Monday, May 31, 2010

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane




The conquest awaits all the horny males of a high school who converge upon a ranch summer party hoping they are the lucky guy to bed celebrated virgin Mandy Lane. She's like some sort of magnet for male libidos, all wanting a shot at dethroning the girl, winning her acceptance with a right of passage that no guy has been able to come close to achieving. Interesting enough, Mandy is an unassuming, relatively quiet and shy, and doesn't necessarily invite such guffaws and lusty looks. She doesn't seem conceited or self absorbed. She doesn't go out of her way to attract the boys, or seem desperate for attention. God, it's so refreshing, really. Mandy seems responsible and mature compared to those around her. She doesn't cry for the position so many have entitled her with. The girls and guys that accompany Lane to the ranch are the exact opposite. They worry about the image they represent, care about how they look, and their abilities of seduction. While Mandy doesn't seem as comfortable drinking liquor, snorting coke, or smoking pot, the others are. Those in attendance who occupy the same ranch area as Lane are rather crude and rather blunt about their feelings.



Mandy's virginity is like fucking buried treasure everyone covets, and the usual manipulative efforts and pick-up lines are used in abundance to "get with her." The way the movie treats her, there are times when she is shot in slow motion, such as when she reveals what she looks like in a two piece bikini as the others gawk in adoration, you'd think she was Helen of Troy, a goddess to erect a statue of stone for worship. By the same token, Garth the ranchhand is also an object of desire, for the ladies, including Mandy, and we can sense that if anybody will take her virginity on this trip it will be him. Director Jonathan Levine builds a mystery around him(those smart enough will recognize that he is too obvious a suspect), though, as evident by the music. I really credit director Levine for using a chilling, not too loud or obtrusive(except the sound of the shotgun which made me jump even when I knew it was coming), score which incorporates a feeling of forboding. And, we just feel like it's only a matter of time before violence enters the picture. Sex is such a topic of importance in the lives of the teenagers. The size of your dick or how your boobs look outside a shirt, who's a virgin and who's not, all that stuff is the subject brought out among these kids.




Many might recognize Luke Grimes from the cult film Deadgirl as Jake, a real prick who thinks highly of himself. Whitney Able is Chloe, insecure despite a facade of superiority regarding her looks. Melissa Price is Marlin, who competes with Chloe over guys and her "slight pudge"(which is ridiculous because Marlin isn't the fatty Chloe uses to her assault her self esteen; it's that Chloe herself must use ridicule as a weapon to mask her own vulnerablity)is often brought up against her. Aaron Himelstein is Red, his dad's ranch is the chief setting for the movie. Edwin Hodge is the "token black character", Bird, although he isn't obnoxious or anything as they are often portrayed. Anson Mount, a guy the gals would label "dreamy", is the ranch hand who make the girls swoon. Michael Welch is Emmet, the outcast everyone insults and despise. Emmet is Mandy's "friend."

You know, the director doesn't even attempt to conceal the identity of the killer. We get a feeling not long into the movie who could become(if he wasn't already due to his involvement in the accidental suicidal leap of a jock from a roof slamming his skull on the sidewalk near the pool he was supposed to be landing into, drunk at the methodical instruction of Mandy's victimized friend who convinces him she would love that kind of stunt)psychotic enough to systematically annihilate a group of teenagers in the name of his devotion to Mandy Lane.







Interesting enough, this doesn't follow the typical slasher mood because I think Columbine changed the dynamic of this genre. Teenage killers, those who were mistreated and ridiculed by their fellow students, wreaking vengeance on those they consider the root of their homicidal rage, have changed the landscape of the slasher movie. A movie I like, THE FINAL(part of the 2009 After Dark Horrorfest's 8 films to die for), is an example of this. While, MANDY LANE doesn't exactly follow this pattern directly, I think we get an idea at the beginning that, besides his total devotion and obsession with the titular girl, that being an object of intense ridicule led a path towards perhaps what transpires. It's not what one would consider a "fun' slasher in that respect because the characters aren't completely hate-worthy stereotypes although they resemble teenagers we've seen die in previous slasher movies. I think what ultimately plays a heavy role in the suspense of the film is that these kids are so far from any place where help can arrive in a short length of time. The killer takes advantage of the night to pick off some unsuspecting teenagers, cutting the phone lines and using a shotgun during the morning to plan to finish the job on the rest. The vastness of the estate is a playground for a certifiable lunatic to hunt and kill..you apply some music which hums dread with all that farmland and MANDY LANE is a slasher which can work it's spell.

The badabing of the movie is the twist. I have to say it opened my eyes and I don't think it was some kind of idea just pulled out of the ass of those behind the making of the film. What it does is cast Mandy in an intriguing light. I think it's the kind of zinger which resonates and has deeper meaning. It's fat to chew on, with some of the remains stuck in your teeth.





I was thinking to myself as I watched this movie..what goes through the mind of someone like Mandy Lane, so desired and such a topic of discussion not just by dudes that want to fuck her, but by girls as well. How does she feel about being such an objectified person whose beauty is the envy of other girls, her vagina sought tempestously by males. I've never been in this kind of position where girls go numb at the knees when I walk past. Chloe is in the weakened chick role where her psyche is in a stage of duress due to her non-stop worries about being the lesser attracted girl people alternate to when Mandy Lane isn't available. I think her inclusion in the film counters the hot bitch archetype one is used to seeing murdered at the roar of an applause. She's a wreck, pills and drugs her steady diet. There's a moment I had a lump in my throat where Mandy and Chloe are in the bathroom and seem to be on the verge of a kiss when a knock at the door intrudes upon such a moment. It makes a statement, this scene, that even Chloe yearns for Mandy's embrace. I will forever wonder, however, if Mandy herself swings both ways.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Watchmen



At two hours and thirty five minutes, I can certainly see why many had a hard time getting through it, it's quite exhausting. WATCHMEN to me was Zach Snyder's epic. As I was watching it I said to myself, this is the GONE WITH THE WIND of superhero movies. Snyder pulls out all the stops, he does. He develops each and every superhero painstakingly in great detail. Rorschach, the only crimefighter who has defied the law banning masked heroes..his mask, interesting enough, reflects his psyche. The fedora hat and leather jacket complement him excellently. He's our narrative focal point, his journal details the events which could lead to catastrophy at a global scale.



