Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ai no korîda (In the Realm of the Senses) (1976)

Today's film is In the Realm of the Senses, which is about non-stop sex.  There's barely any plot, no character development, just sex.  I enjoy watching sex online just as much as the next person, but coming from the country that brought us tentacle porn, I expected something less boring.  There's no foreplay at all, they just stick it in and start fucking like rabbits.  This goes on forever.  Every scene they're in they have to have sex.  They don't even eat the entire film.  Sex burns calories! Then, the man finally has to pee and the girl tells him to pee inside of her.  Wat.

Then, more boring stuff happens and there's even more sex. And they still won't eat. Then the man is dead, so the girl cuts off his junk and the movie stops abruptly and a guy yells at us that this is a true story.  I don't need to be yelled at.  How about instead of two hours of boring fucking, the filmmakers could include the part about her walking about Tokyo carrying around his junk?  How did the police who found her react? What happens next?  The filmmakers had a chance to make an interesting true story and didn't take it.  For wasting my time making me watch bad porn, I'm giving this film a 3/10.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Today's film is The Legend of Hell House.  I think haunted house movies are some of the best spooky movies. Today's film is no different.  A bit spooky, and a bit mysterious.
Hell House is actually a mansion owned by Belasco, a sexually depraved rich individual.  The house is so haunted that whenever someone tries to stay the night, they either go insane or get killed.  15 years before, a group of scientists and psychics stayed to figure out what was happening.  Is it something that can be proven by science, or is it truly something supernatural?  Everyone from this group, except a 15 year old child genius medium, died or went crazy.

Now, an old rich guy purchased the house and wants to use it to find out the secrets of life after death.  He hires a physicist, a young medium, and the only survivor of the last group from 15 years ago.  Most of it is the physicist arguing that nothing supernatural is happening and that he can prove it and the medium telling him that it is ghosts and she can prove it.  Meanwhile increasingly weirder things start happening.  Are there really spirits inside the house?  And why did everyone die last time, and will this group be safe?  Of course they're not safe.

As far as haunted house movies go, this one is very enjoyable yet has a silly ending.  It didn't have to rely solely on special effects since everyone's acting was very good.  I will give this film a 7/10.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mad Max (1979)

Today's film is Mad Max.  I don't think I know enough about cars to fully appreciate this film.
The whole film is about dirty bikers in the Australian Outback and their constantly being chased by the MFP (state troopers).  The best and most handsome of the MFP is Max.  About 80% of this film is car chases, which is alright by me.  The bikers chase and run over Max's wife and baby and now Max is all kinds of mad.

I didn't see this as a film I 
definitely had to see before I die.  It's a simple film.  I didn't learn anything from it, I didn't feel for any of the characters, but I thought it was a fun movie with some exciting scenes.  I don't think it would have been so memorable if Mel Gibson wasn't in it. So I will give it a 5/10.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Rescuers (1977)

Today's animated feature is The Rescuers.  It's one of the few Disney films based on a children's book rather than a fairy tale.  This is also the last Disney film that Don Bluth worked on before he left to create his own animation company.

I didn't care too much for this film.  I thought a lot of it was too dark for my child, but it wouldn't be too bad for an older child.  I thought it was funny when the little girl they were supposed to rescue asked them why they didn't bring anyone big, like the police.  That's what I thought too!

Evinrude is a boat motor!  The dragonfly who drives the leaf boat is named Evinrude.  He acts as the boat's motor.  Evinrude is a boat motor!  It has taken me 20 years to get this joke.  This must be what it feels like when people solve a rubik's cube.

Anyway, it's not my favorite Disney animation, but it's superior to anything else they made since the 1960s.  Also, the box office revenue was one of their highest and showed that the animation company could make it without Walt Disney, who passed away a few years prior.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Friday, October 25, 2013

El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) 1973

Today's film is The Spirit of the Beehive.  I...I don't understand it.  I don't know what it's trying to say.

