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#79: The Living and The Dead

For a lot of people in horror, the starting point creatively is horror. Simon Rumley just uses horror as his end point.  I find his work relentlessly challenging and I haven’t even seen Red, White, and Blue yet. 

The Living and the Dead is the story of this aristocratic husband and wife team and their mentally ill adult son.  Unfortunately despite the huge manor in which they all live, they’ve fallen on hard economic times, and the wife/mother has become terminally ill.  So when the dad has to leave and the nurse who is supposed to take care of the wife, doesn’t arrive, the well meaning son takes it on himself to care for his dying mother.

The results are as soul crushing as they are utterly horrifying.  There were as many scenes in this that you wanted to look away as scenes where I couldn’t really see through tears.  And it’s just this spiraling situation that gets worse and worse and worse as the son stops taking his medication, and the mother’s situation begins to worsen.

Rumley has put this store in this huge empty aristocratic manor the scale of which creates this exhausting manic pace where we watch the son, James run from one end of the house to the other.  We watch him bound up and down huge spiraling staircases—this huge space is coupled with the small corridors and rooms that the James and his mother drag themselves into.  The way Rumley plays with the expansive space to create this tension of distance and time and physical effort is matched by the cramped decay of these smaller spaces and the sense sometimes that James’ mother has become his prisoner as much as his patient.By the time we get to James completely gone, jamming needles into his arm, one right after the other, waving a knife around as his perceptions fall out from underneath him, we’ve come to a really harrowing place.  “I see dead people” turns from the jokey reference to that M. Night movie—to a horrifying uncertainty that escalates into the decimation of this family and their house.

You rarely see mental illness treated as complexly as this in film.  This is terrifying, tragic, but not sentimental.  There is no comfort to be found here.  In Rumley’s world terrible horrible things unfold, they simply do.What I find so amazing with Rumley’s work is that he allows the mundane world to bleed ever so slightly into a lot of these traditional horror tropes, and show that these tropes do have real world analogs—and in that way, these tropes kind of get their teeth back.  It’s really virtiouso in it’s construction, and really challenging to me in terms of how to approach horror as an artist.

07.22.14 20
Blutch: Sex and Violence

Re-reading Blutch’s masterful So Long Silver Screen, which I have previously written about.  It’s actually one of the few times I’ve ever concluded a piece of comic writing telling people to buy something.  Which proves both that I am first everything I hate, before anyone else is.  And secondly, just how huge of an experience So Long, Silver Screen was for me.

I have been thinking about Blutch a lot lately because for my own art, I’m trying to get into these very visceral ugly dramatic spaces—I’m trying to carve geography out of the side of Bergman, Zulawski, and Ferrara and steal it away for my comics.  But the corralary of trying to work with those beats, is needing to figure out how to get them to pop off in comics properly—but unfortunately there are very few comics that have this kind of dangerous dramatic intensity.  I would say the end of Oyasumi Punpun comes to this space—and someday I will write about that—I think Blutch is an artist who also carries this off.  Of course So Long, Silver Screen is one long love letter to the best cinema has to offer.  But beyond it’s essayistic qualities, and deconstructive connections to film, the interior dramatic segments also have some of the most primal stuff I’ve seen.  

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I’m thinking mostly of the ugly passionate arguments between Blutch’s stand-in and the women of the comic.  His sort of violent psycho-sexual interactions with them are really incredible.  The book actually opens with a woman in a darkened room looking for her lover, who suddenly attacks her with a pillow from behind, suffocating her, before preparing to have sex with her, while opining about cinema.  The woman suddenly wakes up to correct him about Paul Newman before another woman, a much older woman appears and begins to chastise the male character, before the two of them also get into a violent fight.

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Now Blutch isn’t the first artist ever to depict these sorts of things, but he is one of the few who captures a certain kind of hatred that you really only see in films like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Scenes from A Marriege—it isn’t totally just hatred, because that would be boring.  But rather we’re talking about the hatred of people who have felt deep emotional history between one another, and lack the emotional tools to communicate their pain verbally and so have to resort to violence—it’s like in that scene in Possession in the kitchen where Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neil are fighting, but they have their backs to one another, and you can see their bodies almost ripping apart from one another—it’s something about body language and framing—which Blutch has.
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I think Blutch’s style lends itself to the kind of malleability needed to pull off these kinds of emotions.  The deep shadows that can suddenly come from nowhere and obscure and cloud faces, which allow us to imagine their emotion—Blutch has a working symbology for the deeper psychological motivations of his characters as they interact with one another.  And then past that, he understands the push and pull of characters who have emotional ties to one another.  He knows that the body has it’s own sight, and can see with it’s back turned, certain feelings and individuals.  He shows us the sinewy hate filled contortions of this male character, who the woman can’t see because her back is turned, which puts us as a reader on edge.

And when Blutch’s characters physically fight, it’s not really punches, so much as grappling.  Limbs and fingers interlocked, characters lose their balance together and fall over—it gives his fights the sexual energy which underlies the hateful things his characters are doing and saying to one another.  And the figures move with desperation when they are pinned down.  They clutch, rip, and knee whatever they can.  

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And what’s more, this violence and hate, quickly can turn into sex and love.  He blurs the lines between the two, and it allows for these orgasmic epiphanies like the one he ends the book on.

So Long, Silver Screen is about fighting.  It’s men and women fighting and not understanding one another, but trying to understand one another.  It is about women’s place in film history, and agency in the world—the penultimate page is one last violent fight where Blutch’s protaganist is fighting another lover, interrogating her bullishly the whole time: “Who grabs your legs? Who spreads em wide? Huh?  Who sticks his nose in your cunt?  Who lives and breathes you?”

The woman  stops him and says to him: “me too, Paul”.  You don’t get the emotion of that moment without all of the horror in front of it.  Blutch earns that moment with every inch of the page.  Truly masterful.

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07.20.14 17
Horror Movie of the Day: Week 11

This week’s Horror Movie of the Day movies were:

#71: Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (Dir. Tony Randel)

#72: The Addiction (Dir. Abel Ferrara)

#73: Lips of Blood (Dir. Jean Rollin)
#74: A Blade in the Dark (Dir. Lamberto Bava)

#75: Demons 2 (Dir. Lamberto Bava)

#76: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

The links lead to articles I wrote about said movies.  Vampired it up a bit this week.

