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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Calvaire: You Can Dress Him Up, But You Can't Take Him Out

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One of the lesser mentioned films that has come from the warmly received wave of extreme French horror, 2004's Calvaire is a Belgium lensed, character-focused psychological-thriller with a heavy art-house cinema influence. The setting is familiar, with a backdrop that consists of a dreary Belgium countryside that essentially gives you a clear indication of the type of film you're in for - even if it goes in directions that one would not expect. Taking a page from most any horror film set in a secluded rural area, Calvaire (aka The Ordeal) follows an unsuccessful singer for hire, Marc (Laurent Lucas), as he sets out on a road trip to his next gig. Unsurprisingly, Marc runs into some car trouble on the way and is forced to shack up for the evening at a rundown inn owned by a seemingly kind and lonely older man, (ahem) Paul Bartel (Jackie Berroyer).

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Over the course of the film (which is actually quite brief with its 83-minute runtime), it's the standard tale of an outsider trying to get where he needs to be, but there just seems to be one obstacle after another preventing this from happening. I'll be getting into some spoiler territory, so feel free to take off if you're not okay with having this one exposed for you. Bartel is the character that, for much of the film, goes back and forth as being the maybe he is, maybe he isn't a creep type of guy. Nevertheless, as soon as it becomes clear that Bartel is shady (which is somewhat far into the film), he goes from slightly odd to full on psycho in the blink of an eye; forcibly enslaving Marc for the sole purpose of him unwillingly becoming the replacement for his wife that had left him long before. 

calvaire4Throughout the film, Marc is portrayed as a sort of unwilling stud, with old women and nurses throwing themselves at him in the most pathetic of ways. There's really no indication that Marc deserves this attention as he is far from likeable, and I would feel very comfortable in assuming that he is more than likely gay, whether or not it's ever actually alluded to. This carries over to Bartel, who is, as I mentioned, all about Marc, but in a way that is vastly more delusional in that he believes that Marc is actually his wife. It doesn't end there, however, as a character played by the butcher himself, Philippe Nahon, shows up and it is learned that he too believes that Marc is this women that Bartel loves, and guess what? He loves him/her too! 

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Meant to be as shocking as it is strange, Calvaire is inflated with a handful of oddities; such as, its off kilter reveal, a bestiality scene (which is a major fucking warning sign, Marc), and this strange dance sequence where a bar full of more than likely inbred men (including Nahon's character) dance what appears to be a drunken, slowed down version of the pogo. The characters have a certain amount of depth to them, but there's never any payoff with anyone as there is nobody that I could even remotely sympathize with. Even Marc, who catches a fair amount of abuse, is such a crybaby bitch-ass that I could do no more than feel disgusted by his lack of strength. Apparently, Bartel is supposed to be the one to feel sorry for, but that works about as good as saying that a Nazi isn't so bad if he has cancer. 

calvaire1From a weak attempt at black comedy, false subtext, and random religious undertones, Calvaire simply feels like a bunch of shit thrown into a toilet and whatever flushes, flushes. This could be mistaken as horror with flourishes of art, I suppose, but it lacks the correct strokes to give it such weight. What irks me most is that director, Fabrice Du Welz, claims that there are really only two characters in the film: Marc and Bartel. Welz states that the rest of the characters in Calvaire are all some variation of Bartel's madness (remember, everyone LOVES Marc). Thanks for telling me that, director person, because nowhere does this film express this notion, therefore it only exists as an idea that you were not able to portray on screen. Good thing you're here to tell us after the fact, right?

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This film is what I would like to call an imposter, a phony – a film that tries to be more than what it is by doing certain things to get certain reactions in the hopes that it will be mistaken for something better than it is. Unfortunately, I had not a single reaction outside of boredom and disdain. Calvaire tries to be different for no other reason than to do so, and I see right through it. You cannot fool me into thinking you're surreal with a random creepy dance sequence (even if the song was bad-ass). Nicolas Winding Refn did that in Bronson, and it worked because that film had what it took to pull off surrealism in a way that doesn't feel false. There is A LOT of talent showcased technically (especially with the fantastic confrontational finale), and yes, there are some interesting ideas here, but in the end, Calvaire leaves no more than a stain created by trying to be too much and the idea that if it's out-there, it's art.   

