Post by Mike Morbid on Jul 14, 2017 19:34:51 GMT -5
Good evening, and welcome to Friday Frightmare. If you have read these before you already know that I am Mike Morbid, your host to the horror. I have three more movies to tell you about tonight. It was suggested to me that tonight’s theme should be possession. I took a rather abstract view of it, and decided for tonight’s selection any movie where normal people have been taken over by a malevolent force would be applicable. Make sure you put on your galoshes before you come with me, this could get messy.
Imagine this. While taking a subway ride you see a face in the darkness that disappears after a few seconds. Upon exiting your conveyance you find yourself being followed by a person with the same face. You flee and run for a couple of minutes, go up a stairs and into the station. At the top of the stairs that person is already there waiting for you. Without a word he gives you a ticket to the grand opening of a theatre in a location you thought was abandoned, and starts walking away. Do you then throw away the ticket and go on with your life, or ask for another so you can take a friend with you to this show?
Since Demons is a horror movie, of course the heroine decides that she and her friend would have a splendid time at the initial show at the Metropol, the theatre in question. They are far from alone. There are about thirty other patrons. Among them are a couple of amorous teens, a cranky middle-aged guy (no, not me) and his wife, a guy who seems to be a pimp accompanied by his two business partners, and, of course, a blind man. They also meet two strapping young men who take an instant liking to them.
They all enjoy the movie, give joyous applause, and go home. No, pardon me, that was a typo. What I meant to write is that most of them won’t make it out the doors. The ball of doom begins rolling before the movie begins, although none of them are aware yet of what is happening. One of the business partners, played by the only person I recognize in this movie, the gregarious Geretta Geretta as Rosemary, finds a prop mask in the main hall and tries it on. Something in the mask cuts her cheek. She quickly forgets about it until the same thing happens to a character in the movie she is watching. Rosemary goes to the restroom to check on her cut, and to her dismay finds out that she is no longer part of the human species. This doesn’t keep her down for long though, as she soon fully embraces her new hobby, killing people and converting them to her cause.
From this point on the action is plentiful and more carnage is never more than a scene or two away. I appreciate it when horror characters don’t waste time crying that this is impossible and deny what is happening. These people know a monster when they see one and they don’t waste time trying to rationalize what is happening. Hopefully there will be time for that later, right now the important thing is trying to survive.
Demons is a cult classic, and for good reason. It is an Italian film and has a much different style than the typical horror movie made it North America. It has more of a feel like a nightmare than something you would see on the screen. It is still well made with a good budget for a foreign movie of that time. It also certainly doesn’t skimp on the soundtrack either, using music from people and groups such as Billy Idol, Rick Springfield and Motley Crew.
Once things get frantic not a lot of time is spent on character development. The director Lamberto Bava knows his audience wants mayhem and he is not stingy with it. Eyes are gouged, throats are ripped out, and pus sprays. Eventually, we find out that what is going on may not be contained to just the theatre.
One thing bothered me. It is established early on that people who are wounded by the demons will become demons themselves. However, sometimes this rule isn’t followed, and occasionally some people seem to change for no reason. Still, this is an entertaining flick that is well worth your time.
The video game Silent Hill has a homage to Demons, also having a theatre called the Metropol.
Body Snatchers: The Invasion Continues 1993
I first watched this more than twenty years ago soon after it was released to video. I quite enjoyed it back then, but time has tarnished it a bit. It is not a bad movie, just a cliched one that has been surpassed by many others.
Although it doesn’t mention the previous Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I am assuming this is a sequel of sorts. It doesn’t directly follow the events of the other movie though, and all of the characters are new. A family has moved onto an Alabama military base. The father is from the EPA and he is there to check on possibly hazardous effects on the surrounding area. It is unfortunate he does not know that Seti would be better equipped to handle this situation though, as the pods are here.
For those of you who do not know what the pods are, they are either seeds from somewhere out there. When one is in close proximity to a sleeping person, they stretch out tendrils into their nasal and oral cavities and begin to duplicate them. Once the duplicate is complete with all that person’s memories but none of their emotions, the original body decays in a matter of seconds. They don’t appear to be physically superior to a human, but they are fearless, determined and have quite the powerful voice.
