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RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 21/11/2012 11:13:48 AM   
Platter

 

Posts: 113
Joined: 14/8/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter



I wrote a novella called Barker Woo.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barker-Woo-ebook/dp/B00A6OQOWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1353055169&sr=1-1

Like ninety-nine point nine percent of the world’s population I don’t have access to film industry contacts. What if I want to make a movie? Tough. It isn’t going to happen.

What I realised I could do was write a novella out of a movie idea in my mind. I don’t need contacts, money or even permission from anyone. I can just do it. So I did. It’s like having Warner Brothers in your back pocket willing to finance literally anything, no matter how big the budget.

The story was conceived from the ground up as prose. No compromises have been made in favour of any supposed movie version. There’s no point deferring to something that will never be.

I haven’t timed the novella but it should probably take two hours to read.

I’ve published it as a download on Amazon. The intention was to make it available for free. Unfortunately Amazon insists on a minimum price. So sadly it’s 77p to download.

Luckily I’ve set up a short term promotion on it. So it’s free to download until the 20th this month. You don’t need to have a Kindle as it can be read on your computer.

-----------------------------------------------------

Product description:

Enthusiasts of surrealist films by David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive), Luis Buñuel (The Exterminating Angel, Diary of a Chambermaid, Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) and to a lesser extent Kenneth Anger (Fireworks, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome and Lucifer Rising) should find a lot to enjoy in this novella.

Dean and Claire Rusk are a happily married couple. They are members of an up and coming post-rock art band called Barker Woo. Preparations are underway for a short tour, and to start the writing and recording of a second album.

They return home from rehearsals to find a dark wooden box in their house. The title of a newly created song has been carved into the lid. They crack open the lid and peer inside. They see something disturbing.

They quickly realise that it’s not real. Instead it’s an intricate model. They wonder if it’s a practical joke or the work of a deranged fan. How did it get indoors? ‘We don’t have many fans, but the ones we do have are just a bit too interested in us.’ No one else beyond the band and a roadie could know about the new song, and they wouldn’t have enough time to create such an item.

They check the house to see if anything is missing. Everyone they talk to denies having anything to do with it.

The next morning Barker Woo embarks on the start of their short tour.

On the road they discover another sculpture. It seems someone might be sharing the same mental headspace as Claire.

“‘We were very interested in a sculpture of yours we saw. It fits something we’re doing as a band. We’re musicians.’
‘Yes. I know. That sculpture was made for you.’
‘Really?’
‘I hope it met with your approval?’
‘It was very spooky. Very unnerving. How did you know it would mean so much to me?’
‘I’m just a candle, here to set a mood. My only job is to prepare the both of you. It is important that you can appreciate the immensity of what is going to happen. The right frame of mind will be essential to your future work.’
‘That’s very vague,’ points out Claire.”

There will be blood by the end.


FYI The seven film Kubrick Blu-Ray box set is now less than £28 on Amazon, which is better than the price I paid.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stanley-Kubrick-Visionary-Filmmaker-Collection/dp/B004MW57KA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1353496460&sr=1-1

Also I got my first review for my novella Barker Woo from another website.

'A pretty good read.
Downloaded and read it yesterday. Very disturbing in parts, positively peculiar in others and some very funny bits too.
Mike_H [random internet person with no known links to the author] 20 November 2012 - 6:57pm.'

< Message edited by Platter -- 21/11/2012 11:14:51 AM >


_____________________________

My novel:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Cuckoo-Island-ebook/dp/B00EIP4ZVS/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377097535&sr=1-4

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 14551
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 21/11/2012 8:21:46 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

Dreamscape? Seem to remember loving that one back in the day...

And it's on Netflix!

Will deffo be getting back to you on that one...

Excellent good to hear you are going to give this a second chance to impress??,and look forward to your thoughts on this one,bad or good.


