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Main Entry: exclusion
Definition: expulsion; forbiddance
Synonyms: ban, bar, blackball, blockade, boycott, cut, debarment, debarring, discharge, dismissal, ejection, elimination, embargo, eviction, exception, excommunication, interdict, interdicting, interdiction, keeping out, lockout, nonadmission, occlusion, omission, ostracism, ousting, preclusion, prevention, prohibition, proscription, refusal, rejection, relegation, removal, repudiation, segregation, separation, suspension, veto
Antonyms: acceptance, addition, admittance, allowance, inclusion, incorporation, welcome
send to Coventry, to refuse to associate with; openly and pointedly ignore: His friends sent him to Coventry after he was court-martialed.
People from the music industry that I respect, idolize or just simply appreciate: Ennio Morricone, Amy McDonald, Daan, David Bowie, Therion, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Joy Division, Bobby Darin, the Everly Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Gene Pitney, Herman's Hermits, The Hollies, The Animals, The Byrds, Donovan, Vargoth, Drudkh, Behemoth, Triggerfinger, Falkenbach, Finntroll, Einherjer, The Smiths, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, BB King, Ministry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rufus Wainwright, The Allman Brothers Band, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Raymond Lefèvre, Children of Bodom, Volbeat, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Anathema, Velvet Underground, Norah Jones, Fatboy Slim, Moloko, Angelo Badalmenti, Sarah Brightman, Lady Antebellum, Enigma, Muse, Army of Lovers, Chris Isaak, Lesley Gore, Kasabian, Pearl Jam, dEUS, Mumford & Sons, The Subs, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Cuff the Duke, Pulp, Oscar and the Wolf,
People from the movie industry that I respect, idolize or just simply appreciate: John Saxon, Mario Bava, Joe D'Amato, George Eastman, Darren Lynn Bousman, Boris Karloff, Enzo G. Castellari, Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Antonio Margheriti, Klaus Kinski, Lloyd Kaufman, James Gunn, Rob Zombie, Sid Haig, Matthew McGrory, Karen Black, Dennis Fimple, Irwin Keyes, Tom Towles, Bill Moseley, Wolfgang Petersen, Nicol Williamson, Fairuza Balk, Piper Laurie, Philippe Mora, Tom Holland, Ronny Cox, Lucio Fulci, Christopher George, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Catriona MacColl, Fabio Frizzi, Nicolas Cage, Todd Farmer, Tom Atkins, Paul Verhoeven, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Ray Wise, Stuart Gordon, H.P. Lovecraft, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale, Barbara Crampton, Fernando Di Leo, Joe Dallesandro, Terence Fisher, Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee, Robert Stevenson, William Girdler, Rebecca De Mornay, Mako, Ti West, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, David Carradine, Roger Corman, Adrian Hoven, Monte Hellman, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Steve Railsback, Ed Begley Jr., Peter Fonda, Nathan Juran, Lionel Jeffries, James Glickenhaus, Ken Wahl, Joaquim de Almeida, Sam Peckinpah, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson, Edmond O'Brien, Kurt Raab, Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani, Karl Freund, Peter Lorre, Colin Clive, William Lustig, Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Tom Savini, Charles B. Pierce, Robert Wise, Fred Dekker, Fritz Lang, David Hemmings, Michael Ironside, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Victor Buono, George