My main problem with this movie is the ever present darkness. For a lot of its running time I found it difficult and sometimes impossible to see what was happening. This is not the only annoying thing. It is also very predictable. Each time somebody has been secretly replaced, you will easily be able to figure it out before the reveal. The survivors are exactly who you expect as well. And yes, there is plenty of ‘oh, there is nothing strange happening, you’re just imagining things’.
If you haven’t seen many secret invaders from the stars type movies you could find this one entertaining. Otherwise I suggest you only watch it if you have nothing better to do. It isn’t a terrible movie, it is just sort of blah.
One of the screenplay writers was horror great Stuart Gordon, who was also a writer for the very popular Re-Animator.
Within seconds you’ll see that this is yet another found footage flick. If you are like me you are getting quite tired of these even nine years ago. Fret not, for this is one of the better ones.
The premise is that a human interest reporter and her cameraman are tagging along with two fire fighters. We soon find out that fighting fires is just a small part of their job, and that most emergencies they respond to are medical in nature. That is the case for the call they get about ten minutes into the film. They get to an apartment building and soon find that this is a type of emergency they have never before experienced.
A few of the residents of the building have some kind of condition that is making them hostile and cannibalistic. They aren’t zombies such as you would find in the Living Dead movies, but they act much the same and they spread their infection in the same way. Right at the point where everyone decides getting out would be in their best interests, soldiers arrive and lock down the building, and they are rather persistent in keeping people from leaving. They also seem to be all knowing, as every time somebody goes to another door or window within seconds one of their captors arrives to prevent their escape.
Trapped with a growing number of adversaries, our protagonists must try to find a way to survive without help from the outside and with scant knowledge of what is happening. Of course this leads to quite a bit of conflict as people have different ideas of how to protect themselves, and some think the others are to blame for their predicament.
There is nothing new here, especially being as it is an almost exact remake of the 2007 Spanish film Rec. However, it is well crafted and suspenseful. You have no problem believing these are terrified people who are desperately trying to find a way out of their situation. Every dark corner and every new room or hallway could hold another terror waiting to rend their flesh, and they are a touch unhappy about that.
There was one shot I really liked about a third of the way through the movie. I won’t spoil it for you, except to say that this was the point when they learned that it might be best not to leave anyone alone. Alas, the people who made the trailer did not share my concerns about spoilers, as they put the very last shot of the movie in there. If you saw it, you’ve already seen how the movie is going to end.
Very late in the movie we get a hint that the cause of the infection might be spiritual in nature instead of biological. It acts very much like rabies, but progresses in the span of an hour instead of weeks or months. It also has a one hundred percent chance of transference. One little nip, and you will have to put your affairs in order very quickly.
As long as you are not completely exhausted by the unending deluge of found footage movies, you should find yourself enjoying Quarantine. It will help if you like serious no-frills horror that doesn’t give you humorous respites. It doesn’t last much longer than an hour, but that keeps it from getting tedious.
The main star Jennifer Carpenter requested not to be shown the final set piece until her scenes there were filmed, in order to make her reactions more authentic.
Now, let me search through the dark catacombs of my mind for a movie suggestion for you. How about... yes, of course! Phantasm is a charming tale about a mortician who just wants to give the recently departed gainful employment in an exciting new locale. He is being opposed in his noble efforts by two spiteful brothers and their friend. Thankfully he has minions and some cute little mechanical balls to help him achieve his goal.
Well, another Friday night is nearing its end. I hope you are enjoying yourself, even if you are out partying instead of wisely spending your time in the company of celluloid creeps. If you have suggestions for coming FF themes, or if you would like me to write about something other than movies, please let me know. Until next week, keep your vampire bats well fed and make sure the mummies are warmly dressed. Fare thee well.
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Demons is a classic, a must see IMO. Never saw Body Snatchers, but Quarantine was pretty good too. I like Jennifer Carpenter and wish she'd do more horror. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was great. But, great reviews on all three. Good stuff!