I recently reviewed Stir Crazy and now it's onto the next Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor move, "See No Evil, Hear No Evil". Its another movie I would watch over and over when I was a kid and even now it brings some massive LOLS. Wilder is a deaf guy and Pryor is a blind guy and together they witness a murder and become the prime suspects. The movie is heavily criticised for its flimsy script and I do concede that it's more or less a one-gag movie but its still damn funny. Almost all of the gags hit the spot with me and they both deliver some belter lines. Pryer is particularly good. It moves along at a fast pace from one set up to another... there are a few inconsistencies but who the hell looks for perfection in a movie like this?? I just expect a few big laughs with chuckles in between... it delvers exactly that. Kevin Spacey also co-stars as the bad guy... with a strange growth on his face. What the?? LOL
As a comedy duo Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor made 4 films together and Stir Crazy was the second, a comedy about two best friends down on their luck. While traveling to California to make a new life for themselves they are mistaken for bank robbers and sentenced to 120 years in prison. While incarcerated they act like nut jobs and initiate a complex escape plan. Its a very funny film and these two guys are so great together. Both have such a unique brand of humour and both thrive on improvisation. I would love to see out-takes from the movie because it defies logic that anyone could get through some of these scenes without fits of laughter. I've enjoyed all 4 of their films but Stir Crazy is probably the best. It does run out of steam midway through but manages to pick itself up for a triumphant finale. Sidney Poitier directed it and he clearly understood what made Pryor and Wilder tick because he exploits their talents wonderfully. A very funny film for sure.
As a horror enthusiast & video store proprietor I find myself defending the genre almost on a daily basis. Often on an intellectual level and sometimes to temper the fears of parents who are concerned that their kids being exposed. I've been called "sick" and "immoral" for having a passion for horror and globally there is, of course, a bizarre stigma that comes with the genre. Ironically horror is the oldest form of storytelling known to man. Parents misunderstand it and don't even realise that they feed horror to their kids by way of Roald Dahl, Harry Potter and heap of other stuff. Children's literature is full of horror and there's no better example than the Brother's Grimm. Horror is an important outlet to address fears and stimulate emotions that are too often suppressed. One film I often recommend when defending the genre is The American Nightmare. It delves into horror films from the 70s and 80s and studies their significance and correlation with current events. Experts from various fields (media, psychology, history etc) lend their opinions and insights to make for an eye opening, revealing and intelligent study of the importance of horror. Those of us who are already buffs won't learn a lot from The American Nightmare but its most definitely a useful tool for educating the uneducated.
The Woman From Deep River is known elsewhere in the world as Cannibal Ferox and Make Them Die Slowly... for years it has boasted itself as the most gruesome movie ever made. It may not retain that honour amongst some of today's films but it definitely remains one of the most grotesque. In the wake of Cannibal Holocaust, Italian exploitation director Umberto Lenzi upped the ante and delivered this nasty piece of work. The concept is almost identical to Holocaust with a group of people venturing into the jungles of Paraguay to dispel rumours of tribal cannibalism. Of course they find themselves in deep shit. The film was banned and eventually released heavily edited where it languished in the "video nasties" section for years. Its imagery is brutal, barbaric and realistic. Much like Holocaust, it depicts real images of animal cruelty & slaughter and this stuff is difficult to stomach. The most recent releases of the movie have edited a lot of this stuff out and to be honest, its not missed. Most of the staged (fake) violence is brilliant. Scalping, disemboweling and a heap of other nasty things. The last time I watched it was on a VHS tape and I reckon I prefer it that way. I have no real desire to see it on dvd and so I really regret selling my tape when dvd came along... I regret selling most of my VHS.
This movie falls into that category of "so atrociously bad, its awesome". With its really bad English dub and guinea pigs dressed as rats... the movie features one festy decayed corpse after another. It was directed by cult Italian schlock maestro Bruno Mattei who made dozens of video Zombi nasties and the fantastically woeful 'Cruel Jaws' which is packaged as JAWS 5. Rats: Night Of Terror is heaps of fun. Well worth watching with a bunch of fellow horror buffs when drunk.
There has been a lot of controversy and debate over The Girl Next Door. Its a sinister and gut wrenching film based on true events of a young girl who is held captive, tortured and raped by her sadistic aunt and a group of neighbourhood boys. I just finished watching it and as demented as this sounds, I actually thought it was a beautiful film. Don't get me wrong... there are no redeeming qualities to the story. There is no happy ending and there is nothing fun about it... but its an important story of innocence lost. There's a very strong moral underlay at work and few films really deal with such a horrible subject like this. It will be hard for most people to watch (personally, I had no difficulty with it) but I dont think its a film that should be ignored. I know I will be watching this one several times over in the coming months. I think there's a lot to get out of it. Cinematically its a great film.
