* The Strange World of Coffin Joe
This is a Portugese anthology film that is low budget and pushes boundaries. Despite being made the same year as Rosemary's Baby, they couldn't be more different. My big problem with the film wasn't the budget or the bad acting, but the fact the rape and sexual assault are an integral part of every segment.
The first segment is The Dollmaker and the best of the film. An aged doll maker and his young, beautiful daughters create the most realistic dolls due to grisly additions. Of course some men hear how rich he is, attack him, and view his beautiful daughters as a bonus. This story has the most in common with Tales from the Crypt with their way of punishing the wicked in a horrific way. I found the resolution the most chilling of all the stories.
The second segment Obsession features a homeless man in love with an unattainable, beautiful woman. She has her own idyllic life, but it's ruined on her wedding day. It's impressive that the story is told with very few lines of dialogue, like a grisly silent film. The homeless man is sympathetic through most of the film until the end.
The last segment is Theory where a deranged man wants to prove his insane sociological theories through torture. This was the worst of the segments because it went on for so long. It also seemed to be trying really hard to be disturbing. The ending was predictable and ridiculous
Overall, The Strange World of Coffin Joe is a film that I would never normally watch. While I didn't like most of it, I thought it was an interesting watch. I just wish the film wouldn't have relied so much on the graphic sexual abuse of women, which was the only common thread in every film.
* The Witches
A society of witches meets at the same hotel as a boy and his grandmother with a plot to get rid of all of the children in England and then the world. Anjelica Huston plays the Grand High Witch to perfection. In her human form, the Witch is beautiful and dressed in the height of fashion. Outside of her disguise, her features are grotesque and overexaggerated. The witches in this world absolutely hate children and even the scent of children disgusts them. The first half of the film has true suspense and a lot more horror than I expected. Once the boy is turned into a mouse, it gets a little too cheesy for me. The suspense left and comedy dominates instead. I'm glad I watched it, but only half of it was impressive. I wish I would have watched this when I was little.
My rating: 3.5.5 fishmuffins