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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:56 am:   

   By PM on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:43 pm:

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang --- wonder how this one will turn out...
   By Lucius on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:58 pm:

I actually talked to an acquaintance in the biz who's seen it, and he says it's not bad. It's hard for me to believe. I mean, Shane Black....Sheesh. The author of The Last Boy Scout. I don't know...
   By PM on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 10:36 pm:

Snipes might have made the Last Boy Scout better with a few more tweaks.

I'm mildly looking forward to watching KKBB if it should appear round here...
   By Dave G. on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 07:51 am:

Horror fans, had a chance to watch Christopher Smith's CREEP with Franka Potente the other night. Pretty OK, but not special. Creepy setting (London Underground), but in the end relied to far too many cliches to keep the action moving. Not bad for a rainy day, but not really worth seeking out.

I watch flicks on my iMac, which functions as an all-region DVD player, but only lets you change the region a maximum of five times. How friggin' annoying is that? If Apple can let you change the region easily five times, it can design a permanent all-region player. Why do I think that the lawyers had something to do with this limitation? It's aggravating. Any Mac users know a good hack for this problem?
   By Lucius on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:11 am:

I agree basically with yer review, but feel that most horror is cliched and that there were touches throughout Creep that made it a cut above the average, and I also feel that Frankie Potenta bring a certain elan to all her roles and is always worth seeking out.
   By Robert on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:20 am:

Dave - there are firmware updates out there, but I haven't tried them. The one I saw had a warning it could break the DVD drive, and I wasn't willing to risk that.

You might try watching DVD's in VLC Player. I've been told it will play any region DVDs, no matter what region setting you have on the Mac.

Or maybe try this form: http://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=9
   By Dave G. on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:43 am:

I did like the underwater cages (a nick from THE DEER HUNTER?) and that nutty scene where "Craig" imitates a doctor in surgery. Yeah, and Franka is worth watching. Yes, all horror is cliched. Sad, but true. I would advise fans to seek out DEAD END, which I found much more interesting.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 09:04 am:   

PM -- I think Last Boy Scout needed more than a few tweaks....

Dave, there is a new vein of indie horror being opened, films like Cookers, Soft for Digging, Dead Birds, etc, in which the cliches are handled more obliquely than in studio pictures -- you should seek them out.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 10:21 am:   

I've seen DEAD BIRDS, which I thought was pretty deftly handled, although the underlying horrific story (which I won't spoil here) was kind of sketchily explored and seemed almost like an afterthought. A shame, because it was a pretty darned good conceit. And the period aspect was nice. You're exactly right, though. We've all seen the "criminals on the lam pick the wrong place to hide out" film 8 or 9 times at least, and DB made a pretty fair pass at treating the story in a different way.

That's why you might like DEAD END. The set-up is pretty old school. (A family traveling on Christmas Eve makes a wrong turn down an unfamiliar road...) But it also has some strange and off-center story elements that kept me hooked, not least of which was the heavenly Amber Smith as a mysterious hitchhiker.

COOKERS is on my list to dig up (pardon the figure of speech). Have not heard of SOFT FOR DIGGING. Still need to find DEATH BED and MALEFIQUE.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 10:24 am:   

Oh, and I also recently watched the "anniversary" edition of Ulli Lommel's 1980 THE BOOGEYMAN which, while still several cuts above the standard slasher fare of the time, was not quite as compelling as I remembered it.
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kellys
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:00 pm:   

I bought DEATHBED from deepdiscountdvd.com for $11 a while back. Didn't think it succeeded as more than camp, though the scene where the male lead cracks his obviously plastic hand off is priceless as comedy.

Deepdiscount also carries DEAD BIRDS, SOFT FOR DIGGING, and COOKERS for good prices. Question is, are they worthy of blind buys?
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   

STAY: I had to, but would have preferred not.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:08 pm:   

Can you believe it? Warner Bros. is going to remake CREEPSHOW. So rather than hire a writer to come up with some new stories to do a fresh homage to 40-year old horror anthology films, they are going to re-film a 25-year old homage to 40-year old horror anthology films...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a multi-billion dollar a year industry centered in Hollywood and dedicated to making movies? Doesn't anyone associated with that industry have, oh, I dunno...an IDEA????
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:20 pm:   

Well, no....or rather, yes, but by the time they get made, they been subject to notes from half a hundred idiots...and they all play like very old ideas.

Kelly, Cookers is one of the few recent movies that made me a little nervous, Soft For Digging is a curious movie about a man haunted by dreams relating to something he's seen and is, for my book, quite effective, Dead Birds is a Dave described. Dead End is very low budget horror movie--again, as Dave describes. Are they worth it. They were to me. For you...beats me. I thought you were into camp, as you were talking about a film I thought was campy as hell. These aren't campy.

ATC, aw, you ruint it for me. :-)

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:21 pm:   

See y'all in a few.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 01:14 pm:   

Just as a PS to what Lucius said, DEAD END is very low budget, but the filmmakers craft a story and situations that work with rather than against that budget. I never felt like the movie was cheaply done.
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PM
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 01:25 pm:   

Lucius: I don't doubt that you'd give the Last Boy Scout more than just a few tweaks...most likely some heavy blows to the head!

Dave: The 5 changes for regions for computer DVD drives is basically standard. It's neither a Mac nor a PC thing it's an industry thing. This allows the same drive to be shipped all over the world. It could be much worse of course. It could be preset to a specific region. Of course the entire "regions" argument is nothing we're going to win in the sense that it's been implemented without our input...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   

It just seems to me that, if it can be easily changed once, it can be easily changed 5,000 times. Or am I missing something? There was no horse trading between the computer manufacturers and the consumer electronics manufacturers?
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 02:06 pm:   

Its one decent element is a neat visual trick it pulls off multiple times. Each time it jazzes the interest level up for all of a second or two.

