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#1981 movies
hedleylamarr · 1 year
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Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981).
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astolfocinema · 5 months
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The production design of Outland (Peter Hyams, 1981)
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isaxtr · 3 months
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cressida-jayoungr · 8 months
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One Dress a Day Challenge
November: Oscar Winners
Chariots of Fire / Alice Krige as Sybil Gordon
Year: 1981
Designer: Milena Canonero
This cream-colored dress looks just perfect for a warm summer day. It has the by-now-familiar semi-sheer top over an opaque foundation (compare these costumes from Enchanted April, which is set around the same time). There's a bit of subtle eyelet work around the seams and hems. It's not quite clear whether the floral designs are embroidered or stenciled on, but they appear to cover the whole dress, based on what we can see of the skirt. The gloves, by contrast, extend down the wrist and have a polka-dot design on the frills.
The cloth band and floral decoration on her broad-brimmed straw hat pick up the colors of the dress, and her parasol appears to be a very pale pink.
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zachfett · 3 months
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Das Boot (1981) Directed by Wolfgang Petersen Cinematography by Jost Vacano
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maddtsuki · 2 years
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"The return of the Thin White Duke, throwing darts in lovers eyes."
Christiane F. − Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo.
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al3mda · 7 months
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Body Heat (1981) - Lawrence Kasdan
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randomcapz · 1 year
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Body Heat (1981).
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writerobscura · 10 months
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This movie and its music, OMG.
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adamwatchesmovies · 5 months
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The Evil Dead (1981)
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Historically, successful horror films have relied more on the feelings they provoke and their originality than good performances or cutting-edge special effects. The Evil Dead is a perfect example of this in action. The rules of this supernatural story are at best loosely introduced, the special effects were made on the cheap and all of the actors have more than a few moments that aren’t convincing. While you're watching, none of that matters. This film has so much energy it sucks you right in and while it’s rough around the edges, the camera movement makes it look like a million bucks (rather than the $375,000 production it actually is). You watch it once and instantly become a member of the fan club.
University students Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), his sister Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), their friend Scott (Hal Delrich) and his girlfriend Shelly (Sarah York) travel to an isolated cabin in the woods. In the cabin's cellar, they find a tape recording of the Sumerian Naturom Demonto. Once played, it summons demonic forces which mercilessly attack the group.
This is a horror comedy; a particular kind of horror-comedy that’s become a trademark of writer/director Sam Raimi. This is splatstick. Evil Dead pours on the gore. As the demonic forces attack Ash and his friends, they get caked in blood and guts. It’s so extreme you pass beyond the realm of revulsion. It feels wrong to find what's happening funny, until you start laughing.
You might be apprehensive about embracing the comedy at first because the film is actually frightening, or at the very least, disturbing. When Linda gets attacked, a sharpened pencil is jammed into her ankle, and then wiggled back-and-forth to make sure you understand how much it would hurt. When Cheryl goes to investigate strange noises in the woods, the results are the stuff of nightmares. Literally. It’s so surreal you’re not sure what you saw actually happened. "Could this movie really go that far? We were laughing ago, and we kind of feel like laughing now because… well, you just don’t see that kind of thing anywhere!"
The Evil Dead knows the rules of a horror movie. Most importantly, it knows when to break them and when not to. Between all the dripping and oozing, there are several false jump scares, and they work. Unexpectedly well because that initial tension is broken by something that turns out to be harmless. The release you want comes in a chuckle - exactly the reaction The Evil Dead was hoping for.
Now let's talk camera work. Long shots that move faster and faster as we get closer to the person in the frame fill you with a panic you wouldn’t expect from this scrappy little production. Even when you can see the seams, the idea propelling these visuals radiates through the screen and consumes you.
This movie is a lot like Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Three Stooges all blended together - while still alive - into a sticky red goo that’s wholly original. It’s so well directed, with such inventive camerawork and so effective at doing what it wants to do, you have to describe The Evil Dead as an imperfect masterpiece: a movie you probably couldn’t in all good consciousness give 5 stars to, but is a lot more fun and a lot more watchable than most 5 star movies you see. (Original version on Blu-ray, October 8, 2021)
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demonspeeding666 · 1 year
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Evil Dead (1981) Trailer
Inspired from @fanofspooky
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velvetrey · 1 year
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You know that feeling.
