Exploitation Cinema


If you haven’t played the P.T. demo for the PS4 be aware that there are SPOILERS that follow.  Proceed at your own risk.

I’m not going to go into great detail about what P.T. is or how it came to be. The short version is that P.T. most likely stands for ‘Playable Trailer’, with a half a dozen other theories bopping about including the scientific name for a certain species of tree.  If you can successfully play through the trailer (it isn’t easy) you will be rewarded with an additional trailer for the secret of the game.  SPOILER follows:
The game is a teaser for a new Silent Hill apparently named Silent Hills.

I’m a horror nut, I’ve watched hundreds of horror films in my forty years on this earth and I’m not planning on stopping any time soon.  Lately though I’ve had better horror experiences in video games compared to movies.  I’m not really sure how to explain this, it may be the immersion quality of games where I am actually participating in the plot.  In the movies you yell at someone to not enter the basement, in a video game this is something you actually control.

Out of my top three horror video games of all time Silent Hill 2 ranks really close to the top.  The second installment is almost a perfect combination of suspense, atmosphere, music and resource management.  Criticism would be poor English voice acting, some confusing elements and too much walking from place to place.  The game is starting to age, even though I still pick it up and play a bit from time to time.  It is thirteen years old at this point, which is relatively ancient in video game terms, so it gets a lot of grace from me.

I fell in love with Silent Hill 2 many years ago and stuck with the franchise even when the franchise didn’t love me back.  I came at the P.T. demo backwards, finding out that it was a Silent Hill teaser before I played the game.  This was an accident, but with all the info being spread around about it I probably would have been spoiled before I got the chance to actually play no matter what.

When I finally sat down and was able to play P.T. something really interesting happened, I had to stop playing.  I stopped playing for the most embarrassing of reasons, I was too scared.  Now I am a grizzled horror veteran, and while my tastes run more towards creeping dread and suspense rather than splatter I have seen my share of the icky stuff.  I generally know how to read horror films so I get a bit of a telegraph before something happens.  P.T. was completely disorienting, difficult to read and played on my fears in a slow building way where I was terrified before I even realized it.  By the time an inevitable jump scare came I was not prepared and I lost it.

The last time something like that happened was in Dead Space, and before that it was Silent Hill 2.

If you make it all the way to the end and watch the final trailer it is revealed to be a Silent Hill game with participation from Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear Solid fame and my favorite modern director, Guillermo del Toro, a surprise bonus for me that means I will be paying close attention to the development of this game.

If you don’t have a PS4 and/or have no intention of playing you can get a partial experience by watching the video below.



Movie Posters of Yore

Look at that movie poster.  Don’t you wish that you would see these beautiful painted posters again instead of the giant floating head Photoshop posters we get now?  I’m not an ‘everything new is bad’ sort of guy but there are some luxuries of the past that I wish we had more of.

The Giallo

Dario Argento films in the Giallo genre are not for the faint of heart, but they have a special quality to them that is unique to Italian cinema. Phenomena is an especially odd film with some disjointed logic and a young girl who can telepathically communicate with insects.  It is Jennifer Connelly’s first film, has an excellent early score by Goblin and a wheelchair bound Donald Pleasence playing a Scotsman. Something for everyone.


Here is a long form possibly fan made trailer for the film. A bit melancholy, but I think it captures the mood of the film nicely.

Bonus Round

Phenomena inspired the 1995 Japanese point and click adventure game Clock Tower, even going so far as to copy Jennifer Connelly’s likeness plus scenes and plot lines directly from other Italian horror films.  Check it out below.

I consider myself a student of exploitation and B cinema but did not know this existed.  Kansas City Bomber is a 1972 movie starring the great Raquel and what appears to be real Roller Derby athletes.  I don’t much about this, but I guarantee that I will soon.  I expect my weekend will be filled with finding a good print of this.

Watch the video below and be amazed.

found via Messy Nessy Chic