HORRORCRAM XIV: DaMU you all to Hell

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12808
Wooley
Apex PredatorForgive me for being super-late to the party, but does anyone want to discuss 10 Cloverfield Lane?

Sure.
I dug it.
Even the ending.
But I'm also the guy that's fine with the ending of Haute Tension and The Village.

Outside of Haute Tension, I agree with your agreement of endings for those three.
Jun 1, 2017 10:58 PM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46635
Thoughts on Mother of Tears?
Jun 1, 2017 11:16 PM
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 9405
Wooley
Takoma1Yes!

And I can also tell you about the INSANE conversations I had over on the IMDb with a depressingly sizable group of dudes who read the movie as an evil, slutty woman taking advantage of and ultimately murdering a good Samaritan.

You can't be serious.

It was not an uncommon opinion, but then again, I think it was a pretty self-selected group. Many of them argued that the blood and the earring and the photograph of the girl weren't anything more than circumstantial evidence that Howard had killed someone. Many of them had theories that Emmett had actually used Howard's bunker as a murder lair--it's an idea that's interesting, but ultimately not really supported by the movie itself.
I see the movie's most powerful theme as being about action and inaction. Michelle's story describes a moment of inaction, as does Emmett's (not getting on the bus). And what I like about the movie is that it slightly complicates the question of whether or not action is appropriate because of the possibility of an outside threat.
The main thing I didn't understand about the people who didn't like Michelle's character was that they couldn't even seem to understand any of her point of view. Like, you might think she is awful, but surely all of her actions are pretty understandable from her perspective. If you were a woman who woke up chained to a wall?in a stranger's underground bunker and he was like "Oh, so while you were knocked out some bad stuff went down and you have to be my faux daughter for the next two or three years. But we have Monopoly!", how would you NOT be looking to escape. Anyway, it was a bizarre conversation full of phrases like "Typical ungrateful feminist!" and also one dude who kept insisting that Howard had killed Emmett because obviously Emmett and Michelle were going to have sex and have a baby and that baby would really do a number on their canned goods collection.
Apex Predator

Things that manifest itself throughout the plot such as Howard's mood swings and his random proclamations (you'll learn to cook for us).

The thing I liked best about Howard's character was how the movie hit just the right balance of how much information it would reveal about him. The question of where the line between mental illness and malicious intent lies with this guy is pretty ambiguous, in my opinion. It's a great use of an unreliable narrator.
Jun 2, 2017 12:01 AM
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2340
Just want to pop in and recommend Sion Sono's Tag when you're in the mood for Japanese insanity (now streaming on Netflix). I went into it blind and suggest you do the same. At the very least, watch the first 5 minutes. The guy certainly knows how to get your attention.
Jun 2, 2017 12:01 AM
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 29599
Black PhilipThe last part of Cloverfield Lane was terrible.

Yep
Jun 2, 2017 1:24 AM
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 29599
Captain TerrorJust want to pop in and recommend Sion Sono's Tag when you're in the mood for Japanese insanity (now streaming on Netflix). I went into it blind and suggest you do the same. At the very least, watch the first 5 minutes. The guy certainly knows how to get your attention.

That 5 minute start and the wedding scene are hella awesome, but i'll admit i can't remember any of the rest!!!
Jun 2, 2017 1:26 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46635
If Torso isn't on par with Deep Red and Blood and Black Lace, it is damn close. The shifting narrative, false protagonists, murder set pieces, and final act are the quintessence of what makes gialli so great.

It was a refreshing watch after Mother of Tears, which was... Something.
Jun 2, 2017 7:05 AM
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 27436
Watched the original Cape Fear. Kind of a sleazy thing, but lovely shadow/light and some good work from Peck and Mitchum, even if Mitchum offers a watered-down riff on his Reverend Harry Powell.
Jun 2, 2017 4:06 PM
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60141
Original Cape Fear is solid.

I watched Dont Breathe which I found kinda meh, which I'll blame on the trailers revealing pretty much the entire movie. So I knew all the beats going in and wan't surprised or impressed by anything.

