Author: Krista Culbertson

Wicked Wednesday: I won’t talk about I Trapped the Devil (much)

This week’s plan was to watch and write about I Trapped the Devil. But man…sometimes you have nothing to say about something. With no back-up film having been watched, I’m sitting here before the holidays (stressed) with a bunch of notes on a movie I’ve already mostly forgotten.

Oops?

I Trapped the Devil is a nice enough film. It’s got that nice green-and-red glow that Christmas horror movies should have. It’s also a short film wearing a feature-length’s clothes.

Matt and his wife, Karen, visit Matt’s brother Steve for Christmas. It’s a nice gesture, right? But it’s unannounced and two years after the death of Steve’s daughter and wife. Nice brother. Anyway, Steve’s nuts and thinks he has trapped THE LITERAL SATAN in his basement. Has he? Hasn’t he? Let the question linger the entire film!

There are no reveals in this movie, which I think makes it a bit one-note. If we gathered information about Steve and his descent throughout the film, I might have been more intrigued. But you know what’s going on pretty early. Then just sit with it until the story decides to wrap up.

Safe to say. It’s not going to make my list of favourite Christmas movies.

Can a film make it on atmosphere and ~vibes~ alone? Yes. I recently watched the excellent A Wounded Fawn directed by Travis Stevens. Not a clue what was going on, but it looked amazing. If you’re going to rely on pretty, make sure it’s got something worth paying attention to. Christmas lights can hold my attention for a long while, but probably not 80-some minutes.

Speaking of lists… I made one back in 2016, and I thought it might be time for a refresh. Having looked at it again, I can say it’s a basic bitch list. After all these years, though, it still is probably what I’d produce today. Bar Elves. Not sure what I was on then. Did I really like this film? I can tell you nothing about it.

I always find this time leading up to Christmas to be one that is stressful. Who has time to do any serious, critical thinking? Not I! Is this why so many websites produce lists? I’m going to produce lists. Look forward to those lists. Your girl is tired these days.

Wicked Wednesday: No Exit (20220

Book adaptions are tough. As an audience, it doesn’t matter how often we tell ourselves the two mediums are different: some bias will always remain. Oh and most of the audience doesn’t care about how stories have to be told differently on page and screen. That’s probably ass, too.

I tried to reserve judgement when watching an adaptation of a book I like. It doesn’t always work. But what about an adaptation of a book you perhaps didn’t like.

No Exit was a book I tried reading in early 2021. It had everything I love: a locked-room mystery, a snowy local… But the book just didn’t work for me. There was a point about halfway through the book that I gave up, flipped through the rest of the book and learned the ending. I know, I know. I’m the worst kind of human.

When I saw there was a (rather quietly released) film adaptation out, I was still intrigued. Even more, I had friends recommend it to me.

But in faithful adaptions, this one was a little too faithful for me. Because it was at the same point in the book and film that I checked out.

Darby is an addict in rehab. When she gets the call that her mother has had an aneurysm, she breaks out and steals a car. On her way to the hospital in Salt Lake City, a storm strands her in the mountains.

A police officer directs her to stay at a visitors’ center, where a group of people are waiting out the storm. There she finds two young men and a couple. Things seem boring and mundane until Darby goes out to try and get a phone signal. While roaming in the storm, she hears the screams of a girl. She finds the child in the back of the van and must free the girl.

The reveal of “who” kidnapped the girl arrives very early. The film is very good at building suspense, but it’s spent very quickly. The ending trudges along in a series of events that increasingly gets more tiresome.

That being said, it has great performances, particularly by the lead Havana Rose Lui. Also love seeing Dale Dickey and Dennis Haysbert in anything. The film looks great and the setting is really well utilised here.

If you want a horror thriller to fill two hours of your time, No Exit isn’t a bad way to spend it.

So the moral of the story is: if you didn’t like the book, you’ll probably not like the movie either.

Wicked Wednesday: Black Friday (2021)

Nothing hurts more than a wasted opportunity.

Okay, maybe some things hurt more. But it’s certainly a frustrating experience.

