...and counting
October 5, 2018 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Scott Ashlin reviews horror, sci-fi, fantasy, giallo, b-movies, and trash from across the entire history of film at 1000 Misspent Hours (previously). Despite the occasionally lurid subject matter and defiantly old school HTML styling, Ashlin's reviews are thoughtful, literate, and often take unexpected detours into critical and historical minutiae. (His review of the 1946 gothic melodrama Dragonwyck, for example, contains a brief history of the Hudson Valley Rent War, and recent coverage of Green Room draws on the author's experience with a touring punk band.) A number of films paired with Ashlin's reviews wait below the cut.

[A note on the following movies: with a few exceptions here and there, I've only linked horror/horror-adjacent films that are both available on YouTube and scored at least an absolute value of three according to Ashlin's "way-too-fucking-complicated rating system." While I've omitted some of the nastier films, much of what follows will be NSFW, as most workplaces frown on the screening of full-length horror movies. There is a decided spike in violence, gore, and prurience around the early sixties, and another spike in ten years later. Ashlin's reviews usually contain poster art, which can be itself be NSFW.]

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) ***½
J'accuse (1919) ***
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) ***
The Golem (1920) ***
The Phantom Carriage (1921) ***
Nosferatu (1922) ****
Häxan (1922) ***½
The Hands of Orlac (1924) ***
The Bat (1926) ***
The Cat and the Canary (1927) ***½
Seven Keys to Baldpate (1929) ***
The Old Dark House (1932) ½
The Ape (1940) -***
The Devil Bat (1940) -***
Gaslight (1940) ****
The Undying Monster (1942) ***
The Mummy's Tomb (1942) ***
The Ape Man (1943) -***
Dead Men Walk (1943) ***
The Catman of Paris (1946) -***
Dragonwyck (1946) ***
The Face of Marble (1946) -**½
The Spiral Staircase (1946) ***
The Amazing Mr. X (1948) ***
Man in the Attic (1953) ***
The Maze (1953) ***
X the Unknown (1956) ***
The Beginning of the End (1957) -***½
Fiend Without a Face (1957) -****
The Giant Claw (1957) -*****
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) ***½
The Vampire (1957) ***
Attack of the Puppet People (1958) ***
The Crawling Eye (1958) ***½
Earth vs. the Spider (1958) -***½
Frankenstein's Daughter (1958) -***½
The House on Haunted Hill (1958) ****
How to Make a Monster (1958) ***
I Bury the Living (1958) ***
Night of the Ghouls (1958) -***
I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) ***
The Return of Dracula (1958) ***
The Snorkel (1958) ***
The Thing that Couldn't Die (1958) ***
The Vampire's Coffin (1958) ***
The Amazing Transparent Man (1960) ***
The Bat (1959) ***
The Brain that Wouldn't Die (1959) -****
A Bucket of Blood (1959) ***
Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (1959) -***
Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) -***½
The Killer Shrews (1959) ***½
Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) -****
Terror is a Man (1959) ***
The Wasp Woman (1959) ***
Horror Hotel / The City of the Dead (1960) ***½
The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) ***½
The Manster (1960) -***
13 Ghosts (1960) -***
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) ***½
Amphibian Man (Russian, no subtitles) (1961) ***
Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) -***
The Brainiac (1961) -***
Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961) -***
The Innocents (1961)***½
The Snake Woman (1961) -***½
These are the Damned (1961) ****
Carnival of Souls (1962) ***½ (previously)
Dementia 13 (1963) **½
The Ghost (1963) ***
The Kiss of the Vampire (1963) ***
Nightmare / There’s the Knife, Dear—Now Use It! (1963) ***½
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964) ***
Devil Doll (1964) ***
The Horror of Party Beach (1964) -***½
The Night Walker (1964) ***
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) -***½ (previously)
The Curse of the Fly (1965) ***
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) ***
The Eye Creatures (1965) -***½
The Satan Bug (1965) ***½
"Manos" The Hands of Fate (1966) -**** (previously)
2+5 Mission Hydra (1966) -***½
Eye of the Devil (1967) ***½
Maneater of Hydra (1967) -***
Viy (1967) ***½
Astro Zombies (1968) -***
The Devil Rides Out (1968) -***
The Green Slime (1968) -***½
Night of the Living Dead (1968) ****½
100 Monsters (Japanese, no subtitles) (1968) ***
Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968) ***½
It's Alive! (1969) -***
Sole Survivor (1970) **½
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) ***
The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971) ***½
Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) -*****
The House that Dripped Blood (1971) **½
Psychomania (1971) -**
Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971) ***½
Wake in Fright (1971) ***½
Blood Freak (1972) -**** (previously)
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) **
The Frogs (1972) -***
Gargoyles (1972) ***
The Thing with Two Heads (1972) -*** (previously)
Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973) ***
The Legend of Hell House (1973) ***½
Theatre of Blood (1973) ****
Beyond the Door (1974) ***½
Black Christmas (1974) ****
Death Race 2000 (1975) ****
The Devil's Rain (1975) -***
The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) -***½
The Stepford Wives (1975) ***
Trilogy of Terror (1975) ***
Burnt Offerings (1976) **
God Told Me To (1976) ***
The Omen (1976) ***½
Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977) -***½
The Incredible Melting Man (1977) -***½
Shock Waves (1977) ***½
The White Buffalo (1977) -***
Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century (1977) -***
The Boys From Brazil (1978) ***½
Dawn of the Dead (1978) ****
Magic (1978) ***½
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) *****
Death Ship (1980) -***
Prom Night (1980) ***½
Saturn 3 (1980) ***½
The Boogens (1981) ***
The Burning (1981) ***½
Sole Survivor (1983) ***½
Creature (1985) ***
Day of the Dead (1985) ***
Demons (1985) ****
Chopping Mall (1986) ***
The Hitcher (1986) ***½
Rawhead Rex (1986) ***
Brain Damage (1987) ***½
Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987) -****
Phantasm II (1988) ***
Mr. Frost (1989) ***½
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1989) ****
Shakma (1990) -***
Dead Alive (1993) ****
To Catch a Yeti (1995) -***
I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (1998) ***½
Ring (1998) ****
Versus (2000) ***½
Dog Soldiers (2001) ***½
posted by Iridic (22 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I just went to his site and randomly grabbed the review for the notorious Christiane F.