I also watched Viral, which was surprisingly better than I expected. It starts with your stock characters: shy nerdy protagonist, bitchy sister and her douche you boyfriend, cute boy next door, drunk step-dad. I thought it was gonna be your standard horror flick with everyone getting picked off but about halfway through it becomes more of an outbreak/quarantine movie with a dash of Ginger Snaps. There's some decent acting and good use of tension, especially during the quarantine scenes which brought a different kind of scary to the table. Oh and Doug Stamper from House of Cards is in it. I recommend giving it a shot.
Jun 2, 2017 9:51 PM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46635
The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh was more solid giallo from Martino. Fenech remains one of the most watchable actresses of all time. Her performances are hard to judge due to the dubbing but she has a screen presence akin to Audrey Hepburn that lends dignity to her character even when she's put through less than dignified circumstances. It was interesting that Martino recycled some plot elements from this when he made the superior Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, though I suppose those are taken from Hitchcock anyways.

Either way, an exploitative twisty turny good time.
Jun 3, 2017 12:07 AM
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2340
MKSThe Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh was more solid giallo from Martino. Fenech remains one of the most watchable actresses of all time. Her performances are hard to judge due to the dubbing but she has a screen presence akin to Audrey Hepburn that lends dignity to her character even when she's put through less than dignified circumstances. It was interesting that Martino recycled some plot elements from this when he made the superior Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, though I suppose those are taken from Hitchcock anyways.

Either way, an exploitative twisty turny good time.

You've probably seen Michele Soavi's Stagefright? If not, I watched it this week for the first time and it definitely fits in with your current field of study. Not sure if it counts as a pure giallo, but it's close enough. Good stuff.
Jun 3, 2017 12:37 AM
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12808
MKSThoughts on Mother of Tears?

Pretty sure Wooley hated it. HATED it.
Jun 3, 2017 12:45 AM
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12808
Captain Terror
MKSThe Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh was more solid giallo from Martino. Fenech remains one of the most watchable actresses of all time. Her performances are hard to judge due to the dubbing but she has a screen presence akin to Audrey Hepburn that lends dignity to her character even when she's put through less than dignified circumstances. It was interesting that Martino recycled some plot elements from this when he made the superior Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, though I suppose those are taken from Hitchcock anyways.

Either way, an exploitative twisty turny good time.

You've probably seen Michele Soavi's Stagefright? If not, I watched it this week for the first time and it definitely fits in with your current field of study. Not sure if it counts as a pure giallo, but it's close enough. Good stuff.

Glad to see another one who enjoyed this.
Jun 3, 2017 12:45 AM
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12808
Takoma1
Wooley
Takoma1Yes!

And I can also tell you about the INSANE conversations I had over on the IMDb with a depressingly sizable group of dudes who read the movie as an evil, slutty woman taking advantage of and ultimately murdering a good Samaritan.

You can't be serious.

It was not an uncommon opinion, but then again, I think it was a pretty self-selected group. Many of them argued that the blood and the earring and the photograph of the girl weren't anything more than circumstantial evidence that Howard had killed someone. Many of them had theories that Emmett had actually used Howard's bunker as a murder lair--it's an idea that's interesting, but ultimately not really supported by the movie itself.
I see the movie's most powerful theme as being about action and inaction. Michelle's story describes a moment of inaction, as does Emmett's (not getting on the bus). And what I like about the movie is that it slightly complicates the question of whether or not action is appropriate because of the possibility of an outside threat.
The main thing I didn't understand about the people who didn't like Michelle's character was that they couldn't even seem to understand any of her point of view. Like, you might think she is awful, but surely all of her actions are pretty understandable from her perspective. If you were a woman who woke up chained to a wall?in a stranger's underground bunker and he was like "Oh, so while you were knocked out some bad stuff went down and you have to be my faux daughter for the next two or three years. But we have Monopoly!", how would you NOT be looking to escape. Anyway, it was a bizarre conversation full of phrases like "Typical ungrateful feminist!" and also one dude who kept insisting that Howard had killed Emmett because obviously Emmett and Michelle were going to have sex and have a baby and that baby would really do a number on their canned goods collection.

