What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:57 pm

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) starring Christopher Lee, Anthony Higgins, Linda Hayden, John Carson, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Sallis & Ralph Bates. Three distinguished English gentlemen inadvertently help resurrect Count Dracula and kill a disciple of his in process, after which Dracula exacts revenge on the trio and their families. Taste the Blood of Dracula is 5th entry in Hammer Film's Dracula series and begins where the last film ends. The story is one of the more interesting ones in the series (with one of the coolest titles) and the film itself is perhaps more stylish than previous entries. Christopher Lee is excellent & imposing as always as Dracula, but he doesn't have too much to say or do in this one. Which is most likely due to the fact that Hammer was originally gonna make this film without Dracula appearing at all due to Lee's increasing reluctance to reprise the role, with the Lord Courtley character played by Ralph Bates intended to take over as the lead vampire. As usual, the includes first-rate costumes & sets and some nice gore effects. Taste the Blood of Dracula is one of the better & more interesting entries in Hammer's Dracula series, a very good horror film with an eerie atmosphere.

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) - IMDb
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Scars of Dracula (1970) starring Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, Patrick Troughton, Michael Ripper, Michael Gwynn & Christopher Matthews. Investigating his brother's disappearance leads a man & his girlfriend to Dracula's Castle and the evil that lurks there. Hammer Films' 6th entry in their Dracula series, Scars of Dracula gives Lee's Dracula the most he's had to say or do since 1958's Horror of Dracula. Here Christopher Lee gets to play Dracula as a more coldly charming gentleman & host rather than the frightening, sometimes ferocious fiend he had been playing, not that he isn't still a fiend. Either way, Christopher is excellent as Dracula as always and a joy to watch, which is a positive. On the negative side though, this film breaks continuity with the previous film in where it begins compared to where the last one ended, not-to-mention once again features an entirely different castle set than previous films. It's noticeable (especially if you watch this & Taste the Blood of Dracula back-to-back), but perhaps those are just minor gripes, and the castle set does look good & spooky. Also noticeable is that Hammer amped up the violence & gore in this entry, which works well within the film. Scars of Dracula isn't the best Dracula sequel, but it's a worthy one and a good, atmospheric & entertaining horror film.

Scars of Dracula (1970) - IMDb
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Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Christopher Neame & Michael Coles. Dracula disciple Johnny Alucard revives the Count from the dead in London in 1972 and helps Dracula to a enact plan of revenge on the descendants of Van Helsing. Hammer Film's 7th entry in their Dracula series, Dracula A.D. 1972, brings the Count into the (then) contemporary setting of early 1970s swinging London and marks the return of Peter Cushing to the franchise as a Van Helsing. Opening with a prologue set in 1872, this film seems to begin a new chronology/canon for Hammer's Dracula series and doesn't follow or isn't connected to the previous gothic entries. Though Dracula doesn't quite fit in swinging London, seeing him in such a drastically different setting is interesting. A big plus for the film is having Peter Cushing back and seeing (a) Van Helsing & Dracula do battle once more is greatly welcomed. Both Lee & Cushing shine in their famous roles as usual and also notable is Christopher Neame's charismatically wicked portrayal of Johnny Alucard. All in all, Dracula A.D. 1972 is one of Hammer's weaker Dracula films, but it has it's positive aspects and is a decent, if not a bit cheesy, and entertaining early 70s horror film.

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) - IMDb
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The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Coles, Joanna Lumley & William Franklyn. The British Secret Service seeks Van Helsing's help & expertise as they investigate a mysterious cult which includes rich & powerful men of British society, and subsequently uncover a plot involving Dracula & a plan to unleash a deadly plague upon the world. The Satanic Rites of Dracula is the 8th entry in Hammer Films' Dracula series and a direct sequel to Dracula A.D. 1972. The film is an odd mixture of horror, sci-fi & spy thriller and is pretty removed from the spirit of the original Dracula source material of Bram Stoker's novel, much to the chagrin of star Christopher Lee who once described this as "a mixture of Howard Hughes and Dr. No". That among other reasons is why this film would mark the final appearance of Lee as Dracula for Hammer. The film does include some decent action and good blood & gore, particularly in Dracula's demise at the end of the film, and of course Lee & Cushing are expectedly enjoyable as Dracula & his nemesis Van Helsing. The Satanic Rites of Dracula certainly isn't the best film in Hammer's Dracula series, but it's pretty decent & entertaining for what it is and some might say perhaps even an improvement over the previous film.