Here’s the updated list so far(as above, links lead to writing on particular movies):

#1: Humanoids from the Deep (Dir. Barbara Peeters)

#2: Shock (Dir. Mario Bava)

#3: Don’t Torture a Duckling (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#4: Female Vampire (Dir. Jess Franco)

#5 The Iron Rose (Dir. Jean Rollin)

#6: Alucarda (Dir. Juan López Moctezuma)

#7: Wake In Fright (Dir. Tedd Kotcheff)

#8: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)

#9: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska) and Gore

#10: Lisa and the Devil (Dir. Mario Bava)

#11: Critters (Dir. Stephen Herek)

#12: Szamanka (Dir. Andrzej Zulawski)

#13: The Whip and the Body (Dir. Mario Bava)

#14: City of the Living Dead (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#15: White Zombie (Dir. Victor Halperin)

#16: Hardware (Dir. Richard Stanley)

#17: The New York Ripper (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

# 18: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dir. Dario Argento)

#19: Black Christmas (Dir. Bob Clark)

#20: The Beyond (Lucio Fulci)

#21: Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma)

#22: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Dir. Jack Sholder)

#23: Candyman (Dir. Bernard Rose)

#24: Rosemary’s Baby (Dir. Roman Polanski)

#25: The Innocents (Dir. Jack Clayton)

#26: Phantasm (Dir Don Coscarelli)

#27: Nadja (Dir. Michael Almereyda)

#28: Baby Blood (Dir. Alain Robak)

#29: Trouble Every Day (Dir. Claire Denis)

#30: Bay of Blood (Dir. Mario Bava)

#31: In My Skin (Dir Marina de Van)

#32: Halloween III (Dir. Tommy Lee Wallace)

#33: Halloween 2(Zombie) (Dir. Rob Zombie)

#34: Dark Touch (Dir. Marina De Van)

#35: Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#36: The Vanishing (Dir. George Sluizer)
#37: Living Dead Girl (Dir. Jean Rollin)
#38: Zombie (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#39: Maniac (Dir. Franck Khalfoun)
#40: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (Dir. Roy Ward Baker)
#41: Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (Dir. John D. Hancock)

#42: Kill List (Dir. Ben Wheatley)

#43: Don’t Look Back (Dir. Marina De Van)

#44: Alligator (Dir. Lewis Teague)

#45: Ganja and Hess (Dir. Bill Gunn)

#46: The Burning (Dir. Tony Maylam)

#47: The ABCs of Death (Dir. Various)

#48: Byzantium (Dir. Neil Jordan)

#49: Cat People (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#50: The Curse of the Cat People (Dir. Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise)

#51: Little Deaths (Dir. Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley)

#52: Marebito (Dir. Takashi Shimizu)

#53: A Horrible Way to Die (Dir. Adam Wingard)

#54: 5 Dolls for An August Moon (Dir. Mario Bava)

#55: I walked with a Zombie (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#56: The Legend of Hell House (Dir. John Hough)

#57: Psychomania (Dir. Don Sharp)
#58: Inside (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

#59: Under the Skin (Dir. Jonathan Glazer)

#60: Left Bank (Dir. Peiter Van Hees)
#61: Simon King of the Witches (Dir. Bruce Kessler)

#62: Blood and Black Lace (Dir. Mario Bava)

#63: Nightmare City (Dir. Umberto Lenzi)

#64: Rogue (Dir. Greg McLean)

#65: Snowtown (Dir. Justin Kurzel)

#66: Livid (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

#67: Horror of Dracula (Dir. Terence Fischer)
#68: Christine (Dir. John Carpenter)

#69: Demons (Dir. Lamberto Bava)
#70: God Told Me To (Dir. Larry Cohen)

#71: Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (Dir. Tony Randel)

#72: The Addiction (Dir. Abel Ferrara)

#73: Lips of Blood (Dir. Jean Rollin)
#74: A Blade in the Dark (Dir. Lamberto Bava)

#75: Demons 2 (Dir. Lamberto Bava)

#76: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

07.19.14 9
#76: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

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I was ten years old when the first trailers for Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula first started appearing on television.  It was one of the big moments in my childhood looking back on it.  And it would be a few years before I would be able to see the film and when I saw it was a truncated version for basic cable television.  Back then my mom was very strict about what movies I could and couldn’t see.  So I couldn’t see PG-13 movies until I was at least 13, and I R until I was 18.

But it was enough to see just the trailer for Coppola’s Dracula.  These strange otherworldly colors like I’d never seen before.  The costumes and dresses that seemed to come from another world themselves.  And then Dracula finally as a figure I could understand.  My exposure to Dracula to that point had largely been shows making fun of the Legosi character, robbing him of his terror for the sake of parody, and while I was terrified annually by the documentary on the historical nature of Dracula hosted by Christopher Lee—it would be some years before I really encountered Lee’s Dracula.  But it was Coppola’s vision of this sexy witch demon of Dracula that finally made sense to me.  I could understand both how he was terrifying, and how you could fall in love with him.  And only seeing this in trailer form really allowed the idea to grow in my brain.

Finally I was able to convince my mom to buy me a copy of the book to hold me over until I was old enough to see the film, and reading that book was it’s own kind of religious experience.  I remember taking the book with me to this christian talent show thingy that my sister was playing the piano at, and I had to be up there by myself with my sister and my step-dad, both who by that time I was incredibly alienated from. This talent show thing was like an all day thing, and I remember slinking off into an empty Sunday school room and just devouring the book.  I must have read the whole book in 6 hours, and the part of the church I was in was pretty empty, so if you can imagine sitting in these sort of grey shadowed corridor rooms of a church with all of the attendant sounds and iconography as the day faded out while reading dracula as a ten year old with an overactive imagination literally scared of everything, but especially death.  It was one of the most special experiences of my entire life.

But the whole time reading the book I’m sort of transposing this movie I’ve never fully seen into the book and imagining how that movie looks through this book, so by the time I actually did see Dracula there was actually a huge potential for me to be incredibly let down by it.  I wasn’t—but I saw it on TV probably when I was 13?  And I think mostly it was just hard for me to process it all.  Even edited down for television.  Coppola’s film is so frenetic and it jams together so much in such a limited frame of time that it is impossible to fully absorb it as you experience it.