WATCHMEN follows a different US history than we have in reality..Nixon was elected five times for chrissakes and is the one with the burden of possibly sending missiles towards USSR in order to prevent our country from being utterly destroyed. Jon, before his physiology was rearranged(to put it mildly)thanks in part to a nuclear reactor he was trapped in, a giant blue wonder, some consider him a god, whose powers are unmatched, used by USA as a defendor who strikes terror into our enemies, was once just a lowly scientist working on, I'm guessing, nuclear fusion or something. Jon and former crimefighter Laurie(known in her superhero title as Silk Spectre II)are going through what one might say is a rough patch. She feels Jon is losing what humanity and human emotion he might've had left before being transformed into nuclear man. Jon is working with former crimefighter, now a meglomaniac, Adrian Veidt(Matthew Goode; terrific)who says he's on his way to producing an energy source to take the place of other natural resources mankind is so dependent on. All may not be as it seems.



I want to announce my deep, passionate love for Malin Ã…kerman, as Laurie Jupiter..how cool a name is that, the geek in me just totally swoons not only for the beauty behind the tight leather costume(oh man, those knee-high boots are the ticket), but her character. All that wavy brown hear, man, I'm sleeping well tonight. Anyway, she is tired of ole blue's attentions elsewhere..he is fucking her while feeding information to Veidt(he can separate himself into multiple bodies, split apart like clones, with extra hands to touch her in ways that cause mucho bliss). She soon finds comfort in another former crimefighter, the hospitable, well-tempered Dan Dreiberg(Patrick Wilson; Hard Candy), once under the alias of Nite Owl. He offers her a place to stay, and after a night out in his sky vehicle(which also works under water, submerging from the river located near his access tunnel), they find comfort in each others' arms(climaxing in sex above the city, just hidden above the clouds). This love triangle between Dan, Laurie, and Jon is certainly complicated, to say the least.

Billy Crudup remains in CGI form most of the movie, and it's really hard for him to display the human that remains because he's not in control of his face, computer visual effects guys are. His superhero name is Dr. Manhattan and someone will use his power against him(he will be framed for causing cancer to his associates and former flame, and possibly for a cataclysmic disaster which could wipe out cities of innocent people across the country; the reason far more intriguing than some mad science often cooked up in old serials and James Bond movies). He makes trips to Mars for peace away from the human race.

Jackie Earle Haley hit the motherlode with his role of Rorschach. I mean, all is forgiven if you starred in what many considered a piece of shit NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake. His character is the driving force behind the group's re-emergence, and even when it seems his knowledge of horrors which might(or do)occur to millions of people could remain hidden thanks to opposing forces which would stop him from implicating the mastermind, his voice(including dates and his own opinions, grim and often darkly poetic, yet containing instances of moral obligation towards justice) within the diary may make it's way to the public someday.. What I love about Rorschach is that he'll lay it all on the line for the innocents, risking his life, making the ultimate sacrifice against the dregs and slime of society.

My favorite part of the entire movie is the prison sequences which paint a bleak picture for Rorschach who was set up for the murder of an archenemy(Matt Frewer) feeding him information regarding the murder of crimefighter Edward Blake(Jeffrey Dean Morgan), alias Comedian. Considered a sociopath, Rorschach, is considered a blight by society in regards to how the crimefighters are represented. If anything, he was the most loyal to the cause. Anyway, I really enjoyed how criminals threatened to tear Rorschach apart for putting them in prison, yet he always gets the last laugh..a midget with two giant goons grin about what they plan(repeat:plan)to do to Rorschach when he's vulnerable. This also features an awesome "rescue" as Laurie and Dan arrive at the prison to get Rorschach out and must mow down a whole host of convicts(Laurie and Dan also have a battle with street thugs where they snap limbs, toss bodies around with ease, and break bones).



Gosh, the money spent on this movie. The opening credits, using Bob Dylan's "Times They Are a Changing(the soundtrack is killer), traces historical events and goes on for like twenty minutes it seems(or that's how it felt). There's a feeling, a dead seriousness, that Snyder and company were going for all the marbles, crafting an exhaustive(many might consider bloated/long-winded)superhero opus for the ages. I was really, really fatigued, but can not say that WATCHMEN didn't keep me interested. And, my attention was held, and I don't recall yawning or becoming bored with what Snyder was doing with his characters. As I said at the opening, I could see how WATCHMEN might cause many superhero/comic book fans to become tired with the approach of epic grandeur, but I must say that I enjoyed it. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Comedian is certainly the most egregious crimefighter I can think of in recent memory..I mean he is the man responsible for JFK's death and shoots a Vietnamese girl he impregnated after she cuts him in the face(not to mention he almost rapes Carla Cugino's crimefighter after she stops him momentarily from doing so, taking a pummeling afterward). Man, the way Jon obliterates bodies of those that supposedly commit wrong is splattery and bloody..gotta love it the gratuitousness of it all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Goodfellas



I'm glad that I had watched GOODFELLAS before Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs on Sunday because I think Scorsese's film really set the standard for the depiction of violent mafioso, their acts presented in unflinching, and very stylish, detail.

Just the scene where a trunk door opens and we see three criminals looking over a body, shot from a lower angle to establish the point of view from the victim towards his killers, it instantly recalls Reservoir Dogs in regards to the way men look down at us, in total control, the victim doomed.

I was quite staggered(this is only my second viewing of the film)at the potency of the opening as Pesci stabs a victim multiple times with a kitchen knife. It's really does set the tone. I think right away, you'll get a clear impression of Pesci's gangster, his psychotic tendancies(later elaborated when he shoots a kid bringing drinks to the gang playing poker because the young man tells him to go fuck himself)and explosive temper if someone hits the wrong nerve. The famous "funny guy" scene with Pesci ultimately provokes the feeling of dread in that one doesn't quite know how to approach him, delicately if you are not a close associate of his.



I was just blown away by the long takes as the camera follows Liotta into a mob's hangout as his narration introduces us to the many members of this exclusive fraternity..but, the camera following Liotta and Bracco into the back way of the club as he is saying hello to the cooks, gangsters, and other folks, establishing the character's reputation among the criminal underworld and how he's recognized among his peers, is nothing short of magnificent.

And, the rapid-fire final half, as Liotta has become immersed in a coke-fueled lifestyle, having hooked himself while participating in dope dealing as a means to satiate the appetite for all the fine things, is quite an editing masterwork. To be able to illustrate the absurd complications Liotta had created for himself through editing(and a dizzying pace where the narration speeds through a day in Liotta's life when he has a wheel-chair brother stirring a pasta sauce, having to take his babysitter drug trafficker to get her lucky hat, attending to his junkie lover who helps him cut the cope, her apartment a veritable coke den, and meeting with his suppliers to passage the drugs to Pittsburgh)is a work of pure genius by both Scorsese and his long-time collaberator, Thelma Schoonmaker.