I don't know how you can SPOIL a bad movie, but








SPOILER WARNING!!!
















Down to the Bridge location (here, the Brooklyn Bridge), it's the same device as a certain famous Ambrose Bierce story.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 03:37 pm:   

I didn't like Deadbirds all that much. It just seemed like another mediocre horror movie, with a few jump scares. The production value of the FX did seem good for a B movie.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 04:45 pm:   

I think horror fans have learned to ratchet down their expectations. As Lucius said, 97% of them are based on a few plot devices. So we grasp onto any good performance or bit of screenwriting imagination. Factor in the Hollywood Drudge factor, and it's a miracle if anything entertaining happens at all.
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PM
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 05:02 pm:   

Dave, DVD players are not intended to be region free.

Why does DVD region coding exist, you ask? According to what the public is being told, such coding is a tool to protect copyright and film distribution rights (in other words, movie studio profits).

Movies are released in theaters in different parts of the world at different times throughout the year. That Summer blockbuster in the U.S. may end up being the Christmas blockbuster overseas. If that occurs, the DVD version of the movie may be out in the U.S. while it is still showing in theaters overseas.

In order to preserve the financial integrity of the theatrical distribution of a particular film, it is not possible (under normal conditions) to have a friend in the U.S. send a DVD copy of the film to the country where it is in theatrical release and be able to play the DVD on a player there.

http://hometheater.about.com/cs/dvdlaserdisc/a/aaregioncodesa.htm
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 03:42 am:   

Well, in my drunken, high estimate, that's the case with horror movies, and with the fans; most movies targeted as horror,. suck. But you could say the same for most movies.

I'd like to see a good movie, with good story and characters, that actually is scary -- like an early cronenberg -- not for kids, disturbing on diff levels. Real horror fans, (well, including the ones I know, are looking for real scares -- some of the movies I've picked have worked.. -- but most of the shit out there is decent at best, and most sucks; rarely can you find a scary movie..
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Stephen
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 03:48 am:   

Cooker, sounds like a good bet..
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 02:49 pm:   

Perhaps that was an overly negative estimate.:-)

Gonna watch London Voodoo, soon.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 10:01 pm:   

I think the people who will find COOKERS most scary are those who can identify to some degree with drug culture and can recognize how realistically the characters are being portrayed. I’m pretty sure the personal experience/baggage I brought to watching this film made it scarier than it might have been.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

LV was nifty, definitely different, with a really run lead performance.

As far as DVD regions go, I'm sure your explanation is right, but it seems a bit "don't raise the bridge, lower the river." You end up in a situation where, 15 years later, a film still might not be accessible to large segments of the world. If film companies are worried about the integrity of their theatrical runs, why not simply delay the worldwide DVD release until all theatrical runs are concluded? (This would make more sense, but I think I know the answer. Entertainment conglomerates can't wait to book the DVD profits ASAP so they can beat Wall Street earnings estimates, I'll bet.)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

I mean fun, not "run".
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 08:07 am:   

Dang. I thought "run" was the new "cool" and I was gonna start using it. That'd be totally run!
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 08:12 am:   

Hey, you still can. Many great inventions were made by accident.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 08:16 am:   

So,"that's runny" would be extra cool?

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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 09:58 am:   

You're a very runny man.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 10:09 am:   

"Well, it sorta comes with being a man." John Travolta
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 01:29 pm:   

Saw Mike Leigh's NAKED this weekend and, while some of it didn't age particularly well (ie, the ultra-crass Sebastian the landlord character), one thing that really emerged is a reminder of just how demanding and successful David Thewlis' performance was. (Subject for possible future list: actors who made their names with a splashy performance and were subsequently relegated to hacky or badly-written roles...) Except for an almost-unnoticed perf in THE BIG LEBOWSKI, he's pretty much vanished.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   

He had a big part in Seven Years In Tibet, a classic...

:-)
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:11 pm:   

He's in the latest Harry Potter movie(s), along with such other Mike Leigh standards as Gary Oldman and Timothy Spall.

Go ahead and rest your case.

Around the time of NAKED, he played a great sleazeball in Prime Suspect.

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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:14 pm:   

I see that he's also in the new Terrence Malick movie, THE NEW WORLD. And he was in that latest Ridley Scott thing I don't intend to see, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Maybe the Malick role will be less than trivial. It's really sad.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:20 pm:   

Yeah, forgot (wonder why) about Harry. He hasn't vanished, he's been degaussed.....

The rent boy episodes. Perhaps the best PS.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:32 pm:   

The new Sherlock Holmes episode, Case of the Silk Stockings, was on last night. I didn't watch it but I noticed that it was scripted by one of the Prime Suspect screenwriters...PS2, it turns out. That was the season that drew me in (I resisted the first one until partway through, when it started to turn really horrific). But I agree, PS3 was the best.
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Robert
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:56 pm:   

I recall a discussion about Thewlis in an earlier thread. He didn't vanish, he just moved to mainstream (bad) movies lately, like Timeline and Kingdom of Heaven.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:14 pm:   

Watched Dead Ringers the other night. Wicked movie. I haven't seen that many pictures that Jeremy Iron's in, (some of which surely suck), but this is the best performance I've seen of him. Pretty brilliant all around.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:44 pm:   

Yeah, he's great in that one. Should have won the Oscar for it, instead of the Von Bulow flick.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:59 pm:   

That was sort of a compromise/compensatory nomination, like Dennis Hopper getting nominated for HOOSIERS in 86.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:10 pm:   

Marc, is the Sherlock Holmes on BBC?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:12 pm:   

Yeah, Dave...but he might have gotten a nom for that in any case.
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kellys
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:30 pm:   

Have been slowly re-watching the Cronenberg catalog. Last weekend watched the newly released Fly DVD. Wow, that movie holds up well! It's a disgusting, profoundly sad, unsettling little movie, the kind that surely isn't made anymore. Makes me long for the old Cronenberg.

