Posts Tagged ‘Eclipse

08
Dec
13

The Devil Rides Out (1968)

A fangless Christopher Lee

A fangless Christopher Lee

Don’t you hate it when your dead best friend’s son gets involved with a Satanic Cult? It’s even more of a bummer when you promised your dearly-departed pal you’d watch over the kid. This is exactly the predicament in which Duc de Richleau (Christopher Lee)  finds himself in Hammer’s The Devil Rides Out.

Richleau first suspects some weird stuff is going down when he and his useless friend Rex stop by their friend’s place and find his son Simon hosting a strange party with some even stranger people. The party is apparently for some secret society, and Richleau and Rex find themselves unwelcome. Promising to leave, they instead head upstairs

Rex and  Tanith drive as far away from Mocata as possible... but is that good enough?

Rex and Tanith drive as far away from Mocata as possible… but is that good enough?

to a room with a pentagram on the floor, chickens in a box, and a telescope pointing towards the soon-to-be-eclipsed moon!

We soon find out that Simon and a young lady named Tanith are the victims of brainwashing and mind control at the hands of the ringleader of the cult, a strange fellow named Mocata. He needs the two youths to reach the right number of people (thirteen, of course) to summon the goat-headed demon from the depths of hell! But Richleau and Rex, who’s fallen in love with young Tanith, will stop at nothing to keep Mocata from

Mocata and the goat-headed demon!

Mocata and the goat-headed demon!

using the two kids to complete his evil plan.

This movie is good, Satanic fun à la Hammer’s 1968 vision. Who wouldn’t want to see Christopher Lee battling the demons of hell?! Frankly, it’s nice to see Lee play the good guy for once. My one complaint is Rex’s character; he is so damn useless and stupid, he made me downright angry by the end of the thing! If I had a nickel for every time Rex did something stupid to endanger the lives of those he’s trying to protect, I’d have at least 25 cents.

 

Advertisements
10
May
13

Warlock: The Armageddon (1993)

Happy Birthday Mr. Warlock!

Happy Birthday Mr. Warlock!

Warlock: The Armageddon has been on the to-watch list for a while now, which might be embarrassing for a few reasons, but whatever. Now that I’ve finally watched it, well, I’m not sure what there is to say about it. I mean, it’s a Warlock movie. Oh well, here goes.

So, there’s an total lunar eclipse. We all know wacky shit happens during eclipses, yeah? So this time Satan’s son is gonna be born. Within the first five minutes we’re treated to a naked, soaking Julian Sands, our Warlock of the hour. He’s on a quest to collect five magic stones. If he gets his hands on them, all evil will be

Warlock at the circus?

Warlock at the circus?

unleashed and you can kiss the Earth goodbye. Only a group of Druids can save the world from ultimate destruction!

It’s not just any Druids that can fight the evil Warlock, though. Oh no, they must be warriors. Unfortunately, the most learned of the Druids we know are not warriors at all, but their kids sure are. They must be trained up before the evil Warlock makes his way across the country to collect the remaining stones held by the Druids.

Apparently, training to become a Druid warrior is a lot like baseball’s spring training. What better way to teach a young boy how to move objects with his mind than by giving him a baseball? Oh, and did I mention, to become a Druid warrior you

Warriors in the blood rain.

Warriors in the blood rain.

have to die first?

This movie is straight-up dumb. But it’s dumb in that delightful way that will entertain you for its entire running time. It’s so goofy, there’s no hope of taking anything here seriously. Some of the special effects are decent, too. And, well, there’s Julian Sands. Certainly not an exceptional film by any means, but if you happened upon this on cable one day, I’d recommend you leave it on. Why not?

22
Apr
13

The House of the Devil (2009)

The negotiation.

The negotiation.

I’d seen The House of the Devil about a year ago, and it keeps popping up in the Netflix instant queue. When I told Q that it “wasn’t bad, Mary Woronov’s in it” it moved to the top of the list.

