in the car when Rex comes along and kills him. 

Howard goes to the police again. He is furious with them for not doing anything about his son's death. He says he'll get it himself. He goes to Coot and they discuss the monster. They look at a stained glass window in which the monster is shown defeated by a weapon. O'Brien gets Coot and brings him to the church for Rex, The police come and are going to shoot at Rex but the police inspector has been gotten to by Rex and he blows up all of the cops, including himself. Coot realises that something about the altar is making Rex nervous. He tells Howard before he dies. Howard faces off with O' Brien and he subdues him. He cracks the altar open and finds the weapon to kill Rawhead Rex. He tries to use it on Rex, but it doesn't work. Rawhead kills O'Brien. He is going to kill Howard when his wife picks up the weapon and it works. It is because she is a woman. Rawhead is destroyed and Howard and his family go home. The movie ends with Rex coming back from the grave!!

This is a really fun horror movie. I liked the idea of it being set in Ireland and it was just a really entertaining film. If you like monster movies, then this is for you. The story is pretty simple, but that shouldn't put you off. This is one to watch if you haven't seen it.I really enjoyed watching it and I had fun with it which is always good. I will give it a 6/10.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Twin Peaks, The Return, Episode 3

So, this episode begins with good Cooper falling into a strange place with water all around. He sees a window and he climbs through it. He enters a room where there is a woman sitting with no eyes. He asks her where he is but she can't tell him. Someone is knocking at the door and she tries to warn him to be quiet. She shows him a way out of the place that he is in and when he exits, he is on some sort of metal craft in what looks like space. He sees Major Briggs who tells him of a 'Blue Rose'. He goes back inside the place and finds another woman(played by Phoebe Augustine who you will remember played Ronette Pulaski in the original Twin Peaks) waiting for him. She helps him escape from something nasty that is behind the door. Evil Cooper is driving, but he gets very sick and crashes his car on the highway.

We see a THIRD Cooper who is called Dougie Jones and is in a house with a hooker called Jade(Nafessa Williams). He feels weird and we see that he wearing the ring from Fire Walk With Me.
He gets sick and disappears. He ends up in the Lodge with Mike who takes his ring. Dougie has fulfilled his purpose and he is turned into a tiny gold ball. He was made as a Cooper duplicate and now he is no longer needed. Good Cooper emerges and he is confused and dazed. Jade thinks that he is Dougie and tells him that she will give him a lift. There are two guys in a car watching Dougie's house and they are not good guys. The cops find Cooper in his car. They look at him and the smell of whatever he spewed is horrific.

Lucy, Hawk and Andy search for the missing thing that the Log Lady told them about, but come up empty handed. Jade takes Cooper/Dougie to a casino and tells him to go inside. He is not himself.
He goes into the slot machines and sees a strange signal over some of the machines. He plays them and wins loads of money. We cut to Gordon Cole(David Lynch) and Albert Rosenfield(Miguel Ferrer). They see the footage of Tracey and Sam who were watching the box. They don't know what going on. They receive a call to tell them that Cooper has been found in South Dakota!

This episode was great. We finally got to see Cooper coming out of the Lodge, but he is not able to function properly  AND we find out that there are other Coopers out there. Are there more? Probably.
This episode is classic David Lynch and it spooked me in parts which is great. There was some nightmarish imagery but it is all just wonderful. I am intrigued to see what is coming next. This series is getting better and better!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Split Movie Review

Split is a 2016 thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley.

Three girls are getting a lift with one of their dads when a man comes up and attacks him. He takes the three girls with him. They wake up in a room in a place that they don't know. The man is there. The three girls try to think of a plan to escape. The guy has 23 different personalities. The one who kidnapped them is called Kevin(James McAvoy). He is dangerous. The guy uses another personality called Barry who meets with his psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher(Buckley). She knows all about his other personalities. She thinks that he is acting differently and she wonders what is up with him. The three girls realise that he has different personalities. He turns into a young person called Hedwig and the girls try and talk to him and get him to help them. One of the girls tries to climb out through the vent but she gets caught. She is separated from the other two.

The guy has two dominant personalities- Dennis and Patricia. Dennis goes to meet Dr. Fletcher but pretends that he is Barry. She knows that there is something up with him. He catches another girl trying to get out and she is taken away. The last girl left is called Casey(Taylor-Joy) and she has her own problems as she was abused as a child. She tries to get Hedwig to let her out and she sees that he has a radio and tries to radio for help, but he realises what she is up to and stops her. Fletcher comes around to investigate what is happening with Kevin and he catches her and locks her up before killing her as he takes on yet another personality- The Beast.

