We’re back on our normal roll, chopping off five films this week and slipping in the gore of the moment. As promised after the fun of X I went back to the beginning to revisit The House of the Devil, Ti West’s debut. Then it was off to happy place, visiting two slices of Hammer horror with The Gorgon and The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll. There’s a slight detour into animation with the wonderful Poe anthology Extraordinary Tales before settling in with one of the progenitors of the form, the 1925 Phantom of the Opera.
As always you can read the full reviews over at Cinema Dual. In the meantime, smoke ’em if you got ’em…
Samantha has to get out of her dorm and into a new apartment. But dang, apartments are expensive in the 1980s, so a posting on campus about a babysitting gig sounds promising. The problem? It’s on the night of the mysterious lunar eclipse everyone is talking about and when Tom Noonan answers the door, well…you know things are going to get freaky. Samantha knows, too, but she needs the money, so how bad can it be? SPOILER: it can be plenty bad…(full review here)
Seven murders in five years. The town of Vandorf has a secret, and it might have something to do with the abandoned Castle Borski…or the people turning to stone. When young Sasha turns up dead and her lover Bruno hanged, the town quickly surpasses the truth, much to the chagrin of Bruno’s father and brother who come to investigate only to be put off at every turn, particularly from the cold Dr. Namaroff. When Bruno’s father also dies it’s up to Bruno’s brother Paul and the aloof Professor Meister to uncover the truth of Megeara…the Gorgon!(full review here)
A raven visits a graveyard, mourning over the statues of various women. A disembodied voice enters into dialog, probing the bird’s sorrow and guilt and in the process uncovering various tales of mystery and imagination (see what I did there?), all of which point to a secret the bird will soon come to realize..(full review here)
Dr. Jekyll is devoted to his research and experiments to understand the duality of man: the Man Who Could Be, and the Man Who Would be. He does this to the exclusion of his wife Kitty who falls in love with the rascal Paul, although who can blame her when Paul is played to a sinner’s perfection by Christopher Lee? Well, pretty soon Jekyll starts injecting himself and the results are…a suprise, even for a film based on the Stevenson novel. Hijinks, snakes, and evil ensues. In the end we have to wonder: how great would this have been if Oliver Reed was Jekyll instead of his uncredited bouncer?(full review here)
Something is lurking beneath the lush Paris Opera House, and it yearns to make the young and beautiful Christine a major star. This mysterious “Phantom” will go to any lengths to ensure she gets her chance to shine, but at what cost? Is the Phantom the ultimate incel? Did I really just write that? Spooky murder and incredible makeup is afoot in this silent classic!(full review here)
Next week we’ll be visiting a glory hole you really don’t want to put anything in, some creepy crawling bugs and out of this world monsters, and maybe another Hammer film just for kicks.
Until then. keep it Blood Red.