“Sleepaway Camp” is fairly un-original for the majority of it’s running time but it has gone down favorably in the annals of horror for it’s bizarre twist ending. It’s really something and caps the film off in great fashion although it doesn’t neatly explain a few things and actually creates a few holes as well if you really dive into it. But no matter; it’s one of the better shock endings in slasher history.
“The Amityville Horror” was based on a book by Jay Anson, published in 1977, and “Amityville II: The Possession” was based on a book by Hans Holzer called “Murder in Amityville” published in 1979. Both these books took the demonic elements and went to town with it. The latter publication explained how demonic forces compelled Ronald DeFeo to kill his family and told how he hadn’t been acting out of free will.
“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.
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” 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.
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.
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.
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…
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…