What was the last movie you saw?

Al Jackson

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Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers in 4K. Looked fabulous!
I wonder how Sony's redo of Starship Troopers is going, I say 'redo' since this is not a remake...
They said they were going to go back to the Heinlein novel.
Supposedly now to be a series.
I hope they are careful with this, the movie did not capture the story in the book.
 

Scookey

Author of the AD2045 sci-fi series
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In Time. Know it is 7 years old but, hey, what's the rush with a movie like this? Thought it was actually a nice idea, where time of life itself is the currency. And where there is currency corruption follows....
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Return of Dracula (1958)

Directed by Paul Landres; written by Pat Fielder.

Modest but surprisingly entertaining little vampire flick. The Count flees his European homeland after some vampire hunters break into his tomb only to find an empty coffin. He kills an immigrant artist going to live with distant relatives in a small California town and assumes his identity. The family is a widowed mother, her preteen son, and her teenage daughter, clearly the intended "bride" of Dracula. Along for the ride are the daughter's boyfriend and a local clergyman who runs some kind of informal clinic/shelter for the needy. Dracula is played by Prague-born actor Francis Lederer, about sixty years old at the time and looking every day of it, with wrinkles and sunken cheeks. (He went on to play Dracula on Night Gallery more than ten years later.) He plays the Count as world-weary, with a certain European sophistication. With his accent, he sounds like a soft-spoken Peter Lorre.

A European vampire hunter tracks him down and the battle begins. There's a lot of typical vampire stuff, but some interesting variations. The most fascinating character is a blind woman, victim of the Count, who can see him when he puts her under his spell. She dies and comes back as a vampire, apparently able to see. She's obviously just a slave, not a "bride." The film's strongest scene is when a team of cops, with the clergyman and the vampire hunter, open her coffin and paralyze her with a cross before they stake her. (Yes, the vampire hunter manages to convince the Americans that the Dracula myth is real.) The clergyman asks for a moment to pray for her, and the black-and-white movie bursts into color when the stake is driven into her heart and blood pours out. (There are some fairly gory scenes for 1958.) Cut to Dracula menacing his intended "bride" in the abandoned mine where he hides his coffin. The staking of his slave causes him to collapse in agony.

Worth a look for fans of fanged folk.
 

Scookey

Author of the AD2045 sci-fi series
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I got the Raid and Raid 2 on blueray for Xmas, and watched them both last night. Two of my favourite films!
Agree these are excellent films - got them on Blueray after catching half of Raid 2 on Film 4. Watched them with both subtitles and without. :)

Just watched How to Train Your Dragon 2. Thought it was an excellent film, with great characters and dragons - as well as a visual treat. Highly recommended :D
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Witch's Curse (1963)

Bizarre combination of sword-and-sandal and Gothic horror. We begin in 16th century Scotland. An old hag is being burnt at the stake for witchcraft. The real reason is that the judge had a thing for her when she was young and pretty, but that doesn't mean she's not a real witch. She curses the place. One hundred years later, the young women in the town are struck with insanity. As if that were not enough, a descendant of the witch shows up with her new husband. Because she has the same name as the witch, the locals instantly turn into a torch-carrying mob out to kill her. Our hero, muscleman Maciste, a character played by many actors in lots of films, shows up out of nowhere. Nobody ever questions the fact that an ancient hero dressed in a loincloth arrives in 17th century Scotland. He rescues her from the mob, but she's put on trial for witchcraft and condemned because the unseen witch causes a Bible to burst into flame when she tries to swear to her innocence on it. Maciste rips up a big cursed tree and enters Hades/Hell. The witch and the judge are down there. Maciste fights all kinds of threats. A lion, a huge flaming iron door, a giant, a stampede of cattle, you name it. The witch turns herself into a gorgeous young woman and manages to cause Maciste to forget why he's there. He runs into Prometheus, chained to a rock and being attacked by a giant eagle, just like the myth. He fights the eagle, but Prometheus says that new ones will show up for eternity. (By the way, there's also a scene similar to the myth of Sisyphus, but it's got a whole bunch of people pushing up big rocks.) He also shows Maciste scenes from his past to jog his memory. These are scenes from other Maciste movies, with other actors! Our hero remembers why he's there, the witch agrees to be destroyed by Maciste's purity because she's fallen in love with him, our heroine is saved from burning by a miracle. It's all highly entertaining in a goofy way.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Hand of Death (1962)

