Thursday, June 16, 2016

Junesploitation 2016 Day 16: Monsters!

Weird! Horrifying! Fantastic!

98 comments:

  1. Near Dark (1987)

    Vampires, when done right, are my favorite movie Monster. This movie does them right.

    This is a truly beautiful western/horror film that explores the day to day (or night to night) existence of living as a vampire. The mythology is stripped down for a more “realistic” take, but still captures the horror of vampires very well. The film suffers a bit from having a third act that isn't as interesting as the first two, but that only speaks to the fascinating quality of the piece. How did this movie get me to root for Caleb to make his first kill? Yikes

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    1. Bigelow dorsn't get nearly enough credit. I agree with you totally about it being done right. I love Vampyr if you have ever seen that

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  2. Monsters Inc (2001)

    A little on the nose I know, but I needed something light and colorful its been a long week. On rewatch I will say this is still a brilliantly designed movie and has many great jokes ("I tried to get away from it but he picked me up with his mind powers and shook me like a dog")I have to say Mike starts to get on my nerves a bit and their is a 2nd act lag which is fortunately gotten over thanks to Sully and Boo's relationship "Kitty" still gets me at the end. A few questions I have after rewatching this: Do the monsters slo mo walk to their stations every morning? If they are in an energy shortage shouldn't everyone be on mandatory OT? It seems like everyone is punch in at 9 punch out at 5. If the monsters have switched over to getting laughs from the kids will the kids start secretly recording their stand up routine thus creating hard evidence that monsters actually exist?! Just a few thoughts of mine

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    1. This is probably my favourite Pixar movie, this or Up, it switches. But your right about the overtime thing I hadn't thought of it.

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    2. Get that thing away from me or so help me, so help me! Dumdumdum
      This movie is so rewatchable :)
      I enjoy Monster's University also. I like these little touches they put in Inc that makes it so fun.
      I like the thought of the evidence for monsters. It gives hope for the future of a more intergrated society of monsters and humans alike

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  3. Nosferatu (1922)

    Not exactly sure what is with me and silent movies. Everytime I watch one I feel detached, like I am trying to use a muscle I don't use very often. But I constantly seeking them out at the moment.

    But in saying that - there are seriously creepy shots in this movie. You will believe that Max Schreck was actually a Vampire.

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    1. Totally unrelated to today's theme but have you seen City Lights? It is very moving and Charlie is so lovable

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    2. I have seen a few chaplins - not this though, its on list

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    3. I have seen a few chaplins - not this though, its on list

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  4. Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

    You are just hanging in your lagoon doing your Gilly thing, when a group of scientists come in and are all up in your business. I loved all the underwater stuff, and I have to say the Blue Ray on my new TV this movie looked amazeballs.

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    1. I think it's a great movie but by around the halfway point it starts getting ridiculous when every appearance of the Creature gets punctuated by the horns.

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    2. That is very true - it was some small branches compared to a large boat as well. But over all it is a great movie.

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  5. Basket Case (1982)

    Belial is the third weirdest thing in this movie. The first is the dialogue and the second is the girlfriend's wig.

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    1. Good choice, I have a fondness for this crazy movie

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    2. It's amazing with a group of people.

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    3. I don't doubt that! I watched it by myself in the middle of the night. It was a strange experience.

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  6. Mega Shark v Kolossus (2015)

    I guess it was pretty on par with Zoombies: throw it on in the background and laugh at whatever you happen to catch on to without really dedicating any energy to it. For what it's worth, I highly doubt you'll see a giant robot throw a mega shark into outer space to take out a military satellite in many other films.

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    1. The Host (2006)

      Pretty close to perfection, at least for me. Balances the line between goofiness, tension, and sentimentality in a way very little else in the genre (at least in my experience) has managed. Up there with Let the Right One In on that front and Trollhunter re: great modern monster films. Incredibly beautiful. Need to pick this up on blu.

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    2. I really want to get to The Host soon!

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  7. Gremlins 2 (1990)

    There is not much to say other than I love this movie, I love everything about it.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 16, 2016 at 1:45 PM

      Only cool people like Gremlins 2.

