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Haze.

A complete nightmare, like Cube without any light or thought or the retard. Man wakes up in underground tunnels, finds his teeth wrapped around a pipe, crawls through water surrounded by blood and severed limbs. Eventually finds a woman stuck there too. Tries to escape with her, and he makes it out… but finds her dead after he escapes. Suddenly he’s an old man and they’re together then he’s alone again.

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Strangely moving… a true horror movie, terrifying, sad and thoughtful. Ambiguous in an interesting way, not a frustrating one. Our man (played by director Tsukamoto) falls asleep, awakens, has an identity crisis, may be dreaming the whole thing, may have committed murder, but at one point in the future or present, he was happy with the woman he loved, watching fireworks. Time just melts in this movie. Would like to see again. Has been wrongly compared to the recent gorefest torture movies like Hostel, actually rises far above those. I hate that I ended up liking Tsukamoto so much… may have to someday reassess the headachey mess that was Tetsuo The Iron Man.

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Renji (the guy from Dolls) may be psychologically torturing his wife, or they may have a normal, boring life. The wife may be hiding in the attic pretending she’s a spider, or she may not. Depends who you ask.

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She meets a guy I don’t remember where, and talks to him about her horrible husband… one day they are caught talking or possibly he wants to hug her or something at the house and she retreats to the attic and becomes a series of bugs eventually a giant spider that comes down the stairs and is about to eat the husband then she turns back into the girl with a scissors in her hands and he hugs her and it’s all over I think then they’re packing and maybe moving out.

An okay movie, whatever.

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40 minutes or so of short movies. The evolution of Robert Morgan!

The Man in the Lower-Left Hand Corner of the Photograph (1999)
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Too slow and draggy with meat and maggots, all Svankmajery and dingy and stuff. Lonely guy watches his neighbor kill herself, drags her home, feeds her to his pet maggot, and she sorta comes to life all maggoty and sleeps with him and he puts their photos together or whatever.

The Cat with Hands (2001)
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Short and awesome, about a cat slowly becoming human by eating people and taking their parts.

The Separation (2003)
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Another good one, slow and dreary like the first, but not overdoing it this time. Conjoined twins are separated then consider getting back together again while working at a doll factory.

Monsters (2004)
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All live action, boy has nightmares, threatens to turn psycho, sister shows last-minute sympathy. Very nice looking. Guy’s got a bright future.

Katy glimpsed parts, thought was gross.

A not-too-good Masters of Horror installment by not-too-good filmmaker Argento. I knew the ending three minutes in, and just waited patiently to be proven right. An insultingly crappy story, in which TV veteran Steven Weber (currently in that Studio 60 show) saves Jenifer (some girl with lotta makeup) from a crazy man who is trying to kill her. Kills the man, brings Jenifer HOME for some reason, wife and kids disapprove, Jenifer eats family pet and has amazing sex with Weber. Now Weber wants to keep her, so she keeps eating neighborhood people and dude’s family moves out and finally he moves out into the country and gets a simple stockboy job and all is well until Jenifer kills the store-owner’s son and now Weber tries to kill Jenifer but she’s SAVED by a hunter who kills our man and rescues her and so on.

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Not all bad – the Jenifer character is disturbing enough with the crazy face and the eating people’s guts, but not too good either. Katy didn’t watch and wouldn’t have liked.

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Saul Symonds in Light Sleeper points out all the ways this one fits in with Dario Argento’s other work: the circularity of plot, the duality of Jenifer’s character, the “strange shifts of direction”, and exploring “the manner in which a central protagonist is devoured by darkness”.

Best Masters of Horror episode yet. Why? The story is outrageous and fascinating and twisty, the visuals are always exciting, and UDO KIER co-stars.

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Theater owner who owes big money to the father of his dead wife takes on job from eccentric millionaire UDO KIER to find the rarest film of all time, an angelic snuff film that makes its viewers go homicidally insane. The director’s wife gives up the film easily, and he brings it to Udo who, despite having already imprisoned one of the angels, is still unprepared for the film and signals this by feeding his intestines into the projector. The cigarette burns of the title are jolting, and our man loses track of things each time one hits. Only time besides Fight Club I can think of those things really being discussed. Never thought they’d be the title device in a horror movie.

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Katy wouldn’t have liked this one, though she expressed an unusual interest in it.

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Still a fun movie, much better than it oughtta be, but not worth watching a whole bunch of times. Two kids are out on lake with dad, when one kid and dad are killed by a motorboat. The daughter survives and is given to nutty aunt, right? Nope, it was the son who survived, but nutty aunt gave him a girl’s name and turned him into a girl (not physically), causing him to be a twisted killer (see above photo) at summer camp. Lots of fun killing and neat makeup effects ensue.

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Katy would not have liked this at all.

Ugh.

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I thought I remembered this was a good movie. Bad 80’s music and bad 80’s hair and clothes and effects and acting and story and whatever. Even the bookend old-man-eating-razorblades story sucked.

Things I forgot: Angela’s not so bad until infected by demons, the black guy doesn’t die first (or even at all), the dialogue is terrible. There’s naked girls, though. The director later made Witchboard II and Pinocchio’s Revenge.

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Katy wouldn’t have liked it.

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I recognized Michael Rooker as monstrously morphing Grant Grant (the TV producer with the dirty handshake in Mallrats) but it took me forever to notice that good-cop lead actor Nathan Fillion was the guy from Serenity. Guess it might be time to watch those Firefly DVDs.

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Rooker gets an alien shot to the chest, impregnates a local girl with thousands of mind-controlling slugs, and morphs quickly into a room-sized ugly mess of alien. It’s up to Fillion, Rooker’s wife and a girl they pick up along the way to save the day. It’s a love story! Hilarious and wonderful throughout, gotta see again.

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Katy caught brief glimpses and seemed disturbed.

Cameraman Masuoka (played by Shinya Tsukamoto, director of Tokyo Fist, Tetsuo & Haze!) is obsessed with fear. He catches a guy looking terrified in the subway stabbing himself in the eye, and Masuoka is off on a goofy adventure to find out what scared the old man to death. On his way home, he’s often annoyed by a kooky neighbor claiming to be his wife, ranting about how their daughter is missing. Masuoka can’t be bothered with this – he needs to explore the magical subterranean wonderland beneath the city, where he evades monsters long enough to find and rescue a young naked woman, who he brings home. The woman doesn’t respond to much, acts like an animal, etc. Still being harassed by the kooky neighbor, Masuoka finds a way to kill her without being detected. He probably has sex with the young woman too – if he does explicitly, I’ve blocked it out already. Either way, she of course turns out to be his daughter, and of course he murdered his wife and there you go.

The movie is shaky and ugly and lo-fi and annoying all of the time, often being filtered through our protagonist’s unsteady videocams. Except when the guy goes underground and finds his daughter – really nice looking few minutes in there. Not so bad overall I guess. From the director of all seven Ju-On The Grudge movies.

Katy didn’t watch this one. Katy wouldn’t have liked it one bit!