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bkenber · 1 year
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All-Time Favorite Trailers: 'Blow Out'
I first remember watching the trailer for Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out” years ago before a double feature at New Beverly Cinema. While I don’t remember which double feature I was seeing that evening, I do remember the trailer itself and in becoming excited about checking out this underappreciated De Palma classic. Roger Ebert gave it four out of four stars and proclaimed it to be one of those…
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View On WordPress
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isaxtr · 2 years
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<3
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cressida-jayoungr · 10 months
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One Dress a Day Challenge
September: Bond Films
For Your Eyes Only / Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl
The last of the five primary modes of Bond Girl chic is ski wear. For Your Eyes Only has possibly the most extended ski chase in the Bond film canon--certainly the one that incorporates the most other winter sports besides skiing--so it seems appropriate to draw from that movie. BIbi is committed to the "ski cowgirl" look, between the hat, the bandanna, and the western collar on her snowsuit. To be honest, this wouldn't have looked out of place as a US or Canadian team uniform in one of the Winter Olympics of the 1970s or 80s; it just needs more flags.
I don't know how many times I've seen this movie, but I blush to confess that I only just now figured out the pun in Bibi Dahl (Baby Doll)'s name.
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kevinsreviewcatalogue · 2 months
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Salem Horror Fest 2024 Week 1, Day 3: Cat People (1942), Burned at the Stake (1981), Young Blondes, Stalked and Murdered (2024), and Faceless After Dark (2023)
The third night of the Salem Horror Fest had another theme to it, especially once I got past the retro films they showed earlier in the day. If the second night was Found Footage Night, then this was Hollywood Night, with both of the evening's films revolving around fame, especially that of actresses.
First up, though, comes the older films...
<Originally posted at https://kevinsreviewcatalogue.blogspot.com/2024/04/salem-horror-fest-2024-week-1-day-3-cat.html>
Cat People (1942)
Approved by the Production Code Administration of the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
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Score: 4 out of 5
Cat People is one of the most famous horror movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood to not have come from Universal Pictures, instead being produced by Val Lewton at RKO Radio Pictures. RKO's horror unit, which Lewton spearheaded, was an extremely low-budget affair, and that unfortunately shows through when it comes time to actually show the monster in this movie, in scenes that often sucked all the tension out of the room thanks to the dodgy, primitive special effects on display. It speaks to everything else about it that this movie manages to overcome its extremely low-budget effects work and emerge as a near-masterpiece of classic horror, one that feels like a prototype for a lot of more modern "tortured vampire" stories (only with a woman who transforms into a killer cat) that was notably made back when Universal's Dracula was still a "modern" horror movie. Director Jacques Tourneur was a master at building tension out of very little, and the subtext in the story, ranging from immigrant experiences to lesbianism to proto-feminism, feels like it's pushing against the boundaries of the Hays Code in every way it can. There's a good reason this movie still gets talked about more than eighty years later as one of the unsung classics of its era, and it's still worth a watch today.
Irena Dubrovna is a Serbian immigrant and fashion illustrator who meets a handsome man named Oliver Reed at the zoo while she's sketching some of the big cats they have there. They hit it off and eventually marry... but Irena is afraid that, if they consummate their marriage, her dark secret will come out. You see, back in Serbia, legend tells of people in her former village who, in response to their oppression by the Mameluks, turned to witchcraft and gained the ability to transform into cats, one that has been passed down to her. Oliver dismisses this as superstitious nonsense and sends her to a psychiatrist, Dr. Louis Judd, who tries to convince her as much, but before long, Oliver and his assistant (and potential romantic foil) Alice Moore start to notice strange things happening around them that line up with what Irena told him.
Tourneur knew he didn't have the budget to actually shoot a monster for very long, so for much of this film's runtime, he keeps the cat person in the shadows and lets those shadows do the talking. A lot is mined out of those shadows, too, perhaps best illustrated in a scene where Alice is being stalked by Irena in which we never actually see a monster, but we know full well that there's something lurking in the darkness just outside the reach of the streetlamps, Irena's transformation into a cat depicted by simply having the sound of her footsteps go dead silent -- and ending on what's still one of the all-time great jump scares. Irena herself makes for a great anti-villain, one who's clearly troubled over what she is and fears that she might get the man she loves killed because of it, but still ultimately gives in to what is in her nature. At a time when the original Universal monster movies were still being made, Irena's portrayal feels downright subversive, predicting all the more anti-heroic and morally cloudy takes on vampires and other monsters that have become the standard for urban fantasy stories in modern times, especially with this film's rejection of the period settings characteristic of Universal horror in favor of a contemporary time and themes.
This film has its problems, to be sure. Some of the dialogue is stilted, with a scene of Oliver telling Irena that she's safe now in America getting some outright laughs out of the audience I was with, even if it did do the job of highlighting how clueless Oliver actually was. French actress Simone Simon makes for a very compelling presence, but at the same time, it's clear that English is not her first language, which does lend to the feeling of Irena as an outsider but also means that, when she's speaking, her English-language performance is pretty flat. Most importantly, when the film does have to finally show the monster at the end, it's clear that they just filmed a black housecat and hid it in enough shadows and perspective shots to try to make it look like a big, scary panther, and didn't quite pull it off. Team America: World Police spoiled me years ago on that by doing something very similar as part of a gag, and it took me right out of it towards the end. The film ended on a high note, but there are still a lot of rough spots here.
