Director Mike Hodges and Michael Caine decided to follow up the brilliant Get Carter with another gangster like film, the 1972 movie Pulp.
The difference this time out is instead of a serious and gritty crime drama Pulp is more of a comedy. It has goofy moments and jokes, then some gritty crime. Michael Caine stars as Mickey King, a novelist who writes books like My Gun is Long and The Organ Grinder under pen names Guy Strange, Gary Rough and the amusing S. Ódomi. Caine is hired to ghost write and autobiography of retired actor Preston Gilbert (Mickey Rooney).
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After stopping the Godzilla franchise in 2004 Toho Studios gave the big guy a break for a few years. They then licensed him out to Legendary Pictures who started a new American Godzilla franchise that started in 2014. When that movie was a success Toho decided to relaunch the series in Japan again. They brought in acclaimed director Hideaki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion) to write and co-direct the new movie. In 2016 Shin Godzilla hit screens and presented a very different take on the legendary monster.
The movie draws its inspiration from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The Japanese Coast Guard investigate an abandoned boat only to be attacked by a huge wave and a creature. News reports later show a giant tail swimming closer to shore. The prime minister of Japan assures people that the sea creature can’t come on shore. It has gills and no limbs. Despite this the creature swims into canals and into Japan and eventually makes land where the creature evolves legs and lungs.
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Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind aren’t the only movies celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year. Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky is too.
Jabberwocky was Gilliam’s first solo directorial effort away from Monty Python although Michael Palin stars in it and Terry Jones has a cameo. Palin stars as a poor cooper in medieval times. All Palin wants to do is work and marry a large peasant woman who doesn’t really like him. Palin’s father disowns him on his deathbed so Palin goes to town to try and find work.
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Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) is a British tourist about to head home from the country of Bandrika. A train delay forces everyone who was going to travel to spend a night at the local inn.
Iris is disturbed by music playing in the room above her getting the young musician Gilbert Redman (Michael Redgrave) kicked out of his room. Gilbert retaliates by forcing Iris to let him stay in her room. Meanwhile elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) is listening to a local musician play a tune outside her window. Unbeknownst to Miss Froy, the musician is killed shortly after playing the tune.
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There is not a lot of absolutely bat shit crazy cinema but during the 1970s exploitation era there was some amazingly unique movies. Today’s Sunday Matinee for example is a 1975 action/horror exploitation flick Wolf Guy based on the Japanese manga of the same name.
Trying to describe this movie takes a bit of work. Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba runs into a yakuza who is fleeing something. The man manages to get out of a crowd and into a back alley where an unseen force tears the man to shreds. Chiba catches up to the man finding him dying and mentioning a woman named Miki and a tiger.
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I wanted to add this to this year’s 31 Days of Horror but it just didn’t quite fall into the horror category. This British/Canadian production by director Bob Clark has Sherlock Holmes going after Jack the Ripper in 1979’s Murder by Decree.
Christopher Plummer stars as Holmes and James Mason is Watson. It’s 1888 and Jack the Ripper is on the loose in the streets of London. A citizen’s group ask Holmes to investigate the crimes.
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Another October has come and gone and another year of 31 Days of Horror is over. To wrap things up is Black Christmas from 1974.
It Christmas time and the women at a sorority house has are having party while getting ready to go home for the holidays. Soneone climbs up into the attic of the house. Jess (Olivia Hussey) answers a phone call to house and lets the other women listen to what seems to be an obscene phone call. Barb Coard (Margot Kidder), Phyllis “Phyl” Carlson (Andrea Martin), Clare Harrison (Lynne Griffin) and several others listen in. Barb provokes the caller who threatens to kill the women.
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John Russell (George C. Scott) is a composer who has just rented an old Victorian style house while recovering from the deaths of his wife and daughter who were killed in a tragic car accident.
Russell has been noticing some strange occurrences around the house. Every morning there is a persistent loud banging. One night Russell finds a bathtub full of water and what looks like a drowned boy in it. Later he finds a hidden door that leads to a room upstairs where a boy’s wheelchair has been left in a dusty room.
Continue reading “Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – The Changeling”
A security firm called Con-Sec has discovered that there are people out there called scanners. Scanners are psychics with telepathy, mind-control, and telekinesis. Con-Sec is gathering up scanners so they can use them as weapons.
At a demonstration Con-Sec’s scanner asks for volunteers so he can show off his abilities. A man named Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) volunteers but demonstrates that he is an even more powerful scanner and kills off Con-Sec’s scanner in a very memorable opening scene.
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Mary Mason is a medical student trying to work and pay her way through school so that she can become a surgeon. She applies at a strip club but ends up saving the life of a man who has been tortured in the basement of the club. She saves the man’s life but feels disgusted afterwards.
Several days later of the dancers at the club, Beatress Johnson (Tristan Risk), who has had surgery to look like Betty Boop offers Mary $10,000 if she performs body modification surgery on a friend of hers, Ruby Realgirl (Paula Lindberg) who wants to become a living doll. Mary takes the money and performs the surgery.
