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My Cinematic Odyssey 2014

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by goregirl

Happy New Year! Despite the fact that there is crap in my life that needs to change, I refuse to make new year’s resolutions. I’ll fix my crap when I am damn good and ready to fix my crap. The one thing in my life that has always been a constant source of joy is film. I miss my little blog and sharing my love for all things cinematic so I have decided to reactivate my little space on the web. There will be none of this five days a week craziness though; likely a couple times a month and maybe, eventually, one post a week. I watched 317 films in 2014; to see the list click here. This was a banner year of film viewing with a mere handful of films I outrighted loathed; but let us not waste words on garbage and move onto the goodness. This list is in alphabetical order as it was too daunting to rank these gems; each and everyone adored.

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Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast: Lou Castel, Eddie Constantine, Marquard Bohm, Hanna Schygulla, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Ulli Lommel, Kurt Raab

The cast and crew of a film await the arrival of their director; a project that threatens to fall apart before it even gets started. Allegedly based on the shooting of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film Whity. Funny, manic and gorgeously shot with memorable performances by all. Just one of three Fassbinder films to make this list (and a few more made the shortlist).

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The Blood of a Poet (1932)
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Cast: Enrique Rivero, Elizabeth Lee Miller, Pauline Carton, Odette Talazac, Jean Desbordes, Fernand Dichamps, Lucien Jager, Féral Benga

A film in four chapters that begins with an artist whose illustration becomes animated; a series of strange and mysterious events follow. A trippy, beautiful black and white masterpiece that mesmerized me from beginning to end.

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The Brick Dollhouse (1967)
Directed by Tony Martinez and David F. Friedman
Cast: Tina Vienna, Janice Kelly, Peggy Ann, Joyana, Helena Clayton, George French

A gal turns up dead and the police question her three wacky roommates. These lovely ladies divulge the events of the past few days; a whirlwind of weed, wine and nudity. A sexploitation whodunnit! Funky fashions, frisky felines and fun galore abound in this quirky bit of sixties sleaze that gave me one hundred and one laughs.

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Cherry, Harry & Raquel (1970)
Directed by Russ Meyer
Cast: Linda Ashton, Charles Napier, Larissa Ely, Bert Santos, Frank Bolger, Uschi Digard, Michelle Grand, John Milo, Michaelani, Robert Aiken

Harry is a sheriff in league with a crooked politician to insure the safe passage of weed across the border. Things get considerably more complicated when one of their associates goes into business for himself; and then there is Harry’s love life! Classic Meyers with plenty of humor, action, sex, nudity and outrageous characters.

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Christiane F. (1981)
Directed by Uli Edel
Cast: Natja Brunckhorst, Eberhard Auriga, Peggy Bussieck, Lothar Chamski, Rainer Woelk, Uwe Diderich, Jan Georg Effler, Ellen Esser

Christiane F. is based on the autobiographical book We Children of Bahnhof Zoo by Vera Christiane Felscherinow. The story focuses on Christiane; a heroin addict and prostitute by the age of 14 living in West Berlin. The frank retelling of Christiane’s addiction pulls no punches and Natja Brunckhorst’s performance is outstanding. A live performance by David Bowie (who also provides the soundtrack) is merely a bonus.

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Come and See (1985)
Directed by Elem Klimov
Cast: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius, Vladas Bagdonas, Jüri Lumiste, Viktor Lorents, Kazimir Rabetsky

Come and See is Flyora’s story; a Belarusian boy taken from his sobbing mother to fight with his countrymen during Nazi occupation. A daunting and traumatizing 130ish minutes follow! Come and See knocked me on my ass. I felt both drained and exhilirated that a film could evoke this much emotion from me. Poiginant story telling, beautifully acted and shot; much is said here without words. Stunning.

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Criminal Woman: Killing Melody (1973)
Directed by Atsushi Mihori
Cast: Reiko Ike, Miki Sugimoto, Chiyoko Kazama, Masami Sôda, Yumiko Katayama, Ryôji Hayama, Shinzo Hotta, Seiya Satô

Maki has landed in a woman’s prison after attempting to kill the Yakuza boss who killed her father. In prison she befriends a group of women that help her seek her revenge. One of the women however is the girlfriend of the Yakuza boss who threatens to spoil their plans. Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto are always a winning combination in my book. Both ladies lend their considerable charm and talent to this pinky thrill-ride full of action and violence.