Kennedy, Charles Bronson, Richard Fleischer, Elmore Leonard, Paul Koslo, Michael Winner, Brian Garfield, Lee Marvin, J. Lee Thompson, Riz Ortolani, Yul Brunner, Eli Wallach, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Michael Crichton, James Brolin, Mel Brooks, arry Cohen, Michael Moriarty, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Robin Hardy, Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Michael Reeves, Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Dick Maas, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Paul Naschy, Paul Morrissey, Truman Capote, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, David Niven, Elsa Lanchester, Peter Sellers, Gene Wilder, Patrick McGoohan, Herb Freed, Richard Kiel, John Landis, Tim Curry, Simon Pegg, Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Dario Argento, Quentin Tarantino, Everett De Roche, Stacy Keach, Russell Mulcahy, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Donald Pleasence, George Peppard, Simon Wincer, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, Gary Sherman, Faith Domergue, Alexandre Aja, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Ishirô Honda, Greydon Clark, Cybill Shepherd, Neville Brand, Vincent Schiavelli, Martin Landau, Jack Palance, Alan Rudolph, Jonathan Demme, Pam Grier, Mark L. Lester, Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Kilpatrick, Don Dohler, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Jake Busey, Charlton Heston, Lorne Greene, Walter Matthau, Peter Bogdanovich, Woody Allen, John Milius, Franco Nero, Crispin Glover, Dennis Hopper, Dick Miller, Barbara Steele, Armando Crispino, Sergio Grieco, Helmut Berger, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Forster, John Huston, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., George Miller, Mel Gibson, Robert Rodriguez, George Hilton, Kane Hodder, Michael Madsen, Tony Todd, Nicolas Winding Refn, William Grefe, Cirio H. Santiago , Joe Dante, Don Coscarelli, Angus Schrimm, Tobe Hooper, Tiffany Shepis, Brad Dourif, George P. Cosmatos, John Boorman, Stephen Boyd, Tommy Lee Jones, Rod Steiger, Brian DePalma, Gunnar Hansen, George A. Romero, Simon Boyes, Adam Mason, Jack Arnold, M. Emmet Walsh, James Stewart, Darren McGavin, Kathleen Quinlan, Jack Lemmon, Robert Foxworth, Olivia De Havilland, Michael Pataki, Jerry Stiller, John Carradine, Julian Sands, Freddie Francis, Don Sharp, William Castle, Bill Rebane, John De Bello, Terry O'Quinn, Peter Sykes, Wes Craven, Michael Sarrazin, Lewis Teague, Yaphet Kotto, Sergio Stivaletti, John Phillip Law, Michele Soavi, Umberto Lenzi, Anna Falchi, Lon Chaney, Sergio Martino, Edwige Fenech, Ursula Andress, Michael Sopkiw, Edmund Purdom, Hal Yamanouchi, Barbara Bach, Cameron, Mitchell, Alberto De Martino, Ernesto Gastaldi, Maurizio Merli, John Steiner, Mel Ferrer, Barbara Bouchet, Marty Feldman, Tomas Milian, Bruno Mattei, Lamberto Bava, Luc Merenda, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli, Ivan Rassimov, Sergio Corbucci, Tito Carpi, David Warbeck, Luciano Pigozzi, Gianfranco Giagni, Florinda Balkan, Rosalba Neri, Mel Welles, Dagmar Lassander, Neil Jordan, Walter Huston, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Peck, Orson Welles, Bert I. Gordon, H.G. Wells, Ida Lupino, Kirk Douglas, David Lynch, Eddie Romero, Bela Lugosi, Al Adamson, Tor Johnson, Edward D. Wood Jr, David Cronenberg, Christopher Walken, Tom Skeritt, Martin Sheen, Dino De Laurentiis, James Wan, Anthonhy Perkins, Curtis Harrington, Julie Harris, Ornella Muti, Ray Lovelock
Rod Serling vaporizes into thin air!