That was great! I'm looking forward to eating up all of this.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:32 PM on October 5, 2018

He needs 10x as many misspent hours before he masters them.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2018

Wonderful post! Can't wait to dig in!
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2018

So many of these movies are MST3K episodes, but he never mentions it?
posted by wittgenstein at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2018

He does mention "the merciless beating The Eye Creatures received on Mystery Science Theater 3000," and he namechecks MST3k in other reviews. (For what it's worth, I posted the MST3k version of The Horror of Party Beach, Beast of Yucca Flats, and a few others. There's also some Commander USA in there somewhere, original commercials included, and The Mummy's Tomb was apparently taped during "Christopher Lee Mummy Week" on SciFi. )
posted by Iridic at 2:00 PM on October 5, 2018

What?! No Dr. Tongue's House of 3D Stewardesses?!
I am disappoint.
posted by evilDoug at 2:30 PM on October 5, 2018

Oh, hey, Gargoyles. I love that movie.
posted by valkane at 3:37 PM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh wow, this is great. He reminds me of multiple friends of mine. A lot of interesting backstory on some obscure movies (like I didn't know Abby, the blacksploitation Exorcist ripoff, had been sued out of theaters). I bet he has a Cinemageddon account.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:45 PM on October 5, 2018

"...the true brilliance of Theater of Blood may lie in its implicit acknowledgement of its own obsolescence."

