Lance Henricksen

October 14, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1991: The Pit and the Pendulum

PREACHY

The Pit and the Pendulum –Preachy

There is no doubt that outside of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe has been one of the most influential authors for filmmakers to rely upon. Okay, I’ll include H.P. Lovecraft in that conversation as well. And, you know what, that is a perfect segway considering Stuart Gordon’s “The Pit and the Pendulum.”

“Pit” is a take on the classic Poe story about the Spanish Inquisition and it’s most famous torture instrument; The Pendulum. In this tale, a couple, Maria and Antonio, are taken prisoner after Maria is accused of being a witch. The Grand Inquisitor, played by horror favorite, Lance Henrickson, takes a liking to Maria and believes that she has godly powers. Antonio, tries to free his beloved, but finds himself at the mercy of the dreaded Pendulum. Will they both escape?

So, this film same out where it seemed that horror had really gone stale was were looking back at old ideas for horror. The main one that comes to my mind is “The Phantom of the Opera” remake starring Robert Englund. Whereas the “Phantom” was a bit of a mess, and relied on gore, “Pit” while there is some gore, relies more on the horror of the Inquisition with an added dose of the supernatural.

I brought up Lovecraft earlier in this review because two names who are synonymous with Lovecraftian films, Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs, direct and star in the film, respectively. Gordon would go on to work on “Dagon” and pretty much any other film that would be based around some sort of Poe or Lovecraft lore.

Overall, I thought this movie would be far worse than it was, but there is actually some very gallows humor throughout and there are some absolutely silly “Spanish” accents, like they aren’t even trying, which I think adds that extra touch of class. Henricksen stands out as the Grand Inquisitor of course, and he hams it up big time.

If you’re a Poe fan, you might like this film, but I’m sure you might have issues. However, it’s still a fun film if you can get past the religious preaching and overacting.

Here are some other films from ’91 that aren’t the pits:

Child’s Play3
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
The People Under the Stairs
Sometimes They Come Back

October 4, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1987: Near Dark

DECENT

Near Dark – Decent

It was only a matter of time before I’d sneak a vampire review in here, and I tried to think of one of the most obscure ones I could. This brings me to “Near Dark” and if you pay close enough attention, or use your imagination you might think this is a vampire sequel to “Aliens”

Out tale begins with Caleb, a cowboy on the prowl for a lady love; he finds one in Mae, a mysterious girl who needs to be home before dawn. Caleb bites off more than he can chew after he asks for a kiss and soon finds himself turning into a vampire. He is kidnapped by Mae’s “family” which includes Severen (Bill Paxton) and Jesse (Lance Hendrickson). Jesse tasks Caleb with making his first kill within two days or the family will kill him.

Meanwhile, Caleb’s father, Loy, along with his sister are on the hunt to find him and find him they do, while they narrowly escape from the family with Caleb in tow. At the end of the day Caleb figures out a way to stop the vampires and lives happily ever after.

There are a lot of interesting things about this film. First is the cast, which is pretty much half the cast of James Cameron’s “Aliens.”The other tie-in is the director, Katheryn Bigelow, who was married to Cameron at the time. I almost feel like as soon as “Aliens” wrapped Paxton and Hendrickson walked over to a set right across the street and started filming this.

Speaking of Paxton, he steals the show as Severen, the most loony of this vampire family. His antics in the bar scene make the film and show his comedic timing as well as his acting mania. People might give him crap for his overacting in “Aliens” but his overacting in “Near Dark” is exactly what is needed in this film.

Overall, “Near Dark” is a fun film and you can see the tidbits that shows like “True Blood” stole from this offbeat look on our favorite onscreen bloodsuckers.

Here are some other awesome flicks from 1987:

Bad Taste
Creepshow 2
Dolls
Evil Dead 2
Hellraiser
Nightmare of Elm Street 3
Opera

October 7, 2013

Simplistic Reviews Presents: Simply Horrifying featuring Tales from the Crypt Ep. 04

Welcome back fiendish freaks to another edition of Simply Horrifying.

“Cutting Cards” the third episode from Season Three stars Lance Henriksen, who you might remember from “Aliens” and “Pumpkinhead” and Kevin Tighe, who you might remember even better from “Road House” and who played Locke’s Daddy in the TV series “Lost,” as two high stakes gamblers with a love/hate relationship with each other.

Of course you know how gamblers get once the stakes get high; first you lose some money, then you lose your dignity, next thing you know you’re playing Russian Roulette and are starting to lose fingers.  Hey, have you even been to Vegas?

This is Walter Hill’s second episode as the director, his first since the show’s inaugural episode, “The Man Who Was Death” which starred William Sadler, who also starred in the first “Tales From the Crypt” themed film, “Demon Knight.”

While the episode is silly, it’s still unnerving because you have to believe that there are plenty of people in the world that really do go this far when it comes to gambling.

Check out the full review above, if you dare…….

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