Admittedly the finale of the overall fantastic first season of "The Twilight Zone" deserved a slightly better and more atmospheric episode than "A World of his Own", but still I don't want to complain too much as it's an enjoyably light-headed and imaginative tale. It's about a writer joyously depicted by Keenan Wynn who is so passionate about his profession that the characters he invents spontaneously come to life. When he, Gregory West tries to explain his uniquely bizarre talent to his beautiful wife Victoria, she instantly wants a divorce and suggests that he should be committed to a mental institution. Gregory feels the need to provide further evidence to Victoria, but that doesn't exactly work out well for her. "A World of his Own" further follows the disappointing trend of TZ-episodes turning more into dreamy and comical fantasy tales, rather than being raw and unsettling Sci-Fi stories. The concept of this episode is promising, but the script is exaggeratedly talkative and doesn't contain the slightest trace of suspense, morbidity or menace. It's even somewhat ludicrous, in fact, because who uses an elephant to prove a point or even to scare people? The highlight of the story is undoubtedly the physical appearance of creator Rod Serling is his narrator role. It's a nice gimmick for the season's finale that the whole series, and even its creation, is nothing but a mere fraction of someone's imagination.
"I don't know anybody named Joe DiMaggio, sir "
Right after the greatest episode of "The Twilight Zone" season one the downright phenomenal "The After Hours" regretfully comes one the weakest episodes
"The Mighty Casey" is a rather goofy, childish, uninteresting and tension-free tale about bad baseball teams and sentimental human emotions. In other words, two subject that yours truly doesn't hope to find in his favorite Science- Fiction TV-show. Jack Warden plays the coach of an awfully performing baseball team, the Hoboken Zephyrs, which suddenly sees the opportunity to become successful thanks to the incredible talents of their new pitcher. The reason why odd Casey is such a fantastic player, however, is because he's an emotionless robot. When the foul play gets discovered, Casey's creator proposes to provide his robot with an actual heart in order to make him even more human, but apparently this physical upgrade has a disastrous impact on his pitching performance. I'm having some difficulties identifying the purpose of this episode. If a brilliant scientist like Dr. Stillman manages to build such a realistic robot like Casey, why would he only use it to play baseball with the lousiest team in history? And what's the moral of this tale, anyway? As soon as you follow your heart and show emotions, you can't be successful in life anymore? If so, that's a pretty lousy and discouraging message.
Evil Mirror on the Wall haven't we already seen it all?
I guess I should commence by stating that supernatural ghost/evil entity tales aren't really my favorite type of horror. I do respect the classics ("The Haunting", "The Innocents", "The Others") and to a certain degree appreciated a couple of more recent titles ("The Conjuring", "The Orphanage") but I won't pro-actively seek out every new and critically acclaimed genre entry. Around the time of its release, I heard and read many good things about "Oculus" - even from people whose tastes and opinions I usually agree with but still I didn't feel rushed to watch it. Mike Flanagan's film is a respectable and reasonably intelligent effort, but you can't deny it suffers from the three major clichés that practically all ghost movies suffer from. Number one: the film relies too much on a handful of very effective but nevertheless isolated and predictable jump-scares, like sudden appearances of ghastly creatures with evil eyes. Number two: almost from the beginning already, you just know that the story will end with one poor and innocent character getting blamed for everything that has happened, simply because all the supernatural stuff can't be proved. Number three: barely two or three days after you finished watching "Oculus", you'll already have difficulties remembering what the story was about. That doesn't mean the film is inferior, it simply means that it can't distinguish itself enough from the vast overload of similarly themed stories. There are definitely a few bright and inventive ideas in Flanagan's script. Karen Gillan's character, for example, is extremely well- developed. She's the devoted sister of a young man wrongly sent to a mental institution for the horrid crimes that were actually committed by an evil entity that homes in an antique mirror. 12 years later the girl, Kaylie Russell, purchases that same mirror via an auction and makes obsessive preparations to evoke the evil entity and thus prove her brother's innocence. Karen Gillan's performance is truly remarkable and her meticulously developed plans to play cat-and-mouse with supernatural forces are more disturbing than the evil mirror itself.
If I ever had a worst nightmare, THIS would be it!
