Posted in That 80s film

The Evil Dead (1981)

When you go out into the woods tonight, you’re sure in for a surprise which is what Ash, Linda, Cheryl, Shelly and Scott were in for when they decided their spring break would be as far away from civilization as possible. Seriously when will they ever learn.

As they enter the cabin, a rocking chair is swinging and banging against it which abruptly stops when Scotty reaches for the key, almost as if it has already trapped them thinking ‘gotcha’!

That night whilst Cheryl is drawing a picture of a grandfather clock it abruptly also stops and her hand begins to lose control drawing a strange square with a face on it.

It is later revealed that there is a book of the dead, the Naturom Demeonto, which has the evil deformed face printed on it (as the drawing may have indicated earlier), that drives the demonic entities to awaken.

At dinner the cellar door mysteriously flies open but they think “it’s probably just an animal”.  Cautiously going down the dusty steps, they find the book and a tape recorder which they play, found to belong to a reasercher who had previously stayed at the cabin with his wife.

The man on the tape says ” .. The book is bound in human flesh and inked in blood..the first few pages warn that these enduring creatures  may lie dormant but are never truly dead…it is through the recitation of these passages that the demons are given license to posess the living”. 

What the man simply means is read (or in this case hear  the man recite) the incantations and you’re screwed which has already happened to our friends here , as through the fog the ground begins to tear open as if something is about to crawl through  it and strange noises can be heard coming towards the cabin.

The first creepy and frightful scene which I recall all too clearly to this day is when the girls are playing cards. As the girls try their hands at telepathy, Cheryl is facing the window and starts speaking strangely, memorising all the deck of cards without seeing them  as she turns to face them in her demonic state driving a pencil into Lindas ankle.

After  a small tussle, they manage to  throw her into the cellar which is just as worse watching her rattle the chains with a gap to show her delightful face (!).

For most of us who have seen the movie at an early age would remember how scared we were of that  low budget clown like make-up with glassy yellow eyes. It may make me laugh now but underneath that smile lies the fearful little girl I once was of such a face.

I remember holding up my hands and peeking  through my fingers, having been scarred with nightmares for quite a year, thinking someone or something was hiding underneath my bed, staring at the foot of my bed incase it dragged me out.

The movie soon has everyone possessed  at some point and it isn’t shy to show some gore as throughout  the movie we are visualized with bodies being axed up, spliced up and buried up.

There is an iconic scene where Cheryl is seen wandering the forest as she hears whispers coming from somewhere unknown. She is soon attacked by some tree vines which tie her up, tear her clothes apart and rape her which is disturbing but shot in a great way.

What makes this movie even more frightening is the way it is maginificently framed by Sam Raimi. The zoom in and out shots and the silent tension really make all the difference to his low budget movie of it’s time. The story plot is short, the characters are simple, but it is the unique shock of horror  which make this movie stand out above many others.

There are moments of pure silence with the doors being flung open and objects suddenly moving on it’s  own,  the sudden inject of music violently played, that drive the fear into your mind, making your heart jump that little bit faster.

The anitcipation of not knowing when and who is posessed is the most terrfying, along with the way the posessed screech and attack you by any means possible. You wouldn’t want to saw your girlfriend in half without being certain she is ‘better’ now would you?

When Shelly succumbs to the demonic forces she is accidentally thrown into the fireplace as they drag her out, she says “thank you, I don’t know what I would do if it had burned my pretty flesh”.  whilst she smiles, writhing on the ground which is far from terrifying.

It is the marriage of darkness and dark humour  that fits perfectly  to create such a masterpiece which has now become a cult following for good reasons. (that always sounds creepy  to say aloud but it’s true).

In interviews with Sam Raimi, I read that he said “it was one of the most difficult things i had done in my life..we didn’t have any winter wear. It was freezing”. ” we had no food i thought i was going to die”.

The fact Raimi continued to explain how they barely had much food on set to eat inbetween breaks (which was hardly), and casts began to slowly leave because of the intensive hours they had to put into their roles, is such a difficult process to imagine in such a profound movie.

The cabin itself was barely changed, shooting in a rustic place full  of real bugs and filth  which makes me have all the sympathy and respect for the man to have created such a movie during that time.