Rather it’s a film that you begin to understand the more time that you get away from actually having seen it.

So it was really interesting to revisit the film after all of these years, knowing the impact that it had on me.  And also by this point absorbing a lot of the critiques I’ve heard half-hazardly lobbed at the film, and Ford Coppola’s later work.  But I have to say, it’s lost none of it’s power.  I absolutely count this and Herzog’s Nosferatu remake as my two favorite Dracula films.

And as a quick aside about Ford Coppola.  A lot of his contemporaries have gotten to his age and just stopped giving a fuck, and mostly just kind of fallen into flacid self-parody.  But they are all still so well regarded, and you see things like Scorsese now becoming an Oscar regular for the weakest work of his career while Ford Coppola is kind of out on the fringes making these lower budget films with complete creative freedom.  I’m thinking especially of a film like Tetro which is absolutely a fantastic film which has in no way recieved anything like it’s due.

So with Coppola’s Dracula I think people maybe largely latch onto some of the (intentional) campiness of it but lose sight of how utterly beautiful and thematically complex it is, and what a stunning update on the way the mythos had been depicted in film to this point. Particularly in comparison to Horror of Dracula and Legosi’s Dracula.  Coppola is trying in a singular film to bring together all of the prominent film history on Dracula and vampires into a singular film statement.  Everything from Legosi and Lee up to Jean Rollin, Herzog, and Jess Franco’s vampire films.  

The costume design in this film by Eiko Ishioka is it’s own thing even past that.  Lucy’s lizard frilled dress, her red dress, Dracula’s Klimt robe—the styling of the jewelery and hair pieces for Dracula’s Pit Witches.  Even the men with their three piece suits and knee high boots and long ornamental swords and knives—none of it has lost an ounce of it’s power after all of these years.

My principal interest in revisiting Coppola’s Dracula though was principally about ideas I’ve been exploring about my fascination with the Lady Vampire genre of horror films, principally represented by Jean Rollin, but also seeing their expression in Dracula’s Daughter, Nadja, and Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction.  

My favorite character in Coppola’s adaptation of Dracula is the character of Lucy as played wonderfully by Sadie Frost.  Principally the scene with her in the crypt after she has fully turned into a vampire and we see her dragging a small child to feed on before she is caught and killed by Van Helsing and his goons.  That scene always stood out for me.  Ishioka has Lucy in that frilled dress with the huge head piece, which recalls both sort of a clown costume, and a spitting lizard.  And then Frost’s face is painted in this metallic white makeup which stands out even within the Crypt which is similarly colored.

Her carrying that child down with her to feed on, in a satanic parody of motherhood, and then that last gasp where she defiantly rises up against Van Helsing to vomit blood all over him.  

Even though this segment is very small(much smaller than I remembered), I think it has in it a lot of the themes that can maybe elucidate my interest in this sort of sub-genre.

For me, Lucy represents the first incarnation in fiction of the lady vampire.  I seperate her from Dracula’s Brides which are largely confined to his castle grounds, and don’t really seem to be allowed to do much without first his approval.

The thing about Lucy is that once she is turned by Dracula, she is largely left to her own devices.  She actually goes on a bit of a killing spree, and there is this sense that she is her own monster.  That in becoming this demon she has been unshackled from a lot of the patriarchally enforced performances she had previously found herself chained to.  We know for Mina she represents a kind of liberated woman even within those confines, but once she has escaped those societal structures, her choices become her own.  Her hungers are hers to satiate.  She is no longer a woman in waiting, she is a woman with her own considerable powers.

And it’s important too that the expression of these powers are largely anti-social, her actions, largely directed at children, are a direct threat to the society she strained against.  She is undermining traditional roles for women of that time in the most violent and sadistic way possible.  That she is monstrous and has become this extremity can in fact be seen as a kind of natural reaction to an extreme and monstrous world around her, in which she previously had no real agency.  It is interesting as well in Coppola’s update on Dracula how inspirational a figure Lucy becomes to Mina, even after she has been turned into a vampire, in fact we see Mina’s own choices to become a vampire herself as her also seeking to grab hold of her life and evolve from a woman who is sort of trapped in a window waiting for her dear fiance to return to marry her, to a woman who has raised a rifle at this man, and is prepared to kill him if he doesn’t allow her to make her own decisions with her life.  That image of Winona Ryder with a raised rifle, crescent moon burn on her forehead, green dress, ready to kill her husband and all of the men around him to defend her right to life is incredible, and I don’t think you can get to that without Lucy.

It’s also interesting to think about this scene and how it was done in earlier depictions.  She’s much less of a threat in something like Horror of Dracula, where the emphasis of the scene is placed more on her husband, van helsin, etc, and their manly need to man up or something.  The scene is more like an adventure, whereas here it is pure horror.  I don’t think she has the child in the Horror of Dracula version either, but the way that Eiko Ishioka has styled Lucy here, she has a more threatening and monsterous quality.  She is actually bigger, longer, more demonic and minimalistic in the Coppola version.  And her seduction of her husband is performed much more lewdly.  Sadie Frost gives her a parody of her husband’s desires, and underscores how little he understands her humanity, that he can’t even notice it’s lack.  She’s become a monstrous parody in total of these men’s idea of womanhood.  And it’s absolutely fantastic.

So I think that is the thing that I most latch onto with the Lady Vampire subgenre, is just the notion of an outsider expression of womanhood, that is fundamentally abhorrent in it’s freedoms, to straight cisgender white male society.  It is also why I like witches as an iconography.  Of course with Coppola he has mapped witchcraft AND werewolfs onto the Dracula mythology—so he’s really doubling down on things that mean a lot to me.  Even the image of the wolf represents the fringes of the night, the threat of the unknown—and when you see society views you as the unknown, these things become your own symbology.

What’s interesting though is most of the Lady Vampire genre in film is coming from male directors, which is a whole other question of why these men, particularly in the 70s needed to represent women in this way.  Some of it is purely because it was an easy way to make sleezy softcore films—but I think another aspect of it must have been men wrestling with the changing power and roles of women who at that time were asserting themselves in society more than anytime since the 20s—particularly through things like the equal rights amendment and roe vs. wade.  It may have been a way to kind of wrestle with the sort of rise of this largely unknown force, and their own impotence in the face of it?  I don’t know.  But it certainly made for some wonderfully empowered women on film.