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The Dance of Reality (2013)
Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Cast: Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Jeremias Herskovits, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bastián Bodenhöfer, Adan Jodorowsky, Axel Jodorowsky

I got a double dose of Jodorowsky this year with the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune and The Dance of Reality; the latter being his first film in twenty-three years! A semi-autobiographical retelling of Jodorowsky’s childhood packed with symbolism and Jodorowsky’s own philosophies. Alejandro’s son Brontis is superb in the role of Alejandro’s father Jaime and Pamela Flores steals every scene she is in with her melodic delivery as Alejandro’s mother Sara. A charming and sentimental journey loaded with gorgeous unforgettable imagery.

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Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41 (1972)
Directed by Shunya Itô
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Fumio Watanabe, Kayoko Shiraishi, Mitsuo Andô, Yuki Arasa, Kai Atô, Hiroshi Hayashi, Shinzo Hotta

Matsu is brought out of solitary confinement for a prison inspection. During the inspection she takes the opportunity to attack the chief warden which causes a riot. The prisoners are sent to a work camp as punishment. A bad-ass group of women including Matsu escape leaving a trail of dead bodies behind them. I reviewed this one and gave it a five out of five; one of the best women in prison films around! Read my review here.

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Gate of Flesh (1964)
Directed by Seijun Suzuki
Cast: Jô Shishido, Kôji Wada, Yumiko Nogawa, Tomiko Ishii, Kayo Matsuo, Kuniko Kawanishi, Misako Tominaga, Isao Tamagawa

Prostitutes living together in an abandoned building take in a wounded thief who threatens to tear the group apart. A bittersweet story of love and hate, friend and foe and above all else survival. These women have some pretty severe punishment for those who don’t abide by the groups rules. I watched three Seijun Suzuki directed films this year and enjoyed all of them immensely. It was a difficult decision to leave Branded to kill off of this list (Heat-Haze Theatre and Branded to kill both made the shortlist). Suzuki is truly a master behind the camera; the use of color in this film could almost be called legendary.

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Heavy Traffic (1973)
Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Cast: Joseph Kaufmann, Beverly Hope Atkinson, Frank DeKova, Terri Haven, Mary Dean Lauria, Jacqueline Mills, Lillian Adams, Jamie Farr

An animated tale sprinkled with live action sequences about the adventures of unemployed cartoonist Michael Corleone. Serious family Dysfunction, racism, poverty, prostitution and violence all come into play in the animated sequences while we get occasional live-action glimpses of Michael’s real world existence. Another bittersweet story to make the list although not without some humor. The animation is lovely and the story is engaging and lively. This was given to me as a gift by a friend this past September and I have already watched it three times.

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Intrepidos Punks (1980)
Directed by Francisco Guerrero
Cast: Juan Valentín, Juan Gallardo, Ana Luisa Peluffo, Princesa Lea, Martha Elena Cervantes, Alfredo Gutiérrez, Guillermo Lagunes, Olga Rios, Rosita Bouchot

A bad-ass bike gang bust their compadres out of prison and are pursued by the law. The Intrepidos Punks are a bunch of thieving, raping, drug-taking, violent motherfuckers sporting some of the most awesome punk getups you will ever see! This Mexican made masterpiece is mandatory viewing.

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L’Innocente (1976)
Directed by Luchino Visconti
Cast: Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, Jennifer O’Neill, Rina Morelli, Massimo Girotti, Didier Haudepin, Marie Dubois, Roberta Paladini, Claude Mann

A wealthy aristocrat who has openly taken a lover becomes destructively obsessed with his wife after learning she may also be having an affair. The aristocrat Tullio is an arrogant douchebag; a pretty terrible human being. L’Innocente is a bleak but beautiful film with elaborate sets and costumes and perfect performances that surprised, angered and elated me.

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La Grande Bouffe (1973)
Directed by Marco Ferreri
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, Ugo Tognazzi, Andréa Ferréol, Solange Blondeau, Florence Giorgetti, Michèle Alexandre

Four friends get together to eat themselves to death; and it is a comedy! La Grande Bouffe does have a few emotional moments but it is a very funny film with a great cast. The four men Mastroianni, Piccoli, Noriet and Tognazzi have fantastic chemistry and play off each other perfectly. Dark and whacky fun!

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La Notte (1961)
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Bernhard Wicki, Rosy Mazzacurati, Maria Pia Luzi, Guido A. Marsan, Vittorio Bertolini

An examination of an unhappy couple and their deteriorating marriage. Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau and Monica Vitti have all turned up multiple times in films I watched last year. All three are exceptionally talented so it is no surprise they were gamefully employed. La Notte is a lovely and sad reflection on love won and lost.