In 1940s Spain, a town gets the movie Frankenstein and watches it.  A little girl and her sister become obsessed with it.  The older sister, Ana, tells the younger sister, that the Frankenstein monster wasn't real, but later says he is real and is a spirit.  They play by an abandoned farmhouse and well where they believe Frankenstein monster lives.  Meanwhile, their dad has some sort of chicken wire/glass beehive that he watches.  And that's the entire film.  Nothing happens.  It's not a bad film; just nothing happens.  Many of the characters are not explained and the beehive is talked about but what does that have to do with Frankenstein? I'm so lost.  I'm giving this film a 6/10.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween (1978)

I know it's early, but today's film is Halloween.  It's a typical slasher flick where a psychopathic killer stalks and kills random innocent teenagers in a supposedly safe neighborhood.  I have a few gripes with this film.
First gripe:  It's not Halloween. At all. It looks like a warm spring day.  I could believe this if it took place here in Florida, where the seasons don't change much, but it takes place in Illinois.  There should maybe be some snow on the ground, or at least the leaves should be changing colors.  There should be some signs of fall, and I don't see any.  My husband pointed out that even the oak trees were fully green.  Good catch.

My second problem is with Annie, the girl who was murdered in the car.  She spills something on herself in the kitchen, takes all her clothes off except her lingerie, puts on an oversized white shirts, and calls it a day.  She walks outside to her laundry room pants-less and walks across the street pants-less to drop off Lindsey, the girl she is babysitting.  She couldn't find another pair of pants in that entire house? None? She just wraps a plaid blanket around her and thinks that's okay.
I've seen this film several times since I was little because my mom says it was filmed in her and her friend's houses.  Which is neat, but when my mom told the little me that we were going to watch a film made in her house, I was not expecting it to be so scary!  Luckily my mom pointed out objects and parts of their houses I didn't notice so I forgot how scary it was.
Remember the little girl Lindsey, who constantly ignores Annie?  My mom told me she named me Lindsey after this film because I am always ignoring her, but I don't believe her.  Also, she said many other things about this film but I was not listening.
Another thing, after the teenage couple have sex upstairs, the guy walks downstairs to grab his girlfriend a beer.  Then, after he is attacked and stabbed, he is fully clothed!  When does he have time to put all of his clothes and shoes on just to walk downstairs?  And why doesn't anybody close that kitchen door?  It appears that all of Michael Myer's victims are promiscuous teenagers, starting with his older sister.  Interestingly, Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh, who played the famous shower victim in Psycho.

One more thing: Why can't Michael Myers die?  He was stabbed in the throat with a knitting needle, stabbed with his own knife, shot several times, thrown out of a window, and still runs away.  My theory is that he cannot feel any pain, emotional or physical, and getting hurt only makes him angrier.  Still, he could have bled to death.  I don't know.  There are so many discrepancies that take away from my enjoyment of this film.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vampire Circus (1972)

Today's film is Vampire Circus.  I picked it because I find circuses fascinating and scary.  Even though I don't like vampire films, I still greatly enjoyed this.

This film takes a long time, like 13 minutes just setting up why the townspeople hate their count and how they get cursed.  Seems like he has been kidnapping children to suck their blood.  The schoolmaster's wife becomes enamored with him (because vampires are hot) and sleeps with him.  The townspeople drive a stake through his heart (well really the middle of his abdomen) and burn his castle down.  They assume the schoolmaster's wife died in the fire.  Why are vampires always Counts?  Are there no kings or lords or dukes?

15 years later, the town is under quarantine because of a plague.  They all think it's because the vampire count cursed them that they and their children will die, and that he will live again.  The doctor knows better and flees town to find medicine for everybody.  He said that they left the burnt castle to ruin and the vermin the breeds there caused the illness.  Meanwhile, a circus has set up in town.

The circus acts alone are worth watching the film.  The best part is the tiger dance.  Instead of a trainer whipping a tiger around, which is cruel, the tiger is replaced by a dancer.  She is wearing a striped bodysuit which looks painted on and together she and the "trainer" perform a beautiful and powerful modern dance piece. Also, David Prowse, who is famous for being Darth Vader, plays the silent strong man.