Friday, February 25, 2011

Something Smells (Cat)fishy Over At Paracinema…

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Located somewhere over the rainbow is a magical land known simply as Paracinema, and within this village lies a small tavern owned and operated by yours truly. Every once in a while I like to have a nice little dinner - a feast in which everyone is invited to come over and take part in if they so choose. All that you need to bring is yourself and your appetite. This time around, I have prepared a special dish made up of 2010's questionable documentary, Catfish. This is a meal that I have truly enjoyed creating, nevertheless, if you have never enjoyed a dish such as Catfish, I suggest you take a taste before you head on over. If not, my meal may just 'spoil' your appetite altogether.

Click Da Link!   

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dolly Dearest: No Wire Hangers! Oh, Wait…Wrong Movie

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Throughout this annoyingly frigid month, some folks are celebrating black history, others, women in horror, but leave it to the almighty Emily of The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense to take the month of February and add her own 'little' twist to it. With - as Emily puts it - February being a short month, she has focused all 28 days of February to villains that are less than five feet tall. Vertically challenged villains, if you will. Dolls, killer kids, midgets…heck, even people without legs aren't safe from the sting of Emily's always-wonderful reviews. Along with her focus on tiny terrors, Emily was gracious enough to invite anyone and everyone to take part in this celebration, which is exactly what I'm doing here, with 1992's killer doll classic (well…), Dolly Dearest.

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Directed by Maria Lease - whose other directorial credit belongs to that of the saucy TV series, Silk Stalkings, if that tells you anything - Dolly Dearest follows a toy manufacture and his family who move to Mexico so he can mass-produce the hottest toy since the Cabbage Patch Kids: Dolly Dearest. As soon as his young daughter, Jessica (Candace Hutson), lays her eyes on one of the dolls her father will produce (at his Mexican sweatshop) she falls in love and must have one immediately. Of course, her father gives Jessica a Dolly Dearest of her own but, little does he know, the torture porn toy factory is located right next to a Mayan tomb that, after being opened by an archeologist, released the evil spirit Sanzia (aka SATAN!) whom has taken refuge in….wait for it…the Dolly Dearest toys! 

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As opposed to Child's Play's protagonist, Andy, who becomes fearful of his killer doll, Chucky, Jessica's relationship with Dolly Dearest is a little more possessive; as in, Dolly slowly turns Jessica into an evil accomplice. A bad best buddy, if you will. While there could easily be a ton of comparisons to Child's Play, the films really share no more than the idea of a killer doll. Which is a big idea, sure, but that's beside the point. Dolly Dearest focuses less on Dolly herself and more on Jessica's sudden burst of poor behavior (and how it affects her family, specifically her mother), where she begins to act erratically and violently toward anyone that would dare to separate her from her new best friend. She lashes out at her mother constantly (played by Denise Crosby, in her greasiest of roles), attacks the religious Mexican maid - or slave, as some call it - and draws violent images…with crayons, naturally. 

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Candace Hutson, who plays Jessica, is fun to watch and actually quite adorable in a welfare Drew Barrymore sort of way. She puts out a nice over-the-top performance, while sometimes even coming off as somewhat creepy when she 'acts out' to the people around her. Also creepy is Dolly Dearest herself, who, specifically in 'normal' doll form, is unpleasant enough to give most any kid a doll phobia. In fact, as a normal doll, Dolly Dearest is probably most effective when she does little more than turn her head or moves her eyes slightly, as that is something that seems a little more plausible from an inanimate object such as a doll. That's not to take away from Dolly Dearest in full on 'I have an old face' killer doll mode, which is quite wonderful in its own way, just not as unsettling as what could be contemplated as real.    

Going into what is essentially a direct-to-video killer doll film, I would expect no more than the normal amount of cheese and incompetence from this movie, however, Dolly Dearest really isn't as cheap as one would expect (or as many would claim it to be). Not to say this is a great film on any level, but it has a decent cast (that includes Rip Torn!), it's made competently enough and you can tell that the filmmakers were trying to make a solid scary movie that could step out of Childs Play's shadow, all while benefiting from its popularity. Nevertheless, good intentions don't always result in good films and Dolly Dearest fails in more ways than it succeeds.

