Hello, and welcome to my 2021 April A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year, I am listing all the horror movies that Alec and I watched during the pandemic (so far), with brief notes. I’m getting a very late start today, and therefore my notes will, I think, be extra-brief. Or anyway that is the plan. Also, there is a fairly exciting thunderstorm happening outside my house now. Everything’s gone all green, and the wind is picking up. This is cool, but also distracting. I both like and fear thunderstorms.
I also find that I have singularly little to say about most of the films on today’s list. This isn’t necessarily because they are bad. Some of my favorite films are the very ones that I find most difficult to talk about. Anyway, I will deal extensively with the first item on my list, but after that I’m going to be getting pretty laconic.
Without further ado…
Raw Force (1982)
Director: Edward D. Murphy
Exploitation great Vic Diaz is in this film, playing a monk who is part of a horrible cannibalistic cult on an island in the Philippines. The monks, and some undead friends, come up against the power of the Burbank Kung Fu Club. Who happen to be visiting from America. I’ve never been part of a Kung Fu club, personally, but I guess they may regularly take cruises together.
Raw Force is also the source of my Mystery Picture from yesterday. View it again!
Let me tell you about this guy, because his weird little part will capture some of the oddity and charm of the film as a whole. So this guy is a bartender on the cruise ship. During a crazy party, he just sort of casually breaks some ice for a drink with his face. The movie then moves on. It is just a thing that happens. Other, crazier things are happening all around it. The ice-breaking thing is just one episode among many.
Cameron Mitchell is also in this film, playing the captain of the ship. He is constantly bickering with the ship’s owner, played by Hope Holiday. This adds a lot of humor. Hope Holiday’s IMDb page says that she produced many of Mitchell’s later exploitation-type movies, including this one. I cannot find her credited as producer for this film, however. Other Cameron Mitchell movies, yes. This one, no. Still, it would be great if she was producing this film at the same time as she was playing the owner of the cruise ship. A sort of mirroring.
Anyway, this movie is very, very sleazy, but lots of fun.
Here’s a picture of Vic Diaz in his monk costume:
Rawhead Rex (1986)
Director: George Pavlou
Screenplay by Clive Barker. It was fine. Not good, fairly silly, but not unwatchably bad. Lots of shouting. The ending was a bit strained, I thought. And the monster costume was sort of awful.
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte)(1972)
Italy, West Germany, Monaco
Director: Emilio Miraglia
A giallo. I know we saw it, but my memory is not being co-operative about remembering any of the details.
The Resurrected (1991)
Canada, USA, Australia
Director: Dan O’Bannon
The conversation Alec and I had about this movie recently:
“The Resurrected. I’ve got nothing. Oh, yeah. It had Prince Humperdinck in it. That was slightly interesting.”
“He also played the vampire in Fright Night.”
“Oh no! Fright Night! Alec, when did we see Fright Night? Shouldn’t it be on this list?”
“I don’t know. We may have seen it pre-plague. Then again…”
“Exactly. Probably should have been on the list.”
“You could say so.”
“As I have nothing else to say about this fairly dull version of Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, yeah, I suppose I probably will. Phew. Nice to have some content, anyway.”
Return of the Evil Dead (El ataque de los muertos sin ojos) (1973)
Director: Amando de Ossorio
Part II of the Blind Dead… series? Anyway, I’ve seen two out of four Blind Dead movies (this one and Ghost Galleon, which I discussed in my “G” post), and this one is, in my opinion, the better of the two. By far. This time, the undead, eyeless Templars attack a Spanish town during a big festival, and very, very slowly pursue people on their zombie horses. This slowness could be called “stately,” if you were drunkenly writing ad copy for the film. Viewed in a more sober light, it is just one odd choice among many. There is a lack of urgency about the chasing and the fleeing in this film that has to be seen to be believed. Still, some fun character bits in this one, which makes it worth a look.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
So I’d never seen RoboCop before the pandemic. I liked it. However, all I really retain now (we saw it quite early on, during the initial phase of lockdowns last spring) is how oddly delicate and beautiful Peter Weller’s jaw looked, framed in the RoboCop helmet.
Right. That’s it for “R.” Tomorrow, “S.” I have, at last count, 23 movies to talk about for “S.” We’ll see how that goes. Here is a screenshot from one of them! Name it if you can, or interpret it creatively if that is a thing you like doing!