Archive for the ‘Strange’ Category

I’m pretty stoked to talk about this one, as it is a film that is dear to my heart. As I’ve mentioned before in my blog, my Dad has always been a huge influence in my love for horror cinema. I began watching movies with the greats at a really young age, and for some reason I really loved Vincent Price’s work. There was something very obscure and classic about him that I’ve always been so enthralled by. In fact I recently found out that my aunt met him in the 80s and they had a lengthy conversation apparently. I’m very, very bitter about that. ANYWAY.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes stars Price, playing Dr. Anton Phibes, a famous organist and musical genius. In 1921 after a devastating car crash that leaves him horribly disfigured and his wife Victoria severely injured, Dr. Phibes goes into hiding after learning that his wife died on the operating table. For several years he plots his revenge against the doctors that killed his wife. Four years after the accident, with the help of his mute sidekick Vulvania, the Doctor begins to put his plan into motion, with a series of grotesque murders.

I love love love this film. It is so completely bizarre and imaginative. For example, Dr. Phibes is left without the ability to speak after the accident, so he uses his knowledge of music to create a device that allows him to speak through a Victrola. To obscure his scarred face, he creates a lifelike mask and wig.

The best aspect of this film in my opinion is the creative death scenes. Each medical professional faces a horrifying and inventive end, obviously calculated with extreme care. This film is really a pleasure to watch. It has been described as having an art deco feel, with its vibrant colors and 1920s fashions.

To put it all together, this is a super great flick with awesomely bizarre characters, fantastic contraptions and a storyline that will keep you interested all the way through. A classic for sure.

For fans of frog masks, animatronics, and embalming fluid.


The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is the story of Dr. Bill Corter, a young surgeon who is obsessed with the possibility of the transplant of human organs and appendages. His increasingly risky operations on the living and the dead cause worry to his father, an established surgeon and his assistant whom he has performed unsuccessful procedures upon. Dr. Corter is presented with his most challenging task yet when he is involved in a fatal car crash with his girlfriend Doris. Doris’s body burns in the crash, but not before her boyfriend retrieves her decapitated head from the wreckage. By using a serum that he developed, he manages to keep her severed head alive in his basement. Now all he needed was a body…

It’s no wonder that this film was used in an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, as it’s completely ridiculous. From it’s comical music to it’s amateur-at-best acting, this movie will have you laughing the whole way through.

In my opinion, the best part of the movie is when the doc decides to go out and find a suitable body for his girlfriend/girlfriend’s head. There is this ridiculous saxophone music playing. Reminds me of a low-budget beatnik porno. He ventures off to a “strip club” where he meets this weird-looking blonde who is both horny and the worst actress ever in history. She never really makes full eye contact with the doctor so it looks like she is reading cue cards the whole time. Then there is a hysterical cat fight out of nowhere. What the f*ck?!

In spite of the limited settings and terrible acting qualities of this film, there was one shred of gold in it. Doris’s severed head is talking about the sadness of being without a body, being a freak of nature and misunderstood. She says, “People fear what they can’t understand, and can’t see”.

I’d say that is extremely relevant to the state of our society, don’t you?

This film is for fans of date rape drugs and corny monsters.

This movie is one of a kind and unlike anything you’ve ever seen, but has a little bit of everything. Think Adams Family meets Evil Dead meets Hocus Pocus.

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, Dellamorte Dellamore is the film for you. Rupert Everett (YES PLEASE) plays Franscesco Dellamorte, the caretaker of a cemetary in a small town in Italy. It’s his job to dig the graves, keep things neat, and shoot zombies when they rise from the dead. No big deal. Franscesco and his assistant Gnaghi live life the same every day, until a strange woman shows up and sweeps Franscesco off his feet. Things don’t go as planned, and Franscesco’s heartbreak makes him so self-absorbed that he can no longer differentiate between life, and death (hence the title, meaning “Of Death, of Love”).

Franscesco is definitely a weirdo. He loses touch with reality and has bizarre fantasies and hallucinations, but as you watch you get sucked into his turmoil. It’s hard to distinguish between reality and fantasy, reflecting his own perceptions.

You get the sense throughout the film that he really wants to leave the town but for some reason he stays there and does the same things, day after day. He and Gnaghi make an interesting pair. Gnaghi reminds me of Uncle Fester. Not only that but while Franscesco is off being a weirdo, Gnaghi falls in love with a little girl, vomits on her, and then digs her head up after she dies. Then they fall in love. Yeah.

You need to watch this. For fans of: nice breasts, zombie boy scouts, messy eaters and human remains.

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

Posted: February 9, 2010 in Classics, Strange

Based on a novel by Jean Redon, Les Yeux Sand Visage or, Eyes Without A Face, is the story of an ambitious surgeon who goes to great and horrifying lengths to restore beauty to his daughter Christiane’s disfigured face.

What makes this film a true classic is it’s level of artistic quality, from it’s haunting dream-like score to it’s twisted fairytale feel.

What I feel is the most shocking about this film or horrific, is the fact that they show a graphic facial-transplant scene, and they do not cut away. I feel that this was a bold step for a film in this era. Word of advice, do not eat while watching.

Such monstrosity enveloped by the softness of Christiane and her mysterious mask makes this such a treat to watch. An absolute must-see for any fan of horror or film noir.

You can find Eyes Without A Face in the Criterion Collection, among other greats such as The 39 Steps, Carnival of Souls and Repulsion.

Castle Freak (1995)

Posted: October 7, 2009 in Strange

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After inheriting a 12th century castle, John Reilly and his family travel overseas to begin a new life in Italy. This giant castle is impressive, with more that 150 rooms, a live-in housekeeping, and full furnishings. The castle also comes with one other small perk…a demented bloodthirsty freak of nature living in the basement. What a deal!
Castle Freak is loosely based upon HP Lovecraft’s, The Outsider.
We know right off the bat that the Reilly’s harbor a troubled past, stemming from good ole’ Dad’s drinking problem. We also know that the Dutchess who previously owned the castle had a son who supposedly died. Turns out she kept him in a dungeon, beat him daily with a cat-o-nine tails and fed him nasty bread and something that looks like it used to be salami. Harsh toke.
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I won’t lie, I personally dislike this film but it is also one of those that has a cult following, so don’t take my word for it. There were some gnarly scenes including one that literally made me gag. I won’t spoil it but it involves a thumb and a pair of metal handcuffs.
Here is part one of Castle Freak to give you an idea of what the entire rest of the movie will be…
Disclaimer: Contains nudity, blindness, dead cats, and female breast mutilation. Yuck.

Let the Right One In (2008)

Posted: February 21, 2009 in Strange, Vampires

Let the Right One In (2008)
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Set in Stockholm, this film is about Oskar. A boy with no friends, and three enemies, these little pricks from school who keep bullying him. He meets a girl new to his apartment complex named Eli. She is very strange. He falls in love with her and he later discovers that she is a vampire.

This movie is gorgeous. The photography holds the movie on it’s own. The dialogue is just enough. This is not a gratuitous bloodsucking kind of vampire flick. It is a sweet love story, conflicted by the reality of Eli’s immortality and hunger for blood. She possesses the maturity of someone much older than 12 (the film never says how long she has actually be alive as a vampire), yet the manner of a child. It was easy to relate to her. Metaphorically speaking of course, unless you are a vampire, buahaha. To go so long without a companion, living in darkness, and to finally find someone who looks beyond her dark world. Because that world is his own, though in daylight. He is invisible to his peers, until Eli gives him the courage to stand up to his enemies.

I loved this movie so much! There were some genuinely unsettling parts, and gore, so don’t worry about it. Awesome portrayal of the painful side of vampire-ism unlike so many films focused soely on the aspects of the supernatural, and death. The ending is AWESOME. Rent this now.

Here are some stills from the movie:

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