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:17 pm

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) starring Peter Cushing, David Chiang, Robin Stewart, Julie Ege, Szu Shih & John Forbes-Robertson. While lecturing in China, Professor Van Helsing agrees to help seven kung fu trained brothers & their sister reclaim their ancestral mountain village from seven powerful vampires & an army of undead slaves lead by Dracula. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is Hammer Films' 9th & final entry in their Dracula series and a collaboration with legendary Hong Kong movie studio Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd. The concept of featuring the characters of Count Dracula & Professor Van Helsing in a kung fu film may seem peculiar, but in execution it actually turned out pretty well. Peter Cushing returns to the role of (a) Van Helsing for the 5th & final time and is excellent as always, but this time around Dracula is played by John Forbes-Robertson because Christopher Lee chose not to reprise the role again. Dracula's screen time is limited here and whether that has to do with the absence of Lee (who is missed) or was always the intention I don't know, but Forbes-Robertson is quite satisfactory in the role in the little he's given to do (though perhaps his makeup is overdone). Outside of Dracula, the rest of the vampires & undead creatures in the film are Asian inspired depictions, which makes sense given the setting. The film has plenty of action and the numerous fight scenes are well done & enjoyable, though the final confrontation between Van Helsing & Dracula is disappointingly lackluster. Overall The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is a fun, entertaining & enjoyable action/horror film, and minus the absence of Christopher Lee, is a worthy finale to Hammer's Dracula series.

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:15 am

House of Dark Shadows (1970) starring Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Roger Davis, John Karlen, Nancy Barrett & Joan Bennett. Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally freed from his decades-long confinement inside a mausoleum on his family's estate in Collinsport, Maine, after which he targets the unsuspecting descendants who now reside at his ancestral home of Collinwood Mansion as he pursues governess Maggie whom he believes is the reincarnation of his long lost love. House of Dark Shadows is a feature-length horror film directed by Dan Curtis, based on his 1960s gothic soap opera TV series Dark Shadows and using the original Barnabas Collins storyline from early 1967 as the basis for it's story. The film is much more graphically violent than its TV counterpart due to being free of the confines of TV censorship, and its unrestricted use of blood & gore is done to great effect. The special makeup effects by the legendary Dick Smith are quite impressive, particularly the makeup job used to make Barnabas Collins look like a decrepit old man at one point. Much of the cast here are reprising the roles they created on the soap opera and are quite excellent, most especially Jonathan Frid as the ever popular vampire Barnabas Collins who provides a haunting, sometimes supremely frightening presence and is undoubtedly the shining star of the film. House of Dark Shadows is a superb & very well acted horror film featuring a strong script & story, eerie atmosphere & top-notch special effects, and I think it's surely one of the very best vampire films ever made.

House of Dark Shadows (1970) - IMDb
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Night of Dark Shadows (1971) starring David Selby, Kate Jackson, Grayson Hall, Lara Parker, John Karlen & Nancy Barrett. Young artist Quentin Collins arrives with his wife at his newly inherited estate of Collinwood, after which he becomes troubled by startling visions & haunting dreams and soon plagued by the spirits of his ancestors. Night of Dark Shadows is a feature-length horror film directed by Dan Curtis, again based on his 1960s gothic soap opera TV series Dark Shadows and this time very loosely based on the "parallel-time" events of the show. After the great success of the first Dark Shadows film the studio wanted a follow-up and Dan Curtis originally intended to make a direct sequel & bring back vampire Barnabas Collins, but Jonathan Frid declined to reprise the role again due to fear of being typecast. So Curtis came up with a completely new story and decided to focus on the film on one of the show's other popular characters, Quentin Collins. David Selby reprises his role as Quentin Collins from the soap opera, and a number of Dark Shadows cast members who appeared in the previous film appear here too, but in completely different roles as none of the same characters from the first film return for this one. In lieu of the vampires and graphic violence & gore of the first film, this film presents a more ghostly story of gothic romance, supernatural reincarnation & witchcraft. Night of Dark Shadows isn't quite as strong as House of Dark Shadows, but it presents an intriguing tale & chilling atmosphere and is overall a very good horror film.