_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Mister Coe)
Post #: 14552
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 21/11/2012 8:21:57 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

2001;A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

The controversial ending of 2001 seems to be a big sticking point with those that find it just to vauge,but instead of trying to give my opinion on what i belive it means i'l just say this.Every time i watch this masterpiece i come up with a different meaning to the enigma that is the film as a whole,but it seems to get better as you get older as you open your mind to deeper feelings and emotions.It is not an easy watch as it movie's at a very slow pace,but this is a thought provoking movie not an auctioneer sci/fi like Star Wars,or the latest breed of Fantasy movies.It is a film that requires you to relax,let yourself experience the strange and beautiful images without feeling guilty that there is no complex plot or deep meanimgful complex characterization.There's no neat resolution, no definitive full stop, because then you the audience would stop thinking after the final scene and head home happy you got just another Sci/Fi fantasy.But Kubrick isn't going to let us off lightly,he wants us to think not be guided by others,but use are own minds,to save whats left of are humanity before it's to late.Personally i think this is the Greatest Sci/Fi movie of all time,and Stanley Kubrick's finest masterpiece,maybe even the greatest movie of the 20TH century.10/10



A superb review evil bill! Your last paragraph is right on the button - its almost like the anti-Star Wars (which is no easy feat seeing as Star Wars wasreleased years later! ). This is another film which i love coming back to from time to time. And as you say theres always something you can take with each viewing. I simply worship this film - such a stunning, brain boggling, beautifully realised film. I remember being awed by it on first viewing. When i sat through it all and got to that awesome ending i just sat there speechless. Trust me there will never be another film like 2001 ever again. A science-fiction masterpiece which has influenced everything from Alien to Moon. I think i know which film i'm going to be rewatching next!


I got a huge sore head the first time i watched 2001,and was a bit let down,as at that time i was a huge Star Wars fan,but after re-watching it more than a few times now,i am a huge fan of this film.And yor right it's influenced so many great sci/fi films right up to Moon and Prometheus,as most Scott fans know he is a huge fan of Kubricks work.
quote:


 
Ah! Another of my favourite Kubrick/ sci-fi films! I simply adore this masterpiece I rewatched it a while ago and it remains as potent as ever. Its a really dark (and really hilarious at times) dystopian nightmare and Malcolm McDowell's finest hour. You cannot keep your eyes off him! And the old Ludwig inspired score is magnificent. I wasnt even born when this movie came out but its one of my all time greats! Thanks evil bill for a brilliant review!


Thank you by the way i'm glad;A;your a fan of Sci/Fi and ;B; a Kubrick fan,the two really go togetter,and you can thank Platter for getting me all steamed up by his attack on a few of Kurbricks films,as this got me re-vamping some old reviews,and extendend others i've done on other threads,soon to be posted here.
Like 2001 i did not see this film till well into my late teens,and both on ye old VHS tapes,though i was lucky enough to see 2001 during a re release back in the 80's,on a big screen where it belongs.Now of course i have most of his films on DVD,but am temped to get the Blu-Ray box set,that platter has mentioned.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14553
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 21/11/2012 8:42:46 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
This comes a very close second to 2001 as Kubricks best film,and like Clockwork Orange,2001 and a few others i'll get round to,they are classics of cinema,but 2001 and The Shinning are pure masterpieces,both broke the rules and turned Horror and Sci/fi on there heads.
THE SHIINING 1980

Former teacher and recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance (Nicholson) interviews for a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel in an effort to rebuild his life after his volatile temper lost him a teaching position. The hotel manager, Mr. Ullman, warns Jack that he and his family will be snowbound through most of the winter and of the potential for cabin fever. He drives the point home by recounting a season when the caretaker, Charles Grady, went crazy and brutally killed his wife, his two girls (ages eight and ten), and finally himself. Given his own desperation and the opportunity to pursue his true passion, writing, Jack acknowledges the warning, but accepts the job. Ignoring the story, Jack brings his wife - Wendy and his son Danny. It happens that Danny, has a mysterious power known as "The Shining" that shows him things from the past and future. Some of the visions come from Tony - "the little boy who lives in Danny's mouth". Danny meets Hallorann - the hotel cook in their first day arriving at the Overlook, who also has this "Shining" and he warns him about the hotel and the sinister Room 237. As the days go by, Danny has visions of previous guests and employees who died at the hotel years before, meanwhile Jack starts driving into insanity, turning more and more aggressive, at the point that Danny and Wendy gets convinced that Jack might try to do the same thing, Grady did.
 

