Spooktober 2021 Wrap-Up: Ghoulishly Good

Greetings ghouls and goblins. We’ve just wrapped up another lovely year of our friendly little movie festival (details here) and it’s time to share some notes. At the least, future me appreciates the reminders!

We watched 28 movies (officially), totaling 48 hours, spanning 7 countries and stretching across 5 decades.

The top rated movie, on average, was unsurprisingly Stanley Kubrick’s masterful The Shining (1980), garnering 8.3 stars (out of 10).

Family time!

In last place, and well deserved, came Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive (1986), with an outstanding 3 stars (still out of 10). A famous anecdote tells us that when asked why he never directed another movie, King replied, “Did you see Maximum Overdrive?!”

All of us were ready to gouge our eyes out halfway through the first act…and it kept getting worse.

Overall, the highest ranked theme was “based on comic books” and the lowest ranked was “based on video games”. It appears to be quite difficult to adapt a very imaginative, animated video game to a live action film in particular. However, personally I was both impressed and pleasantly surprised by Doom (2005).

I can’t be the only person who assumed The Rock would end up becoming Doom Guy, right?

With an excellent cast, steady pacing, and good visual effects, it did justice to one of my favorite video game franchises. I suspect that my own familiarity with the games helped me gloss over some under-developed plot points, but, as my best friend and I often proclaim, “there’s nothing wrong with fan service!” At the least, it’s gratuitously awesome first person shooter-inspired scene greatly outdid the other movie on our list to try that: House of the Dead (2003). Not constrained by live action, the Japanese Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) succeeded with plenty of the conspiracy and monsters that Resident Evil fans know and love.

At least Uwe Boll movies have a bit of production value…and boobs.

The other notable movie we all agreed was excellent: Candyman (2021). More of a sequel to the original 1992 film than a remake, it delivered a slick, complex expansion of the story that leaves me hoping we’ll get some more entries in the series soon.

Ultimately, why do we watch horror? The answer is personal, unique to each person. Maybe it lets you dip into the darker side of your emotions in a safe, controlled way. Maybe you savor the effects, and enjoy comparing and contrasting zombie makeup from over the years. Some people have a fond memory of a loved one who introduced them to their first slasher; others use it to help process pain inflicted by those in similar close proximity.

Personally, upon my own reflection, I decided that horror is the “other” genre. Stories and characters that don’t quite fit anywhere else find a loving home in this genre that stretches from belly laugh-inducing comedy to deeply unsettling existential examinations that stay with you for months afterwards. This “otherness” attracts the viewers who themselves lack a clear genre, classification, home.

I’m deeply honored to have made it through one more year of our little marathon with my closest genre-less friends. A special shout-out is due to Emm, master of trivia and burgeoning designer. Also, Linh, who watched most of the movies with me at home while we were locked down made the experience 100x better as we both laughed and cried and gasped at the same moments.

🎃 Until next year 🎃,

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BASED (Spooktober 2021)

The Triumvirate of Awesome hereby announces the 2021 Spooktober Film Festival theme:


Week by week we’ll look at cinema based on books (Week 1), video games (W2), comics (W3), and finally…other movies (W4)! You’re invited to join for any/all of our viewings (available through Plex).

Foreign Fridays will offer scares from around the world, while Wacky Wednesday will tickle your funny bone for those who prefer something less intense. As an homage to last year’s monster madness we’ve returned with Monster Mondays where something not-quite-human will leap across (but hopefully not out of) your screens.

Curated with scare,
The Triumvirate of Awesome

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Endings: Nekromantik (1987)

Jörg Buttgereit created this film as a statement about censorship in Germany. When viewed through that lens it doesn’t disappoint, but just about any other perspective will leave you wanting. Plot? Shakey. Character development? Sorta.

To briefly summarize, the film centers on a young street cleaner whose business seems to primarily focus on cleaning up after gruesome car accidents. Luckily for him and his necromaniacal girlfriend this provides access to plenty of corpses. Typically stealing an eyeball here, a heart there, he amasses a collection of body parts in jars in his humble apartment. These play a delightful role in his sex life, but the real prize is a full corpse he manages to sneak back.

Sadly, after a brief period of triad bliss (boy, girl, and corpse, ooh la la) the gal makes a decision and absconds with the mummified fellow. Sorry dude, but how could you possibly compare to the rusty length of pipe installed between Sir. Always Up’s dried out legs?

Naturally this makes our street cleaner upset. Eventually this angst drives him to find another corpse to sport fuck, albeit one that starts his date alive. Once he’s finished there he returns home and we’re left with a wonderful final scene of him masturbating to completion and then some, as he cums buckets of semen and blood from a penis that gives new meaning to “wood”.

The real surprises here come from the subject material, but then in hindsight the escalation of events seems only natural. The twist occurs just a few minutes in as we realize how serious the movie’s title was, and the rest follows suit somewhat predictably. Sooo…low points for offering a surprising ending.

Similarly, we don’t find out what happened with the girlfriend and Sir Always Up. And does our humble street cleaner face any consequences for his murder/rape? Does his job ever notice the missing organs? All of these loose ends detract from the general sense of satisfaction, but on the other hand, cumming blood?! Maybe the sequel (which I haven’t watched yet) will handle the rest. Okay, some points are added back.

Which leaves us with…

Twists: 3
Execution: 2
Satisfaction: 7

Bottom line: Give it a pass unless you’re a big fan of the gore genres, anti-censorship, or, uh, you find corpses sexy.

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