So yeah.  Fun to rewatch things.

07.19.14 64
#72: The Addiction (Dir. Abel Ferrara)

Abel Ferrara meets Onyx in a 90s as fuck Lady Vamp film fronted by Lilli Taylor—basically.  So even without being a twisty meditation on the nature of addiction, evil, and vampire genre tropes this was definitely both a movie I knew I’d like going in, and one which I loved more than even that, going out.

Abel Ferrara is probably one of my favorite american film directors ever.  His movies have this agressive beautiful brutality to them, and he’s largely operating in genre to convey this stuff—but geez, no one does it like Ferrara.  There are shots in his films that you just can’t get anywhere else really.  He just has worlds inside his head, that are kind of…I dunno, raw is the best way to describe his work.  Just raw open vein kind of movies, that are about 5 paces off where he’d need to be to be regarded the same way a Scorcese is.  And then maybe a few steps too far away from Cassavettes to really hit that space with people either.  I like that his films feel dangerous, I like that so many of his films have prominent female characters.

The Addiction is about this character played by Lilli Taylor who is a philosophy grad student who is bit by a vampire played by Annabelle Sciorra and then left to go about her devises. 

It plays out as a meditation on morality and addiction.  Taylor’s character, even before she is bitten, is studying atrocity and horror and evil that humans commit through history.  And so she’s kind of bent to try and understand how those things happen.  What is our nature?  Are we evil because of the things we do, or do we do these things because we are evil?

Once she becomes a vampire her overwhelming addiction to blood overpowers her notions of being an observer of horror, to being an active participant.  Her addiction overcomes all other considerations and she willingly commits violence and atrocities against random people in the street to satisfy herself.  The conclusion seems to be that if the need is great enough, there is no end to what you’ll do.  Which kind of posits civilization as our attempt to codify these natural urges and find scapegoats and outlets to divorce that evil as far from as possible.  To deny this horrible nature.

It’s an interesting way to use the vampire genre tropes—and there are some similarities between this and Nadja, which is another mopey 90s new york vampire fuck.  Though where Nadja is sort of more the erudite sophistication of immortal existential boredom, The Addiction is primal unsatiated infection and hunger.

Lilli Taylor’s vampire is sometimes overly verbose in the way that early 90s grunge films could be—but on the whole her performance is sweaty, grimey, and contorted.  She’s not as convincing as say a Isabelle Adjani at this kind of game, and in fact there’s a “subway” scene in this film that really doesn’t connect because of this.  But Taylor’s willigness to debase herself and devolve into a sweaty blood caked animal for the most part is very effective.  The scene where she escapes from Christopher Walken’s creepy vampire pad is really incredible.  The way she drags her head across the sidewalk, trying to tear her own stomach out, is incredible.

As with Ms. 45, there’s a lot in here about the space of being a woman walking down the street, and as in Ms. 45, once Taylor is empowered she freely enters these spaces, and feeds upon men who previously had barred her presence in those spaces.  She has ceased to be potential victim, and has instead made men her potential victim.  We see this subversion a few times where she feasts on a guy who has been cat calling her all through the film, when she feeds upon her professor, and when a cab driver tries to play her white knight, only to find she really only needs him as a bag of blood.

On the whole, what I really dug most about the film was just the assault of philosophy, rap music, and feral composition.  The underlying ugliness, chaos, and malice behind Ferrara’s camera really puts the film on a razor’s edge.  The film almost seems to build itself in shadows around Lilli Taylor with each step she takes.  Silhouttes, shadows, moon light texturing through wire—it’s an extremely black film.  It makes Val Lewton’s Cat People look like a flashlight.  There’s just this constant restriction of light throughout the the film, and the few times we do experience real sunlight, is terrifying.

There’s also a cool scene where Lilli Taylor paws at a salad wanting blood, while she watches Edie Falco absolutely devour a huuuuge hamburger.  It’s such an incredible depiction of the multiple layers of hunger at play in the film, in a metaphor that is very easy for anyone to understand.

But yeah.  Cool movie.

07.15.14 15
Horror Movie A Day: Week 10

Up to 70 days in a row now.  This week was kind of uneven, in large part thanks to Netflix fucking with my hustle.  But still.  Finally saw Demons, which was pretty terrific.  Livide which was cool, and I wrote about.  Christine which was good, but not per se in my wheelhouse.  Snowtown was pretty.  Anyways.  Below is the list of what I watched this week.  The links lead to articles I’ve written on the movies;

#65: Snowtown (Dir. Justin Kurzel)

#66: Livid (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

#67: Horror of Dracula (Dir. Terence Fischer)
#68: Christine (Dir. John Carpenter)

#69: Demons (Dir. Lamberto Bava)
#70: God Told Me To (Dir. Larry Cohen)

Here’s the master list of the films I’ve watched to day:

#1: Humanoids from the Deep (Dir. Barbara Peeters)

#2: Shock (Dir. Mario Bava)

#3: Don’t Torture a Duckling (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#4: Female Vampire (Dir. Jess Franco)

#5 The Iron Rose (Dir. Jean Rollin)

#6: Alucarda (Dir. Juan López Moctezuma)

#7: Wake In Fright (Dir. Tedd Kotcheff)

#8: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)

#9: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska) and Gore

#10: Lisa and the Devil (Dir. Mario Bava)

#11: Critters (Dir. Stephen Herek)

#12: Szamanka (Dir. Andrzej Zulawski)

#13: The Whip and the Body (Dir. Mario Bava)

#14: City of the Living Dead (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#15: White Zombie (Dir. Victor Halperin)

#16: Hardware (Dir. Richard Stanley)

#17: The New York Ripper (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

# 18: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dir. Dario Argento)

#19: Black Christmas (Dir. Bob Clark)

#20: The Beyond (Lucio Fulci)

#21: Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma)

#22: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Dir. Jack Sholder)

#23: Candyman (Dir. Bernard Rose)

#24: Rosemary’s Baby (Dir. Roman Polanski)

#25: The Innocents (Dir. Jack Clayton)

#26: Phantasm (Dir Don Coscarelli)

#27: Nadja (Dir. Michael Almereyda)

#28: Baby Blood (Dir. Alain Robak)

#29: Trouble Every Day (Dir. Claire Denis)

#30: Bay of Blood (Dir. Mario Bava)