StephenB: Dead Ringers is up next.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 07:12 pm:   

It's a Masterpiece Theater presentation this week. Probably on more than once. My wife thought it was really good. She usually falls asleep watching TV, but this kept her awake. (She got me hooked on Prime Suspect too.)

I see that Masterpiece Theater is presenting a BBC production of Kidnapped! next. I read an article about some Scots being very upset that it was filmed in New Zealand rather than Scotland for budgetary reasons, and because apparently there were too many power pylons getting in the shots in the Highlands. Although that last could be sort of bogus since these days it's straightforward to digitally remove all kinds of modern crap from shots. Probably expensive, though.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 07:12 pm:   

I wonder if KIDNAPPED! is pronounced in the click-tongue way.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 07:47 pm:   

Did you start with Shivers, Kellys? I still haven't seen Shivers yet, or Scanners (I know Lucius didn't like that one).
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 08:36 pm:   

Thanks, Marc...I'll try and catch it.

Tim Thomerson, Stephen. Exploding Heads. Not exactly the mark of quality.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 09:17 pm:   

Scanners is one of the best Philip K. Dick stories that PKD didn't write. It's totally got the feel of his early short stories...espers caught up in conspiracies. And Cronenberg's movie is exactly as pulpy as Dick's stories from that period. Neither of these is representative of their creators' best work, and I don't go back to reread those old Dick stories any more than I feel compelled to watch Scanners again. But it's worth seeing at least once.

Let me know what you think of the Holmes, Lucius, if you see it.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 09:43 pm:   

I agree on all accounts. Once and done.

I'll let you know if catch it.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 09:56 pm:   

And I'll take Cronenberg's pulpy sploded head of SCANNERS over DePalma's pretentious sploded head of THE FURY any day.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 10:08 pm:   

Thinking about THE FURY led me to see if it's in print, which led me to Amazon, which led me to this totally bizarre customer-review purportedly written by an actor with a bit part the movie:

I BOUGHT IT AND I'M "FURY"-OUS!, July 23, 2004
Reviewer: STEPHEN T. McCARTHY (a MENSA-donkey in Phoenix, Airheadzona.) - See all my reviews
Having not viewed THE FURY for nearly 20 years, I very recently purchased a copy of it from Amazon to see if it had improved with age. Let's put it this way: Fine wine it ain't!

This is fairly typical of much of the simple-minded bovine excrement that Hollywood began churning out in the 1970s and masqueraded as "entertainment." It's a psychological thriller/horror mutt that will "entertain" 14-year-olds who are fascinated by the sight of people blowing up or bleeding from various bodily orifices. Otherwise, it hasn't got much going for it. The story revolves around a man (Kirk Douglas) whose psychic son (Andrew Stevens) is kidnapped by a rogue U.S. Government agency for the purpose of conducting mind-control experiments. Douglas enlists the help of another psychic teenager (Amy Irving) in order to locate his son.
Yeah, it's just that simplistic and it's B-O-R-I-N-G!

The only semi-legitimate excuse for spending 2 hours watching THE FURY (as so many of my fellow reviewers have observed) is to get an early glimpse of a few performers who later went on to become household names, including Dennis Franz, Daryl Hannah, James Belushi (?) and Stephen T. McCarthy. (Well, I'm a household name around MY house!) Yeah, that's my 18-year-old, mop-haired profile as I sit back-to-back with Amy Irving and we wordlessly play a 30 second game of flash card mental telepathy. I remember that day vividly; the girl kept coming-on to me. It was so annoying that I couldn't even get into character. Finally Ol' Brian had to tell her to leave me alone. I understand that she eventually SETTLED for a different Steve (Spielberg) after I had rebuffed her every advance. (Aw c'mon! Let a guy feed his ego why don'tcha?!)

If it's a psychological thriller you want, I suggest JACOB'S LADDER; THE SIXTH SENSE; HUSH, HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE; Hitchcock's, PSYCHO and John Carpenter's, THE THING. Or, if you want your time to be REALLY well-spent, I recommend that you read any of the titles included in my Listmania Book List. But why would you waste your valuable time on THE FURY - a hybrid dog that "EVEN STEPHEN" (T. McCarthy) at the height of his creative powers couldn't save?! (Yeah, I meant that strictly as a joke, alright?)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005LIRC/102-4478975-6392145?v=glance&n=130&n =507846&s=dvd&v=glance
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 10:21 pm:   

I remember that scene. Funny. Who was the lead in that? John Cassavetes? Probably raising money for Killing of a Chinese Bookie. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 11:25 pm:   

Watched a Aussie pic based on a Tim Winton novella. In The Winter Dark. Beautifully shot, filmed in the blue mountains. Good acting. Brenda Blethyn, Miranda Otto, etc. Interesting premise. Beast of unknown nature is killing farm animals. What dark force does it represent? An outside force? Or is one of the people in this four-character drama somehow to blame? I really wanted to like this, but everything's telegraphed and the direction's heavy-handed. The movie just lies there. Watched Soft for Digging again. This was a student film shot for 6 K. Almost no dialogue. Horror film stripped down to the essentials. Very impressive.
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kellys
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 06:20 am:   

StephenB: Yeah, I started with Shivers, which is an effective zombie film about venereal disease. Then watched The Brood, which is Cronenberg's twisted response to Kramer vs. Kramer. Then on to one of my favorites, Videodrome, which is a seemless blending of delusion, dream, and weirdness. And most recently, The Fly, Cronenberg's answer to Terms of Endearment.

