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    Surprisingly good and informative. Lot of old old archival footage pre Ozzy.


    • Watched A Serbian Film which was better than I expected even if it didn't work a 100 percent despite the obvious skill it was put together with and the talented cast.


      • Originally posted by Randy G View Post
        Watched A Serbian Film which was better than I expected even if it didn't work a 100 percent despite the obvious skill it was put together with and the talented cast.
        I programmed this when it was first our, at a hoyty toyty film fest in Seattle. It was ironically the only screening that had zero walkouts. We had some older benefactors of the fest there, people in their 60s and 70s blind viewing. I spent about 20 minutes contextualizing the experience everyone was about to have, and brought up the controversy and the importance of the film if only strictly as a censorship issue. I had the producer and the writer waiting by for a phone in, which happened, and was super illuminating. Not long after they had the run in with the completely bogus charge brought up in Spain, of having done kiddie porn.

        A surprisingly slick film, and a good point of discussion regarding what is art and what is exploitation. Neither of which are necessarily exclusive to each other.


        • Notes on this weekend's viewing...

          The Psychic / Seven Notes in Black (1977)

          For some reason, this was the only film from Fulci's peak era which I'd never previously got around to watching, so... high time to rectify that oversight.

          Long-story-short: pretty great stuff! An effective / engaging supernatural mystery thriller, only really let down by a lame cop-out ending which essentially side-steps the central point of the exercise.

          Some may take issue with the way the plotting is similtaneously mind-bogglingly over-complicated and utterly bloody obvious, but personally I was happy to accept that as a typical giallo trope taken to probably its furthest extreme here.

          Stylistically though, it's interesting to note that (in it's first half at least), the movie largely rejects the usual OTT giallo/Italio-horror aesthetic, instead aiming for a contemporary glossy Hollywood thriller kind of look. No garish colours or comic book imagery, no violence or sleaze -- instead we get low-key, Godfather-type lighting, shadowy wood-panelled interiors, and dialogue seemingly recorded with live sound (including the Italian actors speaking English in their natural accent).

          Films like 'Don't Look Now' or De Palma's 'Obession' seem to have been prime influences here, and, in view of his later career, it's strange that Fulci of all people would take this kind of quasi-mainstream approach, but he pulls it off pretty well, and rest assured, things do crank up to a more conventionally giallo-like pitch of fevered delirium in the final act.

          The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

          Well this was goofy as hell. I'm not sure why I harboured a hope that it might be anything other than goofy as hell, but some positive notices and approval from trusted sources led me to believe it might rise above the level of another bit of self-aware, instantly forgettable Cage-sploitation... but, nope, not really.

          Actually, the first half hour, focusing on Cage just being Cage and dealing with the day-to-day travails of his life in Hollywood, was pretty great. His willingness to portray himself as a burned out, self-deluding failure is admirable, and his performance during this section is probably the best thing I've seen him do in a while. I could have watched that stuff for hours.

          Thereafter however, the film's decision to become first some kind of stoner buddy comedy, and then a light-hearted action-adventure/spy movie, did not play to these strengths, and soon becomes pretty tiresome.

          The fact that no one takes the action/spy story seriously at any point means it has zero dramatic weight, and the addition of comedy disguises, crappy CGI car chases and the like does not help, whilst the constant nod-wink references to past Cage movies become increasingly insufferable as it goes along.

          Also, at the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, that modern approach to filming comedy, where every cut is a BAM! jump cut (complete with sound effect), and every line of dialogue is delivered like a cut-the-music punch line with the actor mugging to camera....? [Bam! Crash-zoom!] I think I'm really starting to hate that.

          Overall, this felt less like watching a movie, more like watching the special end-of-season episode of a sit-com where our favourite characters go on holiday and get chased around by crooks. And, to be honest, I kind of wish I could just watch the regular episodes of that sit-com instead, because a regular 30 minute dose of "Nick Cage's wacky adventures in Hollywood" could probably have been a far more satisfying use of an eight figure budget than 100 minutes of... this stuff.

          Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)

          Now THIS, on the other hand, is a movie in which almost every line actually IS a cut-the-music punchline, and probably an amazing one.

          Absolute, 24 carat macho/camp fucking genius from start to finish. Kind of works on a similar wave length to something like 'Massacre Mafia Style' or 'Champagne & Bullets' in weird kind of way, despite emerging from the mind of a guy on the opposite end of the social/artistic spectrum.

          I sort of feel like Norman Mailer was probably sitting there one night with a mountain of coke, watching a double bill of 'Blue Velvet' and 'Out of the Past', when he decided "fuck, I can make one of these things, how hard can it be", immediately got Golan & Globus on the phone to talk budgets and casting... and a year or so later, here we all are.