Sometimes it takes a film-making master like Kubrick to bring that extra little something, that unique, untractable and elusive ingredient that transforms a great book or a great script into a masterpiece, one for the ages.Stanley Kubrick ingenious adaption of Stephen King's novel The Shining,not only brought unfaltering fame to both writer and director,it launched rising actor/star Jack Nicholson to super-stardom,now don't get me wrong Jack was a top notch A list actor,but this made him a superstar.His eerie blood chilling cry"Heeeeeeeeeere's johnny!"has become part of movie folklore,and one of the most famous scenes ever in cinema history.In Kings own mind the movie was a let down,his script had been ripped apart,Kubrick himself along with Danie Johnson reworked and totally rewrote the script.But what remained was for me and i'm sure others,the soul of the book,that very dark heart that i so loved when i read the book,before seeing this classic.And no harm to King but his TV remake was dire,it was a bloody comedy,a badly acted one at that with no real chills only laughs.

The film is dark,disturbing and claustrophobic,it's has themes about isolation,the breakdown of family and communication.These themes and feelings are reinforced throught symbolism and visions,and as the visions become ever more powerful and dark,Kubrick shows his mastery of film art,creating an atmosphere of complete overpowering dread.The movie works as a work of chilling fear,rather than outright scares or gore unlike so many movies around at that time,it is a twist on the haunted house theme.It claws it's way into your mind as we watch Jack losing all control of his anger and fear,it makes you wonder is it his mind or has this haunted hotel taken his soul,and replaced it with a dark entiy,and can his wife Wendy(Shelley Duvall)and son Danny(Danny Lloyd) survive.

The acting all round is top notch,with big credit to the three leads,though some think some of the acting was over the top,but hey they have never met the real insane,or a woman under death threat from a husband.Or a child trying to cope with his own strange world,and that of the adult world that rips into his own,and he can see the dead.Certain images definitely stand out,the first shot of Jack's typewriter, accompanied off screen from the thumps of a ball, like drums of doom coming from some other floor.The deathly clicks produced by the typewriter itself as though it is an instrument of doom all by itself, later on proving to be nothing short of just that?. A red river flowing through the hotel's elevators in slow motion. Jack hitting the door with the axe, the camera moving along with him, tracking the action as it happens instead of remaining static, as though it's the camera piercing through the door and not the axe. The ultra fast zoom in the kid's face thrusting us inside his head before we see the two dead girls,and of course, the bathroom scene.The movie works on so many levels,yet make no mistake this is a horror movie of the best kind,a work of art no less.

From Roy Walkers impressive production design,to the unforgettable breath taking opening shots,(Kubrick got his second unit director to do these shots)to the score,it is the best ever interpretation of a King novel ever.And close to being Kubricks best ever movie,(that for me belongs to 2001???),it's an outstanding masterpiece of horror that at over 30 years of age still holds the power to disturb,and is a mile stone in the history of cinema.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14554
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 21/11/2012 11:15:06 PM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity
quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

This comes a very close second to 2001 as Kubricks best film,and like Clockwork Orange,2001 and a few others i'll get round to,they are classics of cinema,but 2001 and The Shinning are pure masterpieces,both broke the rules and turned Horror and Sci/fi on there heads.
THE SHIINING 1980