Night of Dark Shadows (1971) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:02 am

The Old Dark House (1932) starring Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Ernest Thesiger, Lilian Bond, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart & Eva Moore. Seeking shelter for the night from a severe rainstorm in a remote area of Wales, five stranded travelers are admitted into a gloomy old mansion inhabited by a bizarre family and their brutish butler. The Old Dark House is a pre-code horror/dark comedy film from Universal Pictures, directed by James Whale and based on the novel "Benighted" by J.B. Priestley. The film reunites director James Whale & star Boris Karloff after their huge success the previous year with Frankenstein and assembles an outstanding all-around cast, including Charles Laughton in his first Hollywood film. Karloff plays Morgan the butler, a brutish character not too unlike that of Frankenstein's monster (except more human), but even though he's top billed the true stars of the film are perhaps the bizarre Femm family; siblings Horace Femm (the timid host of the house), Rebecca Femm (a near deaf religious fanatic) & Saul Femm (a deranged pyromaniac) played marvelously by Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore & Brember Wills. Melvyn Douglas also really stands out as Roger Penderel, a happy-go-lucky WWI veteran, but honestly the entire cast is truly extraordinary. The film isn't straight horror, but is done tongue-in-cheek, yet also features a truly gloomy, eerie atmosphere & ambience. The Old Dark House is a real gem and a classic that ranks right up there with Universal's classic horror output of the era (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy & The Invisible Man), not-to-mention is the film that would coin a new horror/mystery/thriller subgenre known as the "old dark house" film (though it wasn't actually the first "old dark house" film itself).

The Old Dark House (1932) - IMDb
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The Old Dark House (1963) starring Tom Poston, Robert Morley, Janette Scott, Mervyn Johns, Finella Fielding, Peter Bull, Danny Green & Joyce Grenfell. An eccentric millionaire invites an American car salesman to visit his decaying family home. The Old Dark House is a William Castle directed and Hammer Films produced remake of the 1932 James Whale/Universal Pictures film. This film's story is quite different from the 1932 version and really has little to do with the previous film. The film leans far more toward comedy than horror, the humor is macabre and it has a murder mystery tone, but there's really nothing horrifying about this film. Tom Poston is quite funny as Tom Penderel and a joy to watch, and the cast who make up the Femm family are pretty interesting & amusing. The "old dark house" this time is certainly old (& decaying), but it's not particularly dark or gloomy, and this film is greatly lacking in the eerie atmosphere present in the 1932 version. This really has to be one of the oddest films Hammer ever produced and it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the studio's output of the era. All told The Old Dark House is a pretty fun film, but it's neither William Castle's nor Hammer's best effort and it doesn't compare to James Whales' 1932 classic.

The Old Dark House (1963) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:15 am

The Bat (1926) starring Emily Fitzroy, Louise Fazenda, Jack Pickford, Jewel Carmen, Tullio Carminati Tullio Carminati, Eddie Gribbon & Robert McKim. A mysterious masked criminal in a bat-like costume terrorizes a group of people in an isolated old mansion. The Bat is a mystery/thriller melodrama silent film with some comedy overtones, produced & directed by Roland West, who also adapted it from the hit 1920 stage play "The Bat" by Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Hopwood. The film is of the "old dark house" subgenre, a type of film West had explored the previous year with The Monster starring Lon Chaney, but perhaps improved upon here. Unusual for the time, the film was mostly shot at night in order to help set the mood and it shows as the film has a particularly spooky ambience to it. The film's cinematography is superb and the visuals are striking, and it features some pretty elaborate sets & special effects for the time. The Bat's costume is also quite impressive, especially the mask which is equally imposing & terrifying. The well assembled cast all play their roles well, in particular Louise Fazenda & Eddie Gribbon bring the comedy as the timid maid Lizzie Allen & the goofy Detective Anderson, while Emily Fitzroy is strong in the lead as the nonchalant Miss Cornelia Van Gorder and Tullio Carminati stands out as the no-nonsense Detective Moletti. The Bat is an excellent & very well made "old dark house" film with an especially memorable villain, and is an all-around first-rate production by Roland West.