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Love At The Top (1974)
Directed by Michel Deville
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Romy Schneider, Jane Birkin, Henri Garcin, Georges Beller, Georges Wilson, Estella Blain, Florinda Bolkan

A shy bank employee confides to a friend his success picking up a beautiful young woman during his lunch break. The friend, an author, convinces his banker buddy to quit his job and embark on a series of quests to become a wealthy ladies man. A dark comedy that made me laugh often but is not without some tragedy along the way. A perfect performance from the great Jean-Louis Trintignant and memorable turns from Jean-Pierre Cassel, Romy Schneider, Jane Birkin and especially Florinda Bolkan (her character is a riot).

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Martha (1974)
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast: Margit Carstensen, Karlheinz Böhm, Barbara Valentin, Peter Chatel, Gisela Fackeldey, Adrian Hoven, Ortrud Beginnen, Wolfgang Schenck, Kurt Raab

Martha, a single woman in her 30s whose recently lost her father and is caring for a crazy over-bearing mother accepts a marriage proposal from the arrogant Helmut. This film literally tore me to shreds. I hated Helmut with every bit of hate I have in me! Martha’s life is a nightmare but she refuses to leave the horrible sonofabitch. A frustrating, downright infuriating glimpse of a seriously unhappy marriage. Margit Carstensen always gives an immaculate performance but this absolutely takes the cake. Karlheinz Böhm (who you will recognize from Peeping Tom) elicits a hatred that is penetrating and unforgettable.

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Mondo Keyhole (1966)
Directed by Jack Hill and John Lamb
Cast: Nick Moriarty, Adele Rein, Cathy Crowfoot, Carol Baughman, Pluto Felix, Christopher Winters, Penelope Faith

A serial rapist living behind a seemingly respectable existence with a nice home and a beautiful young wife attempts to keep his secret hidden; or is it all an illusion? “Each of you must distinguish for himself between the scenes of cold reality and those of pure illusion; the line between them is blurred at best.” One of my favourite roughies that ranks along with Michael Findlay’s Flesh trilogy. Rapist/husband Nick Moriarty convinces as a real sleaze while heroin-addicted, sex-starved wife Adele Rein is adorably ignorant and loyal to a fault. Enough nudity, drugs and sixties sleaziness to fill two movies. Great fun!

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Revengers Tragedy (2002)
Directed by Alex Cox
Cast: Christopher Eccleston, Derek Jacobi, Diana Quick, Jean Butler, Andrew Schofield, Paul Reynolds, Justin Salinger, Eddie Izzard, Marc Warren, Fraser Ayres

Based on Thomas Middleton’s play published in 1607 but set in a post-apocalyptic Liverpool. Liverpool is ruled by an evil Duke with a nest of spoiled and unruly sons while Vindici, believed to be dead, has recently arrived in Liverpool seeking revenge against the powerful Duke. Vindici will stop at nothing to avenge the death of his wife and several of their guests; a crime perpetrated by the Duke and his sons on his wedding day. Vengeance is sweet as a rose but it can also sting like a bee. A funny, tragic and quirky twist on classic literature with a most magnificent and enigmatic Christopher Eccleston in the role of Vindici, Derek Jacobi as the creepy Duke and Eddie Izzard as the Duke’s son Lussurioso.

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School of the Holy Beast (1974)
Directed by Noribumi Suzuki
Cast: Yumi Takigawa, Emiko Yamauchi, Yayoi Watanabe, Ryouko Ima, Harumi Tajima, Natsuko Yashiro, Marie Antoinette, Emi Shiro

Maya poses as a nun at the Sacred Heart Convent to discover what happened to her mother years before. A nunsploitation and pinky violence flick that lived up to my expectations. Torture, both inflicted and self-induced, sex, nudity, violence and as an added bonus well filmed with loads of creative flourishes. Yumi Takigawa is intense and what an ending!

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Sinner (1973)
Directed by Jesús Franco
Cast: Howard Vernon, Doris Thomas, Anne Libert, Jacqueline Laurent, Montserrat Prous, Kali Hansa, Francisco Acosta, Manuel Pereiro

I watched Sinner early in 2014 and it was one of the last reviews I did; read it here. It is one of Jess Franco’s best in my opinion.