With fits of hysteria and constant giggling in a very disturbing manner, you’d be glad to meet the joker any day. If you have room for insanity, let your mind do the talking..it’s enough to make you feel crazy.

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(Google image) “soon all of you will be like me..then who will lock you up in a cellar”?

Credits: Directed and Written by Sam Raimi.

Starring; Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York.

Music by Joseph Loduca.

Other honourable mentions from 1981 that I love:

Raiders of the Lost Ark – Directed by Steven Spielberg

Mad Max 2 – Directed by George Miller

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Posted in That 80s film

The Elephant Man (1980)

The 80’s was a great time for movies. It was a pivotal moment for directors to really show off their creative side with the special effects they had to budget. I’m really fond of the era for creating some of the most  amazing movies that people still talk about and remember.

As a late child of the 80s, I grew up watching more 90’s animated tv shows and movies but there were the movies of the 80s that I watched as a teenager which stuck in my memory for being so great.

In honour of such classic movies I’ve been able to watch (earlier or recently ), I thought I would make a series (that 80’s movie) of my favourite movies that stand the test of time and i hope you find them interesting.

What makes us different? Maybe our way of thinking, the skills we have and then ofcourse our physical appearance. Joseph Merrick, who often incorrectly called John Merrick ( 5 August 1862-11 April 1890) was more than different with his severe appearance that caused his face and  body to be mutated in some form. His skeleton is displaced at the Royal London Hospital (where i was born).

This partially  autobiographal adaptation bares plenty of room for empathy portrayed by the brilliant John Hurt who plays the character of John Merrick. Ofcourse the real events were much harsher for him to bear and nothing can justify  that but this portrayal does well to make us witness a portion of what he may have been subjected to go through.

John Merrick  is seen to be locked up in a circus in the East End of London by a man named Bytes who profits from showcasing John on display and treats him badly. “he’s a freak, where else should he live”. 

A surgeon by the name of Frederick Treves finds Merrick and takes him to the London Hospital to take care of him. With some  agitated  time, he begins to speak much fluently when he recites passages from the bible. Though the nurses and people at the place are frightened by his nature, they treat him with kindness but caution.

He is even greeted by the actress Madge Kendal, who introduces him to shakespeare and gives him a portrait of herself for his pleasure. Merrick thanks her “i shall place it in honour next to my mothers”. who was beautiful and had the face of an angel.

Anthony  Hopkins plays the surgeon so well and his kind mannerism is beautifully portrayed. He brings him clothes and a gift, that for the first time in a long time Merrick is overjoyed with tears. Many moments like these are reflected which made me smile (with few small tears to shed).

At afternoon tea, Merrick wears the gifted suit and  joins Frederick at his home and meets his wife which makes him overjoyed to be in her company as he cries “I’m not used to being greeted by such a beautiful woman”.

Merrick begins to slowly grasp the little part of how to survive in such a prejudice community, especially in the 19th century, as for a man with such incredible difficulty, he strived to live with such dignity, full of compassion. A man so sophisticated he would greet anyone with the utmost respect.

But not everyone felt the same way and showed him compasion which is the heartbreak of this movie and a powerful one at that, however as the movie  progresses, it makes you want to feel less tears and pity, as my empathy was more of feeling proud of Merrick as he gained to overcome some of his fear of being traumatised for many years in a place he tried to call his home and belong in the world although sadness of such a case is inevitable.

Throughout the movie we experience how Merrick feels but not really ever knowing what he went through. He is a man of intelligence  found to be insulted, huniliated and abused by society who find him interesting and something to talk about. Merrick himself knows this well enough saying”they are frightened by what they don’t understand”.

Frederick himself questions the morality of taking care of someone with such an  incurable disease as Merrick is met by people of  high class, and the meet and greet of people who pass to catch a glimpse of him. “am i a good man or a bad man? …I’ve made him all curious again “.

It is an unsettling movie but which Lynch movie isn’t. To say this is one of my favourites  is contradictory as i hated how  he was treated and it can be a difficult watch , but Lynch did a very  good  job at making this as profolic and visually endearing for us to understand something which  we simply can’t .

Just when you begin to feel some hope for Merrick, it is met with fear of the ugly side of those people who have no compassion and far less a man and human than Merrick ever was, as he reminds us that “i am not an elephant! I am not an animal! i am a human being! i..am..a..man! 

