I added a lot of films this month — some that I didn’t watch. I have a backlog of these things. But I’ve also been watching more films.
Normally, I go on vacation in June. I didn’t this year. And it’s been weighing on me. I just don’t feel like working on high-paying projects most of the time.
So I use the permission to watch films instead. Although really: watching films is work. And the better I get, the most work it is. I can’t just watch films anymore. I have to analyze them and compare them to other films and put them in context.
But I do it for you!
July 2020 Films
- Attack of the Moon Zombies (2011)
- The Black Cat (1981)
- The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)
- Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
- Brannigan (1975)
- Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
- Cave Women on Mars (2008)
- The Crazies (1973)
- Danny Johnson Saves the World (2015)
- Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
- Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001)
- Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
- Equinox (1970)
- Frogs (1972)
- The Giant Spider (2013)
- House Hunting (2012)
- House of Ghosts (2012)
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
- Lady Frankenstein (1971)
- The Late Night Double Feature (2014)
- The Milpitas Monster (1976)
- The Monster of Phantom Lake (2006)
- The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978)
- The New York Ripper (1982)
- Night Gallery (1970-1973)
- The Night Stalker (1972)
- Omega Doom (1996)
- Paranormal Investigation Agency (2017)
- Quest for the Egg Salad (2002)
- Space: 1999 (1975-1977)
- Terror From Beneath the Earth (2009)
- They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1968)
- Trucks (1997)
- Valley of the Zombies (1946)
- Weresquito: Nazi Hunter (2016)
- When a Stranger Calls (1979)
- When a Stranger Calls Back (1993)
- White Slave (1985)
- The Woman in Black (1989)
The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)
This Tigon production offers us witches terrorizing a village in 1700s England. It’s really nice to see a very straightforward story told so well. On the other hand, it’s hardly the kind of film I want to watch over and over. Much of the violence is highly effective. And there is a scene where a young witch tries to seduce a priest that is very sexy.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
I had to watch this just because everyone hates it so much. And: surprise! It’s actually really good. I don’t see how a sequel to The Blair Witch Project could have been better. I’m glad to own it. It is worth rewatching.
The truth is that I will never understand the appeal of John Wayne. From his earliest films to this, one of his last, he’s awkward and annoying. You can’t be a great actor if you spend all your time trying to prove to the world that you are a “real” man.
But the picture itself is good. And it makes up having John Wayne in it. But it would have been better with literally any other actor.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
I put off seeing Cannibal Holocaust for a long time because of the animal cruelty. What’s aggravating is that none of it adds to the film. I could easily edit it all out without hurting the film at all.
And this is a great film. And one that has something to say. I don’t really see why the animal cruelty isn’t edited out. Of course, it would still be stained by that. But I do think that we just have to understand that this is how films were once made and they generally aren’t today. Let’s more on.
Let’s not forget that people continue to commit great acts of animal cruelty. People roast crabs and boil lobsters alive. Just because something is done on screen doesn’t make it worse.
Chris Seaver Films
I have tried really hard to like Chris Seaver’s films. Pretty much all of them have moments that are interesting. But they are filled with far too much puerile sexual humor that only immature 13-year-old virgin boys would find funny.
Here we have two films separated by 15 years. The first is Quest for the Egg Salad, which is distinctly better than his earlier films. And then Paranormal Investigation Agency, which is distinctly better still. But the annoyance factor is still so high that I think Seaver is a couple of decades from making a film that comes out in the black.
Christopher R Mihm Films
Christopher R Mihm is a guy who makes parodies of the 1950s science fiction and horror films. He’s put one out per year since 2006. I first saw House of Ghosts, and I didn’t think that much of it. But his films grow on you. And over time, I’ve become a big fan of his work.
The other films watched this month: Attack of the Moon Zombies, Cave Women on Mars, Danny Johnson Saves the World, The Giant Spider, The Late Night Double Feature, The Monster of Phantom Lake, Terror From Beneath the Earth, and Weresquito: Nazi Hunter.
I have an article about his films coming out soon.
The Crazies (1973)
The Crazies is generally said to be a lesser George Romero film. And I’d love to disagree, but I think that’s accurate. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the film. But the story is too scattered and just doesn’t have the impact of one of the Dead films or Martin.
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
I’ve been talking about this one for years. If you want more information, read my discussion.
This is one of the mythic films — something people dreamed of seeing in decades past and is now just a Google search away. The film is hardly great, but it features amazing special effects by three masters of the art form.
This is an odd one starring Ray Milland and a very young Sam Elliott. Basically: the swamp turns on a rich family. It’s very well-made but just odd. Better to watch Tobe Hooper’s Eaten Alive.
House Hunting (2012)
House Hunting is one of those made-for-TV delights I run into all the time. It’s a very effective haunted house film. It’s amazing what great work people do on a small budget. And what dreck they manage with huge budgets!
Lady Frankenstein (1971)
This is very Gothic but at the same time extremely disturbing with a lot of weird sexual quirks. Read my analysis.
Lucio Fulci Films
We featured two Fulci films this month: The Black Cat (1981) and The New York Ripper (1982). The Black Cat is an excellent film but much more subdued than what most of us Fulci fans have come to expect. But with Patrick Magee, it’s hard not to love. I think any Fulci fan should own it.
I was surprised to learn that even today, The New York Ripper is not well-liked by critics. I figured this was a film that critics had come to recognize as a classic, but no. And it is really great. Admittedly, it’s a bit misogynistic. But it also portrays men as horrible. And it’s really effective. I think it’s one of Fulci’s best.
The Milpitas Monster (1976)
The horror film made by a high school photography class! Read my discussion.
The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978)
Although not as known for it as Cannibal Holocaust, this film features animal cruelty. And it isn’t nearly as good. Still: it is worth watching. But if you didn’t have a problem with this film, I don’t see why you should have one for the other.
Night Gallery (1970-1973)
The Night Stalker Films and TV Series
I loved the original The Night Stalker and the follow-up The Night Strangler. And then Kolchak: The Night Stalker was my favorite show. I was destroyed when it was cancelled. Watching them now, the show wasn’t as good as the movies but they are all a lot of fun.
Omega Doom (1996)
Yet another remake of Yojimbo in another environment. It’s a pretty good film overall.
Space: 1999 (1975-1977)
I’ve long loved this silly science fiction TV series. Just read my discussion.
They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1968)
This is quite a strange movie. You should read my article, They Saved Hitler’s Brain vs The Madmen of Mandoras.
I quite like this film. It’s a lot like Jaws but with trucks. None of it is especially surprising but the acting is good and it holds your interest throughout.
Valley of the Zombies (1946)
This is a fun little romp. Just grab a copy from Archive. It’s short.
White Slave (1985)
This film has its moments but is kind of slow. It was released under a lot of different titles. I watched it under the title Cannibal Holocaust 2. And I can see why they did that. But it really isn’t that kind of film. It takes place in the jungle but it’s mostly a romance — although a weird one.
The Woman in Black (1989)
This is a great ghost story. Skip the more recent one and see this if you can. I just got it on Blu-ray direct from the UK, but it’s Region B/2. It hasn’t been released in the US. Time has been kind to this film and I think it will be more so in the coming decade.
See you next month!