Oddur B.T. Film Blog

Blogging about my passion

„Cult“ is where my comfort zone lies

I mostly enjoy writing about films that fit into the category „Cult“ in one way or another. It‘s, frankly, where my comfort zone lies. It would be easy to just focus on horror films (by far the most films labeled „Cult“ are horror films) but the category also includes so many films that are really un-classifiable. Many of these movies are so truly enjoyable and you don‘t even know exactly why. These are often films that are considered very poor, very cheap, very amateurish and some are just plain old studio films that got panned or performed very poorly when released. This is the stuff I like to write about and I hope you like reading about.

Terror Train (1980)

“Terror Train” is excellent. It has everything that a slasher film fan could want in spades and delivers it with a straightforward narrative that’s blissfully free of absurd red herrings that make no sense. That said it does present a possibly implausible revelation but it actually ends up being a clever mislead in a film noted for it’s twist free nature. The script for “Terror Train” is pretty good.

Carpenter Trilogy

My favourite director is John Carpenter and I’ve spent an un-Godly amount of time devouring his work for more than 30 years. I’ve been rather hesitant at sharing my thoughts on his films on my blog as so much has been written about them and they’ve been fairly well dissected by many. But what the heck! I recently got into a Carpenter mood and viewed three of his early features and wanted to write a few things down.
My personal favourite of his is “The Fog”. It’s not what I consider his best work as I think “The Thing” is his crowning achievement. The one I’ve viewed most often is “Halloween” and the whole Michael Myers franchise is a big part of why horror/slasher films got a hold of me early on and have kept me interested for all these years.
These three early features by Carpenter are movies I revisit regularly and think very highly of.

Night of the Creeps (1986)

“Night of the Creeps” is mostly comically driven, at least in the beginning, but once the threat becomes apparent there’s some grisly gore on display and a few well realized suspense set-pieces. It’s never really scary but it is well paced and has enough enjoyable lulls that add tremendously to the characters and it’s a gamble that more than pays off due to the terrific lead performers.

Grizzly

Grizzly (1976)

Dubbed “Jaws with Claws” when it was released; “Grizzly” is not exactly original. I think every reviewer who’s covered the film has pointed out it’s unabashed similarity with “Jaws” (1975) and of course “Grizzly” is a rip-off of that classic film. But on it’s own lo-fi terms it’s a terrific B-movie that still entertains to this day.

Altered States (1980)

The passing of William Hurt on March 13th prompted me to go through my collection and check out some of his work. I’ve always thought he was a very good actor and I was quite saddened to hear he was gone. I don’t own a lot of his movies but “Body Heat” (1981) is a big favorite, “The Big Chill” (1983) as well and also “Altered States”. There are a few movies I really like but I’m not sure why and “Altered States” has always been one of those. I know painfully little about the film’s late director Ken Russell and have seen only one other film of his; “Crimes of Passion” (1984), which I do like as well so maybe I should check out more of his films.

The Frighteners (1996)

In the town of Fairwater seemingly healthy citizens are dropping like flies due to mysterious and sudden heart conditions. Frank Bannister, a fake psychic investigator, discovers that an entity resembling the Grim Reaper is literally stopping the hearts of people and carving numbers in their foreheads detailing it’s amount of fatalities…

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) & I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

High school friends Julie, Helen, Barry and Ray accidentally hit a man with their car after a night of partying. Instead of doing the right thing and report the accident they decide to get rid of the body in fear of what would happen to their futures if they came clean. A year later Julie gets an ominous message simply stating “I know what you did last summer” and soon it’s apparent that the group’s buried secret is coming back to haunt them in deadly ways…

Sleepless (2001)

Torino 1983. Inspector Moretti enters a crime scene where a woman has been viciously murdered with a musical instrument. He speaks with her distraught son and vows that he’ll find her killer even if it takes him the rest of his life. Seventeen years later a prostitute is killed on board a train…

The House With Laughing Windows (1976)

“The House With Laughing Windows” is one of those chillers that sets an uneasy tone from the start and maintains the ominous mood admirably throughout. It doesn’t hurt that stylistically the film is wonderfully lensed and the surroundings gradually become a bit otherworldly as the oppressing mood slowly tightens around the lead character. Director Pupi Avati manages to maintain the sombre mood and gradually escalate the tension. But be forewarned that it’s a fairly slow burn affair.

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