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Thierry Richard (Marc Paquet) and his roommate Henri Dieudonné (Frédéric Pierre) go out to celebrate one night and pick up a couple of prostitutes, one of them tries to kill Henri but Theirry saves him.
Later Thierry meets a lovely young woman named Claire Lefrançois (Marianne Farley). He becomes infatuated with her but then some strange things begin to occur. One is that her sister is the same prostitute that tried to kill Henri. The other is it seems that Claire has cancer. But the truth is very very different.
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A man flees into a field leaving running away from a farm house. A woman is running with him but is shot by two men and set on fire.
Deputy Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) takes the man, James (Evan Stern) to the hospital when Carter finds him crawling on the road. The local hospital is running on a skeleton crew, the hospital itself was damaged in a fire and has seen better days. Currently only Dr. Richard Powell (Kenneth Welsh), Carter’s ex-wife nurse Allison (Kathleen Munroe), nurse Beverly (Stephanie Belding), intern Kim (Ellen Wong), pregnant girl Maggie (Grace Munro), her grandfather Ben (Grace Munro), and patient Cliff (Matt Kennedy).
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On a distant planet called Sirius 6B in the far future, a war has broken out between a mining company called New Economic Bloc (NEB) and the workers who call themselves the Alliance. The Alliance have created a machine called a screamer that looks like a little clawed robot rodent with buzzsaws to kill the NEB soldiers.
Screamers hunt by detecting people’s heartbeats. Alliance use a device to block their heartbeats. The war has gone on far too long and the planet is a wasteland. The Alliance led by Hendricksson (Peter Weller) get a message from a dead NEB solider saying that the NEB wants to discuss a truce.
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Les 7 jours du talion or 7 Days is an intense thriller from Quebec about a man driven to extreme measures.
Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault) is a surgeon whose life is destroyed when his very young daughter is raped and murdered. When he finds out that the police have the prime suspect in custody, Bruno takes it upon himself for revenge.
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I know I originally said I would try not to make the entire 31 Days of Horror all David Cronenberg movies but well a lot of his movies are really damn good.
Max Renn (James Woods) is the president of CIVIC-TV in Toronto. Max is looking for a new show for his station which tends to play trashy violence and softcore porn. One day Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) who runs CIVIC-TV’s unauthorized satellite dish shows Max a pirate broadcast of TV show called Videodrome where people are just tortured and killed. Harlan thinks it comes from Malaysia but later discovers that it’s coming from Pittsburgh. Max thinks that this is the future of TV and starts airing it.
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Well I’d be remiss if I failed to include our local cult favourite 2014’s WolfCop. Winner of the CineCoup Film Accelerator which lead to an actual theatrical release in Cineplex theatres WolfCop is about an alcoholic cop who ends up being a werewolf…cop.
Sergeant Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) is an alcoholic cop who barely does his job in the small rundown town of Woodhaven. Responding to a complaint of some occultists in the woods, Lou finds a mayoral candidate hanging upside down in the woods before he is attacked. When he wakes up he finds himself back at his place but with a pentagram carved into him.
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Yannick Bérubé (Marc-André Grondin) has just been accepted into film school and has started filming everything around him in the new town where he’s going to study. While riding his bike he crashes and goes to a house for help – 5150 rue des Ormes.
When he enters the home Yannick hears screaming from up stairs and witnesses Jacques Beaulieu (Normand D’Amour) murdering someone. Jacques takes Yannick and locks him in a room. Trapped in the room Yannick tries to figure out a way to escape.
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Elizabeth Lucy (Karen Black) has either fallen or jumped off the top of a tall building. Or maybe she was pushed. It’s up to Dt. Sgt. Jim Henderson (Christopher Plummer) to find out.
Lucy was a heroin addicted prostitute and the movie follows her final days leading up to her demise. Dt. Sgt. Jim Henderson in the present is trying to figure out what happened to Lucy and what she ended up getting involved in.
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Harry (Chuck Shamata) is a wealthy dentist who is taking model Diane (Brenda Vaccaro) up to his place in the country. Harry told Diane that there was a big party happening at his place over the weekend.
On the drive up to place Harry lets Diane drive his convertible. They encounter four hoodlums driving in their car and the hoodlums want to race. A chase ensues but the hoodlums end up driving off the road and crashing their car. Harry takes over driving and takes them to a gas station where he leaves his car and takes a station wagon to the his house. The house is a big mansion by a lake.
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Rose (Marilyn Chambers) and her boyfriend Hart (Frank Moore) are out driving along the road on his motorcycle when they crash because a car has broken down on the road. Hart is fine but Rose is badly injured in the crash and badly burned.
Rose is taken to the Keloid Clinic for Plastic Surgery where Dr. Dan Keloid (Howard Ryshpan) decides to try a new procedure on Rose to graft new skin on her damaged body. Rose is in a coma for a month after the procedure when she finally comes to. She appears normal but something has changed. The procedure has altered Rose. She now needs blood to survive.
Continue reading “Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror – Rabid”