I'd need to re-watch Scanners, but when I first saw it I remember thinking it didn't belong in the Cronenberg canon.

'Tis the season, so I dare ask: favorite overlooked horror film?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 08:39 am:   

Videodrome, Cronenberg's twisted response to TRON, is one of my all-time favorites. Sexy, funny, imaginative, always worth another viewing. James Woods and Debbie Harry were never better. Would you say that EXISTENZ was his twisted response to Super Mario Brothers and all the spate of video-game movies? I need to rewatch a couple of his films that I have good impressions of, but have forgotten the details of, like NAKED LUNCH and M. BUTTERFLY.

Speaking of SCANNERS and AWOL actors, it was nice to see Michael Ironside turn up again in THE MACHINIST.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 08:52 am:   

I have about a million overlooked horror films. Here are some, just to start the ball rolling:

THIRST, rarely-seen Australian thriller that can be described as Dracula-meets-The Prisoner, in which people are abducted to a secret colony run by vampires, where they are kept to be milked as "blood cows." Quite well done, but almost impossible to find.

NEAR DARK, Katherine Bigelow's 80s vampires-as-Arkansas-travellers flick in which a vagabond family of dysfunctional vamps, led by Lance Henricksen and Bill Paxton, try to deal with a sibling's romance with a non-vamp. Great scene in which two of the vamps basically devour an entire bar full of rowdy rednecks.

THE ASPHYX, in which a guy schemes to capture the spirit tabbed to fetch his soul, therefore guaranteeing himself immortality. Calamitous consequences ensue, natch.

Anyone have others?
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 07:10 pm:   

Kellys, you skipped Rabid. That's a good one.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 07:56 pm:   

You're bringing up a film I doubt Cronenberg even likes.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 03:01 am:   

Well, regardless, he made it, and I though it was good as a low budget horror movie, made really early in his career.
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Stephen
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 03:04 am:   

Better than Crash, at least...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 04:37 am:   

So Rabid's good, and Dead Bird's is mediocre? OK. Some Cronenberg fans swear by Crash -- I don't understand it, but...
At least Rabid gave Marylin Chambers something to do between pornos....
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kellys
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 06:11 am:   

Never seen Rabid, for the simple fact that it' usually considered lesser Cronenberg. Fast Company as well.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 06:32 am:   

I don't know...I saw Rabid a long, long time ago, but I seem to remember it being alright. A couple of scenes from that film -- the attack on the subway train and the closing image -- really stayed with me.

I need to watch Crash again. I remember not being all that impressed by it, but I could be wrong. It's got a great cast, including Spader!, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas and the great but criminally underappreciated Deborah Kara Unger.

Never seen Fast Company.
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kellys
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 08:20 am:   

Dave G.: From what I read, ASPHYX and THIRST both sound pretty good. Amazon has got a version of THIRST available, but ASPHYX seems to be OOP.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 08:49 am:   

It might be available under its alternate title: Spirits of the Dead. I'd be really surprised to find it's OOP; it's a classic.

I've also talked on here about Rusty Cundieff's neglected TALES FROM THE HOOD, an African-American themed take on the old Amicus horror anthology films. Like all of them, it's not uniformly excellent, but the vignette with Corbin Bernsen as a racist politician battling a houseful of vengeful slave dolls, and Clarence Williams III's performance as a creepy mortician make the thing worthwhile. It really captures the spirit of eerie fun that informed the old movies. When you consider that the best the big studios can do nowadays is remake CREEPSHOW, this looks like a freakin' masterpiece. Worth a few bucks.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 09:09 am:   

I liked Thirst, thought Asphyx was interesting, but Tales from the Hood....Man, that's almost unwatchable. I'd say it was unwatchable, but for the fact I watched it. I musta been high...or low...or something. I'm a fan of CWIII. His villain in 52 Pick-up is unforgettable. But TFTH? No way...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 09:24 am:   

BTW, My neglected horror film is the Woman In Black, a British ghost story from the late 80s, early Ninties. Nary a drop of gore, but chilling....
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 12:55 pm:   

then let me replace TFTH with Larry Cohen's 1976 gem GOD TOLD ME TO. Quite imaginative and offbeat, featuring an unusually good cast (tony lobianco, sandy dennis, deborah raffin) for a low-budget B.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 01:04 pm:   

Oh yeah. Larry Cohen. Boo ra!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 01:05 pm:   

And I loved Fear Of A Black Hat...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 01:18 pm:   

I would call TFTH more fun than good. And I loved CWIII as Mr. Sims, especially at the end. But I can see your point...
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   

So Rabid's good, and Dead Bird's is mediocre?

Yep. Rabid has moments that are potentially genuinely scary or disturbing. Dead Birds, not so much.

When it was released, it caused outrage among politicians -- score a few points for that. He predicted stem cell research technology -- another point. Chambers worked.... Ok, it's not that good. The Brood's better (maybe Shivers too?). Videodrome was his first great movie anyway. So Rabid doesn't compare to most of his movies, but maybe that makes it a little underrated? considering the budget he had to work with.

And Crash I should give another chance. Many people would consider it a much better movie.

I'd like to see his really early short films...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 01:49 pm:   

Dead Bird;s depends on a theatrical viewing for its FX to work.

