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Whew! It's taken me a couple of days to type this lot up, as I saw a lot of films on the final day of the festival, and I think we all know I am a bit prone to tl;dr reviews, even when I think the thing I'm writing about was rubbish. But I've managed it now! It's up to you to decide if you are brave enough to read it all. ;-)

15a-f. Short Films
Most of these were about 10-15 minutes long, and all were shown continuously as part of a single screening. So technically I saw 6 films in a 90-minute session, but I'm numbering them as a group from the point of view of my annual film-count.

15a. The Image (1967), dir. Michael Armstrong

This was by the same director as Mark of the Devil, which meant that I didn't have very high hopes for it. Since he was around as part of the weekend anyway, he introduced the screening - and although he again showed the same capacity to say intelligent, plausible things about his work, my expectations sank even lower as he described how they hadn't had time to film all the footage they'd wanted for it in the three days which had been budgeted for, and had had to re-edit what they did have afterwards in the studio to cobble together a coherent piece of film. Still, then again, it just happens to be David Bowie's first ever screen appearance, so has to be worth watching just for that, really. The director, of course, claimed that he could see Bowie was going to be a great star in the future, even though no-one else believed him at the time. Sure you did, chum - just like everyone else claims in retrospect.

The film is shot in black and white, and has no spoken dialogue. It's not silent, though, as it has sound effects and some excellent bongo music - the characters simply don't say anything over the course of the story. Given the quality of Armstrong's script for Mark of the Devil, though, that's probably a very good thing. The story begins with a painter putting the finishing touches to a portrait - only to find that the figure he is painting (David Bowie's character) has materialised, and is staring in through the window. Before long, the figure is in the house, and the painter is attacking it - but it keeps on coming back to life. Only when he attacks the painting itself does it disappear. The camera then reveals a photograph in a frame on a table, which shows the same person as the figure from the painting.

It's OK I guess, but even given the short length of the film I felt that the figure manifested too early and too concretely. We could have done with quite a bit more time spent on slight movements in the corner of the frame, half-glimpsed faces in the dark and so on, to ramp up the tension before moving on the full manifestation of the figure. Once Bowie was just standing there in the hall advancing towards the painter, he simply wasn't frightening any more - even with all his androgyny and slightly alien demeanour, he just looked too much like an ordinary person rather than a supernatural manifestation.

Until we saw the photo at the end, I assumed that it was a sort of homoerotic Pygmalion story, in which the artist fell in love with his creation, but then when it manifested was so horrified by his own forbidden passion that he tried to 'kill' it. I guess the photo probably means that the figure in the painting wasn't purely an artistic creation, though, but perhaps an actual past or unrequited love of the painter's. I suppose I could have asked the director what he thought it meant - if, of course, I had cared enough.

15b. Island (2007), dir. Matt Palmer

This one also had very little dialogue, mainly because it only featured one character, so he had no-one to talk to. The story follows a security warden, who arrives in a small boat on a remote island which he obviously has responsibility for looking after. The island setting is excellent, and contributes a lot to the atmosphere of the film. It's wild and windswept, with no-one but a few sea-birds living there, and just a few abandoned houses speaking of past occupants who have moved away.

The warden walks about doing his rounds, and gradually realises that someone must be there - he finds a fire, and sees and hears movements out of the corner of his eye. We follow him as he gets sucked into a game of cat and mouse, trying to find out who is there, and occasionally shouting for them to come out. As night falls and his torch starts failing, he becomes more and more frightened, until by the end of the film he is running, terrified back down the hill-side to his boat, when he is finally attacked by something which comes out of the darkness, and which we never see.

It was basically a nice little vignette, which built up the tension around the unseen attacker in a way that The Image had totally failed to do. But I did feel that the director tried to over-egg the pudding slightly at the end. It would have been a very effective and quite chilling piece if it had simply ended with the screen going black at the point where the warden was attacked. Instead, we get a sort of coda, in which we see him waking up in the daylight the next morning, to find that he has been buried up to his neck in the sand on the beach, unable to move while the tide is coming in... OK, yes, we get it - but I think actually that leaving his fate unknown and up to our imaginations would have been far more chilling than this rather clunky attempt at an extra scare at the end.

