Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Well Worth the Read...

The Onion's "Night of the Killer Lamp:
23 Ridiculous Horror-Movie Adversaries"

Burnt Offerings

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A family decides to rent out a gorgeous house in the middle of the country from a couple of crazy old siblings. They get the rent really cheap, and in turn, they just have to feed the old lady who lives up in the attic. Sounds simple enough. But of course, as soon as they move in, strange things start to take place--the father tries to drown the son, the mom becomes obsessed with the pictures in the house, etc.

Scariness factor: It's very 1970s, and the horror is all very subtle.

Gross-Out Factor: Very low. I think the worst scene is when someone flies out a window.

Complaints: Karen Black. Seriously, for some reason it pains me and disturbs me to stare at her face for more than 2 minutes because her eyes are just WAY too close-set. Case in point:

Truly: it makes me feel dizzy very quickly and then I just want to kick her in the shin. Other than that, I thought the movie was too slow-paced. The first hour or so, nothing really interesting happens. Except maybe the near-drowning. You're just kind of like, um, what am I supposed to be frightened of right now? Oh, and Karen Black. Seriously. Oh, and it seemed like a bit of a rip-off of The Shining (though I just realized that it was made 4 years prior, so I guess it couldn't've been after all)--nonetheless, The Shining is much more well-worth seeing.

High Points: Bette Davis is in it, and she rocks as a bad-ass elderly aunt. She was probably my favorite part of the movie. Other than her, I really thought this movie was kind of boring until about the last 20 minutes or so. The ending is pretty damn creeptastic, though very very 1970s, especially with the freeze-frame moment. The end ALMOST redeemed the rest of it, but seriously: it was really kind of sluggish.

Overall: I could take it or leave it. If you can handle not watching any of a movie except the last 20 minutes, it may be more worth your while.

Grade: C+


Dead and Breakfast

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A group of young folks are headed across the country to a friend's wedding. When they get lost on the way, they decide to spend the night at a bed & breakfast in the middle of some hick-town. When they wake up in the middle of the night to find their hosts dead, they immediately come under suspicion by the local law. Toss in a shady drifter, a strange country-music band, a box that allows its owner to put people under his mind-control (sort of like zombies, but they don't have to be dead first) and you've got yourself Dead and Breakfast.

Scariness factor: It's in the spoofy vein of Shaun of the Dead so not so much.

Gross-Out Factor: HIGH HIGH HIGH. Way over-the-top with massive amounts of blood, eye-gougings, slit throats, etc.

Complaints: For some reason, they decided to structure the film by having a country-western singer pop onto the screen every once in a while to sing a little song that narrated what was going on in the movie. I *wanted* to like it, but really, it was just kind of irritating and pointless.

High Points: This movie has some really good black-comedic moments in it that will make you laugh out loud, my favorite being the one shown in the pic below, where one of the main characters is indulging in a late-night snack in the dark kitchen of the b&b when his girlfriend comes to find him and flicks on the light, only to reveal their cook hanging in the corner with a slit-throat, blood all over the floor and walls. The male lead freaks out and stands up to run out of the kitchen, only to spend a GRATUITOUSLY (and riotously) long time slipping, sliding, and falling in the blood on the floor since he can't get any traction because of its slipperiness. Great moment. This movie is also HORRIBLY over the top with its gore, kind of akin to Dead Alive where occasionally you just find yourself laughing because it is SO ridiculously gorey that it's funny.

Overall: All in all, I thought this was a fun movie. It has a lame ending, and it's structured a little bit irritating, but it will make you laugh and then be horrified that you're laughing.

Grade: B+


Let's Scare Jessica to Death

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Jessica has been recently institutionalized but has since been released. She heads out with her husband and a friend to move into an old farmhouse to further recuperate. Upon moving in, she begins to see things that make her question whether she might be losing her mind again.

Scariness factor: Seriously high-class psychological horror.

Gross-Out Factor: Campy 1970s bloodiness. Nothing too terrible.

Complaints: None. Honest to god.

High Points: Seriously, I think this may be the best movie I've watched all Halloween season, and I wasn't expecting ANYTHING out of it, to be honest. It is ridiculously haunting. It'll spook you to your very core. It gives The Shining competition in how it plays with the question of whether the lead character is losing her mind or whether there's some sort of haunting going on. It was very 1970s, but it was also really well-acted. What seriously carried the movie was the lead actress. She gave a very subtle and sympathetic performance--she was so convincing that your heart went out to her, which made all the escalating events that more terrifying. The spooky moments were horrifyingly spooky and yet completely understated. And the ending was gorgeous and beautiful and haunting.