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Dolly Dearest suffers from a serious illness, an illness best known as being boring. Not completely, but mostly, which is more than too much for me to be okay with. One major issue is this film falls very short in the death department. In fact, I think there are no more than three, maybe four, kills all together. Moreover, with that comes a lack of Dolly's presence (who was played by Ed Gale), which was great when she was around, but her screen time was far too little for a character that could have been pure gold. What it comes down to is, it's not quite good enough to be good, and it's not quite bad enough to be good, either. Therefore, what you are left with is a middle of the road, doll driven Slasher film that tries too hard to be good and loses what it could have been, entertaining.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chuck Norris Gets All Up In Your Ears!

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*For the record, that is the greatest image ever*

I was very recently asked to take part in an episode of The Lair of the Unwanted, a monthly podcast put on by Jason from Invasion of the B Movies and Nolahn of Bargain Bin Review. Now, why in the hell would anyone ever want to talk to me about anything? Well, they just so happened to be doing an episode dedicated to the one and only Chuck Norris, so by blog name default, I was asked to join in on the bearded convo. The films covered are Breaker! Breaker!, Slaughter in San Francisco (aka Karate Cop!) and, the cream of the Chuck Norris crop, Lone Wolf McQuade!

I had a heck of a time taking part in this special Norris themed episode, as the conversation was quite exhilarating as was the subject matter. It didn't hurt that both Nolahn and Jason are two cool cats that have a true appreciation for some of the finer things in bad cinema. So, if you'd like to hear a sometimes muffled me mumble too close to my mic, do an imitation of Carrie from Sex and the City, or hear a lame joke about how Chuck Norris inadvertently freed the slaves, then click that play button below for crying out loud!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Black Belt Jones: Man, You Come Right Out of A Comic Book

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Pitting a karate school against the mob, Black Belt Jones is the classic tale of the big guy bullying the little guy, all in the name of greed. In this case, it's the mob forcing their lower-level "associates," Pinky and his gang of thugs, to push out a local karate school so they can profit off a future land redevelopment. When Pinky and his boys go a little too far with their pushing and the karate school's owner is accidentally killed, one time student turned government agent, Black Belt Jones gets involved. And boy is he someone that you do not want to get involved with. Unless you're a lady, that is.    

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Taking full advantage of the popularity of Blaxploitation movies, as well as the boom in Martial Art's films, 1974's Black Belt Jones is a culmination of its own era's popular genre cinema. The film stars the great Jim "the Dragon" Kelly, who, hot off of 1973's Enter the Dragon, was the perfect person to center a film that would take from both the popularity of Enter the Dragon, as well as his own character in that film, Williams, who was a representation of Blaxploitation cinema meant to reach a larger demographic. So, there you have it, the circle of cinematic life thanks to Black Belt Jones and Enter the Dragon.  

Black Belt Jones' connection to Enter the Dragon goes further as both films share the same director, Robert Clouse, who, besides directing both Kelly and Bruce Lee, has also directed Jackie Chan in The Big Brawl, and even the first few Cynthia Rothrock China O'Brien films. So he certainly has some solid action genre cred under his (black) belt, but I wouldn't say that Black Belt Jones is anything to marvel at on a serious action level. It's all pretty standard over-the-top stuff that places a much larger focus on fun than it does realistic hard-hitting action.    

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There's a certain charm filled swagger that Black Belt Jones carries, which comes from the character, as well as the film and how it presents itself. It's very light and goofy and avoids some of the darker trappings that would be found in many Blaxploitation films. The racism level in the movie is very low, to the point where even the police officers seem to be smitten by just how cool Jones is, as opposed to being of the oppressive variety. Even the incredibly stereotypical Italian mobsters, who are the film's main antagonists, are silly (outside of the intimidating Mel Novak) in an almost parodic way. I love me a dark grimy Exploitation film, but it's nice to have one that isn't just mean spirited for the sake of exploitation.