Ghoulies was the very first horror movie I had ever seen and it was in a double feature session with Nightmare On Elm Street 2 at a friends house. I was about 7 at the time and it terrified me. It wasn't the movie so much but rather the tagline "They'll get you in the end!". I took this literally and ran out of the room 10 minutes before the end... I wasnt taking any chances. Hahaha. But alas, that fear drew me back for more and I have been a horror-hound ever since.
Savages Crossing is a micro-budget horror flick written by John Jarratt and his son and it really is just an exercise in vanity. Jarratt had a fleeting glimpse at resurrected stardom with Wolf Creek and so he's essentially written himself another psychopathic lunatic role in a similar vein. But hey, the movie works. The first 10 minutes are woeful as its shot in day light and the lack of budget shows, but once night falls and the rain pours, Savages Crossing has a great atmosphere and performances. Craig McLachlan is actually really good as the 'take-no-shit' country farmer and in my opinion he steals the show. Its not great by any means, but certainly worth a squiz.
Wow..... what a movie. A total attack on the senses. If you love Clive Barker's writings, then you will appreciate what this movie delivers. This movie is smart, scary and really unsettling. The title is very apt as this movie makes you feel really uneasy but exhilarated at the same time. I'd say its easily the best horror film i've seen since Midnight Meat Train (the last Barker adaptation).
Session 9 pops up regularly in conversations I have about movies. I talk about it a lot but realised that I haven't actually written about it in this group. Its a truly excellent film. An asbestos clean-up crew begin an intensive week or work inside an old mental asylum. Working towards a deadline, they pull apart the building's insulation one room at a time. As they work they discuss the dreadful past of the institute and of the many atrocities that were committed. Discoveries are also made... one guy finds old recordings of psychology assessments and another guy hits the jackpot when he removes a brick to find a wealth of gold, coins and jewellery (he is oblivious that the other side of the wall is the mortuary's incinerator). Session 9 is a film that demands your attention as it gently layers its atmosphere upon you. The setting is eerie enough but director Brad Anderson skilfully makes use of natural settings (films in a real asylum) and uses light and dark brilliantly. Films like this are few and far between... they are the ones that are menacing without being explicit. I think of films like Winter's Bone, In The Winter Dark and even The Blair Witch Project... all movies about atmosphere. I return to Session 9 a lot and love hearing other people's interpretations... so please feel free to share your thoughts. Session 9 is essential viewing and I can't recommend it enough.
Night Breed is awesome. It was repetitious viewing back in my teens and now that a couple of years have passed I returned to it with a renewed eagerness. Well it stands up and I was taken aback at what a well crafted film it was. It was Clive Barker's second directorial film following Hellraiser and the opening title sequence has a strong Hellraiseresque quality about it. Danny Elfman's score is so good. The creatures/monsters and set designs are remarkable creations and David Cronenberg's character is absolutely terrifying... in fact the first kill of the film is a brilliant example of good horror. Not entirely happy with this cut of the film, Barker has long stated that a longer cut existed and it has only recently been unearthed and screened at a film festival in it's rough form. Hopefully it will see a dvd release soon. You can support this director's cut yourself by visitingwww.occupymidian.com . I cannot wait to see it.
Has anyone seen Yellow Brick Road? I would love to get some opinions and theories about this one. I don't know how to feel having just watched it and I guess that's a good thing. I am confused and don't know what to make of it, however I do know that I enjoyed it. In 1940 an entire small town followed a trail into the mountains and never returned. They left all of their possessions behind, including their clothes. A military search party was deployed and many bodies were found butchered, the rest were simply missing. And so the film takes place in modern times with a group of researchers retracing the footsteps. They are well equipped and each of them serves a purpose (a psychologist, geographer, survivalist etc). And so they walk and walk and walk, documenting various behaviours in each other and trying to understand surreal things happening around them. Their GPS goes haywire and a strange muffled music haunts them. That's all I will reveal because the rest ventures into some really fucked up David Lynch territory. I loved what I was seeing but I didn't always understand it. I think I know and then I don't. It's the type of film that is bound to generate debate and theory. A discussion would be most welcome and I think I'm going to have to sit through this one again.
There are so many great Australian films and The Interview is one that ranks in my top 20 (if I were to actually think of a list). From 1998 its the story of a man who is awoken, assaulted and arrested by police in the early hours of morning. He is taken away to a city police station where he is kept in an interview room for hours on end while two investigators interrogate him. The film rarely leaves the room and you can cut the tension with a knife. What starts as a simple interview soon turns into a power play of intellect as the viewers perception of guilt or innocence is put to the test. Its an amazing film with incredible performances. If you've never seen it, you should. Hugo Weaving and Tony Martin are always good and here they make for perfect sparring partners. Very impressive.