Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Scream Factorized: All Night Horror Marathon Vol. 1 (Movie 4-Pack) ""

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scream Factorized: All Night Horror Marathon Vol. 1 (Movie 4-Pack)

THE VAGRANT(1992; Chris Wallas) Bill Paxton plays an anal retentive analyst who buys his first home across the street from a refuse-strewn vacant lot. As he's moving in, he notices that a disgusting, deformed vagrant is in his home and using his sink(via the back door). What follows is a progressive descent into paranoid madness as Paxton does everything he can to keep the vagrant out. Would make an interesting(if more darkly comic) double feature with OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN in that both films deal with men trying to protect the sanctity of their homes. It also feels a bit like a companion piece to something like THE DARK BACKWARD.  The movie's score by Christopher Young is unusual and unsettling, working well to up the movie's anxiety quotient.  Cast includes Marc McClure as Paxton's best buddy, Stuart Pankin as his boss and Michael Ironside as a homicide detective. Mel Brooks was an executive producer on this which is fascinating as it's probably the darkest film he's ever been attached to. It's kind of like SAW meets NEIGHBORS.
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN(1971; Curtis Harrington) Director Curtis Harrington(NIGHT TIDE, QUEEN OF BLOOD) helmed not only this Shelley Winters horror vehicle, but also the following year's WHOEVER SLEW AUNTIE ROO?. The mid to late 60s and early 70s were a very interesting time in that you saw the rise of these horror films featuring old classic Hollywood actresses like Joan Crawford  and Bette Davis as well a others. Here, it's Shelley Winters and Debbie Reynolds who star as the respective mothers of two boys who end up killing a girl in Iowa. Tortured by the event and the nasty publicity, the two women decide to move to Hollywood California where Reynold's character opens a dance studio. From their things start to go south for the two of them mostly because of Helen(Shelley Winters) and her disturbed, jealous nature. Has kind of a shocker of an ending but one fitting to a film that I put in a group with WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE and STRAIT-JACKET. This film also stars Dennis Weaver & Agnes Moorehead and was shot by the great Lucien Ballard(THE WILD BUNCH, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, THE KILLING).
THE OUTING(1987; Tom Daley) When some hoodlum thieves ransack an old woman's home they stumble across and activate an old magic lamp. The lamp hasn't got any Barbara Eden or Robin Williams-type genie inside though -- this thing is more of a demon. Once released, this evil demon genie really messes some folks up. This movie is most notable for a few fun kills, but ultimately would have impressed me more had I seen it on VHS when I was 12 or 13. A bit too chatty, not enough kill-y. I know this movie has a cult following of sorts among horror fans though as it has been recommended to me by my various cohorts for years.

THE GODSEND(1980; Gabrielle Beaumont) A family meets a very odd & creepy pregnant woman while on a nature walk and invites her into their home. She proceeds to stare at everyone unnaturally and then have her baby in their spare bedroom. The next morning she vanishes inexplicably, leaving her newborn little girl behind. The family takes in the little girl and years go by and "incidents" occur. The little girl is quite evil and it takes the family quite a long time to figure it out. This has always been one of my biggest problems/frustrations with "bad kid" movies. THE BAD SEED is the prototype and certainly an influence on this movie, but then I've never been a huge fan of that movie either. I'll say one thing for this one though, the little blonde girl in this flick is pretty creepy. She has this blank expressionless face that is at the same time very disturbing and menacing.
Scream Factory also has a Vol. 2 of this series coming out later this year.

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