After completing barely one season, I can state already that "The Twilight Zone" never ceases to amaze me in terms of diversity, quality and sheer craftsmanship. Judging from the previous couple of episodes, like "A Passage for Trumpet" and "Mr. Bevis", I got the false impression that the series was becoming more soft and sentimental, but in "The After Hours" Rod Serling strikes back with genuine suspense and an unequaled ambiance of pure mystery and eeriness. Of all the individual tales I've seen thus far, "The After Hours" is undoubtedly the most effective one when it comes to keeping the viewer unaware of what's going on and simultaneously making him/her feel increasingly uncomfortable. The things that help to accomplish this are the settings (like abandoned shopping center floors) and scenery (mannequin dolls are creepy) but there's more! The screenplay is very well-written and doesn't reveal anything too soon, Anne Francis' vulnerable performance is truly forceful and the exact right use of photography and sound effects make the mannequin dolls at least 10 times scarier than they really are! I'd like to write a brief plot description, but in this particular case I rather encourage everyone to discover this wonderful episode! I guarantee that "The After Hours" contains one or two unforgettable and haunting sequences, as well as a conceptual idea that is fundamentally petrifying.
If only there was a reason to watch
This film stood on my must-see list for one reason, namely the three major names in the cast and particularly because I'm an enormous fan of Telly Savalas' naturally malignant charisma. I should have guessed, however, that Savalas' part here is not much more than an small supportive role during the last half hour and that everything else isn't worth sitting through, neither. "A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die" is a poor, dull and forgettable hybrid between Spaghetti Western and (Civil) War movie that steals ideas and stylistic aspects from numerous classics but doesn't contribute the slightest thing itself. Director Tonino Valerii carefully watched all the blockbuster hits that got released during previous years (like "The Dirty Dozen", "The Wild Bunch", "The Great Escape", "The Magnificent Seven"
) and mishmashes a familiar story of a group convicted criminals that are offered the choice between the noose or fighting along in a battle to re-conquer a lost fortress. Colonel Pembroke gave up the fortress all too easily and, in order to avoid total loss of dignity, he embarks on a crazy mission to reclaim it with an 8-headed posse of outcasts that he promised a gold treasure that isn't there. James Coburn, who looks like he's been sleeping under a bridge for two years, depicts the anti- hero Colonel, Bud Spencer in a largely non-comical role is one of his henchmen and the great Telly Savalas is the evil Confederate Major they have to chase out of the fortress. "A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die" is incredibly long and tedious, especially because it's mainly derivative plodding during the first hour and a half. The trek towards the fortress is full of clichéd obstacles and macho arguments, while the final battle is dire and unspectacular. Being an Italian western from the early seventies, there's an unforgivable shortness of violent action, filthy bastard characters and general nastiness.
Simplicity turned into sheer poetry & beauty
If there's one thing that Terrence Malick proved single-handedly, it is that you don't need a long list of titles on your resume in order to be included in the list of greatest directors ever! Malick directed a handful of films since the year 2000, but I haven't seen any of those yet, and quite frankly I don't even need or want to. The two films that he directed during the 1970s, "Days of Heaven" and particularly this phenomenal debut "Badlands" are more than enough for me to classify him as a great and visionary film maker with a unique and inimitable style. "Badlands" presumably features one of the most simplistic plots ever and can easily be summarized in one sentence: "unworldly young lovers embark on a violent murder spree". However, the powerful impact of this sublime road movie/drama lies within the two different but equally absorbing narrative styles. On one hand, there are the harsh facts. Inspired by the infamous real-life case of Charles Starkweather, the story revolves on a handsome 25-year-old and James Dean lookalike falling for a 15-year-old timid girl who's addicted to reading gossipy magazines. He Kit first kills her father because he objected to their relationship, and then they run off together into the Dakota Badlands. During their journey, where they live in self built tree houses, Kit murders several people of which he thinks they form a threat. Although the events in "Badlands" are obviously disturbing and cruel, they are depicted like the most common things in the world and also interpreted as such by the two naive and immature protagonists. They are wondering whether one of their victims, who just got shot in the stomach and lies on the bed bleeding to death, is angry at them and Holly's voice-over narration describes the vile acts they commit like they are insignificant footnote articles from her celebrity pulp magazines. And even though the subject matter is grim and ugly, "Badlands" is definitely one of the most beautifully shot films ever! The wholesome of breathtaking photography (courtesy of Tak Fujimoto), wondrously enchanting music and the naturally fantastic and charismatic performances by both Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek make of "Badlands" a poetic masterpiece.