I was also amused at how gangsters juggled their girlfriends and married life, it seemed rather a pain to orchestrate such relations, but Liotta somehow does so..for a while, although his wife isn't no dummy. The idea of having Loraine Bracco co-narrate is an interesting touch..you know two points of view regarding the mob life, two different angles. Bracco is our opposite viewpoint of the mob lifestyle. She gives insight on the mob wives, their personalities and behavior.

The highs and lows, ups and downs, GOODFELLAS is quite the inside story on a lifestyle that provided criminals with lots of cash and power, but the mafia was bound to crumble at some point, particularly when drugs find their way into the mix.

B.Monkey



Gosh, it's been a while, the year 2000 I believe, since I had last seen B.MONKEY. One distinctive memory is certainly Asia Argento. This was before I become aware of her father and I had left my first love, horror, for a little while due to school, marriage, and work. Watching early in the morning(about 1 am, to be exact)on cable due to my insomnia, B.MONKEY didn't really work for me as a crime drama. I see what they were trying to do with the overall theme. The idea of romance constantly thwarted by outside factors. Asia Argento and Jared Harris are polar opposites. Argento portrays Beatrice(Bea), a bank robber who has been associated with some rotten eggs in her lifetime. Jared Harris is a kindly schoolteacher who cares for his students' welfare(he has a child beaten by his mother at home). Bea has actually landed a job, albeit a minial one, as a gopher for big shots in the art world. These two meet and something sparks them. What interested me was the casting of Jared Harris. He seems very uncomfortable in his role as Alan, a disciplined, well-mannered, even-tempered man whose life is altered thanks upon meeting, and falling in love with, Beatrice. Rupert Everett is cast as a homosexual drug-addled criminal, Paul, who owes a lot of money to a mobster and has worked with Beatrice before. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is Everett's young lover, Bruno. Bea, Paul, and Bruno are a family and their dynamic is challenged when she falls for Alan. Alan makes his stance against her past. He doesn't want any association with her peeps, and would soon end the relationship(although, he doesn't want to, he loves her)than have their presence in his life to complicate things. Bea will have to make a choice. It's not an easy choice to make, but she can not leave this relationship. Bea adores Alan because he's exactly opposite of the men she is used to dating and losing due to her lifestyle.



I mentioned that Harris seems uncomfortable in his role. I think his teacher seems to be a character sexually in the closet, imputant, and unable to give Bea the sexual satisfaction she so desires. Their sex scenes seem awkward to me, because it seems to be false somehow. Like, Alan is the homosexual man many women fall in love with because he's sensitive to their needs, understanding, and more than a bit effeminate. There's a scene where Alan wakes up after sleeping with Bea, with Paul there instead. Paul even kisses Alan. It kind of occured to me while I was dwelling on this movie, that it probably would've been more authentic if Bea and Paul reversed roles. Bea the down-and-out sophisticated junkie with Paul and Alan the lovers trying to rid themselves of the criminal lifestyle. Maybe, it was the intention for Harris to be feminine and Argento to be more butch. Bea is the one who instigates the sex while Alan would be just satisfied in cuddling. She's the one whose rather foul in her language, is rude, and aggressive. Alan is none of those things, except he knows what he wants, and is clear that he will not contend with the ghosts of her past.

I like how the film shows the two separate, but yearn for each other when they are apart. Bea is hooked, line and sinker, and she can not deny what her heart so desires. Alan has dug in his spurs, though. He wants it to be just them. No Paul. No Bruno. Certainly, no Frank(the mobster)or his goons. I think this is where the movie fails. We always hear about how Paul is in dire straits with bad company. Bruno enters and exits the pictures in intervals. He pops up in Bea's life almost as a reminder of where she has been over the years. Bruno is volatile but passionate. He wants to succeed in his role as a criminal, trying to impress Frank. Paul alternates lovers and Bruno obviously wants them to have a loving relationship, but this is not to be.

Paul is a mess, and even when Bea provides a large sum of cash to pay off Frank, it does not help him. Bruno and Paul almost seem like thorns in the ass of Bea and Alan's romance. They are the elephant in the room spitting water from it's trunk at Bea and Alan..they want to avoid Bruno and Paul, but it's almost impossible to free themselves from such baggage. Whether Alan likes it or not, these two are Bea's family. Bruno says he'd die for Bea, and I certainly believe this..his eyes burn with intensity, Rhys Meyers, so young, his talents to be tapped after this. Bea returns to Paul because she worries for his welfare, as a sister would for her brother. The three care for each other, no matter what pulls them apart..it's no wonder the ending brings them back together in a highly emotional conclusion, where the issue with Frank is resolved.



For me, it's all about Asia Argento. The filmmakers have a chance to dress her up in all sorts of fashions, the camera worships her(cinematographer shoots her in ways that capture her in both elegant and smoldering ways), and she is more than willing to get buck naked at the drop of the hat. We also have the luxury of the European locations used to tell the romantic tale. I'm not convinced these two could make it for the long haul, but by the end, after all they go through in order for their love to endure, the filmmakers believe in them. The movie always hints at the inevitable violence to erupt..Frank wants his money and Paul has been to clumsy and irresponsible in his activities(his London flat is insane in it's decorative tastes of fine art, giant piano, and lamps/lights; this and Paul's drug habits are out of control).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Juno



I must admit that I had reservations going into JUNO. I'm not sure why I had such dread. I didn't mind Diablo Cody's script for JENNIFER'S BODY. I really like Ellen Page. I adored her in Drew Barrymore's WHIP IT. She's cute.

I know this is a sin when I talk with my fellow horror fans on the imdb horror message board, to even use the word "cute", but I just can't help but develop warm feelings when I watch Ellen Page in JUNO. There I said it, good to get it off my chest and just admit it and move on.



In regards to the situation, a pregnant teen who herself really contributed to her current dilemma, I was surprised at how mature the script is in regards to the girl handling this new development.

Maybe, this film's handling of her dilemma may seem a bit unusual(how the parents aren't engaged with Juno in a heated exchange of words regarding the pregnancy, just disappointed in her decision making during that time)and not as we normally might recognize it being carried out as parents find that their teenage daughter has become impregnated and wishes to give it over for adoption, but I have to admit it was refreshing to see it treated this way.

JK Simmons and Allison Janney were a delight to me as Juno's concerned, but considerate parents who are pillars of sound advice and handle the situation with a resolve I was most impressed with. They acknowledge their disappointment in her, but stand by her..it doesn't end with a cascade of screaming heads and slamming doors.