I just thought Rabid was cheesy,

I'd like to see a good Cberg long film made post 1995
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

Spider was OK. M Butterfly wasn't too bad. Was that post 1995?
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:09 pm:   

I thought Dead Birds was cheesy, as a period piece horror, but without being conscious of that.

I'm sure Cronenberg was aware of Rabid's cheese aspect at the time, as well as its shock horror aspect.

But that's the thing, Dead Birds relies on its good FX production value. Story, suspense, and character wise, it wasn't that impressive, but it wasn't horrible.

I'd like to see a good Cberg long film made post 1995

Did you happen to catch Spider?:-)

eXistenZ, although certainly not one of his best, is still good, or at least average, as his movies go. Did you know that it was partly based on Salman Rushdie? Death to the infidel!

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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:13 pm:   

I thought Spider was a lot better than OK.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:34 pm:   

You're quite sure of Cberg's attitude, are you? Personal friends?

I like Dead Birds a helluva lot better than Rabid.

I saw Spider. I liked it okay, but IMO it doesn't stand up to a repeat viewing.

I don't care what ExistenZ was based on, it's not a good film.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:48 pm:   

We go way back. I used to date his daughter.:-)

You can have your Dead Birds. I'll take Cberg. Rabid, despite its extreme violence (at least, for the time) has a sense of humor. It doesn't take itself too seriously. I didn't get that from DBs.

I agree about Spider. Once you've seen the end... But you could say that for a lot of good movies. I could probably still watch it again, though, considering the good acting and filmaking involved.

eXistenZ has a layered and complex plot, and it breaks cyberpunk's traditional form...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:55 pm:   

"...and it breaks cyberpunk's traditional form..."

Thank God it did something.


There's nothing intrinsically wrong with taking yourself seriously.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 03:19 pm:   

I never said there was. My point being, if you take two somewhat cheesy horror movies, I'm going to favour the one that doesn't take itself too seriously and has genuine scares. That's all.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   

Actually, It's not knowing the end of Spider that made the movie impossible to watch, it was its flat affect.

Croneberg, Shmonenberg...Who cares. He's turning himself into a minor figure after having been, arguably, the most audacious and risk-taking director (english-speaking) of the 80s, 90s...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 04:26 pm:   

I liked both Dead Birds and Rabid, so I'm stayin' out of it! :-) But I definitely agree; nothing compares to Videodrome...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 05:00 pm:   

For me, it's dead ringers, naked lunch, videodrome.

BTW, forgot to mention that I caught a screener of the Squid and the Whale last week. Liked it a lot. Sort of the Royal Tennebaums without the distortion. By the guy who made Kicking and Screaming.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 05:06 pm:   

And oh yeah, I just ordered this, Dave, from Xploited Films:


During the 1960’s and 70’s, Turkey produced some of the most colorful, violent, and psychotronic movies ever made. Inspired by American pulp serials and local comic book heroes, these films were packed with the exotic, the erotic and downright psychotic. Available now for the first time ever on DVD, here are two of the very best films from Turkey’s cinematic “Golden Age”.
THE DEATHLESS DEVIL (Yilmayan Seytan) pits a masked superhero against the devious Dr Satan and his killer robot. TARKAN VERSUS THE VIKINGS (Tarkan Viking Kani) is a Conan-style hero, who roams the plains with his faithful dog, Kurt. Here he comes up against a band of vicious Vikings, who take great pleasure in sacrificing nubile maidens to a hungry octopus!

Huh? Huh?
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kellys
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 05:58 pm:   

The fact that Cberg has become the Village Voice's and Film Comment's favorite filmmaker of the last decade attests to his decline. He's become too self-conscious and has lost his obsession with the "flesh." I always hold out hope that his "next" movie will mark his return.

Lucius: You should write a book on underground, forgotten genre cinema. You sure dig up some crazy-sounding films.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 06:16 pm:   

Yeah, totally. I agree with your assessment, kellys.

I don't really know that much, and I much prefer writing fiction. But I'm starting to incorporate my tiny bit of experience with the movies into my stories...which is fun.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 03:21 am:   

Don't think anybody has mentioned DEAD ZONE. A movie which is not only an improvement on the King story - in the book the lead character is not actually IN the visions - but features a great "good guy" Walkin performance (and was shot a few miles down the road from me in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where the movie set's gazebo has become a popular setting for wedding portraits).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 04:20 am:   

Dead Zone was good for a King movie, but not a stand out for me, despite Walken....It's amazing how few movies Cronenberg has made. His reputation really resides in a handful of films. Be interesting to see how he does with London Fields.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 06:09 am:   

Mmmmmmm, Turkish nubiles...

The ultimate grail for psychotronic nubility, as far as I'm concerned, is a movie called EVIL REMAINS, with Estella Warren and Ashley Scott trapped in a haunted house. Anybody seen this gem?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 07:44 am:   

Nope. I've seen EVIL LEFTOVERS, EVIL DETRITUS, EVIL RELICS, but EVIL REMAINS....nah. :-)
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 08:34 am:   

Is Evil Leftovers was about food that kills people?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 09:06 am:   

Yup. Special chicken fried in hell..... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 10:12 am:   

Chicken Fried Hell.

Now, that is the kind of title you could build a screenplay around.

I see that "Masters of Horror" starts tomorrow night on Showtime with an episode featuring Angus "Phantasm" Scrimm.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 10:27 am:   

I'll be seeing (ulp) Jarhead.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 01:08 pm:   

You really didn't like A History of Violence, hey? Haven't seen History yet, but I think London Fields will be better.

