Thursday, October 24, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #276: Rituals

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. We're still in October, so it's time for another Halloween-themed edition. This time, the theme is "Rituals":

Er, not that Rituals, but horror movies that have various rituals. I had to think about this one for a bit, since horror movies aren't my favorite and I also had to think about movies that I've used recently. I think the following three choices all work and havent been used by me recently:

Scream Blacula Scream (1973). William Marshall returns as Blacula, who is brought back to life in a voodoo ritual by Pam Grier's jealous brother. Blacula, of course, feels a compulsion to bite people and turn them into vampires, including the brother. But Blacula knows what's going on and doesn't want to be a vampire, hoping that there's a voodoo ritual to make him no longer undead.

Devils of Darkness (1964). Hubert Noel plays a vampire in Brittany who marries his latest wife in a Gypsy ritual. A British tourist accidentally steals the group's magic talisman, and Noel follows him back to the UK to get that talisman. Odd deaths follow.

The Omen (1976). Gregory Peck plays the US Ambassador to Britain who, with his wife Lee Remick wants a child. They wind up adopting the newborn Damien after his mother died in childbirth and Remick gave birth to a stillborn child. What they don't realize is that Damien is in fact the Antichrist. Our ambassador realizes he's going to have to kill Damien in a ritual killing involving daggers and an altar.


joel65913 said...

Those are fun picks.

Scream Blacula Scream is in no way a good film but enjoyable 70's cheese.

The same could be said of Devils of Darkness though it has a more circumspect 60's British feeling.

The Omen is by far the best of the trio with big stars and better direction. I remember when it came out and how huge an event it was.

I went with older titles as well, one much older, the first like The Omen was a cultural event when it debuted.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)-Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow in full pixie mode) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (Sidney Blackmer & Ruth Gordon who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar). When Rosemary discovers she’s pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, the now successful Guy begins to change in disturbing ways and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth. Roman Polanski’s first American film is a classic of sustained dread.

The Eye of the Devil (1966)-French vintner Philippe de Montfaucon (David Niven) returns to Bordeaux with his wife Catherine (Deborah Kerr) when the estate falls on hard times. Upon arrival they are confronted by the beautiful witch Odile de Caray (Sharon Tate in her starring debut), who also lives on the estate with her brother Christian (David Hemmings). As time passes it becomes clear that a ritual sacrifice is expected to return the vineyard to its former glory.

Häxan (1922)-Silent film explores the history of witchcraft, demonology and Satanism. Lacing a narrative of the persecution of a woman accused of witchcraft through its representations of evil in a variety of ancient and medieval artworks and offering vignettes illustrating a number of superstitious practices. The film ends by suggesting that the modern science of psychology offers important insight into the beliefs and practices of the past. Fantastic hybrid of documentary and fiction.

Birgit said...

I haven’t seen the sequel but I love Blacula which is so campy plus I always loved William Marshall. I haven’t see your second pick but The Omen is very scary.