Apex Predator

Things that manifest itself throughout the plot such as Howard's mood swings and his random proclamations (you'll learn to cook for us).

The thing I liked best about Howard's character was how the movie hit just the right balance of how much information it would reveal about him. The question of where the line between mental illness and malicious intent lies with this guy is pretty ambiguous, in my opinion. It's a great use of an unreliable narrator.

Well, Howard did throw a fit when Emmett and Michelle touched hands with the pepper shaker.

You did bring something up that I was a bit confused by. The photos/earrings. I think I understand that the photo Howard showed was not his "late" daughter. But who was it? Did he have one in the first place or was he holding a series of auditions and he killed those unworthy (it did seem like a LOT of acid in that bunker)?

Something else you mentioned about action/inaction: it was Emmett's action that ultimately led to his demise and Michelle's inaction that kept her alive until she could escape Howard later on. Did anyone in that focus group blame Michelle for Emmett's death?
Jun 3, 2017 12:53 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21352
MKSThoughts on Mother of Tears?

One of the worst non-DTV movies I've ever seen. The standard by which I describe if a movie is truly in the lowest tier of theatrical-release films.
As in, "Dude, it was Mother of Tears bad.
Jun 3, 2017 2:22 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21352
Captain Terror
MKSThe Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh was more solid giallo from Martino. Fenech remains one of the most watchable actresses of all time. Her performances are hard to judge due to the dubbing but she has a screen presence akin to Audrey Hepburn that lends dignity to her character even when she's put through less than dignified circumstances. It was interesting that Martino recycled some plot elements from this when he made the superior Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, though I suppose those are taken from Hitchcock anyways.

Either way, an exploitative twisty turny good time.

You've probably seen Michele Soavi's Stagefright? If not, I watched it this week for the first time and it definitely fits in with your current field of study. Not sure if it counts as a pure giallo, but it's close enough. Good stuff.

Loved this one.
Jun 3, 2017 2:25 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21352
Apex Predator
Takoma1
Wooley
Takoma1Yes!

And I can also tell you about the INSANE conversations I had over on the IMDb with a depressingly sizable group of dudes who read the movie as an evil, slutty woman taking advantage of and ultimately murdering a good Samaritan.

You can't be serious.

It was not an uncommon opinion, but then again, I think it was a pretty self-selected group. Many of them argued that the blood and the earring and the photograph of the girl weren't anything more than circumstantial evidence that Howard had killed someone. Many of them had theories that Emmett had actually used Howard's bunker as a murder lair--it's an idea that's interesting, but ultimately not really supported by the movie itself.
I see the movie's most powerful theme as being about action and inaction. Michelle's story describes a moment of inaction, as does Emmett's (not getting on the bus). And what I like about the movie is that it slightly complicates the question of whether or not action is appropriate because of the possibility of an outside threat.
The main thing I didn't understand about the people who didn't like Michelle's character was that they couldn't even seem to understand any of her point of view. Like, you might think she is awful, but surely all of her actions are pretty understandable from her perspective. If you were a woman who woke up chained to a wall?in a stranger's underground bunker and he was like "Oh, so while you were knocked out some bad stuff went down and you have to be my faux daughter for the next two or three years. But we have Monopoly!", how would you NOT be looking to escape. Anyway, it was a bizarre conversation full of phrases like "Typical ungrateful feminist!" and also one dude who kept insisting that Howard had killed Emmett because obviously Emmett and Michelle were going to have sex and have a baby and that baby would really do a number on their canned goods collection.


Apex Predator

Things that manifest itself throughout the plot such as Howard's mood swings and his random proclamations (you'll learn to cook for us).

The thing I liked best about Howard's character was how the movie hit just the right balance of how much information it would reveal about him. The question of where the line between mental illness and malicious intent lies with this guy is pretty ambiguous, in my opinion. It's a great use of an unreliable narrator.