Another thing which surprised me was how well done the special effects were.  Having the bats transform into the acrobats flying through the air was impressive.  Also, one of the vampires turns into a panther and vice-versa.  So, vampires aren't only bats; they're panthers too.  It's not as violent as I thought it would be, although someone does get his head shot off with a crossbow.  The decaying bodies looked believable and the wounds of the victims showed decent makeup skills. Overall, I enjoyed this film very much and will give this a 7/10.

This post is part of the Hammer Halloween Blogathon hosted by the Classic Film & TV Café. ( To view the complete blogathon schedule go to

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Today's film is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Here is proof positive that one doesn't need a large budget to make a great film!

The six members of Monty Python play the majority of the characters, but there are a few extras, many of which were also crew for the film.  The main story is about King Arthur, his knights of the round table, and their quest given to them by God to find the Holy Grail.  Many of the scenes were filmed in actual, privately owned castles (such as the scenes of Castle Anthrax and the French castle.  Camelot was a plywood model, which is why when King Arthur led them towards Camelot, his servant Patsy says, "It's only a model".  Since there wasn't enough money for everyone to ride a horse, they bang coconuts together to make the sound of horse's hooves.  This actually became part of the humor of the movie.

Every single scene overflows with hilarity, especially scene 24, which is a smashing scene with some lovely acting.  It is also the most quoted film from my parents.  "You must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest - with a herring!"  There's even some scenes that coincide with the modern world.  There's no guessing what will happen next because this movie is so silly.  I'm not going to explain any scene because I find them all too funny and cannot choose between them. I'm giving this film a 10/10.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pink Flamingos (1972)

One word: Hilarious

More words:  Today's film is Pink Flamingos.  It's really terrible and funny.  Surprisingly the only reason I found this hard to watch is the acting.  The acting is worse than a high school play.  The characters go all out trying to gross out the audience.

The main story is about Connie and Raymond, a married couple who are jealous of Divine, who holds the title of "Filthiest Person Alive".  They try to outdo each other in filthiness.  Connie and Raymond have bright colored hair and look just like Jesse and James from Pokemon.  Look, they have stupid ideas, truly believe they are villains but aren't intelligent to pull of their schemes, have bright colored hair, and will eventually fail at trying to destroy their rival.

Yes, just as I thought, this is a gross out movie.  Movies that serve to just gross us out under the guise of comedy are commonplace now, but were new back when this film came out.  There's cannibalism, a fat lady covered in eggs in a playpen, incest, sex involving crushing a chicken, murder, poop-poop eating, and more.

Yes, she really eats poop-poop.  From what I have read, the scene is real and the dog was fed plenty of steak beforehand.  So it's technically gourmet poop-poop, being made of steak.  This movie was gross and funny and breaks all the laws of decency.  I will give it a 6/10.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Badlands (1973)

Today's film is Badlands.  You'd think a movie about a killing spree wouldn't be so dull.
Kip (Martin Sheen pre-Apocalypse Now) holds the most basic jobs, such as feeding cows and picking up trash. He sees Holly playing in her yard and asks her to go on a walk with him.  Throughout the film they change their names so it gets confusing.  One day, he walks into her house, shoots her dad, and burns the house down.  And she goes with him!
Sure, Kip is trigger happy, but has no emotions beyond that.  I don't see him get any sort of feedback from his kills. I thought the point of a serial killer was that he got a thrill or high from his kills.  He has no emotions to speak of.  I don't know why Holly tags along with him.  I don't think she knows why either.
Half the movie is Holly complaining of how bored they are in the desolate countryside.  Well shit, girl, I'm bored too. Their lives are as desolate as the countryside.  If you are looking for an action filled drama, don't be fooled by the premise of this film, because it's about as dull as they come. I'm giving this a 5/10

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Today's film is Dog Day Afternoon.  It's based on a true story.  I love films based on true stories, and in this one the real story is even more outrageous than the movie.

