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Movie reviews (titles starting with E)
02-03-2017, 02:27 AM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2017 05:30 AM by goodcop2000.)
Post: #1
Movie reviews (titles starting with E)
Eraserhead (1977)
2 freaky worms

According to other reviews I've read from people who love this movie, I'm really in the minority. I liked the lead actor, Jack Nance, and there were definitely memorable and disturbing images scattered throughout the movie. I just can't get on board with a film that is completely about images and atmosphere and does not provide any real narrative. After watching it, I didn't feel like I had watched a movie but instead that I had just woken up from a a bizarre, fever-induced dream.

Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
2 evil witches

This film intrigued me because it was filmed "guerilla style" at Disney amusement parks without permission. The film makers used black and white which gave an interesting look and helped create a sinister atmosphere. The movie comes off as a pretty slick production but I did not find it entertaining. For one thing, the acting is not very good, but the real problem for me is the disjointed, incomprehensible plot. Ultimately, Escape from Tomorrow feels like all gimmick and no substance.

Le Etrange Portrait de la Dame en Jaune (2004)
2 black gloves

This is a 6-minute short film from the people who later made Amer. It has a giallo theme. There isn't anything that really sticks out about the film to make it a must see.

The Evil Dead (1981)
4 remote cabins

After being very disappointed by Sam Raimi's 2009 film Drag Me To Hell ($30 million budget), it was fun to go back and watch a Raimi classic that was filmed on a $400,000 budget 28 years earlier. Not only is The Evil Dead funny and generally entertaining, it's scarier and more tension-inducing than most modern horrors. Of course it's so gory that it was banned in several countries so it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Evil Dead II (1987)
4.5 remote cabins

If you want less humor and more pure terror, the original Evil Dead is the way to go. However, if you want to see a comically horrific (or horrifically comical if you prefer) masterpiece brought to you by the brilliant but twisted minds of director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead II is just what the doctor ordered. As for the other actors, they are really unimportant; this is Campbell's showcase. Campbell reprises his role as everyman turned hero Ash Williams, who finds himself trapped in a remote cabin, set upon by evil forces accidentally summoned by the use of the ancient Necronomicon (Book of Death). To clear up the great debate of whether Evil Dead II is a remake of, or sequel to, Evil Dead, Raimi has explained that the beginning portion of the film is a quick recap of the first installment to bring the viewer up to date. However, Raimi did not retain the necessary rights to use the actual footage from the first film so he re-shot key scenes needed for the recap. From the point where Ash is flung through the trees, the new material begins. Evil Dead II takes the goriness of the first movie and turns it up to comedic proportions. Blood can be scary and disturbing but geysers of blood are just funny. Campbell was born for this role and he gives a wonderfully hammy performance. The scene where Ash's right hand turns evil and tries to kill him is bloody comedy gold.

Evil Dead (2013)
3.5 remote cabins

I am a huge fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy and had mixed feelings when I found out that a remake was in the works. In order to give a fair evaluation of this new film, I have tried to view it as a completely separate entity. The basic plot involves 5 young people who visit a cabin in the woods. An unfortunate choice by one of the visitors spurs a visit from an evil and violent entity, endangering the whole group. The acting performances are pretty good for a horror. I was particularly impressed by Lou Taylor Pucci as "Eric" and Jane Levy as "Mia". Very little CGI is employed and the special effects are memorable and impressive. Be advised that Evil Dead, like its predecessor, pushes the boundaries of gore to the extreme. The main weakness of the film is the writing. In particular, the dialogue is not very good and character development is sparse. Only Mia and her brother David have any depth. Another negative is that the movie delivers plenty of action but not many real scares.

The Exorcist (1973)
4 cans of pea soup

Sometimes called "the scariest movie of all time", The Exorcist doesn't pack the same shocking punch in today's world as it did in 1973, but it is still a very good film. The plot involves the young daughter of an actress suddenly exhibiting bizarre and alarming behavior. With no medical explanations forthcoming, the actress turns to the Catholic Church for assistance. Most of the actors do a fine job, especially young Linda Blair who undergoes an astounding transformation as demon-possessed Regan McNeill. I personally found Ellen Burstyn's performance as Regan's mother overly shrill but both Blair and Burstyn received Academy Award nominations. Some of the special effects are dated at this point but the soundtrack and sound effects are terrific at setting the mood. The Exorcist has been copied by so many other films over the years that it is easy to forget just how original it was when released. It also has a pretty great ending. Horror movie enthusiasts should not miss this important piece of horror cinema history.

‚ÄčExorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
2 flying locusts

Exorcist II is pretty famous for being a terrible follow-up to a great movie. I watched it with an open mind but I have to say the reputation is deserved. The story line is a mess, probably from the reported multiple rewrites of the script. It follows a priest who is sent to investigate the exorcism that occurred in the first film. He meets Regan and tries to help her through the use of a device called the synchronizer which basically allows a person to enter another person's dreams during a hypnotic state. The acting is not bad overall and Burton stands out but even he can't save the bad dialogue. I enjoyed the soundtrack and some of the sets were interesting but most of the special effects were not good.

The Exorcist III (1990)
4 straitjackets

The screenplay for The Exorcist III is based on William Peter Blatty's novel Legion, and he directed as well. The interesting plot details an investigation by police lieutenant Kinderman from the first film into a series of vicious murders. Although the story includes several gruesome murders, there is very little gore displayed. The dialogue is great, especially the banter between Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer. There are excellent acting performances from George C. Scott as Lt. Kinderman and Brad Dourif as a serial killer. Blatty was pressured by the film studio to change his original ending and include an exorcism which seems out of place, but the movie is still very entertaining.

Exorcist: The Beginning (2008)
3.5 sand storms

The history of the making of this film is interesting. Paul Schrader was initially hired to direct an Exorcist prequel about Father Merrin investigating an unknown Catholic church uncovered during an archaeological dig. The studio did not like his version and fired Schrader. Director Renny Harlin was hired to take over. He kept some of the actors including Stellan Skarsgard who plays Father Merrin but heavily changed the script and reshot almost the entire movie. Exorcist: The Beginning was not a box office hit and just 9 months after its release, the original Schrader version was given a limited release as Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. Opinion varies widely but I prefer the Harlin film. It is more fun and features a lot of action. They could have named this one Indiana Merrin and the Temple of Evil. The acting is very good with Skarsgard, Alan Ford, and Andrew French standing out. Skarsgard's performance is much more intense in this version than in Dominion. Harlin displays some nice camera work and the special effects are good. Both prequels used a good amount of CGI but the quality was much better in this one. The soundtrack is impressive and the movie features some good suspense toward the end.

Eyes Without a Face (1959)
3.5 masks

Eyes Without a Face is a French-language film about a doctor who is so desperate to help his disfigured daughter that he is willing to kill other women. The movie is beautifully shot in black and white and the scenes with the disfigured girl in the mask are haunting. The film moves slowly at times, but the acting is good, especially from Pierre Brasseur as the doctor and Alida Valli from Suspiria as his assistant. There is not much gore overall but the surgery scene is very gruesome, especially for the 1950s.
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