61 Days of Halloween: Films to Keep You Awake: Spectre (2006)


For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween and a list of films previously feature go here.

Films to Keep You Awake: Spectre (2006)

Part of why I write about movies, and why I’m not so hesitant to revisit them at times, is that my memory can be a bit dodgy at times. When thinking back on these films it was the one further down the list of Favorite Older Films, A Christmas Tale, that stood out more, but here’s what I wrote:

I embrace any and all horror series like Six Films to Keep You Awake that round up genre directors from certain countries to tell quick effective tales. It’s not dissimilar to Door into Darkness or Masters of Horror, this edition highlights the uniquely opaque, intricate and dramatic flair that Spain has for the genre. There will be another tale from the series on this list. This is the one that separates the die hards from the casual admirers.

Part of my wanting to write about them here is first to highlight them, as I acquired them on DVD, but also to disentangle them. In trying to surmise a series of films, a much more limited one than say Masters of Horror, generalizing and grouping can do a disservice to the individual titles.

This is title really toys with chronology and with perception, its jumps through time in a character-based way and what’s best about it is its myopic focus and view of events. For only through entering the protagonist’s perception can we glimpse Moira in a different manner than the entirety of the town does. When it’s boiled down what occurs is fairly simple but the jarring, disorienting moments, the paradoxical ones, and the way in which the narrative unfolds are what make it so fascinating to watch.

Tales of obsession, be them adolescent or adult, can be hard to convey, especially in the horror genre, but I think this one sells it very well.

Another reason to revisit titles at times it to see if you over-estimated or under-estimated something the first time around. Complete reversals of opinion are rare, as they should be, but re-evaluations are good. I will see if I tweeted about another title in the series but I may have given that one the short-shrift just slightly. With this one I agree with the assessment that this is not necessarily the title that will make one gravitate to Spanish horror, but those who already like it may come to appreciate it.

61 Days of Halloween: Dementia 13 (1963)


For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween and a list of previous films covered go here.

Dementia 13 (1963)

This post is an exciting one for me in a few respects. First, I’ve known of this film for a very long time and I’ve always been a bit hesitant to watch it. The reasons that is likely have to do with the fact that the synopsis doesn’t sell it very well, and the early work aspect scared and intrigued me in equal respects. The second reason is that seeing something and then shortly thereafter writing these posts was the initial foundation of the 61 Days of Halloween idea. I wanted to see 61 new horror films in the season. Maybe I still will but I haven’t even met the bogey yet, so I will be featuring some titles I know already to try and do that.

Dementia 13 was probably more destined than ever to be seen since I not only recently saw Twixt, but Coppola stands as one of my most viewed filmmakers of the year as can be seen both in what I’ve watched and liked.

In very traditional AIP fashion the title is virtually meaningless. However, while Corman’s AIP productions are a very mixed bag this does end up being on the favorable end. It doesn’t all click along perfectly, and there’s a very murky section you have to trudge through, but if you’re patient (which should be easy with a running time of 76 minutes) the payoff is pretty good.

It can sound odd to say you’re a fan of knock-offs of a particular film, as well as the film itself, but I’ve come to find that many films that are riffing on, borrowing from, or borderline plagiarizing Psycho have mostly worked for me as well. This one does play some of its tropes and weaves them in quite a different pattern.

If you’re into programming double-features this would actually pair well with Coppola’s most recent foray into the genre. As there he weaves a far more elaborate tale but they both definitely feel born of the same mind, this one more youthfully creating an homage and the latter showing a vibrant maturity.