If the killer has been killed then who is the killer?
Please forgive me the rather goofy and bizarre user comment's subject line, as it's a reference towards the typically expressive and often overlong titles that were given to Italian so-called "giallo" movies during the '60s, '70s and early '80s. Due to its plot, character drawings and filming style, Ted Post's "Nightkill" frequently resembles the giallo prototype. Post's main role model and inspiration for this film was obviously Alfred Hitchcock, but more than half of the Italian gialli ever made were also inspired by the works of Hitchcock, so it's logical that I notice similarities everywhere! Short and simple: I liked "Nightkill"! It's a straightforward thriller that contains a few impressive shock- moments and plot twists that you honestly don't see coming. Throughout the largest part of the running time, you don't have the slightest clue of what's going on. On top of the unpredictability factor, there are a handful of genuinely suspenseful sequences (the body-dumping, the car chase between Katherine and an unknown assailant) as well as a thoroughly murky gloomy atmosphere and a downright fantastic damsel-in-distress performance by Jacklyn Smith. She depicts the unhappy wife of robust and arrogant Arizona business tycoon Wendell Atwell. Katherine wants a divorce so that she can start a new life with her lover (and Wendell's business partner) Steve Fulton, but he refuses. Without thinking it through, Steve poisons Wendell and they hide the body in the freezer. But then Steve himself vanishes mysteriously and later it's his murdered body that lies in the freezer! Meanwhile, the increasingly anxious Katherine receives several visits from her obtrusive lawyer Herbert and a cynical private detective named Donner. "Nightkill" is a recommended watch in case you're searching for a tense and compelling whodunit-thriller. Smith's performance perfectly captures the fear and solitude that her character goes through, while Robert Mitchum is given the opportunity again to play a mysterious character like he did in his old film-noir days. Worth mentioning as well: Sybil Danning never looked more beautiful than in this film!
The Editor (2014)
There Are Strange Red Drops On The Floor Of The Editing Room
I can only be entirely honest here and admit that for me personally "The Editor" was a big disappointment that could never at one moment live up to the (admittedly far too high) expectations that I had set for it. The expectations were high because the guys responsible are usually bona fide geniuses! They are Astron-6, a collective of six young, creative and pleasantly deranged horror fanatics. They previously delivered festival favorites like "Father's Day" (a totally deranged tribute to vile and rancid 70s grindhouse exploitation) and "Manborg" (a downright ballistic and hyperkinetic Sci-Fi tale). When I first read that these same blokes were working on film that would spoof and simultaneously pay tribute to the Italian Giallo, I already labeled it as successful before production was even finished. I made one vital mistake, however I love the giallo too much to see it spoofed! "The Editor" mocks albeit respectfully all the elements that yours truly worships about this overlooked horror sub genre, like the excessively violent murders, the explicit sexual footage or the overly eccentric cast of characters. Several cast and crew members of a sleazy and exploitative pulp movie are savagely murdered. The investigating macho police detective is rapidly convinced that editor Ray Cisco is the culprit. After all, he's an introvert and frustrated loner who once had a bright future in front of him, but he lost his valuable right hand's fingers in a freak accident and went so mad that he even spent time in a psychiatric clinic. Naturally he can't accept that he now has to edit inferior trash movies while his own wife hates his guts and nobody on the sets has any respect for him. I certainly don't intend to sound like a sourpuss, but the only thing that "The Editor" does is enlarging the clichés and prejudices that are irreversibly associated with the giallo genre even though they aren't fair or truthful to begin with! Yes, the dubbing in English of Italian movies is often horrendous, but that's hardly ever the films' own fault. If you