American Gothic 1988 Review

Inspired by the famous painting by Grant Wood, this low budget horror film from the 1980’s is one of the most bizarre films I have watched in a long time.

This is a classic broken down car movie, in this case its a plane and our five young victims are stuck on a seemingly abandoned island, they begin camping for the night and the next morning they discover an old farm house which hasn’t changed since the 1900’s there is no electricity and all of the decor and furniture is old and worn, they assume the house is abandoned that is until the peculiar owners arrive.

The disturbing family that lives in this house are just as old fashioned as the house, they are all followers of god and live by his rules.

They all play a role and its quite strange, the mother and father are simple enough they follow very strict rules and swear by the lord but its the children that are the creepiest and most disturbing.

The daughter character Fanny believes herself to be 12 years old even though she is clearly a middle aged adult, she still plays with her dolls and cares for her dead baby which is literally the skeleton of a dead infant, its quite disgusting and could be upsetting for some viewers.

The two brother characters also play themselves as a much younger age, the big fella teddy is particularly dangerous and cannot control his own strength going as far as breaking someone neck without hardly touching it.

The ending of the film is quite unsettling and left me with a lot of questions, im going to discuss it now so if you dont want spoilers you may want to stop here !

The last survivor is Cythia, throughout the film we realise she is struggling from PTSD after she let her baby drown in the bath, she is clearly unwell and she becomes more and more detached from reality as her friends slowly turn up dead.

By the end of the film she has a chance to run away but chooses to go back to the house, here she is dressed up like a little child and begins acting that way aswell.

She eventually ends up killing Fanny over the baby declaring the corpse as her child and the rage of pulling its head off (yes I did warn you this is quite gross and in someways aged quite poorly) she winds up killing everyone else before returning to the baby’s room to rock its cradle.

What I was left wondering after the movie is why were these people living in the past? and are they all blood relations? The reason I ask the second question is because the one son Woody is quite old and doesn’t look too different to his “father” are these other people who have been lost on the island and brain washed? the reason why they live in the past I cant figure out apart from maybe its religious choices inspired by the Amish or something like that but I honestly have no idea.

I stumbled across this movie by complete accident and I am happy I did, its a very weird horror movie, its not scary but is disturbing and unsettling from a psychological standpoint. The dead baby is a bit much for me personally and I have to be honest I don’t really want to watch it again because of that, and its not that I’m offended but its just a bit too messed up for me to really enjoy it.

Baby cadavers aside this is an ok film, its a little slow at the beginning and apart from the family the main victims that we are meant to root for are pretty boring and not very relatable, I like the idea of the film but I feel its ambitious ideas do you leave it with more than one plothole and unanswered questions so I wouldn’t really recommend this unless you really like cheaply made, dumb horror flicks.

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

Follow me on Twitch ! https://www.twitch.tv/filmzguy

Thank You for all of your support.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

The Phantom of the Opera (1943) Review

movieposter

The Phantom of the Opera is the final review of the month and unfortunately its the worst film in the Universal Classic Monsters Collection.

Phantom-Rains2

Claude Rains who was well known for playing the Invisible Man takes on the role of Erique Claudin a violinist who is fired by the Paris Opera house after 20 years of service due to sudden arthritis in his left hand.

Phantom-of-the-Opera_main

Of  course anyone who knows the story of the book or stage play will know that Erique eventually becomes the Phantom and Claude Rains does an excellent job at playing both roles, in this production Christine is played by Susanna Foster, Susanna has quite an interesting past she went to a singing and acting school with the likes of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney she was only 17 when she took on the lead female role in Phantom of the Opera, two other big names in the film were Nelson Eddy who played Antone Garron and Edgar Barrier who played police officer Raoul Daubert.

phantomoftheopera4

In my personal opinion the best part of the movie was the sets, the Paris Opera House used in this adaption of the book was the same set that was built for the 1925 film of the same name starring Lon Chaney, if the Paris Opera House set wasn’t impressive enough another great set is the Phantoms home hidden underneath the Opera, the set is very gothic which helps to set the mood before the love interest rips off the Phantoms mask revealing his disfigurement.

6745_5

 

The 1943 adaptation of the Phantom of the Opera is ok and that’s unfortunately the best I can say for the movie, I really enjoyed the cast they were campy and fun, the movie used comedy in a way that it didn’t ruin the dark romantic atmosphere of the movie, Claude Rains did a fantastic job at playing the Phantom and the sets were all extremely memorable, the film was even filmed in Technicolour but even with all this going for it something was missing and that was the the monster movie I was promised, this is not a monster movie and I’m not even sure if I could class it as a horror, the Phantom of the Opera is more of a romantic drama with a dark coat of paint, even twilight has a vampires and werewolves but would you cast that a horror? At least Twilight had monsters which is something I cant say about this so why on earth was it included in a classic monster collection? To most it’s the Phantom of the Opera but to me its more like the Phantom of the Mediocre.

The Bluray for Phantom of the Opera wasn’t very generous with its bonus features it does have a documentary and a commentary track   but that’s about all that’s worth looking at.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

Thank you for joining me for all of these reviews, all of these movies had a great effect on horror movies today and even though they are old, most of them are not in colour and the effects aren’t great compared to CGI but they are still great films that need to be seen if only to help you appreciate how far film has come over the years.

Happy Halloween

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com