Overall: Seriously: my favorite movie I've watched this holiday season. If you can get your hands on it, do so immediately. Totally worth your while.

Grade: A+

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: This isn't an actual horror movie, so it doesn't have a plot. Instead, it documents the "rise and fall of the slasher film" from its beginnings (which they mark as the creation of Halloween) to its resurgence in popularity over the past few years.

Gross-Out Factor: There's a lot of special-fx discussion, so not only will you be watching lots of heads getting chopped off, throats getting sliced, etc., you'll also be watching some of them IN SLOW-MOTION. So yeah: pretty high for the squeamish.

High Points: You get to hear horror-movie legends like Wes Craven, John Carpenter, fx-master Tom Savini, etc. get geeked up about their horror movies and others as well. It also dips into discussion of the genre as anti-feminist (which they all argue vehemently against), the tropes of the slasher film, and the resurgence of its popularity with Scream. All in all, a fascinating romp through the genre, and particularly good for getting ideas for movies you need to rent.

Overall: I like watching documentaries about horror-films, what can I say? It makes my heart squishy to listen to grown men get all smiley and geeked up about how they finally figured out how to get a head to chop off perfectly and fly through the air for the perfect shot. And this documentary delights in that arena. Plus, it is chock full of movie clips for the horror movie geeks in all of us.

Grade: A

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Zombi Holocaust

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Things start off with the innocent theft of several cadaver body parts from a hospital's anatomy lab but soon escalate to an anthropologist and several doctors heading off to an island of zombies in order to make sense of what is happening back home.

Scariness factor: It's a mix of camp and creepiness. What with the music and the voice-overs, it's a bit difficult to give someone truly hardcore chills...

Gross-Out Factor: Wow, yeah. This is high high high. Eyes getting poked out. Hands getting sawed off. Skulls being removed. You name it, this movie's got it.

Complaints: This has a terrible and wandering plot with no real worthy explanation as to why the hell these people would actually travel all the way out to an island of zombie cannibals. Then again, that seems to be the case with ANY zombie cannibal movie, really, no?

High Points: Wow. This movie was great. The promotional tag-line on the front of the dvd pretty much says it all:

"3 skulls! 10 on the splatter scale! A frothing, heady stew of kick-ass gore, cannibles, zombies, nekkid babes, brain transplants and mad doctors. What's not to like here, 'pard? True art of the highest order."

It's one of the gorier movies I've seen, but in a crazy-assed, fun, groaning kind of way. It's terribly acted, and it makes really no sense. For example, during climactic scenes at the end of the movie, the blond female lead is suddenly butt-nekkid and getting giant hippie-flowers painted on her by the island's natives while her male counterpart is lying on a table, his skull about to be sawed off. The music is also horribly terrible, starting and stopping abruptly and sounding all sorts of 1970's throughout. There is gratuitous nudity, for really no other reason than to show gratuitous nudity (and this in itself is funny as well since the blond female lead, being lead to a sacrificial altar presumably to be sacrificed, appears to be butt-nekkid except for a pair of high heels--which apparently the natives (or the director) felt were ok since they made her nekkid body look all that more svelte and sexy). And my ultimate favorite moment of the movie is when, within the first 10 minutes or so, a man jumps from the 5+ floor of the hospital and, upon hitting the ground (having clearly been substituted in with a dummy), we see the dummy's arm fly off on impact, only to reappear just seconds later on a closeup of the bloodied man. I have not laughed so hard, and I actually rewound the movie to make sure that I'd really just seen that. Apparently the filmmakers figured, eh, wtf, why do a retake when there are more important scenes to move onto, like eye-gouging and body-spiking.

Overall: This movie was great campy fun, and horribly horribly gory. The latter usually makes me squeamish and bumps the movie rating down for me, but in this case, it was kind of the piece de resistance of the film. Seeing someone's eyes get gouged out has never looked so good.

