Watched Fright Night (1985) from letterboxd.com
Nobody believes teenager Charley Brewster when he discovers that his suave new neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire. So when the bloodsucker starts stalking Charley, he turns to has-been actor Peter Vincent, famed for portraying a ghoul hunter. Unfortunately for the would-be vampire slayers, Dandrige has set his sights on Charley's girlfriend.

Come for the comedy, stay for the special effects

★★★½

My review

Watched Jacob's Ladder (1990) from letterboxd.com
After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie, and ex-wife, Sarah, try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer's chiropractor friend, Louis, fails to reach him as he descends into madness.

The people behind the Denzel version of The Manchurian Candidate loved this movie, I reckon.

But, this is actually a story about the power of love, I guess.

★★★★

My review

Watched Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008) from letterboxd.com
When Giratina is discovered to be able to create parallel dimensions, it's up to Ash and his friends to stop a mysterious stranger from using its powers for evil.

Another thumbs up from the Pokénuts.

Fairly standard Pokémon film. I do like the positive environmental messages. The baddie in this one is exceptionally unhinged.

★★

My review

Watched Trolls World Tour (2020) from letterboxd.com
Queen Poppy and Branch make a surprising discovery — there are other Troll worlds beyond their own, and their distinct differences create big clashes between these various tribes. When a mysterious threat puts all of the Trolls across the land in danger, Poppy, Branch, and their band of friends must embark on an epic quest to create harmony among the feuding Trolls to unite them against certain doom.

The techno trolls, clearly the best thing in it, are grossly under-used!

★★

My review

Watched Margin Call (2011) from letterboxd.com
A thriller that revolves around the key people at an investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis.

Disgraced, accused sex offender in the lead aside…

Still think this holds up well on a repeat  watch. In a similar way to The Big Short, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t understand what has technically gone wrong at this particular firm. The responses and emotions of the characters tell you everything you need to know, which is a testament to the quality of the acting. For a film that mostly involves talking in offices it fairly zips along. There is some neat work going on with the sound too.

The one niggle I have is that Demi Moore’s character isn’t overtly absolved, having been set up very early on as a “cunt”. And since she is one of only three women in the whole thing, it does feel a bit like women are taking the lion’s share of the blame here.

However, it’s mentioned that Cohen, and Tuld himself, have tacitly endorsed the position, and therefore ignored any concerns she raised. She is hardly solely to blame.

The movie ends on notes of self-justification and evaluations of the worth of “banking” to humanity. Closer to the crash this felt like a fairly open mockery of banking attitudes and that we were being invited to laugh at their hubris. Now I’m not so sure.

★★★★

My review

Watched Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) from letterboxd.com
On the Caribbean island of Matul, white doctor David Menard is trying to stem the tide of cannibal zombies that are returning from the dead. Arriving on the island are Anne and reporter Peter West who are looking for Anne's missing father. The pair soon find themselves under attack from the zombies.

Having been traumatised by “this sort of thing” as a kid, I probably went into this with a little too much caution and trepidation. Combine that with the “video nasty” rep, I was expecting a pretty low-brow gore-fest.

But, aside from some top-tier misogyny and flipping horrendous dubbing work, it was actually one of the best zombie movies I have seen.

The misogyny, though… there are several moments were the women in this film have zero agency. It’s actually painful to watch. They constantly defer to the men and the male gaze is not even remotely subtle. They’ve also chucked in some domestic abuse for good measure. I mean, it was the 70s, but still.

There is also some mistreatment of a reef and a shark, which hasn’t aged well, either.

Back to the good stuff: the sound (dubbing aside) and visual effects are all top tier. The music is also right on point for the period, the main theme is surely a genre classic(?)

The story builds nicely to a impressive set piece finale with some great stunt work and a surprisingly strong conclusion.

——

Thanks to the Evolution of Horror podcast, I will forever associate this film with Dr Charlie Allbright. I never met him but his enthusiasm for this movie was enough to make me want to watch it. Rest in peace, Charlie.

www.arts.ac.uk/colleges/london-college-of-communication/stories/in-memory-of-dr-charlie-allbright

★★★★

My review