She actually instigated the sex with Michael Cera, and loves him. It's clearly obvious these two have such warm feelings for each other. It's of the puppy love variety, but unlike pregnancy movies and television shows, JUNO has these two kids actually growing closer as the term comes to it's conclusion. There are these heart-tugging scenes like when Cera feels of Juno's stomach to hear the baby inside, how Juno leaves a special something(s)for Cera in his mailbox, and them laying together on her hospital bed after the infant is born.



We watch as she meets suburban yuppies Juno chooses as the future parents of her unborn child. Justin Bateman and Jennifer Gardner are the married couple. Clearly from the get-go, Justin doesn't want a child(and is just looking for a reason to leave his wife, obviously controlled by Gardner who seems to run his life, making all the decisions, in essence, malnourishing his manhood)and strikes up a friendship with Juno. Through her, his past loves reawaken, his passion for music and the freedom he had before marriage to a control freak.

Like the treatment of the announcement regarding the pregnancy between daughter and parents, Justin's plans to divorce Jennifer after it is established, is also handled in more mature manner, without the emotional fireworks/fanfare. It certainly seems that Cody wishes to change of the dynamic of such scenes which often result in people shouting at each other, and explosive anger erupting uncontrollably. In this film, however, people handle the surprise of life altering decisions with a reserve and temperment I personally found rather startling.

Interesting enough, I haven't dwelt on the dialogue at any length. I think you'll either like the way Cody words her characters or not. I would be lying if I said I wasn't cracking up at how Juno talks. I love the English language and how it can be used to express how characters are represented in movies. I do see the John Hughes influence in how Cody shapes her teen characters, gives them distinct personalities, and defines them with little details.

It's inevitable that JUNO will undoubtably annoy/irritate certain audiences who find Cody's wordspeak a trial to listen to. Not me, I don't mind her living vicariously through these characters, and I think bits of who she is defines various characters and their surroundings in this movie. But, it's Ellen Page, so wise beyond her years, who breathes such life into the part which Cody writes. I admit that I was completely won over, and I can see why many others were as well.

D.E.B.S.



I'll admit it, I had fun watching D.E.B.S. because of my affinity for pretty young things in short skirts, with high powered guns, using funny gadgets to detect and locate, after arch criminals. The movie almost has no ugly person in it's cast.

Sara Foster, who I know from the Owen Wilson comedy caper THE BIG BOUNCE, is a celebrated agent in the DEBS spy school because she scored high on her SIA test, a perfect score at that. DEBS are after a serial bank robber known as Lucy Diamond(the gorgeous Jordana Brewster)and Foster encounters the criminal mastermind in the act of running away as the agents pursue her.



What happens next is how D.E.B.S. kept my attention (besides the beautiful young actresses in the cast), Foster and Brewster fall for each other and their lesbian feelings cause the complications which separate an established leader from those she represents as she must somehow choose between her role as a crimefighter and the criminal she loves.

This has colorful visuals and a pace that zips along, but is ultimately a PG-13 lesbian comedy dealing with the complexities of love and how two must overcome the odds in order to develop the relationship both yearn for.



I love how Foster and Brewster purposely concoct a "kidnapping" scheme where a heroine is supposedly held captive by a diabolical master criminal, whose reputation has given Lucy Diamond a moniker of "dangerous killer". Diamond is so feared, kids sitting at a table in a club move quickly as to avoid certain death. If anything, Lucy Diamond is a superb thief who can evade even the most sophisticated security systems(a funny gag is how easily Diamond can penetrate the security set up for DEBS' headquarters).




I like how she's willing to return all she has stolen just in order to express her love for Foster. It's an adorable affair between the two, safe in it's depiction(the most we ever see is the two kissing each other, and rolling around on a bed)of such a lesbian relationship. Gosh, you couldn't have two more lovely girls in such a relationship as Foster and Brewster..I fawn and sigh as I see their eyes lock, lips meet. Megan Good is the DEBS agent who doesn't respond well when Foster is chosen over her as the new leader of their gang, dedicated to the agency and respects the entitlement of being a member.

Roman de Gare



Claude Lelouch's ROMAN DE GARE(TRACKS in English)has a brilliant script which questions whether or not Dominique Pinon is a pedarist/rapist, a ghostwriter for a famous author(Fanny Ardent, nothing short of superb), or a teacher who has just left his wife, kids, and job. Notice how beautifully Lelouch constructs a scene involving Pinon, as to bring a lump to your throat, when he walks with Audrey Dana's(more on her in a moment)daughter trout fishing afar off, or when we hear coming across the radio, a bulletin regarding a serial killer on the loose, with the director(screenplay)shooting Pinon in his opening introduction, listening on as he drives his car to what seems like an unknown destination.



There are three characters of great importance in the movie. Fanny Ardant as Judith Ralitzer, an author who may be successful off of someone else's work. Pinon who could be anyone. Audrey Dana, as Huguette, a neurotic chain-smoking hairdresser who has an unstable relationship with men..in fact, men come and go in her life regularly, with her admitting that a lot of it has to do with her. Dana is left by her physician fiance at a gas station and Pinon offers her a ride. Huguette is told by Pierre Laclos(Pinon)that he has left his family and job.



Laclos is a talented magician(his trick with a newspaper is rad). The serial killer himself is also a magician. We see Laclos perform a flower trick for a couple's daughter and we instantly(or at least I did)cringe, wondering if he is preparing for another predatory strike. Laclos agrees to represent the boyfriend, Paul, donning a disguise as her fiance, just to establish that her engagement this time around was legit. Their act somehow works despite Huguette's mom's suspicions. This is where Laclos meets her daughter, the two remaining away for hours trout fishing with Huguette worrying of horrifying possibilities. Lelouche continues to cast doubt regarding Laclos as he speaks into a tape recorder using language in sentence form for a novel which might have us to believe(or it did to me)Huguette's life could be endangered. What he speaks into the recorder often has Huguette as his subject which provides a curiosity as to his intentions.