The Bat (1926) - IMDb
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The Bat Whispers (1930) starring Chester Morris, Grayce Hampton, Maude Eburne, Una Merkel, William Bakewell, Spencer Charters, Gustav von Seyffertitz & Charles Dow Clark. A mysterious masked criminal known as "The Bat" terrorizes a group of people in an isolated old mansion. The Bat Whispers is a mystery/thriller melodrama with some comedy overtones, directed by Roland West, who again adapted it from the stage play "The Bat" by Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Hopwood. The film is essentially just a sound remake of The Bat from 4 years earlier, there are some minor differences, but overall it tells the same exact story with a different cast. So if you've seen The Bat then there's no surprises here, you pretty much know what you're in for. Now that's not to say this film isn't good, it's a very well done remake with good special effects & all, as well as brings something new to the table in the form of sound, and The Bat's costume design is also different here in comparison to the silent version (on the subject of the film's title character, the villain The Bat is noteworthy as part of the inspiration for comic book writer & artist Bob Kane's creation of Batman). Among the well assembled cast the highlights include Chester Morris as the hard-nosed Detective Anderson, Maude Eburne as the hilariously timid Lizzie Allen and Spencer Charters as the comical superstitious caretaker. The Bat Whispers isn't as strong as The Bat, but it's a more than worthy remake and judged on it's own merits is a great early mystery/thriller talkie and "old dark house" film.

The Bat Whispers (1930) - IMDb
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The Bat (1959) starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Lenita Lane, Gavin Gordon, John Sutton, Elaine Edwards & Darla Hood. A mysterious murderer known as "The Bat" menaces a mystery writer & her guests at an isolated country estate. The Bat is a mystery/thriller, again adapted from the stage play "The Bat" by Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Hopwood. This film is similar to the previous adaptations by Roland West to an extent, but changes the story enough to make this adaptation different and the role of the doctor is much more prominent here, no doubt to accommodate Vincent Price. There are some comical moments, but the comedy overtones of the other two versions are toned down here to make this more of a straight mystery/thriller. Disappointingly, this version lacks the atmosphere and spookiness of the previous versions, though this time The Bat is given claw-like gloves which are used to a good terrifying effect throughout the film. There is a varying quality of performances from the cast, but the legendary "Master of Menace" Vincent Price is enjoyable & interesting to watch as always and Agnes Moorehead shines in the first of only two leading roles in her career. The Bat is a pretty good mystery/thriller and there's enough in it to entertain whodunit fans, but it's also easily the weakest film adaptation of the stage play "The Bat".

The Bat (1959) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by sticksb » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:32 am

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IMG_0002.jpg (82 KiB) Viewed 7879 times
Little diddy called "Crosscut" 1996.
Mafia gebeep kills the Don's son and hides out in a lumber camp in the Northwest.
Despite the schlocky sub plots , this tome was fun and a click away on You-tube .

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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:25 pm

Häxan (1922) starring Benjamin Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Johannes Andersen, Astrid Holm, Ella la Cour & Tora Teje. A documentary-style film examining witchcraft during the Middle Ages through a series of dramatic vignettes. Häxan was written & directed by Benjamin Christensen after finding a copy of the "Malleus Maleficarum" (a book from the 15th century & the most important treatise on witchcraft) and studying it and other manuals, illustrations & treatises on witches and witch-hunting for two years. Christensen uses the film to not only examine witchcraft during the Middle Ages, but also to finally hypothesis that those accused of witchcraft & condemned by the Inquisition weren't really witches at all, but people who were suffering hysteria/mental illness and their so-called evilly-influenced behavior/practices was really a result of psychological ailments better understood now (or then, 95 years ago when the film was released). I don't know about Christensen's hypothesis, but the film itself is truly striking. The film was shot at night to put the actors in the proper mood, which was clearly effective. The excellent set & costume design gives the film an authentic look, the exceptional shadowy cinematography & creepy (sometimes graphic) imagery helps create a spooky atmosphere, and the use of techniques such as double exposures, stop-motion animation & reverse motion really bring the film to life. Häxan is usually identified as a horror film, I don't know that that's quite accurate, but it is a genuinely eerie film and just an exceptional piece of film making by Benjamin Christensen, his masterpiece.

