Yet Another Month of Horror 2015 – Chapter 3

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The Canadian Thanksgiving weekend provided one turkey and several tasty morsels: Leprechaun, The Canal, Tales That Witness Madness and Witchcraft.

 

Leprechaun (Mark Jones – 1993)
It didn’t really take me long to decide that the first film in the rather lengthy Leprechaun series (there’s six or seven of them in all I think) would be the end of the line for me. It’s not like I expected to be drawn into a series of horror-comedy films about an evil leprechaun, but nothing about this film gave me any reason to press forward. Everything is just mediocre. It’s not horrific or creepy or even suspenseful. And it was neither funny nor fun. That may be a subjective statement I suppose, but most of the humour is pretty basic and uninspired. Jennifer Aniston is actually pretty decent here in one of her earliest roles, but in the end I was simply bored. Warwick Davis is the titular little green guy, but his grotesque form just isn’t overly interesting after he cracks his first corny joke and gnashes his teeth. I guess there was an audience for this since they made more of them (apparently with different approaches and levels of comedy), but this particular one sure wasn’t made for me.

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TIFF 2012: Berberian Sound Studio Review

There is a key to unlocking Peter Strickland’s dense and puzzling Berberian Sound Studio. A line of dialogue that comes from the director of the film within the film. A slip of the tongue. In movies about sound, or more specifically about processing sound, there are no slips of the tongue. Everything you hear is important, and everything you see is misleading. We put too much faith in what we see, oft times, and not enough faith in the other senses. Films like Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, and and now this one, force us to listen to the process, wallow in it, even if we do not necessarily know what we are listening for.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let us rewind.

Quiet and Introverted sound engineer Guilderoy, played by the chameleon and consummate character actor Tobey Jones, travels out of his comfort zone doing sound design for nature documentaries in Surrey, England, into the seething passions of the eponymous rundown Italian studio, to do the complete sound mix for a Giallo film: dialogue dubbing, foley, music. The movie has a curious title, Equestrian Vortex, which may mean that Guilderoy is on this foreign assignment by a complete misunderstand of the films content – It could have been a documentary on horses. Instead it is about the murdering of a sect of witches and their beyond the grave revenge. The clash of cultures that goes beyond the simple language barrier upon his arrival or the fact that the film has severe misogynist undertones and extreme violence which is alien and unsettling to the english engineer. The ladies of the film show up to do a lot of screaming, and the local sound engineer, Francesco, spends his time bullying and berating them: “You co-operate and you do not question!” The environment is toxic, and Guilderoy seems instantly mired there by virtue of his own English politeness.

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