#31: In My Skin (Dir Marina de Van)

#32: Halloween III (Dir. Tommy Lee Wallace)

#33: Halloween 2(Zombie) (Dir. Rob Zombie)

#34: Dark Touch (Dir. Marina De Van)

#35: Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#36: The Vanishing (Dir. George Sluizer)
#37: Living Dead Girl (Dir. Jean Rollin)
#38: Zombie (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#39: Maniac (Dir. Franck Khalfoun)
#40: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (Dir. Roy Ward Baker)
#41: Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (Dir. John D. Hancock)

#42: Kill List (Dir. Ben Wheatley)

#43: Don’t Look Back (Dir. Marina De Van)

#44: Alligator (Dir. Lewis Teague)

#45: Ganja and Hess (Dir. Bill Gunn)

#46: The Burning (Dir. Tony Maylam)

#47: The ABCs of Death (Dir. Various)

#48: Byzantium (Dir. Neil Jordan)

#49: Cat People (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#50: The Curse of the Cat People (Dir. Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise)

#51: Little Deaths (Dir. Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley)

#52: Marebito (Dir. Takashi Shimizu)

#53: A Horrible Way to Die (Dir. Adam Wingard)

#54: 5 Dolls for An August Moon (Dir. Mario Bava)

#55: I walked with a Zombie (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#56: The Legend of Hell House (Dir. John Hough)

#57: Psychomania (Dir. Don Sharp)
#58: Inside (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

#59: Under the Skin (Dir. Jonathan Glazer)

#60: Left Bank (Dir. Peiter Van Hees)
#61: Simon King of the Witches (Dir. Bruce Kessler)

#62: Blood and Black Lace (Dir. Mario Bava)

#63: Nightmare City (Dir. Umberto Lenzi)

#64: Rogue (Dir. Greg McLean)

#65: Snowtown (Dir. Justin Kurzel)

#66: Livid (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

#67: Horror of Dracula (Dir. Terence Fischer)
#68: Christine (Dir. John Carpenter)

#69: Demons (Dir. Lamberto Bava)
#70: God Told Me To (Dir. Larry Cohen)

 

07.12.14 9
#66: Livid (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

image

Livid is directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, it is their follow up to their pregnancy, home invasion terror Inside, which I enjoyed fairly well.  I thought Inside was a wildly uneven film that’s successes largely outstripped the thing failures of it—I was interested to see this follow up because it promised more Dalle, and I was hoping perhaps they would have honed their vision more.

But it was less Dalle, and more of the same kind of unevenness, which is fine.  The score drove me absolutely crazy, because I was trying to engage with the film on the same level I did Inside, but the score is very much a kind of Danny Elfman fairy tale type of thing—and I mean there’s certainly a way in which this movie functions that way, and I’m sure the intent was kind of to make something that would be comparative to Del Toro’s fairy tale creature features—but man, I’d love a cut of this with the score completely removed.

The first half of the film is largely a meandering set up of this spooky haunted house that you kind of just push through.  Once the film flips over into space warping Bene Gesserit Taxidermist terror mother doppleganger mode pretty much you’re moving right into my sweet spots artistically. 

The performance by Marie-Claude Pietragalla as the witch-mother is really incredible.  She’s a dancer and her movements in this are really incredible.  Parts of it reminded me of Butoh with it’s slow-fast body bending movements.  And the design of her character with her black cloak, white hair, and breathing apparatus is really cool looking.

This movie has a lot in it that sort of reels off Jean Rollin film vibes, which again is nothing if not endearing to me. 

Beatrice Dalle’s part is really small, and it seems like it could have expanded into a whole thing, or been explained better—but hey, whatever it takes to put Dalle in front of a camera, good by me.

Livid also has a lot of sort of trecherous archetecture—rooms with no doors, windows that weren’t barred before, now barred—the house plays like a rubix cube of traps and corridors for the mother-witch to manipulate the other characters through.

If It’s weird that reading this given all of these themes and concepts that you haven’t read me mention anything about Suspiria, then there, I just did.


In the end, this is definitely more on the bittersweet gothic horror end of the scale, and isn’t anywhere near as incendiary or harrowing as Inside was, but again, there’s a lot I really latched onto, and I think the core imagery and story of abusive mothers, ballerinas, witches, and labryinthe houses, will always be engaging for me.

What’s perhaps most interesting in the film is how the doppleganger aspect plays out, because ostensibly the characters of Anna(the vampiric daughter of the mother witch) and Lucie, the caretaker, ARE doubles of one another, and when they first become cognizant of each other, their first reaction really is violence.  But once both of them are put under a singular threat, they work together to dispose of that threat, and then their relationship briefly becomes like twins, which again recalls Rollin.  But then like doppelgangers, they can’t co-exist in the world, and once one is conscious, the other has to die.

07.08.14 11
Horror Movie A Day: Week 9

Another week down.  I’m now 64 days straight of horror movies, and I have to say, I’m even more excited about it than I was even on day 1.  There are so many great films I haven’t seen, and it seems like I’m finding something that I get something really good out of ever two or three days tops.  Netflix is killing me though, I’ve had five particular movies for like a month just camping at the top of my queue under the “short/long” wait game.  Oh well.

The above is fan art I drew and colored for the movie Under the Skin, which I also wrote a great deal about this week.  You should definitely check that out even if you hated the movie. 

Anyways, below is the list of films I saw this week, with the links going to writing I did on particular ones(or one in this case):

#59: Under the Skin (Dir. Jonathan Glazer)

#60: Left Bank (Dir. Peiter Van Hees)
#61: Simon King of the Witches (Dir. Bruce Kessler)

#62: Blood and Black Lace (Dir. Mario Bava)

#63: Nightmare City (Dir. Umberto Lenzi)

#64: Rogue (Dir. Greg McLean)

This is the updated masterlist, for those scoring at home:

#1: Humanoids from the Deep (Dir. Barbara Peeters)

#2: Shock (Dir. Mario Bava)

#3: Don’t Torture a Duckling (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#4: Female Vampire (Dir. Jess Franco)

#5 The Iron Rose (Dir. Jean Rollin)

#6: Alucarda (Dir. Juan López Moctezuma)

#7: Wake In Fright (Dir. Tedd Kotcheff)

#8: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)