Earlier this year, I watched the 1989 slasher Intruder. I loved it. The setting was well utilised and the story was really engaging. I loved it. Horror films set in shops is a very niche subgenre that I am keen to track down more of. (A bit like my love for slashers set in shopping malls. It works!)

Unfortunately, Black Friday doesn’t really hit the same way. What should be a fun time in a toy shop filled with zombies is a pretty big slog – especially at only 84 minutes.

The workers at We Love Toys are preparing for another Black Friday, with the only thing getting them through it is the promise of a holiday bonus. Forced to come in on Thanksgiving itself, morale is low.

Things begin as usual, with the customers being feral assholes. When some customers start attacking and biting, it doesn’t register that something is more wrong than usual. It takes the death of one of the new starters for them to realise that they need help.

The survivors hole up in a stock room, hoping to figure out how to tackle the zombies on the shop floor. They need to learn to work together in a truly meaningful way to survive the night.

There’s actually a lot about this film that I’ve already forgotten, and I watched it two nights ago with my usual set of notes. I think that’s Black Friday‘s biggest death blow: it’s got a great cast (Devon Sawa, Bruce Campbell, Ivana Baquero) but doesn’t do much with them. We barely get any set up that over half of the movie is just running around. And frankly, I didn’t really care what happened to any of them.

I really like shows about workers. Superstore proves that a story set within a shop can be really engaging with good characters. Only a few minutes to set up some cliched tropes is just not enough for me, personally. The film also only has a half-baked storyline about the workers not being fairly treated. It could have gone so much further!

The movie not only squanders its cast but also its setting. A toy shop should be really fun. But the toys are barely utilised. The set is also really poorly dressed. It looks like a movie set version of a toy shop designed by someone who hasn’t been in one but is kind of guessing what they’re like.

That being said, there’s nothing truly terrible about this movie. But I think mediocrity is worse than anything. When Thanksgiving rolls around next year, I probably won’t remember to put this one on.

Anyway. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Black Friday. Stay home with your family and don’t be a jerk to workers!

Wicked Wednesday: Bunnicula the Vampire Rabbit (1982)

When I was a kiddo, I was obsessed with the covers of books from series like Bailey School Kids and, of course, the Scary Stories books by Alvin Schwartz. I wasn’t much of a reader, but I loved a book illustration that allowed me to imagine the stories inside. Yes, it is ironic that my day job consists entirely of me reading children’s books.

One series that always grabbed my attention was Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe. The first in the series being published following Deborah’s death.

It wasn’t until I was in my adult years that I read Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery. Even without the glasses of nostalgia, this series holds up as an adorable gateway horror read. And, of course, when I learned of the TV special adaption, I had to watch it.

It’s not the most faithful adaption, but it still remains very cute. Chester the cat and Harold the dog live with a very nice nuclear family, the Monroes. One day, Mr Monroe loses his job when there’s yet another accident at the factory he’s employed at. In fact, the entire factory is shut down by the owner. Why no one bothers to ask OSHA for advice or something isn’t totally clear.

The family, who is waiting for him, learn of the closing. But before they can get too upset, they discover a bunny in a box by a tree. The bunny has a note with him, written in Romanian. Unfortunately, the Monroes aren’t worldly enough to know a lick of Romanian, but they can make out the name “Bunnicula”. Howard the dog, however, is able to read the note and reads, “Take care of my baby.” (So threatening!)

Soon after Bunnicula is at the Monroes’ home, things begin to get strange. The vegetables are all white and drained of their juice. Chester is certain that it’s Bunnicula, as Chester knows a lot about vampires. (He spends his days reading, as all cats do.)

They agree to take turns watching Bunnicula at night, but when it’s Chester’s turn, he fails big time and the bunny escapes. They head off to search for the rabbit. But during the search, Chester sets off a neighbour’s boobytrap. When the humans find vegetables with little rabbit tracks, they know Bunnicula is the culprit.

It’s up to Chester and Howard to find Bunnicula first and keep him safe from the mob. Oh and somehow save the factory in the meantime.