Minimalist monster movie. John Agar stars as a guy trying to develop a non-lethal nerve gas. He gets exposed to the stuff. His touch instantly kills. He eventually turns into a monster, looking a lot like the Thing from the Fantastic 4. The cops track him down and shoot him dead. That's pretty much it, although you've got Agar's girlfriend to act terrified. the girlfriend's father to try to help him and get killed, and Agar's buddy to, well not do much. Also features Butch Patrick from The Munsters as a kid who almost gets killed and one of the Three Stooges as a gas station attendant who does get killed. Only an hour long.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Barbara Steele Italian Gothic Double Feature:

The Long Hair of Death (1964)

Late Fifteenth Century. Woman gets condemned for witchcraft. She has two daughters. One is grown (Steele), the other is a preteen. Woman curses the town, the aristocrat who condemned her, and his son. Steele tries to save her mother's life, allows the aristocrat to have his way with her in exchange, he double-crosses her and kills her. Although not really a witch -- she was blamed for a murder that was actually committed by the son -- the mother's curse works. Some years later, plague devastates the town (Curse One). Preteen grows up, is more-or-less forced to marry the son, although she despises him. A lightning storm brings Steele out of her grave (a nice, spooky scene.) Aristocrat drops dead seeing her (Curse Two), but nobody else, even the sister, seems to recognize her. She claims to be somebody else entirely. Son lusts after her, together they plot to kill the sister. This takes up most of the film, and you might wonder why the plot goes in this direction at all. Don't worry, Curse Three will show up at the end. Despite the familiar revenge-from-beyond-the-grave theme, the story has a lot of original twists and turns. With all the palace intrigue, adulterous liaisons, poisonings, and so on, it has something of the flavor of a Shakespearean tragedy.

Terror Creatures From the Grave (1965)

The original Italian title translates as something like Five Tombs for a Medium, which makes it sound like a giallo. There's a touch of that in the plot. Early Twentieth Century. A letter arrives for a notary written in an old-fashioned handwriting asking the notary to go to a villa to settle a will for a fellow. The notary is off somewhere, so his assistant (our hero) goes to the villa. It turns out the fellow who supposedly sent the letter has been dead a year. His adult daughter (our love interest) and her stepmother (Steele) are only at the villa to move the dead man's body somewhere else after a year underground, per his eccentric instructions. We find out pretty quickly that, of the five men who signed a paper witnessing the dead man's accidental demise, two have recently died. Two more meet the same fate as the film goes on. The fifth one happens to be the notary. Up to now, although we already know the dead man claimed to have the supernatural power to raise the dead, it's perfectly possible for these to be ordinary murders made to look like the dead man's revenge. We find out the truth during the climax. Let's just say it involves the fact that the villa occupies a place where plague victims were housed, and that some of them deliberately spread the disease and were executed for their crime. Moves at a leisurely pace, with some eerie and imaginative scenes; an exhibit of the mummified hands of the executed men; a bowl of water which empties itself mysteriously; what seems to be the ghost of a girl, killed by the executed men, who sings a creepy little song about pure water being the source of salvation.
 

J Riff

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Geee... a cursed tree entrance to Hades, I'm off to get that one. These flicks you are digging up are great Victoria, you saved new years with this one. Hand of Death is an old fave, but Long Hair of Death looks feh, I thought it might be about hippies but oh well.
 

Steve Harrison

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Caught two movies in two days. Long time since that happened!

VICE
Terrific movie. A real eye-opener and the best horror flick of 2018, IMO.