The Beast takes over and tries to kill Casey. He sees that she has scars from where she was cutting herself and he relents. He thinks that this makes her pure and he doesn't want to kill her any longer. She gets out and realises that she was underneath a zoo where Kevin was working. She talks to the cops. Kevin escapes and is happy that he is free to go on with his journey. The movie ends in a diner where news of Kevin's crimes are on the TV. A guy called David Dunn(Bruce Willis) is looking on. He is a character from Shyamalan's other movie, Unbreakable, so there is some link between the two movies.

This was an interesting film. I didn't love it or I didn't hate it. It was middle of the road for me. I liked the idea of the multiple personalities and I did think that it would be more exciting, but I found it a little slow in parts. I liked the main character of Kevin and McAvoy did a good job with the different personalities. The Casey character was forgettable, I thought. All in all, an entertaining thriller and it is one to watch if you enjoy thrillers. I will give it a 5/10.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Twin Peaks, The Return, Episode 2

 There are spoilers here so if you don't want to know what happens, turn back now!!!

 We left off with Bill Hastings being accused of murder. His wife comes to see him and she is less than sympathetic. It turns out Bill was having an affair with Ruth and his wife has been seeing their lawyer friend. She tells him that he will be spending his life in prison and smiles. She leaves his despondent and horrified. There is some weird ghostly man in the cell next to Bill and his disappears into the air. When the wife returns home, she gets shot by evil Cooper. Cut to Las Vegas and a man called Mr.Todd(Patrick Fischler). He tells a younger man to tell a woman that she has the job and he hands him a lot of cash. The guy called Roger asks him why he does these things and Mr. Todd tells him that he should never get involved with someone like 'him'. This is intriguing. Is it the evil Cooper?

Speaking of evil Cooper, he is talking to his associates, Ray, Darya and Jack. He wants information from Ray who will get it from a secretary to a man called Hastings. The information seems very important to Cooper. Back in Twin Peaks, Hawk is in he woods at night, looking around. He gets a call from the Log Lady and she tells him to watch carefully. She tells him to let her know what happens. Hawk goes to the circle of sycamore trees and the place where the gateway to the Black Lodge. Cut to the red room . The one armed man asks Cooper if it is future or past. Laura Palmer shows up.  Cooper asks her if it is really Laura and she tells him that she feels like she knows her, but sometimes her arms bend back. She tells him that he can go out now. She also tells him she IS Laura Palmer, that she is dead, but somehow, still alive. She whispers something into his ear and then she kisses him. Suddenly, she gets pulled away and she screams.

The one armed man takes Cooper to see the arm which has changed from the little man into a tree with a monster head on it! It tells Cooper that his doppelganger has to come back for Cooper to leave.
The evil Cooper realises that he has been double crossed by his associates and he shoots Darya. He finds out that Ray has been taken to prison in South Dakota. He has a radio and he is speaking to someone on it. He mentions the name Philip Jeffries, who you will know is an FBI agent who disappeared and who was played by David Bowie in Fire Walk With Me. Cooper taps into the FBI database and comes up with a plan of the prison where Ray is being held. He wants the information from him badly. He comes out of his motel room and goes next door where a woman, Chantal(Jennifer Jason Leigh) and she is another helper of his. The two of them get it on.

Back in the red room, the arm tells Cooper the number 253 and says 'time and again'. It tells him to go. He tries to leave. He meets Leland. The one armed man says that something is wrong. Good Cooper sees evil Cooper. The arm doppelganger comes and sends cooper off into space. He ends up in the plastic box in New York. There is nobody watching the box. He falls down into blackness...
Sarah Palmer is at her house watching bloody animal programmes to TV. She doesn't seem too bothered by it. The episode ends with us visiting the Bang Bang Bar at the Roadhouse. Shelley Johnson(Madchen Amick) is there with her pals. In comes James Hurley(James Marshall) and they have a moment as they acknowledge each other. She says that James had a motorcycle accident.
She then greets a man at the bar called Red (Balthazar Getty). The episode ends with music.

 Another great episode. The red room scenes were great and nightmarish in parts. The arm was interesting as I knew that Michael J Anderson wasn't coming back. I wondered what they were going to do to replace him and it was interesting. I loved seeing the Black Lodge again and familiar faces were most welcome. I loved seeing James Hurley again as I really liked his character on the show. Laura Palmer almost looks the same as she did 25 years ago so that was very good!! There was a lot going on in this episode, but it was just great and I loved it!! I am looking forward to seeing more!

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