Credits: Directed by David Lynch. Based on The Elephant Man and other Reminiscences by Frederick Treves.  The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu.

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, Freddie Jones, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller. 

Music by John Morris

(Other honourable mentions) :

The Shining (1980) By Stanley Kubrick

Superman 2 (1980) By Richard Donner and Richard Lester

Posted in Books

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (1922)

I used to be a self-proclaimed bookworm a few years ago. I started out with some Goosebump books, sitting against the school radiator as a child and then found myself reaching for dark fantasy novels in my teenage years and now as an adult i  enjoy reading  a lot of Stephen King novels and  hardboiled detective crime books.

Not to become such a hoarder of books and swimming in them anytime soon, i’ve come to realise the efficiency  of listening to audiobooks as a way of making things easier and getting back into reading which I love. Although nothing beats  having a real book  at hand.

My bookshelf is towered high with some of my favourite novels, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button being one of them.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American author of the Jazz age, well- known for his novels such as this one and the great Gatsby.

You may have watched the movie with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, which is loosely based the book but  it didn’t necessarily  follow the original  story of the novel and I didn’t feel it was anything like the novel displays.

Sometimes a novel has that edge of bringing entertainment in writing than what the pictures can show us,  the real bittersweet engagement of this particular tale, and Fitzgerald has a charming way of writing just that.

It was on  September morning Roger Button  rushed to hospital to visit his wife and firstborn. Not realising the shock he would be in. Seeing what seemed like an old man around 70,wrapped up in a crib barely fitting in it.  Mr Button  cried “am I mad”? “is this some ghastly joke?”  A nice way to welcome your first child.

As years went by things got increasingly difficult for the Button family. He had to dye Benjamins hair to remotely look young as possible whilst he went clothes shopping which was an ordeal in itself ” how old did You say that boy of yours was” was amongst  the several questions the neighbourhood would ask as this was a very extraordinary situation.

Things at home were far complicated, Roger Button insisted that Benjamin be a baby despite his ‘abnormalities’ of not looking like one, telling him to eat oatmeal, and play with his toys. Benjamin obeyed but it merely bored him to rattle his shaker and eat plain food as he would secretly smoke his fathers cigars and got told off.

At the age of five he went to kindergarten but he kept falling asleep which frightened his teacher so he had to leave.

At the age of 18 Benjamin looked 50 and he tried to register for college but he was quickly asked to leave stating that he was “a dangerous lunatic”.  Benjamin was used to being rejected so often by everyone around him who didn’t  understand his nature.

As time went by and Benjamin and his father who was 50, now looked compatible as brothers and they went to a fashionable dance where he met his first love- Hilegarde Moncrief.

As they danced she said “you’re the romantic age”..I’ve always said that I’d rather marry a man of fifty and be taken care of than a man of thirty and take care of him“. A haunting feeling that would unknowingly be the case for Benjamin Button. 

This novel stretches on after their marriage and Benjamin begins to slowly get younger whilst his wife grew older, making him see things quite differently  now.

It is a remarkable story, written beautifully  with charm. About a Benjamin working so hard at life  to do all the things he hadn’t in reverse. A man realising it’s  never too early to do what he wants.

Posted in Foreign Films

The Red Turtle (2016)

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Google image

Credits: Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. Written with Pascale Ferran. Music by Laurent Perez del Mar.

The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rogue) is a beautiful hand drawn animation by Dutch-British animator, Michael  Dudok de Wit known for illustrating short films, so this  feature film (around 80 minutes long) feels very special.

It came to no surprise that i should love such a film with no dialogue as it was co-produced by Wild Bunch company  (in France) , amongest others and my favourite  movies from Studio Ghibli.

It tells the tale of a man washed ashore on an island. Seeing how desolated the place is, he wastes no time to build a raft using long bamboo sticks, however it is suddenly snapped and he finds himself swimming back to safety.

Desperate to leave the island, he successfully makes another raft using the bamboo sticks, sailing a little further now, whilst feeling uneasy and sure enough something hits underneath it and snaps his raft again.

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Determined to get off the island he makes his third raft and looks cautiously undernearth the water. A few ripples and movements make the raft creak as he gets a stick in hand for any danger and hits the raft for warning but it eventually breaks as he stumbles deeper into the ocean. In the water swims a large red turtle staring intentively into his eyes then swims away.