Al Pacino stars as Sonny, the main bank robber.  In this film he was 35, but the real Sonny was only 18.  Also, the real Sonny got $230,000 from the bank, whereas movie Sonny got less than $2000 as the bank pick up had already occurred.  I wasn't sure about his partner, Sal.  Not much is said about him.  How did they meet?  What about the third robber who chickened out?  Whose idea was it to rob the bank and how did they plan it?

Even though the robbery should have been quick, the police and news media turn it into this huge spectacle that lasted hours.  Sonny realizes that with hostages he can do what he wants and get whatever he demands.  He wants to go to the airport and fly to Algeria.  ! Why Algeria??  He asks his partner which country he wants to go to, and he replies, "Wyoming".  That was really funny.

Sonny was trying to get money to pay for his lover's sex change operation.  All of $2500 dollars.  If that doesn't show us how much medical costs in America have skyrocketed I don't know what does.  I stayed in the hospital for one week and the expenses were $15,000.  And that's with insurance.  At the end, we learn that his partner does get his surgery, but Sonny is sent to jail for 20 years.  The real Sonny served his full sentence of 20 years and died in 2006 of cancer.  His lover died before Sonny was released.

Interesting fact: this movie was filmed in winter, but took place in summer, so to prevent the actors' breath from being seen, they ate ice before they spoke!  I liked this film and I will give it a 7/10.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Grey Gardens (1975)

Today's film is Grey Gardens.  It's a documentary focusing on two women living in a decrepit old mansion.  Edith and her daughter Edie (or Little Edie) live together and are totally codependent on each other.

Edith is 79 years old and her daughter is 56.  I couldn't spend a whole day with them, because their lives are pretty boring.  Edie constantly talks about her past, how great it was, who she could have married and what she could have been.  She blames not being able to accomplish anything on her mother, who wouldn't let her.  Truth is Edie is the laziest person I have ever seen.

Their mansion, Grey Gardens, is falling apart and filled with bugs, raccoons, and cats. Neither woman will clean or fix up the house.  Two reasons: they don't know how and they are above menial tasks like cleaning and cooking.  They come from an era where they were recognized as high society and still act like it despite the lack of money.

This documentary was interesting but kind of boring.  I only halfway enjoyed it.  Therefore, I will give it a 5/10.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dirty Harry (1971)

Today's film is Dirty Harry.  I thought it was great.  It had a decent story and just enough action, and it didn't seem dated.

The villain is the Scorpio Killer, who was based on the Zodiac Killer in San Francisco.  He targets people at random from rooftops and shoots them.  However, that is totally the wrong size of silencer for a gun that size.  Seriously, the force from an actual shot could have torn it apart.  The correct size is about a foot long, yet because of the kind of bullets needed to reach the distances he wanted, a distinct "crack" sound would still be heard.

Part of the film is spent guessing why Harry is called "dirty".  We know that he operates under his own rules, is racist, is a peeper, and might be crazy.  But we find out that he is called that because he takes every dirty job given to him.  And how does he get away with carrying a handgun that big on duty?  There's just no way.

Even though Harry caught the Scorpio Killer and found the body and the gun, the movie is far from over. The DA explains how the evidence is inadmissible in court and that they cannot charge him with anything. Okay, even though he obtained it without a warrant, automatic weapons are illegal in California and it is a felony to possess one.  Also, he would have been charged with assault against a police officer, attempted murder against his partner that he shot, and resisting arrest.  If Harry doesn't know enough to argue this, then that's his problem.  He could have prevented Scorpio Killer from being released and hijacking the school bus.

Harry stops the Scorpio Killer by jumping on the roof of the school bus and forcing him to stop.  When he has him trapped in front of the water, the Scorpio Killer starts pleading for his life and that he has rights.  This is supposed to enrage us because he obviously doesn't care about any of his victim's rights, not even children's.  And yet here he is exploiting the justice system for his own good.  If Harry were to arrest him again, the killer would be freed and would kill again.  So, Harry delivers some more badass lines and shoots him with his ginormous handgun.