The Bottom Line
All that said, Cat People remains a very interesting movie, one where even some of its flaws (barring its bad special effects) lend to its appeal. If you're a fan of classic horror from the Universal days and wanna see something from outside the Universal wheelhouse, I'd say give it a go.
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Afterwards, I caught a "secret screening" that turned out to be a long-forgotten bit of '80s schlock filmed in Salem, presented by James Branscome of the podcast Cinematic Void in a manner evocative of late-night basic cable from the '90s, complete with ad breaks thrown in where they showed period commercials from that time. That experience was undoubtedly the most interesting thing about the film and did a lot to liven up the affair, because otherwise...
Burned at the Stake (aka The Coming) (1981)
Not rated
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Score: 1 out of 5 (the movie itself), 3 out of 5 (the broader experience at the screening)
Yeah, this wasn't good. Cinematic Void perhaps recaptured the '90s late night cable experience a little too well, complete with the fact that it looks like the screener they used was burned from an old, worn-out VHS copy of the film, because, as the host explained at the start of the show, this is a film that was only ever released on VHS and hasn't come out in newer formats. Specifically, it was one of the later films of Bert I. Gordon, a filmmaker best known for cheesy giant monster movies that have often been featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and in this one, he didn't have the trademark special effects that earned him the nickname "Mr. B.I.G." It's a film that's only watchable today as a cheesy relic of a bygone era of bad movies, which helped with the experience that Branscome put together but did little to help the film itself. I wouldn't bother seeking it out.
Opening in 1692 with a brief history of the Salem witch trials (butchered, of course), the film then fast-forwards to modern-day Salem in 1981, where a young girl who's descended from Ann Putnam, one of the primary accusers in the trials, winds up possessed by the spirit of her ancestor, who it turns out was influenced by the Devil himself to corrupt the town in a wave of paranoia and false accusations of witchcraft. At the same time, the father of one of the accused in 1692 finds himself mysteriously transported to the present day, and must work to stop the evil that has reemerged. It was all very dumb, put together with the production values of an afterschool special and only really notable because they shot it on location in Salem, Massachusetts (perhaps the reason why the Salem Horror Fest and Cinematic Void picked it for the program). It was an interesting historical artifact of '80s Salem, watching the film and seeing what had changed or remained the same compared to the city I saw outside the Peabody Essex Museum's auditorium, but beyond that, I had to put up with a lot of terrible production values, awful lighting, bad acting, and everything else you could imagine showing up in a bottom-of-the-barrel straight-to-video VHS quickie from the early '80s. There were apparently some bits that were based on real-life folklore concerning witchcraft, including working with actual witches who lived in Salem as consultants, but it barely came through in the film itself, especially when it was tough to even make out what was happening on screen. One kill that was supposed to involve a giant spider coming out of somebody's back instead looked like he was being mauled to death by a possessed dog, to the point of creating plot holes.
The Bottom Line
Burned at the Stake is an extremely deep cut that I'm not surprised hasn't gotten rereleased since, even with Gordon's schlockmeister legacy. Cinematic Void's presentation was honestly the big reason it was watchable at all, not unlike how many of Gordon's other movies have been immortalized by MST3K, and that's not what I'm reviewing here (though do give them a listen). This one was rough.
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The evening was when this turned into Hollywood Night, with the first of two very good slasher-adjacent horror movies about being a film actress.
Young Blondes, Stalked and Murdered (2024)
Not rated
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Score: 4 out of 5
Young Blondes, Stalked and Murdered is a film that's very, very good at both building tension to a head and then denying you any sort of payoff. It's a slasher movie without the slashing, one in which the real terror comes in the paranoia as we watch a young woman navigate a world where, off in the background, there's a serial killer operating and it's increasingly clear that he's set his sights on her. It ended on a note that at once felt both anticlimatic and entirely appropriate, one that took the undercurrent of Hollywood satire running through the film and drove it home by indicating that our protagonist's failure to "make it" in the industry may have very well saved her life. This is one for horror fans who are interested in a film that may not have a lot of big thrills and frights, but instead serves up a ceaseless parade of little ones that slowly build up and never let up.