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What makes Black Belt Jones such an enjoyable ride is how much fun everyone seems to be having in the film. The interactions between certain characters are quite delightful and a lot of that has to do with Kelly's presence. He has such a great look, with that huge afro standing on top of his tall, lanky frame with that sullen look on his face. A sullen look that, in a heartbeat, can switch to the most natural and charismatic of smiles. He might not be the best actor on the block, but he can do what needs to be done physically, he has charm and, most importantly, a great presence.

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Some might point to the movie as being a "so bad it's good" type of film, but I believe that people confuse the purposeful humor with cheese-lathered incompetence. Black Belt Jones is exactly what it was meant to be, fun. Black Belt Jones is supposed to be a good time, and it shows in scenes where the karate school students (in complete karate gi uniform, of course) are seen doing synchronized martial art's moves at a funeral. Or, having Gloria Hendry run around open handed karate chopping bad dudes, yelling HI-YA!, like it's no one's business. Moreover, how serious is any film trying to be when they cast Scatman Crothers as a karate master?!

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Black Belt Jones is a film that, in a way, has an innocence about it and could play perfectly to most any crowd that's open to having a good time. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of 1985's The Last Dragon with its tone, its sense of humor, and comic book feel. Not to say that Black Belt Jones is as wonderful as The Last Dragon, but it hits the right notes and stands on its own as a different type of Blaxploitation film. From the moment Dennis Coffey's wonderful main theme song funks up your ear drums; down to the bubble bath final fight at the carwash, you are sure to be smiling throughout much of Black Belt Jones.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Paracinema's One-Two Punch and the Urban Warriors Come Out to Play-ayyy!

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Holy poop, it's already time for a new issue of Paracinema, and the great minds behind this AWARD NOMINATED magazine have pumped out what looks to be their best issue yet (starting with that dope cover!). Dubbed The Women's Issue, issue #11 has been dedicated to fairer sex by having the entire magazine written solely by women. While I am fearful that at least one of these fine ladies will bring up their period, I'm willing to take the chance as there are some fantastic writers (and good friends) involved with equally wonderful subjects that are to be covered. Take a look below for a sneak peek at what's in store…

Demystifying Superwoman: Shifty Gender Roles, Hysterical Moms, & Pissed Off Daughters in The Exorcist

by Ashlee Blackwell

Frankenhooker: Titular Commodification of Women

by Lisa Cunningham

Rape-Revenge Films: A Guide for the Faint-Hearted

by Chelsea Suarez

The Degrading Last Days of Laura Palmer: A Backwards Glance at Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

by Christine Hadden

Spiritual Viagra (How a Mummy in Cowboy Boots Gave Elvis a Hard-On)

by Molly Marie Griffin

Mental Illness in Horror Films: Lifting the Stigma with Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

by Andre Dumas

Yowza! And that's only the beginning! So head on over to Paracinema to preorder that shit asap, or I'll pee in your sink. Again.

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While we're on the subject of Paracinema, the magazine has been nominated for an award, a Rondo award for best magazine, to be exact. This is great news, and I wanted take a moment to send a huge congrats to two of my favorite people, Dylan and Christine, for their nomination. It's good to see such hard working people with an intense passion and respect for cinema receive some recognition. Paracinema keeps it real, filtering out all the bullshit that's to be found in most other genre magazines, and for that I truly believe they deserve this. If you would like to vote in this year's Rondo awards, click away, and please, feel free to vote for Paracinema, because they believe in freedom!

CLICK DA LINK!

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And finally, it's time to talk about me, which is nothing short of a pleasure as I do love me some me. Over at The Gentlemen's Blog to Midnite Cinema, I just posted up a review for the Italian Post-Apocalyptic flick, Urban Warriors. So, if you don't mind, head on over to theGBTMC to give it a looksee. Do it for Dudikoff because he would expect nothing less, and he too believes in freedom!