THE FAVORITE
Long, dull and boring. Not sure what the hype is about, as I thought it was a bit of a mess. The three lead actors are great, though, despite the script, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The House That Screamed (1970) AKA The Boarding School (original title La Residencia, which could simply mean "the home," although in this case the alternate title would seem to be appropriate.)

Written and directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador.

Noted German actress Lilli Palmer stars in this Spanish psychological shocker. She runs a 19th century French boarding school for "difficult" girls, fifteen through twenty-one years old, with an iron hand. The most rebellious student is not only locked up in solitary confinement for days, she is severely beaten by Palmer's second-in-command, another student who knows a lot more about what's going on among the girls than Palmer does. It seems that three girls have escaped recently, with no word of their whereabouts. Also living in the house is Palmer's teenage son, a beautiful young man who likes to peek at the girls and follow them around, despite his mother's warnings that he must have nothing to do with them. She explains that they are not good enough for him, and that he needs to find someone like herself to love him. (Yes, there's a subtle Oedipal theme here.) He secretly meets with one of the girls. Too bad she gets stabbed to death by an unseen person. (A touch of giallo added to the plot.)

Meanwhile, a new girl, our protagonist, shows up. She has no father, and it's pretty strongly implied that she's the illegitimate daughter of a prostitute. The sadistic second-in-command has her eye on her. (Since this is something of a Women in Prison movie, it's no big surprise that there's a hint of lesbianism. She forces the new arrival to put on a bustier [or corset or something like that] and sing for her and her little group of friends in their secret room, which contains drawings of semi-nude women.) There's also a sort of creepy workman skulking around the place, and a young man who shows up to deliver wood once every three weeks. Under the direction of the second-in-command, girls who obey her wishes are allowed to sneak out and take turns doing some serious making out with this guy. (The assumption is that most of these girls are "difficult" because they're boy-crazy.) Desperate to escape from under the thumb of the second-in-command, the new arrival meets with the son and plots her escape.

In an unexpected plot twist, she has her throat cut by the unseen killer. It turns out that the other girls who "escaped" were also murdered. The killer is the son, who has been chopping off body parts from the victims to "build" a girl for himself who will resemble his mother.

Slow-moving, moody, atmospheric, and claustrophobic -- the movie almost never leaves the boarding school -- this eerie little film held my attention throughout. Nicely filmed, with good acting. The exploitative elements of the plot are restrained. (There's a group shower scene, as you'd expect from a Women in Prison movie, but the girls wear opaque shifts while washing! The one rebellious girl removes hers, but all you see is her bare back.) The relationship between Palmer and the second-in-command -- sometimes Palmer has the upper hand, sometimes she does -- was compelling. You may or may not figure out the whodunit aspect of the plot, although I doubt you'll foretell the exact nature of the final shocking revelation. All in all, quite an enjoyable chiller.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Night Train to Terror (1985)

Incoherent mess frankensteined together from one unfinished feature film and two complete ones. Starts with what can only be called a rock video, with folks in the most Eighties outfits you've ever seen. Turns out that they're on a train supposedly on its way to Las Vegas, but really, we're told right at the start, destined to crash. (So much for suspense.) Turns out that God and Satan are aboard. They discuss three people whose souls they want. This is the excuse for chopped up versions of the three movies. The plots are so truncated and jumbled up that even a brief synopsis is difficult. One is about a clinic that drugs, kidnaps, kills and sells the body parts of victims. Another is about a suicide club where the members subject themselves to really goofy equivalents to Russian roulette games. The third is something about a demon in the form of a young rich guy, a Holocaust survivor, a cop, the author of a best-selling atheist book, and the author's wife, a faithful Christian. Lots of phony gore and utterly gratuitous female nudity. The first story jumps around from scene to scene at a breakneck pace. The second is the funniest, as the suicide games are all ridiculous; a gigantic, stop-motion animated insect; a wacky computer-randomized series of electrified chairs; and a big wrecking ball swinging above the participants. The last segment almost has some potential to be a serious story, but messes it up badly with lousy special effects and a high degree of incomprehensibility. A real mindblower. Written by an experienced Hollywood screenwriter who won an Oscar in the old days!
 
