Saturday, September 29, 2018

Witchfinder General Movie Review

Witchfinder General is a 1968 horror movie directed by Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy and Hilary Dwyer.

The movie begins with a woman being dragged to a gallows. She has been branded a witch and she will be hanged. A man called Matthew Hopkins(Price) is in charge of weeding out the witches all over the country. The country is in the middle of a civil war, so he is taking advantage of the situation. He has a sidekick called John Stearne(Robert Russell) who is a bad guy. They get paid for their services in each county. They torture women and force confessions out of them.

A man called Richard Marshall(Ogilvy) is a soldier and he is going to see his sweetheart, Sara(Dwyer). When he arrives, he talks to her uncle, a priest called John Lowes (Rupert Davies). He gives his permission for Richard to marry his niece. He wants her to get away from the village. Bad things are happening there. They are in trouble and Hopkins is on his way to the the village. Richard reassures Sara that he will protect her. He leaves the village, just as Hopkins and Stearne are arriving.
They decide that Lowes is in league with the Devil and he is taken away and tortured. Sara is horrified by this and she offers herself to Hopkins to save her uncle. Hopkins is interested but he has to leave on business. Hopkins leaves Stearne in charge and he decides to rape Sara. When Hopkins comes back and finds out what happened, he loses interest in Sara and orders the execution of her uncle.

Richard arrives back in the village and he finds out what has happened to his woman. He sends Sara away and he vows revenge on Hopkins and Stearne. He finds Stearne and they fight but he escapes and Richard can't kill him. Stearne goes back to his boss and tells him about Richard. Richard gets a few friends to go and get Hopkins, but his plan is foiled and Richard and Sara get captured and taken away to be interrogated. Sara is tortured and Richard gets angry and breaks free. He gets Stearne and he kills him. He goes to get Hopkins. Richard's soldier friends are coming to help him. He gets an axe and he chops into Hopkins over and over until one of his friends puts a bullet into Hopkins. Richard seems to have lost his mind. Sara screams and she is horrified by what has happened...

This is a very good film. It is entertaining and Price outdoes himself here. I think that he makes the movie better. In essence, the film would not be very good without him. Ogilvy plays his part well also. I liked the story in this one and I enjoyed the ending. The climax is vicious yet satisfying as the two horrible characters get what is coming to them. It is a nasty movie. Price is at his dreadful best here. His character is a morally bankrupt man who likes to see people tortured or killed. His assistant is very nasty also. He certainly looks the part! You don't feel any sympathy for them when they meet their end and even though the two lovers are traumatised, two evil beings have been slain and I liked that. All in all, this is a very enjoyable movie with Price in fine form. I recommend it and I will give it a 7/10.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Lisa and the Devil Movie Review

Lisa and the Devil is a 1974 horror movie directed by Mario Bava and starring Elke Sommer, Telly Savalas and Sylva Koscina.

The movie starts with a group of tourists who are looking at ancient art in Toledo, Spain. One of the group, Lisa(Sommer) wanders into a workshop and finds a man in there called Leandro(Savalas)who is buying a dummy. She is spooked because he looks exactly like the devil in a portrait that she had seen earlier. She goes off by herself and she gets lost. She meets another guy and he argues with her and falls down some steps and supposedly dies. She is confused and lost and she sees a car. She asks for help. The people in the car are a couple and they agree to give her a lift to her hotel. Unfortunately, their car breaks down in front of a house. By coincidence, Leandro works there as a butler. The house is owned by a blind Countess(Alida Valli) and her son Max. He invites Lisa and the couple to stay, even though his mother is not happy about it.

They are allowed to stay in cottages. Lisa is told that she is actually a woman called Elena, who was Max's girlfriend and who was chased away by the Countess. Lisa has weird visions of herself kissing the man who she met earlier and who fell down the steps. He is actually Carlos, the husband of the Countess. People start to die around the place, including the couple who gave her a lift. Carlos is dead too. Lisa wants to leave but she can't. Max takes her to a room and he shows her the body of his dead girlfriend. She is some sort of a ghost. Max tries to rape Lisa, but he can't. He decides to kill his mother as she won't get out of his way.

He looks for Leandro. All of the dead bodies are seated at the table. Max is horrified and he stumbles and falls out of the window. He gets impaled on a spike. Leandro is the one who set up the corpses.
Lisa wakes up the next day and she finds that the house is in ruins. She wanders around and she discovers a group of children. They think that she is a ghost. She walks back to the square where she met Leandro. She s going to go home. She boards her plane but there is nobody else on it. There are just dead bodies. Leandro is flying the plane and he is taking her with him. She turns into a dummy and that's it.

This film was odd. It doesn't make a lot of sense in some parts. The story seemed a bit all over the place at times. I did like it, though, despite this. I liked the cast and the unusual feel of this one. The ending was a bit weird for me, but I can look past that. You can draw your own conclusions from it, I think. It is one to see if you are a Bava fan. I will give it a 6/10.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 11

This episode begins with Daryl, Rosita, Tara and Dwight who are in the forest. Tara isn't happy about having Dwight with them. She thinks that they should kill him. The others find out that the doctor and Gabriel escaped from Negan's grasp and they figure that they are on their way back to Hilltop. The two men are indeed on their way but Gabriel is not well. There is something wrong with his sight. He is not a well man and the doctor, Carson, is worried about him. He thinks that Gabriel might be going blind. Carol and Morgan clash as Henry wants to know who killed his brother. Carol doesn't want him to kill anyone else. Morgan thinks that she should tell Henry. She tells Morgan to stand down.

