Every film you've watched in 2020


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As I've mentioned before, from about age seven my mom gave me carte blanche to walk to the video store to rent whatever I wanted. Including R-rated movies. The only movie she ever denied me was Honeymoon Horror, and I was pretty sure she also wouldn't let me rent The Slumber Party Massacre. Because, you know, boobs. That said, I finally watched The Slumber Party Massacre last night.

Going in I knew two things: it was written and directed by women, and the killer had some sort of drill. I also expected it to be bad, because, well, it's an early 80s ripoff of an already tired genre.

To that last point, I could not be more wrong.

What I particularly enjoyed about this one is that there's no plot for 75% of the movie. The girls are going to have a slumber party, two of the boys plan to crash it, and the girls just sit around having fun. That's it until they realize a killer is on the loose. There's no forced drama or A must happen so B can happen. They just aimlessly chat, order pizza, make drinks, pick up the trash. And while that doesn't make for the most compelling movie-watching experience, it does make for a more realistic tone/

When the trash cans fall over and a weird noise can be heard, Valerie doesn't snoop around her yard and act all tough. She books it the hell out of there, back to the safety of her own home. It's quite real, because it's something we've all done whether it be running up the stairs from a darkened basement or an unsettlingly quiet garden.

These characters aren't quite lived-in, but they do have very human elements.

In most other movies, when Diane tells the girls she's going back to her boyfriend's house for some sexy time, they're disappointed she's leaving the party, but there's no lame bickering. They get it; Diane has been pressured into going by her boyfriend and they can't stop her.

And this all comes from the writing by Rita Mae Brown and direction of Amy Holden Jones. The female perspective brought to the slasher genre was a much-needed booster. Reading up on the movie, I see it was originally written to be a parody of the genre. Though the movie took a more serious / conventional path, you can still see hints of it throughout. The purposely overly long drill would be a joke if it wasn't used so gruesomely. Additionally, the way said drill is slashed in half is also a statement that needs absolutely no explanation.

The only scene I cringed at was Jackie pulling the pizza box out from under the murdered deliveryman and eating it with a quip. That betrayed the tone to an unsettling degree.

Russ Thorn might be one of my new favorite slashers. His quiet presence is felt throughout, thanks to his quick movements and dead-faced glances. You get the sense that this guy has seen some serious shit. And with it being set in 1982, it would not at all be hard to assume Thorn had spent some time in Nam. (His movements are very deliberate, like he's been trained to hunt in silence.)

If I were to rank this against Halloween, I wouldn't put it too far behind the 1978 classic. It takes what that movie and Friday the 13th setup, and built upon that with some original scares, some good gags, and a few tender sisterly moments.

Random question: Were there lesbian overtones to the glance shared between Valerie and Trish in the shower / locker room sequence? Because the look they shared over the stalls -- to me at least -- spoke volumes.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: seriously, the only thing wrong with this movie is that its title might as well be a translation of the first film's title. That's it.

War for the Planet of the Apes: brilliant. Honestly,if a green screen actor was ever going to get an Oscar, it would have had to be Serkis for this one.

  • Features: 102
  • Shorts: 2
  • Documentaries: 13
  • Rewatches: 3
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On 10/19/2020 at 11:03 AM, The Master said:

And Linnea Quigley's Spider is perfect as the hard-edge punk with a heart of gold. It wasn't until after the movie finished that I realized Quigley played Trash in The Return of the Living Dead. Which I should have realized sooner because, well, without being creepy about it, Trash's dance scene in Return was eye-opening for a young Mike.

She did a ton of Horror films in the 80s. She was also Suzanne in Night of the Demons and Denise in Silent Night, Deadly Night, and is still doing films in the genre.

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2 hours ago, dc20willsave said:

She did a ton of Horror films in the 80s. She was also Suzanne in Night of the Demons and Denise in Silent Night, Deadly Night, and is still doing films in the genre.

As a longtime USA Up All Night aficionado, I have a great deal of affection for the oeuvre of one Linnea Quigley, myself. Nightmare Sisters, man.

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15 hours ago, Dan said:

As a longtime USA Up All Night aficionado, I have a great deal of affection for the oeuvre of one Linnea Quigley, myself. Nightmare Sisters, man.

Oh my God, she's Dolly Parton with everything appealing stripped away. 