Like Beyond the Black RainbowThe House of the Devil is, in part, an homage to horror films from the 70’s and 80’s. It faithfully recreates the 1980’s down to the music, the clothes, the grainy film and the zeitgeist. It starts off with a blurb about a nation freaking out about Satanic cults, giving us an indication of what kind of movie we’re in for.

Samantha Hughes is a sophomore in college. She has about $84 in her bank account and shares a dorm

Woronov!

Woronov!

room with a promiscuous girl who’s always locking her out. Luckily, her new landlady (Dee Wallace) is nice enough to give her the weekend to come up with $300 for the deposit on her new place. Wandering around campus, she finds a flyer advertising a babysitting job and hopes she’ll be able to build up that bank account a bit.

On the night of a total lunar eclipse, her friend Megan is kind enough to drive Samantha to the Ulman’s house, which is way out in the boonies. Samantha agrees if anything’s fishy, they’ll split. Well, things definitely get fishy – Mr. Ulman (Tom Noonan) admits this isn’t exactly a babysitting job, instead they need someone to watch his wife’s (Mary Woronov)

Dude, why are you even gonna open that door?!?!?!

Dude, why are you even gonna open that door?!?!?!

elderly mother.  Mr. Ulman and Samantha are both desperate, he for a sitter, she for cash. She negotiates to do the job for $400 and sends a protesting Megan out the door. Needless to say, a few hours “alone” in the house reveal a secret or two, and it isn’t long before Samantha realizes she’s in some deep shit.

This movie was even better the second time around. It takes a while for the action to get going, but that’s exactly what roped me in; the way it’s shot left me in total suspense: what’s behind that door? What’s that noise? Should she eat that pizza? Don’t worry, it pays off in the end, and it’s entertaining all the way there. It’s funny, shocking, scary, and suspenseful. I guess 80’s nostalgia isn’t all bad.

02
Nov
12

Full Eclipse (1993)

What if I told you it was possible to make Point Break better than it already is? I know, a claim like that is hard to back up, until I mention werewolves. Yeah, that’s right, I said Point Break with werewolves! I didn’t know it when we put it on, but that’s exactly what Full Eclipse delivered.

Mario Van Peebles plays Max Dire, an L.A. cop who desperately wants to get the scum off the streets. It keeps him up at night and it’s ruining his marriage. His partner Jim Sheldon says he’s giving up the force and settling down, finally ready to marry his girlfriend. Well it’s never good when a cop says he’s retiring at the beginning of a movie, is it? Max and Jim head into a hostage situation, and Jim gets hit bad. No one thinks he’ll make it, until a mysterious guy dressed as a cop enters his hospital room and juices him up with something. The next day, Jim is back to work, amped and ready to go, telling Max he’s no longer going to marry. Max is too keen not to see something is off here, but what could it be?

Might it have something to do with Adam Garou and his group of vigilante cops? Of course it does! These aren’t just vigilante cops, though – they’re all junked up on something that turns them into invincible werewolves, and they want Max on their team. He’s low-hanging fruit: he’s smart, he’s good, he’s vulnerable due to his marriage troubles, and he hates criminals. But he’s also very by-the-book, and so it takes several different kinds of convincing before Max is brought into the fray.

Holy crap, this movie is awesome. I haven’t had this much fun watching a movie since maybe the first time I saw the aforementioned Point Break. But there’s one very important difference between the two movies: Full Eclipse knows all the jokes. It knows it’s a joke and it takes us along for the ride. While I loved (perhaps inexplicably) Point Break, it’s undeniable that it takes itself very, very seriously. This movie certainly does not, and that’s what is so much fun about it! It will push all your it’s-tough-being-a-straight-cop buttons, and it’s winking at you while doing it.  This certainly was the perfect antidote to the heady Ganja & Hess. This movie has nothing to say, and sometimes that’s just what you need.




Categories

Old Wave