15c. The Cicerones (2001), dir. Jeremy Dyson

This one certainly has resonances for Doctor Who fans, since it not only features Mark Gatiss as the main character, but also shows him going round a church in an unidentified European country, looking for a painting of the raising of Lazarus. He's a stereotypical Englishman abroad, of the type who goes around clutching his guidebook, treating it as gospel, and communicating with foreigners by speaking English very S-L-O-W-L-Y and D-I-S-T-I-N-C-T-L-Y. Meanwhile the cicerones of the title are a series of strange figures in the otherwise-deserted church who pop out from behind pillars and beyond obscure doorways, each wanting to show him something strange and disturbing - and never the painting he came to see.

The film does a reasonable job of creating a surreal atmosphere, and of showing the traveller gradually getting more and more out of his depth until he is finally encircled by all four of the cicerones, handed over to a sinister-looking Bishop, and led off to some un-named and terrible fate. But it could have done with conveying more of a sense of structure and meaning. Possibly there was some kind of religious analogy which I didn't know enough Christian mythology to follow, with each of the items that the cicerones show to the traveller representing successive stages in the gradual corruption of the soul, or something. But if so, I didn't know enough about the items which he was being shown, or about what they might represent, to comprehend it. In fact, in several cases we never really got to see the things he was being shown in much detail, so that they didn't have very much impact - scary or otherwise.

There was one rather prominently-featured piece of Latin, though, written on a small door out of which the final cicero (a small boy) emerges. Since so much attention was being drawn to it, I copied it down in case it would throw some light on the story, and (as best as I could make out), got "CAVEAT INTRA | MUROS TACET | DESINE | FATA DEUM | FLECTI" (with each vertical line there representing a line-break). That doesn't really make sense as a full sentence, but you can break it into three which do. "Caveat intra muros" would read "Let him beware within the walls." "Tacet" is simply "He is silent." And "desine fata deum flecti..." is half of a line from Virgil's Aeneid, which finishes "...sperare precando", and means "Stop hoping you will change the will of the gods by praying". Given the mish-mash nature of the text, and the unChristian sentiment of the final part, I'm assuming that it was a piece of deliberate set-dressing for the film, designed to enhance the atmosphere of tension and fear, rather than a real feature of the church where the film was made. Except that even now that I have solved that little puzzle, I still don't feel like it adds very much to my appreciation of the film. Oh well.

15d. Full Employment (Arbeit für Alle, 2008), dir. Thomas Oberlies and Matthias Vogel

innerbrat and miss_s_b very thoughtfully steered clear of spoilers in their reviews of this film, because they saw it on the first day of the festival, and knew that it would be screened again on the Sunday. I'm very grateful, because it meant that the twist really was a twist for me when it came. But since the festival is over now, it probably doesn't matter so much if I relate the entire plot. Look away now if you think you might ever be likely to see it!

The story is presented in the form of a spoof documentary, complete with shaky camera-work and an unseen interviewer asking questions of the characters we see on screen. The subject of the documentary is the work of an agency for 'supported working'. The idea is that elderly people can still make a valuable contribution to the workforce, if they are given the appropriate support by the agency. So we see the people who run the agency talking about what an important contribution it is making to people's lives, and follow one of their employees as he arrives at his elderly client's home, helps him to get dressed and into his wheelchair, and takes him to his office. We don't really know at this stage what it is that the client does - I'd assumed that perhaps he was a lawyer or something. But then a call comes through - can he come and deal with some kind of problem going on in an office across town?

The client is taken across town in a mobility vehicle, and as we see him going up in the lift to the floor where the problem is, he and his assistants start drawing out heavy weaponry from their bags. Seeing this, the unseen interviewer asks - just what is it, exactly, that the client does? We are informed that he is a zombie hunter - and most of the rest of the film then features him being wheeled around in his chair, packing a shotgun and dispatching zombies. After the faux-serious tone of the first part of the film, this is fantastically funny, and everyone in the screening I attended was howling with laughter.

So basically the film hinges around an unexpected joke twist. But it does manage to raise some serious questions, too. Once the zombie attack is dealt with, the assistant takes his client home, and we see the assistant laundering his blood-spattered clothes while talking about his own plans for the future. It turns out that both the client's assistant, and indeed also the client's own children, are having to work on an unpaid voluntary basis, with the implication being that this is because there are no jobs available for their generation because people who might otherwise be in retirement are being supported to do the work instead. The younger generations' hopes for the future are that they might one day secure some paid work; and half the reason that the elderly client is keen to carry on working is that he needs the money in order to support the younger members of his family.