take the effort to track down the original versions with Italian audio, you don't have this problem. And yes, several gialli contain absurd plot twists, but I can also list at least 50 films of which the denouements are truly intelligent and original. Most of all, gialli are known for their extreme sex and violence, but in many cases these same films also feature genuine suspense, unsettling atmosphere and truly imaginative cinematography. Those are aspects that Astron-6 (deliberately?) left out. Still, I want to state again that "The Editor" is nevertheless a film with a lot of entertainment value. It's a funny and unpretentious movie with a grotesque plot, flamboyant characters and messy gore effects. There's one particularly hilarious gory sequence where the face of a young actress is literally stripped off, as well as several moments that refer to the non-giallo work of Lucio Fulci, involving tarantulas, eyeballs etc. One last thing I didn't quite understand: if Astron-6 wanted to spoof the giallo, then why didn't they invent a typically long and (beeldrijk) title? "The Editor" sounds so ordinary, while the film easily could have been named something like: "There Are Strange Red Drops On The Floor Of The Editing Room"
I really do wish to grab the opportunity to promote the giallo genre, of course! In case you enjoyed this film, please seek out the truly worthwhile titles of this marvelous Italian crime/horror sub genre. You can't go wrong with the landmarks of Mario Bava ("Blood and Black Lace", "The Girl who Knew Too Much") or the 70s movies of Dario Argento ("Bird with the Crystal Plumage", "The Cat O' Nine Tails", "Profondo Rosso"), Lucio Fulci ("Don't Torture a Duckling", "Seven Notes in Black") or Sergio Martino ("The Strange Vice of Ms. Wardh", "Torso", "Case of the Scorpion's Tail"). But there exist also many and truly magnificent gialli masterpieces from lesser known directors that are absolute must-sees as well: "What have you done to Solange?", "The House with the Laughing Windows", "Plot of Fear", "Black Belly of the Tarantula", "The Red Queen Kills Seven Times", "Who Saw Her Die?", "The Blood-Stained Butterfly", "House of the Yellow Carpet", "Short Night of the Glass Dolls", "Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion"
The list is incredibly long!
The Twilight Zone: Mr. Bevis (1960)
Mr. Bevis, the likable Butt-Head
O-oh, perhaps it's only my imagination, but I'm noticing an alarming trend towards the end of the first season of "The Twilight Zone". The stories are becoming more sentimental and even moralistic rather than sardonic and unsettling! I certainly hope this will change soon, as I personally like my Sci-Fi and Cult series dark, scary and depressing, with unhappy endings and preferably lots of casualties. That being said, however, I can't deny that I did enjoy "Mr. Bevis" until a certain level, even though the sappy messages like "be true to yourself" and "live life to the fullest" are shoved down our throats a bit over-enthusiastically. Mr. Bevis is a rather eccentric thirty-something single man with simple philosophies in life. Most people would call him a loser, because he dresses funnily, wastes time playing football with the kids in the street, can't ever pay the rent for his apartment in time, drives a ridiculous and ramshackle old car and never succeeds to keep the same job for longer than six weeks. After getting sacked for the umpteenth time, Mr. Bevis is approached by a strange individual who calls himself J. Hardy Hempstead and claims to the guardian angel for the Bevis bloodline since many centuries already. In the simple blink of an eye, Hempstead arranges that Mr. Bevis suddenly wears fancy suits and drives a macho sports car! Suddenly his rent is paid for several months in advance, and rather than getting fired from his job, he gets promoted! But in spite the theoretical progresses in his life, Bevis doesn't feel comfortable at all
His successful new life doesn't allow for him to act silly, play with the kids or decorate his desk with hideous little gadgets
and those things made him the happiest person in the world. Much like its protagonist, this episode of "The Twilight Zone" is harmless and fairly insignificant, but it definitely brings a smile on your face and provides from distraction from life's harsh realities.
