Thirteen years later, Guillermo Del Toro’s period dark fantasy is a masterpiece of the genre telling a tale of loss of innocence and good versus evil that’s touching, gripping and a bit spooky in its way. Del Toro’s film is one that warrants repeated viewing and continued analyses as it’s a fairy tale that masterfully mixes “Alice in Wonderland,” the Brothers Grimm, “Wizard of Oz,” along with classic folklore.
This year, Fantasia International Film Festival is screening a nice collection of vintage titles and anniversary screenings. One of these is The Crow coming up on the 30th of July at 7pm and it’s one screening I hate to miss.
The Crow turned 25 this year and it has been just about as long since it became my favorite film, hence why this is one of the hardest films for me to write about. There is no being objective, this film is entwined in my teen years and my adulthood. It’s one of those films that had such a big impact, it’s almost impossible to separate the emotional from the reality of the film. So, as it’s playing, I wanted to write a deeply personal piece, a piece that it nowhere near objective, a piece that is about my history with The Crow.
Just in time for “Women in Horror Month,” Andrew Fleming’s “The Craft” is one of those movies that’s gained some heavy cult momentum over the years, and for good reason. Even with the nineties aesthetic, “The Craft” has aged quite well offering up a mature genre picture that begins as a coming of age supernatural drama and gradually transforms in to a horror film. There just aren’t films like “The Craft” anymore, and that’s a shame, since Andrew Fleming offers up a unique tale of good and evil, and power corrupting absolutely.
From The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and Andrew Leman comes the excellent “The Call of Cthulhu,” a short film I was lucky enough to experience years ago and was lucky enough to re-visit. From 2005, the independent effort channels the horror and sheer terror of HP Lovecraft’s mythology so well, the time manages to fly by without a hitch. “The Call of Cthulhu” is a brilliant throwback to the silent film era channeling the likes of Val Lewton to bring audiences a love letter to a time in film when horror meant the twang of the score, and focusing on the horror of our actors.
Courtney Joyner’s “Lurking Fear” is classic Full Moon Entertainment from the nineties. It has a modicum of a budget, some great production value and a solid horror story. Thought it’s a loose adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale, it does take the elements and combine them to form a classic folklore horror tale about greed and criminals getting their comeuppance. John Martenses is an ex convict who has just been released from prison and is seeking a new start. As well as the fortune apparently left behind by his family.
I assume somewhere down the line we had to fill in the holes and explore how the battle between heaven and hell ensued. I’m just not sure we had to spend the majority of the sequel doing so. “Allelulia!” is mostly a misfire of a sequel to the raucous and wonderful “The Devil’s Carnival” that fills in the questions from the first film. In the duration of the follow-up, we get to discover how the war began, how the battle became personal for hell’s minions and heaven’s warriors, and there’s even the origin of one of the Devil’s Carnival’s most infamous minions who we see a great deal of in the original film.
This Halloween I’m celebrating the holiday by re-visiting some of my favorite vampire movies. Vampires have been one of my favorite monsters, and I’ve seen every title I could get my hands on from Dracula 1931 to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have typically have a soft spot for vampire movies, and have quite a large list of films about bloodsuckers that I can’t boast about enough. While I have a large library of films from the sub-genre I’d love to re-visit someday, I narrowed it all down to five of the best vampire movies I’ve ever seen. These five have constantly popped in to my repertoire time and time again, and never wear out their welcome. These are my five best vampire movies of all time.
What are some of your favorite vampire movies?
It’s surprising how quickly “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” becomes a vanity project for director Kenneth Branagh. Rather than a tale of a monster wreaking havoc on his master, the film feels more like Jane Austen co-starring the monster who is kind of a nuisance and then becomes a threat to his creator. I’ve rarely seen Frankenstein movies where the creature is the third banana, but lo and behold Branagh pulls it off in what is more a film about Victor Frankenstein having a lover’s spat with his wife, who discovers her husband has committed some evil selfish acts. To his credit though, Victor Frankenstein is no hero. He’s selfish, self-centered, and has a God complex, but Branagh is very obsessed with chewing the scenery. So much so that he even manages to outdo Robert DeNiro.