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Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1998

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by goregirl

Just one more list after this one and this 90s horror feature is done like dinner!! I’ll be announcing the winner of the Criterion contest this Friday, March 1! Nothing new with 1998, lots of crap and a handful of gems. The top two films earned a 5/5, films three, four and five I rated 4/5, films six, seven, eight and nine are films I rated 3.5/5 and film number ten I rated 3/5. I also rated the following films 3/5; The Untold Story 2, Progeny, Night Time and The Wolves of Kromer.

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#10 SOMBRE
Directed By: Philippe Grandrieux

Sombre is definitely a somber affair. This slow-moving artful film has lovely looking and gritty visuals and at times is thoughtful and provocative. Marc Barbé and Elina Löwensohn both give great performances but I did long for more character introspection. On reading my May 2010 review I suspect I allowed myself to be affected by another’s influences. It seems like something I would normally be all over. Even what I can recall, it was still the strongest of the films I rated 3/5 from 1998. I need to revisit this one again soon. To read my 2010 review click here.

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#9 THE FACULTY
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

Films with covers like The Faculty scare the hell out of me. So many films I hate from the 90s and early 2000s featured covers with the faces of their 20-something cast strategically lined up. Quite a few of these god-awful abominations were on this 1998 list; Disturbing Behavior, Urban Legends, Phantoms, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. I hate those films so very very much! I was literally afraid to rent The Faculty when it showed up on the new release wall at my video store! The Faculty was an exception to the rule. While the film is not without its flaws it is actually a pretty fun movie. The students suspect their teachers might be aliens, and inevitably are correct. The teachers are as integral to the plot as the students and the cast largely speaking is pretty good. Action, laughs, a few surprises and it’s a high school flick where the adults get to have all the fun!

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#8 RAZOR BLADE SMILE
Directed By: Jake West

This trailer is a little on the “self-aware” side! Nonetheless this low budget effort is a lot of fun. Lilith Silver is a sexy black-clad assassin who also happens to be a vampire. She draws a lot of unwanted attention when she starts knocking off rich powerful business men. They do all sorts of neat original things in this vampire flick. Eating a woman out when she has her period?! Is that a little too graphic for ya’ll? Well, you have to admit that is something you don’t see too often; and frankly it makes sense that a vampire should enjoy that! In Razor Blade Smile gunfights, swordplay, sex and the obligatory stakes are all part of the fun in this violent, gory and humorous low budget effort from the UK.

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#7 GOODBYE 20th CENTURY
Directed By: Darko Mitrevski & Aleksandar Popovski

No trailer for this one I am afraid, and in fact this little bit of bizarreness does not appear to be available on DVD. Goodbye 20th Century is a Macedonian film. I don’t think I have ever seen a film from Macedonia other than this one. I watched this at a friend’s place who warned me it was not a horror film. Well, it came up on the IMDB list so here it is. My friend was right, it isn’t exactly a horror film, but it does have a ton of violence and even some gore! It is sort of a Christmas film too! Yeah, Santa is a character in Goodbye 20th Century! And he may or may not be god?! There is also an immortal dude who gets shot a whole bunch of times that is the catalyst for the whole tale. There is all manner of religious mumbo-jumbo in this crazy trippy apocalyptic film which is a real mixed bag of craziness! If Goodbye 20th Century was a stew some of its ingredients might be The Holy Mountain, Road Warrior and Bladerunner with a pinch of Batman. I don’t think I understood it all, but it sure was a visual extravaganza!

goodbye 20th century

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#6 BIO ZOMBIE
Directed By: Wilson Yip

There is a goodly amount of horror-comedy on this list, but I am surprised by how few zombie films were around in the 90s. A soft drink called Lucozade has been spiked with a bio weapon that turns its consumer into a zombie. Enter Woody and Bee, a pair of lazy, irritating losers that work in the mall selling bootleg films. These two got on my nerves early in the film, but by mid-film I found myself rooting for them and their group of pals. There is a significant body count but not much in the way of gore. It is more of a comedic character-driven affair, but there is plenty of action in its second half and a freaking great finale! Bio Zombie is undead fun from Hong Kong! To read the full review click here.