CLICK DA LINK!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Splice's Flawed Finale

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As much as I enjoyed Vincenzo Natali's Sci-fi Horror hybrid, Splice, the film is littered with a number of minor issues that, for me, can be overlooked in the big scheme of things. However, one major problem I have with the film - and something that truly holds it back, in my opinion - is the final act where the viewer is given the long awaited opportunity to see what the man-made monster, Dren (Delphine ChanĂ©ac), is truly capable of. Obviously, this will be a complete spoiler, so go away if you've not already seen the movie. Don't get all pissy about it…you can come back later on after you've seen the movie. Anyway, as you know, Splice ends with a scene where it is believed that Dren - the creature created by Genetic engineers, Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) - is dead. Clive and Elsa take Dren's body and bury it outside of their secluded farmhouse where they had been hiding Dren from the always-pesky pesky-people that love to do pesky things. You know the type.   

splice3Soon afterwards, Clive and Elsa's poorly fleshed-out boss, William Barlow, shows up along with Clive's brother and co-worker, Gavin, when Dren - who underwent a metamorphosis that transformed her from a female, to a male - suddenly attacks both men. After killing both Barlow and Gavin, Dren goes on to rape Elsa and kill Clive after he stabs her with a branch. Elsa delivers the final blow with a rock to the head and that would seem to do it for Dren. Now, I should mention that this whole scene is very well put together - outside of the ridiculously handled rape, of course - and should work in a way that is a sort of a payoff for the slow moving, character driven time spent leading up to this action filled finale. The wooded setting is absolutely gorgeous, with how the moon's rays cast ominous shadows, illuminating the snow-covered ground to make for quite the incredible backdrop for a scene of violence and action.

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So, where exactly does my problem lie with the ending of Splice? Well, as I mentioned earlier, before Dren attacks she makes a drastic transformation into a male. She becomes a different creature (despite being played by the same actress), and it's very clear that the monster known as Dren is not present in any real way that translates to film (because her internal thoughts and feelings clearly do not translate to celluloid). All of the time spent with Splice is time spent with Dren as she is. A female. We watch her grow and mature into what may be one of the finest looking monsters I have seen in quite some time. A truly original creature that is almost, dare I say it, sexy (I know, gross), but in a way that is dangerous and frightening at the same time. Dren has a horrifying elegance as a monster that goes well beyond Splice as a film, and it's a complete shame to sit through an entire movie with this wonderful creation, only to have it taken away at the last minute for the sake of a plot device.

splice2And what was that plot device again? Earlier in the film, Clive and Elsa's purple booger experiment goes awry when the female hybrid creature they created turns into a male and the two purple boogers kill each other. This would seem to be the clue that Dren would also swap sexes, but the question is, why? Why does the purple booger have to change into a male to become volatile? Is it to show that the male is more aggressive than the female thus the male Dren attack scene at the film's end? Dren already showed intense signs of intense aggression and a lack of rational thought, so that throws that theory out the window. The only reasonable explanation to make Dren a man is solely to impregnate Elsa. Regardless of it serving the purpose of a cliffhanger/plot-twist, I really do not see any reason why Dren, as was, couldn't be capable of impregnating someone herself. 

To ask your audience to suspend their disbelief and accept the fact that a female gendered science experiment, complete with a serious phallic symbol, could impregnate a human woman, is not the tallest of orders. No one knows how this created creature would mate, procreate, or do anything for that matter. If anything, I find it more believable to just have Dren be able to do this because she isn't a human and can quickly adapt to move her new brand of species forward. Evolution for the sake of survival. Her aggression, as well as that of the purple boogers, can be as simple as that, an experiment that resulted in chaos, which is sort of the film's point, correct?! Therefor, this entire unnecessary plot point serves no real purpose but to try to be smart, but instead takes away a major piece of the puzzle from what is essentially a monster film. It takes away the monster.

What sayeth you?!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Lady Vanishes: Right Into My Heart

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While I've seen varying touches of subtle humor in some of his films, I have never watched any of director Alfred Hitchcock's flat out comedies. I never really thought about seeking one out either, but it would turn out that the sip I took from 1938's, The Lady Vanishes, tasted a whole lot more like a comedy than it did the thriller that the Netflix description was trying to sell me. Sometimes when you think you're taking a drink of one thing, not knowing it's actually something completely different, the taste can be almost souring. Even if the drink is something you really like, it doesn't matter. You expected something else and your taste bud's equilibrium is simply thrown off, leaving you with a "who farted?" face.