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J Riff

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".. frankensteined together with a high degree of incomprehensibility'. :D

Watching The Meg. Spoiler---> giant shark(s)---- It's okay, so far.... then... sharks ... but we know Jason Statham is gonna kill them, right? Right. Lots of action... more heroic actions.... uh-oh... oh NO.. a cute dog is in the water... and now a chubby child, ghad this could be ghastly... now it's getting really stupid... but back to undersea action... Jason Statham... yipes, good cgi. The End. Well, that's fairly heroic stuff.
 

Jeffbert

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It just ended... and it may as well have been a Trek episode. Security officer has doubts, blahblah, a faceless crew member dies, but then a regular cast member is eaten by a giant spider, and you know instantly that 'it's all in her mind." Next.
Can you believe I actually just watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Had never realised it was written by Ian Flemming and produced by Albert Broccoli. Must have fancied a change from James Bond. ;)
Not only that, but Gert Fröbe, best known for portraying the title character in Goldfinger, was the spoiled brat Baron Bomburst in CCBB!

Double Indemnity (1944) Noir Alley's Muller said that this is the 1st film worthy of the genre. Don't know about that, but he is the expert.

So, Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is an insurance sales man, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) is the insurance investigator, whose job is to expose phony claims, and Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) as the woman who seduces FMM, and persuades him to murder her husband for the insurance money. FMM sells BS an accident policy for her husband, who unknowingly signs his name on it. Enough details.

Muller says FMM's character was not actually seduced by BS, but, rather, wanted to show EGR that he could beat him. That is, he could defeat his ability to uncover phony claims. I don't know about that, either, but $100K is a rather big incentive, especially in 1944.

:unsure:
 

Jeffbert

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You Never Can Tell (1951) Eccentric millionaire has left all his wealth to his dog, which had been an Army dog, but was adopted. Someone kills the dog, and in animal heaven, he request of the Animal god (a lion) that he be sent to Earth in the form of a man (Dick Powell) to solve the killing. A strange plot, but entertaining.

This one was made after Powell switched genres from singing & comedy, to noir.

Hollywood Hotel (1937) A waiter with a great singing voice, Ronnie Bowers
(Dick Powell), tries to become a star. Film is filled with musical talent, such as Benny Goodman & co. Not my genre of music, but o.k., anyway. So, there is this big-name movie actor, who cannot sing, for whom DP will will give a voice. But for a one-time payment of $100, it just does not satisfy DP. Probably more than a few films of this type, in which obscure man or woman breaks into show business.
 

Jeffbert

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Station West (1948) Dick Powell as an investigator assigned to find who is stealing the gold shipments from some fort to wherever they should have gone. A Western, the 1st I have seen with Powell. Not bad, but not Stagecoach, either.

The Reformer and the Redhead (1950) Another Powell film, this time, he is a candidate for mayor. But he need the support of the local boss, & this means becoming just as corrupt as the boss. But, he sees his error, & escapes the swamp.

Having a Wonderful Crime (1945) Lawyer Michael J. Malone (Pat O'Brien) gets mixed up in killings, etc. Very entertaining film. PO is usually in dramas, but this is comedy. Saw it this morning, details have become vague.

It Happened Tomorrow (1944) Dick Powell as an obituary writer for an early 20th century newspaper. Tired of this assignment, he yearns to be a reporter. Stating that he would give 10 years of his life to know what happens tomorrow, The oldest man on the staff gives him tomorrow's evening paper. Turns of the guy had died, without Powell knowing it. Very good fantasy. This is my second viewing. When the guy gives him his third evening paper, he decides to bet on the horse races, seeing it as a sure thing. But, on the opposite side, which the viewers see, it says the guy will be shot dead, at a certain hotel at a certain time. When he sees it, he goes out of his mind, trying to avoid being at that hotel at that time, but to no avail. All ends well, as this is a comedy.
 
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