Short, sweet and to the point, Bunnicula is a fun special. Bunnicula in particular is adorable, but the animators made both Howard and Chester great characters. The humans I could do without, but that’s probably not an issue specific to this special. You can watch it on YouTube (with commercials!) on the Museum of Classic Chicago Television’s YouTube channel. They’re raising money to help with transfers and preservation at the moment.

Being made in 1982, the animation has a wonderful vintage feel. The company that made the special, Ruby-Spears, is the one behind the animated segments in Child’s Play. Which is a nice horror link, if you ask me. I would have loved to see more horror nods, but I think for a 30-minute special, this does all you can really hope for.

Wicked Wednesday: Spellcaster (1988)

On paper, Spellcaster has to be the most 80s movie ever to be released in the 90s. (Unsurprisingly, the film started production in ’86.) A spellcasting demon named Diablo controls the lives of a group of young adults who arrive at an Italian castle to participate in a competition run by a MTV-style music channel. The woman from the “Take on Me” video plays an alcoholic pop star. DJ Richard Blade is also here. Adam Ant (yes) plays the demon.

That, of course, means it’s that 80s kind of wild that only could have been pulled off in that decade. What I’m trying to say is: this movie was made for me!

Down-on-their-luck siblings Tom and Jackie are struggling for money after the death of their parents. They enter in a lottery to win a spot in a TV competition. Not only does one of them earn a place, but they both earn spots. What a stroke of luck!

The kids arrive in Italy where their fellow competitors wait. It’s a selection of the greatest hits of stereotypes. The Italian is a sex pest. The French girl is a sex pest. The American is a sex–uh. I guess they all have something in common, which must be nice for them.

They’re informed by the VJ and face of the show, Rex (Blade), that the competition involves looking for a cheque for $1,000,000. Whoever finds it first gets to keep the money. The cheque is hidden somewhere in the vast castle, and the camera will be following them while they search. Additionally, the competition is sponsored by the successful popstar Casandra Castle.

That night, the competitors get a head start before the official “go”. One of them gets consumed by a demon chair, not to be seen again. Meanwhile, Rex and Cassandra strike a deal together. Cassandra suggests hiding the cheque on her person. No one will find it, meaning no one wins the money. The two agree to split the money after the competition ends.

But when the competition gets off to its official start, competitors start to get attacked. The cheque is blown off of Cassandra’s person and lands temptingly in front of various competitors, who meet their various, odd fates (including someone being turned into a pig!).

Our daring siblings remain the only two to not meet their demise. When Jackie finds a mysterious room with a crystal ball, she comes face-to-face with the castle owner and spellcaster himself Adam Ant Diablo! Will she succeed in defeating him and win the money?

Well, yes, because it’s the 80s.

This movie seems to exist only to provide fun facts:

  • The castle will look familiar to Full Moon fans. It’s another one filmed in his 12-century castle. It was also used in Castle Freak. Gotta love that Roger Corman spirit.
  • Cinematographer Sergio Salvati will be known to fans of Italian horror/gialli through his work with Lucio Fulci.
  • Actress and model Bunty Bailey appeared in not just one, but two a-ha music videos and one for Billy Idol.
  • Adam Ant was a gorgeous BABE, and I will always love him.

It definitely isn’t the most cheesy of movies. There could have been more story or cutting down of certain scenes. These things hinder it from being an out-an-out blast. But it’s so charming in its own weird way that it’s well worth checking out.

Have I mentioned Adama Ant yet? Let’s talk about him again. My friends and I were obsessed with him as kids. And this movie reminded me why. I mean…what a dreamboat. If he asked me to sell my soul to him, I would without a second’s hesitation! The biggest flaw of his film is that he doesn’t show up until the last 10 minutes. It would have been fun to see him playing with the people throughout the story. But perhaps the scenes/budget wasn’t there.

If you like these one-by-one fantasy slashers, Spellcaster has plenty of charisma to make it worth the watch. And if anything, you need to stick around for that ending just to see Adam.

Hubba hubba.

