Monday, January 14, 2019

“This Is a Nice Town, With Okay People” - Necromancy (1972)

I must admit to an oversight here on Senseless Cinema, and that oversight is the lack of coverage of the truly excellent cinematic work of the famous director Bert I. Gordon. The oversight will now be corrected with a discussion of one of his finest works, 1972's Necromancy (aka The Witching), starring Orson Welles.

As usual, not all of your universe's critics recognize the quality of Mr. Gordon's masterwork. For example, cfc_can writes that the director "seems to be deliberately trying to confuse the audience by using flashbacks and dream sequences." Reviewer lucyskydiamonds writes, "This movie is so inherently awful it's difficult to know what to criticise first." And reviewer BaronBl00d writes, "This is not a good movie in any way under any name." Needless to say, these three reviewers and countless others are misguided and incorrect, so let us proceed on a tour of the cinematic wonders of Bert I. Gordon's Necromancy...

Monday, January 7, 2019

"I Can't Go a Month Without a Ghost" - Knocking on Death's Door (1999)

Let us turn our attention to the 1990s again and look at a lost masterpiece from close to the turn of the century, 1999's Knocking on Death's Door from Roger Corman's New Concorde Pictures, a classic modern ghost story.

Of course, not all of your universe's critics appreciate the film. One reviewer, Ultra-violence1, says the film is "By far one of the most boring horror movies in history." As the saying goes, however, history is a long time, and I must disagree with Ultra_violence1's assessment. Read on for more details about Knocking on Death's Door...

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Whole West End Is Crammed with Santa Clauses” - Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

In the spirit of the holidays of your universe and mine, let's examine a film that seriously explores one of the many winter solstice holidays: Edmund Purdom's (and apparently other directors') 1984 slasher film Don't Open Till Christmas.

Many of your universe's esteemed critics take the same attitude toward this film as the film's slasher takes toward the holidays: They selfishly want to ruin them. For example, reviewer Rainey-Dawn believes that the film is "drab, flat trash." Reviewer dagonseve writes dismissively, "I found it difficult to reasonably describe the film's premise on account of how humorous and well stupid, it is." Reviewer gridoon2018 writes, "The production quality / plot "logic" / acting are on a high school play level, and the identity of the masked killer is batantly obvious." (I must point out this reviewer's misuse of the word "blatant," as the identity was not obvious to me.)

Monday, December 17, 2018

"I Think I'll Just Worry About It Tomorrow" - Blood Shack (1971)

It should come as no surprise that we are fans of minimalist horror cinema at Senseless Cinema, and one of the finest examples of minimalism ever committed to film is Ray Dennis Steckler's Blood Shack (1971). This is a film which truly capitalizes on its title, including both blood and a shack, but does away with other distracting elements that make some horror films overly busy and complicated.

Of course, many of your universe's critics, for whatever reasons, do not have a positive view of minimalism. Reviewer BA_Harrison writes, "Not to put too fine a point upon it, it's crap!" Reviewer MartinHafer writes, "his film looks almost like a home movie. The camera work looks almost like it was done with a Super 8mm camera, the narration sounded like it was done in a tunnel and some of the director's family were in it because real actors cost money." Reviewer tocado5585 writes, "The acting is horrible and the setting looks like some makeshift buildings were put up in the middle of nowhere just for the sake of filming this. The murder scenes in this were like watching a Saturday Night Live skit."

The reference to Saturday Night Live is beyond the pale, and tocado5585 should be ashamed. Let us consider in detail Mr. Steckler's Blood Shack and see that it could hardly be further removed from a Saturday Night Live skit...

Monday, December 10, 2018

"An Autopsy Doesn't Do Anything for Their Looks" - Enter the Devil (1972)

On our tour of unheralded classics now moves to Southwest Texas and 1972's Enter the Devil, a chilling film that revolves around a Satanist (or possibly Christian) cult that makes nightly human sacrifices outside a sparsely populated desert town.

Reviews of Enter the Devil from your universe, surprisingly, are not entirely negative. Reviewer coventry writes, "The pacing of 'Enter the Devil' is very slow, with one too many romantic sub plots and some bizarre (and unsuccessful) attempts inserting humor." Reviewer tvm-LiveForever calls the film a "just very average movie." Reviewer oslog says, "the movie is incredibly low budget and it shows through and through." Let us look at the film in more detail. Please read on...

Monday, December 3, 2018

"I Thought Maybe You Were Stashing a Broad" - Twice Dead (1988)

Let's now discuss the classic exploration of doomed love and self-fulfilling prophecies, Twice Dead (1988), the first of many horror films to feature famed actor Todd Bridges.

