Archive for the 'Film' Category

‘My name is Inigo Montoya’

I’ve never heard this story before from Mandy Patinkin and it made me love him even more because I know how he feels.

Ray Harryhausen, RIP

Ray Harryhausen created fantastical creatures. He made his mark on the world and made it a better place.

Human Centipede II banned in Britain is film’s new marketing ploy

I have no interest in seeing the centipede movies. New York Times has a story on the film being banned in Britain and what other horror directors think of that, including torture porn maker Eli Roth.

Even so, Mr. Roth said that Mr. Six may have invited the film board’s wrath with a teaser trailer that promised “Human Centipede 2” would be “the sickest movie of all time.” “You want to be a provocateur,” Mr. Roth said. “But it’s best to be a provocateur after you’ve secured your rating.”

If by provocateur, Roth means torture pornographers like himself and Mr. Six who are unable to write and direct intelligent, frightening horror films so they substitute it with torture porn then yes, they are provocateurs.

What irks me is most is how the torture pornographers debase the horror genre.

Mr. Six, who described himself as “a victim of a very happy childhood,” grew up just outside Amsterdam, and after making a handful of harshly reviewed films intended for Dutch audiences, has focused on his “Human Centipede” movies, which are produced by his sister, Ilona. (She declined to comment for this article, but Mr. Six said she’s “just as crazy as I am.”)

For him the “Human Centipede” films are simultaneously a lark and a serious endeavor, an attempt to push people’s buttons and to push past the ax-wielding lunatics and repetitive sequels of conventional horror movies. If his movies are pejoratively labeled “torture porn,” Mr. Six said he didn’t mind. “I see porno films, of course, and I like them,” he said. And horror films, he said, are “all torture and misery.”

“I think my film is a torture porn with European art sauce or something,” Mr. Six said.

Here Mr. Six Simpleton shows his real contempt for the horror genre and tries to rationalize his inability to make a decent film by saying horror films are “all torture and misery.” What a complete disregard and lack of knowledge. A guy making a sequel that is nothing more than an even more grotesque, stupider version of his original thinks conventional horror movies are too repetitive. Claiming what he does is “horror” is an insult to James Whales, John Carpenter and countless others. Hell, it’s an insult to Ed Wood.

Say what you real about regular pornographers, they don’t try to claim the story setting up the sex shots are a serious endeavor and are in the drama or comedy genres.

Brad Pitt rescues a zombie in real life

Brad Pitt doesn’t just play the hero who saves the day, he rescues a zombie too.

75 abandoned, long vacant theaters

Via Roger Ebert, I love places like this.

Sure, it’d be nice for these glorious venues to be open for live performances and shows, but the empty, decayed spaces appeal to me too.

Perfect Creature

Speaking of steampunk, I really liked Perfect Creature, which I finally got around to viewing (my Netflix queue has a bit of a backlog). Perfect Creature is a vampire film with a twist where vampires are the priests who look out for humanity except for one who has turned into a killer. This is all set in an alternative dimension with a lot of steampunk elements that is advanced to a 1960ish setting.

The movie is not flawless, but considering what I like it really worked for me.

You will be jealous of Del Toro

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The New Yorker:

In 1926, Forrest Ackerman, a nine-year-old misfit in Los Angeles, visited a newsstand and bought a copy of Amazing Stories—a new magazine about aliens, monsters, and other oddities. By the time he reached the final page, he had become America’s first fanboy. He started a group called the Boys’ Scientifiction Club; in 1939, he wore an outer-space outfit to a convention for fantasy aficionados, establishing a costuming ritual still followed by the hordes at Comic-Con. Ackerman founded a cult magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and, more lucratively, became an agent for horror and science-fiction writers. He crammed an eighteen-room house in Los Feliz with genre memorabilia, including a vampire cape worn by Bela Lugosi and a model of the pteranodon that tried to abscond with Fay Wray in “King Kong.” Ackerman eventually sold off his collection to pay medical bills, and in 2008 he died. He had no children.

But he had an heir. In 1971, Guillermo del Toro, the film director, was a seven-year-old misfit in Guadalajara, Mexico. He liked to troll the city sewers and dissolve slugs with salt. One day, in the magazine aisle of a supermarket, he came upon a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He bought it, and was so determined to decode Ackerman’s pun-strewed prose—the letters section was called Fang Mail—that he quickly became bilingual.

Read it and weep tears of envy.

Update Link fixed.

The 2011 crop of supernatural sexies

For those into that sort of thing.

Ghost watching

My daughters and I were snowbound over the Christmas holiday on a farm dating back to 1666 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia bordered on three sides by a tidal marsh (and woods on the fourth).

The surprising snow storm dumped 16 inches of snow on a part of the country not accustomed to dealing with such weather and so we watched a lot of movies sitting next to the woodstove.

There were 11 of us in all, but fortunately we had plenty of alcohol and DVDs.

Among the DVDs was the fantastic ghost story The Woman in Black, which may have the most terrifying scene in any ghost movie ever.

Sadly The Woman in Black is not available on Netflix or even on DVD except for pirated copies, but it’s worth hunting down.

The 2002 “docudrama” A Haunting In Connecticut also provided some chills, particularly for the younger members in the crowd. Available on Netflix.

The 2008 “docudrama,” also from the Discovery Channel, A Haunting in Georgia, came off as more cheesy, but was still entertaining for the isolated snowbound in an isolated, haunted farmhouse. Available on Netflix.

Haunting of Winchester House from 2009 offered more cheese than chills and was entertaining when paired with enough alcohol and MST3K-styled quipping from a smart group, but I wouldn’t recommend it under other circumstances. Available on Netflix instant watch.

Below, a 2002 supernatural thriller, changed the scenery to a World War II submarine and offered plenty of jump scares mixed with the gritty WWII realism. Below is available on Netflix instant watch and is well worth a watch.

The real hidden gem of the impromptu Willowdale film fest was The Eclipse, a 2009 Irish film that blends family drama, romance and supernatural thriller in a slow-paced, but never dull film that allows the story and characters to develop naturally. A recent widower and long-time volunteer for a local literary festival is haunted by the recent death of his wife and by the specter of his still-living father-in-law. While some reviewers criticize it unfairly in my view for tacking on supernatural elements onto a romantic film, The Eclipse offers genuine frights and is well-worth a watch by those who like intelligently presented horror that treats its ghosts — and characters — with respect. Available on Netflix instant watch.

Drag me up the ramp to hell

I really wanted to see Drag Me To Hell this past weekend. But on Friday my wife mentioned how much trouble our dog Lucy was having getting up the back steps. I took her to the vet and we got her started on medicine for her Lyme disease and two pain pill prescriptions, one for her arthritis and the other a general pain medication. The vet wants to take X-rays to see if bone cancer is involved, but the vet also said the X-rays would be academic. At Lucy’s age, she’s nearly 12, we wouldn’t want to do anything that would lessen the quality of her life when it isn’t likely to prolong her lifespan. So I spent the weekend going to the lumber store and then came home and built her a ramp. Lucy didn’t like it. So I went back to Lowes and bought outdoor carpetting to make it non-skid and added rails to the side to make it more secure. She still won’t use it although when she went up when I lead her it was much easier for her than going up the three steps.

It’s not the angle of the ramp. The ramp has a much gentler slope than the commercial dog ramps for older dogs. In any event, she has a deluxe ramp waiting for her when she does decide to use it. By the time I finished building it and then getting my yard and garden work done, I was too tired to go see the movie. I’ll have to wait until next weekend.

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