Häxan (1922) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:11 am

Deadly Friend (1986) Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Twomey, Anne Ramsey & Richard Marcus. After his friend is rendered brain-dead by her abusive father, a teenage science genius attempts to save her by implanting robotic microchips into her brain. Deadly Friend is a sci-fi/horror film directed by Wes Craven, his first feature film after the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Tonally the film is kinda muddled up and doesn't quite know if it wants to be more of a love story or a graphic horror film, this is apparently all due to studio meddling. Wes Craven set out to do something different than his previous films and create a PG sci-fi/thriller with a dark love story, and he made the film that way originally, but after negative test screenings before Craven fans who complained the film lacked the violence & gore of his previous films, the studio forced into doing re-shoots to add dream sequences and more violent & gruesome death scenes which in turn changed the story of the film drastically to what it was originally. That consequently also lead to some jump cuts & choppy editing in the final version of the film and hurts the mood a bit, the revised ending is a bit contrived as well. On the positive side, the special effects are really well done and Kristy Swanson gives a particularly outstanding & memorable performance in what was her first starring role. All in all Deadly Friend is a decent sci-fi/horror film, but most likely not as good a film as it could've been had the studio not meddled with & changed it and had just released it as Wes Craven originally made it.

Deadly Friend (1986) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:45 pm

Red Sonja (1985) starring Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes Jr., Ronald Lacey & Pat Roach. A woman seeks to retrieve a magic orb and exact revenge on an evil queen. Red Sonja is a sword & sorcery action/adventure film based on the Marvel Comics character who first appeared in the Conan the Barbarian comics. The film is lackluster, it has some pretty decent fight scenes and the sets & costumes look good, but it just leaves something to be desired and the end result isn't as successful as Arnold's Conan films. Arnold himself once commented "It's the worst film I have ever made.", though I have to disagree there (see Hercules in New York). Arnold gets top billing here but his role is a supporting one, Brigitte Nielsen is the star of the film as the title character Red Sonja, which was her very first film role. Nielsen isn't bad, but kinda wooden in her role, which perhaps can be chalked up to her inexperience. Arnold plays Kalidor, a character extremely reminiscent of Conan the Barbarian, which isn't a coincidence since Arnold was apparently suppose to reprise the role of Conan in this film, but the rights for the character weren't obtained. Among the cast though, it's Ernie Reyes Jr. as the child Prince Tarn who stands out the most and steals the show. Overall Red Sonja is average at best, it's not unenjoyable, but it could've/should've been better and definitely isn't as good as or of the quality of Arnold's similar Conan films.

Red Sonja (1985) - IMDb
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Re: What Was the Last Movie You Watched?

Post by DannyBoy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:00 pm

The Girl of the Golden West (1938) starring Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Walter Pidgeon, Buddy Ebsen, Leo Carrillo & H.B. Warner. A beautiful saloonkeeper falls for a notorious bandit during the California Gold Rush. The Girl of the Golden West is a musical film adaptation of the theatrical play of the same name by David Belasco. As always Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy make for an enjoyable on-screen pairing/couple, have great chemistry and their singing is superb. The rest of the cast good as well, particularly Buddy Edsen as the sympathetic blacksmith 'Alabama'. The film is just over two hours long, but moves along at nice pace and features some enjoyable musical numbers throughout. Everything is well staged and the sets & costumes all look good. The Girl of the Golden West isn't the best musical/film Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy made together, but it is a very good & amusing one.

The Girl of the Golden West (1938) - IMDb
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