Archive for the ‘Pure Popcorn flicks’ Category

Halloween films to binge on ( at least for that night)

Posted by Greg Butler On October - 28 - 2021
Theater of Blood (1973)
Secretly I believe all actors and directors dream of doing this. This classic Vincent Price  vehicle has him playing a hammy actor wreaking vengeance on critics that ruined his career with less than flattering reviews and locking him out on a prestigious award. The demise of everyone comes with a very Shakespearean ending.
The Hunt (2020)
Not as controversial as the people behind this political thriller wants you to believe. Liberal loons gather up and hunt down right-wing douchebags in a forested area of the  country, only to have the tables turned when one decided to play Rambo right back at them.
The movie is much too frivolous to be taken seriously as it more hilarious in its kills and skewed ideologies.
Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde ( 1971)
Do I really need to explain anything, the title alone writes the whole story. Ralph Bates is the hapless doctor to Beautiful Martine Beswick’s Hyde, stalking the streets of london in Jack the Ripper mode.
Another winner from the house of Hammer, but you kinda knew that didn’t you?
Basket case (1982)
Devoted big brother carries his deformed little brother in a wicker basket. The fun begins when he escapes and ready to do damage on unfortunate victims caught in its rampage. Rex Reed the critic once said “this is the sickest movie ever made”.
That sir is a compliment.
Howl (2015)
Not since Train to Busan or The Midnight meat wagon has shown community transit can be a real killer at times, along comes this low budget but expertly thrilling horror film of passengers  trapped on a stalled london train besieged by werewolves.
Saint Maud (2019)
A fervently religious nurse suffering from trauma, has an awakening of being possessed by God and be tasked to save a  sick patient from damanation, but the results are less than pious.
House of Wax (1953)
Not that crap starring Paris Hilton but this original version from the horror icon himself, Vincent Price. A sculptor is badly hurt in a fire in trying to stop an unscrupulous partner in burning down the museum for insurance money, he returns later in another guise, this time to rebuild, but he isn’t using plaster of paris as foundation.
 The technicolor alone is fantastic to look at.


Posted by Greg Butler On September - 16 - 2018



There are at least three requirements I need when it comes to big budget Hollywood horror films, I call it the Poltergiest (1982) test, either scare, creep or thrill me. Some films very rarely do all if any. IT based on Stephen  King’s novel of the same name, falls somewhere between being interesting enough  that I didn’t fidget to much in my seat and wasn’t  bored, fact is for all the money spent on this,  its very light on the scares or rather the ineffectivenes of it.  What works are the performances from the young stars  but the two that impressed me the most were ( Jeremy Ray Taylor ) as the bullied fat kid and (Sophia lillis) the lone female of this little band of outcasts, privately struggling with her own sexual maturity and the problems that comes with it. she is the shining star out of the group and probably the best jailbait ever on screen for teen boys since Ally Sheedy from Wargames.

The overall premise  is meshed with a coming of age tropes mixed with childhood fears.  A sewer dwelling entity called Pennywise ( played with obvious menace 101 by Bill Skarsgard ),  using various visages of a circus clown and other nightmarish images to terrorize the youngsters of Derry Maine, consuming their life and fears for immortality every 27 years. Director (Andy Muschietti ) telegraph the spectoral situations with a pedestrian eye suited more for a Halloween parade in daylight. As sadly suspected  loud clanging music and a generic jump scare style follow,  making no lasting impression.  The movie is listless, lacking a grounded urgency to give any gravitas to the events thát we the audience should be invested in. Despite all this the film still holds our interest when the kids are on screen dealing with earthly problems like social acceptability or personal  difficulties. It is the Stand by Me moments that actually work best.

Unfortunately when the supernatural starts getting in gear, the film falters, missing some really needed complexities to flesh out the town’s history and a few minor character aside, but at least IT has a reasonable running time.

Bring on part 2.

I give it a decent Pabst blue ribbon, but a chaser is neêded.


TOP Halloween films to watch (at least for that night)

Posted by Greg Butler On October - 30 - 2015

Around this time of year just about every website ad nausea , roll out the their top ten or twenty horror films to  join in the over crowded recommendation pile. So we at Thoughts on Cinema might as well join in. Below are eight carefully selected suggestions to binge all night long. To help in the order to watch them, there is a fear meter under :   Scary fun-frights with a few laughs,   Downright Disturbing- well done but uncomfortable subject matter,   Chiller Suspense -moments of creepiness and mystery and old school classic - refined horror at its best.

If you don’t see the usual suspects like the Exorcist or the Shining, it was left off mainly because their already “go to” favorites everywhere else online, going to try some curve balls here and there. So get ready with your Netflix or illegally favorite torrent site, get that burnt popcorn going  and see what nightmares are really made of.


Diabolique (1955)

Diabolique (1955) Poster

Still of Véra Clouzot and Simone Signoret in Diabolique (1955)

Forget the remake with Sharon Stone, watch the french version instead. An abused wife and neglected mistress murders husband, only to find the body missing later and peculiar occurrences plaguing both women.{ Chiller Suspense}


Phantasm (1979)

Image result for phantasm

Mausoleums, flying finger monsters, the tall man,  spheres that drill into your head and  killer dwarfs  from another dimensions, What does it all mean, I haven’t a clue but this is the most original horror fantasy at that time and even now. { Scary fun}



Fiend without a face (1958)

Image result for fiend without a face 1958

The  usual mishaps of science experiments  gone way wrong.One of the few Sci-fi with a creepy feel to it. The appearances of the creatures once invisible is especially high on the eek meter.{old school classic} 

Martyrs (2008)

Review: Martyrs (UK - BD RB) - DVDActiveChild abuse escalating  into  violent vengeance, which leads to something even worse. One of the few horror films that actually perturbed me. This is not for the squeamish.{ Downright Disturbing }


Carnival of Souls (1962)

Image result for carnival of souls

Forget its low budget minimalist leanings, it actually works in its favor. Woman survives a  drag racing accident that kills her friends, but the trauma has left her feeling disconnected to things and seeing strange figures that are not there. The atmosphere of unease permeates from scene to scene. { old school classic .}


The Descent (2005)