Who doesn’t adore Mexican sci-fi/horror cinema? Whilst consuming everything from 1968’s The Batwoman to 1970’s Santo and Blue Demon vs. the Monsters, I stumbled upon the poster for Harry Essex’s Octaman and I knew I had to track down a copy of this 1971 creature feature! There was something reminiscent about the humanoid octopus… As it turns out, I was already quite familiar with Essex’s monstrous creation! Even if you haven’t seen this movie, you’ve likely seen the titular creature.
Rear Window was the movie that introduced the young Ren to the perverse genius of Alfred Hitchcock. I remember as a child, being irresistibly drawn into the voyeuristic position of his protagonist and fascinated by the goings-on in the windows he was observing. Hitchcock claimed not to care about the subject, morality or message in his movies, but only about the manner in which his stories were told, but his attraction to the psychological was one of his most obvious storytelling strengths.
“Through his rear window and the eye of his powerful camera he watched a great city tell on itself, expose its cheating ways…and murder!”
It’s rare that I write a review of a film I really hated, but Goosebumps 2: Happy Halloween held such promise I’ll make an exception. The first film had a fair few faults of its own, such as straying from the source material. But for the most part, the original stayed true to the tone of the books and had some good comedy moments. The second film however has fewer comedic parts that made me laugh, but at least does feel true to the tone of the books – more so than the TV series – with the main plot being similar to Night of the Living Dummy.
“Halloween comes to life.”
Released just one year after 1980’s Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th attempts to spoof the horror genre; taking reference from ‘haunted house’ tropes of films like The Changeling (1980), and classic Universal monster movies like Dracula (1931) and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), rather than from the slasher sub-genre itself.
Unfortunately Saturday the 14th’s humour feels like it should be more zany, and more madcap than it actually is. Most jokes fall flat against deadpan performances and uninspired direction from Howard R. Cohen.