WICKED WEDNESDAY: 100 HORROR MOVIES IN 92 DAYS 2022, WRAP-UP #3

Learning that today was already November 2nd shaved years off my life. Where did October go? It was possibly the busiest I have ever been around this time of the year. but there are no complaints from me! And yet, I managed to watch 110 new-to-me horror movies from August to October. It beats last year’s number, and I feel significantly better than I did at the end this time around.

One bit of guidance I had this year was Shudder’s latest show, The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time. It was a solid list of new and classic films to watch. And I became determined to watch as many as I could from it, meaning I finally ticked off missed classics like Rosemary’s Baby and saw recent hits like The Night House.

There were a lot of new horror films released in October as well. Seriously, an excellent month for genre fans. I saw quite a few family-friend movies this month with Wendell & Wild being my favourite. Easily. Henry Selick and Jordan Peele are icons.

Overall, it was a much more positive experience this year. I made lists and set goals for myself as to what I wanted to accomplish. Only one film was left on my checklist, The Velvet Vampire, which I hope to get to in November.

#79-110

79 Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) dir. by Anne Fletcher

80 I Walked With a Zombie (1943) dir. by Jacques Tourneur

81 Cujo (1983) dir. by Lewis Teague

82 Train to Busan (2016) dir. by Yeon Sang-ho

83 Hollows Grove (2014) dir. by Craig Efros

84 Nightmare Weekend (1984) dir. by Henri Sala

85 Rosemary’s Baby (1968) dir. by a rapist

This might be my biggest oversight when it comes to classic horror. The plot such a part of popular culture that I didn’t think any thing could surprise me about this film. But it really did. Mia Farrow is absolutely incredible here. She alone is the film.

86 Evil of Dracula (1974) dir. by Michio Yamamoto

87 Black Rock (2012) dir. by Katie Aselton

88 This House (2022) dir. by Emma de Swaef, Marc James Roels, Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Paloma Baeza

89 The Tell-Tale Heart (1960) dir. by Ernest Morris

90 Fiend (1980) dir. by Don Dohler

91 Killer Piñata (2017) dir. by Stephen Tramontana

92 Werewolf by Night (2022) dir. by Michael Giacchino

I don’t know what I was thinking…

93 Gerald’s Game (2017) dir. by Mike Flanagan

94 Stage Fright (2014) dir. by Jerome Sable

When I got the notification that Stage Fright was available for streaming, I was SO excited. I have been dying to see Michael Soavi’s film for years. But lo and behold it was this Stage Fright starring Meat Loaf. But I will call this a happy mix-up. A bananas movie that’s a lot of fun.

95 The Curse of Bridge Hollow (2022) dir. by Jeff Wadlow

96 The Night House (2020) dir. by David Bruckner

97 Halloween Ends (2022) dir. by David Gordon Green

I really enjoyed this. Sue me.

98 Rocktober Blood (1984) dir. by Beverly Sebastian

99 Frightmare (1974) dir. by Pete Walker

100 The Suspicious Death of a Minor (Morte sospetta di una minorenne) (1975) dir. by Sergio Martino

101 V/H/S/99 (2022) dir. by Johannes Roberts, Vanessa & Joseph Winter, Maggie Levin, Tyler MacIntyre, Flying Lotus

102 All Hallows’ Eve 2 (2015) dir. by Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan, Jay Holben, James and Jon Kondelik, Andrés Borghi, Ryan Patch, Mark Roussel, Elias Benavidez, Mike Kochansky

103 Saloum (2021) dir. by Jean Luc Herbulot

A stunning horror tale from Senegal. The fact that I haven’t seen more people talking about this film is a HUGE shame.

104 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) dir. by Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney and James Algar

105 Significant Other (2022) dir. by Robert Olsen, Dan Berk

106 Blackenstein (1973) dir. by William A. Levey

107 Bad Hair (2020) dir. by Justin Simien

108 Cemetery of Terror (Cementerio del terror) dir. by Rubén Galindo Jr.

109 Saw (2004) dir. by James Wan

I put off watching this film for years and years. It was what gave birth to the modern “torture porn” subgenre. Nothing about it ever appealed to me, but I knew it was time to bite the bullet. You can always turns things off, right? But this was an entirely different film to what I was anticipating. Maybe I watched an edited version, but the gore was very light. The biggest shock? It had an interesting story.