Regarding Pinon's character, I will just admit that I was in all the way. Yep, all my chips were on the table. The wondrous joy of being played like a fiddle. The movie really has two halves. Pinon's time with Dana takes up the first half. His time with Ardant, the second. I just love how Lelouche brings the three characters together to dispel one's treachery.
Ardant's ghostwriter is uncovered and we follow his putting together a new novel, one his wants his own name on. Judith loves her lifestyle which provides trips around the world, renown from those in the literary establishment, and adoration from a loyal following who enjoy her novels. I was blown away by Ardant's performance. In her short time on screen, I thought she was sensational. It's all about how she responds to this new crisis which presents itself. Everything that has come with her career of success is in danger. Notice how Ardant reacts when she realizes that her world is crashing down around her, her fraudulent facade as this great artist in jeopardy of cascading. What I was most impressed with was how, despite Judith's reaping the accolades and rewards of another for so long(seven novels counting the one stolen from her ghostwriter, presumed drowned after it is presumed he fell out of a yacht in a drunken stooper), Ardant caused me such heartbreak, even though she was obviously preparing to kill the secretary handing her the material already wrote for her to gain wealth and prestige from. It's all behind her eyes, the emotion swelling up, trying every way to keep her devastation buried once someone emerges to once and for all capsize her legacy..one of the best female performances I've seen since Zhang Ziyi in Wong Kar Wai's 2041. I know she is a phony. It is opened for debate that she may've been responsible for the death of her husband(it was ruled a suicide). And, the ghostwriter does some sleuthing to determine that Judith wasn't about to allow him to publish his own novel..his "goose was cooked."

Dana's family is poor and run a farm. They own a lot of land, and are accustomed, it seems, to new fiances and boyfriends brought to them from time to time. I love these moments where Pinon and Dana walk on egg shells, trying to keep up their disguised relationship(there's a hilarious scene where Dana pretends to have an orgasm, moaning in ecstasy so her mom could hear as Pinon lies on a couch). Then, that bastard Paul shows up after Laclos had left, ruining everything that had been accomplished..it's a great shock to the senses how the family is eating breakfast when he appears, and how Huguette leads an outburst, shotgun in hand, is a doozy of a response.

How Lelouche and company use Huguette is a thrill because she is pulled into a situation involving Laclos where it reveals her as the muse of a novel, exact details which both shared. Also, an important part of this story, Laclos' sister and his sister's detective lover(amazing that these two met after she reported her husband missing, later developing feelings for the detective, actually hoping her husband doesn't return!)who soon get involved in a case when he comes up missing.

I highly recommend this movie to those who enjoy slippery melodramas with fate deciding outcomes, lies and betrayal brought to fruition, resulting in tragedy. Pinon, an actor rarely ever treated to such a role as this, for once gets the girl, Dana delightfully embracing him, not as concerned with what he might look like to others, her Huguette finally encountering someone who could treat her with a decency that's been lacking in her relationships.

Reservoir Dogs




Well, accompanying all the shits and fucks(in the screenplay) is a really startlingly violent movie I hadn't watched in some time. I picked up a special edition of RESERVOIR DOGS for like 10 bucks and started it up tonight(May 26, 2010). Must say I was quite impressed with this trendsetter which was the catalyst for Tarantino's PULP FICTION.

I was taken aback by long conversation pieces between Mr. Pink(Steve Buschemi)and Mr. White(Harvey Keitel)while Mr. Orange(Tim Roth)is bleeding out on the floor of a filthy warehouse from a gun shot to the gut. Or, how we see Mr. Pink and Mr. White discussing their belief of a bad apple among their criminal group to psychotic Mr. Blonde(Michael Madsen)who had tipped off police where the location of their diamond heist would be located.

Interesting enough, and this was something I had forgotten, is that we never see the big act which fuels the film's intense exchanges within a warehouse which was the place the group, assembled by a businessman named Joe(Lawrence Tierney)and Joe's son Eddie(Christopher Penn), was to meet after the robbery was completed..the robbery itself which resulted in Blonde unloading a round on a number of people in the bank, as the group fled with cops all over, leading to plenty of dead cops including two of Joe's crew(including Mr. Brown portrayed by Quentin himself).

What I also found fascinating was how we oftentimes have our attention averted elsewhere even as Mr. Orange slowly lays on a floor passed out, death on it's way to fetch him. A constant is Mr. White's loyalty to Orange, how he cares for his condition, even if he must attend to other matters which require his participation. Also, neat, is the highly memorable torture of the cop, and how QT turns away from Blonde's taken an ear off with a razor, yet the cringe-factor remains because we know what the man is going through.

Like in all his movies, there are established set pieces featuring men discussing things in detail and we get their distinctive personalities played out such as how Pink doesn't believe in tipping waitresses and how Blonde never ratted out Joe, spending 5 years in prison without betraying his boss, and how such loyalty is questioned by a blood-drenched Orange, needing an angle when the boys find Blonde's body shot full of holes.

QT gives Tierney plenty of room to establish his Joe, in scenes as an angered father figure always having a hard time tolerating all the immature behavior of his "kids". Their bickering over who gets what "colorful" title is especially an example of Joe's inability to withstand their childish blather.

Look, this movie has actors I love to watch on screen and seeing Keitel and Buschemi having it out over who is secretly a cop or snitch among them produced some wonderful tension I couldn't help but lap up. Madsen, without losing his cool reserve, calls out anyone who bellyaches about his personality(or way of handling things), and his dancing to a song as he tells the cop that he will be torturing him for the fun of it is certainly hard to forget.. as is his later act of pooring gasoline over a cop he torments with a grin, delighting in the idea of setting him on fire.

I imagine this is quite off-putting to a great a many folks, as it should be considering the men we are spending time with, but the way QT develops each character and how he arranges all these memorable set pieces left quite a mark on me.

5ive Girls




I was watching a little bit of 5IVE GIRLS on Chiller channel late Friday night(May 21, 2010). I had seen it in it's entirety as it alternated on my satellite's Showtime channels. I thought it had a rather shit plot with blah special effects, but I was glued to the girls in the movie.

They are Catholic school girls sent to the church as punishment for their various sins by their parents or as a result of having no other place to go. They have the misfortune of being under the charge of headmistress Pearce(Amy Ciupak Lalonde) . She had a sister and wishes to bring her back from the dead. She also has the dirty little secret Ron Perlman's priest wishes to remain buried, and keeps him under her control because of it. Witchcraft is involved and Pearce is willing to do whatever it takes to have her sister back.



Perlman is really neutered because as much as he'd like to help the girls, they are subject to their headmistress' rule and yet is powerless to stop her. I think Perlman is always watchable, and as hard as it is to accept him in the role of a priest, I think his part is the most interesting. He's a victim of his sins as well, someone who made mistakes, yet his faith seems to be his only strength against unparalleled evil. Lust is his weakness. Hell, all those pretty girls in their Catholic dresses, it's easy to see why he submits to his desires instead of what he was commissioned by the Lord to do, save souls from the torments of hell.

