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The Dungeonmaster - An early Charles Brand production from his Empire International Pictures (Re-Animator, From Beyond etc). The Dungeonmaster tells the story of a nerd who have to fight an ancient, demonic sorcerer and participate in his "hellish games". Each of the fights, or segments if you want, are directed by a different director and these include Dave Allen, Charles Band, John Carl Buechler, Steven Ford, Peter Manoogian, Ted Nicolaou, and Rosemarie Turko. 

 

The film is, in many ways, heavily inspired by Tron, but it not nearly as visually stunning, nerdy or videogame-esque. But it feels almost like a mix of Tron and Dungeons & Dragons, and is a fine, fine mix of fantasy, horror and action. It's lowly rated on IMDB and other sites such as it, but if you ask me I'll say that this is a complete and utter masterpiece. Brilliant film!

 

 

I reject your reality and substitute my own!

 

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This fine track is inspired by The Dungeonmaster. Says it all, doesn't it?

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Leviathan - The year of 1989 didn't only see the birth of the most magnificent and beautiful human being this world have ever seen, in meself of course, but it also saw the release of several underwater-themed sci-fi/horror films including the masterpiece that is The Abyss, DeepStar Six, The Evil Below and Lords of the Deep, as well as this one, Leviathan.

 

Leviathan is a fairly standard film and is by no means original or good. But George P. Cosmatos (Tombstone, Rambo: First Blood Part II , Cobra) knows exactly what he wants this film to be, and he knows exactly what he wants it to do. And the result is an atmospheric, claustrophobic and very tense mix of Alien and The Thing with a really neat monster design, even though the monster isn't given nearly enough screentime. But the result of the film is incredible, and I'd even go as far as to call it semi-classic. A hidden, forgotten and underrated gem of a film.

 

You a fan of Alien, The Thing, Event Horizon, Sphere, The Descent, The Abyss, DeepStar Six, Sunshine, The Relic and similar films? Hell, even if you a fan of Pitch Black with Vin Diesel you better watch this.

 

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4 hours ago, Bear said:

Leviathan - The year of 1989 didn't only see the birth of the most magnificent and beautiful human being this world have ever seen, in meself of course, but it also saw the release of several underwater-themed sci-fi/horror films including the masterpiece that is The Abyss, DeepStar Six, The Evil Below and Lords of the Deep, as well as this one, Leviathan.

 

 

 

Disappointed, thought it was me!

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The Rift - Another deep ocean sci-fi horror from 1990. But let me start by writing a fun fact here: Dino De Laurentiis, who produced this film, produced his first film in 1941. But in 1990 he'd go on to finance this low-budget film for about $1,3m. However, a year before he produced this, he also helped produce the $30m flick Leviathan. I have to admit I think that's cool. Because The Rift is a similar type of film.

 

Just like Leviathan this is far from an original film. It offers nothing new and doesn't quite live up to the quality of Leviathan, but it's a real fun film nonetheless. Good atmosphere, great suspense, cool special effects and so on. It's not a superb film, but it's a very fun and entertaining one. Very much recommended if you're into this type of deep ocean/space sci-fi/horror flicks, and even more recommended if you can tolerate trash films too.

 

 

Btw, this film is directed by Juan Piquer Simón, the guy who gave us the masterpiece exploitation slasher that is *Pieces  and Slugs.

 

*Pieces still has the best tagline ever. You don't have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre!

Best tagline ever!

 

The-Rift-2.jpg

 

DeepStar Six - Another of those 1989 deep ocean sci-fi/horror films. I was in all honesty quite disappointed by this. It's not awful, in fact it's pretty entertaining. But it just lacks something. Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) does a good job, but he doesn't really get the pacing right. So at times I actually find myself a bit bored. But by all means, it's not bad. It's fun enough, but not something I'll rewatch anytime soon.

