Saturday, May 10, 2008

PD Project Horror Part 1

Before we begin, I feel it is my responsibility to inform you that the emergency party button has been activated:

Now with that out of the way, on to the PD Project, Horror 50-Pack.

Disc 1

Atom Age Vampire

A scientist trying to perfect his healing serum becomes obsessed with one of his patients--a dancing girl who's been disfigured in a car accident. As the treatment starts proving less effective, the scientist must resort to increasingly monstrous means to keep the object of his obsession beautiful.

A truly atrocious movie. Scott Bateman has been replacing the visuals with his own animation and commentary and has vastly improved the viewing experience. Here's hoping he completes the project even though he went on hiatus more than a year-and-a-half ago. Check it out at Atom Age Vampire.

Carnival of Souls

An authentic independent classic. A young woman moves to a new town after a car accident claims the lives of her friends. Only her new life starts to be affected by strange obsessions and a world that proves increasingly askew.

Compelling for the still discomfiting sequences and the plain accomplishment of the film--clearly a low-budget affair, it is never hampered by its limitations. Indeed, it exults in them milking every element in the film for maximum effect. Proof that it's good to keep things simple.

There's also the deeper elements of the story--this woman alone in the world and the world largely turning against her. The increasing unheimlich nature of her experience as the supernatural presences grow more aggressive is echoed in the life around her. She's being hemmed in by monsters both real and metaphorical.

Creature From the Haunted Sea

A smuggler transporting a despot and his guards decides to double-cross the villain by inventing a story of a sea monster. Only the monster proves less imaginary than initially believed.

Roger Corman! Roger Corman! Roger Corman! That is all.

Nightmare Castle

A jealous husband tortures his wife and her lover to death after catching them having an affair only to learn that his wife's inheritance won't go to him but to her sister. So he marries the sister and attempts to drive her mad to get the family fortune. Only how much of what the sister sees is a hallucination and how much is actually the first wife's ghost seeking revenge?

Barbara Steele makes almost anything better and thank god because there's nothing else going on here. A plodding version of the Gaslight plot with supernatural and S&M twists, but not so much so that it's compelling.

On Wednesday, Disc 2: All Bela, all the time!

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