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Secret Executioner

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  1. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    @Rodolphe Dux The first and third are my personal favorites. I plan to watch and review (at least) a couple of the sequels in the last couple of weeks of the months.
  2. Secret Executioner

    Let's laugh a little bit

    As I mentionned in my review of the movie, (Arizona) Werewolf was riffed in an MST3K episode. Here's a "best of" of this episode.
  3. Today's horror film... Werewolf AKA Arizona Werewolf (USA, 1995)
  4. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    @Rodolphe Dux Jason X is a decent slasher with an interesting sci-fi layer added to it. Makes for a good and enjoyable movie, and a much better film than some of the previous entries in the Friday the 13th franchise. @DragonClaws I actually missed a couple of days, but I could post 31 reviews overall since I got a couple of reviews written in advance (Wasp Woman for instance, and a couple more I still have yet to post). Horror is actually probably the genre I've been the deepest into, having a very wide variety of movies of the genre - even though looking back, I realize my reviews seem heavily focused on movies with monsters or ghosts/spirits. I'll try and add some diversity for the second half of the month. Speaking of monsters (and in complete oppostion with my previous statement), here's one case I hadn't covered yet - though one of these creatures is featured towards the end of The Monster Club. Werewolf AKA Arizona Werewolf (USA, 1995). A group of archeologists find a strange skeleton in the desert, and a scientist working with the team claims it's a werewolf's. A crew member who got injured cutting himself with a piece of bone eventually becomes a werewolf, and this leads the crew's leader Yuri (George Rivero) to try and see if contact with the bones turn other people into werewolves. It does, and he notably turns a reporter named Paul (Fred Cavalli) into one as he gets a bit too nosy and starts flirting with his assistant Natalie (Adrienna Miles). Continuing on with cheap little movies, there is a DTV one that could fit in the so bad it's great category. The acting is rather poor, lacking in emotions and convinction - though George Rivero's Yuri is an hilariously transparent villain -, the effects are not so great (the werewolves look kinda silly at times) and the movie has a rather bizarre and stupid ending. The premise is interesting though, I like the fact they went with the remains of a werewolf rather than having a werewolf already around who either bites the main character and turns him into a werewolf or rapes a woman and the child conceived during this rape becomes our lead (and is a werewolf of course). This results in people being bugged because they thought werewolves were stuff of legends and didn't believe in their existence. The execution is quite clumsier though, as the movie is rather slow, the villain randomly turns people into werewolves for no particular reason (except becoming famous for "creating" them and proving lycanthrops do exist ?) and the movie often goes at odds with itself as while its title(s) contain(s) the word "werewolf" and a lot of characters do utter the word, the scientist talks of Native American legends regarding men disguising themselves as ferocious creatures like wolves, coyotes and bears, and slowly picking up their habits and becoming more animal-like. He often mentions coyotes in his little speech and as a result, it feels a bit confusing as to whether what we have is a werewolf or some legendary Native American creature that's part human/part coyote - I'm not even sure what the name of this thing is, couldn't really make it out. The creatures themselves look a bit silly at times, though the make-up and effects can be pretty good at other points. Paul got the best IMO with a very convincing look, but others aren't so well off. A previous guy who became a werewolf looked more like he had some bad make-up applied and his pointy teeth aren't very convincing, and the twist ending has very silly looking one, feeling more like a stylized part human/part animal creature than a real werewolf. Sequences of transformation are rather bad, the characters grimace and act up in manners that feel more ridiculous than like they're in pain. Lon Chaney's maniacal eyes and Fredric March's Dr. Jekyll transforming were less goofy than that. That said, the movie has funny moments, notably the female lead's deadpan reactions to being told about werewolves and that the people she's working with have dug up one's remains. The villain is so villainous he feels cartoony at times, scenes involving werewolves have some whacky stuff in them like one driving his car and crashing it or Paul getting beaten up by a random guy. I'm saddened by the French dub of the copy I have though, the female lead lost her bizarre accent and ir's not made up for. They also replaced a bizarre sound effect - Yuri opens a bottle champagne and it normally goes "honk" for some reason, but the French dub has a more normal "pop" sound. Speaking of sound, the soundtrack is pretty good. There's mainly a sinister cello and some Native American sounding chants with drums used through the film and while it may seem overkill at times, it's a decent soundtrack that had to the creep factor. Lots of wolf howling too, which feels bizarre in a movie mostly set in a big city. There's also some stock sound of animals, and those are better used as you mostly hear them when a werewolf is on screen and it's supposed to be their "dialogue". My call ? Enjoyable. Fun fact: just like She-Creature (and a few other like Laserblast), I first saw this film as an MST3K episode. And this one is really a classic, whether it's the movie parts or the host segments (which I find weren't usually that great in seasons 8, 9 and 10).
  5. Secret Executioner