 

deepstar-six.jpg

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Deep Rising - This ain't quite the same as the films above, but rather it's an action-horror film set on a big cruise ship. It's from 1998 so I expected awful CGI, but this wasn't too shabby at all. The CGI is, for most part, decent and has survived the test of time better than the CGI in Avatar or Transformers, as an example. What they did right with the CGI was that the CGI monster for most part was moving quickly around and was almost "blurry" in a sense, and that just takes away much of the CGI feeling. Even though the monster at a few times looks godawful due to CGI. But it's not poorly  executed at all. It's well-executed and even more so smartly executed.

 

As a film Deep Rising offers lots of fun action and is one hell of a ride. It's not very good, but it is loads of fun!

 

There's also moments of nice, practical effects that looks stunning.

 

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Warlock Moon - Judging from the poster I thought this would be a vampire flick, but it is not. It's something quite different and very, very awesome. Superb atmosphere, great suspense and overall nice feeling. It's one of those late 60's and 70's rural horror films. An overlooked and forgotten gem for sure!

 

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Burnt Offerings - A fun mid 70's haunted house film. It's not exceptional, but the atmosphere is there, the cast is doing good and the special effects and shit is very good. THAT ending too. Holy fuck!

 

Creep 2 - I liked the first one, but it took a few years to realize how much I actually liked it. Creep 2 kinda steps the game up. If it is better I do not know, but it is not any worse. But it does take a bit of a different angle, so it's not just a copy of the first one. In the second film we get to get under the skin of Josef, who now goes under the name of Aaron. We get to know him and who is better. Deeper, if not creepier. The horror itself is toned down, but it's got a lot of depth.

 

Mark Duplass is huge. What an actor!

 

El Sanatorio - Found footage horror/comedy from Costa Rica. Shot on a super low-budget. It's simple and straight-forward, but it's pretty good. There's some comedic elements that feels very out of place, and there's some which works. But the film as a whole is fairly good. Well worth a watch if you enjoy found footage horror.

 

Better Watch Out - Last year's best christmas film for sure. Better Watch Out is a psychological horror film with a small, young and unexperienced cast that truly does their best to impress, and they all do impress. I thought this film was fantastic. Can see it gaining a cult status with the years.

 

Ryde - Uhm... decent horror about a man who takes on the personality of one of his victims and drives around picking up people who need a ride and kill them in violent and sadistic ways. It was an OK watch, but it's basically a torture porn without enough graphic violence. It's never made clear why our main guy acts and does what he does, and all but one character is unlikeable as fuck. Decent, but will not watch again.

 

The Return of Swamp Thing - The first film is a brilliant horror/sci-fi superhero film, and while this is a fun film, it's not close to the first one. This is more a comedy and they tried to make it campy as fuck, but they tried so hard they took a lot of the fun and charm away. It's just really sloppy and poorly acted throughout.

 

Pitch Black - One of Vin Diesel's best films. It's become a cult film over the years and for good reason. There's some poor CGI, but the CGI is never out of place or overdone. It doesn't get much screentime. There's some poor acting and so on too, but it's really claustrophobic and the setting makes the entire film feel unique, even by today's standards. Badass as fuck!

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4 hours ago, Bear said:

Creep 2 - I liked the first one, but it took a few years to realize how much I actually liked it. Creep 2 kinda steps the game up. If it is better I do not know, but it is not any worse. But it does take a bit of a different angle, so it's not just a copy of the first one. In the second film we get to get under the skin of Josef, who now goes under the name of Aaron. We get to know him and who is better. Deeper, if not creepier. The horror itself is toned down, but it's got a lot of depth.

 

Mark Duplass is huge. What an actor!

 

I agree, I really enjoyed this one. Also agreed about your comment on the first one, I think I might re-watch it soon.

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Happy Death Day - Meta-horror that  is very compearable to films like Scream, The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014), Final Girls, but could just as well be compared to Groundhog Day, The Edge of Tomorrow and so on because of the way the film is built. But at the same time it's very fair to compare it to Mean Girls. Which says all about the film really. A romantic horror comedy that's a bit all over the place and with several big plotholes, but I was genuinely entertained throughout the film. I thought it was really fucking awesome, and Jessica Rothe is brilliant throughout. She's in more or less every single scene and she does a superb job.