Even though this film is not without its flaws, it was fun to watch.  I will give it a 7/10.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Today's film is Let's Scare Jessica to Death.  Yeah more like Let's Bore the Audience to Death.   The film is slow paced, hardly anything happens and nothing is resolved.  Also it doesn't really end.

Jessica has been released from a psychiatric hospital for vague reasons and travels with her husband and male friend into the countryside.  They move into a terrifically creepy looking farmhouse with hopes of starting an apple orchard.  Inside, they find a redheaded woman squatting and decide even though she is a stranger, they should let her stay.  Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?

The town they live in is creepy too.  How come there are no other women living there?  Just old men with knife wounds on their neck.  They don't like newcomers at all.  Jessica and her husband raid the house for things to sell to the antique dealer.  One is a wedding photo from the attic.  The bride looks just like the squatter.

A mute girl dressed in white, the only other female in the movie, leads Jessica to the body of the antique dealer.  Of course, the body has been later moved and no one believes Jessica that he is dead.  Her husband becomes sick of her schizophrenic tendencies and goes to bed on the couch, only to make out with the redhead.  Jessica starts to wonder if she is going crazy again or if weird things really are happening.

She goes back into the attic and sees the wedding photo in the same place it was before they removed it.  She tells the redhead that she looks exactly like the bride in the photo.  Jessica is told the bride was named Abigail, and drowned before her wedding.  Now she is a vampire roaming the countryside.  How can a drowning victim turn into a vampire?

The worst part is there is no resolution at all.  Just a build up.  She doesn't even escape; just sits there in a rowboat staring at the townspeople.  If Abigail is a vampire, how is she walking around in broad daylight?  Do the filmmakers even know what vampires are?  This movie was terrible.  I am giving this a 3/10.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Watership Down (1978)

Today's animated feature is Watership Down.  I watched this not knowing what to expect.  It features the surprisingly violent world of wild rabbits living near farmland.
The rabbits have everything to fear because everything is their enemy.  Foxes, dogs, cats, rats, and especially humans.  Not only to humans hunt rabbits, but the damage is mostly done by commercial development.  That's how our rabbits lose their warren, their home, because it is filled in to make way for construction.
The rabbits travel far and wide (actually it appears to be only a few miles which I expect to be a long way for a bunny rabbit) searching for a new rabbit.  They find more danger in a dangerous warren led by an old dictator, General.  The rabbits help the inhabitants of this warren escape and are followed.
None of these rabbits have any problem mercilessly beating the crap out of each other.  There is a lot of violence and a lot of blood.  I do not recommend this film to anyone under the age of 18.  I cannot figure out who this movie is marketed to.  As an adult, I do not want to watch a film about bunny rabbits.  However, it is too violent for children.  I have to give this film a 5/10.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Godfather (1972)

When I was 12, My dad told me it was time to watch the greatest film ever.  This film came in a box of three videocassettes, and I had no idea a film could be so long as to fill up three videocassettes.  He explained everything that was going on and provided trivia, and I do that now with my daughter as we watch films.  This really was the greatest film ever!

I understood this movie a lot more as an adult.  When I first watched it, I didn't know it was a period piece set in the '40s.  I assumed that this was how the 1970s looked since that was when this film was made.  Even though there are a multitude of characters, nobody is extra.  One of the aspects that make this film so great is the fantastic acting from everyone.  Most notably was Robert Duvall as Tom, the "consigliere" (lawyer/counselor) for the family and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone.

This film is over three hours long and soo much happens during those hours! I could spend all day writing and writing just about stuff that happens and the layers involved.  The main plot involves Michael, who is a college graduate returning from his service in the war to his sister's wedding.  He wants nothing to do with his family's lifestyle.  After his father is shot and he gets punched in the jaw by a cop, his attitude changes.  He sets up the murders of those involved and then hides out in Sicily.  He leads a happy life and gets married, but his family's lifestyle affects him there as well, when his wife is killed by a car bomb meant for him.  He returns with more interest in the family business.  His older brother was expected to be the new Don but is he tragically killed while on his way to protect their sister from her abusive husband.