    Physical, Digital, or Both: What Are Your Thoughts?

    Kind of ironic Netflix is starting to release physical media again considering the fact their VOD-based strategy is quite a hit to the physical industry.
  6. Tonight's movie - Indestructible Man (USA, 1956)
  7. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    Indestructible Man (USA, 1956) The body of executed criminal Charles "Butcher" Benton (Lon Chaney Jr.) is sold to a scientist who eventually manages to bring the corpse back to life. Now invincible and gifted with superstrength, Benton goes to seek revenge on his former partners who betrayed him and sent him to death row for a heist. Technically more of a crime with kind of a Frankenstein twist for the horror/sci-fi element, this little (70 minutes) film is a decent watch. The central characters - beside the titular character - are two cops - a detective and a chief of police -, Benton's former associates (two criminals and a lawyer that pulled the heist and got Benton the death penalty) and Benton's girlfriend Eva. Detective Chasen - who also narrates the story via flashback - is very enjoyable, he's smart, has a way with words and manages to get what he wants in very intelligent ways. His chief makes for a good supporting character, they have a good relation and it seems closer to genuine friendship than a strictly professionnal relation. He supports him when he unofficially investigates the mysterious deaths and the bizarre idea there's a link to Benton, and he has some comments you'd expect more from a friend than a superior. He does listen to the detective, which allows them to progress. Another cop that gets a lot of moments is a sergeant who regularly has a good line. Benton's two accomplices who are essentially shown as heavy drinkers, scarety cowards and troublemakers (notable when it seems a bartender - played by Bonanza's Robert Foulk - kicked one out of his establishment and tells the other he doesn't want trouble so he is to finish his drink and leave). One of them is shown walking with crutches, making him a tad bit more sympathetic (at least to me). The third character in this group - the "attorney at law" as his office's door reads, played by Ross Elliott (who appeard in a lot of TV series and a few movies between the early 1950s and the mid-1980s) - is more heavily explored. We see him have an exchange with Benton early in the film where he comes across as cocky, but he slowly gets down as he fears more and more for his life. He gets a macguffin from the main girl, and is revealed to have been the mastermind behind the heist, though he doesn't know where the loot is hidden - only Benton knows and it's why there's the aforementionned macguffin. Eva (Marian Carr, an actress who mostly made TV shows and films in the 1950s - she also had an uncredited role in Frank Capra's It's a wonderful Life) is a very likeable, and also quite a smart and managed female character. Far from a damsell in distress, she is very proactive and feels like a very preeminent figure. She eventually also becomes a love interest, though this is vastly unexplored and the proposal at the end comes quite out of nowhere. As for our titular character, he is played by silent film star Lon Chaney's son Lon Chaney Jr. IMDb mentions he wass often overshadowed by his father, but even though Lon Sr. is indeed an incredible actor and a genius when it comes to disguising himself, Lon Jr. has had quite a carreer with appearances in a lot of classic westerns such as Cecil B. DeMille's North West Mounted Police, Jesse James (alongside Henry Fonda) and High Noon - and he would play four Universal monsters (the Wolfman, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy and Dracula) within a couple of years. He also made a lot of TV material, much like the rest of the movie's cast at the time. In this film, Chaney's performance is mostly silent as the character only speaks early in the film when confronting the lawyer guy, the experiment bringing him back to life destroying his vocal chords. This, along with Lon's bulky appearance and mean face - there is a close-up shot of him having maniacal eyes that is repeatedly played through the film that's pretty intense, though it becomes funny the more it's used -, helps make the character more threatening and intimidating, though his body language is limited and his face doesn't emote that much. He is shown to be remorseless, not hesitating to kill random people who cross his path. The superstrength is well shown, mainly early on when he can lift two men or a car without much of an effort. It isn't much showcased afterwards though, as he doesn't do much that comes across as incredible feats - though he does lift people above his head and tosses them at least twice, and he seems to make little effore of the safe that was said to be impossible to open by a single man. He gets injured in the climactic battle when big efforts are pulled off, but I felt his ultimate fate was a bit of a letdown. I guess he had carried out his vendetta and being cornered by the police forces he had no other solution, but still... There's a bit of irony too, as the narrator points out. Otherwise, the movie has limited settings, seems to reuse a lot of shots (the eyes thing I mentionned and a shot of a police car passing some civilian cars in traffic) and implies more than it shows (probably due to the restrictions on violence, but some of the implied violence could be hard to pull on screen). My call ? Decent enough movie, lots of likeable characters and some suspense. However, the horror seems restricted to implied stuff and the titular character being kind of a Frankenstein's monster.
  8. Secret Executioner