Grade: B+


Monday, October 22, 2007

The Man With the Screaming Brain

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Industrialist William Cole happens to be in Bulgaria with his wife on business. She shacks up with a Bulgarian cab driver. He makes eyes with a gypsy. He gets killed by said gypsy, as does the cab driver, and some mad Bulgarian scientists bring him back to life by replacing the damaged portion of his brain with a piece of the cab driver's. His wife is killed by this same bastardy gypsy. She is brought back in the body of a creepy cyborg-esque robot. They both head off to get revenge.

Scariness factor: In the vein of mock B-horror-movie flicks, it's not supposed to be.

Gross-Out Factor: A few knives in stomachs, that's about it.

Complaints: I wasn't as entirely bowled over by this film as I thought I would be. I can't pinpoint precisely why that is, but I think I was just expecting more Campbelly goodness. When he was on, he was on. But most of the time, he wasn't so much. And honestly, if he wasn't in the movie, I probably wouldn't've given it much more than a D.

High Points: I *DO* love Bruce Campbell. He plays such a good asshole. So I'll pretty much watch anything with him in it. And if you like slapsticky, goofbally, B-movie-ish fun, this'll probably do it for ya. But, in all honesty, if you're looking for a newer movie full of campy B-movie goodness, I recommend The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. It is infinitely funnier, and it's kind of what I was expecting when I tossed on The Man With the Screaming Brain.

Overall: Honestly, unless you're a big Bruce Campbell fan or you're just a big dork about slapstick comedy, I doubt that this movie will do much for you.

Grade: C+

(You can also read Patrick's review of The Man With the Screaming Brain HERE)


Magic (1978)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Corky is a guy with a magic act that fails to impress, until, that is, he incorporates a new twist into his act in the form of his ventriloquist dummy, Fats. When he sneaks off to hide away from his newfound celebrity in the cabin of an old classmate (who quickly becomes a lover), it becomes clear that there's something not quite right with the relationship between Corky and Fats.

Scariness factor: Chucky in Child's Play for some reason never creeped me out. (Probably because he's moreso obnoxious and irritating than creepy.) But damn if ventriloquist dummies aren't intrinsically creepy, and Fats does not disappoint.

Gross-Out Factor: 1970s slasher-esque moments.

Complaints: It's a bit sluggish at times.

High Points: I was actually surprised that I liked this as much as I did. It is a serious testament to Anthony Hopkins' acting abilities, because this could've easily easily been a total crap film. But he is *fantastic* in it, down to the littlest of nuances, like his "ventriloquism" wherein (since I'm assuming he's not ACTUALLY throwing his voice in the film) he actually manages to come across as a convincing ventriloquist, his lips just BARELY moving every once in a while as Fats yammers away. He really is what makes this movie so damn good and so strangely believable. It also is quite interesting how it plays with madness--Is perhaps the dummy actually alive? Is Corky just insane? Is it not insanity at all? Fats, the dummy, is damn creepy as well. And although the movie is pretty dated, it's not dated enough to render it silly.

Overall: I was impressed, mostly by Anthony Hopkins' ability to make this movie as good as he made it. It's by no means perfect. Many of you might find it boring. But I actually liked it quite a bit and recommend, particularly if you're a fan of Anthony Hopkins.

Grade: B/B+


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eaten Alive

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A crazy guy with a hatred for whores owns a hotel with an equally blood-thirsty croc that seems to enjoy helping pick off the folks who check in.

Scariness factor: A distant shadow of the creepiness of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Gross-Out Factor: Very 1970s-ish, but yes, you will see a few gross scenes of blades in throats and whatnot.

Complaints: It's hard to watch a Tobe Hooper film without automatically comparing it to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but seriously: though this movie tried really hard to capture the creepy realism of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, it never succeeds. The whole movie is clearly filmed on a set (unlike The Texas Chain Saw Massacre which seems so startlingly real because of all the outdoor scenes). The acting is TERRIBLE--the bad guy seems like the jittery hyperactive brother of the Hitchhiker from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (he has the exact same mannerisms). And although it has some really tense scenes, it doesn't really have anything propelling it forward the way that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre did. No driving force or anything. You're sort of just like, yeah, this is happening, and I am watching it. But do I care? Not so much. I really wanted to like this movie more since it involved an alligator, which seemed kind of fun, but it wasn't really as fun as it seemed.