Maggie is worried about food rations at the Hilltop. She talks to Gregory who suggests that he should be allowed out for a while every day. She refuses his request and she informs the others that they will not be getting any rations now. Negan and Eugene have a chat and Negan puts him in charge of making ammo. Carson and Gabriel find a house and they stay there. They also discover antibiotics which Gabriel takes to help with his infection. They end up being caught by the Saviors and Carson gets shot dead. Gabriel is brought back to the Sanctuary. He doesn't give Eugene away though.

Daryl and the others have to make their way through a walker infested swamp to get home. Tara ends up losing Dwight, who saves her from being caught by some Saviors who pass by. He pretends that he was caught up in an ambush and he survived it. He says that he didn't see anyone and takes the group away from where Daryl and the others are. Daryl and the others make their way back to the Hilltop and they tell Maggie and the others about Carl and everyone is upset. Maggie relents and she agrees to let the Saviour prisoners out for a few hours a day to work and get exercise.

The episode ends with Eugene suggesting that instead of bullets, Negan should use walker guts to infect the enemy. Negan is intrigued by this and he tells his minions to coat their weapons in the guts so that they can spread the infection to Rick and his group. He starts by covering Lucille with the walker innards and showing it to his followers. This was a slightly dull episode. There wasn't a lot happening. I think it is just setting up the final fight.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Amanda's Horror Years- 2008

So, 2008 was a pretty good year for horror movies. There were a few highlights and some films that I would rather forget! I will begin with the best ones. I realise that I will have missed some, but these are films that I have seen so if there are any that have been omitted, let me know!

The Strangers is the first film that I think was very good. I liked the premise and it was creepy in parts.There was a feeling of dread and isolation throughout and it works well, I think. I liked the cast and the ending was pretty decent. Another movie that I enjoyed was Cloverfield. I am not sure if this would be classed as horror or sci-fi, but I am including it here. I liked it a lot. It was fun. Next up is Splinter. I really liked that film. Midnight Meat Train stars Vinnie Jones and Bradley Cooper and it is based on a story by Clive Barker and I thought that it was interesting. I liked parts of the film and it was a highlight from this year. Martyrs was released in 2008 and this film can be difficult to watch in parts, but overall, I enjoyed it. It is not a feel good film though and be warned the ending is quite bleak! If you enjoyed the Spanish horror movie, REC, then the American remake, Quarantine, might interest you. This was another good movie from this year. I liked the original REC and I found the remake very entertaining. Pontypool was a very enjoyable film and there is not much to it at all but it really works. I liked it a lot and I highly recommend this one.

Now, onto the rest. I enjoyed some of these and some of them were just brutal and not in a good way!
Some middle of the road horrors are Swamp Devil, Backwoods, Eden Lake( I hated the ending), Let the Right One In, Long Weekend(remake), Midnight Movie and Train. Some of the worse ones are Mirrors(boring), Stag Night(average), Shutter, Seventh Moon(awful movie), Red Canyon, Prom Night remake(horrible), Pig Hunt, One Missed Call, Amusement, Babysitter Wanted, Dark Reel, The Happening(no explanation needed!), Lake Mungo. Now, I know some people might enjoy them, but I found a few of them boring and not good.

There were a few sequels in this year. The best of those was Saw 5. The worst was Return to Sleepaway Camp.That film was awful. Really awful. No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker was okay.
The rest are Anaconda 3, Boogeyman 3, Feast 2, Lost Boys: The Tribe and Rest Stop:Don't Look Back. Nothing amazing there. So, that is my round up of the best and worst of 2008. All in all, this was a decent year for horror. There are some good titles there and lots to choose from if you need something to watch! As always, let me know your thoughts on this year!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Homecoming Movie Review

Homecoming is a horror movie starring Mischa Barton of The OC fame. It is directed by Morgan J Freeman(not the well known actor!).

This movie begins with a guy called Mike (Matt Long) returning to his hometown of Mt.Bliss for some special occasion. He was the star quarterback in high school and he was popular. He also used to date Shelby(Barton) but they broke up. Mike brings his new girlfriend, Elizabeth(Jessica Stroup)with him. She is pretty and wealthy.
Elizabeth and Mike bump into Shelby and they chat. What Mike doesn't realise is that Shelby has never gotten over him. Shelby talks with Elizabeth who is nervous about meeting Mike's parents and she tells her that they are judgmental. She gets her drunk and then Elizabeth has to stay at a motel as she does not want to meet Mike's parents drunk. She goes to the motel but there are no rooms so she decides to walk along a lonely road. She gets hit by a car and the driver is Shelby! It is an accident. Instead of taking her to the hospital, Shelby takes her home to her house and puts her in one of the rooms.

Shelby continues to keep Elizabeth in the house and she tells her that she is looking after her etc, but after a while, it becomes obvious that Shelby is determined to get Mike back and she will do whatever she has to. She traps Elizabeth in the house and Elizabeth has to try and escape to get to Mike. Meanwhile, Shelby is acting as normal and she convinces Mike that Elizabeth has left him and gone back home. Mike begins to wonder if she has. Elizabeth almost escapes, but Shelby catches her and puts her in the basement. Elizabeth puts a note in Mike's jacket which Shelby is going to give to him and he sees it and realises that Shelby has her. He goes over to get her back and he is confronted by Shelby. They fight and Mike rescues Elizabeth but Shelby isn't down yet. She fights to the end and then they kill her, or do they????

This movie is okay if there is nothing on TV but it isn't anything special. I would only recommend it if you are a fan of Mischa Barton.... I will give this a 4/10.
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