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#5 VAMPIRES
Directed By: John Carpenter

Another vampire film?! Bloody hell! Why Vampires isn’t listed as a horror-comedy on IMDB is a mystery to me. The film has more one-liners than you can shake a stick at! Vampires is an entirely campy affair that is action packed with loads o’violence! James Woods is super terrific as cheeky slayer Jack Crow and has a hell of a lot of fun with the role. Thomas Ian Griffith is also a hoot as bad-ass vampire Valek. The effects are quite decent, the kills are energetic and there are plenty of laughs. Expect more fun than frights.

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#4 RINGU
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

It is so easy to forget how good Ringu was after countless bland and outright terrible long black-haired Japanese girl ghost flicks that followed it. North America isn’t the only movie making continent that can bastardize a cool concept! A video tape that kills its viewer seven days after watching it is the premise behind this scary, well-filmed and intense little Japanese horror flick. The real fun however comes in the discovery of the story behind the tape. The first time I seen this was a midnight showing with a friend who wasn’t much of a horror fan, and it scared them so bad they insisted on spending the night at my house!

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#3 BLADE
Directed By: Stephen Norrington

This splashy big budget affair is one of a handful of mainstream flicks I love from the 90s. It is insanely action packed and I rather like the idea of a vampire slayer that is a vampire himself. Wesley Snipes is also smoking hot, even with that stupid ass looking hairdo! Martial arts, swordplay, great special effects and a nifty cast without a second of downtime. Kris Kristofferson as Blade’s mortal assistant Whistler is top notch and Udo Kier as Dragonetti is a no-brainer. Goddamn I have included a lot of vampire titles on these 90s top ten lists! Apparently I like vampire films!

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#2 BRIDE OF CHUCKY
Directed By: Ronny Yu

Yeah, that’s right Bride-of-motherfucking-Chucky! Oh how I do love this ridiculously silly film!! The Child’s Play franchise was meant to be horror-comedy in my opinion! I love that smart-ass doll and his voluptuous bride! Curvy Jennifer Tilly was the perfect choice for Tiffany and what can I say about Brad Dourif? I love that guy! I’ve probably seen this movie at least a dozen times and it makes me laugh without fail. Bride of Chucky is violent, hilarious and incredibly daft fun I personally can’t get enough of. “Chucky gets lucky” – that shit practically writes itself!!

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#1 THE QUIET FAMILY
Directed By: Jee-woon Kim

Director Jee-woon Kim is without a doubt one of my favourite directors and is one of South Korea’s most talented. His spectacular A Bittersweet Life, the gritty I Saw the Devil, the beautiful and haunting A Tale of Two Sisters, the quirky The Good, The Bad and The Weird and The Foul King; the man can do no wrong in my book. As much as I love all of these films one of my favourites is still his first feature film; The Quiet Family. Dark, hilarious and superbly cast The Quiet Family is one of the smartest and most original horror comedies ever. Damn shame I could not find an English subtitled trailer for The Quiet Family as the laughs just don’t translate here. I really can’t recommend this film more highly and I could go on and on but I will instead direct you to my friend Jason’s review over at Genkinahito’s Blog (click here).

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Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1996

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by goregirl

There was the regular volume of 90s mud to wade through and a few of the worst of the worst were mainstream efforts which included The Island of Dr. Moreau, Mary Reilly and Diabolique but I still managed to pull together what I think is a solid top ten. There have not been a whole lot of repeat directors showing up on these 90s list but 1996 is an exception with Dario Argento, Peter Jackson, Shozin Fukui and Wes Craven all having their second entries! Film number one earned a 5/5 rating, films two through nine are films I rated 4/5 and film ten I rated 3.5/5. I gave one other film from 1996 a 3.5/5 which was Ebola Syndrome.