High Points: The gator scenes will crack your shit up. Marilyn Burns is still perhaps my favorite scream queen. Then again, I may just be partial to her since I met her in real life. *Nostalgic sigh* You get to see Robert Englund (aka. Freddy Krueger) in underpants. And most of all: the score. If nothing else, Tobe Hooper is a master of the creepy horror movie score. There's nothing that even comes close to the music in his movies, all discordant and eerie. Good stuff.

Overall: I was easily distractable throughout this whole movie, which is typically a sign that it's not sucking me in at all. So yeah: If you're a Tobe Hooper fan, of course rent it, just so you can say you saw it. But if you're not, it's not really something to lose sleep over.

Grade: C


Monday, October 15, 2007

They Live

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A construction worker who's just trying to make some bucks stumbles across a strange church group whose intentions he is leery of. When the church is raided, he happens upon a secret box of sunglasses that is hidden in the wall. When he puts them on, he begins to see that all commercial marketing is now reading subversive messages. And he begins to see many of the people around him for what they REALLY are.

Scariness factor: It's got fricking Rowdy Roddy Piper in it. You guess. =)

Gross-Out Factor: Just people getting thrown out of windows, shot (in that awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger type way).

Complaints: This is the best worst movie EVER. It has so many crappy glitches in it that it is great, most notably the fact that whenever Rowdy Roddy Piper gets absolutely brutalized (in one scene his face is HORRIBLY swollen from a fist fight), within five minutes he is completely back to normal again.

High Points: I seriously was almost just tempted to list out my favorite quotes from the movie and leave it at that, since they pretty much say it all. But I figure I'll expound upon the joys of this movie a little before doing so. First: It has Rowdy Roddy Piper in it. And he is THE WORST. And by that, I mean: Awesome. There seriously is a gratuitously long fight-scene plopped in the middle of the movie where RRP and another main character show off RRP'S WWF moves by putting each other in half nelsons and throwing each other to the ground and stuff. The movie is INCREDIBLY INCREDIBLY 1980s. And it also is trying to be all social-commentary-like but pretty much beats you over the head with it in all its obviousness. And most importantly, Piper *almost* (and I say almost because no one else can beat out the man in one-liners) puts Bruce Campbell's Ash to the test with his plethora of shitty-ass (but f-ing funny) one-liners that will make you groan and giggle. Enjoy:

Brother, life's a bitch... and she's back in heat.

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

Mama don't like tattletales.

I got news for 'em. There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't Daddy's little boy no more.

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

Overall: This is the worst funniest thing I've watched in a while. Thank you, Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Grade: A (camp-wise), D (otherwise)

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--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A trapeze artist begins to woo an already-hitched dwarf at the circus, not out of love but just because she wants his money. In secret, she makes fun of him and fools around with the strong man. The dwarf's woman (also a dwarf) recognizes that the trapeze artist is no good, as does most of the circus, but he is blinded by love and doesn't realize it until it's already too late.

Scariness factor: This is not a jump-in-your-seat type movie, it's just a mildly unsettling one.

Gross-Out Factor: Not. Unless you're grossed out by real-life freaks.

Complaints: This isn't any sort of typical horror flick. It won't scare you. It doesn't offer up frights. But it is understatedly strange and creepy at times, especially given when it was made.

High Points: It's hard not to be fascinated by the fact that this movie is packed with actual real-life "freaks," from a man with no extremities, to pinheads, to a bearded woman, etc. And the ending will make your hair stand on end, just a little bit. It *was* made in the 1930s though, so it's not gonna offer you any major frights. But given when it was made, it's pretty damn unsettling.

Overall: This is not anything you'll want to rent when you're in a wanting-to-be-too-scared-to-turn-your-lights-out kind of mood. But it's something worth checking out, just for the novelty of it, if nothing else.

Grade: B+


Just Before Dawn

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A group of twenty-somethings heads up in the mountains to go camping. On their way, they run into a forest ranger that urges them to turn back and a crazy man who claims there's a murderer after him. Needless to say, they are foolish and don't heed the warnings (otherwise we wouldn't have a movie), and they quickly realize that there's someone lurking in the woods, out for blood.

Scariness factor: I actually was surprised by this film. I thought it did a pretty damn good job of giving you that creepy feeling you have when you go camping in the woods with nothing or no one around, engulfed in darkness, jumping at every little noise.

Gross-Out Factor: Mostly just campy 1980s knife to the stomach kind of stuff.

