'Salem's Lot director, Tobe Hooper

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Gerald

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Sep 8, 2011
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Watched Night Terrors (1993).

Like Djinn this is a movie that takes place in the Middle-East, Egypt this time, but with American actors. I would recommend it to people who like the films of Jess Franco and Jean Rollin (I prefer the second by far): it has that same equal focus on eroticism and horror. In fact for the first third, the movie can go in either direction, the second third it focuses on eroticism and only in the final third does it become gory. So this one won't definitely be for anyone, but I quite enjoyed it.
Compared to other Hooper films it feels slightly bigger in scale (for a B-horror film that is): there are quite a number of locations and scenes with crowds/extras.
It concerns a girl visiting her father, an archeologist conducting an excavation in Alexandria. Slowly she comes under the influence of a cult led by a descendant of Marquis de Sade. The Marquis and his descendant are a double role by Robert Englund, and it's a part I could imagine Vincent Price doing. Englund is so associated with Freddy and Wes Craven, that you forget he was a regular for Hooper as well.
With some films it's hard to determine what time period they are from. This film feels more eighties than nineties. It looks quite good, makes the most of its sets and locations, and has nice set decoration.
The more I watch these lesser known films from Hooper, the more I appreciate him as a director. Even though forever identified with chainsaws, he was more versatile than that. Also that hectic, chaotic feel of some of his films, like Lifeforce, is not at all apparent in this or Djinn. And he tried his hand at sci-fi as well (Lifeforce, Invaders from Mars), which also not all horror-directors do.
 

Zone D Dad

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Apr 17, 2017
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Chicago Suburbs
I remember the first time I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a kid (Halloween sleepover with friends). We were all amped up for what we thought was going to be a splatterfest, only to find out that it wasn't that at all. I didn't fully appreciate the film until I saw it some years later. The last 30 minutes of that film is so off the rails insane and difficult to watch, yet you can't take your eyes off it.

There are some who will go to the mat that it's the greatest horror film ever made. I guess that depends on your definition of horror. They may very well be right.
 

Blake

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Feb 18, 2013
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I always liked the original Salem's Lot television series. When I went to see Poltegeist when it first came out I thought it was really scary. I recently saw one of the Master's of Horror episodes that he directed and it's good. I like The Mangler.
 

Vinyl Asylum

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Apr 15, 2016
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R.I.P.

I'm planning to watch some of his King stuff and some of Romero's together as soon as I'm able to in memoriam of them.
 
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Gerald

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Sep 8, 2011
2,201
7,168
The Netherlands
Watched Spontaneous Combustion (1990).

I had not seen it since the time it came out. This is one of his weakest films, I feel. It's essentially the Firestarter plot, with the child of parents who took place in dubious experiments developing unknown abilities to do with fire. But unlike Charlie who's way more in control of her powers, as the title suggests, to the main character in this film they happen 'spontaneous' and he has no control over them at all. The film begins promising with fun retro newsreel footage of the atomic testing experiment, but as it goes to the present and the main story of what happens to the child as an adult (played by Brad Dourif) it turns out the basic idea just doesn't work well or is very interesting. On top of that the special effects of burning people are often very clearly dummies set on fire.
Sometimes a good finale can still save a weak film somewhat, but the finale here is an incoherent mess and the film just kind of stops rather abruptly.

It's not really boring, and I think that's mainly because Dourif is always an interesting actor to watch who always gives all his energy into any role he plays. But otherwise this is a very weak and forgettable film.
 

xville

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