Quite whether that could ever really be the case in a society that was also rife with zombieism is another question - presumably the proportion of the population capable of performing useful tasks (as opposed to merely eating other people's brains) would plummet pretty quickly in that scenario. But it does highlight some quite pertinent issues about how modern western societies can handle the effects of an ageing population in a way which preserves the dignity and independence of the old without also imposing an impossible burden on the young. Not bad at all for a 12-minute zombie film.

15e. Killer Display (2009), dir. Joey Wong

This one was about the relationship between the older and younger generations, too - but this time it was a local production, filmed in and around Leeds. We begin in a tired old shop, with displays clearly dating back to the 1970s, and an ageing shop-keeper who is selling his business to a young couple - but wants to be sure that they won't change anything when they take over. They assure him that they won't, but soon start bitching behind his back about how dated everything is, and how they'll chuck it all out as soon as the sale is complete and start again. It is painfully clear to the audience that the shop-keeper has heard every word of this - but not to worry, because he has a nice little arrangement going with his shop-window dummies. They turn out to be capable of coming to life, pursuing and murdering the young couple; while he quietly pockets the cash payment they have already given him, and gets ready to welcome the next pair of prospective young buyers.

I liked the local feel of this one, and have a feeling I even recognised the heroine - one Debbie Atwell. She had a strong screen presence, anyway. I especially liked the scene in the middle of the film where she thinks she has run someone over while driving along a dark road chatting on her mobile phone, and we see her stop, get out, see another car approaching from a distance, and make the decision to scarper and let the other driver take the blame. She delivered a good death scene at the end, too. But overall, the story is a little bit too much indebted to '70s classics like From Beyond the Grave, and indeed Doctor Who, to feel particularly fresh or challenging.

15f. Salvage (2009), dir. Joey Wong

The final short film of the day was by the same director as Killer Display, but this time moved into Sci-Fi, rather than horror, territory. We see a team of three salvage-men arriving on an abandoned space-ship, which turns out to contain hidden terrors. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to get involved with the characters, because they spent at least half of the film wearing identical space-suits, so that I couldn't distinguish them from one another, or get a handle on their different personalities. The resolution reminded me slightly of Forest of the Dead, in that the surviving member of the salvage team finds a young girl in the depths of the ship, by all appearances dead to the world but actually hooked up to a virtual reality machine, and living a rather lonely life as the only occupant of the world which it is generating. He chooses to join her by plugging himself into an identical console, and we leave him enjoying the feel of the sun on his skin as he finds himself sitting next to her on a swing in a playground. But I didn't feel especially moved or enlightened by it - it was fine, but nothing spectacular.

TV Heaven: Children of the Stones (HTV, 1976) episode 1, ‘Into the Circle’

Running alongside the film festival proper was 'TV Heaven' - selected works of telefantasy shown in the Media Museum's 'TV Experience' area. This one sounded like everything '70s children's TV was good at from the write-up in the programme and on Wikipedia - ancient magic reawakening in a rural English community, strange behaviour amongst the locals, a fatherly scientist-figure, and kids in T-shirts and flared trousers riding around on bikes and investigating the mystery. And it didn't disappoint. In fact, if you set out to make a pastiche of quintessential '70s children's TV, you literally could not do better than this. Hell, the fatherly scientist was even played by Blake from Blake's 7, no less.

We only saw episode 1, so I cannot say how the rest of the series pans out. But it was a very promising start. I especially warmed to the character of the museum curator: an academically-minded woman somewhere in her thirties, who is also an outsider in the village, and is clearly going to help Professor Blake Brake get to the bottom of all the strange local goings-on. I was certainly convinced enough to have gone straight onto the internet to buy the series on DVD when I got home - so you may well hear more about it here.

16a. Intrusion (1961), dir. Michael Reeves

This year's festival cast a particular spotlight on Michael Reeves. He's most famous as the director of Witchfinder General, which I had already enjoyed on the Friday evening, but Sunday afternoon gave me the opportunity to learn a little more about him. The main feature for this slot was The Sorcerers (below), but before that began we were treated to a screening of one of his early experiments in film.

Intrusion is only 11 minutes long; the soundtrack is lost and the picture quality is pretty poor; and the footage hasn't been edited into the correct order for the story it is meant to tell. This is fairly simple, though. A woman is left at home while her husband(?) goes out. She is in the bath when the doorbell rings, but when she goes to answer it, two intruders force their way into the house. She gets to the phone and calls an unidentified man who comes to her rescue, but by the time he arrives she has already stabbed one of the intruders, and he then fights and drowns the other one. In fact, the whole thing is on Youtube if you want to watch it, though the version there appears to have been re-edited into a more coherent order than what we saw.