Our protagonist is a twentysomething woman named Stacy who's moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles to become an actress, and is struggling to get parts even as her friends in the city, all fellow actresses themselves, are finding ways to get parts and succeed in the industry. What's more, some of them are turning up dead, slaughtered by a serial killer who films it and then posts the deeds online. Initially, the murder is something that happens in the background, alluded to in the opening scene but something that we're mostly encountering through Stacy's eyes, hearing from her friends "hey, did you know that Chloe, that girl from our acting class, was found brutally murdered?" or something like that, as just one of many things that's on her mind. It's a slasher movie that, by taking a perspective that's initially far away from the killing, puts us in the shoes of somebody who doesn't initially seem like she's in danger. We know she is, of course, because this is a horror movie and she's the main character, but it's easy to see how she could miss the warning signs, especially because the film never actually shows the kills, only the impact they have on Stacy and her circle of friends. Not showing the kills denies you the instant fright, but instead feeds the slow burn of the film's drama, keeping the viewer squarely in Stacy's mindset as she starts to slowly, but not entirely, realize that something's wrong. It's honestly a pretty creative way of explaining how a character in a horror movie keeps making dumb decisions -- because she doesn't know she's in one, even if we do.
Samantha Carroll has to carry the entire movie as Stacy, and she does a very capable job. Her life is not the glamorous one she wanted -- she may be beautiful, but she's living in a dingy apartment, she's struggling to make ends meet, and she's increasingly wondering if this is worth it. It's easy to understand how somebody in her position brushes off all the growing warning signs around her as her friends drop dead one by one, especially as their deaths give her hope that she might have a shot at their roles. It's clear that she's the kind of self-centered person who often comes to Hollywood with stars in their eyes, but she's still somebody we sympathize with. The film is beautifully shot, at once making Hollywood feel both gorgeous and bleak while also hiding a dark side that increasingly starts to weigh down on both the viewer and Stacy as it goes on. The killer's identity is never explicitly stated but is otherwise very heavily implied, and when Stacy and the killer meet, it is one of the scariest scenes in the film as alarm bells started going off in my head telling her to get out of there. That scene in particular marks something of a turning point in the film where what had once been lurking in the background increasingly comes out in the open to the point that even Stacy is starting to feel it, even if it feels to her like just one more thing weighing on her mind.
The Bottom Line
An offbeat, minimalist take on the slasher genre that's powered by creeping dread, Young Blondes, Stalked and Murdered isn't for everyone, but if you're keyed into its style, it's an extremely effective slow-burn chiller.
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And finally, we end the night with a film that feels as though its star and co-writer Jenna Kanell was working out some stuff -- but fortunately, it produced a very solid closer.
Faceless After Dark (2023)
Not rated
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Score: 4 out of 5
In Faceless After Dark, Jenna Kanell, the film's co-writer who's best known as one of the stars of the 2016 slasher Terrifier, plays a scream queen who's best known for a movie about a killer clown in which she played the final girl. It's not hard to figure out that at least some of this film may be autobiographical. If it were entirely so, I might have some thoughts about Kanell's mental state, but fortunately, this is otherwise a very fun, darkly comic film that reminded me in no small part of American Psycho and Falling Down, a story about somebody pushed to the edge by work, the internet, society, and mental illness who goes off the deep end. It was a highlight of the third night of the Salem Horror Fest, and one I'd love to see succeed.
Our protagonist Bowie is an actress who's recently shot to fame as the heroine of a bloody slasher flick, which on one hand has made her rich but on the other has made her a public figure under constant scrutiny by her fans, some of whom can get downright obsessive. One night, with her girlfriend away shooting a movie, one particularly deranged fan breaks into her home while dressed as the killer clown villain of her most famous film in an attempt to scare her. Already withering under the pressure, Bowie finally snaps as a result of this encounter, and starts to head down a very dark path as she fights back.
I really don't want to say much more than that. This movie has a lot of surprises up its sleeve that the trailer did a good job of hiding, and which only really come out during the second act. Kanell is the star of the show here, playing a character who's pretty obviously based on herself and doing it well, with Bowie initially serving as somebody who plays a kick-ass horror heroine on screen being pushed into that role for real but her cool demeanor slowly but surely warping as the film goes on into a sick, deranged parody thereof. There's a lot of style on display here, especially with a series of gory kills inflicted on some very loathsome people written in such a way as to make you wonder whether or not they deserve what happens to them. And through it all, there's a sense of sick righteousness as the victims increasingly start to resemble the people you normally find online if you read the comments for more than five seconds -- gross fetishists, moral scolds, pedophiles, and everybody in between, all against the backdrop of a world that feels like it's getting worse with every passing day.
The Bottom Line
Faceless After Dark is a damn good movie filled with gory kills, a mean streak a mile wide, and a great performance by Kanell, and one that I'm looking forward to seeing again when it hits video, even if I can't really say much more without giving away all the best parts.
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