I agree that your three favs by him are his best.

I think Spider is supposed to have a flat affect. It's more of a psychological study, as a vingette, than a straight up story, afterall.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 01:21 pm:   

Yeah, but it's a movie, it should do more.

I didn't dislike History, I just didn't like it that much. It didn't feel like a Cronenberg movie. Ed Harris was good.

I doubt London Fields will be any better. Cberg is going mainstream. Kellys said it for me.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 01:33 pm:   

Yeah, I guess. Still, Spider hardly seems like a mainstream oriented movie.

The reason I think London Fields might be better is partly the source material; based on a novel by Kingsley Amis' son, Martin, who also wrote the screenplay. Although I've never read anything by him, so I dunno how good he is...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 01:51 pm:   

He's a constipated jerk. London Fields would probably make a good film, and it's about a psychic, so it should bring Cronenberg out, but I just feel he's given up and going for mainstream cred
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 02:07 pm:   

Oh, really.

That's too bad, I guess, but it's not like he hasn't made more mainstream accessible films before...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 03:10 pm:   

Never with such relish.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 04:15 pm:   

Depends on if Cberg has a blank check to make movies.

If he doesn't have a blank check and wants to continue to make a good living making movies then it could impact his future choices.

At any rate here's his numbers from the Numbers website:

9/23/2005 A History of Violence $26,989,000
2/28/2003 Spider $1,641,788
4/23/1999 eXistenZ $2,840,417
3/21/1997 Crash $3,357,324
10/1/1993 M. Butterfly $1,498,795
12/1/1991 Naked Lunch $2,541,000
9/23/1988 Dead Ringers $9,134,733
8/15/1986 Fly, The $37,585,000
2/4/1983 Videodrome $2,120,439
10/21/1983 Dead Zone, The $20,766,000
1/1/1981 Scanners $14,200,000

When I think of mainstream I think of movies that gross. Over the years his movies have been all over the board.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 04:42 pm:   

When I think of mainstream, I think of movies that bore. Cberg used to be able to make a good entertainment that didn't bore -- take the Fly. No big names, a remake of an old horror flick. Yet in today's dollars it was a big movie, You can't read much from that list. You have to look into how much money was spent in marketing, etc. etc.

My thing is, in History and London Fields, he's choosing more mainsteam material than he ever has and treating it (at least in History) as very mainstream.
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kellys
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 06:18 pm:   

I also think Cronenberg has lost his sense of purpose. In works like The Brood, Videodrome, and The Fly, his preoccupation with transformation is evident. Spider and History of Violence, while not bad movies, feel too clinical, lacking the energy and personal touch of his earlier works. He's forsaken his original audience -- the horror crowd -- and now caters to the cognoscenti film circle, who, instead of a passion for storytelling, seem to drive what kinds of movies he makes.

Or maybe he's just lost the edge he had as a young man?
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PM
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 08:23 pm:   

I can understand disappointment from those who wish Cberg to continue and make horror movies or to use fantastical elements.

In that sense I would consider Violence to be mainstream inasmuch as the horror and transformations are visually realistic.

If Vigo had transformed into some creature then this may have appealed to the horror crowd. Instead it's psychological and I consider the realistic portrayal of horrific moments to be "scarier" than the CGI or costumed monster running amuck.

Again these are preferences in what people want to see. Doubt that Lucius would want to see Seagal in a remake of Bridges of Madison County and an ongoing stream of similar films...

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 08:49 pm:   

What are you talking about?

I didn't care for History because, basically, it was boring. It was a COMIC BOOK and Cberg did NOTHING to put his stamp on it, to add depth or imbue it with his intelligence. That doesn't mean I missed the fantastc or horrific--Dead Ringers had mainstream subject matter, but was a Cronenberg film...a good one. What I missed was the elan that Cberg's previous films possessed. I don't even mention most of the films I see anymore, because nobody comments... In the past month I've seen le Appartement, Battles without Honor, Crimen Ferpecto, Turrtles Can Fly, Damnation, DIstant, and so on. I'd much rather talk about those films, most of which have substance, subtlety, and cleverness, unlike the empty gasbag that is History. Truly, there's nothing more to say about it.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 09:15 pm:   

I can appreciate that it's frustrating to not be able to discuss the films that you wish to discuss.

And then the films that are so frequently mentioned are films that you're not interested in discussing.

Creates a mutual conversational impasse...
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JTS
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 09:22 pm:   

Lucius, I'd just like to mention that I greatly benefit from your mentioning of independant/foreign films.

Living in Australia in particular means I hear almost nothing about these films, so its because of you that I've seen some truly remarkable films such as the return, carandiru etc, so I do hope you continue to talk about those films.

On another topic have you heard about an australian film called the proposition, its written by nick cave and directed by his music video director and its been getting a lot of good press here, Its been descibed as an australian western so it might be interesting, I'll let you know if its any good.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 09:53 pm:   

Definitely do that, JTS. Sounds intriguing,

Turtles Can Fly is one of the two or three best films I saw this year. And that may be dissing it. Thanks to MarcL to turning me onto it. The story by writer/director Bahman Ghobadi a devastating examination of the Iraqis in the days before the war, told from the POV of orphans who live in a refugee camp in Kurdistan on the Turkish border. They earn money by gathering land mines and used shells leftover from Saddam Hussein's oppression, hoping to raise money for a satellite dish so they can provide coverage of the war for the elders, they form rival groups for the monetary aspects of weapons gathering, and they're led by Satellite, so called because he knows how to hook up a satellite dish. Among his associates are a kid who lost his arms to the land mines and has the ability to foresee the future, and Agrin, a girl who helps care for a blind two year orphan. They watch and listen for the Americans to arrive, and struggle for survival under Satellite's control.