How the girls are a victim of a demonic force which moves from each one of them and having to find a way to stop is the essence of the plot. Legion has become a favorite demonic allegiance filmmakers use as a device of evil in religious horror movies involving Catholicism. The girls all have special abilities they attempt to use to fight Legion, but practically everyone in 5IVE GIRLS dies.



An eye candy movie with meh CGI are my thoughts for it. Amy Ciupak Lalone as the headmistress and Jennifer Miller as our heroine, Alex, definately caught my attention throughout even if the rest of the movie did nothing for me. We do get an effective use of the cross and how it is used to stab a victim's face. Jordan Madley is Mara, a lesbian who has a crush on Alex and gives her a smooch when it appears their lives are in peril. As you have seen before(going back to say Hammer's The Devil's Bride with Christopher Lee), the girls attempt to draw a circle of resistance against Legion which goes awry. I so wish the filmmakers would've explored the dynamics of Mara and Alex, but I'm guessing it wasn't on the agenda. 5IVE GIRLS teases, boy, does it toy with you. Ultimately, director Warren P Sonoda cares more for the supernatural battle than the possible titilation that had potential. Okay, I admit that I was hoping for more girls in showers, which shows that I'm a douchebag pervert, but Sonoda sure casts a pretty collection of lovelies he puts through the ringer. Lalone smolders even under a suit and her body check of the girls as she prepares them for the school had me certainly attentive..watch as she takes her time, phew.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't Answer the Phone!



I finally had a chance to watch Don't Answer the Phone! uncut as it was shown on IFC in it's complete form. Everything known in the slasher genre is represented here. I think the best movies in the slasher genre occur in the early 80's before everything become slick and pretty. I think the true slasher movies should bring about discomfort and unpleasantness.

We're talking about a depraved wacko, wearing a silk stalking, in a monstrous form, bulky and massive, giggling as he strangles helpless females much smaller than he, his gargantuan hands trapping their throats as if these poor women were caught in a vice. Nicholas Worth has this great physical presence which cuts the perfect profile of a serial killer you don't want awaiting you when you arrive home, undressing after a hard day's(night's)work. If a slasher movie, in my honest opinion, is to truly work, it must leave the viewer very uneasy because we are dealing with disturbing subject matter, brought to life as a reminder of mankind's ability to wreak evil upon innocents.

A radio therapist/psychologist captures this maniac's interest and he prepares to include her in his list of victims. Worth's sicko, Kirk Smith is actually a talented photographer who uses his skills in this profession to move into unknowing future victim's(models)homes, when he isn't selecting other women who grab his interest.



The attacks are plenty distasteful even if there's no serious bloodletting to be seen..the mere sight of struggling petite women, their clothes torn away, unable to escape Kirk's clutches, is enough to make one squirm.

Interesting enough, the detectives, Chris McCabe and Sgt. Hatcher(James Westmoreland & Ben Frank)aren't exactly the most likable heroes, as they are tired, stressed, and under serious pressure to find this psycho leaving dead bodies of girls, destroyed sexually in a heinous fashion after being strangled. They stumble onto leads and evidence, not slick detective work, eventually breaking the case wide open. Flo Lawrence is Dr. Lindsay Gale, the one for which Kirk would call her show under the disguised voice of Ramone.

Director Robert Hammer often shows Kirk alone, talking aloud to himself as if addressing others, often sobbing, always expressing the inner torment of someone grappling with madness. He uses drugs, I figure as a method of release, when he's not using his hands, or a stocking with a coin included for extra agony, to strangle women, from his inner demons. Worth's formidable size is especially disconerting, particularly in one scene where he lifts this poor girl off her feet, despite her every attempt to free herself, upon a couch, wrapping his hands over her throat, squeezing the life out of her like a python ensnaring a tree monkey. He's so powerful that he is able to snap handcuffs after being subdued with a gunshot to the groin. Worth is certain to be remembered by slasher fans after they watch Don't Answer the Phone! The Hollywood streets of this film are deglamorized and we visit many suburban neighborhoods, and this shows us that no place is safe from Kirk Smith.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Smooth Talk




A fifteen year old teenager, Connie(Laura Dern in an exceptional performance), is interested in boys and seems little concerned for the possible consequences of dressing provocatively and flirting with the guys older than her at the mall and "adult" hamburger diner.

Connie seems little interested in her family at this time in her life and mother Katherine(Mary Kay Place, perfectly capturing a frustrated mother attempting to somehow find a connection with this girl during those turbulent, emotional years as Connie is going through her stage of sexual awakening)is growing tired of her daughter's listlessness and lack of desire to help out around the house, or other chores big sis, June(Elizabeth Berridge), is more than willing to do. Connie's trip to the diner with her best friend, Jill(Sara Inglis), grabs the attention of the enigmatic stud, Arnold Friend(Treat Williams, handsome, odd, creepy, and quietly forboding).

I must say that having read that this was at one point a PBS movie doesn't surprise me because it is certainly a cautionary tale for teenage girls who attempt to grow up too fast and frequent places with adults who might prey on them.

I thought this was a very realistic view of budding sexuality as it pertains to teenagers figuring out boys, and their place in the world.

Berridge is actually the one I feel pity for in that she represents a lot of women(and men), not necessarily old maids, but those young adults who never achieved in life, finding themselves still living with their parents. June is certainly appreciated by Katherine who uses her as a tool of ridicule towards Connie. Even though she's older, obedient and respectful to both parents, helps out around the place, and spends quality time with her mother and father, June is still completely buried under Connie's shadow. Connie enters a room, eyes gravitate in her direction, she turns heads and older men immediately look her way. The way the director shoots June, you sometimes barely see what her face expresses..sadly, even the camera's eye wishes to look at Connie even when June is part of a conversation.

Connie is at that stage where life becomes complicated and her behavior could cause many a mother to want to scream. Katherine is often furious and annoyed at Connie because of her aloofness(not to mention, she doesn't want to wash dishes or help mama wallpaper the walls or paint the outside part of the house)and lack of care or desire to accept any responsiblity when there's plenty for her to do(chalk it up to laziness or simply wanting to be elsewhere).

I think this movie really succeeds in it's presentation of a teenage girl at a time in her life when she's trying to figure things out, no longer a girl yet still immature in the ways of horny males who might take advantage of her youth and vulnerability. Simply put, Connie taunts and teases, not taking into count how older guys and stronger men might respond to her. There's an instance where three muscular jocks try to proposition Connie and her two teenage pals who had previously flirted with them, a moment of terror which might be certain to bring a lump to the throat because they tower over these kids with all their make-up and hairspray.

