Supernatural films and series (OT)

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Supernatural films and series (OT)

Postby HiFranc on Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:29 am

In another place I've seen opponion lists of "good" and "bad" vampire movies. That got me thinking:

What supernatural movie/series would you think is worth a look and why?
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Postby ShardZ on Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:45 am

I dunno about "worth a look," but the mythology behind the "Underworld" movie was... different. I think. The two children born to a man who carried a powerful genetic anolmaly, one being bitten by a bat, the other by a wolf, resulting in the first vampire and werewolf. For some reasons I can't recall, the two sides eventually entered into eternal warfare. The origin myth may have been disregarded by the "sophisticated" members of supernatural society as well...

I'd be interested if anyone knows of works (books, movies, webcomics, whatever) that have werewolves created not through "scientific" means (like a virus transmitted through contact), but through the older folkoric versions: wearing the skin of a wolf, or a "wolf strap" (I'm guessing something like a belt?), or a strap made from the skin of a hanged man... fun stuff, but I suppose not satisfactory for today's "rational" society.

But that's just something that I'd find to be "worth a look." Carry on.
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Postby HiFranc on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:05 am

If you're looking for a vampire series that uses a scientific reason (of sorts) then you could try Ultraviolet. It was a series on British television in the 90s. The series has the feel of a police or spy drama series rather than a thriller or horror.[1]

Ultraviolet from Amazon (UK)

Ultraviolet from Amazon.com

Thank you very much for your suggestion. I loved the first Underworld film and am looking forward to number 2.

{edit 2}I just had a thought. I just remembered a film from the 90s called The Breed in which vampires are an ethnic minority. It's an odd film as it 1940s feel for clothes and vehicles but modern computers. I think that was to show the way society treated the vampires was much like the way minorities were treated then. That also has a scientific basis for the vampirism.

The story is that a vampire is going round killing people. A human cop is teamed up with, against his wishes, a vampire cop.

These films are more typical of supernatural stories:

Of course, there's Queen of the Damned. For those who've not heard of it, the story is that Lestat is woken by a rock group. He makes a deal with them, he won't feed on them if they let him join their band (and lets him write songs for them). Their music wakes up a terrible ancient vampire who was turned to stone because she was so extreme she outraged other vampires.

I would also recommend the original Pirates of the Caribbean as well. Some pirates steal some treasure which is cursed. Years later they seek out the descendent of the crew member that left the ship to lift the curse.

[1] On top of that, as the official Amazon reviewers point out, the word "vampire" is never used in the series.
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Postby ShardZ on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:56 am

HiFranc wrote:If you're looking for a vampire series that uses a scientific reason (of sorts) then you could try Ultraviolet. It was a series on British television in the 90s. The series has the feel of a police or spy drama series rather than a thriller or horror.


Interesting... it sounds kind of like an actualization of the "Porphyria" thories and such, to explain how the folklore originated (like lycanthropy, rabies, etc. for werewolves). I actually don't know a whole lot about the original vampire tales (really just the basics of Lillith--religion/mythology and Dracula--retellings=superstition?) which is why I stuck with the "werewolf" topic. (Seriously, anyone? I'm not well-versed in modern supernatural pop-culture...)

I guess I just hate to think that our culture is losing a bit of that "history," when popular folklore eclipses the old legends, until they seem to only exist in dusty volumes compiled decades, even centuries ago. If I can know that someone is paying homage to the true legends, I suppose I'll feel better (in essence, I'm looking away from scientific reasoning).

But enough out of me... how about the "American Werewolf in London" series (or whichever came first). I was intrigued by the sub-plot that the humans killed by a werewolf were "trapped"--spiritually bound to that wolf and able to be seen by and interact with them (and, as time passed, manifesting in the proper state of decay--ugh!), only to be released once the werewolf was killed. Not sure if it was supposed to be torture for the human, or the werewolf, or both...

EDIT: I'm sorry... I just re-read the first post. Was this thread supposed to focus on vampires specifically, or the supernatural in general? If the former, I apologize.

I enjoyed the "Lost Boys" movie. It seemed to have the standard abilities, but allowed the hapless turned victim to discover them on his own... such as waking up and realizing he was floating, and had no clue how to keep himself from drifting out his bedroom window and into the night (more levitation/flying than a simple switch in personal gravity). At times, a very humorous movie.
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Postby HiFranc on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:10 am

ShardZ wrote:[...]

