Nightmare Cinema (2018)

Nightmare Cinema
Framing: The Projectionist
Director: Mick Garris
Writer: Mick Garris
Cast: Mickey Rourke
Segment 1: The Thing in the Woods
Director: Alejandro Brugués
Writer: Alejandro Brugués
Cast: Sarah Elizabeth Withers, Eric Nelsen, Chris Warren, Kevin Fonteyne
Segment 2: Mirare
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Richard Christian Matheson
Cast: Zarah Mahler, Mark Grossman, Richard Chamberlain
Segment 3: Mashit
Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
Writer: Sandra Becerril
Cast: Maurice Benard
Segment 4: This Way to Egress
Director: David Slade
Writer: David Slade, Lawrence C. Connolly
Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Adam Godley
Segment 5: Dead
Director: Mick Garris
Writer: Mick Garris
Cast: Faly Rakotohavana, Annabeth Gish, Daryl C. Brown, Orson Chaplin
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2018
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Nightmare Cinema is a nice, but not outstanding anthology. I enjoyed watching it, but most of the segments are a little too straightforward to really made me love them. That being said, if you’re looking for something along classic lines, Nightmare Cinema will satisfy your itch.

The film poster showing a demon with a film strip in its claws.

Read more about each of the segments after the jump.

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Le complexe de Frankenstein [Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex] (2015)

Le complexe de Frankenstein
Director: Gilles PensoAlexandre Poncet
Writer: Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 30.10.2016

“Plot”:
The documentary traces the development of creature special effects in film by interviewing various experts like Rick BakerJoe DanteGuillermo del ToroMick GarrisAlec GillisSteve JohnsonJohn LandisGreg NicoteroKevin SmithPhil TippettChris WalasMatt Winston and Tom Woodruff Jr.

Le complexe de Frankenstein is an interesting documentary that gives a lot of background information on a part of filmmaking that is usually only noticed when it’s badly done, giving spotlight to the many enthusiastic people working on those effects.

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Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales of Halloween
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
Tales of Halloween is a horror film anthology with 10 short films, all taking place on the same Halloween night, framed by the narration of a radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau).

Tales of Halloween is an enjoyable collection of segments that makes time fly by. I especially enjoyed how interconnected the segments were, using the same set and often the same extras as well. Not all segments were equally strong, but altogether, it’s a great film.

TalesofHalloweenAfter the jump, I’ll talk about each of the segments separately. And since the film is filled to the brim with cameos and familiar faces, I have pointed them out as well, at least as far as I could place them.

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Burying the Ex (2014)

Burying the Ex
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Alan Trezza
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario, Oliver Cooper
Part of: Surprise Movie Y /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Max (Anton Yelchin) has been with Evelyn (Ashley Greene) for a while now and they recently decided to move in together, even though Max is hesitant about his relationship with Evelyn in general: she is vegan and forces him to eat vegan, too; she has no understanding or love for horror movies like Max has; and she hates Max’ half-brother Travis (Oliver Cooper) who regularly uses their apartment to sleep with other women. Generally, Evelyn has a pretty clear idea of who Max is supposed to be and Max is not sure he wants to be that person. When he meets Olivia (Alexandra Daddario) who shares all his interests, it is the last push he needed to finally make up his mind and break up with Evelyn. But before he can do so, Evelyn dies. But just because she’s dead doesn’t mean she’s gone.

Burying the Ex has a nice cast, excellent pacing and some good jokes but above all it is a spectacularly sexist crapfest and it’s not even creative sexist dreck.

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Re-Watch: The ‘Burbs (1989)

The ‘Burbs
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Dana Olsen
Cast: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
A typical suburban cul-de-sac is disrupted when a new family moves in. A mysterious family that seems to be only awake at night, making loud noises then, a family that doesn’t take care of its lawn or sticks to any of the usual suburban behavior. Their direct neighbor Ray (Tom Hanks) just got some time off. Time he spends starting to obsess about them and trying to find out more, egged on by the other inhabitants on the street.