Texarkana is doomed to forever Dread Sundown!
(Spoilers only in the last paragraph!! Feel free to read the rest)
The original "The Town that Dreaded Sundown", released in 1976, is still one of the most underrated classics in the horror genre and also a major personal favorite of mine because of three reasons. First of all because I'm a huge admirer of typically rural, raw and atmospheric low-budget 70s horror exactly like writer/director Charles B. Pierce used to make them. Secondly because I'm a sucker for slasher flicks in which eerily masked killers stalk and slash hapless teenagers. This sub genre boomed during the 80s, mainly thanks to the success of "Friday the 13th", but undeniably "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" was one of the pioneers that set out the basic rules. And finally, I have a deep fascination for horror films that are based on or inspired by true crime cases. "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" was based on the infamous 1946 so-called Texarkana Moonlight Murders, and they only became extra legendary since they never got solved. All this just to sum up that the original is a fantastic milestone, and evidently I was rather furious when I first heard there was going to be a remake.
At least I assumed the 2014 film would be a remake And I stubbornly kept assuming this long after its release and stupidly boycotted the film, until now I finally took the effort to read a little more about it. The new "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" isn't really a remake of the 1976 film, nor is it a sequel or a re-imaging/different interpretation of the same factual murder cases. The film is somewhat of a mixture of all this and simultaneously a homage to the 70s film and a remembrance of the real events. Apparently there already even exists a term for this type of movies, namely meta- sequels. 67 years after the five unsolved murders, the events and especially the image of the creepy Phantom Killer still haunt the town of Texarkana. Fewer and fewer people are old enough to remember the actual crimes, but every year around Halloween the local drive- in theater programs the 1976 movie that was actually filmed in Texarkana and grew out a local cult classic. Young lovers Jami and Corey attend the screening in the fall of 2013, but sneak out early to spend some private time together at the old Lover's Lane. Suddenly a psychopath, unmistakably wearing the exact same primitive mask as the Phantom Killer wore in '46, comes out of the woods, repeatedly stabs Corey in the back and allows for Jami to walk away with a bizarre message/warning. Fear, mayhem and also a bit of excitement immediately rises in Texarkana. The Phantom Killer was never apprehended, but he must be dead or at least too old to start killing again. As more brutal slayings are being committed in the next following weeks, only one thing is certain: Texarkana will have to start dreading sundown once again
Naturally I already regret not having checked out "The Town the Dreaded Sundown" sooner! For about three quarters of the running time, this is definitely one of the better slasher efforts of the last 10-15 years. There's a more than fair amount of suspense, especially during the sequences where our masked killer is stalking his victims (notably in the cornfield or the abandoned theme park) and the murders are suitably vile and gruesome. The meta-sequel elements are professionally handled; meaning the original film exists within this new story and also the initial '46 murders fit in logically. I particularly liked the opening sequences that depict Texarkana AD 1946 versus AD 2013, and there's a masterful scene illustrating how terrified people are barricading their doors and windows just like they did during the first murder spree. The sub plot of introducing the son of the original film's director, Charles B. Pierce Jr, as a Texarkana local and an expert of the case is perhaps a bit exaggerated but nevertheless still ingenious. In fact, "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" was busy becoming a brand new personal favorite of mine, if only it wasn't for the fact they somehow completely ruined the ending. The makers probably couldn't afford (or wanted
) to keep the new murders unresolved as well; I can relate to that. However, their desire to surprise the viewer with an unpredictable denouement causes them to revert to dumb and disappointing plot twists that are reminiscent to "Scream". Suddenly there are two culprits, one with motives more ridiculous than the other, and all the positive aspects that were so carefully built up are destroyed during a brief, gratuitous and insignificant finale.