This marathon stuff is making me bleary. Man, do I wanna just turn off the TV and read a freakin' book! And I'm not anywhere near the goal... I'm gonna fail almost by half. But, still, whatever. Dropping ya'll a raw-feed again 'cuz what the hell, nobody actually reads these anyway, do they? Not that I can tell... :)
Paranormal Activity 3 (C, 2011) The tricks are getting a little familiar and losing their ability to terrify -- it's kinda becoming a chain of "oh, that again" -- but the series is still solid and hasn't had a bad one yet. This is a prequel, consisting of video tapes shot when Katie was having her first supernatural troubles as a little girl. Her sister starts a weird friendship with an imaginary friend named Toby... who turns out to be neither imaginary nor friend, as he terrorizes her family. Like the others this starts out with little creaks and movements that get her stepfather obsessed with filming them all on his videocameras, but he conveniently captures more than he counted on. A little less is left to the imagination than in previous installments, and it still unfolds pretty slowly, but it pays off with some freaky special effects and an ending that explains maybe too much. They should probably end it here, but it's not a disappointment.
Blood and Black Lace (C, 1964) aka Sei Donne per L'assassino, Six Women For The Murderer, Fashion House of Death. Formative giallo masterpiece created by Mario Bava has a masked killer (he looks just like The Question from the comics, with a featureless fabric mask and a fedora), murdering models in various gruesome-for-the-time ways, such as pressing a face to a red-hot heater or slamming a spiked metal glove into their face. He's after a diary left by his initial target and is killing anyone connected to it. The film is so classy and well-done in Bava's hands that you forget what a hack Cameron Mitchell turned out to be. Plot-wise it's more murder mystery than anything else, but Bava's eerie directorial touches (later copied wholecloth by Dario Argento) make it horrific, using lots of colored lighting, surreal sets, and expressive camera angles to create an otherworldly atmosphere. It can be a bit hard to follow but it's essential (repeat) viewing and well worth the effort.
Frozen (C, 2009) Open Water on a ski lift. Three not-terribly-lovable (but not so bad you'd enjoy seeing them suffer) skier/snowboarders try saving a few bucks on ski lift fees and end up paying for it big time when they're accidentally forgotten about midway up the mountain when the ride shuts down for the week. They're too high up to jump down, there's a pack of hungry wolves running around, the cables are too sharp to climb on, and there's a winter storm. If they stay they'll freeze to death, but they don't seem to have much other alternative. Attempts to get themselves out of the situation don't turn out well and they're getting frostbite. The further along the movie goes the more desperate the situation grows, and it's suspenseful but also kind of a bummer to watch. It makes me glad that winter sports have never appealed to me in the first place. If you're into survival horror, this should work for you.
Ghoul, The (B&W, 1933) Classic Karloff that was considered almost a lost film for a long time; there was only one print and it was in terrible condition. Then, oddly and without explanation, a beautiful, pristine DVD showed up. Karloff is a dying professor who's spent a vast fortune on The Eternal Light, a jewel that he plans to present to the god Anubis after death so he'll be admitted to Paradise. He has it bandaged to his hand and warns that he'll return from the dead seeking vengeance if it's stolen. And, of course, it is stolen, and on the full moon Karloff rises from his tomb and goes on an angry rampage. Karloff puts out a very emotive performance in a mostly-silent role, and the decaying-zombie makeup is effectively morbid. A scene with him carving a symbol in his chest is pretty gruesome for the 30's. Could have used more monster stuff and less skullduggery involving the theft-and-re-theft of the jewel, but the film is a classic worth saving.
Chambermaid, The (C, 2004) aka Lovesick: Sick Love. A young lady (Fiona Horsey) loses her job as a hotel chambermaid when a guest who paid her to jerk him off accuses her of stealing. She was only resorting to the minor-league prostitution because she's desperate for money to help her metal-musician boyfriend pay off some drug dealers who keep beating him up. While riding her bike one night she finds her boss completely drunk and takes him home and makes him believe they had sex so she can manipulate him. She also makes him believe the guy she jerked off tried to rape her, so she gets her job back. Her boss - a pitiful nebish who's browbeaten by his invalid mother - thinks he and Horsey have a relationship and starts to become possessive. She turns the tables and convinces him that he raped her and got her pregnant, and tries to blackmail him. She moves into his house with her boyfriend and torments her boss by taunting him and having sex with her boyfriend in front of him, and tries to treat him like their slave. But he goes psychotic and kills his mother and her boyfriend and chains her up in the basement so he can have children with her. She's been resourceful (and evil) about scheming so far, but can she get out of this? No-budget British production isn't all bad for an almost-homemade film, and the acting is good in spots even though it always looks clumsy and super-cheap. Much is made of Horsey's nudity but there's not really that much of it. Available on Mill Creek's cheapo Blood Bath 12-movie set.
Headless Ghost, The (B&W, 1959) Hopelessly corny silliness in which three college kids (two American boys and a girl from Denmark) hide out in an old English castle, hoping to see its famed ghosts. The ghosts do appear, stepping out of their portraits, but they look and act just like normal people in period costumes so the spooky factor is zero. They explain that they can't rest in peace until one of them is reunited with his missing head. They attend dinners with the ghosts and take part in other goofy things that are about as scary as a Topper episode. The whole thing is painfully obnoxious and irritating but might be fun for an eight year old.