It's obviously a bit hard to judge Reeves' intentions from the jumbled images which survive, but it did look like quite a stylish piece of film, with the same sort of interestingly-composed shots as I'd noticed in Witchfinder General. Considering Reeves would have been only 18 when he made it, it seems like a pretty good start to his career, and I definitely enjoyed getting the opportunity to see it.

16b. The Sorcerers (1967), dir. Michael Reeves

As for the main feature, this was one of the real highlights of the weekend for me. At the heart of the story is an elderly couple, played by Boris Karloff (in one of his last screen appearances) and Catherine Lacey. He styles himself a professor, but they have fallen on hard times because his work had been discredited by a journalist in some way many years earlier. He has continued his research in their cramped and dingy apartment, though, filling a whole room with vast banks of machinery which drive what we eventually learn is a hypnosis machine. All they need is a subject to try it out on - and a bored, disenchanted young man looking for new experiences is just the ticket. Once he has been coaxed into their apartment and successfully hypnotised, they send him on his way again, unaware that the old couple can now psychically see and feel everything he experiences, and also control his behaviour by placing suggestions into his head.

At first, this is a great game, but soon the husband and wife start clashing over how to use their new-found powers. He wants to make the findings available to others, to 'help people' (in some unspecified way), but she wants to keep them secret, and use their power for her own enjoyment - which seems to consist mainly of making the young man steal things, get into fights, and murder attractive young women. We watch the young man gradually destroying his own life (and those of others) under her influence, while never really understanding what is happening to him. Meanwhile, the professor and his wife engage in a battle of wills over his mind, escalating to the point where she bops the professor on the head, ties him up and smashes all his equipment so that he can't undo the effects of the hypnosis. Things finally come to a head when, with a great effort of will, the professor sends the young man to his death in a car-crash - which kills not only him but also the elderly couple because of their psychic link with him.

In the course of all this, Reeves is able to engage with some really interesting social issues. The film scrutinises the relationship between an older generation who feel cut off from the post-war world around them and the new swinging party generation, who are out every night at clubs and coffee houses, yet still feel strangely unsatisfied with their lives. As innerbrat has already said, it also explores issues of abusive control and mental illness, as we see for example the young man's friends withdrawing from him in horror, while he finds himself lost and confused in a maze of horrible actions which he seems to have perpetrated, but can't remember anything about. It's genuinely disturbing and compelling in equal measure.

At the same time, though, it has oodles of period charm (much of it captured in this theatrical trailer). The nostalgia-fiend in me absolutely loved the portrayals of contemporary '60s night-life, which were much what I was after when I watched All Night Long (1962) in March, except this time with all the spaced-out '60s gyrating dancing that I'd been hoping for then and never got. In fact, the night-life is so central to the aesthetic of this film that (as far as I can tell) it has its own purpose-written soundtrack - and a pretty good one, at that. Meanwhile one of the minor characters is an extremely attractive young lady whom we see several times singing on stage with her band, doing just the very kind of spaced-out dancing that I love so much, while decked out in a mini-dress and fantastic bouncy long hair. She is worth the price of admission alone - ho yus!

We also get lots of scenes of urban street life, dodgy bed-sits, dark alleys and coffee bars, with the professor even picking up the young man in the first place in a local Wimpy - not something you get to see very often these days! And the hypnosis scene conveyed what was happening mainly through heavy use of an oil projector, lots of zooming in and out and strange psychedelic music. Mind you, the Sci-Fi fan in me wished afterwards that we had been offered slightly more hand-waving to explain how it is exactly that this process actually gives the elderly couple control over the young man's mind. The problem here is that we see him being hooked up into a machine with a head-set complete with lots of wires and conductors, but the elderly couple themselves merely stand nearby and twist some knobs on a console. I could have done with being given some more obvious symbol for the forging of a connection between their minds and his, but never mind.

ANYWAY, I have not even mentioned yet the pleasure of the central performance from Ian Ogilvy as the young man. Apparently, Reeves and Ogilvy were childhood friends, which is why Ogilvy appears in almost all of his films. In fact, he is on the credits for Intrusion, though the picture quality is so poor it's difficult to tell which character he is - I think possibly the husband who leaves at the start of the film. In any case, watching The Sorcerers hot on the heels of Witchfinder General caused innerbrat and I to discover that intensive Ogilvy-exposure over the course of a single weekend is liable to cause dangerous outbreaks of fluttering girly crushes amongst unsuspecting cinema audiences. There was much mutual squeeing on the way to the pub afterwards over his cute boyish eyes, full girlish lips, capacity for striking idiot-hero poses and general ability to look good with a can of motor-oil spilt all over him.