 

This entire film took me a bit off guard in the same way as All the Boys Love Mandy Lane did, but hopefully Jessica Rothe doesn't make the same mistakes as Amber Heard did. I thought she'd get HUGE after her brilliant performance in AtBLMJ, but she kinda didn't.

 

Anyway, if you like horror-comedies and meta-horrors then check this out.

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Victor Crowley - The fourth entry to the Hatchet-franchise, and Adam Green hits bulls eye once more. A lovely mix of traditional slasher, splatter and comedy. It's got silly jokes, over the top performances and lots of blood and gore. Do you need anything else when it comes to a film like this? Nah, not really. But add a badass villain and you've got it all. Great film! May there be ten more Hatchet films!

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Chastity Bites - Decent feminist horror-comedy that is never amazing, but keeps steady on decent cheesy and campy fun. Very 80's in many ways, and it's got a strong Mean Girls-feeling to it. Lots of funny one-liners and cheese. Not amazing, but well worth a watch if you've watched 1000+ horror films already.

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What WAS up with that sudden late '80s/early '90s streak of deep sea horror flicks though? Was there some other vaguely related blockbuster that came out at the same time and everybody just decided to hop on the bandwagon?

 

Also, I recently watched  Forbidden Planet: This one pretty much wears its (rather obvious) Alien influences on its sleeve, to the point where the actual monster even looks like a bootleg Xenomorph. Still, it's definitely an entertaining film - lots of surprisingly good gore effects, cool set design.. The plot itself is definitely by the numbers, but it's a fun ride. It's really quite short, though. Felt like it was over before it even began. 

 

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The Abyss started that short-lived trend. Big blockbuster by a huge name. Though the others aimed more towards horror, while The Abyss is more sci-fi drama.

 

 

Which Forbidden Plant? What yeat is it from? It was made a few really cool Alien rip offs during the 80's. None as good, but several great nonetheless.

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Ah fuck, it was Forbidden World, not Forbidden Planet, my bad. Forgot to mention the soundtrack was pretty damn sweet as well.

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I thought as much, because Forbidden Planet is a classic old school sci-fi flick. Recommended btw!

 

Forbidden World, alongside Creature, Galaxy of Terror, Inseminoid and Alien Contamination are all great examples of fun early-mid 80's Alien rip offs.

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The Ritual - This was a nice surprise. There was this novel that I've been meaning to read for a while now... turns out they made a movie based on it, and this is that movie. :D It was pretty solid, nothing groundbreaking but overall nice atmosphere. Some cool pagan / occult / mythological vibe too (tho dunno how accurate it was to actual Nordic lore). I loved the creature(s), wish they showed more of that stuff.

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Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The latest animated feature to be added to the ever-growing list of DC's animated films is a Batman film based on the Elseworlds comics by the same name, set to the Victorian era with Jack the Ripper causing distress in the streets. The setting alone is more than enough to make me drool, but the writing, direction, animation and voice-acting turns this into one of the very best Batman films ever. This is a notch above the other animated Batman films Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 & 2 og Batman vs. Robin, and I am sure I will place it a bit above Tim Burton's two Batman films and the original, 60's Batman film as well.

 

This Batman film is a whodunit horror with a strong Hammer Horror-vibe and it clearly owes much to the British whodunit horror/thrillers of the 50's and 60's. An absolute masterpiece!

 

The Being - A complete shitfest I just can't dislike. I really enjoy the look of the monster, but that's about the only positive thing about this film. But still I was entertained as hell throughout the film. Much like I am by 99.9% of all horror films made before the 90's that I've seen. Cool little flick!

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On 9.2.2018 at 10:30 PM, Jigsaw9 said:

The Ritual - This was a nice surprise. There was this novel that I've been meaning to read for a while now... turns out they made a movie based on it, and this is that movie. :D It was pretty solid, nothing groundbreaking but overall nice atmosphere. Some cool pagan / occult / mythological vibe too (tho dunno how accurate it was to actual Nordic lore). I loved the creature(s), wish they showed more of that stuff.

