Movies watched in October and the first half of November, stills:
Something Creeping in the Dark, 1971, Mario Colucci- A group of travellers get stranded in a house during a storm. Half giallo, half ghost story, neither are interesting.
The Woman Who Came Back, 1945, Walter Colmes- A woman cheating death in a bus accident leads to a mid-century witch hunt in a New England town.
The Death of Maria Malibran, 1972, Werner Schroeter- Just fantastic.
Maskarada, 1971, Boštjan Hladnik- I hated this. Sort of Oedipus but with some 60s-70s generation gap babble and distant father combined with attached mother leads to gay son type pseudo-psychology.
Pioneers in Ingolstadt, 1971, Rainer Werner Fassbinder- OK Fassbinder.
The War of the Worlds: Next Century, 1983, Piotr Szulkin- This kind of state controlled media/don't trust the television science fiction feels much more genuine coming out of Eastern Europe.
Bimbo's Initiation, 1931, Dave Fleischer- Bimbo falls down a manhole and into the headquarters of a secret society, they repeatedly ask "wanna be a member?" while he tries to navigate through a maze of traps and obstacles. I love the Fleischer brothers, they made some of the most imaginative and unnerving (while still fun) cartoons.
Peter Ibbetson, 1935, Henry Hathaway- Jean Rollin said this was one of his favourites growing up. There are some similarities with Lips of Blood which is a much, much better film.
Night on Bald Mountain, 1933, Alexander Alexeieff, Claire Parker- Foggy creatures haunt a village until sunrise.
Las Crueles, 1969, Vicente Aranda
Sada, 1998, Nobuhiko Obayashi- Obayashi's weakest film I've seen so far. In his version of the Sada Abe story, she's eternally child like and uncomfortable. Occaisonal moments of Obayashi's usual weirdness and cartoonish characters.
The Body, 1974, Luigi Scattini- What a waste of location, soundtrack and Zeudi Araya. Some of the most boring visuals. Why is this often on lists of good or rare gialli? It's none of those things.
The Plea, 1967, Tengiz Abuladze- Messy. Couldn't really get interested in this.
Night of Death!, 1980, Raphaël Delpard- Cannibals in a nursing home looking for eternal youth. Enjoyable with some beautiful images.
The Hour-glass Sanatorium, 1973, Wojciech Has- A wonderful, delirious adaptation of Schulz's writing. I loved this.
The Butterfly Murders, 1979, Tsui Hark- Don't remember much of this except butterflies ripping flesh and dipping their proboscises in blood.
The ? Motorist, 1906, Walter R. Booth- During a police chase a car drives up buildings, into the sky, around the moon and Saturn's rings. Totally charming.
The Cat's Out, 1931, Wilfred Jackson- A cat let out for the night encounters giant birds, haunted trees, living scarecrows, vampire bats and spiders, Perfect for Halloween.
Monkey's Moon, 1929, Kenneth Macpherson-
Night Tide, 1961, Curtis Harrington
An Amber Castle, 1959, Aleksandra Snezhko-Blotskaya- A Lithuanian story about doomed romance, vengeful gods. Weird seeing cute pie-eyed swordfish and lobsters as villains. The mermaid kind of looks like me if I were animated.
The Insect Woman, 1972, Kim Ki-young- Odd melodrama about a father's affair ruining his family. Second half is all suicide pacts, a rat eating vampire baby, convoluted schemes, histrionics and bodies frozen in blocks of ice.
Peyote Queen, 1965, Storm De Hirsch- +candy glass kaleidoscopes -flashing symbols, scribbles, fish -my brain's inability to handle bright flashing lights. My photo-sensitivity and my interest in experimental films often don't mix, but even without that this would have been mostly bad.
Sirènes, 1961, Emile Degelin- Underwater voices, sea creatures being washed ashore, rotting ships, sirens gathering on the beach while sailors cast out their nets, doom. I've watched this several times since first seeing it.
Crucial Years, 1967, Juraj Jakubisko- Ugly and unpleasant, but not in a good way.
Kagero-za, 1981, Seijun Suzuki- Pretty perfect.
Eugenie de Sade, 1974, Jesus Franco- Eugenie's stepfather grooms her to be his accomplice in lust murder. Soledad Miranda is the best sad eyed waif, so charming here in between killings.
The Witch's Mirror, 1962, Chano Urueta- How many movies do you think have a plot based around someone losing their face and the bad outcomes of trying to construct a new one?
The Legend of the Suram Fortress, 1984, Sergei Parajanov
Kokkuri, 1997, Takahisa Zeze- A popular radio personality (the alter ego of one of the main three girls) encourages her listeners to do kokkuri, a Japanese version of the ouija board. The girls do and the predictions strain their friendship. Mostly hazy teenage boredom and recklessness with hints of the supernatural, a Carnival of Souls style should have died but didn't. Ten or 15 minutes at the end feel tacked on to try and make it scarier, provide some jump scares and a ghost possession. They don't fit with the rest of the film and I wish it had been done differently, but the very last ending bit is great. Despite the glaring flaw I really liked this, maybe more than I should. Midnight Eye review.
Dorothea's Revenge, 1974, Peter Fleischmann- One of the strangest exploitation films I've ever seen. An alien visits Dorothea and leaves her a glowing rock. Afterward she becomes uncomfortable with her life and ideas about love. She loses all her inhibitions but ends up being mistreated by the older men in her life. Eventually she finds happiness with her teenage friends in a free love sort of arrangement out in one of their grandmother's cabin in the woods. Filled with non sequiturs.
Minnie the Moocher
Daughters of Darkness
The Brood- How stylish is the Somafree Institute?
Farewell to the Ark