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The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales (1960)
Directed by Rogelio A. González
Cast: Arturo de Córdova, Amparo Rivelles, Elda Peralta, Guillermo Orea, Rosenda Monteros, Luis Aragón, Mercedes Pascual, Antonio Bravo

Dr. Pablo Morales is a taxidermist in an unhappy marriage to Gloria, a bitter prude and highly religious woman. After several long years Dr. Morales has finally decided something needs to be done. Arturo de Córdova is so likable as Dr. Morales you root for him 100%! A dark and hilarious comedy with a seriously charming performance by Córdova.

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Story of O (1975)
Directed by Just Jaeckin
Cast: Corinne Cléry, Udo Kier, Anthony Steel, Jean Gaven, Christiane Minazzoli, Martine Kelly, Jean-Pierre Andréani, Gabriel Cattand

Based on the book by Pauline Réage (aka Anne Desclos) about the erotic adventures of O. In the film version O is a fashion photographer who is taken by her lover Rene to Château Roissy to be trained as a submissive. Enduring all manner of pain and humiliation O emerges a changed woman. Corinne Cléry was a solid choice to play O; she is beautiful, confident, sexy and powerful. The sets and costumes were lovely and the kinky opulence of the whole thing really hypnotized me.

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Submission (1969)
Directed by Allen Savage
Cast: Jennifer Welles, Gary Judis, June Adams, Sue Beaudry, Sheila Britt, João Fernandes

I did a review for Submission as part of the Stepping Into Something Weird project I did with David at My Kind of Story. Read my review here. I loved a lot of Something Weird films but this one was probably my favourite overall. Jennifer Welles is perfect.

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Successive Slidings of Pleasure (1974)
Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Cast: Anicée Alvina, Olga Georges-Picot, Michael Lonsdale, Jean Martin, Marianne Eggerickx, Isabelle Huppert, Maxence Mailfort, Claude Marcault, Nathalie Zeiger

An eccentric young woman named Alice is kept in a convent while they investigate the murder of her friend. The lines between reality and fantasy become blurred as the tale unfolds. The visuals in Successive Slidings of Pleasure are its strongest asset; every frame is gorgeous. The cast are terrific especially the beautiful Anicée Alvina who plays Alice and her delightfully cheeky attitude towards everything and everybody. Successive Slidings of Pleasure is truly one of a kind. This is one of three films directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet I watched in 2014; a director well worth exploring. His film Trans-Europ-Express also made my shortlist.

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The Ultimate Degenerate (1969)
Directed by Michael Findlay
Cast: Uta Erickson, Michael Findlay, Earl Hindman, Janet Banzet, Suzzan Landau, Yolanda Cortez, Rita Vance, Kim Lewid, Donna Stone, Clint McCook, Cindy Freemont

The Ultimate Degenerate was another film reviewed for Stepping Into Something Weird. Read the review here. Michael Findlay’s sleazy, psychodelic roughie was one of the highlights of Stepping Into Something Weird!

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Weekend (1967)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon

A bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside to visit a dying father and secure an inheritance. Along the way they pass countless violent car accidents, meet some unusual folks and become entangled in bizarre circumstances. Meanwhile, each is having an affair and plotting each other’s death. These two are freaking nuts! This couple is so obnoxious I could not help but laugh at how audacious and ridiculous they were. A funny, strange and dark comedy/drama with plenty of social commentary and solid performances from Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne.

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Wicked City (1987)
Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri

A peace pact has been reached between the human world and the black world. The Black Guard has been set up to keep balance between the worlds and have been assigned the task of protecting the 200 year old Giuseppi Mayart whose presence is imperative in the signing of a new peace treaty. The assignment of the two black guards Renzaburō Taki, a human male and Makie a female from the black world was no accident and their involvement has the potential to change the world forever. Fabulous animation, a solid premise and lots of laughs and action in the best entry I’ve seen from the genre yet! I will definitely be checking out more Japanese animation in 2015!

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The Witch Who Came From the Sea (1976)
Directed by Matt Cimber
Cast: Millie Perkins, Lonny Chapman, Vanessa Brown, Peggy Feury, Jean Pierre Camps, Mark Livingston, Rick Jason, Stafford Morgan, Richard Kennedy, George ‘Buck’ Flower

The Witch Who Came From the Sea is one of the most unique American made exploitation films I have ever seen. The film and especially central character Molly Stayed with me for days after and garnered a perfect 5/5; read the review here.

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World On a Wire (1973)
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast: Klaus Löwitsch, Barbara Valentin, Mascha Rabben, Karl Heinz Vosgerau, Wolfgang Schenck, Günter Lamprecht, Ulli Lommel, Adrian Hoven, Kurt Raab, Margit Carstensen

Fassbinder tries his hand at sci-fi and the result is a 3 + hour epic cybernetic, visually arresting, perfectly performed masterpiece. It made my Criterion top ten list over at The Droid You’re Looking For; check it out here.

