Sunday, December 30, 2012

My 100 Favorite Films of All Time #94: The Sinful Dwarf

If you’ve seen The Sinful Dwarf you haven’t forgotten it.  The 1973 Danish film starred Torben Bille as Olaf, a sick little man who lives with his alcoholic, ex-showbiz mother in a boarding house they own.  When he’s not hobbling around playing with toys, he’s luring attractive young women to the house where they are abducted, chained up in the attic, injected with heroin and turned into prostitutes.  Oh yeah, Olaf and mommy also smuggle heroin via a toy store.

Did I mention that Bille was apparently a host for a children’s television program prior to this and then later worked in the adult film industry?  Yeah, it’s a creepy movie.

The regular version of the film, with some of the strangest opening credits ever, is bad enough to watch.  The XXX version has about four minutes of hardcore sex scenes thrown in to amp up that perv factor to the nth degree.  That said, chances are that if you have masturbated to this film, you’ve probably committed some sort of sex crime.  I don’t think many would disagree.

From all reports, this film did very little business when first released in its native land.  Danes apparently have some sort of aversion to a drooling dwarf sodomizing women with his cane.  I, however, have no such qualms and relish this film just for its utter insanity.  It is such a product of its time that it couldn’t have been made in any other era than the early ‘70s. 

You could go your entire life not seeing this movie and not a thing will change for you.  Life is so short, however, and there are so many films out there that are just more of the same.  Boring comedies.  By-the-numbers action flicks.  Another Resident Evil.  Why not see this one?  I guarantee you can use it as a conversation starter at your next mixer.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive this film for review, and clicking on a link may earn me a commission.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My 100 Favorite Films of All Time #95: Zombie

Zombi 2 was released as Zombie in America.  The 1979 film is not, however, a sequel to Zombi, which was the overseas title for Dawn of the Dead.  It also went by Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Woodoo, and Zombie Flesh-Eaters.  Confused yet?  Don’t be.   Lucio Fulci’s film is a classic of zombie cinema and it is so over the top that it has inspired bands and has had scenes used in commercials.  What would expect from a movie whose tagline is “We Are Going to Eat You”?

The movie opens with an apparently abandoned yacht showing up in a New York harbor.  There’s really a zombie aboard, however, and it kills a cop.  Soon after the attack, the daughter of the yacht’s owner and a reporter are on their way to an island to find out just how all this happened.  It turns out that the island’s dead are zombies and after surviving their onslaught, the two take a zombie back to New York to prove their story.  It’s a little too late, however.  The cop who was attacked has turned into a zombie himself and the undead are taking a chunk out of the Big Apple.

The film has two really memorable scenes.  The first is an underwater piece where a zombie fights a shark.  No.  You didn’t read that wrong.  It’s a pretty cool moment in zombie cinema history.  The other scene involves a woman who is attacked by zombies who are beating their way through a door to get at her.  One zombie grabs the back of her head through a hole in the door and slowly starts to pull her toward him.  The problem?  There’s a massive splinter pointed right at her eye.  The ensuing eyeball violence is as disgusting as it is tension filled.

Fulci is no stranger to horror films, and this is Fulci at the peak of his game.  From the opening shots of the zombie on the yacht to the hordes of undead in New York, this movie does almost everything right.  Yeah, it is corny in places and the acting is what you’d expect from a Fulci film, but he is considered a master for a reason.  If you are a zombie fan (and these days it is the in thing to be – like eating organic and being bisexual), and you haven’t seen this … well, you aren’t really a zombie fan.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive this film to review, and if you click on a link I may earn a commission.