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Tired, hungry and cold, he yells  in frustration and anger as the night draws in. This is one of my favourite scenes as the orchestral music (which is beautiful and soothing), begins to play as he looks up at the moon. He dreams he is floating away from the island. On another occasion he awakens to see three men playing violin on the beach and screams hey! running towards them in hope, only to find he is hallucinating.

He is a kind man( which is reflected as the story unfolds), who even offers fruit he had to cut down  from a tall tree, to some baby crabs. A man who is just struggling to survive on a deserted island.

The red turtle begins to crawl it’s way onto the sand to which he takes his anger upon, hitting it with a bamboo stick  and tilting it on it’s back and goes back to making his raft. That night he dteams of the turtle floating into the sky, presuming going up to heaven and wakes  in terror.

Feeling guilty as the Sun is blazing down on them, he tries to revive it with some water but it doesn’t do much except crack its shell in half. Is it dead? To his disbelief he realises there is more to this red turtle as something big has changed and his journey on the island continues in a different turn of events.

In its simple form, the message is strongly portrayed. With the sound of the ocean, the wind and the birds, the nature around, seeing is the most believing in this wonderful story.

Posted in Awards

Blogger Recognition Award

” Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” (Marcel Proust)

Before I get started on this award. I should mention I also received the One Lovely Blog Award by Capili  which has seemed to disappear after such a tiring post I put up which is very annoying. I’m currently quite unwell but didn’t want this post to fall behind and get forgotten, so I hope this doesn’t  vanish either.

I was nominated by https://artistbybeauty.blog she is a beautiful person inside and out who is always so welcoming to bloggers with kind comments and her blog is quite diverse with d.I.y flower making to benefits of health and well-being . It’s worth going over there as you’ll find a lot of insightful things you probably didn’t  think about before. Thank you again Capili. I am very honoured.

Rules for the Award:

. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

. put up a logo of the blogger recognition award and post about it.

. Give a brief  story of how your blog got started.

. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

. Nominate other bloggers  (max 15) and let them know you have nominated them.

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How my blog got started: 

I actually had a blog two years ago but I was feeling unmotivated at the time yet pushed myself to keep going. I didn’t write too much and when I did it felt like a job. I fell very ill and was in hospital for long months at times so I stopped working on my blog.

I kept reading up on some of my followers and different ones and missed being able to voice my thoughts on a place to call my own. After taking a break I reinvented myself with a fresh site and though i am still going through hardships  here I am, with more interest to speak of, and feel very humbled and grateful to have such wonderful people from all over the world who take their time to read what I have to say.

Advice to new bloggers:

1) Don’t think too much about what your focus should be. If you like a lot of different topics, write  about it all. Blogs can be diverse as I’ve come to realise.  You have the option of categorising them so it’ll look in order either way.

2) Don’t worry about how much you’re writing. If you want people to notice your work, it’s better to take your time and work on it for a longer time than post something you’re not happy about because you haven’t written much or it’s too short. After all it is quality over quantity.

The nominations go to:

wildfiremotionpictures.com (She is a filmmaker at heart and a lovely charming one at that who writes about a lot of movie reviews aswell as other topics which are really interesting).

raistlin0903.wordpress.com ( Michels blog is full of different topics ranging from tv reviews to movies to anime which always interest me as I have a similar taste to him aswell).

johnbritoblog.com (John is a brilliant artist who sketches everything by hand. He likes to write short fictions and is currently working on a childrens novel).

beyondtheloadingscreen.com ( reviews games of different kinds, some of his top games and his best game of the year).

gweiloramblings.wordpress.com ( Stephen dedicates majority of his posts to Asian (Korean and Japanese mainly) movies. As I have the same interest it’s always nice to read about movies I may have missed).

thepraditachronicles.wordpress.com (Pradita is a great storyteller at best and she writes with great wit and something relatable to most of us on different topics).

otakukyokai.com ( a new follower and one I really enjoy reading already as it’s well written.  If you’re a lover of anime and manga then this is a site to venture onto).

This was my first award of this kind and I am grateful to all of you who have been following and reading this. I’m not well as mentioned but  I’m sure i will be adding more to the list  in the near future so you haven’t been forgotten.

Thank you for reading