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Made the Shortlist: My Night at Maud’s (1969, Directed by Eric Rohmer), The Living Skeleton (1968, Directed by Hiroshi Matsuno), The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai (2003, Directed by Mitsuru Meike), Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (1973, Directed by Shunya Itô), Witching and Bitching (2013, Directed by Álex de la Iglesia), Trans-Europ-Express (1966, Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet), Veronika Voss (1982, Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder), The Exquisite Cadaver (1969, Directed by Vicente Aranda), The Debussy Film (1965, Directed by Ken Russell), Mystics in Bali (1981, Directed by H. Tjut Djalil), The Colour of Pomegranates (1968, Directed by Sergei Parajanov), Through the Looking Glass (1976, Directed by Jonas Middleton), Viridiana (1961, Directed by Luis Buñuel), Immoral Women (1979, Directed by Walerian Borowczyk), Conversation Piece (1974, Directed by Luchino Visconti), Zero Woman Red Handcuffs (1974, Directed by Yukio Noda), Branded to Kill (1967, Directed by Seijun Suzuki), Inferno (2009, directed by Serge Bromberg & Ruxandra Medrea), Lady Terminator (1989, directed by H. Tjut Djalil), Ludwig (1972, directed by Luchino Visconti), Love is Colder Than Death (1969, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder), Neo Tokyo (1987, directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri & Rintaro & Katsuhiro Ôtomo), Silip: Daughters of Eve (1985, directed by Elwood Perez), Snowpiercer (2013, directed by Joon-ho Bong), Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls (1979, directed by Noribumi Suzuki), Highway Patrolman (1991, directed by Alex Cox), Bellissima (1952, directed by Luchino Visconti).

DUNGEON MAINTENANCE

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , on March 7, 2013 by goregirl

This should have been a review for The Honeymoon Killers, but I am afraid you will have to wait (with what I am sure will be bated breath) until Monday. I started doing some maintenance last night. First priority was compiling my 1990s lists for my sidebar. The second priority was IMDB. I have been seriously neglecting my IMDB profile; I had intended to post a list each month. Well, that certainly hasn’t happen so I added a list of my favourite films of the 1960s. I figured since I was there I would post the 1990s too. Next thing I knew it was midnight which is why you are not reading a review for The Honeymoon Killers. Now go have yourselves a goretastic weekend!

SIDEBAR LINK

GOREGIRL’S FAVOURITE HORROR FILMS 1990-99

IMDB LINKS

Goregirl’s Favourite Horror Films of the 1960s

Goregirl’s Favourite Horror Films of the 1990s

POLL TIME…

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , on September 10, 2012 by goregirl

I put a poll up in my sidebar last Friday asking you to help me choose what my next decade of focus should be. I’ve covered my favourite 10 horror films from each year of the 70s & 80s and in November I will cover the decade of your choice. I will keep the poll up for a couple more days and announce the results on Friday, September 14. Keep in mind that which ever decade is chosen it will be the exclusive focus for the entire month of November.

VOTE HERE.

Goregirl’s Top Ten VAMPIRE Films on YouTube!

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2011 by goregirl

I am going to stick with written reviews for a spell; so I thought I would try something new on ye olde YouTube channel. So here it is, my first video top ten list. These lists will generally be horror-themed but I just might throw something else in the mix for the hell of it. If you have any suggestions leave me a comment.

Goregirl’s 25 Favourite Horror Films of the Decade

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by goregirl

The films on this list were in theatres or went straight to DVD during 2000-2009. The shortlist was 37 films, so I had to eliminate a few great selections in the process. There were some amazing foreign entries from the last ten years. I was particularly impressed with the films coming out of France and the UK. Japanese horror was rocking my world in the 90’s and continued to pump new blood into the genre. Lot’s and lot’s of blood! If I was giving out a Director of the decade award, it would definitely go to Japanese director Takashi Miike. He directed more quality films in the last ten years than most directors manage their entire career. His twisted, violent and unique vision provided me hours of entertainment! Needless to say, the U.S. has there share of entries on the list. The sheer volume of horror films released each year would make it almost impossible not to have a few good ones. A few of the excellent films that didn’t make the list are ‘Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon’ (2006), ‘Midnight Meat Train’ (2008), ‘Pontypool’ (2008/9), ‘Murder Party’ (2007), ‘Eden Lake’ (2008) and ‘The Signal’ (2007).