I think that their sister was being used as a pawn by her husband.  He was the one who talked to Barzini.  He knew that Sonny would rush to protect his sister and take the fastest route.  Everything was set by him. He even cheated on her while she was pregnant.  He doesn't care about her at all.  Even after Michael had him killed, she still couldn't see her husband for what he really was.

Another thing I noticed was food.  Food!  Everyone is eating all the time in this film.  I recommend eating before you watch this or else you will see the food and snack during the movie, and three hours of mindless snacking adds up.  I do it, too.  I really appreciate my dad showing me this film and explaining everything.  It led me on a path not to simply watch films but to use them to engage in meaningful discussions.  I will give this film a 10/10 because this is perfection.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Sometimes a movie's title tells you all you need to know about the movie.



Chain Saw


Well then I watched it and only four people died so that's hardly a massacre.  The first four people died quickly and without incident.  I thought maybe there could have been more of a struggle, or more character development, but I guess not.

I was intrigued by Leatherface's family.  He and his brother are obviously are not in the right frame of mind and their grandfather would rather yell at them then take care of them.  Why has he trained them to kill human beings and rob graves?  How did he get started killing people for food?  We have learned that they all formerly worked at a slaughterhouse, and that's all we know.  Their macabre decorations reminded me of the Ed Gein house, which used human skins as decor.  Leatherface's family quirks are never explained because it is the fear of the unknown that is the greatest.

I felt bad for him because he's only doing what he was taught to be right and doesn't know any better.  His grandfather told him to not let anyone get away.    Leatherface (who is not called once by his real name) is heavily influenced by his evil grandfather.  I feel more for him than most villains because my own child doesn't speak and I have had to protect her on numerous occasions from her own grandmother (my mother-in-law). I could spend all day talking about grandparents.  Spanking, beating, lying, judging; what is it about grandparents that makes them so evil?

The last victim is Sally who outruns Leatherface and goes into the gas station.  Leatherface easily follows her constant screaming.  For the last entire hour, she screams nonstop.  Unbeknownst to her, his grandfather owns the station and offers to take her to another town to call the police.  She gets suspicious and he starts smacking her with a broom.  Seriously?  You can't get away from an old man wielding a broom?  This is why cardio is important.

Then the camera pans over to the meat cooking in the gas station and we realize that it was the human meat from the graves.  And our protagonists ate it!  That's what they get from eating food from a gas station.  There were a lot of flaws in this film and a lot they could have done better, but the chainsaw dance is one of my favorite endings.  So I'll give this film a 6/10.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rocky (1976)

Today we are celebrating the bicentennial year with Rocky!  This movie was great and I loved the music.  It really got us pumped up and energetic.

Rocky dreams of being a great boxer and has worked out at the same gym for 6 years.  He works as a collector for a loan shark.  He loves Adrian, a shy pet store clerk, his turtles and his fish.  Rocky may seem rough but he's actually caring.

Apollo Creed is a flashy superstar boxer who reminds me a lot of Muhammad Ali.  Apollo Creed was named after the first man on the moon.  He is fighting an important fight in Philadelphia, where Rocky just happens to live.  After Apollo's opponent cancels, his management scrambles to find someone to replace him.  Apollo has the idea of letting a local hopeful fight him to and be propelled to stardom.  He expects to easily knock him out, so what does he have to lose?  Guess who he picks?

Of course Rocky has to get in better shape to fight Apollo.  He was a half-decent fighter but he really needs to work if he's going to have a chance.  I remember seeing him run up the steps and be way out of breath, but near the end he can finally run up with ease.  I was inspired by that.  This long bout of training inspired the South Park "Montage" song which is hilarious. We're gonna need a montage! A sports training montage!

The entire fight scene was simply amazing.  I could not look away for a moment; it was pure sports heaven.  I remember my grandfather, a professional fighter, telling me that fighting wasn't about violence; it was about endurance.  Basically it means whoever is the most stubborn.  Both of these men are clearly beaten up and need help yet they keep going.  Rocky isn't going to give up this chance he's been given.  I feel like all of us have greatness but some people need a little push, and Rocky is one of those people.