It also featured a world-weary police inspector, played by an actor whom innerbrat described very accurately afterwards as "that bloke who plays a policeman in everything". I've now looked him up on the intertubes, and it turns out that his name is Ivor Dean, and he really did play a policeman in pretty much every single role of his entire career. You may never have heard his name, but trust me, you will recognise him: seen here with Roger Moore in The Saint playing - yes, a policeman. So that's one to have fun spotting and ticking off in my I-Spy Book of British Character Actors in the future. ;-)

I've gone on about this film at great length - probably too great! But it really was the best new discovery of the festival for me. If Michael Reeves was capable of delivering a film this captivating on a low budget in his early 20s, then he certainly was a great talent, and an enormous loss to the film world. There's not much more he did now that I haven't seen already this weekend - but I will most definitely be making the effort to track down and see his remaining works.

17. Robocop (1987), dir. Paul Verhoeven

It's probably even more shameful not to have seen this than it is not to have seen Horror Express - but at least I have put that right now! I doubt I can say anything about it which everyone else didn't already know 20 years ago, but nonetheless I really enjoyed it. I will certainly 'get' a lot more catchphrases and references that have passed into popular culture now. And I loved the '80s nostalgia trip - the huge glasses, the funky night-club scene, the parodies of contemporary news presenters and advertising. The world-building is impressive, the script is hilarious, and the model-work still looks pretty good by 21st century standards. There's some good social critique going on, and some nice questions raised about the nature of humanity in an increasingly technological world - but nothing that gets in the way of a straightforward bad guys vs. good guys action movie. Great fun.

18. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974), dir. Jorge Grau

The last film of the festival wasn't the best - but with a glass of wine in my hand, I did kind of enjoy it. Like Horror Express and Mark of the Devil, it was filmed with an international cast, and the dialogue soundtrack was dubbed in post-production. This meant that everyone sounded awkward and unnatural, and some of the regional accents changed completely from one scene to the next. One police inspector who I'd initially thought was meant to be a New Yorker later started to sound more Irish - but who knows what he was actually aiming at. And I'm grateful to poliphilo for warning me in advance (in a comment on a post filtered to northerners only - sorry!) that Manchester barely features in the film at all. We get some great scenes of '70s urban life at the beginning, including a brilliant moment when a streaker runs out in front of a queue of traffic, but no-one even notices her because they are all so wrapped up in the mundane business of their daily commutes. But we then shift into a rural setting instead for the rest of the film - which is used very nicely, but doesn't push my buttons in quite the same way that staying in the city would have done.

The film also strayed dangerously into Mark of the Devil-style unlikeable-character territory. I think innerbrat has nailed it when she says that although the main 'hero' character is probably supposed to be a thrillingly-unconventional rogue, he is actually just an asshole; while miss_s_b is also quite correct that the heroine is needlessly weedy. But it has its moments. I enjoyed some of the police inspector's cynical Gene Hunt-ish dialogue - especially when he shoots a character dead and proclaims, "I wish the dead could come back to life, you bastard, so that I could kill you again!"

And unlike Mark of the Devil - but very much like Horror Express - it also had plenty of crazy science and unintentionally-funny dialogue to keep us laughing along to the last. It was probably intended to strike a different note from Horror Express, in that I suspect the producers thought they were making a serious fright-fest - but I'm afraid that to 21st-century audiences, the difference is pretty minimal. The zombieism is here attributed to some 'scientific' equipment being tested out by the Ministry of Agriculture, which is meant to wipe out all insects and parasites within a 1-mile radius by attacking their nervous systems. Unfortunately, it is (possibly) also having the unintended side-effect of attacking undeveloped human nervous systems, such as those possessed by new-born human babies and the recently-dead. This is ace, because it means we get scenes of what are basically zombie babies biting doctors in the local hospital - but it also doesn't make the slightest scrap of sense. Quite apart from the catastrophic effects which such a machine would have on the local ecosystem even if it worked correctly, why doesn't it also affect other 'undeveloped' nervous systems, such as those possessed by animals, birds and fish? I demand zombie goldfish, dammit!