    Most annoying character or actor in Kung Fu

    @Silver and Gold Dragon Not sure what's funnier between Dean's voice actor accent and the embarrassed look of the guy next to him.
  9. I've never been into G.I. Joe and haven't seen the movies yet I feel quite interested in this.
  10. Wait, I thought Ip Man 4 was gonna be Ip Man and the four Kings ? Or is it a different movie from the "main" saga like Final Fight or Legend is born ?
  11. Secret Executioner

    The Courier: Olga Kurylenko, Gary Oldman (2019)

    So... That's pretty much a female version of The Transporter, heh ?
  12. Today's (unpleasant) horror watch - Lucio Fulci's The New York Ripper (Italy, 1982)
  13. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    The New York Ripper (original title: Lo Squartatore di New York) (Italy, 1982) A wave of gruesome women murders is hitting New York City. The detective in charge is then contacted by a man sounding like a duck who claims he is the murderer. He later meets and starts teaming up with a psychiatrist. Another Lucio Fulci film for today, one that exists in several cuts with various edits depending on countries and releases, but my copy - French DVD from Neo Publishing - is the 93 min uncut version. This one is (much like City of the Living Dead) a brutal and gore picture, but also includes a lot of sleazy moments - including some BDSM, a woman masturbating in a porn theater and taping the sound of er orgasm for her husband... - and feels much more disturbing due to the realism and the violence of some of the scenes.The lingering shots on mutilated bodies/people being mutilated, the heavy gore and how gratuitious all the violence feels add to how uncomfortable the movie makes you. The plot is also bizarre, but is overall a mystery though the ending and the reveal of the killer's identity after a few red-herrings are a bit head-scratching, though maybe I didn't pay enough attention to plot details because I got distracted (or rather disturbed) by the violence on display. Cause this movie is violent to a point it feels quite disturbing. Repeated stabbing, slashing, sadistic violence... The killer pushes it very far and the murders get hard to look at at points. Add in the sleaze with the woman who tapes her orgasms getting involved with guys and letting things escalate till she nearly gets raped - rape scenes being one of the few things I can't stand in movies -, and I can honestly say that I almost regret wanting to watch this. My call ? A film that one may want to watch out of curiosity - as I did - because it's (considered) a Fulci classic, but it's really not for everybody. I would say this one and Joe D'Amato's Beyond the Darkness give me similar feelings, but the Joe D'Amato movie at least had some interesting characters - especially Iris the housekeeper - and a cool soundtrack while I didn't find much interest in the characters in NYR and the soundtrack wasn't that memorable. So yeah, go with BtD instead.
  14. I heard about this movie and how harsh it is if you love dogs (and even if you don't apparently). IIRC, it had a great and very atmospheric soundtrack by Vangelis. Is that Snowpiercer film you're mentionning the Korean movie from a few years ago with a train travelling through a post-apocalyptic (IIRC) world and its occupants being separated depending on social condition, or is it a different movie ? Cause I think the one with the train exists on DVD and BD, though I have no idea how good the US release(s) is/are.
  15. Secret Executioner