Your universe's critics have been characteristically obtuse about Twice Dead. For example, reviewer AaronCapenBanner writes, "Film itself is shoddy, with a derivative, unappealing story about a vengeful ghost and a biker gang...and is directed without distinction, and looks amateurish. Dull and uninteresting film is a complete bust, with a lousy and unoriginal ending." Reviewer exocrine writes, "This movie is so horrid it is hard to put into words." Reviewer skutter-2 writes, "As a whole the movie doesn't work and the story and tone are all over the place." However, even a cursory exploration of the themes of Twice Dead will show that it is a top-notch haunted house film. Please read on...

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Yeah, She's in Trouble! The Only Person Who's in Trouble Here Is You!" - Don't Panic (1987)

Our next classic is the supernatural thriller Don't Panic (1987), a Mexican-American production written and directed by Ruben Galindo, Jr., the auteur behind the equally classic Cemetery of Terror (1985).

Of course, your universe's critics are uncharitable about this classic. Reviewer poolandrews writes, "Overall there is very little I can recommend Don't Panic by as it's a pretty terrible film all round really....One to avoid unless it's VERY cheap & your [sic] VERY bored." Reviewer tikkin writes, "There are too many boring parts however to make this a good slasher film." Insomniac_moviefan writes dismissively, "Terrible make up, stupid situations, and a lame killer make this an avoidable film at all costs."

Let us correct these impressions with a thorough review of the film itself. Please read on...

Monday, November 19, 2018

"I Don't Care About the Telephone. I Want a Hot Dog!" - The Bleeder (1983) aka Blodaren

If the Swedish film industry is known for one thing, it is slasher movies (or possibly art films or thrillers, but mostly slasher movies). The highlight of the nation's filmic output is undoubtedly The Bleeder (1983), also known as Blodaren, one of the brightest slasher films ever made.

Oddly, some of your universe's leading critics fail to admit The Bleeder's classic status. For example, reviewer superc0ntra writes, "This is probably the worst movie distributed to the public ever." Reviewer HumanoidOfFlesh writes, "The plot is idiotic and the acting is hideously bad....The action moves at snail's pace and the film is utterly lifeless and annoying.A chore to sit through." Reviewer psycroptic writes, "The overall quality of this film isn't all that good, in fact it really stinks."

Obviously, these reviews are misinformed, cruelly so. Please read on for an objective view of the first Swedish slasher movie...

Monday, November 12, 2018

"Like Being on an Elevator With No Elevator" - UFO: Target Earth (1974)

Having recently reviewed Michael de Gaetano's metaphysical Western ghost story Haunted (1977), it is appropriate that we move on to Mr. de Gaetano's first film, the metaphysical UFO movie titled UFO: Target Earth (1974). (We will ignore the fact that the title has either misplaced its colon, or has forgotten to add a second colon.)

Reviewer leofwine_draca writes, "One of the sorriest excuses I've ever seen for a movie, UFO: TARGET EARTH is the pits." Reviewer vigilante407-1 writes, "UFO Target Earth is, quite simply, the single most boring movie I've ever seen. It tries to be artsy, but falls flat on its face." Reviewer jtp21455 writes, in a very personal narrative, "I have always been very interested in the UFO phenomenon and i couldn't wait to see this movie when it came out in 1974, so my ex-wife and i went to see it at a drive-in movie....This movie was so bad i looked around and everyone else left, and we were the only ones left, i finally couldn't take it anymore and we also left."

These reviewers ignore the film's metaphysical commentary, so their opinions must be corrected. Please read on...

Monday, November 5, 2018

"The Voice of His Blood Crying Out to Me from the Ground" - Haunted (1977)

Let us turn to the Arizona-set film Haunted (1977), a fine example of one of the most difficult of subgenres: the ghost story without ghosts. Instead of a horror movie, Haunted is a deep psychological drama set in an abandoned wild west movie ranch. As if the concept were not enough to establish the film as a classic, it also stars as romantic partners the 51-year-old Aldo Ray and the 57-year-old Virginia Mayo.

Reviewer BA_Harrison calls Haunted "A dull, perplexing mess that makes not one iota of sense." Reviewer aftermathsystems, who worked on the film, writes, "Working the set I felt like a high school drama class could have done a better job." Reviewer jeopelkarma writes, "This is bad. Really bad. Bad acting, script, sets, everything." (It must be argued, however, that, objectively, the sets in the film are quite good.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Check Out My Story: "Moonface Returns"

My short story “Moonface Returns” is included in the collection Under the Full Moon’s Light, edited by Emma Nelson and Hannah Smith and published by Owl Hollow Press.

Check it out!