Gone with the trash, here we have quality horror
Too much trash in the last feature? Too many laughs, too many BAD movies? Where are the classics? The masterpieces, the creme de la creme of horror? Step back into our Delorean and let’s go for a demonic drive to hell…with no turning or coming back…maybe.
It’s all in your mind…that fear reincarnated
So many movies out there which deal with demons, monsters, forces which the human mind or intellect or hand can’t control. What’s so fascinating about it? Maybe it is because since the beginning of man or time, stories of those creatures from beyond were around, fear in people’s hearts… or maybe because it’s just terrific fun to see the destruction and havoc they cause on celluloid?
Either way, here are some rather interesting entries in this genre. So girls and ghouls, fasten your seatbelts or grab your armchairs, pillows or whatever you have… and be scared to death or laugh your wits out.
Like many 80ies Italo horror movies in the vein of Dario Argento (who presents this flick and contributes to the music with his band Goblin), there’s not much of a story and the acting is pretty horrible, at least until you get used to it. Same with the slow pacing, but when the action kicks in, it’s a lot of fun, even if the gore effects and masks haven’t aged that well. What’s especially interesting is that a weird atmosphere is created with a movie in the cinema which makes the boundaries between fiction and reality transparent and gives it a surrealistic touch.
For a fun horror flick with a few scares and laughs, a great soundtrack and a high bodycount, one can’t go wrong with this one.
More or less the same storyline with a horror movie bringing creatures from beyond now to the living room or apartment complex, this is still highly entertaining. It’s as if the former movie never happened, with characters who died appearing in different roles. The ensuing carnage constantly changes between Gremlins-like mayhem, quite scary and tense old-school horror and rock’n’roll splatter.
Never mind the story or bad acting, together with a catchy soundtrack, this is even more fun than the original and highly recommended if one doesn’t think too much about what’s actually happening.
Buy the BD on
Amazon UK (with the first one in a nice steelbook)
Buy the DVD on
Making a sequel is always a hard thing. If it’s too close to the original, people say they’ve seen everything already, if it’s too far away from people’s expectations, they say it has nothing to do with the first one.
Gremlins 2 does it just right: it completely dispenses of the monster creation process which made the first one so compelling and interesting to watch. The rules of how to treat the Mogwais (the cute former stage of the transformation) have been established and the audience has to know them, or they are quickly recapped. The main characters from the original don’t have to be introduced as well, so what is left is the ensuing chaos the little monsters create.
It’s a logical move to give them more playground, and the super-high-tech complex is just the perfect solution as it offers a lot of variety to the proceedings. It’s a completely different atmosphere, there’s not a lot of horror left, just more fun with all kinds of weird experiments.
The only problem the movie faces is that it sometimes gets a bit out of hand and lacks some suspense. Metafictional elements abound as well, movie references are aplenty, and it’s just a crazy monster movie like no other, which still entertains today with its ideas and hasn’t been bettered.
The Blu-Ray looks rather good (even if the first scenes are a bit disappointing), the only aggravating thing is why Warner decided not to release it separately in Germany or the UK, so it has either to be bought with the first one, which is probably in everyone’s collection anyway, or imported from the US. It’s also a shame that the German version doesn’t offer the original cover artwork which was quite awesome. It only includes an altered Gremlins 1 poster which doesn’t do the movies justice.
A bit reminiscent of 1963’s The Haunting, it’s more psychological horror than the ghosts-moving-objects sledgehammer method. It’s a bit slow at times like so many other 70ies movies and a bit less engaging because of the characters which are hard to identify with or to like.
What makes it rather creepy (besides some whispering voices and disconcerting sound effects) is how there’s not much of an exposition. Most of the horror is going on inside the audience’s head. With a rather surprising ending and general suspense, this is quite an effective chiller with memorable scenes.
BTW, the Blu-Ray looks especially nice with restorated picture and sound quality. The weird thing is that it has only been released in Germany (with the rather stupid title “Tanz der Totenköpfe” (Dance of the Skulls)), but as it has the English version on it, this is the best way to experience it.