Suspiria (1977) ***½
Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi
Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli
Antichrist (2009) ***
Director/Writer: Lars Von Trier
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
It’s obvious that Von Trier has totally abandoned the cinematic Dogme 95 movement he’s often credited for creating, in which filmmakers were encouraged to abandon filmmaking “techniques” such as special effects, studio lighting, and music scores to focus more on basic storytelling techniques of story and character. In this film he certainly isn’t using just natural lighting. He uses slow motion photography. He uses dramatically overblown music. Yet, his focus is still squarely on character and story. And what a deeply dark place this story takes us. Hell, it starts pretty dark. Who knew it could get so much darker than its opening sequence.
My Name Is Bruce (2007) *½
Director: Bruce Campbell
Writer: Mark Verheiden
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe, Ted Raimi
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) **½
Director: Frank De Felitta
Writers: J.D. Feigelson, Butler Handcock
Starring: Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons, Claude Earl Jones, Lane Smith, Tonya Crowe, Jocelyn Brando, Larry Drake
What a surprise I got when the disc finally arrived. I was right. I had seen the movie when I was young. And thanks to the disc’s special features, I was able to recall the exact circumstances under which I had seen it. It was a CBS Saturday Night Movie. The disc includes the original promo spot for the movie, which had its world premiere on broadcast television just before Halloween in 1981. Seeing that old CBS promo brought back a flood of memories from when all the movies we watched at home were on broadcast television. I remembered “Dark Night of the Scarecrow” being advertised and watching it. I think my mother was worried it would give me nightmares. Truth is, it is a little intense for what I had remembered as family television time.
Unfortunately, the fact the movie was made for television does hold it back from being a good horror flick. The story works, but they just weren’t able to go far enough with the horror. I’m sure in 1981 it was plenty enough for me, however.
Bubba Ho-Tep (2003) **½
Director: Don Coscarelli
Writer: Don Coscarelli, Joe R. Lansdale (short story)
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout