Apocalypse Pompeii (2014)
So we start with a guy trying to drive his wife and daughter away from some volcano in the Carribbean/latin America as pyroclastic flow rushes through their village. And just as I was about to write down how unrealistic that is, the car explodes, because you can't outrun pyroclastic flow. I guess that's them dead.
Meanwhile, a guy who looks like Alberto Del Rio (man, did this reference from a week ago date badly!) is having a boring meeting in town. And some American tourists are investigating Pompeii when Vesuvius explodes again. Is this the same explosion? The narratives a bit weird here. Also its a Bulgarian Italian film, the audio for it on Horror Channel is ¤¤¤¤ed, and there's no subtitles so I haven't a clue who is who.
Wednesday, 14 October 2020
Apocalypse Pompeii (2014)
How to Kill a Monster
So, back in the early 1990s, writer RL Stine had finally carved out a niche for himself. He had spent 20 years writing anything and everything under the sun - joke books, colouring books, self help books, interviews, articles, liner sheets, TV scripts, comics - that would pay the bills as he tried to make his way as a writer. He wanted to be Jovial Bob, a MAD magazine style writer, but he struggled to get that successful paying job until he was in his 40s and an editor friend of his wife noted his love of horror and asked the infamous question: "Why not write a horror book?" Twisted was the result, for Scholastic's new young adult range and it quickly became a best seller in its demographic. So he got asked to write another, and another, and soon even his own series of books, Fear Street.
The Sand (2015)
We open with found footage of a night time teen beach party, where is playing loud music, drinking and falling out with each other, usual stuff. This juxtaposes with the early morning beach, which is quiet and empty bar 8 teens who wake up, 4 in a car, 2 in the lifeguard hut, one on a table, one in a barrel. No one else is left. Then someone stands on the sand and dies horribly, and it becomes clear they are the survivors of some horrific attack which is still going on, and that anyone who steps foot on the sand is dead.
Thursday, 24 September 2020
Sensorites (episode 1)
Strangers in Space
So the crew don't now where the TARDIS has landed and all the signals
are wonky, so they open the doors, but first a quick reminder of all the
adventures you missed:
IAN: There's one thing about it, Doctor. We're certainly different from when we started out with you.
SUSAN: That's funny. Grandfather and I were talking about that just before you came in. How you've both changed.
BARBARA: Well we've all changed.
SUSAN: Have I?
DOCTOR: Yes, it all started out as a mild curiosity in a junkyard, and now it's turned out to be quite a, quite a great spirit of adventure, don't you think?
IAN: Yes. We've had some pretty rough times and even that doesn't stop us. It's a wonderful thing, this ship of yours, Doctor. Taken us back to prehistoric times, the Daleks.
SUSAN: Marco Polo, Marinus.
BARBARA: And the Aztecs.
DOCTOR: Yes, and that extraordinary quarrel I had with that English king, Henry the Eighth. You know, he threw a parson's nose at me.
BARBARA: What did you do?
DOCTOR: Threw it back, of course. Take them to the Tower, he said. That's why I did it.
SUSAN: The Tardis was inside the Tower.
I'd have preferred that last one - unseen - over some episodes of Keys of Marinus tbh. The Doctor and crew are no longer adversaries, they are now firmly friends, joking about historical murderous tyrants.
The Shout (1978)
John Hurt is one of my favourite actors. He's just brilliant in everything, isn't it? There's rarely a scene in which he wont steal it by being John Hurt.
And yet, The Shout is that rarest of beasts, where Hurt is second fiddle to another acting talent. For, from the moment he is introduced scoring a cricket match, the eyes are drawn irretrievably towards the magnetic danger of Alan Bates. As Crossley, Bates is eyes, silence and whispered lines, but so in control of the character and screen he manages to blow away everything around him.
Jurassic Park III (2001)
When you are younger, you take things for granted.
Like the concept of there being a new Jurassic Park every four years. Of course, this one had disappointing returns and put the series on hiatus until 2015. There was hints of this dispiriting 21st Century in the cinema, as I saw my dad’s face fall further with every scientific inaccuracy.
In Jurassic Park, the Dilophosaurs are entirely reinvented for the sake of a jump scare, but it works within the context of the film. Also the series Raptors are actually Deinonychus, but no kid ever complained about that because Deinonychus are ¤¤¤¤ing awesome. The Lost World decided to eject the paleontology lessons for more action. Here all the rules of dinosaurs are thrown out the window to tell a super-monster story. Does it make for a thrilling film? Sort of. But its also a more hollow experience.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park II (1997)
So studio execs and Steven Spielberg really liked Jurassic Park. Specifically, they liked the money it gave them. So they got Michael Crichton to write a swift sequel, and then signed the rights to make the film version, in which they jettisoned every single thing in that Crichton book. And to be fair, good decision, that book is Exhibit A in Writer Doesn’t Give A ¤¤¤¤ About Book He Was Contracted To Write. Instead, they nab a few good scenes from the first book they didn’t use in the first film, nick from stuff like The Wizard of Oz and Alien, nab the finish of King Kong, and add in far more dinosaurs. This may sound cynical, but it worked, and it sort of works, and is the lesson Jurassic Park III didn’t learn in the slightest.
A School Story
I really like James poking fun at all the common stereotype ghost tales around in the opening, but I feel like at some point, there's James, sitting at his desk, writers block hitting, Christmas round the corner, comes up with an idea but DAMN IT, he already used it at the start of School Story!
"‘I dare say it was. Then there was the man who heard a noise in the passage at night, opened his door, and saw someone crawling towards him on all fours with his eye hanging out on his cheek. There was besides, let me think—Yes! the room where a man was found dead in bed with a horseshoe mark on his forehead, and the floor under the bed was covered with marks of horseshoes also; I don’t know why. Also there was the lady who, on locking her bedroom door in a strange house, heard a thin voice among the bed-curtains say, ‘Now we’re shut in for the night.’ None of those had any explanation or sequel. I wonder if they go on still, those stories.’ "
In the 1970s, Gregory Peck, David Warner and Patrick Troughton tried to
stop the anti-Christ being unleashed on the world, but failed. Mostly
thanks to the terrifying Billie Whitelaw.
In 2014, Vinnie Jones tries to stop his daughter's boyfriend being unleashed on the world.
Hell of a recession, that.
Ghost Stories (2018)
The portmanteau horror film produced some classics of the genre. Dead of Night. Asylum with good old Geoffrey Bayldon. The one with Tom Baker and the voodoo. Classics. One way or another.
So it was nice to see that tradition brought back to life here.