The first thought when watching this is just how weird it is, I mean, to the point where I wonder if a film like this could even get made anymore — it doesn’t really feel like it. Then, even though you accept that this is just fantasy and so you just go with it, you sill wonder: how does he feed himself, how does he put on that tight leather suit, how does he use the washroom… But hey, that’s not the point here, it’s just a fantastical tale that is as fun as it is weird, with of course that unique Burton aesthetic (although at this point it’s still pretty tame, and more colourful than you’d think). I had also forgotten that Anthony Michael Hall is in this, but I’ll say that I’ve never really liked when he plays bully/jock/asshole roles (as opposed to the nerdy roles we know him from in those classic John Hughes films). All in all, it was fun, and a nice way to end the year (I watched it on New Year’s Eve).
I watched the new re-edit by Coppola, that retitles the film to The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (this is what he originally wanted as a title, but the studio insisted on using “Part III”). In a way I wish I had rewatched the original earlier this year, to then better appreciate how this re-edit affects the film — but I did read an article in which Coppola explains what he wanted to achieve with this revisit, and it did sound like an improvement. I remember liking this movie fine back in the day, but it had its criticisms, and didn’t really compare to the earlier two films. But at this point, I quite enjoyed it, and that could be because of the new edition being better structured — one big change is the opening of the film, which now really sets the stage for everything that comes after (politicking with the Vatican), and I honestly can’t see how the movie would make sense any other way. That’s certainly a sign that he made the right decision with this, even if it did come 30 years later.
Die Hard 2 is pretty much the perfect movie sequel. Sure, it’s not as good as the original Die Hard, but you can’t blame it for that, and it manages to be entertaining as all hell, while playing around with the premise that made the original so great (stuck in an environment that’s being controlled by villains). It’s a shame that none of the subsequent sequels ever managed the same trick — although I’ve been entertained here and there, I’ve never really thought any of them were great. And the climax with the lighter is so incredibly inspired.
I capped off my monthlong horror fest with a triple bill on Halloween night that included The Mortuary Collection, Books of Blood, and then lastly Relic. This was quite good. Incredibly slow and creepy during its buildup, it then climaxes in a harrowing and stressful bout of unexpected horror that’s not specifically scary, but eery, and although I didn’t quite understand what the ending meant, a bit of reading after the fact (interviews with the director) made me appreciate what it all meant and represented. It’s definitely worth taking in.
I followed my viewing of The Mortuary Collection with another horror anthology film, Books of Blood, which itself is an adaptation of a Clive Barker book. Feels like I haven’t seen anything new film-wise from Barker in ages (I of course have revisited some of his classic films), and so I was quite looking forward to this. This was really great, and not only because each of the stories were interesting (and creepy as fuck) by themselves. I especially liked how they all intertwine with each other — I think the best way to describe it would be à la Pulp Fiction. Well worth watching.
This is a Shudder original that was released earlier in the month, and I really enjoyed it. It’s an anthology horror collection à la Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, but with a connective tissue à la Tales from the Darkside, but one that manages to blend into some of the tales (especially the last one). I’m a big fan of anthology horror films like this, and so it’s good to see a new one like this come out, and I wouldn’t mind at all if they managed to turn this into a franchise (which I think the outcome of the connective storyline would lend itself to that). Definitely a good pick to watch on this Hallows’ Eve.
This is another 80s anime film that I decided to revisit for this horror-filled marathon, and I’m glad I did. Sure, it drags on here and there, but it’s still a neat story (despite the traditional vampire setup, the setting is Mars) and the designs of the creatures are pretty gruesome and fun to take in (especially in that sequence where he enters the castle through an underground corridor filled with monstrosities). I think I missed that a sequel was released in 2000 (although note that this is an adaptation of a rather large book series), so I think I’ll probably check that out at some point.
I have mixed feelings after watching this. For most of it I felt pretty down on it, as not only is zombie fatigue big with me, but especially when it comes to the zombie post-apocalyptic variety (blame Walking Dead probably). I can say that I much preferred Train to Busan (this is a sequel to that film, taking place four years later), and I think that’s because of the train setting, which made things quite tense. I also preferred the animated prequel, Seoul Station, because I think the start of an outbreak is a more interesting story to tell, and it’s a really nicely animated film, with a neat little twist towards the end. Also, I absolutely hated the overly sentimental ending of the film, which just felt like it went on forever. But I did enjoy parts of this, and thought that the big car chase climax was especially thrilling to watch (think Mad Max Fury Road level of goodness), and that made sitting through all of this worth it for me. If you’re a fan of Seoul Station and Train to Busan, then you should probably watch this as well, but go in prepared.
I was very happy to see that this was going to get released this week — as I wrote in my other post about Creepshow, it’s what reminded me to go back and watch the rest of the series. This was quite good, especially the first story which is by Stephen King, and deliciously macabre — the second tale, by his son Joe Hill, gets good by the end, but the constant Twitter chatter by the main character annoyed me a bit. Also, this is more done as motion comics than purely animated, but it didn’t really make me enjoy it any less, as they did a good job of using this style to illustrate the stories, which both pretty much entirely revolve around long monologues. Well worth checking out.
After watching the reboot not too long ago, and the original first film late last year, it was time to revisit the sequel. Is it good? I’m definitely more a fan of the reboot and the way they position Chucky (as an A.I. run amok, instead of the supernatural take of the original films), but Brad Dourif’s voicing of Chucky is still classic and fun to hear. I did feel a bit bored throughout, but there were a few fun sequences, especially the climax and the way they “kill” Chucky at the end. It doesn’t really make me want to revisit the other sequels though.