I don’t know how many times I saw this film when I was a child. It was my brother’s favorite film for a while and he did a perfect impression of the “sardines” scene and to this day I can’t look at Tom Hanks without thinking of my brother a bit. So seeing this film for the first time in probably a decade, for the first time in English and without my brother present just wasn’t quite the same thing. It was still very entertaining though.

theburbs

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Explorers (1985)

Explorers
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Eric Luke
Cast: Ethan Hawke, River PhoenixJason Presson, Amanda PetersonJames CromwellDana Ivey, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Ben (Ethan Hawke) dreams of a circuit board. He makes a drawing and gives it to his technologically well-versed friend Wolfgang (River Phoenix). They are joined by Darren (Jason Presson) and discover that Ben actually dreamt up a spaceship which they immediately start building, of course, and then even flying.

I never saw Explorers when I was a child (I wonder why? I saw so many Dante movies…) and I did feel that I was missing a certain nostalgic point of connection to really enjoy it. But it was a supercute adventure film with a sweet cast and I would watch it again.

explorers

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The Hole (2009)

The Hole
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Mark L. Smith
Cast: Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Haley Bennett, Teri Polo,
Bruce Dern, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Dane (Chris Massoglia) and Lucas (Nathan Gamble) just moved with their mother (Teri Polo) into a new house. Again. But there’s something different about that house – and that’s not the neighbors’ daughter Julie (Haley Bennett). Dane and Lucas stumble upon a seemingly bottomless hole in the basement. And when they open it, something escapes.

The Hole feels like one of those classic adventure films of the 80s where kids are curious explorers in a world where adults are barely anything more than an afterthought. It’s a rather nostalgic film in the way it’s made. It’s not without its faults but that works very well.

thehole

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Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Twilight Zone: The Movie (is an anthology movie based on various episodes of the Twilight Zone show)
Prologue
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks
Segment Time Out
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Cast: Vic Morrow, Doug McGrath, Charles Hallahan
Segment Kick the Can
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: George Clayton Johnson, Richard Matheson, Melissa Mathison
Cast: Scatman Crothers, Bill Quinn, Martin Garner, Selma Diamond, Helen Shaw, Murray Matheson, Peter Brocco, Priscilla Pointer
Segment It’s a Good Life
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Jerome Bixby , Richard Matheson
Cast: Kathleen Quinlan, Jeremy Licht, Kevin McCarthy, Patricia Barry, William Schallert, Nancy Cartwright, Dick Miller
Segment Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Director: George Miller
Writer: Richard Matheson
Based on: Richard Matheson‘s short story
Cast: John Lithgow, Abbe Lane, Donna Dixon, John Dennis Johnston, Larry Cedar, Dan Aykroyd
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
In the Prologue we see a driver (Albert Brooks) who picks up a hitchhiker (Dan Aykroyd), but things don’t go exactly as planned.
In Time Out, racist and antisemit Bill Connor (Vic Morrow) gets shown the error of his ways through involuntary time travel.
In Kick the Can, the residents of a senior home get another chance to play when Mr. Bloom (Scatman Crothers) joins them.
In It’s a Good Life, little Anthony (Jeremy Licht) has the power to make his life just as he wants it to be – something that Helen (Kathleen Quinlan) gets to experience herself when she meets him.
In Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, John Valentine (John Lithgow) battles with his fear of flying during a flight. But this time his fear might not be entirely unfounded.

I have never really seen the show, but I did like the movie. It was a nice and entertaining anthology, even though it didn’t blow me all away.

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Re-Watch: Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Chris Columbus
Cast: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival Creature Christmas

Plot:
In a weird shop in Chinatown Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) finds the perfect Christmas present for his son Billy (Zach Galligan): a mysterious creature called a mogwai. Together with the mogwai, soon called Gizmo, come strict handling instructions: No bright lights. No water. No food after midnight. Billy is overjoyed at the gift, but unfortunately he soon discovers just what happens when you break the three rules. And it’s nothing good.

It’s been ages that I saw this film – it is one of my favorite childhood movies – and I was honestly surprised how much I still remembered of it. And I still love it, especially the first half.

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