Well, Howard did throw a fit when Emmett and Michelle touched hands with the pepper shaker.

You did bring something up that I was a bit confused by. The photos/earrings. I think I understand that the photo Howard showed was not his "late" daughter. But who was it? Did he have one in the first place or was he holding a series of auditions and he killed those unworthy (it did seem like a LOT of acid in that bunker)?

Something else you mentioned about action/inaction: it was Emmett's action that ultimately led to his demise and Michelle's inaction that kept her alive until she could escape Howard later on. Did anyone in that focus group blame Michelle for Emmett's death?

I don't remember it that clearly, but I thought there was a reveal in the movie that Michelle's predecessor, another captive, had tried to escape (and was likely dispatched, possibly using the acid).
Jun 3, 2017 2:27 AM
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20544
I remember liking Torso, but it's been a while. Probably worth a rewatch.

Stage Fright is closer to slasher than giallo, but it's really good, especially the third act.

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh is not as good as Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, but it's still fun stuff, and Fenech is always watchable. MKS, have you seen All the Colors of the Dark yet? I think the story is pretty weak, but it's the nicest looking of the Martino-Fenech films I've seen.
Jun 3, 2017 2:50 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46635
I have not seen Stagefright or All the Colors of the Dark. Both are on my list but both are strangely high priced and not readily available on Amazon prime like many others.
Jun 3, 2017 3:47 AM
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 9405
Apex Predator

Well, Howard did throw a fit when Emmett and Michelle touched hands with the pepper shaker.

You did bring something up that I was a bit confused by. The photos/earrings. I think I understand that the photo Howard showed was not his "late" daughter. But who was it? Did he have one in the first place or was he holding a series of auditions and he killed those unworthy (it did seem like a LOT of acid in that bunker)?

Something else you mentioned about action/inaction: it was Emmett's action that ultimately led to his demise and Michelle's inaction that kept her alive until she could escape Howard later on. Did anyone in that focus group blame Michelle for Emmett's death?


I believe that Howard's reactions are purely sexual/attention jealousy, and I doubt he's upset about the idea of them having a baby so much as he is the idea that Michelle likes Emmett more than him.

Regarding your two questions:

1) The photo/earrings: So during the course of the movie Howard shows Michelle a picture of a girl he says is his daughter. Later in the movie, Emmett tells Michelle that the girl in the photo isn't actually the daughter, but rather a local girl who went missing. When Michelle later finds a bloody earring and the word "HELP" scratched in the glass, it seems that Howard kidnapped a girl (probably to replace his daughter) and then killed her when she tried to escape. Now some people in the IMDb discussion had the opinion that it was actually Emmett who had killed someone in the bunker. He kills someone in the bunker and then tells Michelle a fake story about a missing girl to make her suspicious of Howard. This theory has so many problems in my opinion that I just can't vibe with it at all.

Emmett never shows himself to be anything but passive, kind, and maybe not so bright. When we later see the bus ticket in his wallet, it retroactively confirms his character as being an honest person. I also don't believe that someone could kill a person in Howard's own bunker and he wouldn't notice. I can't remember if we see the earring in the photo or not. I do believe that Howard had a daughter (because Emmett knows Howard and his reaction isn't "But he doesn't have a daughter!", it's "That's not his daughter."), that she was taken away by Howard's wife, and that Howard has been attempting to foist his creepy attentions on other girls/women. I think that Michelle is a victim of convenience, and that Howard would have taken another young woman if he could have
.

2) Action and inaction: Pretty much everyone who disliked Michelle saw her as being directly responsible for Emmett's death, because the whole insurrection/escape thing was her idea. They saw Emmett as a misguided white knight who foolishly stuck up for an ungrateful woman and got shot in the head as a reward. I mean, just generally everyone in that subgroup felt like Howard was an eccentric but basically good person (oddly, the same people who called Emmett a white knight/fool also kept insisting that HE was the one who had murdered an innocent girl, so . . . )--and then here comes Michelle and wipes out all of the male characters with her womanly ways.
Jun 3, 2017 11:46 PM
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