Thursday, July 14, 2011

Short Movie Reviews

Requiem for a Vampire by Jean Rollin is an odd film. It is like the best haunted house ever for a while, having very little dialogue or story. It begins with a car chase/gun fight between two cars. The male driver is killed, and the two females, dressed as clowns no less, escape their pursuers only to become lost. They finally discover a seemingly unoccupied castle. Of course, this is where the vampires are. It is not the best vampire movie I have seen, but is interesting. (Streams on Netflix)

Demoniacs, also by Jean Rollin, also has a girl in a clown costume (what's up with that?), but is about a group of semi-pirates and the two girls they rape. The girls are mutes, but bent on revenge. The leader of the semi-pirate gang is a little loopy, and sees them everywhere he goes. Eventually the girls make a deal with... supposedly Satan, but he's not very Satanic. He's kind of  decent guy. Anyway, their plot for revenge goes a bit strangely. I liked this one. The bad guys are well acted, and the film has a weird trippiness to it. The last, say twenty minutes, looks and feels like a silent film. It appears they shot in slow speed, so everything is sped up just a bit. While the story has some holes in it, it is pretty enjoyable. (Streams on Netflix)

The Man Who Wasn't There is a modern film noir by the Coen Brothers which stars Billy Bob Thorton, Frances McDormand, James Gandolfini and Scarett Johansson. This is one of my favorite films. It can take a bit to get into, but is worth the effort. Thorton plays a cuckolded barber who decides to blackmail the man sleeping with his wife. It turns into a murder. It is a smart movie with a lot of great performances. (Streams on Netflix)

The King's Speech is one I might have skipped due to the notoriety, but as Collin Firth is one of the wife's favorites we decided to watch it. It is a tad too "feel good" for my tastes, but on the whole is an enjoyable film. It does not get as constantly sappy as movies about someone overcoming a disorder can be. It definitely has its sappy moments though, and a few uncomfortable attempts at humor that don't quite work. I enjoyed it, despite the flaws. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter all bring their respective A games, and do not clash. It tends to get a little Royals happy from time to time. Well worth watching. (DVD)

Women in Trouble is the movie prior to Elektra Luxx. It is a tangential story of ten women whose lives/stories become associated. It is no Lifetime Original Movie, but is not as dirty as it might be sold (Netflix tags it as "raunchy"). Two characters, Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino) and Holly Rocket (Adrianne Palicki, the newly aborted Wonder Woman) are porn stars, and Bambi (voice actress and future Cheetara, Emmanuelle Chriqui) is a prostitute, but aside from some subject matter and cheesecake it is hardly raunchy. If you are looking for titties and faux lesbian sex, look elsewhere. It is a fun, rather interesting film, and I am looking forward to Elektra Luxx. (Streams on Netflix)

Planet of the Vampires does not really have any vampires, or even undead for that matter. What it does have is a creepy paranoia similar to John Carpenter's The Thing, and direction by Mario Bava. While not as good as Danger Diabolik! Bava gets the most out of his sets, which were likely quite expensive for a B movie. There is excellent use of colored light, miniatures, matte paintings, and sound to increase the overall creepiness. The acting is not bad, and the story makes for a somewhat plausible sci-fi horror film. A little slow at times, but has a nice twist at the end. (Streams on Netflix)

Vampire Circus is not one of my favorite Hammer films. It is a bit like they had some good ideas and some bad ideas, a bunch of unknowns, and a skeleton of a story. It likely could have been a good movie, but frankly it did not hold my interest in the least. (Streams on Netflix)


dfordoom said...

Requiem for a Vampire was the first Jean Rollin movie I saw, and I was hooked immediately. Love the girls dressed as clowns, and the fact that we have no idea why they're being pursued. Very Rollin.

Darius Whiteplume said...

My first was Living Dead Girl, but I think I liked Requiem better. I don't always need an explanation, in fact I kind of liked wonder what the hell happened before the movie started :-)

T. Roger Thomas said...

Thank you for indicating which of these are available to stream on Netflix. Demoniacs sounds intriguing enough to make me think about restarting my subscription.

Nathan said...

Well, just because it's the Planet of the Vampires doesn't necessarily mean you're going to run into any vampires, right? A planet is a big place. {g}

Oscar said...

I haven't seen any of this movies, thanks for the review!

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