Friday, June 20, 2014

Zombie / Zombi 2 (1979)

I used to not be able to stomach gory zombie films very well. Despite being excited and thoroughly fascinated after watching zombie films in my youth, I suffered from a loss of appetite for a while. Anytime I was trying to eat, my brain would be like “you know what’s a good movie? Dawn of the Dead (1978),” and images from the scene with zombies eating in the cellar would pop into my mind, and I would be turned off to eating meat or anything savory for that matter. Sweets or French fries were fine, but my mind just would not cease to relate the taste and consistency of anything else, especially if it was slimy, to what it was the zombies were chomping on. I was disgusted by zombie carnage but still thought it was so cool.

The zombie film that grossed me out the most, which is really saying something, was Lucio Fulci’s Zombie. As a kid, I used to hate looking at the VHS cover with the iconic, rotting, worm eyed, conquistador zombie (Ottaviano Dell'Acqua). I wasn’t scared; I was repulsed. Being a growing boy on the verge of puberty, I didn’t think it wise to be turned off to protein, either. And so, the tape just sat on my movie shelf, after only being watched once, collecting dust, never to be touched again for quite some time.

Needless to say, I eventually overcame this sort of appetite-loss problem and no longer felt sick after watching zombie films. I don’t know if it is enhanced mental discipline or desensitization, but I can now eat pizza while watching movies like Zombie and Burial Ground without getting nauseous.

Anyone who may have read my article for The Beyond during last year’s gore-a-thon may recall that I wasn’t a fan of Zombie for a while. It took seeing The Beyond for me to re-evaluate what was my negative stand on Zombie. I was guilty of hoping for another Dawn of the Dead, ignorantly overlooking every one of the film’s strengths.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Wax Mask / M.D.C. – Maschera di cera (1997)

The last film Lucio Fulci ever worked on, The Wax Mask, was supposed to have been the grand collaboration between Fulci and Dario Argento, had it not been for Fulci’s tragic death some few weeks before filming was to begin. The project came about after Argento had approached Fulci at a 1994 film festival in Rome and suggested they work together on a new film. This was more of a sympathetic gesture from Argento who had intentions of reviving the spirits of an ailing Fulci in a wheelchair, who, at the time, had not worked on a new film in years. The two were never the best of friends, as Argento always thought Fulci imitated his filmmaking style (the separate camps weren’t only with the fan base it would seem).

Differences aside, they mutually agreed upon recreating House of Wax with Fulci directing. Along with Daniele Stroppa (The House of Clocks), they wrote the script for The Wax Mask, an alternate take on the wax museum myth that doesn’t necessarily feel like a remake of House of Wax (1953), even if it is.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Announcing the Second Annual Gore-a-thon


“Do you hear the clarion call? It’s calling out to one and all.” –Falconer

The horror blogging clarion call sounds again! That’s right; it’s almost time for Blood Sucking Geek’s second annual Ultimate Gore-a-thon 2014 -- Another Splatterific Extravaganza! I hope a fraction of you fantabulously awesome readers remember this event from last year, when nine sites came together to embark on an ultimate gore-centric blog-a-thon! The event will run from June 15th to the 21st. Including At the Mansion of Madness, there are, so far, twelve sites. The other blogs/sites taking part in the upcoming Gore-a-thon are as follows:

90s Horror Movies

Blood Sucking Geek 

Candy-Coated Razor Blades

Craft Fear  

The Info Zombie 

Love Horror 

Midnight Cinephile 

Movies at Dog Farm 

Slasher Studios 

Terrorphoria 

Wide Weird World of Cult Films 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Chicks with Candles (Tumblr Page)

My good friend, and fan of this site, Terence, has a cool Eurocult Tumblr I just found out about yesterday, Chicks with Candles! Not only does it live up to its title, celebrating the beloved gothic film trope of beautiful maidens with candelabra from movies like Tragic Ceremony and Baba Yaga, the page also features posters, cover art, deleted scenes, trivia, interesting but concise observations on Eurocult films like Jess Franco’s Lorna the Exorcist, and, most importantly, a lot of attractive films I’ve never heard of but really want to look at. I believe that me and Terence share an affinity for the use of lit candles as a mood enhancing aesthetic on film sets, and it's an elegant idea for a Tumblr page.

Check it out by clicking the delectable image of Rosalba Neri below, and be prepared to stay a while!  


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lady Frankenstein (1971)

Lightning, angry mobs, grave robbing, and a criminal’s brain, like so many Frankenstein offshoots / spinoffs / parodies, Lady Frankenstein owes more to James Whale’s classic 1931 horror film than Mary Shelley’s 1818 literary masterpiece. Despite its many fitting references to, and retreading to an extent, some of the plot points to its trendsetting predecessor, Lady Frankenstein is far from feeling like a gory, colored remake, primarily thanks to the addition of Frankenstein’s biological daughter, Tania (Rosalba Neri), a little novelty with a lot of potential, like reimagining the classic 1931 movie with the doctor’s attractive but even more ambitious daughter written into the story.

In a time when females were grossly underrepresented in science, Tania Frankenstein shatters what must’ve been a prominent stereotype, enduring her pursuit as a surgeon, even when faced with sexist instructors at the University; as she puts it, “the professors have a lot of old fashioned ideas about a woman’s place.” When she returns home from the University after becoming a licensed surgeon, her father, Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotten), expresses admiration for her accomplishments, and yet he and his assistant, Dr. Charles Marshall (Paul Müller), still treat her as if their work involving cadavers is too much for her delicate senses to fathom. They seem to not want to involve her in their gruesome work, but, to their surprise, she’s all for it. They attempt to make her think they are working with animals, but she has been thinking along the same lines as her father the entire time, being more interested in human transplants; “I am my father’s daughter.” Not only does she thoroughly understand her father’s work, she ends up refining it.

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