    The Karate Kid 2

    So they're already going Karate Kid 4 (can't remember its exact title, but I mean the one where there was a girl) on us already ?
  16. Today's horror watch - The Omen (USA, 1976)
  17. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    The Omen (USA, 1976) US Ambassador to the UK Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Lee Remerick) are a happy couple who just had a son. However, the child dies shortly after birth and Robert decides to follow a priest's suggestion to adopt another child who has just been born but whose mother died while giving birth. Years later, the couple lives happily with the little boy named Damian but strange events and gruesome deaths occur around the boy. Reluctant to believe it at first, Mr. Thorn will have to realize his son isn't just any boy but the Antichrist himself. A couple of years after The Exorcst and a few before the likes of Kubrick's The Shining and Tobe Hoopers Poltergeist (and let's not forget Rosemary's Baby, Carrie...), we got another child-centric horror classic with this effort by Richard Donner (Superman, the Lethal Weapon quadrilogy). I mentionned not being that impressed with the original Exorcist and enjoying Poltergeist in previous reviews - technically I discussed The Exorcist in a review of its sequel The Exorcist II: The Heretic -, and my feelings towards this one are yet different. Exorcist I find OTT, Poltergeist I find an enjoyable movie with efficient scares and great visuals, The Omen I think is a very eerie and tension-filled kind of supernatural thriller. Sure it definitely has horror elements, such as some gruesome deaths (the nanny who hangs herself, a priest getting impaled) and a great atmosphere thanks to the cinematography - it's beautiful, disturbing and frightening to look at all at once - and notably Jerry Goldsmith's amazingly haunting soundtrack, but I find the main plot is more of an investigation, as Mr. Thorn slowly finds more and more evidence of his son's abnormal nature - first it's bizarre coincdences with a photographer finding bizarre signs foreshadowing deaths on photographs he took at a birthday party, then he goes on to try and find who Damian's mother was (or rather what)... I found this main plot interesting, and the pacing was right, especially with the mother slowly coming to believe her husband as bizarre, violent incidents happen to her while he's away - the investigation process goes slowly as the man slowly starts believing the bizarre stuff happening is no coincidence and the unveiling of the evidence of Damian's real nature doesn't feel rushed or like it's coming out of nowhere. Peck's acting is very solid, as is the boy playing Damian's - that adorable child somehow looks very creepy and fits perfectly as a threatening character under a sweet, innocent appearance. The new nurse the couple hire after the first one dies is of a similar caliber, looking like a sweet and very professional woman before revealing her true colors. My call ? A classic that lives well up to its reputation, a great movie that a lot of people - be they horror enthusiasts or simply movie lovers - should enjoy. I haven't seen of its (at least) 2 sequels nor the 2006 remake, but the sequels sound interesting as - from what I recall reading - Damian becomes aware of his actual destiny in the second film and tries to become President of the USA while fighting a divine adversary in part 3. Fun fact: this film's making was surrounded by bizarre incidents that led to a belief it was cursed - although it would be the highest-paid performance by Peck and Richard Donner would become a successful and highly regarded director.
  18. Secret Executioner