#9: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska) and Gore

#10: Lisa and the Devil (Dir. Mario Bava)

#11: Critters (Dir. Stephen Herek)

#12: Szamanka (Dir. Andrzej Zulawski)

#13: The Whip and the Body (Dir. Mario Bava)

#14: City of the Living Dead (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#15: White Zombie (Dir. Victor Halperin)

#16: Hardware (Dir. Richard Stanley)

#17: The New York Ripper (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

# 18: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dir. Dario Argento)

#19: Black Christmas (Dir. Bob Clark)

#20: The Beyond (Lucio Fulci)

#21: Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma)

#22: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Dir. Jack Sholder)

#23: Candyman (Dir. Bernard Rose)

#24: Rosemary’s Baby (Dir. Roman Polanski)

#25: The Innocents (Dir. Jack Clayton)

#26: Phantasm (Dir Don Coscarelli)

#27: Nadja (Dir. Michael Almereyda)

#28: Baby Blood (Dir. Alain Robak)

#29: Trouble Every Day (Dir. Claire Denis)

#30: Bay of Blood (Dir. Mario Bava)

#31: In My Skin (Dir Marina de Van)

#32: Halloween III (Dir. Tommy Lee Wallace)

#33: Halloween 2(Zombie) (Dir. Rob Zombie)

#34: Dark Touch (Dir. Marina De Van)

#35: Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#36: The Vanishing (Dir. George Sluizer)
#37: Living Dead Girl (Dir. Jean Rollin)
#38: Zombie (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#39: Maniac (Dir. Franck Khalfoun)
#40: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (Dir. Roy Ward Baker)
#41: Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (Dir. John D. Hancock)

#42: Kill List (Dir. Ben Wheatley)

#43: Don’t Look Back (Dir. Marina De Van)

#44: Alligator (Dir. Lewis Teague)

#45: Ganja and Hess (Dir. Bill Gunn)

#46: The Burning (Dir. Tony Maylam)

#47: The ABCs of Death (Dir. Various)

#48: Byzantium (Dir. Neil Jordan)

#49: Cat People (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#50: The Curse of the Cat People (Dir. Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise)

#51: Little Deaths (Dir. Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley)

#52: Marebito (Dir. Takashi Shimizu)

#53: A Horrible Way to Die (Dir. Adam Wingard)

#54: 5 Dolls for An August Moon (Dir. Mario Bava)

#55: I walked with a Zombie (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#56: The Legend of Hell House (Dir. John Hough)

#57: Psychomania (Dir. Don Sharp)
#58: Inside (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

#59: Under the Skin (Dir. Jonathan Glazer)

#60: Left Bank (Dir. Peiter Van Hees)
#61: Simon King of the Witches (Dir. Bruce Kessler)

#62: Blood and Black Lace (Dir. Mario Bava)

#63: Nightmare City (Dir. Umberto Lenzi)

#64: Rogue (Dir. Greg McLean)

07.06.14 20
#59: Under the Skin (Dir. Jonathan Glazer)

I finally got to see Under the Skin, the Jonathan Glazer direct, Scarlett Johansson  starring, film from last year.  Which as a summation is basically about Scarjo cruising Scotland in a van picking up men to harvest for her Alien buddies.  But through this simple structure, themes of beauty, body horror, race, transgender, gender, sex-death, and celebrity build themselves through the fabric of the film.  Fwiw, I’m going to write about the film in totality here, so there will be spoilers—though I don’t personally believe this a movie that can be spoiled—it doesn’t really hinge upon any kind of surprises.  But some are very sensitive to that sort of thing.

One of the interesting things in reading about Under the Skin afterwards was that part of how they filmed it was really just putting Scarjo in this van with hidden cameras and just have her roll around Scotland picking up men.  That process in and of itself is really interesting, because the selections were kind of directed by men who were behind Scarlett, but she had sort of final say—and there’s an interesting element overall to the film in terms of how her character invites men into dangerous proximity to herself, and so even though her character largely sees these men as a kind of prey, the actor herself, has to be cognizant of who she is picking up, and herself as a potential victim.  Couple this with Scarlett’s celebrity—and there is the added tension, particularly in the scenes when she is outside of the van, that her celebrity will be uncovered, and then the situation will become unmanageable.  And there is definitely I think a way that you can parse this film as very much engaging the dis-humanism of fame.  And the isolation of becoming a pop-culture icon.  There is a compound threat in that existence, even as there is a kind of dissociation—because you know that love or hate—neither of those things are really based upon who you are, but upon who people think you are, and the extremity of their reactions to you are going to vacillate wildly based upon an artifice that you live inside of.

This separation of image and interior person is explicitly manifested in Under the Skin, because these Aliens wander around our world wearing our skins—but they are not per se our skins—and in fact they are their skins.  But I think that the disjunction between skin/outward appearance, and the interior identity I think fundamentally make one of the reads of Scarlett’s character to be that of a transgender story.  Fundamentally with Under the Skin you are talking about a film that is about the disjunction between one’s identity and their gender expression.  In this case, Johansson’s identity is that of an alien which may or may not identify it’s existence in terms of gender—but through the skin the alien lives under, the alien experiences life as a kind of heteronormative, cisgender, female bodied human.  And what’s more, you see the threat posed in the alien’s existence, were it to ever appear outside of that norm within cisgender society.  In fact, the moment that Johansson reveals herself as anything but a white cisgender female, she is instantly burned to death.  

This violent tightrope of identity politics extends itself further when we start talking about notions of beauty, and body that the film also directly engages.  One of the more famous and memorable scenes in the movie is when Johansson picks up a character played by Adam Pearson, who suffers from neurofibromatosis, and because of this has a non-normative body that forces him to go grocery shopping at night, with his face covered up by a hood and in general live a very isolated and solitary life.  But Johansson’s character because she is an alien, doesn’t see beauty in such strict terms, and instead sees Pearson as beautiful.  So much of our conceptions that a person like Pearson isn’t beautiful, are based upon the coded language of “freak” that has been beaten into our brains culturally as something shameful and to be avoided in our associations.  We are taught to see non-normative bodies as ugly, or disturbing.  But fundamentally, there is no difference between Pearson’s large lips, or Kim Kardashian’s booty.  Both are just extra-normal expressions of the human body, and beauty fundamentally is the extension of our parameters of about the possibilities of the normal.   Beauty is by it’s nature non-normative.  True beauty horrifies us and challenges our perceptions of time.  In this way, aesthetic ugliness and beauty are the same thing.  In fact, when we unpact ugliness as an idea, we see that largely it is the attachment of evil to external bodied factors.  The supposition that the crone is a threat to us because her wrinkled pock marked face must portend a core evilness that separates her from us.  We do the same thing with beauty, in that there is a supposed goodness behind beauty.  But the truth of the matter is that if what we are really talking about is goodness vs. evil—then the raised awareness of our post-information times should easily allows us to surmise that goodness and evilness do not in fact express themselves in the body, and that because of this what we have traditionally seen as “ugly” is not in fact ugly—but simply part of the spectrum of non-normative human features on which the things we also consider to be “beauty” also rest.

The beauty in the scene between Pearson and Johansson is that for the first time Pearson is allowed to be seen.  So much of his experience that he relates involves people looking away—but Johansson does not look away.  She examines every inch of his skin.  To her, he is as human and as interesting as any other human.  Perhaps more so because she decides that he has beautiful hands.

This theme of allowing oneself to be seen—or the theme of being seen, also applies to Johansson, who even though men look at her constantly—it is only through the lens of their desire, and they never really truly see her, or make her feel seen.  It isn’t until after dropping Pearson off at the skinning factory, that she sees herself in a mirror, and in that moment allows herself to be seen by herself in the same way she looked at Pearson.  Her subsequent exploration of her body, and skin is really transfiguring to watch.  She twists and turns her body in front of the mirror examining it’s folds and textures.  She tries to eat dessert.  She is fundamentally exploring what it means to live inside of this alien skin, and the way that this skin is a part of her in some way because it is the vessel through which she is transversing experience.  Rather than reject the skin she lives in, she goes on something of a journey to understand the skin, and herself, and to try and see herself outside of the way that human society forces her to.

Remember  she looks how she looks fundamentally because she knows it’s pleasing to the prey she wishes to attract.  Initially I think it is impossible for her to see herself outside of the objectification patriarchal culture imposes upon her, and her journey is her realization of a world outside of that gaze.  If the rules of herself in terms of men, no longer apply, then what to make of this body, it’s curves, marks, and hair?

The heartbreaking thing is that this journey is interrupted and obstructed by a man who tries to rape her.  Her loss of awareness of herself in terms of male gaze, only resulted in her becoming vulnerable to male rape culture.  This man actually rips her skin, and as her skin falls off of her, she is able to look back up at herself, and what is inside of herself—she is able at that moment to both see herself and herself inside herself—and whatever illumination she discovers in that moment is dashed by the rapist, now in the sci-fi role of male “kill it with fire” hero, as he throws gasoline on her and then lights her on fire.

As she stumbles on fire out into a clearing and disintegrates into a black cloud that dissipates into the snow dripped clouds above it brings up another theme of the film and that is humans and the world around them.  Under the Skin is shot after shot of humanoids made small against the backdrop of the swirling nature around them.  Whether it is rolling hills blotting out the horizon, huge crashing waves, snow, or fog—the landscapes which of course recall romantic landscape paintings of John Martin.  These are life-death plays through landscape that is beyond the scale of mortal perception, of which we are just ants on the tip of a finger.  And there is an implication that along with Johansson’s journey to understand her skin, there is a parallel journey where she comes to see her place in nature—she sees her body as a part of nature, not as a barrier creating it’s alienation.  This is interesting because there is a ton of art and witch burnings situated around the relationship between women and nature.  A recent prominent example which shares with Under the Skin the visual lineage of the woman fading into nature is Antichrist.  

This of course introduces a third vantage point on the ending, which ties into the other two—which is that Johansson isn’t being burned as an alien, she’s being burned as a witch.  Which is to say, the embodiment of the female threat which exists too close to nature for men’s comfort, and because of that may possess powers beyond men’s control, and therefore must be “killed with fire”.  The intermingling of Johansson’s form with nature, and the subsequent immolation she suffers because of that consciousness.  It’s interesting to think about this because it is ostensibly pairing up our fears of Aliens post-Xenomorph, with our history of witch burnings.  Of course in Alien, the xenomorph and it’s subsequent horror offshoots is terrifying to men because it introduces the threat of their own rape and impregnation.  Their fear of loss of control over the traditional gender tropes over which they have controlled the world for thousands of years.  And with witches, as I said, the fear is that by being more in accordance with nature, they might be tapped into a power beyond male understand, and again threaten patriarchal structure.  Under the Skin marries these two ideas as part of the same canon of literature and gives us an Alien-Witch.  Which is quite exciting, even if the end result is really just the heart breaking continued violence against women.

The last theme that really struck me with Under the Skin is that of black skin.  For the whole movie, you are really only talking about a world of white skin.  I don’t know what the racial demographics in Scotland are, but by shooting there and shooting who they shot—Under the Skin really doesn’t depict or show people of color at all.  Until the end, when the black skin of Johansson’s alien hits the air.  And almost immediately, a white dude rushes over to set it on fire.  Even though it’s not a major major theme of the film, I do think ONE of the themes of the film is the suppression of blackness, fear of blackness.  It’s not without noting that when dudes pass on to the skin losing spot at Johansson’s house, it is a room of infinite blackness which seems to devour their whiteness.  What is at play here is that ostensibly what you are looking at is a race of black aliens hunting down white people because they prize that white skin—because it makes it easier for them to operate within human, white dominated, culture.  Which is loaded as hell in a movie that again, has no actual black people in it.

I could go on for days even past all of this.  I haven’t even really intellectually explored this in terms of life-death, apocalypse, myth—so on and so forth.  Beyond all of these themes, the raw aesthetics of Under the Skin are more than enough for me.  As I talked about above, the huge John Martin-ish landscapes, the sharp contrasting color values, the floating folding skin bags, the red light at the end of the tunnel, the iris.  The film is an exercise in the sort of slow motion surreality of third wave music videos fed through a coherent 2 hour film world.  The iconic styling of Johansson as well with her mop of feathered black hair, red lipstick, the animal skin jacket she wears over her human skin, the tight acid wash high waisted jeans, and heeled boots.  To say nothing of the sort of very basic red sweater—there’s more to be said about the clothes under the clothes above the skin, and the role the clothes play as she is constantly removing them and then putting them back on.  It s a performance of dressing and undressing.  Undressing both while being watched, and not being watched.  Dressing alone.  Putting on makeup.  All of these things are part of their own theme.  