I loved this movie.  It was so inspiring and the music was excellent.  I will give this film a 9/10.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Robin Hood (1973)

Today's animated feature is Robin Hood.  It was a highly entertaining movie when I was a child, but as an adult I got nothing out of it.  Which is sad, because normally I love watching animated movies.  I love animated movies so much that I work for a company that makes them.  But that doesn't mean I'm going to praise every film we make, especially one as cheaply made as this.  Robin Hood had the lowest budget of any animated feature.  In fact, most of the footage is reused.

The tale of Robin Hood is the same one we've all heard of time and time again.  Except this one focuses more on Prince John as a whiny villain and the Sheriff as a menacing side character.  Robin Hood and Maid Marian are lovely as foxes.  All of the characters are anthropomorphic beings, and this is the first time we've seen this.  Before this came all the Princess movies and the animal trend will continue mostly into the 1980s.

Most of the animation was reused from The Aristocats, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Jungle Book.  Little John and Baloo are almost identical and were voiced by the same person, Phil Harris.

The best part of this movie is the folksy music.  I really enjoyed it and gave it a fun, gentle feel.  The characters are all fun and even the villains give out many laughs.  However, my daughter was not interested at all in this film.  Maybe she is too used to high quality animations of today.  I have noticed that people who grew up with this film love it, but most kids today don't.  I have compiled a gif of many scenes that were recycled for this film.  Credit goes to the people who first noticed all these scenes, and there are many more.  I will give this film a 5/10.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Willard (1971)

Today's film is Willard, a slow paced and cheesy film.  Willard is a mousy, timid guy who never stands up for himself.  He was squeezed out of the family business by his boss.  He claims that his boss killed his father and he doesn't dispute it.  After his mother dies, he learns that he owes lots of taxes and mortgage on his family's large home.  He refuses to sell it, so his boss fires him so he'll be forced to sell.

Willard's only friends are a white rat named Socrates and the mischievous black rat, Ben.  He has other rats in the basement that keep multiplying, very quickly.  He teaches them words and eventually gets them to follow his command.  He sets them out at his nasty boss' dinner party and causes a ruckus.

He lets his two rat friends come with him to the office on Saturdays.  Someone discovers them in the storeroom and his boss kills Socrates.  Willard comes back with his horde of rats and orders them to attack him.  Willard goes back home and drown all the rats, that is, except Ben.  Ben is furious and returns with his own horde of rats and they all eat him!

This film was so cheesy.  I will give this a 5/10.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eraserhead (1977)

Today's film is Eraserhead.  Yeah.... I've got nothing.  This is a dark, shadowy film that emulates the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare world.  This movie is very weird and very off-putting.  I would not suggest this as a date-night movie.  It's like a surrealist film yet it has a semi-plot.  I see it as more of an art piece rather than a narrative film.  I will give it a 6/10.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Exorcist (1973)

So today I received my new Netflix dvd in the mail (I get most of my movies from the library).  My husband opened it and this was his reaction:

He has now run out of the house and says he won't come back until I text him that I'm done reviewing the film.  I tried desperately to coax him back into the house because I care:

What film could have caused him to run away in fear?  In case you missed the title, it's The Exorcist!  This film is actually pretty deep with several elements so I'll just touch on a few.  This film skillfully combines the ancient fear of demons and possession with modern day technology and places it in an everyday setting. First of all, I was impressed by the special effects and the "subliminal" images.  Those are the images of the demon that flash up periodically to scare you.  Also, the possessed girl, Regan's head spins around in a complete circle.  That was neat!  They actually had three different beds that would throw her around in different ways.  They went all out in special effects.

