Thursday, November 10, 2022

Horror Movie Marathon 2022: The Final Chapter

The last installment of October's horror movie rush:

Dracula's Fiancee

Dracula's Fiancee is a late-era Jean Rollin film, which in some ways is a true testament to his obsession with certain images and themes because it is very much in tune with his earlier, more celebrated vampire films. As it typical of a Jean Rollin film, Dracula's Fiancee doesn't make a ton of sense; it's a dreamlike tale about vampire hunters pursuing Dracula through his minions and the nuns who have been driven insane imprisoning the vampire's secrets. Nice to see Brigitte Lehaie as one the vampire lord's compatriots, and also nice to see that they let her ride a horse for this role.

The House of the Dead

The House of the Dead is an anthology film, with four segments and some frame narrative bits to hang it all together. The segments include: a mean schoolteacher is terrorized by something or someone in her house when she thought she was alone, a creep who likes to film himself killing women, an American detective and a British detective battle it out for the title of Next Top Detective, and a man find himself trapped in an abandoned building that has been converted into a torture chamber. Each of the tales has a moral bent to them, exposing a particular foible imagined to be over-present in the American psychological makeup. 

One thing I found interesting is that this movie was directed by a woman, and an important woman at that as she would be the first woman to win the Director's Guild of America Award, and yet I've never seen this movie listed with the usual suspects on any of those "horror directed by women" lists. Overall, The House of the Dead is pretty fun for what it is!


I was honestly surprised by how much fun X was. There's a fine line between homage and pointless exercise in nostalgia when a horror movie tries to present a retro experience, but thankfully X is much more the former than the latter.

The plot of X is 1970s-tastic: a group rents out a guest house on a farmer's rural property so they can cash in on the porn boom and film a skin flick on the cheap. Of course, there's something deeply fucked up on the farmer's land and they end up being hunted one-by-one.

Knife For the Ladies

Although Knife For the Ladies has a name that feels like it should belong to a giallo, it's actually a strange mash-up of slasher flick and Western. On paper, those are two genres that should work really well together given their native propensities to ponder mortality, the unsettling competition between the civilizing impulse and the dark heart of mankind, and the cheapness of life in general, but the combination doesn't always work in Knife For the Ladies. There's nothing glaringly wrong with the movie, and it's entertaining enough for what it's attempting, but it does sometimes feel like two movies competing for space on the reels.