posted by fairmettle at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've sampled my share of the genre, and feel pretty strongly that Fiend Without A Face is the finest drive-in trash you will ever see.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2018

He's good writer, good analyst, but, man, am I tired of youngin's that don't get 2001: A Space Odyssey, that think it was supposed to make sense. Drugs these days must be terrible!
posted by Chitownfats at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2018

Dragonwyck is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's great to read a thoughtful review from someone who appreciates it as much as I do. I especially liked:
Actually, Nicholas Van Ryn turns out to be Vincent Prince, which is probably the most ominous possibility of all.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:08 PM on October 5, 2018

I applaud his entirely correct opinions about Saturn 3 and Death Race 2000 and can only hope he also correctly enjoys Zardoz as this weirdly prescient movie about the Singularity hidden under layers of hippy dippy frosting.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:31 PM on October 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

These are a lot of fun to read. I'm not that big a fan of horror so I found myself pretty quickly exploring the ones that veered off that path. There are some clever and fun turns of phrase sprinkled through the reviews.

…because the mad rush to get the ship out of spacedock results in Sonak getting Brundled by a matter transporter that nobody had checked yet to see if it actually worked before beaming him aboard.

That bit from his Start Trek:  The Motion Picture review had me laughing out loud for a good three minutes, and I'm still suffering from afterlaughs every few minutes at "brundled."
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:22 PM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sites like these definitely spawn misspent hours. That chronological index.
posted by filtergik at 4:21 AM on October 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pray, what are those nastier films some of which you have omitted?
posted by Captain Fetid at 10:25 AM on October 6, 2018

I love that in the Saturn 3 review, Ashlin pins Harvey Keitel as the guy from Star Knight and Dusk Till Dawn.

Pulp Fiction? Bad Lieutenant? Taxi Driver? Fuck that. Star Knight.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 10:29 AM on October 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

what are those nastier films

Cannibal movies; Sleepaway Camp, on account of what I find a less than tasteful twist; movies with sexual violence in the foreground. The high sleaze of 70s Italian horror/giallo isn't my thing, so that scene is underrepresented in my post relative to its prevalence on 1000 Misspent Hours and YouTube.

I love that in the Saturn 3 review, Ashlin pins Harvey Keitel as the guy from Star Knight and Dusk Till Dawn.

Endearingly, Ashlin introduces every actor that way as long as they have at least two genre credits.
posted by Iridic at 11:08 AM on October 6, 2018

Well, kiss the next few hours/days of my life goodbye....
posted by gtrwolf at 6:27 PM on October 6, 2018

What a fucking great post! There's so much fun writing at that site, and the effort you put in to highlight it, Iridic, is wonderful. Thanks so much for this one.

I love this, from the final paragraph of the White Buffalo review:

All in all, The White Buffalo is an impressive bit of only-in-the-70’s strangeness. Half-assed genre-blending, incompatible story aims, Deeper Meanings that flop and thrash for a moment and then die unmourned like teratological specimens—it’s a feast for the drug-addled mind. The film is simultaneously slick and cheesy-looking, redolent throughout of lots of money unwisely spent. Charles Bronson’s performance shoots for “world-weary,” but hits only “getting too old for this shit.” And to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think I know at all where the bad ideas, faithfully realized, end, and where the straight fuck-ups begin. 

"Bad ideas, faithfully realized" is my new go-to description of B-movie heaven.
posted by mediareport at 5:55 AM on October 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

I used to read 10KMH&C frequently, along with a number of other genre movie review sites like Stomp Tokyo, The Bad Movie Report, and Cold Fusion Video Reviews (I also used to write for one myself. Many of the latter have mostly stopped updatoing or vanished entirely. It's good to see El Santo is still going strong.
posted by Gelatin at 5:35 AM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ok, Metafilter, between this, this and this, I'm never getting any work done ever again.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:42 AM on October 8, 2018

« Older Je suis un Génie, jongleur, magicien   |   Safe House Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments