Time for a new ride with the Wayback Machine. This one is from 2009.

Pinup Drawing

Yesterday was Halloween, and this year, we decided to dress up as a ghoulish nun and a priest! Below are some photos:

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween

 

And of course, I carved a pumpkin as usual, and Vanja baked some Halloween cupcakes and some “lemon fromage monsters”, and we spent a spooky evening/night with friends and family!

 

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween

The Haunted

Before The Conjuring, Annabelle and The Nun there was an obscure movie made for TV called “The Haunted”.

In the 1970’s, Jack and Janet Smurl moves to a big house in West Pittston, Pennsylvania, together with Jack’s parents who resides in one part of the house. Janet, being a housewife and spending most of the time alone in the house, starts experiencing strange things like unexplained noises and a dark shape showing up while she’s cleaning the house. As things escalate, they contact a pair of priests who, instead of helping them, advice them to seek family counseling. In desperation Janet seeks out the well-known paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, and the war against the paranormal has started.

“The Haunted” can in many ways be seen as the first “Conjuring” movie, and is based on what the Smurl-family experienced in the period between 1979-89. However, this TV-movie is pretty obscure and doesn’t even have any official dvd release. Which is quite sad, as this is a pretty good haunted house horror movie.

My first meeting with this movie was in the early 1990’s when it was shown on “TV3” under the norwegian title “Hjemsøkt av djevelen” (which means “Haunted by the devil”). At that time (and age) it was the scariest movie I had seen and it caused a couple of sleepless nights afterwards. There are several scenes in the movie that are quite effective because they play the good game of “less is more”. There is, however, an incredibly cheesy scene where Jack Smurl is attacked and sexually assaulted by a demon in the living room, with pink lighting effects and a smoke machine. Aside from that, the movie does have a serious tone and is suspenseful and creepy, and it would be nice to see it released on dvd someday. Or, at the very least, on streaming (like Netflix, Prime, and so on). As of now, the only options you have are bootlegs or YouTube.

The Haunted

The film is also based on the biography “The Haunted: One Family’s Nightmare” by Robert Curran, which I recommend if you’re interested in the life of Ed and Lorraine Warren, or if you simply enjoy a great ghost story.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102007/

The House Next Door

The young couple Krish and Lakshmi live in an idyllic little neighborhood in a quiet village. They are invited to a welcome party in the neighboring house, the house next door (yes, literally), which is an old house previously owned by a Chinese family. The party turns into a dramatic event when the new family’s young daughter goes outside and, like in a trance, falls into the giant well in the garden. Krish, who is also a doctor, jumps down and saves her, but after this event the girl is not quite the same in the days after. The word “possessed” is not far away, and she is sent to a psychologist who is blaming her for her interest in heavy metal music (as if we were back in the 80s), reading horror litterature and watching horror movies. He is determined that she is easily influenced by horror, and mixed together with the recent move, he believes that therein lies all her problems. Still, her problems grow worse and in the end the family see no other option than calling for a priest and have a good old-fashioned exorcism.

Bollywood is a whole new territory for me, and I wasn’t really sure what I would expect from this two-hour long ghost / possession movie, except a musical number every 10 minutes. Bollywood is known to love adding some music tracks, but in this movie we only get a small cheer- and colorful montage of the young couple, with a pop song that shows us the story of how he and she met, married etc. For a person like me who is not used to this kind of thing in horror movies, I immediately felt that it set a strange contrast in a movie that also captures inspirations from The Conjuring and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, overflowing with a ton of other horror and pop culture references where even a certain Dean Winchester would had lost the overview. Also, Krish works as a surgeon at a hospital called Silent Hill Hospital… yes, seriously. Silent Hill Hospital. Maybe all this was done in order to appeal as much as possible to an international audience, especially in the United States, but this is just overkill. Nor can I avoid mentioning that the psychologist is similar to Roger Ebert, which must be a crazy coincidence.

With its two hours running time, The House Next Door never gets scary, and the frequent broken English mixed into their sentences (Hinglish) makes several moments just involuntarily comical (at least for people like me who isn’t used to this sort of thing). Nevertheless, the film has its strong elements, like beautiful cinematography with a lot of atmosphere, and with its fast pacing and colorful characters, I certainly had a fun time watching it. So if you’ve never seen a Bollywood horrorfilm before, then I can assure you that this will be a compelety new, fresh, unique and somewhat bizarre experience.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7471004/

Truth or Dare (2018)

While on a partying trip to Mexico, a group of young friends meet a guy who wants them to join him for a game of “Truth or Dare” in an old abandoned church. What starts out as an innocent game, soon turns deadly when they realize they’ve been tricked into an evil demon’s version of the game. If you fail to answer truthfully on the demon’s “truth” questions, or refuse to commit its “dares”, the consequence is a quick and painful death.

Yes, you know this is going to be silly as hell. When I saw the trailer for this movie, I actually decided to skip watching it on the big screen. I normally watch most horror movies that comes out in the cinema, but the incredibly silly “demonic faces” the trailer showed off all the time made it somewhat cringeworthy. Thank goodness for streaming services like Netflix and SF Anytime.

Watching this movie in the comforts of home, I have to admit that I didn’t find it as bad as I had expected it to be. Silly concept/plot? Yeah, sure. The chesire-cat grins of the demonic faces didn’t bother me as much as I had feared, and I found myself entertained enough. These days, I never expect a movie to be able to scare me anyway (after watching so many horror movies, I’m afraid those days are long gone). The movie goes forward just like you’d expect a movie of this kind to do: young sexy people need to battle the supernatural force while being killed off in various ways, one by one, until (after enough of them have been killed off), the remaining ones need to dig deeper into finding a way to solve the “mystery” behind the deadly game and how to escape from it alive. Yes, you’ve pretty much seen it before…it’s a tried a tired formula that every horror movie fan has seen numerous times already, but who cares about that as long as it works to entertain you. Every new movie release doesn’t need to bring a brand new dish to the table in order to be watchable.

Overall, “Truth or Dare” is an easy-going horrorflick to watch on a rainy evening with some pizza and beer. It’s not a masterpiece, but certainly delivers if you’re in the mood for some silly fun.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6772950/

Demons

On a subway station in Rome, the young lady Cheryl stumbles into a mysterious man who’s got half his face covered with an iron mask. He gives her two tickets to a horrormovie. She asks him if he’s dressed like that for the promotion of the film, but he does not give her an answer. Her curiosity has been peaked, so she hooks up with her girlfriend Kathy and decides to head for the movie theatre to check out this mysterious untitled film. Other random people pops in, such as an elderly couple who’s probably never seen a horror movie before, some pussy-hound teenagers, a pimp with two hookers, and of course a blind dude with sunglasses with his wife who must explain what happens on the screen to him. You know, the regular moviegoers..

This “mysterious” movie they’re going to watch is about some people who are exploring a tomb site where Nostradamus should be buried. They come across an old latin book written by Nostradamus himself, which is about summoning demons. They also find a demonic iron mask, which is not so unfamiliar to the one we saw in the beginning. Fast forwarding, as they read from the book, one of the people in the movie theatre gets possessed and havoc is about begin with throats getting ripped, scalps torn off and people getting killed in horrible ways. And they also happen to be completely locked inside the building.

So basically, Demons is more or less Evil Dead in a movie theatre… just without Bruce Campbell.

But we have Tony the Pimp. He seems to be a favorite amongst many viewers, and that’s probably ’cause he’s the only one amongst the bland characters who has a shred of personality. He’s badass and got some attitude. There’s was even a short film made about him with the same actor, Bobby Rhodes. You’re almost hoping he’s this film’s backbone and hero in the same way Bruce Campbell was for Evil Dead or Reggie Bannister was for Phantasm. Well, what a missed opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to see a whole franchise where a pimp teams up with his hookers to kill a bunch of Demons/zombies-or whatever?

A sequel was made right after, called Demons 2, which is so bad and dreadfully boring that I had to speed up to get through it so I didn’t fall asleep..

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089013/

“A house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living, it can only be borrowed by the ghosts that stay behind.”

A young nurse has been hired to take care of an old woman. This old woman is Iris Blum, a prolific horror author that now lives all alone in her New England mansion and suffering from chronic dementia, and needs to be proper taken care of 24/7. When the young nurse, Lily, starts living there in order to take proper care of Iris, Lily starts experiencing certain things that makes her imagination run wild. With Lily being a bit of a scaredy-cat as well, she tries all she can to re-focus and pretend that nothing is happening…until she can’t pretend any more.

“I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” is a strange dish. While being a haunted house movie, it’s told from a somewhat different angle (from the actual haunting itself, so to speak). The movie starts with Lily herself being the narrator, stating “The pretty thing you are looking at is me. Of this I am sure. My name is Lily Saylor. I am a hospice nurse. Three days ago I turned 28 years old. I will never be 29 years old“. No spoilers to be had there, in other words…we know exactly what will happen to Lily, just not how. That being said, Lily is only part of the haunting: another spectre is already present. A young woman in a white victorian dress, who have a direct connection to Iris and her books…a mystery Lily eventually feels compelled to solve, and will lead to her unfortunate demise. With regards to this movie, I guess it’s fitting to say that sometimes, curiosity really does kill the cat…

I many ways, it’s a little hard to review this movie as a horror movie, because in many ways it’s more like a gothic poem, and certainly more beautiful than scary. It is very slow-paced, and it’s not one that is there to deliver all the answers…however, it does have a pretty good atmosphere and could be well worth a watch if you find yourself in the mood for a slow poetic ghost story.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5059406/

More previews of the upcoming episode of Sally the Ghost Hunter. This will probably be the last previews I’ll post on this blog until the whole episode is published on sallytheghosthunter.com early in 2019. Our Patreon supporters will get the episode earlier.

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Sally The Ghost Hunter, episode 6 previews

Earlier previews from this episode:

Nosferatu in Venize

The movie opens with a group of duck hunters who happens to shoot down a bat. “It’s bad luck to kill a bat” one of them says, before one of their dogs eats it. And no, it wasn’t Nosferatu the dog ate, just a random bat. Then we jump to Venice where Professor Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) arrives to meet a young lady after getting a vague letter about Nosferatu. According to the letter, Nosferatu was last seen in Venice during a carnival in 1786, and legend has it that he’s still hiding in the city. Paris Catalano has dedicated his life to study Nosferatu, and is more or less the equivalent of Van Helsing. I assume they had to add a different name due to copyright, who knows. He eats dinner with the same people we saw in the duck hunting-scene in the beginning, where he gives a quick and half-hearted lecture about vampires, before he gets escorted down into a crypt under the tunnels of the city where a casket from Transylvania is located. The legend says that Nosferatu is the one who’s buried in that casket. So why not just open it, put the stake through his chest, and just be done with it? You tell me…

However, Professor Paris is certain that Nosferatu isn’t located in that coffin, and that he is shipwrecked somewhere. He won’t even dare to open it, in order to check if he’s right. So what’s he gonna do next? He gets a medium to summon the vampire. Nosferatu (Klaus Kinski) then stands up from a coffin somewhere on a random, obscure location and starts his journey. He stumbles into a gypsy camp where a fortune teller tells him that he’s been summoned by a young lady. He bites the fortune teller’s neck before he heads for Venice, for some more necks to put his teeth in… I guess…

And as you may have figured out, this movie has no relation to neither Nosferatu from 1922 nor the Werner Herzog’s remake from 1979 in any shape or form. Who knows what this movie really tries to be, but what it definitely is, is a completely incoherent mess. Christopher Plummer looks really confused here, and you can tell he has some difficulty with delivering his lines. That’s probably because there were five directors who came and left, after the first one got fired, so you can try to imagine the chaos and turmoil behind the scenes. It’s a miracle that the movie exists at all. And when even Klaus Kinski ended up directing himself in some of the scenes, then you know that everyone have seriously jumped the ship.

So yeah, this is one of those cases where a two-hour making of-documentary had been far more entertaining and interesting than the movie itself…

Nosferatu in Venize

Klaus Kinski was perfect as Nosferatu in the 1979-remake and is probably one of his finest roles. Here, its the polar opposite. He refused to wear the same makeup and shave his long, blonde hair and approached the role with only some simple eyeshadow and puts on the iconic two front teeth when he feels like it. All the characteristics and known trademarks are gone; the hand gestures, the long fingers/nails, as if the guy refused to play the character altogether, and rather just not give a fuck and play himself instead. “Kinski in Venice”, yeah why not.. There’s zero Nosferatu about him. He acts more like a disturbed lunatic, high on whatever he can snort and who likes to hunt down and rape young women in Venice’s narrow alleys, than a fragile vampire who needs blood to survive. It’s almost comical…

Just to put it in a nutshell how extremely “off” Nosferatu is in this film: he’s asked if the daylight doesn’t frighten him. He answers: “It’s the night who frighten me.” So, there you have it. “Nosferatu in Hawaii” next? Despite all the retardedness, the film has its share of gothic and gloomy atmosphere and Venice looks really chilling and sinister, and seems like an unique place to shoot a vampire flick. At least, some of the five directors who tried to sail this shipwreck of a movie to the projection screen managed to add some really fine and moody imagery. And the fitting soundtrack by Vangelis isn’t bad, either. So, I’ll have to give some props in that regard.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091651/

Love Object (2003)

Kenneth Winslow (Desmond Harrington) is a socially insecure young man whose life is mostly centered around work, work, and more work. That is, until he one day sees “Nikki” – an anatomically correct sex doll. It starts as a harmless joke from hos co-workers, but evolves into something far more serious as Kenneth decides to check out the website for the producers of the “Nikki” doll. For the stiff (no pun intended) price of 10.000 dollars he orders one of the sex dolls, and while feeling awkward with his own “Nikki” at first, he soon becomes obsessed with roleplaying. Things take a dramatic turn when he becomes interested in his new female co-worker, a real woman of flesh and blood…it’s almost as if Nikki becomes jealous and vengeful…

“Love Object” is a psycho-thriller with a rather interesting concept, where a person has been so separated from a social life that the roleplaying with his sex doll drives him into a state of mind where he can no longer differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. Desmon Harrington’s performance as the socially unstable bachelor is also brilliant.

The movie keeps the suspense up and have a kind of David Lynch-feeling. Udo Kier also has a funny little role as a curious landlord. While it is a low-budget movie that was filmed in only 18 days (!) it sure doesn’t feel like it. And it is a little creepy that sex dolls like “Nikki” actually exists, and for the same amount of money, too. You kind of have to conclude that a person who orders a sex doll for 10.000 dollars must be at least a little bit off their rockers…

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0328077/

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