Category Archives: TV and Film

Forgotten Filmcast Episode 141: Beyond the Door

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

This year’s first Halloween episode of the Forgotten Filmcast is here! To start off the spookiness, Todd is joined by Brandon Peters from The Brandon Peters Show to discuss the 1974 Exorcist rip-off, Beyond the Door.

Download the Show:
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Show Notes:
The Brandon Peters Show
Brandon on Twitter

Movies Discussed:
Beyond the Door
The Visitor
Abby

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



Mortuary

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

When I was a kid, one of the movie theaters I frequented would do a slideshow before the movie started. The slides would alternate between ads for upcoming movies and pictures of popcorn and soda pop. One of the movie ads that was burned in my mind featured the image of a gravestone with a hand reaching out of the ground in front of it. The movie was 1983’s Mortuary, which I used to always confuse with another 1983 film, Mausoleum. Now, that memorable poster image actually has nothing to do with the actual film; a largely forgotten and pretty effective slasher.

The film centers on a teenage girl named Christie (Mary Beth McDonough), who has been having a rough time since the death of her psychiatrist father. She has nightmares and occasionally sleepwalks until she finds herself up to her chin in the family’s pool. There are other strange goings on, though, as Christie’s friend Josh has recently vanished after having observed strange occult ceremonies taking place at the local mortuary where he once worked. Unknown to Christie and her boyfriend Greg (David Wallace), who also observed the weird ceremony, Josh was murdered by a black-cloaked figure. Oh, and did I mention that Christie’s mother (Lynda Day George) was also at the ceremony. And then there’s Paul (Bill Paxton), the awkward son of the mortuary owner, who has had a huge crush on Christie for years.

Well, as you may have figured, one night the hooded figure turns up at Christie’s home. Of course, when Christie tries to tell her mother about it, she writes it off as having been a dream. Soon it becomes clear, though, that this is no dream. When the mysterious man returns he captures Christie and drags her to the mortuary, where there is more than murder on the agenda.

Now, I guess I’ll throw up a spoiler alert here, but I don’t know how much of a spoiler this is. The reveal happens midway through the film, and you’ve probably figured this out already based on my brief synopsis.  Consider yourself warned, though. The killer is, of course, Paul. I suppose the filmmakers made some effort to disguise this with the ghoulish white latex that covers the killers face; but now, almost 40 years later, with the killer being played by the member of the cast who achieved the greatest fame, there’s no mistaking that that’s Bill Paxton under the hood. Plus, you don’t have to have a degree in mortuary science to know that the killer’s weapon of choice is an embalming tool, and it’s established early on that Paul works in his father’s mortuary.

Having said all that, Bill Paxton is definitely the highlight of the film. He pulls off being goofy and awkward when he’s just plain old Paul. There’s a scene where he literally skips through a cemetery after presenting Christie with a rose. When he’s the killer, though, he’s quite sinister and creepy. His actions are legit disturbing. Probably the film’s most graphic moment is when Paul kills Christie’s mother. Between the nature of the murder weapon, and the heavy breathing and writhing of Paxton as he plunges it into her, there’s definitely a sexual angle to this moment. Given that just a few minutes earlier, dear old mom was flirting with Christie’s boyfriend, Greg, the scene definitely has some unsettling layers.

In many ways the film feels like it’s what you get when you mix a soap opera with a slasher film. It centers on a small group of people in a affluent community who are all strangely intertwined. Christie’s dead father was a psychiatrist…Paul was his patient, struggling with his mother’s suicide…Christie’s mother is involved in a strange cult with Paul’s father…Paul has the hots for Christie. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Paul and Christie were actually siblings! 

Despite the soap-operish qualities, the film manages to be a very effective little slasher. In addition to the great performance from Bill Paxton, Mary Beth McDonough also excels as the object of his desire, Christie. There are a lot of great final girls in 80’s slasher films, but I can’t say that we the audience actually have legit concern for all of them. I found myself actually worried for Christie, and that was all on the strength of McDonough’s performance. McDonough is probably best known for appearing as Erin in the long-running, and exceedingly wholesome, TV series The Waltons. She grew up on that show, but here we are two years after it went off the air, and she is showing everyone she’s not a little girl anymore. She spends much of the movie in a revealing nightgown and has a fairly graphic love scene…which may have employed a body double, but still. Clearly, the fans of The Waltons were not the audience the filmmakers were going for.

Going back to that original poster image, though, there are absolutely no corpses reaching out of their graves in this movie. In the end, it didn’t matter that much. I can deal with misleading marketing when you deliver an effective and creepy slasher film like this. If that’s not enough for you,it’s a real treat to see Bill Paxton, an actor who would eventually hit it big, getting his start playing the killer in a teen horror film, and giving it all he’s got.