On the other hand, though, I think this film was probably quite a way ahead of most zombie films of the period in that it left the question of whether the agricultural machinery really was causing outbreaks of zombieism or not unresolved. It also ended quite surprisingly, with the roguish hero completely failing to stop the agricultural experiments, and both he and the weedy heroine getting turned into zombies themselves. Meanwhile the possibly-a-New-Yorker, possibly-Irish police inspector still remains unconvinced that there is even a zombie attack going on at all. Who is to say what will happen after the credits roll? Will the entire world be over-run? There's no happy ending, anyway, and plenty of room for a sequel - which is still waiting to be made, budding directors!

So that was a pretty intensive weekend of film viewing all told - in fact, coming out of the other end of it I find that I am now well ahead of 2009's total of 14 films seen over the entire year, even though it is still only June. I absolutely loved it, though, and have found myself haunting Amazon and eBay ever since it ended, swooping up copies of films I saw, or other works by the same actors and directors to add to my collection. Debate is currently raging on miss_s_b's journal about what form next year's festival should take. But whatever the final line-up, unless life conspires to stop me I'm pretty sure I'm going to be there.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
Children of the Stones is indeed excellent. I remembered it from first time round, and when I bought it on VHS a few years ago it was just as good. Think "The Wicker Man meets The Stepford Wives and they all move to Avebury". What's not to like?
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
I know - all that, and flared trousers, too! (Some people apparently think that is something not to like, but I beg to differ.) I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the rest.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Will do! Review the DVD, that is, not drop my weapon...
Jun. 10th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
With the risk of being slightly pedantic I don't think you would get "gyrating" dancing in 1962 (all night long) - as 1962 was pre beat era even, they'd probably have still done rock and roll dancing - but pedantry aside another fab recap.

I vaguely remember Children of the Stones from being very young. Maybe they repeated it or something.

The zombie German film sounds ace. Did you ever watch a film where Malcom McDowell was a sort of moral vampire who had to have blood to survive but tried to get it from blood banks? Maybe it was one of the tales of the crypt stories, but I think you'd like it.
Jun. 10th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
:) Just re read the All Night Long recap and I guess they wouldn't do rock and roll dancing in a jazz club ;)
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
Did you ever watch a film where Malcom McDowell was a sort of moral vampire who had to have blood to survive but tried to get it from blood banks?

No, but Google tells me you're probably thinking of this, and it does sound good. Thanks for the tip-off!

And yeah, 1962 was probably a bit early for the kind of dancing I was craving, whatever the type of music. Mind you, Susan in the opening episode of Doctor Who actually does a (fairly restrained) version of the type of dancing I mean while listening to music on a portable radio, and that is 1963.
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Fair point. I need to research what (if anything) happened in 1963 to make music more "swinging"... I know the song Hippy Hippy Shake came out in that year...

It was Tales from the Crypt! ace
Jun. 11th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
Happy Day!
I think that's what yhey used to greet each other with in Children of the Stones- it's 30-odd years since I've seen it, so I'm not 100% sure.

Very creepy as I recall, particularly the music

*hides behind sofa*
Jun. 11th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
Re: Happy Day!
Yup, well remembered! It gave it quite a Prisoner-ish feel - small inward-looking community, creepy catchphrase, weird stuff going on... I'm definitely looking forward to more.
Jun. 12th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I saw The Sorcerors once! I remember thinking it pretty weird and cheap at the time, though there was certainly something interesting/unsettling there that I couldn't put my finger on, perhaps to do with the sixtiesishness of it all... You make me want to rewatch it, in any case, because I probably missed much that was important.

And other things too! I had no recollection of there being a guest appearance by Laocoon in 28 Days Later. Then again, I had no recollection of Cillian Murphy being in 28 Days Later either, so there's probably no hope for my perceptive faculties...
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
I definitely wouldn't deny that the The Sorcerors is a bit weird and cheap - that's part of what I mean when I say it has oodles of period charm, really! But that was par for the course in British horror films of that era (much like Doctor Who, of course). Given the constraints of the genre, I felt it was offering something a little beyond the norm, especially in the way that it engaged with the late '60s zeitgeist. And Boris Karloff, Catherine Lacey and Ian Ogilvy all turn in really very impressive performances in it.

As for 28 Days Later, that was actually my first exposure to Cillian Murphy. It's made me well-disposed to him ever since, though I seem to see a lot of people on t'internet these days expressing fashionable jadedness with him. You can't please everyone, I guess.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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