#25. George A. Romero’s Land of The Dead (2005)
I was so excited to see Romero’s new entry I actually got tickets ahead of time for opening night! The cheeky girl at the theatre told me I wouldn’t need to get tickets ahead of time for this one. If I had a glove I would have slapped her in the face and challenged her to a dual! ‘Land of The Dead’ is an intelligent, action-packed, funny and gory masterpiece. Epic zombie makeup, ripping and gourging of entrails, all the good stuff you hope for in a zombie flick. Dennis Hopper as Kaufman was an inspired choice. It’s like Romero called me up and asked me personally what I would like to see in his new zombie film. (Just like he does in my dreams). He is still the undisputed zombie king! We forgive him for ‘Diary of the Dead’. Can’t wait for ‘Survival of The Dead’!

#24. Slither (2006)
I had to rewatch this one to make sure it belonged on this list. I only watched ‘Slither’ once and that was during its theatrical release. ‘Slither’ is freaking great! Amazing energy, an excellent cast, superb effects, and hilarious. It’s all about the funny, but there are definitely a few moments of intensity. And what a slime-tacular ending!! A slimy nod to b-movies of the 50’s and the horror films of the 80’s that filled me with mucho horror glee!

#23. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The horror here is never actually horrifying and the film has no intention of attempting to frighten you. The mummy is pretty nifty looking though, and amusingly dons an over-sized cowboy hat and boots. Normally I would shout out for more horror but I don’t think it was appropriate here. Coscarelli keeps things pretty simple. His senior heroes are not super; they fall down, use walkers and wheelchairs and wear pajamas when they go to bed. There isn’t a thing I would change about this film. Bruce Campbell’s performance of an aging Elvis Presley is excellent and Ossie Davis is perfectly cast as his friend Jack. A bizarre, endearing, funny and completely original film that entertained the hell out of me! To read the full review click here.

#22. The Host (2006)
I am a sucker for a monster movie. I’m sure I seen every one that existed when I was a kid. Godzilla is practically family to me. I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to check out ‘The Host’ in theatres. This would have been a kick ass big screen film! The film is beautiful to look at and the effects are top notch. Loved the monster…absolutely loved it! I thought the story was great and the casting was perfect, and particularly enjoyed Kang-ho Song. If you are a fan of Asian films you might recognize him from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance or The Good, the Bad, the Weird, or this year’s ‘Thirst’. A fantastic, South Korean monster flick that will appeal to more than just horror fans.

#21. Trick R Treat (2008/9)
One of two films that found their way from my favorites of 2009 to the best of the decade. I don’t know why there aren’t more horror anthology type films. There’s not many out there really and there are a few bad ones, but I really like ‘Creepshow’, and ‘Trilogy of Terror’ and I think ‘Trick R Treat’ is an outstanding addition to this group. The props and sets are absolutely outstanding. I am a Halloween junkie and strictly based on visuals…I almost needed a moment alone I was so excited! The stories are great fun and I love how they are all sewn together. Great performances all around particularly by Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. L-O-V-E-D it! To read the full review click here.

#20. Dead and Breakfast (2004)
I almost didn’t rent this film when I spied the word ‘musical’ on the back cover. Not a fan of musicals. I would not exactly call this a musical though. There is some music in it, and there are two musical numbers…sort of, but otherwise it is a horror-comedy. Much to my surprise I actually liked the music. It adds something unique to the film. The “Comin to kill ya” song was rattling around in my head for days after! It’s low-budget, campy fun with some decent gore and most importantly zombies! This film really tickles me. My husband and I have watched ‘Dead and Breakfast’ at least a half a dozen times since our first viewing and it still completely and thoroughly entertains us.

#19. Save the Green Planet! (2003)
This South Korean entry is a genre stew. As much a comedy as it is a horror, sci-fi or drama. A wonderfully unique, and strangely powerful film. It was beautifully filmed, with a very dark and surreal vibe. Performances by the entire cast were perfect. A completely imaginative, brilliant piece of celluloid that left me feeling saddened, entertained and extremely sated. Amazing! To read the full review click here.

#18. High Tension (2003)
This intense French horror film is beautifully filmed and is jammed-packed with suspenseful moments. Some of the most impressive intensity I have come upon. It is an unrelenting attack on the senses carried by an outstanding and very believable performance from its lead actress. The French have been kicking my ass all over town with their awesome horror entries during this decade. Viva La France!

