Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trial Run

Town on Trial: Started out as a sort of 1950s version of Southcliffe, with John Mills' detective finding his efforts to investigate a murder in a small town being thwarted by local politics and personalities. Falls apart towards the end, though, when the murderer turns out to be someone rather unlikely and the explanation even less likely still. People drive Fifties cars so fast that when the brakes are applied, the car keeps going for several seconds; it's a wonder Mills himself doesn't wind up adding a few more deaths to the killer's total.

The Keep: Has two big problems: 1) it's actually three movies. There's a movie about a squadron of Nazis who occupy a Romanian town, throw their weight around, and wind up being picked off one by one by the local vampire/spirit, who is both a protector to and terror of the local people; a movie about a Jewish Holocaust victim who makes a deal with the devil to exterminate all Nazis everywhere in revenge; there's a movie about a demon-slayer who tracks down and slays a demon. Wedging them together into the same movie leads to confusion at best and cognitive dissonance at worst. 2) History. Actually, the Nazis got on pretty well with the Romanians, meaning the movie would be better off set in Hungary or the Ukraine, which also have a tradition of vampire legends. Problem is, if you're making a Slavic vampire movie for American consumption, you're going to hit the lowest-common-denominator issue that "everybody knows" vampires are Romanian. The 1980s effects are good; the castle set is nicely weird; Tangerine Dream are operating below their usual standard musically.

Movie count for 2013: 39 (I've also seen A Field in England, but I want to watch it again before I review it).