EDIT: I'm sorry... I just re-read the first post. Was this thread supposed to focus on vampires specifically, or the supernatural in general? If the former, I apologize.


Supernatural films in general. Sorry, I should have made it clearer.

Thank you for the tips.
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Postby ShardZ on Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:05 am

Come to think of it... did you start this thread as a source of material in addition to review sites like Reel Advice by Steve Anderson? Considering the scarcity of posters on this forum (but I see you watching, people! I SEE you!!) it seems better to post in that forum... even if only to converse with Steve.

I don't know where Steve used to post his columns, or if they can be found on multiple sites, but now that they're an official neighbor to "Tangents" at Panel2Panel... I sense a potential for cross-promotion all around.
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Postby HiFranc on Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:37 am

It's a thought. However, I'm not sure (looking a the list of films he's reviewed) that the films there would be to my taste...
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Postby ShardZ on Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:17 pm

Ah. I suppose I was impressed by the sheer number and variety of films (seemed to be a lot of ghosts, zombies, and generally creepy supernatural stuff) because my parents didn't let us watch a lot of that stuff growing up, and my only knowledge of supernatural films comes from the widely publicized movies-and-tv examples. The films on "Reel Advice" often seem like independent projects, which I'd never thought about.

But back to movies! I recently saw "Jeepers Creepers 2," and I can't tell which disappointed me more... the first movie for not showing the Creeper in as much detail as it could have, and being otherwise cryptic, or the second for being so different from the original in terms of plot devices that it might as well have been a stand-alone piece. They were both good in their own right, but put together, I found them too varied in style (for my tastes).
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Postby Crystalis on Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:25 am

Eh, Underworld .... underwhelmed me, sadly. I was really hoping that I'd like it, as I tend to like that genre of movies in general, and I just found myself disappointed overall in the movie. I realize that the movie is a movie about vampires and werewolves and as such we're going to have to suspend belief a bit. That in general I have no problem with.

The suspension of belief I *did* take issue with was after they specifically showed us a shot of the heroine putting a clip with roughly 8 bullets into her gun and then the following scene she shoots a few dozen times prior to reloading with the same 8 bullet sized clip. If you're going to bother showing them needing to reload, either don't let us see the clip size or make it appropriate to the number of shots you're going to have them fire before they reload! Seriously, if you wanna John Woo it up and make them have infinate bullets, that's cool by me. Just don't try and add the realism of having them reload, show us the clips, and then discard that piece of information when the shooting starts.

The other suspension of belief I had to take issue with was a scene wherein the heroine is under attack by the 'bad guys' and some dozen men with automatic guns, mostly machine guns of some variety, charge into the room with her, take cover, and attempt to shoot her. Her response? She drops to one knee and slowly and calmly shoots each of them with one or two bullets, killing them. She doesn't use her vampiric reflexes to shoot them all before they can open fire, the scene is upwards of a minute in length and they are firing at her the entire time. She never once even has to DODGE, is behind no cover, and the entire squad of bad guys suffers a severe bout of 'stormtrooper' syndrome, wherein they expend all of their bullets and manage to come close, but never hit her. My primary issue with this is that machine guns by their nature do not require huge amounts of skill in aiming. If you have 30 bullets that will take 4 or 5 seconds to discharge assuming you simply hold the trigger until the clip is empty, you can just wiggle the gun around and pretty much be sure everything within a 10 foot radius is going to get hit at least ONE time. Sadly, the poor bad guys are unaware of this fact, and spend the entire time shooting at whatever they aim at first, which is never the heroine. Our unruffled heroine unloads her 8 round clip, killing the dozen plus bad guys, reloads, and then walks calmly out, with narry a scratch.

But hey, if you can suspend the entirety of your belief when watching a movie and these little details don't sound like dealbreakers to you, then the rest of the movie gets a B-.
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Postby ShardZ on Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:03 am

I'll pretend Crystalis' observations are part of the reason I didn't comment on the actual plot of Underworld, just the mythology behind it... :nervous: Sadly, I'm not quick enough to catch John Woo-type details unless I've heard about them beforehand.

However, while I mentioned that the decomposing ghosts of the "American Werewolf in..." movies intrigued me, I'll gladly get into a bashfest about the weres' atrocious body structure and morphing. :D I mean, they added an entirely new joint to their legs! Someone failed anatomy... or at least zoned out during the trip to the zoo for references.
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Postby HiFranc on Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:57 am

I recently saw a Japanese film called Ashura which I think people here would like. It's a film about an elite fighting force of Japan, an actor(?) and demons.
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