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    2. Gabby, I swear I didn't see yours before I put it down.

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    3. Brent, are brain waves are connected through sheer awesomeness

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    4. So that means I'm not cool then? Bummer! :'(

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    5. If you thought "Truth" when Michael said only cool people like Gremlins 2 then you too can be as cool as us:)

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  8. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

    This is the last of the Hammer Frankenstein movies and one of the last Hammer movies of that era. It's a fairly standard Frankenstein plot with Victor creating a monster and things going badly. This one takes place in an asylum, but aside from that it's a fairly familiar story and one that's been told better elsewhere. The one thing I loved though is at the end how matter-of-factly Frankenstein starts talking about how they're going to do things next time. After six Hammer Frankenstein movies, Peter Cushing's Victor Frankenstein still shows all the persistence of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football as he's sweeping up the destruction caused by the most recent monster.

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  9. John Carpenters The Thing (1982)

    What's left to say about this movie that hasn't already been said, great horror/sci fi/monster movie, hell it's a great movie full stop. The performances are great, the score is fantastic, the effects are unbelievable and still hold up today. It's just a brilliant piece of film making.

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    1. I love this movie! The cool and lovely fellow FHead Brian Sager and I had quite a bit to say about it when in comparison to Philadelphua and How to survive a plague. You might find it interesting :)
      http://www.outsidetheframe.co.uk/?p=313

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    2. Gabby, that´s an interesting conversation. It never came to my mind before to compare those three movies.

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  10. The Thing (2011)

    After being really pissed when I saw this prequel/sequel/remake on the big screen in 2011, I gave it another chance.
    Sadly it´s still a merely ok movie and inferior to the 82 Carpenter version.
    Of course the over reliance on CGI can´t hold a candle to any of Rob Bottin`s practical effects and although I like Joel Edgerton, he is just no Kurt Russell.
    Worst of all is that nothing of the dread and paranoia of Carpenters movie made it to this one.
    The best thing here is Mary Elizabeth Winstead who makes the best out of her thankless role and the ace production design connecting the two versions very well.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 16, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      The prequel can never really hold a candle to John Carpenter's movie, but it works for me... to a point. I agree with you about Mary Elizabeth Winstead, about the production design. They actually did use practical effects. The studio decided they didn't like them, and had them covered up with CG. That infuriates me.

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    2. The team that did the creature effects for The Thing (2011) made Harbinger Down utilizing all practical creature effects. I could be mistaken but I believe the scrapped props from The Thing were used in Harbinger Down. As a whole the movie is not outstanding, but Lance Henriksen is in it and the effects are worth the watch in my opinion.

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    3. Eh...when Lance says "Were gonna need a bigger bucket" I felt bad for him having to work with that script. It was great when he said something like "I'm gonna bit your fucking nose off" or something like that.

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    4. Ha yes the writing and the story are hardly highlights and the movie drags a bit. The effects/creations themselves are definitely the redeeming quality.

      I forgot about that line. It's so bad.

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  11. Husk (2011, dir. Brett Simmons, on DVD) – First Time Viewing: The 3rd or 4th best killer scarecrow movie I’ve seen.

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  12. Blood Freak (1972)

    One of the worst written, directed, shot and acted movies I've ever seen. Thankfully it's also bonkers stupid and ridonculously funny!

    A straight-laced beefcake biker falls in with the wrong crowd (seemingly mostly 50-somethings getting high on smelling salts) and is surprisingly easily peer-pressured to take drugs. He gets a job at a turkey farm run by a mad scientist, who turns him into a were-turkey (aka a guy with a ridiculous turkey mask on his head) that's addicted to the blood of other drug users. So more or less your basic plot.

    The movie is punctuated by scenes of the movie's chain-smoking director narrating the plot and incoherently rambling to the camera. The movie's funniest moment is when the director, smoking a cigarette, earnestly says we should be careful about what we put into our bodies, while having a coughing fit and barely getting the words out. Normally I'd think that was intentionally funny, but the quality of the rest of the movie makes me question that.

    This movie is a turkey! (See what I did there? See!?)