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#10 KILLER CONDOM
Directed By: Martin Walz

Killer Condom is based on the comic book of the same name by Ralf König. Apparently H. R. Giger was a creative consultant on the project. Killer Condom is a German film spoken in German that is set in New York?! Men in New York are losing their penises to the titular Killer Condom’s and Luigi Mackaroni is on the case. Luigi Mackaroni is a man who knows the streets of New York; a well-seasoned, chain smoking openly gay detective who is well known at the particular hotel where it all started. While Killer Condom definitely has a sleazy vibe and an outrageous premise neither the violence nor nudity is graphic; it is more campy than exploitative. It features a super Luigi sized killer condom, a mad scientist, a self-righteous pious villain and a lot of adorable little rubbers that make giggly cartoony noises. If that isn’t enough it has a love story and a heart warming happy ending! Killer Condom kept my attention and made me laugh often. To read the full review click here.

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#9 GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF THE LEGION
Directed By: Shûsuke Kaneko

Gamera! I mean really?! Who amoung us does not love a giant flying turtle?! Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion is one of the many entertaining post 80s Kaiju flicks I am discovering is well worth visiting. In Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion; the Legion refers to a species of alien insects that landed via meteor and have created a home in the city’s subway. The Legion is causing the oxygen levels to rise which explode their flower thingies with an end game of colonization. Gamera to the rescue! Tons of destruction, huge spectacular Kaiju battles, cool monster effects (some of the best I have seen in a Kaiju film!) and action galore make Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion an absolute must see bit of entertainment!

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#8 SPLATTER: NAKED BLOOD
Directed By: Hisayasu Sato

Splatter: Naked Blood is about a trio of women who volunteer to test a chemical contraceptive. The doctor’s son however is looking to conduct his own experiment and injects his own potion into his mother’s with horrific results. Splatter: Naked Blood has some nasty gore, weirdness, nudity, sex, laughs, nifty sound effects and a neato soundtrack. Be warned, the gore is nasty, but if that is your thing, have at it! To read my full review click here. I couldn’t find a trailer for the film, but I think this clip says it all.

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#7 THE STENDHAL SYNDROME
Directed By: Dario Argento

The Stendhal Syndrome is based on psychologist’s Graziella Magherini book about the affliction. Argento himself apparently once suffered from Stendhal Syndrome when he was a child. Detective Anna Manni is struck by the titular torment while at a museum. The detective is on the trail of a serial killer who uses the infirmity against her. Asia Argento plays Detective Manni and goes through the full gamut of emotions and is at times vulnerable, sad, and fierce; I think it is one of her best performances and despite looking terribly young and fresh faced she is quite effective in the role. The Stendhal Syndrome did not come up on the IMDB horror movie list much to my surprise! After this re-watch I understand why; The Stendhal Syndrome really is a dramatic thriller not a horror film. The Stendhal Syndrome is not without some plot issues, but is well paced, beautifully filmed with gorgeous sets and is a fascinating, unsettling and at times brutal bit of goodness.

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#6 THE FRIGHTENERS
Directed By: Peter Jackson

The Frighteners is a wacky horror-comedy about an architect named Frank Bannister who after surviving a car wreck that kills his wife has the ability to communicate with ghosts. The architect becomes a ghostbusting con man who uses the spirits to haunt residents that he than exorcises for cash. It is all fun and games until a malevolent spirit shows up. Frank tries to help the victims as he is able to see a number on their foreheads prior to their deaths and becomes suspect himself. Eccentric and obsessive FBI agent Milton Dammers is brought in to work on the case. The Frighteners is well-written, humorous, creepy, and has outrageous characters and great effects. Nicely cast too especially Jeffrey Combs who is absolutely brilliant as the insane FBI agent Dammers. Boo-haha!