Ghobadi gets great naturalistic performances from the kids. I shudder to think the tearjerker a North American director would have wrought of these materials -- it's such a good movie, I can't think of anybody else directing it...and you can get a copy for around 10 bucks on Amazon, so there's no excuse not to own it, except disinterest.

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JTS
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 12:26 am:   

sounds like a great film, I loved marooned in Iraq so I'll definately get that.

Has anyone ever seen Ugetsu, its a japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, I've just noticed it's coming out on criterian DVD and it definately sounds like my kind of thing, any recomendations.

Speaking of japanese films, I remember seeing an excellent japanese film at a film festival a few years ago titled Chinmoku, Silence is its english title. Its set in japan in the 1500s where christianity is in the process of being stamped out, its basically about 2 missionaries coming to japan to defend a christian man being persecuted. It's a great film but I've yet to see a copy of it available in the U.S. does anyone know of a website in the U.S. or elsewhere that might have it, thanks
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 04:48 am:   

I've only seen a few of Mizoguchi's films (he made a bunch, maybe 60 or 70, I guess I could look it up if I weren't lazy), but they've all been exceptional, if unrelentingly depressing. I particularly liked Sansho the Baliff, the Life of Oharu, and Ugetsu. I haven't seen Ugetsu for years, but it's a great ghost story. The woman who plays the ghost is the same who was featured in Floating Weeds by Ozu and is an otherworldly beauty. I also remember the cinematography as being incredible -- as with Koboyashi, you get frames that stick in your head for decades.

Don't know Silence. Sounds great. I'll do some poking around on the net later.
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JV
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 06:18 am:   

I may be behind by a few months and you've already seen this, but, check out this "repurposing" of The Shining, in trailer form. (Via Cat Sparks)

Requires Quicktime.

http://www.ps260.com/molly/SHINING%20FINAL.mov

Jeff
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

What do you mean? I would LOVE to see Seagal in a remake of Bridges of Madison County!

Just found out that Japanese horror anthology Three Extremes has opened here. Anyone seen it?

I agree with Lucius' take on Cronenberg. He has tempered his vision a bit for the mainstream audience. But I don't feel as strongly negative as he does. (Consider that I have yet to see History...) I mean, he made Crash not so long ago and that is certainly as transgressive in its way as Ringers was. If you consider the distance between, let's say Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave, on one hand, and Green Card on the other, Cronenberg's particular "sell out" is a lot less egregious than it might have been...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:13 am:   

The more I think about Seagal putting a leering smile on his face and uttering, "Here's to ancient evenings...and distant music...," the more I want this whole Madison County thing to happen.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:26 am:   

Agree that Peter Weir's sell-out is far more egregious, but that's no reason to celebrate. Cberg can still turn it around, but his choice of London Fields makes me worried.
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kellys
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:37 am:   

The Proposition sounds really cool. From what I've read, gritty and poetic. And has a great international cast: Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, and Ray Winstone.

Not to beat this Cberg thing to death, but...it's not that I wish he'd make horror/fantasy films for their own sake, but it's that his style and personality has proven to be better suited to cinema of the fantastic.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 09:28 am:   

Jeff, yeah, ATC turned us on to that site -- Hilarious.

kellys, yeah, but arguably Dead Ringers was his best film and that had no fantastic element.

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kellys
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 10:00 am:   

Good point. Though, for me, Videodrome is Cberg's high point.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 10:31 am:   

I said "Arguably." :-)

Has anybody seen of heard of Machuca? Terrific 2004 film about the Pinocht era. I recommend it.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 07:49 pm:   

Somersault, won a bunch of Australian Oscars. Sort of a chick-flick about a girl wirh a single parent mom, needy, accustomed to using sex to get "'love," gets caught making out with her mom's boyfriend, runs away to a ski resort where she meets a emotionally, closed-off young farmer, they sorta fall in love, lots of well-drawn side characters, especially the family of a co-worker at the conveniece store where she gets a job. Great character touches throughout. Excellent lead performance and direction (Clare Shortlands) and script. Reminded me a little of Victor Nunez's Ruby in Paradise. Worth a watch if you can't get something loud and stupid and American.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:02 pm:   

Was it you, Marc, who's a Gary Farmer fan? There''s a movie starring Farmer I missed -- Skins, with Graham Green. Sounds pretty good.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:21 pm:   

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=TDV-15139D

Not a US site, but a japanese dvd with Eng subtitles of Chinmoku.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:58 pm:   

Cronenberg should have bitten off TIME'S ARROW. It's the only one of Amis's novels that I managed to finish. In fact, I couldn't put it down. I really did like CRASH, but I admit that nothing's done it for me since Naked Lunch (before that the highlights were Videodrome and The Fly). I remember seeing previews for the fly with Richard Kadrey (I think we'd both just sat through Hellraiser), and the trailer alone got to both of us. Richard said, "Cronenberg knows where you live." And then, especially, it was true; it was a very thinly veiled way of dealing with the feeling of living through the early days of the exploding AIDS epidemic. I feel as if he's no longer sure where people live. But I believe he can find his way back...other directors have. It's disappointing to hear that VIOLENCE is just a straightforward adaptation.

Yep, I love Farmer. I'll look for Skins.

Glad to hear you liked Turtles Can Fly. For me it's Best of the Year in any category, out of the admittedly limited number of movies I've seen that have actually come out this year.

Memories of Murder is one of the others I've seen this year that I've been unable to shake; I keep coming back to it and telling people about it. It's just had a North American release, but it's a few years old.