Her friends are soon removed from any male threat, but Connie continued playing with fire, the result being Arnold, someone who isn't the kind to take no for an answer, perhaps capable of anything in order to secure her virginity(during their lengthly conversation at the end, Arnold subtly implies he'd burn the house in order to get her to come out to "take a ride" with him). We also see that Connie can oftentimes incite anger from her mom and sister with little remarks and snipes that have a tendancy to envoke an emotional response. It's actually Connie's father, Harry(Levon Helm)who she has the strongest relationship which could be because he doesn't necessarily make demands of her, or pose the questions to her which might cause a tense argument, causing a rift between the two. He's an obvious softy who wants to appease his family and this often makes mama the bad guy..the movie, as I mentioned, is actually an accurate portrayal of family life. We don't always get along, and sometimes mama and daughter are at each other's throats over this and that, perhaps trivial things such as helping clean the plates, forks, and spoons.

The final thirty minutes focuses on predatory pedarist Treat Williams(all confidence in his ability to attain the prize in his reach), and Connie(trying to be evasive and free herself from the spider's web)is really uncomfortable(while also problematic as we kind of know, despite not wanting to acknowledge it, that Connie will inevitably have to part with her virginity or else risk unpleasantness). Connie tries to avoid this inevitability, but Arnold is not one to forfeit what he believes is rightfully his..to him they are already lovers and she just needs to come to grip with it. I mean nearly this entire segment of the movie is dedicated to Arnold trying to get Connie in his car so they can go on a "joyride". I had read some opinions which believe, interesting enough, that there's a distinct possibility that Arnold Friend wasn't real, but a figment of Connie's imagination..that A.Friend is a symbol or something of danger if you younguns get out there in the real world, in the wrong crowd, putting yourself in a position to be potentially raped. If that is the case, SMOOTH TALK develops quite a scenario where such an event is a scary possibility indeed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stay Hungry





Well any movie that has Jeff Bridges, Sally Field, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Englund, R G Armstrong, Joe Spinell, and Scatman Crothers in it's cast can not be all that bad, now can it?

Bridges is the heir to a steel business fortune and is working with real estate businessmen, in a venture buying properties. A gym is the property for which Bridges' Buck Blake is supposed to acquire. These people Buck has aligned himself with are supposedly dangerous and they want the gym property.

Buck loves the people at the gym and starts on a fitness kick which causes his duty to retrieve the rights to the property to go on the backburner. Buck falls for a fitness instructor, Mary Tate(Field), and becomes best friends with "Mr. Austria" Joe Santo(Ahnuld), a foreignor known for achieving metals for various sports which deal with his impressive physique. RG Armstrong is Santo's trainer, and owner of the gym, who drives him real hard to secure a weightlifting metal.

Buck's uncle expects him to take over his daddy's position in the tradition of the Blakes regarding the family business, but he doesn't really desire such a lofty enterprize. Buck is torn, he must choose the people in the gym or his business associates.




Buck has always been the kid who goes hunting in exotic places with his rich pals, never had to make strong business decisions or run a corporation. His parents made lots of money and Buck reaped the benefits.



It was really neat watching all these stars before they really hit the big time. Field and Schwarzeneggar seem to be in a very good place and when you include the talent of a Jeff Bridges into the mix, then there's gold in them there hills.



Buck has a hard time committing to Mary Tate, because she isn't "royalty". The way he brushes her aside at a swank party, doesn't bode well for their future as Mary Tate is too high strung to be treated in such a way. Anyone familiar with Field knows she can play these kind of lovable, endearing, sweet characters, small and petite as she is, her Mary Tate, like many other strong female women she is known to portray, stands up for herself and isn't to be taken lightly. We see that her Mary Tate is fuming everytime Craig's friends and society types he knows act all superior to her. She's this "small country girl" they can just thumb their nose at. Field has a smile that melts your heart, but don't cross her too many times or else face the consequences.



I loved how Santo is a "man of many talents" with a scene dedicated to his ability as a fiddle player, strumming a tune with some lovable hicks. The ladies love him and he has a charm and likability that endears him to the audience..we see here why he would go on to become an icon, even with the trouble of broken English he had the "it" quite present in his early career.



You have an early performance from Ed Begley, Jr. as one of the posh members of the Alabama wealth community and Joanna Cassidy as a sexpot who takes a liking to our muscleman. Robert England is Santo's "greaser" and isn't afraid to square off with burly types in a barfight. R G Armstrong is at times quite amusing, other times quite scary and intense..the end fight with Bridges is all too real and he seems quite a threat when enraged.



We see the ugly side of the jet set and the grand melodrama scene where Field makes a scene because of how Bridges ignores her in front of his friends at Fannie Flagg's party. Buck(actually his name is really Craig)finds himself tiring of his old friends the longer he hangs around with Mary and Santo. When Buck decides to abandon the idea of securing the gym, his partners decide to target the owner, using various crooked methods.



The ending(which I eluded to earlier), where Armstrong's Erickson goes off the deep end, attempting to rape Mary Tate and kill Craig with bar weights, is rather bizarre, especially when bodybuilders from a Mr Universe contest fill the streets in search of Santo off to save his friends. There's a fear that Erickson would take the money pot(prize money)and run off somewhere to spend it.





I think a movie like Stay Hungry will be considered a gem to fans of 70's character dramedies as it has so many familiar faces in early roles. I like that it is virtually plotless, just this time in the life of a very wealthy young man who needed guidance and finds his calling by chance in this gym he was intended to remove from Erickson's hands. But, these different kinds of gym rats from all walks of life enter his life and make him a better human being in the process. Field and Ahnuld have such wonderful chemistry, good friends who confide in each other.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Possession



I was watching Andrej Zulawski's 1981 film Possession late tonight..I'll just say this movie gives new meaning to the word histrionics. The scene with an unhinged Adjani in a subway tunnel has to be seen to be believed. Sufficed to say, a marriage(between Sam Neill and Isabella Adjani)is tested in more ways than one. To say I'm at a loss for words in trying to describe this movie would be the understatement of the week. I think Adjani is one of the most beautiful actresses ever to grace the screen..she mesmerizes me. I can't take my eyes away from her even when she goes apeshit. Her lips, expressive eyes, her skin of white porcelain..I just adore her. It's a kind of beauty lacking today, the portrait beauty that artists are inspired by. Like Anna Karina. As you can see, I've kind of shied away from the movie which left me paralyzed in befuddlement. Sam Neill, I enjoy how he goes from one extreme type of behavior to another, like he's schizophrenic or something..his character is at odds with how he can not let Adjani's oddball Anna go. I can't recall a single scene where rationality is present..it seems almost everyone in the film operates in a weird fashion. How does one create the perfect lover, husband, and companion...hmm.. I would like to say, though, that I thought the Berlin setting is really perfect, the way the buildings look so deteriorated and ravaged by the elements and man, and that I have an affinity for beautiful people portraying nutty characters. I love how the cinematographer shoots Neill and Adjani up close and often, because both have such interesting faces. I enjoy crazy, so Possession didn't disappoint. The Heinrich fellow, in particular, sure belongs in my canon of the most bizarre I've seen in cinema..you never know with this guy what he'll be doing next. One thing's for certain, Anna will not allow her "lover" to be harmed by anyone who dares enter her new abode. And, where could any movie go wrong when you have Adjani fucking a slimy monster with tentacles?!