    Let's laugh a little bit

    The Suns may not be that great of a basketball team, but their pranks sure are elaborate. Speaking of dinos, and in case you got bored with various kinds of racing...
  19. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    Friday the 13th (USA, 1980) 1958. A boy drowns after going for a swim in the lake while the counselors were partying. They are then brutally murdered. Present day (read 1979 or 1980), on June 13th, which happens to be a Friday according to the movie. Young people come over to reopen the camp, doing so in spite of warnings from locals that the place is cursed and they are doomed. But they soon fall victims to a mysterous assailant. The original 1980 movie that started one of the biggest slasher franchises. And quite honestly, it's one of the best movies of the genre (or subgenre ?). While I do prefer Part III when it comes to the series, this one is a close second. The characters are likeable, sympthetic and don't come across as obnoxious as slasher victims would get later in the decade or in the 90s and 2000s where the fodder would be made up of utterly unlikeable jackasses. Hell, even the kiler actually receives some development and isn't a mere psycho butchering people (spoiler: it's NOT Jason here). Other slashers tried a similar approach with a killer that would have a motivation behind his or her murders, but this movie's killer is one of the best done as you kinda sympathize for her and the way she operates and who she targets make more sense than the killers in movies like Valentine or the I know what you did last Summer franchise who murder a lot of random people but not the ones they are supposed to be after... As a horror movie the film also works really well. You get a lot of build up concerning Camp Crystal Lake, and the fact a lot happens at night and eventually during a storm adds to the tension - actually it seems like there's a storm and a lot happening at night in pretty much every one of those movies. There are a few scares and moments that startle the viewer very efficiently too, like a guy getting stabbed in the gut being accompanied with a startling cue to make the moment catch you even more intensly. The gore is also well done and you get some gruesome deaths and mutilated bodies on screen - something later entries in the series would lack. I find the ending interesting too, as you can't really tell whether the last girl getting attacked on the boat in the middle of the lake really happened (that's quite an efficient scare though), yet the final shot seems to imply there IS something suspicious with the lake.
  20. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    @Drunken Monk It's probably not completely obscure, but they basically tried to redo the first movie and bring back Michael Myers as the third movie didn't do great at the box-office, resulting in John Carpenter pulling out of the series as he had intended it to be an anthology series and not yet another slasher franchise - ironically H4 ended performing about the same as Season of the Witch at the box-office. I think I've already mentionned it, but I feel like the series would have been much more interesting had they kept going down the anthology path. The first two movies make for a very well contained story and the closure is satisfying, while the way they bring back Myers in H4 and the circumstances leading to his 1988 killing spree are ridiculously improbable. Add the fact that 4 is a poor attempt at recreating the original, and you see how pointless the series became. The first three movies range from good (I'm not too fond of the first but I have to admit it has atmoshphere and a lot of tension) to very interesting. The third movie I feel has an interesting story, while two is IMO better than the first mainly because I feel it has a better pace - I always felt the first was a bit too slow at times - and the kills are more creative, some made me uncomfortable. But after that, the series clearly went downhill. H5 has rather annoying characters, and Resurrection is as good as a movie involving a real tv show and starring popular singers and models from the time can get. Busta Rhymes using his martial arts to fight Michael Myers is however a memorable moment, but more for the unintended hilarity. I feel I should revisit H20 as I don't remember much of it, and I don't have Halloween 6 - somehow it seems unavailable in France - but from what I recall hearing about it, it's a giant mess. Back to Return of Michael Myers, I feel like the ending was meant to mirror the original's opening and it had potential, eventually introducing a possible new killer like Friday the 13th Part V: A new Beginning did with Tommy Jarvis. But it never paid off as Hallowen 5 (much like Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason lives) throws everything out of the window and brings back the usual suspect as the killer. Speaking of, I'll probably watch a Friday the 13th film today as it's Friday and the 13th is right around the corner.
  21. Looney Tunes - "Hyde and Hare" (1955) Bugs Bunny lives in a hole in a park where a very kind man comes everyday to give him carrots. Bugs eventually convinces our good man to take him to his home... Where we find he is Doctor Jekyll. There, he goes to his lab and naturally takes the potion turning him into Hyde. The result is a lot of chase scenes, with Jekyll changing back and forth and Bugs trying to escape from Hyde while getting Jekyll to safety. Bugs eventually hides in the lab while Jekyll finally overcomes his demons and decides to throw away the rest of the ptoion, but find it's all gone. Bugs takes offense when asked if he drank it, and leaves the house. When arriving at the park he turns into a green, red-eyed rabbit monster. An enjoyable little cartoon, as you'd expect a Bugs Bunny short to be. The animation and voice acting are great, Hyde has quite a design with green skin, long skinny hands, red eyes that look crazy and a mean expression on his face although his confused look when Bugs has him sit down and goes looking for Jekyll is hilarious. There are some great lines too, like Jekyll commenting on Bugs calling him "Doc" when he happens to be a doctor or some remarks by Bugs, though cultural referrences he makes might be hard to pick up. The short has some good music too, the titlecard has an appropriate theme (used in at least one other horror-oriented short) and Bugs plays a Chopin piece on the piano, which derails when Hyde creeps up behind him with Bugs having quite an expression before commenting the guy "[is] a mental case". As I've mentionned in my review of the 1932 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I found it a bit strange to get this as a bonus on a horror DVD - actually it's only on the double-sided DVD release with the 1932 and 1941 versions called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Double Feature - but Warner apparently likes putting such cartoons as bonus features on their DVDs as I have other movies with Looney Tunes shorts, such as the Errol Flynn Robin Hood that has two of them. More on this: https://looneytunes.fandom.com/wiki/Hyde_and_Hare Today's horror feature was The Exorcist II: The Heretic (USA, 1977)
  22. Secret Executioner

