“The Dark Half” is definitely a second tier Romero film when you think of his classics and it’s most certainly a middle of the road novel for King. But the film improves markedly on the book by making some subtle changes and further cementing the otherworldly relationship between author and his fictional creation which (with no agreeable explanation in book or film) suddenly springs to life.
Halloween is approaching and it’s that time of year that horror junkies start popping in John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) and some of it’s sequels. While some horror franchises have colourful continuations (say…”Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th”) none have the insane history of reboots or re-imaginings as “Halloween”. It’s easily a novella length task of compiling the franchise history of the series but recently I checked out the two separate reboots; the 20th anniversary “H20” and the 40th anniversary “Halloween” (both headlined by Jamie Lee Curtis) and wanted to put some thoughts down and compare the two.
“The House on Sorority Row” is slowly becoming one of my all-time favourite slashers in the “best of the rest” category. It only gets better with repeat viewings and the atmosphere combined with a mixture of gratuitous kills alongside some that are bloodless but big on the build-up; this film gets most things completely right.
I was quite saddened by the news that genre legend Rutger Hauer passed away on July 19th. The local papers covered his passing and mostly mentioned that he had had a memorable turn in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” (1982) but for me he will always be best remembered as John Ryder; the infamous hitcher in director Robert Harmon’s 1986 B-movie “The Hitcher”.
“Opera” is fairly giallo-esque with the black gloved killer, his black hood and preferred use of a knife but Argento basically uses the story as a springboard for some over the top set-pieces, wild and horrific imagery laced with bombastic music ranging from sweet ballads to famous opera numbers to heavy metal, tons of images of ravens and some incredible camera acrobatics.
Mostly a thriller but seriously dabbling in the slasher genre; “10 to Midnight” is a crackerjack flick that’s one of Bronson’s best 80’s efforts. He’s also allowed some room to give a performance and the veteran actor has a commanding presence and makes Leo a compelling character despite some very questionable behaviour.
Dempsey Cain (Reeve) is a dedicated and highly intelligent cop on the rise who’s always looking out for his kid brother Nick (Edward Kerr) who’s also on the force. Nick is having an affair with Dempsey’s wife Gail (Kim Cattrall) and there’s also a fellow cop, Alan,(Joe Mantegna) who’s displeased at how much Dempsey is impressing the top brass with his investigation skills.