 

Probably my favourite film of 2017. Gorgeous folk-horror clearly inspired by classic 60's and 70's British folk-horror like The Wicker Man, The Blood on Satan's Claw, The Devil Rides Out, Cry of the Banshee and so on, as well as newer films like The Blair Witch Project, Ben Wheatley's Kill Lisand A Field in England, Robert Eggers' The VVitch: A New-England Folktale and more. Fantastic film!

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Just decided to watch a few folk-horror short films after watching The Ritual. Just had to have more folk-horror but didn't have any available.

 

Salthouse Marshes - 8 minute long ghost story with a very dream-like quality to it. I got a strong Vampyr (1932) feeling of it. Liked it a lot, just wish it was longer.

 

The Ash Tree - An old 33 minute short film made for TV back in  the mid-70's, adapted from M.R. James short story of the same name. Mad as a part of Lawrence Gordon Clark's  "A Ghost Story for Christmas", which consisted of a film a year from 71-78. It's very minimalistic and bears resemblance to other folk-horror films of the time, such as Witchfinder General. It's got this nice, occult feeling to it, mixing it with a gothic ghost story that really stands our. Just excellent tbh!

 

I need to watch all the films in this series, as well as some other films connected to it according to wikipedia.

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The Creep Behind the Camera - The Creep Behind the Camera tells the real-life story of Art Nelson, best known as Vic Savage in the 60's when he went to Hollywood to make the biggest and best monster movie ever made, namely The Creeping Terror, a film which claimed a status as a cult film after MST3k spoofed it in 93. Well, it didn't really go as planned. This film, half documentary, half bio-pic, paints Art Nelson as one of the biggest con artist to ever enter Hollywood. A real sleazy scumbag who beats his wife, invites other girls, as well as prostitutes into their bed, gets addicted to drugs, as well as being involved in pedophilia and kiddie porn. I don't know how much of this story is real, but even if only 50%is real then Art Nelson was a proper fucking scumbag. 

 

I really enjoyed this flick. Dark, gritty and very, very interesting. Even more so since I really enjoy The Creeping Terror as a beer, friends & pizza-film.

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Recently watched The Dungeonmaster as well, and even though I'm normally all for the goofy rubber monster costumes and that kinda stuff, I just somehow couldn't get into this particular one at all. The only segments I really liked were the ice cave segment and the one with the stop-motion animated giant. Just couldn't get into the rest..

 

Other recent viewings:

The 'Burbs: Definitely far, far more on the 'comedy' side of things, but.. I had a really, really good time with this one. Consistently funny, great cast, great atmosphere. Everything just oozes '80s, and even though the film is definitely quite 'American' in spirit, there were a lot of quirks about the suburban neighborhood and its denizens that were very familiar for me as well. Worth checking out for sure, but based on what I've seen so far, pretty much all of Joe Dante's '80s output is worth watching.

 

The Frighteners: This one's also definitely more rooted in comedy than anything else, but I'd argue it's at least somewhat more on the 'horror' side of things than the previous one. I really miss that period when Peter Jackson WASN'T just making huge blockbusters like The Hobbit, LotR, King Kong and all that, cuz he was pretty great at this kinda stuff. The one thing that puts me off about this one is that, quite frankly, the CGI has aged HORRIBLY. I'm talking like PS1-level graphics here that are kind of jarring to see, but the movie just does so many other things right that I'm willing to forgive the questionable CGI. Combs gives off really strong 'Johnny Depp in his prime' vibes in this one.