    It's October baby....Horror flick time!

    Was interested in Crawl but didn't check it out in the end. @Drunken Monk 's review of The Nun made me curious about it. Today's review: The Exorcist II: The Heretic (USA, 1977) 4 years after the original movie, Regan (Linda Blair) is now followed by a psychiatrist who is trying to understand what's wrong with her. To do so, she comes up with a machine that can synchronize people's minds and allow someone to see others' dreams. Meanwhile, a priest named Lamont (Richard Burton) is sent on a mission to find out what really caused the death of Father Merrin in the first film. Eventually, they find the root of the evil in Regan - and potential help to defeat it - lies in Africa, where Merrin had exorcised a spirit named Pazuzu out of a boy named Kokumo who's apparently still alive (James Earl Jones). This highly controversial sequel is often listed among the worst ever - something I absolutely don't agree with. Actually, I'd go as far as to say I like this film better than the original but I always felt it was a vastly overrated movie that had a staying power and was considered a classic because of its shock value and people fainting or getting sick, if not committing suicide because of it. Directed by John Boorman (whose latest movie at the time was the bizarre science-fiction Sean Connery vehicle Zardoz), the movie offers some very strange visuals, notably concerning the institution Regan's in or the appartment she and Sharon live in - her mom's absent of the movie for some reason. Lots of glass and mirror, light effects... While that worked out in the strange futuristic world of Zardoz and it's visually beautiful - you also NEVER see crew members' or equipment's reflections -, it makes little sense by real-life standards. But being a movie about a girl possessed by a locust demon from Africa, I guess there's more unrealistic stuff going on (lol). The visuals for the scenes in Africa are gorgeous, though also unsettling. Wherever the priests pass or have passed is always very tight or crowded, lots of people surrounding them and the tension is increased by the very claustrophobic feeling of those scenes. The scenes where the spirit makes the priest travel to Kokumo during a hypnosis sequence have bizarre cinematography too, with lots of motion, something that could almost rival 2001's post-Jupiter sequence if bizarre colors were added to it. There are several sequences involving locusts that are also very odd, like when you get close-ups of one flying to suggest Pazuzu moving about. The scene between Lamont and Kokumo have a lot of shots of locusts who may make people uncomfortable, though I personally liked the shots and the little creatures are actually rather cute IMO (even though some seem to be going cannibal and eating fellow locusts). That said, I wouldn't want to have been there when the scenes involving people fighting or being caught in swarms of locusts were made. Those are geniunely unsettling and I doubt Richard Burton or Linda Blair enjoyed filming them - especially when you see Regan fighting a swarm of locusts that all fall to the floor, leaving here surrounded by dozens of insects. Another strange element is how some scenes (like Lamont finding Kokumo) have a sudden change at the end, making you wonder whether what you've just seen actually happened or if it was some kind of dream/hallucination. I know this kind of things can be seen as one of the genre trademarks, but it comes across as rather jaring here. The characters are a bit of a mixed bag, with Lamont and the doctor having interesting moments, but some scenes feel like filler. Regan comes across as an enjoyable and smart teenage girl, she does have weird moments we may forgive and there is some development regarding a potential to become a fighter for the forces of good as she seems to be gifted, just like Kokumo is said to have been in his youth. The fact Linda Blair refused to have the complex possession make-up applied doesn't hinder the movie, as there's barely if any scene alluding to a possessed Regan - mainly nods to the original, and an evil Regan (a slightly deformed Regan with green eyes and a bizarre smile and voice) appearing in the end and trying to make Lamont turn to the dark side. Kokumo's story is interesting, he receives a strong build-up that IMO pays off. On a sidenote, it's odd seeing James Earl Jones talking about fighting evil and wearing a locust costum here before realizing this movie came out the same year as Star Wars... My call ? Worth checking if you like bizarre movies. Definitely a whole different thing than the original, very surreal in its cinematography and not so shock and gore oriented. The story feels all over the place and it's a bit hard to follow where the movie's going, but it got me intrigued and kept me interested. Also, there's a very atmospheric soundtrack by none other than legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Fun Fact (I guess ?): IMDb mentions a 110 minutes "edited" version that has a recap, a lot of stock footage and Burton's character dying and the original 117 minutes cut, as well as potentially a European cut. My copy (a French DVD) is 112 minutes long and doesn't have anything from the edited version so I guess the purported European cut does exist. Also, a piece of music from this film was used in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (2015).
  23. Secret Executioner