110 Wendell & Wild (2022) dir. by Henry Selick

Halloween treats for the Halloween week

Halloween is less than a week away! Truly the last few days to savour the best time of the year. Sure we love all things spooky year-round, but the atmosphere is truly unique in the darkest days of October. It’s OUR time!

This year I’ve found myself particularly savouring the season, especially the more family-friendly parts in addition to the usual onslaught of horror films. My Halloween plans were to see Fabio Fritzi play music from the films of Lucio Fulci. That got kicked to 2023, so I’m seeing Suspiria at the Prince Charles Cinema. It’s fine. It’s what the devil intended!

But as I’ve enjoyed so many things this year, I thought I’d share my picks of things I’ve loved and will be watching as the last few days of this month pass us by.

Halloween horror pick: Halloween Party (1989) dir. by David Skowronski

Watch your usuals. Then watch this shot-on-video movie clearly made by a group of friends on a random October night.

Halloween novelty picks: “Trick or Treat” by Chuck Berry and “Midnight Monsters Hop” by Jack & Jim

Shout out to Halloween Ends for the latter.

Nonhorror TV pick: Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix)

It’s no secret that Unsolved Mysteries is one of my favourite shows. The original theme song is literally my ringtone. The new Netflix reboot is equally satisfying (though don’t watch it with your family, who will inevitably complain that the mysteries are unsolved).

The latest few episodes dive into the usual spread of themes: deaths, murders, aliens. But I think the storytelling has really improved over the original Netflix episodes from 2022. I personally loved “Something in the Sky”. As someone who is terrified of aliens while simultaneously believing that 99% of people make up seeing UFOs, this one really got to me.

Podcast pick: Sinisterhood Episode 192: The Fresno Nightcrawler

Everyone loves a cryptid, and the Fresno Nightcrawler is up there with the Mothman as far as fan favourites go. Sinisterhood is an excellent podcast hosted by comedians Christie Wallace and Heather McKinney. They’re a delight, and their discussion about the Nightcrawler is informative, cohesive and hilarious.

Audiobook pick: The Babysitter Lives by Stephen Graham Jones

I’ve read a number of Jones’ books over the last few years, but I have to say this one is my absolute favourite. In audiobook format only, the story is about a babysitter who takes a job babysitting on Halloween night and ends up dealing with more than she bargained for.

It certainly seems like you’re getting the traditional babysitter horror story until Jones takes everything in a whole different direction. It’s a bizarre horror fantasy story that will bend your mind.

Book-for-the-kiddos pick: The House in the Woods by Yvette Fielding

When a trio of friends play with an Ouija board at a haunted house, they soon realise the ghost has followed them home. This story by Ghosthunting With… host Yvette Fielding feels very much like a traditional romp full of some very satisfying scares. I think it will please any ghost-loving child years 10+.

Soundtrack pick: Occhiali Neri (Dario Argento’s Dark Glasses Original Sountrack) by Arnaud Rebotini

Dark Glasses wasn’t my favourite Argento film, but man, it had a killer soundtrack. Watching this on the big screen, the electronic music really could literally be felt. It helps build the suspense of the story so well. It’s easily one of my favourite new horror movie soundtracks of the year.

Wicked Wednesday: Rocktober Blood (1984)

Like a fool, I’d been saving watching this movie for Halloween. Rocktober = October = Halloween, right? Well. Instead of my fun holiday romp, it turns out that Rocktober Blood has nothing to do with All Hallows’ Eve and everything to do with heavy metal, evil twins and poor attempts at being Phantom of the Paradise.

Most of the cast in the film was made up of the band Sorcery. While not the main cast, they do hang around quite a bit. Though it is difficult to tell seeing as the movie was light with about three lightbulbs.

Billy “Eye” Harper is the lead singer for a successful metal band. During a late-night recording session, he and the rest of the band leave. Only girlfriend and backup singer Lynn remains behind to do further recording with the engineer Kevin and another assistant.

Lynn leaves to go into the jacuzzi. While she’s away Kevin and the assistant are both murdered by Billy. Or are they???

