Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The 2015 Orloks - 1962 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1962
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Carnival of Souls
USA / 74 points / Herk Harvey
* * * * * * * * * *
2. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
USA / 36 points / Robert Aldrich
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Night of the Eagle (Burn, Witch, Burn)
UK / 23 points / Sidney Hayers
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Premature Burial
USA / 14 points / Roger Corman
* * * * * * * * * *
5. (tie) Captain Clegg (Night Creatures)
UK11 points / Peter Graham Scott
* * * * * * * * * *
5. (tie) El espejo de la bruja (The Witch's Mirror)
Mexico11 points / Chano Urueta
* * * * * * * * * *
5. (tie) Otoshiana (Pitfall)
Japan11 points / Hiroshi Teshigahara

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. Cape Fear / USA / 10 points / J. Lee Thompson
7. Vaxdockan (The Doll) / Sweden / 9 points / Arne Mattsson
8. Brain That Wouldn't Die, The / USA / 7 points / Joseph Green
9. (tie) Couch, The / USA / 6 points / Owen Crump
9. (tie) L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock (The Horrible Dr. Hichcock) / Italy / 6 points / Riccardo Freda
9. (tie) Maciste all'inferno (The Witch's Curse) / Italy / 6 points / Riccardo Freda
10. Gritos en la noche (The Awful Dr. Orloff) / France, Spain / 5 points / Jesus Franco

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Brain, The / UK, West Germany / Freddie Francis
- Dungeon of Harrow, The (Dungeons of Horror) / USA / Pay Boyette
- El barón del terror (The Brainiac) / Mexico / Chano Urueta
- Hands of a Stranger / USA / Newt Arnold
- Ipnosi (Dummy of Death; Hypnosis) / Italy, Spain, West Germany / Eugenio Martín
La chambre ardente (The Burning Court) / France, Italy, West Germany / Julien Duvivier
La rivière du hibou (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge) / France [short] / Robert Enrico
- Phantom of the Opera, The / UK / Terence Fisher
- Ring of Terror / USA / Chuck L. Pawlow
- Tales of Terror / USA / Roger Corman
- Tower of London / USA / Roger Corman

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1961                    Continue to 1963 >

The 2015 Orloks - 1947 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1947
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Nightmare Alley
USA / 16 points / Edmund Goulding
* * * * * * * * * *
2. (tie) The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
USA / 14 points / Joseph L. Mankiewicz
* * * * * * * * * *
2. (tie) The Red House
USA / 14 points / Delmer Daves
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Uncle Silas (The Inheritance)
UK / 7 points / Charles Frank
* * * * * * * * * *
4. (tie) Fear in the Night
USA3 points / Maxwell Shane
* * * * * * * * * *
4. (tie) The Unsuspected
USA / 3 points / Michael Curtiz
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Secret Beyond the Door...
USA / 2 points / Fritz Lang

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. (tie) Bury Me Dead / USA / 1 point / Bernard Vorhaus
6. (tie) Scared to Death / USA / 1 point / Christy Cabanne
7.
8.
9.
10.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

--

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1946                    Continue to 1948 >

The 2015 Orloks - 1946 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1946
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Bedlam
USA / 41 points / Mark Robson
* * * * * * * * * *
2. The Beast with Five Fingers
USA / 32 points / Robert Florey
* * * * * * * * * *
3. La belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast)
France / 22 points / Jean Cocteau
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Dragonwyck
USA12 points / Joseph L. Mankiewicz
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Strangler of the Swamp
USA11 points / Frank Wisbar

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. House of Horrors / USA / 6 points / Jean Yarbrough
7. (tie) Mask of Diijon, The / USA / 5 points / Lew Landers
7. (tie) Shock / USA / 5 points / Alfred L. Werker
8. (tie) Hair-Raising Hare / USA [animated short] / 4 points / Chuck Jones
8. (tie) Kamennyy tsvetok (The Stone Flower) / Soviet Union / 4 points / Aleksandr Ptushko
9. (tie) Flying Serpent, The / USA / 3 points / Sam Newfield
9. (tie) She-Wolf of London / USA / 3 points / Jean Yarbrough
9. (tie) Specter of the Rose / USA / 3 points / Ben Hecht
10. (tie) Dark Mirror, The / USA / 2 points / Robert Siodmak
10. (tie) Dressed to Kill / USA / 2 points / Roy William Neill
10. (tie) El ahijado de la muerte (The Godson of Death) / Mexico / 2 points / Norman Foster

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Devil Monster / USA / S. Edwin Graham
- Madonna's Secret, The / USA / Wilhelm Thiele
- Terror by Night / USA / Roy William Neill

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1945                    Continue to 1947 >

The 2015 Orloks - 1931 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1931
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Frankenstein
USA / 70 points / James Whale
* * * * * * * * * *
2. M
Germany / 56 points / Fritz Lang
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Dracula
USA / 45 points / Tod Browning
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
USA33 points / Rouben Mamoulian
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Svengali
USA16 points / Archie Mayo