Linda Blair (Regan) and her robotic double

It takes a while for the demon to possess Regan and for her mother to figure out what's going on.  First, they hear animal noises in the attic and Regan appears to have an invisible friend.  Later, her mom thinks she may have an illness or mental disorder and takes her to the hospital.  I saw many "subliminal" demons in the hospital and had no idea that they had cat scans that long ago.  After all other possibilities have been eliminated, she must be possessed by a demon.  Why would a demon possess a child and not an adult that could do damage?  If he would have possessed an adult and then murdered people, then people would attribute to murders to the serial killer and not believe that it was caused by anything else.  A child, on the other hand, is innocent and the demon caused great distress to her family by hurting her.  This is much different from The Omen where the child is a devil himself.

Their are two priests who come to Regan's rescue.  One is Father Merrin, who is older and has just returned from an archaeological dig.  The other is Father Karras, a psychiatrist and priest who is losing his faith as he deals with his mother's illness.  The demon has a history with Merrin and wants to kill him for trying to exorcise him before.  The second Karras leaves the room, the demon has his chance and Merrin dies of what appears to be a heart attack.  Karras is so angry that he demands that the demon enter him.  The sound of the demon leaving Regan's body is acutally the sound of pigs being led to slaugher.  While the novel and movie were based on a sensationalist news article, this part was based on the Bible, specifically Mark 5:1-20.  Jesus exorcises demons from a man who ask to let them possess another body.  Jesus lets them possess the bodies of a herd of pigs, which then run off a cliff and die.  Sure, that's a weird story, but pigs are unclean (not kosher) animals, and Karras with his troubled faith believes he is unclean as well.  After the demon enters him and his eyes change color (like Regan's did), he leaps out of the window to his death.  I found this movie interesting and will give it an 8/10.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Omen (1976)

Let's start off October with The Omen!  This is a haunting movie with great performances and made much better by Jerry Goldsmith's score.  Seriously, the music is one of the scariest elements of the film and won an Academy Award.  I will give this film a 7/10.

Ambassador Thorn and his wife, Katherine, are in a hospital in Rome where Katherine is having a baby.  The priest in charge of the place comes to tell him their baby was stillborn and makes a strange suggestion.  Instead of telling his wife their baby died, why not just take another baby in its place?  Oh look I have one right here.  There should be some red flags going up here but I guess not.  So what if the priest had simply given the baby to him, not telling him the real one died?  What was the point in telling him?  It has to do with free will and the old notion of you can't let an evil spirit into your house without inviting it in.  Thorn willfully chose to keep the baby, therefore becoming part of the evil, and lying to his wife about it is wrong too.

They move to London with their new son, Damien, and as time goes on they notice weird things about him.  Like he can't stand being near churches and his nanny hangs herself at a party.  Eventually Thorn learns from another priest that Damien is the Antichrist, the son of the devil.  He tells Thorn he has to kill Damien.

That is one element that stands out above any other horror film of this era.  The villain isn't an adult who is either deranged or cold-blooded evil.  Nor is he a man-eating animal or alien being.  The villain is a child.  And you just don't kill a child.  Naturally, Thorn is horrified to learn he has to ritualistically stab his child.

The special effects were decent, too.  I especially liked the editing of the beheading scene.  It's timed so if you close your eyes right as it is happening, by the time your eyes open, you can still see the head floating in the air.  Unfortunately, during the cemetery scene where the Rotties are chasing Thorn and the photographer, I clearly saw the doghandlers hiding nearby.

Another element I noticed is that there isn't really anything overly supernatural going on.  Or is there? His nanny hangs herself, maybe she had issues and needed mental health counseling.  The pole hitting that priest, a beheading of the photographer - mere accidents.  Damien's new nanny killing his mom?  That lady is straight up evil.  Maybe she wanted to replace her as his mother, his only caretaker.  Damien freaks out near a church.  Azalea has temper tantrums of similar strength at home for no reason. Maybe because I wouldn't give her a candy pumpkin.  Probably because it was 4 o'clock in the morning and it's not time to eat candy pumpkins and I am not giving in.  Maybe my little co-film critic is a demon too.  Nobody would suspect someone with a name like Azalea.

The lack of supernatural always lead us to question Thorn.  Is he deranged and willing to kill his adopted son because of his pent up guilt?  Or do all these little things add up to the truth that Damien really is the Antichrist?