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  13. The Host (2006) (first time viewing)

    This is a good looking movie with a cool looking monster. This was just as much about the dysfunctional family coming together to hunt down the monster as it was about the monster itself, so it got you engaged in the story. Good movie. Recommend.

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  14. King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

    Two giant monsters duke it out in Japan, and everybody wins (except for the people who get crushed/eaten/etc). Thing I had forgotten over the years: Kong fights a giant octopus, with much of the scene consisting of blown-up footage of a real octopus. Octopuseseseses are scary-looking creatures! Those breathing valves are mighty terrifying when blown up to monster size.

    Another thing I had forgotten: there are a few scenes (including the octopus fight) set among African natives, and the natives are played by Japanese people in full-body blackface. While I understand that 1962 was a different time...holy shit. It's an embarrassing moment for all involved, which is fairly impressive considering it's smack-dab in the middle of a movie centered around a rubber-suited nuclear lizard fistfighting with a rubber-suited blonde-hungry monkey.

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    1. Somehow the octopus is the coolest monster in that movie.

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  15. Meridian: Kiss Of The Beast (1990, Dir. Charles Band)

    More romance than horror, and played surprisingly straight for a Full Moon production, it's either called Meridian, Kiss of the Beast, or now, apparently, The Ravaging, depending on where you find it. The story of a sculptor (the exquisite Sherilyn Fenn) who inherits a castle in Italy, along with an oddly site-specific curse. While a friend is visiting for the weekend, a traveling sideshow comes through town, the performers are invited for dinner, and... OMG NAKED CHARLIE SPRADLING GREATEST MOVIE EVER!!!...

    There is an extended sequence with Sherilyn and Charlie that the movie revolves around, provided you're able to get past the whole "drugged and raped by a werewolf" strangeness of it all. Outside of that, not a lot happens. The monster effects are pretty cheesy, and the plot resolution makes very little sense. I'm not entirely sure what they were going for with this one.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 16, 2016 at 3:29 PM

      I love Charlie in this movie. When she leaves midway through the story, it broke my heart.

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    2. OMG Charlie Spradling. I kind of like Meridian even though I don't disagree with anything you say. I think I appreciate Full Moon's attempt to do a gothic romance that isn't silly or campy like a lot of their other stuff.

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  16. Bride of the Monster (1955)

    It's really fun watching Ed Wood's movies after seeing Burton's biopic.

    All in all it's a pretty standard 50's scifi/horror movie, with a mad scientist, a damsel in distress, evil Europeans threatening the American way of life and a heavy-handed anti-nuclear message. Bela Lugosi in his last real role is very good and the immobile octopus puppet is hilarious. There are worse ways to spend 70 minutes than this.

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    1. I remember finding the octopus hilarious also!

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  17. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
    Finally got to knock this one off the bucket list. Inspiration and world setting for so many movies.

    The Land Before time (1988)
    Yup yup yup, my first rewatch of Junesploitation, still as entertaining as when I was little kid.

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    1. Land before time was a mivie I loved as a kid. If I remember I cried! I have the video of it. I have not seen it in ages though. You said kid... are you also British?

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    2. French Canadian, but we still use a lot of dialect from our former overlords :)

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  18. The X From Outer Space (1967 dir. Kazui Nihonmatsu) on DVD.

    Astronauts on the way to Mars run into a UFO and bring back a weird spore that grows into a monster(that looks like the offspring of the San Francisco Chicken and Mer-Man) that terrorizes Japan.

    For 40 minutes, this is fairly mundane sci-fi. However, when the Mer-Chicken monster shows up, it becomes kaiju and is pretty damn entertaining. From the worthwhile "When Horror Came to Shochiku" Eclipse box set.

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  19. Xtro 1982

    A film for every genre, just to add to the extra Xtro love tonight I watched this to see if I oversold this movie in any way, NO is the answer, it is the best, we should all watch it on the 28th on 80s Horror day,
    If you get the chance to the UK ending is the better ending, I don't like the other ending,
    Watch this everyone, trust me

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    1. Dennis, is there a UK DVD or Blu that you recommend that's reasonably priced that has the UK ending?