          You've got to be careful trying to drink fluids whilst watching this one, because there's a spit-take worthy "WTF did s/he just say?!" moment about once every 40 seconds. I would say, "I'll be peppering lines from this one into my conversation for years," only the lingo is so consistently outlandish and offensive that I very much hope life will never lead me into circumstances in which I have cause to employ any of it.

          Casting Wings Hauser as a priapic psycho-cop was, obviously, inspired. Lawrence Tierney is brilliant. I'm not sure if the actor who plays the Wardley character was meant to be acting stoned, or if he actually was just stoned. Isabella Rossellini meanwhile looks as if she'd rather be anywhere else on earth than making this horrible movie.

          Speaking of which -- the presence of both Rossellini and Angelo Badalamenti on soundtrack duties suggests a definite David Lynch connection, and some scenes here play so much like tributes to / parodies of Lynch's signature style it's hard to believe that wasn't deliberate... which is curious, given that this film must have been in production only a short time after 'Blue Velvet' properly defined that style, and years before 'Twin Peaks' and his subsequent work really cemented it in the public consciousness. Go figure.

          Anyway - an insane, unrepeatable masterpiece. So glad I finally got around to it.


          • Tough Guys Don't Dance is one of my favourite American films of the 80s. Was very pleased when VS gave it the release iy deserved.

            Now we need two other underrated 80s thrillers, Star 80 and Everybody Wins, to get decent releases.


            • I've never seen EVERYBODY WINS. Thanks for the recommendation.
              Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome? Why did you watch it, Max?


              • Originally posted by Matt H. View Post
                I've never seen EVERYBODY WINS. Thanks for the recommendation.
                It's strange and flawed but that's what makes it interesting.


                • BREAKING starring John Boyega, based on the real life incident of a Marine get who takes a couple hostages, and threatens to blow up a bank if the VA doesn't return money they have duped him on.
                  Part DOG DAY AFTERNOON and part JOHN Q. Good performances, solid direction.


                  • THE INVIT​​ATION - Another head scratcher as far as wondering what people expect from a genre film. I really really enjoyed it. Good performances (not an easy hat trick making such broad material believable), a LOT of respect shown to classic vampire cinema, in particular Hammer, absolutely gorgeous lightning and cinematography, and the modern tropes regarding wokeness and privilege are done with balance and add to the narrative rather than distract from it.

                    For me? And I am an old man who grew up seeing stuff from Hammer and AIP in theaters as they died their last post-THE EXORCIST breathes.

                    THE INVITATION, for me, is one of the most legit vampire films to hit theaters since 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.

                    Had a great time with it tonight.


                    • Red Eye-Feels like this Wes Craven thriller/horror is forgotten. Hell I had forgot about it till I found the dvd cheap at a garage sale 2 weeks ago.

                      Fun thriller. Sure it ain't top tier Craven but it is better than most of the stuff he made after People Under the Stairs.


                      • Originally posted by Newt Cox View Post
                        Red Eye-Feels like this Wes Craven thriller/horror is forgotten. Hell I had forgot about it till I found the dvd cheap at a garage sale 2 weeks ago.

                        Fun thriller. Sure it ain't top tier Craven but it is better than most of the stuff he made after People Under the Stairs.
                        Totally agree. It's a great thriller.
                        Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome? Why did you watch it, Max?


                        • Saloum - An African horror film that starts out as a bit of an action thriller before the supernatural elements kick in. Mighty impressive. On Shudder.


                          • Kamikaze Hearts - Damn this is a good movie. Too bad Bashore didn't get to make more films. The extras are also really good with interviews with Sharon Mitchell, Susie Bright, Howie Gordon, Annie Sprinkle and her partner.

                            Bashore and Bright both mention the director Charles Webb aka. Carlos/Charles De Santos as the self-proclaimed 'Marxist pornographer.' Don't recall I've seen any of his xxx films, just the non-explicit Honky Tonk Nights.


                            • Where is Akari? a Japanese web drama sponsored by a soap company. I just watched episode 2, but here are the links for both episodes so far. "Akari" is played by Riko Sakihama, who is on hiatus from the Japanese idol group Rabi Rabu IDOL School. The basic plot is a divorced mother and her 12 year old daughter move to Okinawa, where the mother grew up. The daughter, Akari, wanders off and talks to the neighbors, causing her mother to worry.


                              • Watched my way through three current releases.

                                ELVIS - Liked this one a lot more than I was expecting to. Luhrmann's visual sense is at it's craziest here, and the set pieces and art direction are insane.

                                BODIES BODIES BODIES - After hearing Joe Dante sing it's praises, I decided to not ignore it. Clever and well shot. Probably never watch again, but glad I saw it.

                                PREY - Finally got around to this. Nothing incredible, but still super fun, and world's better than the Shane Black abortion, which I actually laughed at during some scenes, in particular with the little kid.

                                Also finished off the streaming drama show THE BEAR, about a sandwich shop, which is really good so far.

                                Combing the collection tonight, eyeing a Kaiju or a noir...