The Salvation is a Western. It’s not a comedy western, it’s not a horror western, and it’s not a science fiction western: it’s just a Western. It’s about revenge and it stars Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It’s also outstanding.
Towards the beginning of La Grande Bouffe one of the characters states, “Gentlemen, we are not here to have a vulgar orgy.” It is a droll bit of dialogue eventually revealed to be alarmingly ironic.
You’ve seen it before and there’s no sense in denying it. Some things just shouldn’t be paired up. Maybe there’s a couple whose relationship dynamic seems odd and impenetrable. Perhaps someone likes to do strange things with their food. I, for example, put peanut butter on hot dogs. My wife is displeased with this choice.
These examples of poor matching can be applied to the horror film, Inner Demons, a found-footage film which shouldn’t be a found-footage film.
When Roger Corman approached Jack Hill to make a film about stock car racing, Hill was hesitant; he hated both stock car racing and movies about stock car racing. The fact that Pit Stop is such a marvelous example of 1960s independent art cinema is a huge testament to Jack Hill’s tenacity and talent.
If we Americans have learned anything over the last 20 years, it’s that Australia is hell on earth. Spiders bigger than your face, jellyfish that can kill you from ten miles away, sharks, Yahoo Serious. . . it’s the kind of place we should really nuke from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
At its dark little heart, the 1978 Australian film Long Weekend is about hell, and the different ways that concept can manifest itself into reality.
I detest romantic comedies. They are often decidedly unromantic and terribly unfunny. Throw drama into the mix and it’s even worse: concocted conflicts and clichéd characters. Horror comedies are a more palatable but often hit or miss. Combining all four genres seems like a bad idea. Somehow Spring manages to do that and still be terrific. It’s the best romantic comedy/drama horror movie you’ve seen yet.
In 1972, African-American writer, director, and actor Bill Gunn was given free reign to make a film that would capitalize on the success of Blacula. The result was the bizarre yet beautiful Ganja & Hess, his rumination on addiction, religion, and African-American culture, which would thrill audiences at Cannes, only to be savaged by critics upon its eventual release. The producers re-edited and repackaged Ganja & Hess as Black Vampire and the film was mostly forgotten.
But Bill Gunn never forgot. In 1973 he wrote a scathing letter to the NY Times, which said, among other things, “Your newspapers and critics must realize that they are controlling black theater and film creativity with white criticism.” Sadly, Gunn died in 1989, after making only one more film, 1980’s Personal Problems.
Oh how we all get richer / Playing the rolling game
Only the poor get poorer / We feed off them all the same
—Society‘s version of the Eton Boating Song
How do you explain a movie like Brian Yuzna’s Society? It truly is one of those things you must experience for yourself. The 1989 film is an important chapter in the body horror/ero goru subgenre, but it’s also just plain weird.
Jobriath A.D. tells the story of singer and would-be glam rock star Jobriath’s career and personal life. It focuses on the period when he was professionally active between 1968 and his death in 1983. His story is told nearly entirely from interviews with people who were involved in his life and career at the time or people who were influenced professionally by his work. There is some narration (by Henry Rollins, no less) to tie parts of the interviews together, and a series of animations provide visual interest and make up for the fact that there exists very little actual footage of Jobriath.
When approached with the right mindset, there can be few things better than a low-budget horror film. Limited funding can force creativity and turn a small story into something greater. This is not always the case, as anyone who has been burned by a late-night drunken Netflix choice knows. Cheap computer generated effects can snap a viewer out of a movie like cracking a roasted peanut out of its shell. Unfortunately, that’s the route most filmmakers choose to take.
The guiding hands behind the films Gut and Phobia have chosen the road less traveled by, and their finished products are all the better for it.