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



The House Where Evil Dwells

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

Who doesn’t love samurai movies? Well, I suppose there are some who don’t love samurai movies. Well, who doesn’t love horror movies? Okay, there are quite a few people who aren’t fond of those either. However, if you are one of those people who love both samurai movies AND horror movies, you’re in luck. Today we have a film that brings them together, 1982’s The House Where Evil Dwells.

The film concerns a writer named Ted Fletcher (Edward Albert) who moves to Japan with his wife Laura (Susan George), and their young daughter. Ted’s friend Alex (Doug McClure) manages to find them a fantastic house in a peaceful rural area that dates back over 100 years. Plus, it’s ultra cheap! Now, that’s because some claim the house is haunted, but that doesn’t bug Ted and his family. Oh, don’t these people ever learn?

Of course, strange things start happening as we see that there are three japanese ghosts hanging out in the home; all participants in a murder-suicide carried out by a jealous samurai who found his wife bumpin’ uglies with another man 140 years earlier. These ghosts dump bowls of rice and make swords fly around; standard haunted house sort of stuff. However, these spirits also have the ability to possess folks. The murdered wife is especially fond of hoping into Susan’s body and causing her to get all seductive with the hapless Alex, which leads to an affair. When the ghosts take the form of giant spider crabs and attack the young daughter, a monk is brought in to rid the house of pesky poltergeists. They aren’t going easily, though.

Essentially what we have here is The Amityville Horror goes to Japan. Truth be told, I’m not really a fan of the original Amityville. It’s fine, but nothing spectacular. Amityville II: The Possession, on the other hand, is bonkers fun, and Amityville 3-D is awful, but at least has 80’s Meg Ryan in it. I gotta say, though, I found the idea of an Amityville style story with a cultural twist to be intriguing, and it is to a degree. The story of a doomed love triangle set in the time of samurais is a creative place to start for a modern haunted house story. The film’s prologue where we see the murder-suicide play out is probably the film’s strongest moment. Of course, you never want your film’s best moment to be the first five minutes, do you?

The problem is that this film has some ultra cheesy elements that really diminish a lot of the film’s effectiveness. The three ghosts, especially, are a bit lame. We, the audience, can see these translucent, blue-tinted ghouls, but the other characters on screen cannot. The ghosts possess people by just walking over and standing where the other actor is standing. The actor gives a little jerk, and since that’s the universal symbol for “this person is now possessed,” we know what’s going on. These possessions become so frequent that they start to get a bit ridiculous. I kept wanting to see the ghosts pull out some other tricks. Make the walls bleed, put a vortex in the linen closed…something?  Sure, at one point a ghostly face appears in the little girl’s soup, but that becomes an unintentional moment of comedy. As does the scene with the giant crab spider, which looks like it was pulled right from the wind-up toy display at Kay-bee.

The film is not very scary, but it does take every opportunity for exploitation. It has some bloody sequences and not one but two big decapitation moments. I mean, when samurai swords are sittin’ right there waitin’ to be used, you gotta lob off a few melons. Exceeding the bloodshed, though, is the amount of skin on display as Susan George and Edward Albert participate in a very lengthy and very naked love scene. George and Doug McClure then do their own version of the scene later on.

The House where Evil Dwells certainly gets points for having an original take on a haunted house yarn. It pulled me in rather quickly. Sadly it doesn’t deliver to the degree I was hoping for. It has a few fun moments, but There’s a Ghost in my Soup would’ve been a more accurate title.

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



The Bedroom Window

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

The Forgotten Filmcast is back! This time, Todd is joined by Howard Casner from Rantings and Ravings to discuss Curtis Hanson’s 1987 thriller, The Bedroom Window.

Download the Show:
iTunes
Podomatic
Your Listen

Show Notes:
Rantings and Ravings
Howard on Twitter

Movies Discussed:
The Bedroom Window
Rear Window
The Window
Racing with the Moon

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



Forgotten Filmcast Episode 141: The Bedroom Window

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

The Forgotten Filmcast is back! This time, Todd is joined by Howard Casner from Rantings and Ravings to discuss Curtis Hanson’s 1987 thriller, The Bedroom Window.

Download the Show:
iTunes
Podomatic
Your Listen

Show Notes:
Rantings and Ravings
Howard on Twitter

Movies Discussed:
The Bedroom Window
Rear Window
The Window
Racing with the Moon

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



Forgotten Filmcast Episode 139: The Adventures of the Wilderness Family

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

On the new episode of the Forgotten Filmcast, Todd is joined by Matthew Turned from the Fatal Attractions podcast to discuss the 1975 film The Adventures of the Wilderness Family.

Download the Show:
iTunes
Podomatic
Your Listen

Show Notes:
Fatal Attractions
Matthew on Twitter

Movies Discussed:
The Adventures of the Wilderness Family
Summer of ’42
Tammy and the T-Rex

Music:
“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Go to Source – Forgotten Films



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