Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Sign Of The Apocalypse

The Wayans brothers have a new film out. This shit is in the Bible. It's a sign of doom. I beg of you people, if you have any self-respect, do not see their movies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Umm, thanks?

I made a mistake ... maybe. I recommended Cannibal Holocaust (see the trailer here) to a friend. I recommended it with Haute Tension. She rented both. She was not exactly thankful for my recommendations, though she liked the slasher more than the cannibals.

I felt bad about recommending Deodato's classic of Italian cinema. I feel real bad. I warned her about the real animal violence and the sexual violence, but still. When I told her it had run into legal problems and had been banned, she had to see why. Had I known she would be watching it alone, I would have recommended against it or told her to come over and watch it with me. It's not exactly a film you should view alone, as many of you who have seen it know. It's grisly. There's no better term. I tried to warn her...

In the end, all is good. She doesn't hate me all that much. I don't know if she'll take any of my recommendations to heart again, but that may be for the best. I hate to think I ruined someone's weekend.

As for the people I hate, you should all rent this feel-good flick for your after Thanksgiving viewing party. Your family will love it. Just make sure you have some buckets handy. You'll need something to catch the puke.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Screaming Baby

This baby from Eraserhead, one of David Lynch's films, creeps me out to know end. It's especially creepy when it gets sick. I don't know why it disturbs me so badly, but it may be because I keep thinking of it as a baby deer with no limbs. Good Lord, what is wrong with Lynch?

The first time I saw this movie I thought it was incomprehensible. After viewing it several more times, I still feel the same way. It's a Lynch film. If you've seen any of his movies you know they are less like narratives and more like dreamscapes. This film is no different. Endless shots of Jack Nance's staring eyes, game hens on plates that still move, a baby that won't stop screaming. Anyone who gives birth to that alien-looking thing should have dashed it on the rocks as soon as it took its first breath. It's the same thing that should have happened to G.W. Bush.
(Ahh, that was unfair. I'm sure he's a product of love.)

Thank you, Mr. Lynch for freaking me out, and still being able to do so to this day. I don't know how or why you did it, but you did it and did it well.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Do You Do This?

A friend asked me to recommend a film this weekend. I told her I really liked The Devil's Rejects, but warned her it could be disturbing. (Turns out I did not have to worry about that as she sent me one of the most out-of-left-field texts I have ever received, and if I wonder if I should be the one disturbed.) She then asked for other recommendations, and I mentioned the film pictured here, Cannibal Holocaust.

I gave the usual warnings. Sexual violence. Real animal cruelty. I figured it was a safe recommendation after the text I got, but you never know. It seems like, however, whenever someone asks for my recommendations I have to throw in a caveat. When I write my reviews for Film Threat I often have to do the same thing. It comes from a time I just would recommend a film and then have someone flip out on me.

How do you recommend something like Cannibal Holocaust without seeming like a total maniac? I'm not sure you can ... at least not with most people.

The friend I recommended it to said she may work her way up to that one and asked if I had anything in between the two films. (She has since watched The Devil's Rejects again and liked it even more the second time. Should I be worried?)

I recommended I Stand Alone to a few friends. Most of them thought my warnings weren't stern enough, though they all agreed it was a good film. (It's actually a great film that ranks up there as one of the best of all time.) It seems like its a no-win situation. Hell, I've lost friends over film recommendations (Amateur Porn Star Killer comes to mind).
So how do you remedy that?

You don't.

I learned the hard way that no matter what you say about a film, no matter what warnings you give, the end reaction is on the shoulders of each individual viewer. As a critic and friend, you can only tell people what's in the movie, why you like it, and why they might like it. You'll either come off as a prick or a breath of fresh air. My experience, though, shows that you'll usually be the prick. But it all becomes worth it when you get a text like the one I received. You make someone's day and turn them onto a film you love. It doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Sickos!

The above trailer is Eli Roth, the man behind the Hostel franchise. It played between films during Grindhouse, a film that ultimately failed. It wasn't horrible, but it lacked spark. The trailers, however, were prime.

Fans of the film can order the Japanese version at Play-Asia. I don't think you'll be disappointed, but I have to admit that if it weren't for the trailers, I would have been even more disappointed. Roth's trailer shows why.

Roth's contribution, besides acting in Death Proof, is filled with bad taste and great imagination. I thought the thing was funny as hell. Others think it is mean spirited. (One of the people I saw the film for actually groaned when he saw the end of the trailer. Watch carefully.) To me it's like a Tom and Jerry cartoon only with vaginal skewering and borderline necrophiliac blow jobs. Yea!

Honestly, I'd love to see Roth's trailer as a feature-length film, along with a couple of the other ones that played. (Hear that, Mr. Zombie? I was lucky enough to talk to your co-star Sybil Danning at some L.A. function two years ago and she told me you had shot about a half hour of the movie and was thinking of doing Werewolf Women of the SS as a feature. What are you waiting for?) They'd be much better than the crap that is coming out this summer. An over played comic book movie? A sci-fi "re-imagining"? Another giant robots fighting film? God, why not just throw in another Apatow comedy to cap it off? Oh, wait ...

Roth and Zombie, hop to it. Horror/exploitation cinema needs you. I need you. Thanksgiving and Nazis need you. I'm begging you. Save cinema.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


If you like horror films of the slasher variety, chances are you've seen Maniac. It's a fairly nasty, sleazy, gritty slasher film -- the kind that gets feminists up in arms, and it's not exactly easy to defend against their accusations. Just look at the freakin' poster.

The movie is not great. Not even close. I'm not a huge slasher fan. I think most slasher films don't try hard enough. This film tries hard, and gets it right, but the film still doesn't quite do it for me. The killer is pretty realistic, but what really impresses me is how this film has taken on an almost legendary status, even going so far as to have homage in Haute Tension. (And no, it's not that opening decapitated head oral sex scene, which was quite a way to open a film.)

I've written about this film before on Film Threat, so my feelings on it are fairly well known. I'm writing about it again because I've read of remake rumors, and as with most remakes it is a bad idea.

Can this film be remade effectively? Of course not. It's a different culture, a different era. Hell, I don't even think they could do the poster today. Yet, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they will try and people will go to it. Hopefully those people will check out the original. They won't feel good after viewing it, but at least they can say they saw a film from a time period when filmmaking was still actually dangerous.