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MarcL
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 09:32 pm:   

I picked up Jarhead recently; haven't read it yet. The movie appears to have some great cinematography.

One of the best things I've seen recently was a two season run of The Alan Partridge Show. Man oh man. Why do sociopaths make the best comics? When I first started hanging out on these boards, I had just watched Coffee and Cigarettes, and my favorite bit by far was the exchange between Molina and Coogan. I've watched 24 Hour Party People and bracing for Tristram Shandy. But his Alan Partridge character is stupefying. There are times, watching Partridge, when I can't even begin to imagine what Coogan the actor is doing, or thinks he's doing, at that moment.

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 09:34 pm:   

Yup, loved Turtles. Hard for me to say Best because I see so many different kinds of movies. Like how compare Turtles to, say, a Kaurismaki film or Kitchen Stories; but it would have to be right near the top.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 09:51 pm:   

Yeah, the Molina-Coogan bit in C&C was way great...As was 24 Hour Party People. Haven't seen the Partridge show.
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JTS
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 10:39 pm:   

Thanks Lucius, I have been looking for silence for ages.

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 10:42 pm:   

Glad I could help...
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PM
Posted on Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 12:42 pm:   

Came across this while looking for something else.

It's a Horror series on Showtime which will include 13 original 1 hour films...

http://www.sho.com/site/mastersofhorror/home.do
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 10:37 pm:   

I just watched the first 25 minutes of the Don Cascarelli episode. Master of Horror, my butt. That was some serious crap. I hope the rest aren't as stupid. Maybe the Miike and some of the others will be better.
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 07:14 am:   

After looking over the list of episodes, I have the feeling the Coscarelli one might end up being one of the better ones. Miike and Argento might do something good, but I don't expect much from the others.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 08:20 am:   

Based entirely on the source material, a terrif short story by Dale Bailey, I have hopes for the adaptation of "Death and Suffrage". Of course, adaptations ARE variable in quality, so it may suck. But the raw materials are there.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 08:21 am:   

If that's the case....Shudder. Because the Coscarelli was just awful. What the hell is Mick Farris or Garris doing, being a Master Of Anything. That guy's the consummate hack. Did you see the TV version of the Shining? Sleepwalkers? I still have nightmares about people throwing cats. :-)
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 09:46 am:   

I didn't think the Coscarelli one was terrible. Not good, but I was able to watch all of it without getting too bored. I can't say the same thing about some of the films the other directors have done, which is why I expect worse from the others.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 09:55 am:   

You know where I lost it? When the old geezer starts in with his faux-hillbilly gabble. I've seen that too many times and this was a particularly noxious example. I began to lose it when our heroine, in the midst of running for her life, whups out her girl scout knife and whittles out a stake, digs a pit, covers it with branches, rigs a booby trap...Man, either that was one slow monster or he stopped somewhere for wine and a cigar.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 10:00 am:   

ATC, you mean Bailey wrote the Cascarelli episode? Whooee. Too bad.

Actually, I've got some hope for the Larry Cohen episode.
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Robert
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 10:41 am:   

I think ATC is talking about a future episode. Coscarelli's episode was by Joe Lansdale.

The heroine didn't dig a pit, she found one. Still, the monster was pretty damn slow. But if you gave up then, you missed the bland twist ending (why does everything need to have a twist?).
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 10:54 am:   

Yup, missed the twist. Darn. I missed the pit finding too. My attention was lapsing. Well, DC made Bubba Hotep, and for that I forgive him much.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 10:59 am:   

Why does everything have to have a twist?

That's one of my pet peeves. They're becoming the stone about the neck of horror...
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Adam-Troy
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   

The Lansdale story, I mean the prose story, got by on the sheer energy that infuses all of his action tales. It did occur to me that as a FILM, it would need to be made with consumnate artistry to avoid ordinariness. (His "Night they Missed the Horror Show," or "Steppin' Out" (I think that was it) might have been more distinguished, unusual films.) I haven't seen the episode, so I can't say.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   

Not familiar enough with Lansdale's work to comment.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 02:37 pm:   

i thought BUBBA HO-TEP was a pretty static film. if not for bruce c and the guy playing JFK, i reckon it would've been pretty boring. the prose version just irritated me, though. there's a mysognistic level to landsdale's work that comes right on out and annoys that shit outta me and this was one of the cases.

(i've enjoyed his hap and leonard novels, though.)
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 02:50 pm:   

Twists can be good, and they go way back in the horror/thriller genre. Vertigo, one of Hitchcock's best films, depends on its twist, in part. Oldboy, another good one, utilizes a twist to good effect.

It's the same with any narrative. The reader or viewer likes some surprises. But that doesn't mean they have to have major twists, or whatever. Of course, twists can also be gimmicky and bad.

I've heard a lot of good things about that Turtles Can Fly movie. Haven't seen those other ones you've watched recently...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 02:58 pm:   

For me, there's too much else I want to read, Ben...but I liked Bubba Hotep for much the reasons you did.

Twists, Stephen, have become endemic. That's what the objection to them is about.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 06:16 pm:   

i don't read lansdale's stuff now, simply cause there is other stuff i'd rather read. but like i said, i liked the hap and leonard stuff, so i checked out his other work. didn't much like that, which is the way it is at times. he does a new hap and leonard novel i'll go for that but that's where it begins and ends. thus my lansdale knowledge comes to an end :-)

most twist endings these days aren't very twist like, i've noticed.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 06:29 pm:   

Don't know the hap and leonard stuff. I've read like about three short stories and broke it off. Too comic bookish splattery for me.

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