#17. 3 Extremes (2004)
Hey! Hey! Another anthology! I didn’t want to mention it above and spoil all the fun! 3 films by 3 Asian directors. Fruit Chan (Dumpling), Takashi Miike (Box) and Chan-wook Park (Cut). Quite the trio of directors there! You would have to tie me down and bleed me to keep me away from this one! It was as magnificent as I hoped it would be. In trilogies there is usually a weak link but I didn’t think that was the case here. I loved all 3 films, but if I had to rank, it would fall somewhere in between ‘Cut’ and ‘Dumplings’. The ‘Dumplings’ segment will be beyond disturbing for some and you may not want to go out for Dim Sum anytime soon after seeing it. All three are excellent original stories complimented by great performances and amazing visuals.

#16. Antichrist (2009)
‘Antichrist’ is one of the two films that made it from my TOP 10 list for 2009. I’m a fan of director Lars Von Trier. If I were to make a non-horror top 25 films of the decade, without a doubt his film ‘Dogville’ would make that list. ‘Antichrist’ is a beautifully filmed masterpiece that is bleak and violent and full of pain and misery. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are perfectly cast here but it is Gainsbourg’s performance that will stay with you long after the credits roll by. Well, that and some rather unfriendly genital violence! To read the full review click here.

#15. Audition (2000)
Takashi Miike had three outstanding films during the decade with ‘Visitor Q’, ‘Ichi The Killer’ and ‘Audition’. Ichi is all about the action, and Visitor Q is nasty and disturbing but leans towards the drama more than the horror. Audition is pure horror gold. An outstanding build up of tension and a positively epic ending. Eihi Shiina is stunning as Asami and you will not soon forget her delightfully nasty secret.

#14. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
‘Devil’s Rejects’ takes the best from ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ and uses it far more effectively. The “best” being a delightful trio of sociopaths; Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding. This time they are taking their show on the road and they’ve got the law trying to bring them down. A grittier, more interesting film than the original with better characterizations and more violence. I actually quite enjoyed ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ but ‘Devil’s Reject’s’, in my opinion, was the far superior film.

#13. Final Destination (2000)
This one is my guilty pleasure. It’s asks nothing of me but to sit back and enjoy the ride. Another series plagued by bad sequels, although there has been at least one death sequence in each that I have enjoyed. When the film first came out in 2000 it felt considerably fresher. They really need to check the expiry date and dump this shit down the sink already! The original idea was neat but it has officially been stretch thin. But that said, the original was packed full of creative death scenes, impressive effects and a lot of high-energy fun.

#12. Planet Terror (2007)

I’m a big Quentin Tarantino fan, so I went to see ‘Grindhouse’ on opening night. The mock trailers were fantastic! I was particularly fond of Edgar Wright’s ‘Don’t’. I went for the Tarantino, and indeed enjoyed ‘Death Proof’ but it was Robert Rodriguez’s entry ‘Planet Terror’ that really knocked my socks off. Cherry was a great character. I really really love that gun for a leg thing! The entire cast of characters was spectacular. There is a ton of action, great effects and freaking zombies! It’s the film that has it all! A thoroughly entertaining film I will watch again and again.

#11. Severance (2006)

“Another Bloody Office outing” indeed! I hate team-building crap at work, but that’s not the only reason I love this movie. I love everything about it. It is funny, crafty, gory, suspenseful and well directed. The ending was perfect and most rewarding. It’s no coincidence that I have back-to-back UK horror-comedies on this list. I am a sucker for British humour and the Brits know their horror! It’s the home of Hammer Films after all! To read the full review click here.

#10. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I loved ‘Shaun of The Dead’ so much I went to see it at the theatre twice! It is a horror-comedy but it serves up more intensity and suspense than most. This one got a lot of hype but I thought this one actually deserved it. Shaun has a dead end job and likes to hang out at his favourite pub…just like me! I thought Simon Pegg was great and I must admit to developing just a wee crush on the lad. Nick Frost is great as his goofy friend. The entire cast is great actually. Dialog felt easy and casual and it didn’t seem like anyone was “acting”. There are even a few sentimental moments. I actually felt choked up during the scene with Shaun and his mum. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know which scene I mean.) They stick to traditional zombie lore and the makeup and effects look great. A perfect horror-comedy and an ass-kicking zombie film from the UK!