Lynn is confronted by who she assumes is Billy, who attempts to kill her. A security guard manages to intervene. But two years later, Billy is dead, having been executed for the crimes. He maintained his innocence up until his death, confusing Lynn, who was certain she’d been threatened by him.

With Billy out of the way, Lynn becomes the lead singer of the band, who rebrands themselves as Headmistress. As their “Rocktober Blood” tour looms, Lynn is certain that she is being haunted by Billy. Unsurprisingly, no one believes her.

Her friends even go so far as to help her dig up Billy’s coffin. Inside, they find his decomposing corpse. But Lynn maintains that he is alive as she gets continually harrassed by who she thinks is Billy.

On the night of the tour’s first show, it’s revealed that Lynn has been wrong all along. Billy is dead. Silly woman. It’s not Billy harassing her, but Billy’s EVIL TWIN BROTHER! John Harper is the talent of the twins, having written all the music that Billy took credit for. How better to exact revenge than to kill literally everyone. (No, this does not make sense to me.)

The last scene of the film is quite clearly an attempt at an homage to the Beef and the Undeads concert scene in Phantom. But, you know, done on a budget of about $50. There are fake deaths, electrocution by guitar and glam rock-inspired makeup. John appears on stage, which should be a pretty big reveal. I mean, even if you didn’t know about this evil twin business, it looks like a dead guy is parading around on stage. Somehow the band seems pretty unphased by this, even when Lynn is getting manhandled and handcuffed by him. Everyone keeps playing!

And poor John ends up dead. Or is he?

I love metal music. Particularly hair metal. It’s the white trash Wisconsinite in me. If Poison comes on, I must worship. Though I have to admit, I had never heard of Sorcery before. They seem like a pretty great band, as the soundtrack is probably the best part of the film.

Lynn’s voice was provided by Susie Rose Major, who has a set of great pipes. It would have probably been more impactful, though, if we had heard “Rainbow Eyes” only at the end and not constantly (and I mean constantly) throughout.

Rocktober Blood is a low-budget affair that’s pretty rough around the edges when it comes to production value. It’s also padded up to high heaven and has nothing to do with Halloween OR October. But all that said, can you really resist a movie that combines 80s metal music, evil twins, and homages to one of the greatest movies ever made? Well, maybe. Maybe just watch Phantom of the Paradise instead.

Wicked Wednesday: Fiend (1980)

I love and appreciate regional horror. These movies, which are not made in Hollywood, are often filled with local character and crew. Think the Bill Rebanes and George A Romeros of the world.

Fiend very much fits into that mould. Director, writer and star Don Dohler is obviously from (and clearly loves) Maryland. There are plenty of title cards to let us know where in Maryland we are. All the radio news announcements keep mentioning places in Maryland. I learned more about Maryland from this movie than I did when we studied in the 50 states in 5th grade.

The premise is very straight-forward: an alien entity lands on earth and resurrects the body of a music teacher Eric Longfellow. He rises from his grave and needs to suck the life out of people in order to survive.

He moves into (and by moves, I mean just takes down the “for sale” sign) a home in a Maryland suburb. With his arrival, murders – all in the same fashion – begin to be reported in the area. And Longfellow’s neighbour macho Gary Kender is very suspicious.

For one, the guy plays music. For a living! And second, he was home the day a young child was murdered. So he must have seen something – no matter what he’s told the police.

The logic is not very sound, but neither is Gary Kender’s head, to be fair. But of course he’s right anyway. Even if he isn’t the best of heroes to root for.

There are plenty of rituals, stranglings, odd characters and synth music to fill the 90 minute running time.

Fiend is definitely a small movie with a small budget. But there is plenty to really like about it. It’s full of quirks, like the red glow that surrounds Longfellow when he gets murdered. There are even a couple of plot holes thrown in for fun. Though it’s also got a consistent atmosphere that helps it be a successful film. It’s maybe not the best film technically but it’s clearly been made with a lot of heart and enthusiasm.

Regional horror is pretty much dead these days, but it’s nice to revisit works from people as passionate about their corner of the world as Dohler clearly was.