And then there is the music itself which is done by Mica Levi, and is this drone of sort of sex-death drums and metallic screeches.   It weirdly drug me into a huge William Basinski listening binge, I think just for the merits of looped dirge music.  It’s interesting because the music sort of lays across several different genres.  The alien-sci-fi space music, the sort of sexy strip club get low music, and then a kind of more pastoral overtone to blend it coherently together into the film’s greater aesthetic, which allows it to sort of slink in and out while never overpowering the film’s visuals.  It helps that the film’s visuals themselves are very musical, and rhythmic.  It’s a part of this modern kind of score you are seeing on the kind of outskirts of the major Hollywood pop music fueled film thing—in that these soundtracks are kind of about the fractured disconnect to the traditional movie score.  They’re all sort of broken, fragmentary, and post-apocalyptic in nature.  They’re also fragile and mumbled in nature.  None of the testicular bravado of a Morricone score.  And none of the sort of anthemic moments of like Liv Tyler’s navel and Aerosmith.  It’s weird to separate out Levi’s score, and have it at the bottom here, because in a film as spare as this in terms of sound and dialogue, it really is the best supporting actor to Johansson’s performance.

Johansson herself, I’ve always liked as an actor.  I think she has an ability on the screen to project an unrevealed knowledge.  You have to kind of lean forward a little bit whenever she speaks because it’s rarely above a low tone.  I also find her performances, even in blockbuster films, to have a certain sophistication that I think is rarely appreciated.  I think for instance her performance in Michael Bay’s The Island absolutely makes that one of my favorite Michael Bay films.  She editoralizes that whole film through these parodied expressions of the archetype of the dumb blonde side care in the hollywood picture.  It’s pretty hilarious and pointed stuff.  And though she does a lot with just her delivery, a lot of the power of her delivery comes from her body language, which is what makes her more of a serious actor than a comedian like say Aubrey Plaza—who I love and think is hilarious—but I think that Johansson in all of her films gives a total kind of performance that goes beyond just being able to deadpan lines like Daria.  Under the Skin is an extremely physical role, and much of what happens in the film isn’t said, so it relies on how Johansson looks at others, how she looks at herself, how she touches herself—and her core strength as an actor in terms of holding untold knowledge—is a huge strength in a film like this, because the knowledge her character holds is literally unknowable and un-understandable for us.  And what’s more, her character is performing a lot of the time for her victims—so she is performing a performance for us as well, and I thought she did perfectly for this role.

07.01.14 131
Horror Movie a Day: Week 8

This week’s films(as per usual, the links lead to articles I wrote about said linked film):

6-22

#53: A Horrible Way to Die (Dir. Adam Wingard)

#54: 5 Dolls for An August Moon (Dir. Mario Bava)

#55: I walked with a Zombie (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#56: The Legend of Hell House (Dir. John Hough)

#57: Psychomania (Dir. Don Sharp)
#58: Inside (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

Some good ones this week.  All of them really.

This is the updated lis of all of the films I’ve watched in consecutive nights in this binge—same deal with the links leading to articles:

#1: Humanoids from the Deep (Dir. Barbara Peeters)

#2: Shock (Dir. Mario Bava)

#3: Don’t Torture a Duckling (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#4: Female Vampire (Dir. Jess Franco)

#5 The Iron Rose (Dir. Jean Rollin)

#6: Alucarda (Dir. Juan López Moctezuma)

#7: Wake In Fright (Dir. Tedd Kotcheff)

#8: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska)

#9: American Mary (Dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska) and Gore

#10: Lisa and the Devil (Dir. Mario Bava)

#11: Critters (Dir. Stephen Herek)

#12: Szamanka (Dir. Andrzej Zulawski)

#13: The Whip and the Body (Dir. Mario Bava)

#14: City of the Living Dead (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#15: White Zombie (Dir. Victor Halperin)

#16: Hardware (Dir. Richard Stanley)

#17: The New York Ripper (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

# 18: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Dir. Dario Argento)

#19: Black Christmas (Dir. Bob Clark)

#20: The Beyond (Lucio Fulci)

#21: Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma)

#22: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Dir. Jack Sholder)

#23: Candyman (Dir. Bernard Rose)

#24: Rosemary’s Baby (Dir. Roman Polanski)

#25: The Innocents (Dir. Jack Clayton)

#26: Phantasm (Dir Don Coscarelli)

#27: Nadja (Dir. Michael Almereyda)

#28: Baby Blood (Dir. Alain Robak)

#29: Trouble Every Day (Dir. Claire Denis)

#30: Bay of Blood (Dir. Mario Bava)

#31: In My Skin (Dir Marina de Van)

#32: Halloween III (Dir. Tommy Lee Wallace)

#33: Halloween 2(Zombie) (Dir. Rob Zombie)

#34: Dark Touch (Dir. Marina De Van)

#35: Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#36: The Vanishing (Dir. George Sluizer)
#37: Living Dead Girl (Dir. Jean Rollin)
#38: Zombie (Dir. Lucio Fulci)

#39: Maniac (Dir. Franck Khalfoun)
#40: Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (Dir. Roy Ward Baker)
#41: Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (Dir. John D. Hancock)

#42: Kill List (Dir. Ben Wheatley)

#43: Don’t Look Back (Dir. Marina De Van)

#44: Alligator (Dir. Lewis Teague)

#45: Ganja and Hess (Dir. Bill Gunn)

#46: The Burning (Dir. Tony Maylam)

#47: The ABCs of Death (Dir. Various)

#48: Byzantium (Dir. Neil Jordan)

#49: Cat People (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#50: The Curse of the Cat People (Dir. Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise)

#51: Little Deaths (Dir. Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley)

#52: Marebito (Dir. Takashi Shimizu)

#53: A Horrible Way to Die (Dir. Adam Wingard)

#54: 5 Dolls for An August Moon (Dir. Mario Bava)

#55: I walked with a Zombie (Dir. Jacques Tourneur)

#56: The Legend of Hell House (Dir. John Hough)

#57: Psychomania (Dir. Don Sharp)
#58: Inside (Dir. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

06.29.14 16