    What are we LISTENING to lately?

    Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt (vinyl) One of Zappa's late 1970s albums Warner threw together and released without any real say from FZ. Sleep Dirt is (in its original form) an entirely instrumental album, as Warner had used rough tracks from the Lather project - a 4-record set Zappa wanted to release that was to include material ultimately released on this record, Studio Tan, Orchestral Favorites and the live album Zappa in New York that was the only one Zappa had anything to do with. To be thorough on the controversy, Zappa wanted a 4-record set to be made when Warner claimed Zappa owed them four separate albums - even though Zappa would have been in his right as the contract didn't mention whether the four records were to be separate or all at once - and that's where things got bad and the material got randomly released on four separate albums, with three - Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites - feeling like randomly pieced together compilations with quickly put together artwork - not the best, though I like the inclusion of an Hedorah-like monster on Sleep Dirt and the pissed off-looking muscular mouse from the back cover of Studio Tan - and no credits to the performers. When Sleep Dirt got re-released on CD it saw the addition of female vocals on a couple of songs, an aspect made - from what I know - to make it closer to Zappa's original vision, a concept album dealing with a monster named Flambay (hence the song by that name) in love with a female singer. I have no idea how close the CD release really is to Zappa's vision, but I find the entirely instrumental version very enjoyable and pleasant. The songs are very jazz-oriented, some like "Regyptian Strut" having a feeling similar to the early 1970s jazz material Zappa made but others like "Filthy Habits" have a guitar sound that seems closer to mid-to-late 1970s Zappa. Speaking of guitar, I find the titletrack very intriguing as it's essentially an accoustic jam and you can hear Zappa talking with someone else, likely the other guitarist. This piece feels more like some outtake or impro, which clashes with the very elaborate and cautiously performed other tracks from the album - especially knowing how strict Zappa was said to be with his musicians. Nevertheless, the album is overall very enjoyable and the tracks seem to each have their own mood I'd say it's my least favorite of the three studio albums, but considering how good and interesting Studio Tan and Orchestral Favorites are, it's not saying much. I'm really fond of these albums, which all rank among my 10 favorite Frank Zappa/Mothers records. And before anyone asks, I'm aware of the 40th Anniversary re-release of Orchestral Favorites but I haven't checked it out yet. The concert sounds very interesting, lots of rather uncommon pieces for a Zappa live release.
  24. Secret Executioner

    The Shaw Brothers Van & Other Related Randomness

    @panku and @TibetanWhiteCrane: thanks guys. I felt I knew the guy, but couldn't remember his name. Kudo for mentionning the movie too.