 

Split Second (1992): A sort of cyberpunk action-horror. I really love the overall setting, and most of the scenery in flooded/nearly-flooded London looks absolutely fucking amazing, but I just don't know about the story. That's what usually gets me with this kind of late '80s/early '90s cyberpunk stuff - it's often like 75% AMAZING aesthetics, and the other 25% is (mostly shoddy) storytelling . There's exceptions of course, but this isn't one of them. Normally I don't really care if plots have loose ends or whatever, but in this particular case it feels like the creature just kind of comes out of nowhere, and the fact that it's inhuman is never really explained or justified within the universe of the film other than 'lol maybe its the devil'.. Still, Rutger Hauer's badass as usual, most of the supporting cast is solid, there's gore, big guns and cute girls, so it's certainly worth a watch.

 

The Love Witch: Can't really talk about this movie without mentioning the fact the director absolutely nailed it in terms of capturing that '60s/'70s occult horror aesthetic. The entire film looks absolutely great, the use of colors, the soundtrack, it's all there. Lead actress is absolutely gorgeous as well. Despite all the eyecandy, I still couldn't help but feel that the film somewhat overstays its welcome -  the plot itself isn't too intriguing, and after the first 45 minutes it feels like everything begins to kind of meander... 

 

Spooky Encounters: Kinda hard-pressed to call this a proper 'horror' as well, despite the inclusion of those good old hopping vampires and heaps of black magic, but this is simply great. Feels like it never really lets off even for a second, and the ridiculous (but immaculately done) action sequences just keep coming one after another. Highly recommended... and makes me feel like I should definitely delve deeper into this martial arts genre.

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Continued on my folk-horror journey and re-watched three films, as well as seen a new one. The re-watch of the two found-footage films was very interesting.

 

Hollow - I used to like this a lot, but it wasn't quite as good or effective this time around. The film's setting, to the rural English country side, is very nice and the ancient evil is very cool. But sadly the ancient evil, the folklore, isn't given much time on screen at all. Instead the film focus on our two couples and their problems, which would've been fine if it wasn't for the fact that they are all massive, unlikeable douchebags and you just want them to die as soon as possible. Went from an 8 to a 6.

 

The Borderlands - Another low-budget found footage flick, but this one does more or less everything right. The setting is really nice and you can't but think of The Wicker Man and similar films. But what truly makes this film what it is is the fact that director Elliot Goldner blends horror and comedy in a truly magnificent way. Neither ever gets in way of each other. And the film itself is as intelligent as its characters. Really enjoyable, and close to one of the best found footage films ever. Went from a 6 to 8,5. Almost a modern classic!

 

Wake Wood - A modern classic! The setting makes it hard not to think of films like The Wicker Man and Don't Look Now, but Wake Wood is no copy and it stands firmly rooted on its own two feets. Nice, old-school folk-horror based upon atmosphere rather than regular scares, and it works really well. The mysticism of it all really makes it into something different. Superb film!

 

Black Death - Well, this isn't exactly a horror film, but it's so deeply rooted in horror that I think it's fair to take it in this film. Black Death came a year later than the overlooked gem that is Solomon Kane, and delivers much of the same fun as the mentioned film. With a strong cast, a great visual style and a superb story Black Death delivers both brutal violence, characters and story depth and strong performances. Great atmosphere all around. Highly recommended folk-horror adventure.

 

Blair Witch - Adam Wingard, seen as the new hope of low-budget films just years before this film, completely lost it. Holy fuck, this is bad. He just completely missed what the original was about, and he completely misses what makes a horror film frightening. This is complete and utter trash.

 

Demon Wind - Decent enough horror-chesse that was pretty fun up until the climax, a climax that was nothing short of god-awful. It was so long it felt like it took a forever to end, and it was cheap, silly and stupid as fuck. Didn't like anything about the climax. But the first 3/4th of the film were fairly enjoyable. But the climax really took me out of the film's atmosphere. Such a shame.

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Dark Waters - Damn, what a movie! Lovecraftian horror with a strong Dagon-vibe (the film, not the actual story by Lovecraft) with beautiful direction. The first thing I thought when the film finished was that Mariano Baino had a massive talent. His entire direction, especially the use of light, dark and shadows, as well as the use of sounds and such is nothing short of brilliant. The story, and especially the way the story is told is really good as well. Just, fuck me. What a film!

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