Complaints: I really can't think of anything major.

High Points: I first "saw" part of this film at a bar with no sound on. I got totally sucked in and have wanted to track it down for the past couple years (with no luck). Thankfully Netflix had it so I was finally able to get my hands on it. And man, did I enjoy it. The acting is actually pretty decent (albeit over the top at times). It has kind of that gritty realism that the Texas Chain Saw Massacre had. It's damn creepy in spots--the filmmakers play up on the creepiness of being totally alone in a wide open forest very well. There are a lot of spooky moments. The mood and atmosphere is damn creeps. The score is original, striking, and spooky. And I just overall liked how this movie played out. It's part realism, part camp. And I dug that. And it has a bad-ass ending, one of the female leads coming to the rescue.

Overall: This will probably be difficult to locate at a video store, but if you can get your hands on it, do so. It's totally worth checking out.

Grade: A-


Dead Ringers

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Identical twin brothers both spend their time as gynecological researchers and practitioners. As an added perk, they sleep with their patients when they can. One is mild-mannered and gentle, the other a bit more forward and crass. When the mild-mannered brother falls in love with a patient that both he and his brother have "shared," the screws start to come lose from the creepy twin mechanism.

Scariness factor: The only creepy thing really in this movie are the gynecological tools the brother creates. I could feel my bajingo clench up when it saw them.

Gross-Out Factor: I don't remember any real gross-out scenes.

Complaints: Slow slow slow. I am sort of surprised that this is considered a horror movie since nothing really all that horrory ever happens. If you go in expecting something to creep you to you core, or scare you crazy, you'll be sorely disappointed.

High Points: Jeremy Irons is a fricking good actor. Like most Cronenberg films, this *is* interesting, moreso in thought than actual conception. But it just wasn't all that AWESOME, looking at it through a horror perspective.

Overall: I really think this is moreso a suspense movie than horror, but I'm sure there are many who will argue. Just don't go in expecting too many scares otherwise you'll be sorely sorely disappointed.

Grade: C


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pet Sematary

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A young doctor moves into a new rural town with his family. When his daughter's cat is killed by a truck, a local neighbor takes him to an old Indian burial ground to bury the cat. A few days later, it shows up alive, but with a clearly altered disposition. When the doctor's little boy is also struck and killed by a truck, well, you can see where this is going.

Scariness factor: It's got its moments, though mostly in a very 1980s-ish kind of way.

Gross-Out Factor: Razor into Achilles tendon. That's about the worst of it.

Complaints: I was actually surprised that I liked this a lot more than I remembered. It's slow-moving. It's not my favorite movie of all time. The acting's not all that great. And it has a lot of things that don't make sense in it. But overall, it's not too bad.

High Points: Much better than I remembered. It won't keep you on the edge of your seat--it's a bit slow-moving in that regard. But the end is good and entertaining. And the little boy back from the dead is the creepiest. Seriously though: Who in god's name thought it would be a good idea to get their little little kid a part where he has to fake-stab people and bite people and scrunch up your face evilly?

Overall: Slow-paced. But entertaining. In a 1980's kind of way.

Grade: B-


The Grudge 2

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: The sister of the heroine from the original movie is sent to Japan to bring back said heroine. Shortly after her arrival, the original heroine plummets to her death from a hospital roof. Her sister, wracked with grief, decides to get to the bottom of things and figure out why her sister's life ended this way. In the meantime, a group of girls who venture into "Japan's most haunted house" brings the curse upon themselves and begin to vanish one by one.

Scariness factor: It's spooky and will make you jump in your seat once in a while.

Gross-Out Factor: Not so gross. Mostly just seeks to spook you out.

Complaints: This is basically the same plot as the first one, with different characters. Dullsville. I'm not a big fan of the first one either, unfortunately. They're too slick and commercial. And, though they have their moments, they're not all that awesome in the scariness department.

High Points: It will creep you out once or twice. And I actually enjoyed it more than the original movie. Maybe I was just in a better mood upon seeing it or something, but I found it to be spookier and more entertaining.

Overall: Not a fan of The Grudge series. So I'd say it's no big loss if you never catch them.

Grade: C


The Evil Dead

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A group of friends heads off to spend some time at a cabin in the woods. They uncover the mysterious tapes and journal of a professor who used to own the cabin. Upon listening to the tapes, they unleash some mysterious force in the woods which slowly begins to take over each person, one by one.