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. (tie) Drácula / USA / 4 points / George Melford
6. (tie) Mad Genius, The / USA / 4 points / Michael Curtiz
7. Phantom, The / USA / 2 points / Alan James
8. (tie) Drums of Jeopardy, The / USA / 1 point / George B. Seitz
8. (tie) Murder by the Clock / USA / 1 point / Edward Sloman
8. (tie) Spider, The / USA / 1 point / Kenneth MacKenna and William Cameron Menzies
8. (tie) Spooks / USA [animated short] / 1 point / Ub Iwerks
9.
10.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

--

_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1930                    Continue to 1932 >

Howling VI: The Freaks (1991) [filmed in 1990]

... aka: Final Attack
... aka: Grito de Horror 6 (Horror Scream 6)
... aka: Howling 6
... aka: Mostriciattoli (Monsters)

Directed by:
Hope Perello

The sixth entry in this long-running werewolf series has nothing to do with Gary Brandner's book series or the previous five films bearing the same name and instead seems to take its greatest inspiration from Ray Bradbury's 1962 book Something Wicked This Way Comes. Handsome, sad-eyed British drifter Ian Richards (Brendan Hughes) arrives in the small, dying Southwest desert town of Canton Bluff with just fifteen dollars in his pocket and a handful of papers he doesn't want anyone else to look at. Though the local sheriff (Carols Cervantes) initially tries to drive him away and others question his presence there, widowed pastor Dewey (Jered Barclay) agrees to give him room and board in exchange for helping to rebuild the communities run-down church. It isn't long before Ian's kind demeanor and hard work ethic manage to win over the town - not to mention the heart of the pastor's hot blonde daughter Lizzie (Michele Matheson) - but things are about to take a turn for the weird and horrific once a traveling carnival / freak show called Harker's World of Wonders strolls into town.







Headed by the charismatic and mysterious H.B. Harker (Bruce Martyn Payne), who is M.I.A. during the daylight hours (*wink*), the carnival boasts an array of oddities and human freaks. There's Mr. Bellamey (Antonio Fargas), the token geek who likes to bite off chicken heads, Mr. Toones (Deep Roy), a dwarf gambler with a tiny third arm he keeps tucked away in his jacket, transvestite stripper and torch singer Carl / Carlotta (Christopher Morley) and Winston Salem (Sean Gregory Sullivan), a meek, cat-loving burn victim whose scars are painted into scales so he can play "The Amazing Alligator Man." Ian turns out to be a "freak" himself and is in town with ulterior motives that coincide with the arrival of the carnival. Always on the lookout for a new monstrosity to add to his collection, Harker discovers that Ian is actually a werewolf. He has him captured, caged and then primed to be the new star attraction. Using a crystal and some chanting, the evil barker - who's also harboring a secret monstrous identity of his own - is able to make our hero transform whenever he wishes.






Howling VI suffers mostly from uneven writing. While Kevin Rock's screenplay boasts surprisingly well-defined characters and credible dialogue, the story line is unfocused, somewhat shapeless and a little lacking in narrative drive. Thankfully, the film itself has enough positives to partially overcome all that. For starters, I liked the fact the action centered around the same style of tortured werewolf from the Lon Chaney days, which is in stark contrast to the portrayal of the creatures in the first five Howling films. Not only is the wolf man sympathetic this time out, but it goes one step further by giving him partial control over his actions post transformation. While Chaney's Larry Talbot was a good guy turned murderous, out-of-control creature by the light of the full moon, the werewolf character here is pretty much a good guy in either his human or his monster form. Though some viewers may be disappointed by the absence of a more bloodthirsty creature, Payne's character more than makes up for that in villainy.






Another big plus is that the acting is vastly superior to most of the other films in this series. Lead Hughes - previously seen in the romantic vampire movie To Die For (1988) - not only does a fine job capturing both the mysterious and tender qualities of his character, but he's also physically perfect for this role because he has a gentle and kind look and non-threatening way about him. British character actor Payne is also perfectly cast playing the sinister, cultured and evil carnival barker, though he'd soon find himself being typecast in similar roles simply because he plays bad guy that well. While some of the other actors aren't quite as good, no one really embarrasses themselves either like they do in most of the other Howling movies. The only real disappointment was them under-using Carol Lynley, who was once a star headlining major studio productions but has been reduced here to a small and rather pointless part. Elizabeth Shé, one of the stars of HOWLING V: THE REBIRTH (1989), can also be spotted briefly in the carnival audience.







For a low budget production, the sets are fairly good and the movie also delivers more in the way of makeup fx than the previous two films, which are well- executed by Todd Masters and the ever-reliable Steve Johnson, who also contributed to the scant fx in HOWLING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE (1988). The look of the werewolf here is somewhat old school in the face department (there's no wolf-like snout and the transformation scene is pretty weak), but it looks pretty cool regardless thanks to bipedal legs.

1/2
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