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#5 RUBBER’S LOVER
Directed By: Shozin Fukui

Shozin Fukui’s 964 Pinocchio earned the number four slot for my favourites of 1991. Fukui’s Rubber’s Lover is a prequel of sorts to 964 Pinocchio and is an equally hallucinatory trip! Like its predecessor; Rubber’s Lover is a highly visual, incredibly weird, graphic and violent cyberpunk entry. Rubber’s Lover focuses on a group of psychotic scientists conducting twisted experiments using sensory depravation and mind-altering drugs to torture their unfortunate and involuntary patients. Their experiments are dangerous and brutal and inevitably result in calamity. Filmed in black and white with a heavy emphasis on metal, gears and fetishism. Do not stand; Keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times and your seatbelt securely fastened.

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#4 DON’T LOOK UP
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

It is like Don’t Look Up never existed. I could not find a trailer or a single clip for this film on YouTube; only its god-awful disaster of a remake from 2007 showed up in searches. This original directed by Hideo Nakata is virtually impossible to find and doesn’t seem to have ever had a release on DVD. What a shame because I think it is one of Nakata’s best. A crew filming in an old studio reviews the rushes from a day of shooting and it appears some old film stock has become intermingled with their new shots. The director recognizes the old footage from something he had watched on television as a child. He becomes obsessed with the images and learns the film was never finished. I seeked out this well-made, thoughtful and eerie supernatural tale on the strong recommendation of Wednesday’s Child over at 90s Horror (and Deep Red Rum) and it was no easy task to find! I am certainly not in the habit of doing such things, but this was such a great little film I have decided to post the link to where I was able to watch it online (click here). For fans of Japanese ghost stories I think it is well worth a watch.

don't look up

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#3 TESIS
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

Tesis did not come up on the IMDB horror film search and definitely leans towards a mystery-thriller but I think the film’s theme qualifies it enough to be here. Angela is a film student working on a thesis of violence in media at the University Complutense (the same University its director Alejandro Amenábar attended in real life). Through her research she discovers a video where a former student of the university is brutally killed. Her investigation of the material draws her into a heinous snuff ring. The film’s tagline is “My name is Angela. They’re going to kill me.” Which should give you some idea of where the story inevitable goes. The excellent performances from Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez and the handsome Eduardo Noriega (who would go on to star in Amenábar’s excellent Open Your Eyes) are all top notch. Tesis is smart, thrilling, suspenseful and an exceptionally well acted film from Spain that is well worth checking out.

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#2 SCREAM
Directed By: Wes Craven

Scream satirizes the horror genre and its many clichés. Based ever so loosely on The Gainesville Ripper and taking place in the fictional town of Woodsboro; it focuses on central character Sidney Prescott whose mother was killed one year previously. When teenagers from the town begin turning up dead Sidney begins to think that the crimes may be related to her mother’s death. An estranged father, her mother’s ex-lover and even her friends are all suspects. Scream was a huge commercial success and brought renewed interest to the genre; sadly it also seems to have birthed a series of irritating, stupid nonsense like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Valentine and Urban Legend but nonetheless Scream is a funny, clever and nasty film that is damn entertaining.

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#1 FROM DUSK TIL DAWN
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

Bad-ass Brothers Richie and Seth Gecko are wanted men looking for a way to cross the border. As luck would have it a pastor questioning his faith and his two children show up in a motorhome. The Gecko’s take the family hostage and successfully cross the border to meet up with their contact at a remote strip club called the Titty Twister. Unfortunately for the group the Titty Twister happens to be a nest for a whole lotta vicious and nasty vampires. I love how From Dusk til Dawn starts out as a crime thriller and evolves into a full frontal horror flick. From Dusk til Dawn is action-packed, violent, nasty, well-paced, full of dark humour, has great effects and is perfectly cast. Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, George Clooney, Ernest Liu, Quentin Tarantino and cameos from the likes of Cheech Marin, Michael Parks, Salma Hayek, John Saxon, Danny Trejo, Fred Williamson and Tom Savini. And it has pussy; hot pussy, cold pussy, wet pussy, smelly pussy, snapping pussy…come on in pussy lovers…From Dusk til Dawn is a shitload of bloody fun!

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