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    2. I would watch it again in a heartbeat.

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    3. It is my dream bluray but its stuck in the Warner vaults, the best release I found with the right ending is the R2 dvd by Optimum home entertainment release, the American version has a nice 17 min retrospective but the happier ending, that retrospective is on YouTube if you want to see it but after the film only, its not great and The Director kinda shits on his own movie which is a pity

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    4. I put a picture of this version of the dvd on twitter

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  20. SCREAMERS (1995)
    Peter Weller leads a crew of space marine-types on an alien planet, fighting evil robots and more. It tries to be Aliens meets Tremors meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers, except it doesn’t reach the heights of those classics. It’s not awful, just mediocre. The final fight is neat, and there’s a cool stop-motion animated monster. (Could this be history’s last-ever stop-motion monster?)

    THE BEACH GIRLS AND THE MONSTER (1965)
    Talk about economic storytelling: In the first ten minutes, we not only get the monster but the explanation of the monster’s origin, while also making time for bikini girls dancing to crap surfer rock. The plot is this bland rich kid agonizing about his future, and there’s a bunch of filler musical numbers, but I liked the final twist involving the cheesy monster.

    SCARED TO DEATH (1980)
    The plan for today was to watch 1990’s Syngenor, only I learned it’s a sequel to this movie from ten years earlier. The OG Syngenor monster doesn’t disappoint, courtesy of mask-maker turned filmmaker William Malone. When the monster isn’t on screen killing people, though, the movie gets so boring that I… uh… zzz…

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  21. The Twonky (1953) Dir. Arch Oboler

    Possessed TV Monster Robot! This YouTuber's comment had me rolling: "I am watching this now and when I saw the fugin tv crawling into the kitchen my dad came in like watcha watchin noah do ya like it and im like I dont know what to think im still processing THAT ITS A FUGIN WALKING TELEVISION SET" Yeah!

    A dude sets up his TV and it walks and shoots magic lasers that can pretty much do whatever it wants - break stuff, shave a face, transform clothing into better clothing, vacuum, control minds! Oh, and it's possessed by something from the future. According to our Football Coach character: "I had a Twonky as a child. A Twonky is something you do not know what it is." So there you go; perfectly explained. Hilarity ensues as the Twonky messes with everyone while trying to control our leads life. Would have fit better for a Robots day but whatever, I'm glad I saw it. It was fantastic!

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    1. "I had a Twonky as a child. A Twonky is something you do not know what it is." Oh, man, I'm dying!

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  22. THE ALIEN FACTOR (1978, 80 min.) on DVD.

    A space ship carrying interplanetary species (i.e. guys in cheap-looking rubbery costumes) crash lands in the woods of Maryland, where they start murdering clueless residents of a podunk rural town that's counting on a big amusement park contract to bring the economy back to life. Because "Jaws" + "Star Wars" + zero budget = hit movie, right? Anywho, the Chevy Chase-lookalike mayor wants to keep the piling bodies a secret, the constantly-manspreading sheriff (Tom Griffith, whose musk hair should get separate billing) wants to bring in the national guard, and a stranger from the nearby Baltimore observatory (Don Leifert, a dead ringer for Avery Schreiber) offers to track down the aliens and rid the town of its troubles.

    "The Alien Factor" runs on the fumes of the appeal of watching filmmakers with more ambition than talent/resources try to stage an alien monster invasion movie on the cheap. You will believe (or not) that a small town's police force consists of a two-door hatchback and a VW Beetle car, or that the local coroner business is run by an aunt and nephew. Even at 80 min., "The Alien Factor" outstays its welcome and is seldom fun to watch. It's another cheesy monster flick that made it to Cinematic Titanic's roster of shows, and even by their standards this one is strictly average Junesploitation fodder. Oh well, #ThanksforTryingsploitation.