Scariness factor: It's spooky. It's got a lot of incidental campy moments in it, but it definitely has some damn creepy moments.

Gross-Out Factor: Blood. Pus. Pus-y blood. Bloody pus. It's got it all. Definitely not for the squeamish. And definitely not to be watched while eating.

Complaints: Seriously: what can you really complain about when it comes to this movie? It's got gratuitous stop-animation transformation scenes. It's got blood AND pus. It's got Bruce Campbell. It's got some moments that will surprise you in how well they can creep you out. And it's got camp.

High Points: This is one of those flicks that's on most horror-movie-lovers' Top 10 lists. And with good reason. It is the movie that brings us the dawning of Ash. And despite the extreme campiness and fun silliness of the two sequels, this one is genuinely scary at times, definitely creepy, and lots of fun. Bruce Campbell is awesome, as always. It's gross and goofbally. The acting is terrible. And yet, it still manages to be spooky and creepy, with an attempted rape committed by trees, exploding demonically-possessed people, and the maniacal and kid-like laughter of Ash's girlfriend. Sam Raimi also enjoys his special fx WAY too much, making it that much more entertaining to watch.

Overall: This is a classic. If you haven't already seen this, you deserve to get your ass kicked.

Grade: A



--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A group of employees heads out to the middle of nowhere for the weekend and some team-building exercises. When they discover that the "resort" is actually a shithole in the middle of the woods, employee morale begins to wane. Even moreso when people start dying.

Scariness factor: Intense with quite a few jump-in-your-seat type moments.

Gross-Out Factor: Pretty violent and bloody. Not for the squeamish.

Complaints: It's not the most brilliant and original of movies, but it was entertaining. You never *quite* get why it is these folks are getting attacked though, which was a bit irritating.

High Points: Definitely the black humor. It has some really really good moments of it--especially the bear trap scene--where you feel just horrible for laughing but can't help it. The acting's not bad either. And it's got good pacing and is pretty intense. I was white-knuckled through several parts of it.

Overall: I'd definitely recommend. Was entertaining, fast-paced, scary, and yet it also made you laugh (and not in the dumbass Wayans-Brothers kind of way). Check it out.

Grade: A-/B+

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


This is the first really spooky-looking horror preview I've seen in a while...

God bless you, October!

Oh How I Love Thee October

It's officially October, and we all know what that means: Packing away all the "normal" movies, bumping them down in my Netflix queue, putting my current Michael Haneke obsession on hold, and getting down and dirty all month with the horror flicks.

This is a list of the horror gems currently in my queue--I hope to get through at least a 1/3 of them if all goes well.

And as always, bring on the recommendations.

Les Yeux sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: The daughter of a surgeon has had her face completely mangled in a car-crash and is now so horribly disfigured that she must wear a mask. Her father begins to kidnap young women in the hopes of performing a successful face transplant. But face transplants are never that easy, as he soon comes to find out.

Scariness factor: It ain't so much.

Gross-Out Factor: There's a face-transplant surgery scene which (if I'm remembering correctly) I read was a really big deal at the time because it was considered horrifically graphic. It *is* pretty sweet and gross for being made in 1960, but it's nothing really compared to today's horror flicks, so even the squeamish should be ok.

Complaints: It's a very very low-key movie without anything compelling the plot and energy of the movie forward, so it's not exactly something you want to invite your friends over to watch, otherwise you'll just end up bored. Other than that, I mostly just had the usual complaints about older horror flicks, which typically just has to do with the logistics of things: How can a person transplant a FACE? Assuming they can, then what's the deal with the lips and stuff? How 'bout the nose? Please, won't SOMEbody tell me?!? Oh, and the carnival music at the beginning: yeah, that was kind of a bit much after about 2 minutes of it.

High Points: Given that it *was* made in 1960, it's pretty damn hip, complete with a suicide scene that is pretty shocking and the graphic surgery scene. Also, the daughter is weird and unsettling in her mask, shuffling around the house like a ghost all the time. And the ending was pretty bad-ass so I shan't give it away.

Overall: It's kind of a sluggish movie that's not really gonna leave you white-knuckled and sitting on the edge of your seat. But it *is* pretty cool too if you have the patience.

Grade: B-