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This was not the case with The Lady Vanishes, in fact, I found that my first sip turned into a full fledged chug-chug-chug, and before I knew it, I was drunk with glee. The structure of the movie (based on the 1936 novel, The Wheel Spins, by Ethel Lina White.) does work as that of a thriller, with a group of travelers that find themselves spending the night in a hotel as they wait out the terrible storm that has halted their train for the time being. While spending the night, the many characters are introduced with the main character being that of Iris (Margaret Lockwood), a young women who becomes acquainted with an elderly governess named Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty).

During the overnight hotel stay is where a bulk of characters are introduced, with many of them playing minute yet important parts that work almost as red herrings in a way. All of the characters are interesting and many have a quirkiness about them that adds an air of eccentric fun to the film as a whole (most notably and for a number of reasons are the characters of Charters and Caldicott). It's not even clear as to who the film will focus on until the travellers are all back on the train and Miss Froy goes missing. The only person who notices this is Iris, but when she begins to investigate, no one on the train seems to know - or wants to admit knowing, for whatever reasons - who Iris is talking about.

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That's really the basic idea of the film, and while there are many little twists, turns and mysteries to be discovered with many of the individuals on board, The Lady Vanishes uses this plot of suspense and intrigue to do so much more than what it would seem to be at face value. As I said, the movie is very much a comedy, one that is driven by an ensemble cast for the first act. However, the film changes its focus after the incident happens and that is when most of the time is spent with Iris and, another acquaintance she made while at the hotel, Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), whom helps her try to unlock the mystery of the missing women.

Doing a little backtracking to give some background on Gilbert and Iris, their first encounter is not the most positive one as Iris tries to have Gilbert kicked out of his hotel room for making too much noise playing music in the room above hers (in an oddly hysterical scene), thus keeping her from a good night's rest. After the hotel manager asks him to leave his room, Gilbert promptly comes down to Iris' room and informs her that since she had him removed from his room, then he will be staying with her for the evening. His brashness and overconfidence in the situation only infuriates Iris, but it does so to the point to where Gilbert gets what he wants, which is his own room back.

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Even as initial adversaries, the minute both Iris and Gilbert are on screen together, it is clear that there is an incredible connection between the two, whether or not Iris would knowingly want to acknowledge it at first. This is a relationship that builds and becomes stronger when an obviously smitten Gilbert helps out a distraught (and equally enamored) Iris in her search for Miss Froy. Redgrave and Lockwood are simply delightful on screen together, and watching them fall for one another is truly where The Lady Vanishes succeeds the most. There are many scenes where the two play sleuth, and their interactions make for a handful of nice, genuine moments that also work as a solid way to break up the tension and the seriousness of core the story.

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For a film that does come off as a comedy with the structure of a thriller, it is a little on the ridiculous side as far as the story goes, as well as where it ends up towards the movie's back end. Things get a little too serious for the contrasting moments of humor, and for that the movie is slightly conflicted, but none of that is as important as it should be due to the film's other strengths. One of them being the brilliant techniques that Hitchcock uses from time-to-time. Now, this is a movie from way back in 1938 (dude, shit's in black and white, even), and was one of the final films that the director made before making the big move to Hollywood, but it is clear that he had an incredible eye for cinema even way back then. There are some brilliant shots and a great use of perspective spread throughout, but most impressive is a quick action shot with Gilbert outside of the moving train, that is simply quite awesome.

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Nevertheless, even with these fine cinematic aspects, there is a lot of sloppiness in the movie on a technical level, and it's hard to say if it's the fault of Hitchcock or the film's editor, R.E. Dearing. There are times where the confinement of a train is well portrayed, but that also leads to a handful of moments that feel very confused and a lack of flow between shots become very present. One scene that immediately comes to mind is when Gilbert and Iris are in the cargo hold, where they run into a magician that seems to be up to no good, and a fight between the three ensues. It's extremely poor in how cohesive it is visually, but what's kind of funny about this lamely filmed moment is it's one of my favorite portions of the film due to Redgrave, Lockwood and their interactions up to, during, and after the fight (as well as the comicality of the scene). That's truly a testament as to how fantastic the two are together.  

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Love this photo!