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  23. The Relic (1997, dir. Peter Hyams) - first viewing

    Enjoyable, gory, and beautifully photographed modern-day monster movie wherein a super-mutant beast terrorizes the Chicago Natural History Museum. Takes you back to that bygone era (era) when Penelope Ann Miller and The Unemployable Tom Sizemore could carry a feature film (also good to see James Whitmore among the supporting cast). The creature is a mix of Stan Winston practicals and lackluster CGI, but the ample darkness covers up the limitations in the effects for the most part. More distracting for me was the bevy of stock scream sound effects employed in the latter half. Hardly original but more than serviceable; may be the best Netflix has to offer - along with The Host, which I haven't yet seen - for Monsters Day.

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    1. You forgot...darkness and falling rain (although in this case it's the broken fire sprinklers) are the savoirs of bad CGI.

      Always thought the best "special effect" was how during the escape through a tunnel full of water that's up to the armpits on all of the other characters...somehow Linda Hunt's character doesn't drown.

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    2. Kathy, great observation about Linda Hunt. Youmade my first laugh of the day.

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  24. Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes (2006)

    Doug Bradley is the local physician/mortician for a small town. He has been selling skin and organs of the deceased on the black market. When his diabolical scheme is discovered, a group of local twenty-somethings go visit the town Witch. The Witch, of course, helps them summon the demon of vengeance, CG Pumpkinhead.
    Unfortunately, this is a boring, monotonous slog. I don't recommend this film, but if you haven't seen the original film, I do suggest that.

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  25. Little Shop of Horrors (1986) *Director's cut*: I normally watch the theatrical cut but have seen this one befire. It is so batshit crazy in the last section of the movie. I admite that but I still prefer the theatrical. Both cuts of the movie still contain those brilliant songs that I cannot resist singing to. Audery II was a good monster for my mood today!

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  26. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972, dir. Jun Fukuda)
    Not my favorite Godzilla movie, but I like any entry with a big multiple monster brawl. Gigan is a fairly cool adversary. For some reason, a lot of these '60s and '70s Godzilla movies feel a lot longer than they are -- though the Millennium Era (era) entries that I've seen are even worse, probably because they actually are really long.

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    1. This is my favorite Godzilla movie :)

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    2. I love this movie. The roaches at the end, "How could this have happened?!" My favorite thing about it is that it's original title is Earth Destruction Directive. How badass a name is that?

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  27. The Face at the Window (1939)
    Several murders are linked to a wolf man, and several people take it upon themselves to expose him. At first it feels like a very predictable "hunt the wolfman" movie, but as it progresses it actually does some very interesting things for a 30s film. The wolfman part is not as developed as I anticipated going in, and the characters feel a bit on-the-nose, but by the end I was actually enjoying the process of this movie. It has a few surprises that actually impressed me, and there is a clever bit of detective work at the end that almost adds a Frankenstein element. Don't go into it for the wolfman, but prepared to be impressed by what this movie pulls off.

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  28. Ex Machina (2015)
    Okay, so this isn't really a monster movie, but I think an aggressive robot movie is close enough, right? This movie gave me the willies. Oscar Isaac is so damned creepy. The scenes with the robot-human interaction sessions sort of reminded me of the sessions with Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in Silence Of The Lambs. Totally worth watching, but not really a monster or exploitation movie.

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  29. Rebirth of Mothra Trilogy (1996-1998, dirs. Okihiro Yoneda & Kunio Miyoshi)

    Like the Heisei Godzilla did and the Millenium series was about to do over and over, RoM1 retcons any continuity it's character has had until now and presents it as an essentially new character that everyone just happens to already know about. I wasn't crazy about the mid-nineties vibe of it, but I could tell how hard everyone worked on it to put it together (but I did fall asleep and have to go back twenty minutes to get caught up at one point.) 2 is pretty notable in that it feels like one of the only Heisei-era Toho movies to start to not give a shit. Stuff starts to just happen because it needs to happen for Mothra to win; like, magic stuff. I was pretty impressed by that, but the movie was still pretty far from perfect. Then part 3 came along and blew me away. First off, after two new villains for the other entries, for the first time we get someone familiar back... and it's motherfucking King Ghidorah (YES.) And he's been retconned again, this time to the thing that killed the dinosaurs before mankind even existed, and has come back now, 130 Million years later, to wipe out the new dominant species (YES.) And then Mothra pulls some really heinously impossible shit that she's never done before that I won't spoil if you haven't seen these, and shit gets knocked into twelfth gear, and any of this will only be exciting to you if you're me and this is pretty much the last Godzilla movie you had left to watch and they end it with a capper for the new characters introduced in this trilogy that really resonates with you and contains lines from sympathetic characters like "Love in its simplicity isn't enough, you must also rely on hate and anger" by characters in a fucking kid's movie about giant monsters. This wasn't the first time this week that I've pulled a triple feature where the first two movies left me kind of cold but then the third pushed me into kind of frenzied state. Maybe man was never meant to watch three movies in a row.

