28 September 2010

September 28th

A masked invader in my home.
Fear Itself: "Something with Bite" (2008) directed by Ernest Dickerson
About as good as Dickerson's Masters of Horror episode, which was not really that great.  A giant animal is hit by a car and brought to a vet's office.  Naturally, this being a horror show, the giant animal is a werewolf and it bites the doc.  He starts forgetting what he does at night, has dirty feet in the morning, yadda-yadda-yadda.  It's absolutely no surprise that this was written by John Landis' son, as the episode plays out like a combination of An American Werewolf in London and Teen Wolf.  I did enjoy Wendell Pierce as the vet-wolf, though.  He handles his transformation from weak boss/father/husband to an animal-powered take-charge guy with the right level of humor.

Cat o' Nine Tails (1971) directed by Dario Argento
A step down from Crystal Plumage, I think.  It's hard to tell, though, since the presentations of the two movies were so different.  Crystal Plumage I watched on Blue Underground's excellent Blu-ray.  Netflix's DVD of Nine Tails appears to be some kind of bootleg.  It's pan-and-scanned, missing over twenty minutes of footage and the A/V quality is on par with a VHS tape.  I suspect this crappy DVD deadened the impact of the movie for me.  It also made it harder to follow, what with 20% of the movie gone.  Grrr.

I enjoyed stars James Franciscus and Karl Malden in this film.  I got a big kick out of Malden's Mr. Magoo shtick, though, at least in the cut I watched, he's almost not necessary to the story outside of the finale.  Storywise, the movie runs with the now-discredited idea that boys born with an extra Y chromosome are more prone to violence.  Guess which genetic abnormality the killer in the film has?  Poor guy just happened to be working for a lab researching this and just wants to keep his genetic test a secret.  Killing people to do so probably doesn't help his cause, but what are you gonna do?

Also: best "killed by a train" shot in movie history. (6/10)

Tales from the Darkside: "Pain Killer" (1984) directed by Armand Mastroianni
I know I'm not very far into season 1, but I'm still disappointed that there has yet not been been serious piece of horror that can match the awesome credit sequence.  This one's another deal with the devil story involving a strange doctor and a man with severe back pain.  Seems that the man's back pain is psychosomatic, caused by his nagging wife.  The doctor arranges for the wife's death, which cures the man's pain, but he wants something in return...  Due to Lou Jacobi's affable face and manner, it's a little hard to take the episode seriously.  He seems to be sort of OK with whatever happens to him.

The episode was enhanced a little bit by the strange noises coming from the garage behind my TV.  I got to do a classic horror movie-style investigation: I got out my flashlight and crept into the dark garage to investigate the strange sounds.  Rather than a maniac, though, I fortunately only discovered the masked bandit pictured above.  Damned thing pooped in my garage!

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