WICKED WEDNESDAY: 100 HORROR MOVIES IN 92 DAYS 2022, WRAP-UP #2

Happy October! How we’re already into the third month of the 100 Horror Movies in 92 Days challenge beats me. Why does the best time of the year always have to go by faster than anyone wants it to?

We’ve got less than a month to go and closing in on the goal. Hitting 100 is pretty manageable…unless my soul completely does before the 31st. I have watched some really great films this month and some incredibly bad ones. By about September 15, I began to lose the will to live and started questioning my sanity again. What would it be like to watch an action flick or even a rom-com instead of a horror film? The little moments I have between films have been filled with the trashiest of reality TV.

But “Krista,” you ask, “Why are you still doing this if all you do is complain about it?” Well, reader, that’s because I love to torment myself and complain. That’s why.

Jokes. (Mostly.) It has been a fun exercise that has pushed me to try out some films I’ve put off for ages and try more from other countries.

If you haven’t seen last month‘s update, please do. Feel free to follow me over at Letterboxd to see my ratings (and rare attempts at writing reviews.

#38-78

38 Night of the Lepus (1972) dir. by William F. Claxton

39 X (2022) dir. by Ti West

40 Demon City Shinjuku (1988) dir. by Yoshiaki Kawajiri

41 The Vampire Doll (1970) dir. by Michio Yamamoto

42 Nope (2022) dir. by Jordan Peele

43 The Whip and the Body (1963) dir. by Mario Bava

44 Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) dir. by Roger Corman

45 We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021) dir. by Jane Schoenbrun

46 Choose or Die (2022) dir. by Toby Meakins

Bad things always happen when British filmmakers with all British casts make movies in Britain all pretending to be Americans in America.

47 The Addams Family (2019) dir. by Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan

48 V/H/S/94 (2021) dir. by Simon Barrett Timo Tjahjanto, Jennifer Reeder, Ryan Prows, Chloe Okuno

HAIL RAATMA!

49 Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (1995) dir. by Shinichi Fukazawa

50 The Black Cat (Black Cat: Gatto nero) (1981) dir. by Lucio Fulci

51 The Blackwell Ghost (2017) dir. by Turner Clay

52 The Invitation (2015) dir. by Karyn Kusama

53 The Premature Burial (1962) dir. by Roger Corman

54 Graduation Day (1981) dir. by Herb Freed

55 Curse of the Blair Witch (1999) dir. by Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

56 The Devil Below (2021) dir. by Bradley Parker

57 Vicious Fun (2020) dir. by Cody Calahan

58 The Old Dark House (1963) dir. by William Castle

59 The Strangers (2008) dir. by Bryan Bertino

60 Castle Freak (1995) dir. by Stuart Gordon

61 One Dark Night (1982) dir. by Tom McLoughlin

62 Shock (1946) dir. by Alfred L. Werker

63 The Brood (1979) dir. by David Cronenberg

64 The Living Ghost (1942) dir. by William Beaudine

65 Screamplay (1985) dir. by Rufus Butler Seder

66 The Pyramid (2014) dir. by Grégory Levasseur

67 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) dir. by Steve Miner

68 The Stuff (1985) dir. by Larry Cohen

69 Lake of Dracula (1971) dir. by Michio Yamamoto

70 The Terror? (1963) dir. by Roger Corman (credited), Francis Ford Coppola, Dennis Jakob, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill, Jack Nicholson (all uncredited)

71 The Wailing (2016) dir. by Na Hong-jin

72 Satan’s Black Wedding (1976) dir. by Nick Millard

73 The Woman in Black (2012) dir. by James Watkins

This was okay, but you HAVE to see the stage production if you are ever in London. Turns out rocking chairs that move on their own are a lot creepier if you’re in the same room as it.

74 The House on Tombstone Hill (1989) dir. by James Riffel

75 The Giant Gila Monster (1959) dir. Ray Kellogg

76 Def by Temptation (1990) dir. by James Bond III

77 My Bloody Valentine (1981) dir. by George Mihalka

78 My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022) dir. by Damon Thomas

Cute, but as they say: the book is always better.