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Hell Fest: A slasher about a Halloween Haunted Attraction. It has a good premise, some of the actors are much more into it than others, but its still pretty meh by the end.

Urban Legends: Final Cut: The original was a fun use of your time. The sequel can barely keep the premise and is somehow ripping off Scream 3 which, yeah, choices!

Night of The Demons: This was fun! More Linnea Quigley but Amelia Kinkade as Angela is the real delight here.

Warlock: The Armageddon: Barely a sequel to the original. Is this a separate Warlock from the first movie, a different one, and why are the Druids so dumb?

Fallen: Denzel Washington hunting a serial killer who's a fallen angel who can hop bodies with a touch. It has some pacing problems but Denzel and John Goodman really drive thing one home.

Scream 4: I like Scream 4 a lot but I somehow see next year's review being as long as this years because of reasons.

Bad Hair: You would think a movie about a Killer Weave would be bad but it has some great moments of humor, some fantastic tension, and the acting is pretty strong.

Films: 156
Documentaries: 1

Rewatches: 3
Mst3k/Rifftrax/Other Assisted: 14

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Don't be Afraid of the Dark: Moody, atmospheric, and some good digital creature effects. I kinda love it.

Coraline: I will never not love Coraline. Stop Motion Animation is kind of perfect for Horror honestly!

Scare Me: Definitely a unique film. I'll agree with Dread Media that this is kind of an anthology film. Sidenote: I've had the line reading, "The Big Talent Show Live" in my head since yesterday.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters: So freaking stupid and I love every minute of it. Like, yeah, it's so dumb but it's so fun at the same time.

Films: 160
Documentaries: 1

Rewatches: 3
Mst3k/Rifftrax/Other Assisted: 14

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The Sheik: I'm most of the way through the documentary on the life of The Iron Sheik. One of the greatest heels of the 1980's, and universally respected. It's free on the official YouTube Movies channel.

It was really sad to see his life after he was fired from the WWF for breaking kayfabe.

This film is 6 years old. The fact that Vince McMahon did not take care of him financially after he was so important to the rise of wrestling in the 1980's is repulsive.

Films watched: 38

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Knives Out: seeing Ready or Not prompted me finally watching this, and man! I could live in this cast forever. Great movie. And I generally hate whodunnits. 

Blood Quantum: review forthcoming

  • Features: 104
  • Shorts: 2
  • Documentaries: 13
  • Rewatches: 3
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: There's a reason this was the second movie to win all top five Academy Awards. Despite having seen Cuckoo's Nest ten-plus times -- and having read the novel at least three times -- there's always something new to enjoy.

This time around it really shocked me that Nurse Ratched doesn't become antagonistic until the literal halfway point of the movie; it takes over one full hour for her to do something downright manipulative. Before that point, yes, she's cold and in control, but she's this way to provide the men stability. Even in the face of McMurphy openly challenging her authority, she keeps it together; she never does anything to actively hurt the men in her care. That all changes, however, after McMurphy steals the boat. She is given the chance to send this thorn in her side back to prison, but she can't let him go because then he'll have won. So she handily convinces the committee of doctors to allow McMurphy to stay in their care.

It's here that she has decided to absolutely break McMurphy in half. And when McMurphy finds out he's in there until she says he can go, she thinks she's won. Her quiet glee when McMurphy confronts the other men for not telling him this is palpable. But even still, she does nothing wrong.

Nurse Ratched is often seen as the villain of the movie, but she's not. McMurphy is. He upends all their lives because he's playing a game. These are deeply troubled human beings and Nurse Ratched, though firm, is providing them the help they desperately need. There's no intent to keep them institutionalized forever.

The only truly diabolical thing Nurse Ratched does is twist Billy around her little finger in the end.

After he had sex with Candy and subsequently had the confidence to control his stutter, Nurse Ratched threatens to inform Billy's mother of what he's done -- knowing full well this will break him down again. And it does. His stutter instantly returns as her grovels at her feet.

This moment, though, was not about Billy. It was about McMurphy; she threatens Billy to take away McMurphy's power. By helping Billy, McMurphy symbolically stole her power. To reassert herself, Nurse Ratched had to do something quick and harsh. Thus, the threat to inform Billy's mother of his sin, so to speak.

Moments later, when her actions have dire consequences, she realizes she's damned herself. When she tells everyone to calm down and go about like normal, there's a slight crack in her voice. It's subtle, but a superb bit of acting. She's barely holding it together, and, in fact, is only doing so for the sake of the men.

