John Otteni

Shocktober: Censor

Censor (2021)

If you’re a horror fan then you’re familiar with the “Video Nasties” movement of the 1980s. If not, let me take you across the pond. In the early ‘80s, VHS exploded. Anything and everything was coming out on videotape, but in the UK there was a loophole in film classification laws. Videos could bypass a review process and be sold regardless of content. Panic ensued.

In response, the British Board of Film Certification (BBFC) set out to not only censor films but outright ban titles. The “Video Nasties” was a list of 72 titles that were banned and deemed the most explicit. This list included some now classics like; The Evil Dead, Possession, Tenebrae, and pretty much any movie by Lucio Fulci or Joe D’Amato. Censor is a film that dives into the phenomenon.

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Shocktober: Relic

Relic (2020)

Familial Horror has been a dominant force in the horror genre sinces the success of Hereditary. I watched The Lodge earlier this month, which shares similar themes and ideas with Hereditary as does today’s film. What ties these films together is they highlight the fact that we are all bound by blood to our families. Which in a way means we are trapped by our families. Because no matter what you do, or say, or think about your family, they are always your family.

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Shocktober: The Lodge

The Lodge (2019)

I was on the fence about picking The Lodge for Shocktober. Even now I’m not sure if I should have gone with a different choice. I didn’t love the ending to this film but there is something special about it. I think a big part of that is the film’s directing/writing team Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. The two films made thus far by this Austrian aunt/nephew duo have both felt unique in the stories they tell and the way they tell them. Both are isolated films that claw at the psyche and both leave behind a cold lingering sensation long after watching them.

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Shocktober: Amer

Amer (2009)

This might be the most in the dark I’ve ever been going into a Shocktober pick. Though there were two big reasons I wanted to watch this movie. 1) This was included in “Fangoria’s 300 Best Horror Movies” list back in 2010. A list I’m still making my way through after all these years. 2) I saw a trailer for Let the Corpses Tan back in 2017 and knew I had to get around to diving into the work of husband and wife team Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani at some point

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Shocktober: Messiah of Evil

Messiah of Evil (1973)

I chose Messiah of Evil as my first entry for this year’s Shocktober for the talent involved. I’m referring to husband and wife writing/directing team Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz. The pair is best known for co-writing American Graffiti with George Lucas. They were also the screenwriters behind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and surprisingly, were script doctors on the original Star Wars. It’s believed that Huyck and Katz were responsible for fixing most of Leia’s dialogue and making her a more comedic character. They also wrote and directed Howard the Duck. Though we do not speak of such evil on this website.

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Shocktober: 15 Days of Fright

Welcome boils and ghouls to Mildly Pleased’s 12th Annual edition of “Shocktober”! This year we’re celebrating some of the finest female directors or dare I say “FEARmale” directors the genre has to offer.

We’ll cover established auteurs like Karyn Kusama, Kathryn Bigelow, Mary Lambert, Mary Harron, just to name a few. We’ll also cover some up and comers, a few husband and wife teams, even an aunt and nephew directing team. Because this blog is all about family.

We have films from Austria, France, Belgium, jolly old England, and of course the scariest place of all… America. So join us as we countdown Fifteen Days of Fright starting tomorrow. Also, we’re only posting on the weekdays, so don’t get too confused by that 15 days thing. Anyways, I’m sure you’ll find it appealing or dare I say APPALLING?!?

Criterion Month Day 30: Certain Women

Certain Women (2016)

I can’t believe I almost forgot to write my last review for Criterion Month! I was distracted watching a guy get his fingers ripped off in the latest Saw. It made me feel dirty. Not this movie though. Quite the opposite. Like Colin said in his review of Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy, the unassuming nature of some of Reichardt’s work is a warm bath compared to a lot of overstimulated modern media. Which is good cuz I need something to wash off all the blood and cartilage from these finger bones.

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