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  31. Horror Express 1972

    This film seems very much like it could have been made by Hammer Studios, although it wasn't. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Telly Savalas star in this horror thriller set on a train in Siberia. It's actually loosely based on the same short story that inspired The Thing. Fans of the two stars should check this one out. It's a little cheesy bur tons of fun. Streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime.

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  32. Night Watch (2004)
    Director Timur Bekmambetov's Slick, stylized tale about the the war between the forces of light and of darkness.
    Vampires, shapeshifters, witches, and other assorted beings, fill this stylish Russian film.
    The world the movie created is interesting and unique, and I intend to watch the sequel, Daywatch, very soon.

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  33. "Rumpelstiltskin" (1995)-Dir. Mark Jacobs

    Only watched this because it's one in the long line of never ending films I remember always seeing the box for at Blockbuster. I scrolled to it on my Prime list and can now never unsee what I have seen. Within the first 5 minutes Rumpelstiltskin has told the angry mob in the 1400's to "bring the pain" so you know pretty quickly what kind of movie you're in for. I'm all for some B-movie horror goodness but this is the bottom of the bottom of the barrel in my opinion. There was one part in the movie that I legitimately laughed at and enjoyed at about the 1 hour mark that involves the use of the word "shit" and a slap, but other than that I was just waiting for it to end. I was hoping it might surprise me but sadly it was as bad as I feared it would be. At least I get to say I've seen it and it was at least an experience to say the least!

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    1. Side note-I guess this wasn't ever released on DVD or Blu-Ray so the version that is available for streaming on Amazon seems to be a "gorgeous" little VHS 4:3 transfer.

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  34. Nightbeast (1982)

    I would have liked this better if I didn't just watch Xtro.

    An alien lands on earth and uses his disintegration gun to take out people. I don't have much to say about this movie. It's a sequel to The Alien Factor. I have never heard of it but my guess is that it's a movie.

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    1. I feel like this about every movie, its kinda what they talk about a lot on Killerpov, a lot of 80s movies these days are missing the fantastical elements, those dreamy feelings where you don't know what's coming next and it doesent feel safe just like Xtro...

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    2. Sorry, JM. In my defense, I'm an idiot.

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  35. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1995)

    Oh, HELL yes.

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  36. TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: DEMON KNIGHT (1995)

    OH FUCK YES

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  37. Q, The Winged Serpent (1982)

    ...you guys get it.

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    1. That is a perfect 4, you have great taste

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    2. What do you guys like about Q? I thought it was unbearably bad.

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  38. The Stuff (1985)

    This could have been a really good one if only it had been taken further. A strange goo from the earth is packaged as a dessert which turns consumers into zombie-like snackers and kills those who threaten it. As a monster movie, we don't get to see enough of the titular stuff doing it's thing. As a satirical commentary on 80's consumerism, a-la They Live, the movie doesn't go far enough into it's silly concept. There was a lot I liked about this one, like some of it's fun performances, but it drags in the middle and never really knows how to fully exploit it's premise (pun certainly not intended).

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  39. The Host (2006)

    This movie was AWESOME! It did a fantastic job of getting me invested with the human side of the story during the first half of the movie and the second half of the movie (especially the end) paid it all off really well. All of the acting was great, the monster stuff was pretty good, and the direction/cinematography was excellent. The whole thing reminded me a lot of Snowpiercer (I wonder why...). Some of the scenes (and the way they combined the music and image (and obviously just the context)) were breathtaking.

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  40. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

    I love Godzilla so much. I know there are a lot of criticisms to be made about many of the films, but I don't care. They are unapologetically weird and I love that. I even watch the films in Japanese so I am not distracted by the silly sounding dubs and can just appreciate them for what they are.

    Before I get to the review itself, I want to quickly share the way I view these films. I don't think anybody here is railing against Godzilla, but perhaps there are people who have not been able to get into them for various reasons, and maybe I can shine a light on a way to enjoy these films not ironically.

    In linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure developed the "theory of the sign" (I know, bear with me). In this theory, there are two parts to a word: the signifier, which is the word we speak or write, and the signified, which is the concept or image the word refers to. The Godzilla films work in much this way for me. I can always tell that the special effects are just that--they are like the signifier. But, I always know what they are communicating, which is the signified. Much like a comic book, where I fill in the gaps between static images, I fill in the gaps between what the special effects look like and what they mean. This, by the way, is not a slight on the special effects of these films. But by putting in a little work on my end, they take on a new life.

    Anyway, Godzilla vs. Megalon. Underground nuclear tests have disturbed the underwater nation of Seatopia. Meanwhile, an engineer has developed a robot called Jet Jaguar. The Seatopians are angry, so they summon Megalon and seize control of Jet Jaguar to lead the behemoth to Tokyo. The humans regain control of Jet Jaguar and send him to fetch Godzilla, leaving Megalon aimless. The Seatopians reach out to aliens, who send Gigan to help. Jet Jaguar takes on a will of his own and grows to the monsters' size. They all fight for 20 minutes. It's awesome.

    A couple things stood out to me in this movie. First and foremost, the iconic march music is nowhere to be found. Instead, the soundtrack features a whimsical, jazzy flute number. Second, it's basically a Jet Jaguar movie. Godzilla doesn't show up until right before the final showdown.

    I'm not really sure how the Godzilla films transformed from horrifying allegory of nuclear holocaust into these much lighter films (even in Ishirō Honda's final film, Godzilla saves the day), but if anyone has any reading material on the subject, I would appreciate that. Still, this film does maintain an anti-nuclear message (barely). At the end, the scientist tells us that, see, if we would have maintained peace, Seatopia would have never attacked us! Arigato, sensei!

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  41. I love the Host...it's such a rich film, that just happens to have a Monster in the center of it. I am not overly fond of the film resolution, but that's art. I really wish this director wasn't AS talented, he's making everyone look bad.

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  42. Silver Bullet (1985, Dir. Daniel Attius) - First viewing.

    Better late than never. Having just read the King Novella and really like it, largely because of the fantastic illustrations I thought this would be a perfect one for monster day. I'm not sure how I missed it for so many years but Silver Bullet feels like a movie I should have seen as ten year old, and I feel like it is a movie I would have loved then, and potentially still loved now. Watching it for the first time now is a bit different I suspect. Still really enjoyable, but I can almost feel the warm and fuzzy 80s nostalgia bursting out of it, and no matter how hard I try it just isn't there for me.

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  43. Insidious

    Fun film, Wan is a master of horror, just knows how to create tension out of the smallest things. I'll watch anything he makes

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  44. Reign of Fire... those are some scary ass dragons...totally impractical biologically..they must be from another planet, as they don't fit with earth biology...they survive on ash? and then decimate their environment until they become cannibalistic? that's a totally human trait. but checkout mcconaughey's dick centric performance.. there are a number of scenes where he has a penile substitute..very funny.

    which led me to another completely impractical creature..Pitch Black's flying whatevers...such a simple little movie done exceedingly well... tis a shame DT went off on the Duneish tangent with the second film...the third film would be better if the mythology sections were excised. it's like two different universe are mashuped together.

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  45. Basket Case

    First time watcher for me, although I remember a friend from highschool championing basket case 2, back in the day.

    I'm not sure, in the near ending sequence, if he was killing the muff, or trying to eat it up.....that was disturbing...

    Does anyone know whether the sequels, basket case 2 and 3 are worth watching. I if they're anything close to the original, I'm on board.

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