#9. Inside (2007)
Full of brooding and intensely suspenseful moments and the gore factor is through the roof. A perfect mix of tension, suspense and graphic gory death. Watching a very pregnant woman being terrorized is nasty enough but there are actually moments in the film where they have the audacity to show the action from the fetus point of view. I think that is wonderfully evil! Another Hooray for the French horror! To read the full review click here.

#8. Let The Right One In (2008)
One of the best vampire films to come out in years. It’s a beautiful snowy evening when Oskar meets Eli and the two become friends. The relationship between the two is sweet and endearing but is also complicated and tragic. It is an amazing, well-written story with great performances from the two child actors and is absolutely stunning to look at! Violence is minimal but what is there was effective. This one really isn’t about the gore though. This Swedish entry is an original refreshing twist on the vampire tale that is hauntingly beautiful.

#7. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman is a brooding, arrogant, self-obsessed, perfectly chiseled psychopath with the worst taste in music EVER! I have seen this film WAY too many times. I can actually quote lines! Bale is freaking amazing as Bateman and he ain’t hard on the eyes either! I loved his deep analysis that accompanied every horrific piece of 80’s music he puts on throughout the film. Whitney Houston? Huey Lewis and The News? Phil Collins? Yike! A cornucopia of crap, but it made me laugh so hard I had a stomachache! Although this one is a star-studded affair it doesn’t wimp out. There’s nudity, sex, language and of course violence! A black humour runs through the film even in its violent scenes that made me cringe and laugh. Mary Harron’s direction is spot on. It is a shame there aren’t more female directors making horror films. The excess of the 80’s has never been so damn entertaining!

#6. Saw (2004)
It’s hard to look back at this first film objectively after five miserable sequels. On the other hand, I keep watching the sequels, which is a testament to how much I adored this first film. The original ‘Saw’ had an impressive intensity an inventive premise and some gloriously original death sequences. Not only was ‘Saw’ a standout the year it was released, but has become an enduring horror classic despite its less than stellar sequels.

#5. Martyrs (2008)
The performance by both women in ‘Martyrs’ is outstanding. The film twists and turns, but the hard right it takes mid-way completely blindsided me. It starts out as a revenge picture and transforms into something very different. There were more than a few shocks and surprises. The ending is complete and utter insanity! The violence is extreme and graphic. The gore and effects are outstanding. I could not recommend more highly this unflinching, bloody brilliant and completely original horror film. Yet another French entry…and not the last one either! To read the full review click here.

#4. In My Skin (2002)
Are you obsessed with the bodies healing process? Are you fascinated by watching a cut become a scab? Can you barely control yourself from picking at said scab? Well, maybe I’m alone on this one. It’s a lot more than a scab that gets picked at in ‘In My Skin’. Self-mutilation is the name of the game here and it is a fascination to watch. Disturbing, gross and mesmerizing. Marina de Van wrote, directed and starred in this brilliant and completely original French film. Proving once again that the French know their horror.

#3. Ginger Snaps (2000)
The most original take on a werewolf film…EVER. Drawing a parallel between the curse of turning into a werewolf with the curse of becoming a woman is pretty freaking brilliant. The film centers around two close sisters that are misfits and outcasts. One of the few films featuring teenagers that I didn’t find the least bit obnoxious. Performances by both girls are great. An excellent story, strong performances, great werewolf effects and it’s Canadian…just like me!

#2. May (2002)
Man of man do I love this film! May was picked on as a child and spent a lot of time playing alone with the ugly little doll her mom gave her as a gift. She has now become a socially awkward adult. She is sweet and quite adorable but there is definitely a wee bit o’crazy bubbling under the surface. When things go badly for May things go badly for others. Angela Bettis is mesmerizing as May. She brings a quirkiness and sweetness to the character that makes you have empathy for her even when she does terrible things. I don’t get to see near enough Bettis! I think she is fantastic and she was so freaking outstanding in this wonderfully original little film. I loved the look and feel of the film and it’s nice steady pace that builds to a finale that I think is nothing short of spectacular.


#1. The Descent (2005)

I expect to see ‘The Descent’ on many “best of” lists. Once in a while there is a film that is so undeniably outstanding that horror fans across the board actually agree. It has Intensity you can cut with a knife. It is a claustrophobic nightmare you can’t escape. It features a group of women who actually seem like they might know each other. This is something Neil Marshall gets, dialog that feels natural not forced. Performances by all the women are excellent. This film hits all the right horror notes and absolutely oozes atmosphere and creates a mood so perfect it almost brings me to tears. A flawless horror film that
I have seen at least a half a dozen times since its release and will revisit often in the years to come.