Hitchcock has successfully used touches of humor to break up the tension in many of his films but The Lady Vanishes is really where I found myself chuckling throughout much of the runtime. The mystery and suspense are a second thought when I think about why I enjoyed this film so much, and it is that pure comedy that can really only be found in classic cinema that won me over. More so, the pairing of Lockwood and Redgrave will prove to be one of my favorites as far as a romantic storyline goes, and for a movie to give me characters that I can fall in love with as they fall in love with each other, is truly a surprise that I never expected when I sat down with this cold glass of mystery.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exposing my Full Moon at Cheerleader Camp

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Taking a leap back, I have here not one but TWO destinations for you all to check out on this fine evening. First up, over at the newest issue of BThroughZ, you can check out my review of the 80's Slasher flick, Cheerleader Camp. Staring Leif Garrett (yikes!) and Betsy Russell (yum!), how does this late in the era Slasher film play out? Well, you'll have to pack up your pompoms and head on over to BThroughZ to find out!

Click Da Link!

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Hey, don't go too far now because I got more in store for you, and as soon as you get back from your cheerleading camping trip, why not take a walk on over to Strange Kids Club where you can check out my look back at Full Moon's VideoZone. When I think of VideoZone, I think of it quite fondly, and I know I am not alone in the nostalgic love for the original Special Feature. So, take a moment to drop by Strange Kids for a blast from the VHS era past!

Click Da Link!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Totally Tubular Trailers

With films spanning South Korea, France, Costa Rica and Hong Kong, this edition of Totally Tubular Trailers brings about quite the versatile mix of upcoming horror cinema for you all to chew on. So why not grab yourself a seat, tuck that napkin into your shirt and dig right in to what I've cooked up for you.

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Our globetrotting begins in South Korea with one of my absolute favorite filmmakers, Park Chan-wook, whose latest film Paranmanjang (aka Night Fishing) would prove to be his most ambitious project yet. Staring PCW  regular, Oh Kwang-rok, and Korean pop star, Lee Jung Hyun, Paranmanjang is a 30-minute short film that the director shot using only an iPhone. The film follows a fisherman who catches the body of a woman dressed all in white. After making this discovery, the fisherman faints, only to awaken and find himself wearing the woman's clothes. Okay?! So, as much as it's basically a big commercial for Apple, I find this whole thing quite fascinating. What can a director do using the camera found on an iPhone? But more so, what can one of the best filmmakers working do with such a device? The odd teaser below shall give you a glimpse as to what's in store.

 

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Keeping with the strange ways, next up is the trailer for Quentin Dupieux's killer tire film, Rubber. I mean, what else can you say about it? It's a movie about a lone, telekinetic tire named Robert, who's tired of being treaded on and goes out on a killing spree, flattening anyone that gets in his way. Set to make tracks on VOD in February, with a limited theatrical release in April, It looks like Rubber might be incredibly funny, but who knows exactly how long before the whole thing deflates and the novelty wears off for the audience. 

 

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elsanatorio

Next up is the trailer for Miguel Gomez' The Sanatorium (El Sanatorio), a mockumentary styled horror film following a group of young ghost hunters who get more than what they bargained for when they take a trip to the infamous Duran Sanatorium in Cartago, Costa Rica. Mockumentaries are a bit tricky, and even the best ones tend to fall flat by time the finale hits, so my excitement is curbed for the most part. Still, it does look like it could be fun and it's nice seeing someone rockin' an Op Ivy sweatshirt. 

 

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dreamhome

Our final film for the day comes from Chinese director, Pang Ho-cheung, whose film Dream Home is a Slasher movie with a whacked premise and a seriously sharp looking bite to it. Dream Home focuses on a woman (Josie Ho) that will do what ever it takes to live in a beautiful home with a view of the sea. Her only problem is she cannot afford it, so she takes it upon herself to lower the property value the only way she can…by killing the people that live in the neighborhood. Like I said, it's a wild premise, and man does it look insane. This is a really well put together trailer, too and Dream Home may be the film I look forward to the most out of all of these.

 

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Well, that was a good ol' time, now wasn't it? Hope you enjoyed a few of these trailers I have provided. Until next time, my love.

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