Louise Fletcher brings so much life to Nurse Ratched, and she plays the role so purposely distant that it's easy to see why Nurse Ratched is on "best villain" lists. Thing is, she's just not a villain. She' makes two regrettable power grabs, resulting in two deaths, her own injury, and an escape.

I'm long overdue a reread of the novel, and watching the movie once more pushed me in that direction.

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Fright Night: The remake. There are some nice parts. David Tennant and Toni Collette for starters. Then you have the CGI Blood which is just meh.

Hereditary: Speaking of Toni Collette, the fact that she didn't get an Oscar Win, let alone a nomination is a tragedy.

Friday The 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter: In a lot of ways, this feels like the last, mainly serious film in the series. Most of the next few have random kills played for laughs. Still, this one feels nice!

Psycho: If there's one film that I would like to remove from my mental facilities and experience without any previous knowledge, this would like be it.

Scream 2: It was the only one of the series that I hadn't watched yet this season.

Insidious: Always forget that you can make an effective horror film that isn't rated R.

Vampire in Brooklyn: There are things I love, namely the chemistry between Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett and the way it spins the vampire myth. But some of the humor falls flat and gets annoying at times. Still, it's good.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: It's a classic and the practical effects are fucking awesome!

Films: 168
Documentaries: 1

Rewatches: 3
Mst3k/Rifftrax/Other Assisted: 14

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Wish Upon: the Halloween night movie with the girlfriend. It was pretty inert throughout. Basically what you expect with a "wishes go bad" movie. Still: brings up a Chinese demon that never appears and that's bullshit. Give me a monster to look at, motherfuckers.

Borat: will probably watch the new one tomorrow. But this was hilarious. 

  • Features: 106
  • Shorts: 2
  • Documentaries: 13
  • Rewatches: 3
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We Summon The Darkness: It was alright. It had some fun moments but it kinda left me a little cold.

Twitches: Rewatched with friends. It's okay, nothing special.

Hocus Pocus: Like most people, this hits the Nostalgia zone. The Sisters make it worth watching. It's fun most of the time.

The Craft: I sometimes go back and forth on my opinion of The Craft. I'm mainly annoyed by the third act which, while the film at its most visually interesting, is marred by the fact that it kinda changes everything up to that point.

You Might Be The Killer: I love a good, self-aware horror film. You have to walk a fine line. You Might Be The Killer does a fairly decent job of it. Might have to make an evening of them next year.

Born: Holy Fuck! What a fucking bad movie! This is The Room levels inept film making and that might be why I love it! The main premise is that Allison Brie is impregnated with a demon baby and she kills people. This would have been a real Tranquil Tirades bait film! Just gonna drop a clip in that is still not the film at it's most bat shit.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2: On one hand, you have a really good narrative about family vs blood relations. On the other, there are times that I am so freaking annoyed by Drax. Like constantly annoyed with Drax.

The Rugrats Movie: I got some nostalgia for it but it hasn't ages the best.

Coco: One of Pixar's better films in the last few years, especially with how unique the animation is.

Drowning Mona: It's rare that you have Danny Devito play the straight man in a comedy but here we are. This has one of the best casts I can remember (Jamie Le Curtis, Bette Midler, Neve Campbell, Will Ferrell, Casey Affleck among others) and most of them do a pretty good job.

Films: 177
Documentaries: 1

Rewatches: 4
Mst3k/Rifftrax/Other Assisted: 14

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Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm: Sidesteps how impossible it is for him to ambush people in America anymore pretty well. I heard bad things, but I thought it was pretty great. Not as funny as the first, but this has a story, and it's a pretty good one.  The real star is Maria Bakalova. Man! She's great. 

  • Features: 107
  • Shorts: 2
  • Documentaries: 13
  • Rewatches: 3
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The Fast and The Furious: You know, I had somehow went all this time without seeing more than the second of these. I forgot how mundane the first one is. They're just stealing DVD players, not driving cars using helicopters. I was almost disappointed. Might make the attempt to watch more to see that real batshit moments.

Dark Phoenix: I dunno. I'm mostly just glad that we're getting a fresh reboot after this but I dunno.

Films: 179
Documentaries: 1

Rewatches: 4
Mst3k/Rifftrax/Other Assisted: 14

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