Basic Instinct




I was watching Basic Instinct and found the end result, how everything seems to implicate the psychiatrist, quite haunting, and was amused at how Verhoeven wonderfully evoked the spirit of Hitchcock in revealing a small detail regarding a broken lock and how Douglas' detective tells the apartment's occupant that she should get it fixed. It was certainly sound advice..advice that would forever scar her reputation. I was listening to Verhoeven talk about how Vertigo was of certain inspiration and I could see that throughout..the way he shoots San Francisco and the way Goldsmith's score mimicks Herrmann. Several thoughts were going through my mind as I watched it. How gullible Douglas becomes and how he would be ensnared, doubting the person he was at one point linked(Jeanine Tripplehorn)in favor of Stone's devious, clever, seductive author. Verhoeven mentioned that the film emphasizes Catherine Trammell's control, how she is able to secure fresh subjects for her new novels, by manipulatively capturing their heart, soul, and body until she has no further use for them. I was kind of entertained by just how Trammell plays the detective like a fiddle, plucking his strings, with him producing the exact sound she so desires. After having not watched this movie in a while, I must say that the celebrated graphic sex scenes which earned Basic Instinct it's notoriety sure were an eye-opener to me..I had forgotten how boundery-pushing the passionate love making between Douglas and Stone were. The movie sure hasn't lost any of it's edge, Basic Instinct, I believe, would make an ideal pairing with De Palma's Dressed to Kill, the way a blonde psycho wails on male victims with the ice pick..sadistic in how the stabs are delivered with such menace and thrust.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Haunted Universities




Ghoulish tales of the macabre, loosely linked by a melancholy paramedic, featuring an assortment of stories containing restless spirits and creepy ghosts.

The first deals with the ghost of a young woman who hung herself in the fifth floor bathroom of a university..two gangsters force a student who stole drugs from their mob boss(and the student's fiance)to the university to get the goods back, one of them deciding he wants to see a shrine located inside the haunted fifth floor bathroom, with all four suffering the consequences.

The second tale concerns the niece of a general who ordered the execution of protesting students, and how she must bring the spirits of two lovebirds (..who were separated during the gunfire by soldiers hunting them down, shooting the kids in cold blood)back together in order them to find rest. Also, of great importance in this episode is how the student copes with what her ancestor did and how she is treated by others for something a relative committed decades ago. The distinct image of the "red elevator" and the bloody student bodies of those executed is quite haunting.

The third tale, and my personal favorite, follows a medical student during a night alone(except for a practical joker/student pal always tormenting him)as the body of a cadaver is brought in..his paranoia overcomes him as the fear of dead bodies(or, to be more specific, the fear of dead bodies rising up from their gurneys to get him)provokes a state of hysteria which could further cause a descent into madness if he doesn't control the terror which befalls him. The frightened reactions of our medical student as he encounters night terrors is certain to enduce giggles..this poor kid seems to always be on the verge of shitting his pants at any moment.

The fourth tale involves Muay, the paramedic, herself. Her best friend, Sa, has been chatting on-line with a mentally disturbed neighbor named Beckhem, a fellow student considered quite the creep no one desires to associate with. Beckhem, however, befriends a fellow psychopath online who preys on Thai girls and their first joint effort for execution is Sa. But, even though their grisly handiwork leaves little left that is recognizable, will the two actually be rid of Sa?

I think horror fans will have much to rejoice about when you check out Bunjong Sinthanamongkolkul's Haunted Universities. The ghouls of each tale are a ghastly sight, most decaying corpses, in a state of rigormortis, or as they were at the moment of death. We also see ghosts of those who still remain as they were before death, needing peace.

The first is more of an "spook show" where four people find themselves trapped on the fifth floor as the ghoul closes in. They try to run and hide, but the fifth floor provides little room to escape(although take a plunge to the ground below, risking their lives just to get off this dreaded floor).

The second is more of a haunting tale of tragedy and how lives were terminated for no good reason other than to silence voices who disagree with their government and what it stands for. This one is also about bringing souls together who were split apart by unforeseen circumstances.

The third tale is a study of how a medical student(who is so distraught, sweaty, panicky, and afraid he could pee on himself at anytime)might react to a night alone nearby a morgue full of dead bodies. We see inside his nightmares as he encounters bodies, covered by white sheets, rising up, arms stretched open towards him..the highlight being one nightmare where he must remove the teeth of a burnt corpse, with clouds of steam from the body filling the morgue, as a host of charred cadavers surround him!

The final tale(..concerning two psychopaths, one a pro who has been at this for quite sometime and his protege, recruited through a chat site, who inflict all types of damage on a female victim in a secluded forest where no one could hear her scream) is probably the most disconcerting of the anthology. Truly chilling is how the pro informs his new apprentice of a team in Bangkok he would like the kid to meet, this telling us that these predatory games they play using women they stalk, kidnap, and execute, happens on a regular basis. The way a destroyed body moves steadily up the steps towards those who did it harm is really a startling sight.

There's just something about the way the director lights the scenes involving ghouls and cadavers which really generate the goose bumps, the make-up department also deserving a round of applause for their work at producing some seriously morbid, spine-tingling creations which cause fright, distress, and terror for anyone who deals with them throughout the running time of Haunted Universities.

There's an asian horror movies site that has become a major find for me and features an endless list of titles I've never heard of from many countries where it's hard to find such films. I look forward to future discoveries, particularly if they are as good as Haunted Universities.

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The Boogens - Intro

While I must admit that as a monster movie, The Boogens (1981) doesn’t quite measure up (its monsters aren’t particularly menacing ...