Former teacher and recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance (Nicholson) interviews for a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel in an effort to rebuild his life after his volatile temper lost him a teaching position. The hotel manager, Mr. Ullman, warns Jack that he and his family will be snowbound through most of the winter and of the potential for cabin fever. He drives the point home by recounting a season when the caretaker, Charles Grady, went crazy and brutally killed his wife, his two girls (ages eight and ten), and finally himself. Given his own desperation and the opportunity to pursue his true passion, writing, Jack acknowledges the warning, but accepts the job. Ignoring the story, Jack brings his wife - Wendy and his son Danny. It happens that Danny, has a mysterious power known as "The Shining" that shows him things from the past and future. Some of the visions come from Tony - "the little boy who lives in Danny's mouth". Danny meets Hallorann - the hotel cook in their first day arriving at the Overlook, who also has this "Shining" and he warns him about the hotel and the sinister Room 237. As the days go by, Danny has visions of previous guests and employees who died at the hotel years before, meanwhile Jack starts driving into insanity, turning more and more aggressive, at the point that Danny and Wendy gets convinced that Jack might try to do the same thing, Grady did.
 

Sometimes it takes a film-making master like Kubrick to bring that extra little something, that unique, untractable and elusive ingredient that transforms a great book or a great script into a masterpiece, one for the ages.Stanley Kubrick ingenious adaption of Stephen King's novel The Shining,not only brought unfaltering fame to both writer and director,it launched rising actor/star Jack Nicholson to super-stardom,now don't get me wrong Jack was a top notch A list actor,but this made him a superstar.His eerie blood chilling cry"Heeeeeeeeeere's johnny!"has become part of movie folklore,and one of the most famous scenes ever in cinema history.In Kings own mind the movie was a let down,his script had been ripped apart,Kubrick himself along with Danie Johnson reworked and totally rewrote the script.But what remained was for me and i'm sure others,the soul of the book,that very dark heart that i so loved when i read the book,before seeing this classic.And no harm to King but his TV remake was dire,it was a bloody comedy,a badly acted one at that with no real chills only laughs.

The film is dark,disturbing and claustrophobic,it's has themes about isolation,the breakdown of family and communication.These themes and feelings are reinforced throught symbolism and visions,and as the visions become ever more powerful and dark,Kubrick shows his mastery of film art,creating an atmosphere of complete overpowering dread.The movie works as a work of chilling fear,rather than outright scares or gore unlike so many movies around at that time,it is a twist on the haunted house theme.It claws it's way into your mind as we watch Jack losing all control of his anger and fear,it makes you wonder is it his mind or has this haunted hotel taken his soul,and replaced it with a dark entiy,and can his wife Wendy(Shelley Duvall)and son Danny(Danny Lloyd) survive.

The acting all round is top notch,with big credit to the three leads,though some think some of the acting was over the top,but hey they have never met the real insane,or a woman under death threat from a husband.Or a child trying to cope with his own strange world,and that of the adult world that rips into his own,and he can see the dead.Certain images definitely stand out,the first shot of Jack's typewriter, accompanied off screen from the thumps of a ball, like drums of doom coming from some other floor.The deathly clicks produced by the typewriter itself as though it is an instrument of doom all by itself, later on proving to be nothing short of just that?. A red river flowing through the hotel's elevators in slow motion. Jack hitting the door with the axe, the camera moving along with him, tracking the action as it happens instead of remaining static, as though it's the camera piercing through the door and not the axe. The ultra fast zoom in the kid's face thrusting us inside his head before we see the two dead girls,and of course, the bathroom scene.The movie works on so many levels,yet make no mistake this is a horror movie of the best kind,a work of art no less.

From Roy Walkers impressive production design,to the unforgettable breath taking opening shots,(Kubrick got his second unit director to do these shots)to the score,it is the best ever interpretation of a King novel ever.And close to being Kubricks best ever movie,(that for me belongs to 2001???),it's an outstanding masterpiece of horror that at over 30 years of age still holds the power to disturb,and is a mile stone in the history of cinema.


Once again another superb analysis evil bill this time on a film i refuse to watch without the lights on! . Trust me after buying the Stanley Kubrick boxset this was the one i watched last - not because i rate it less than the others, on the contrary because it is so damn brilliant and scares the shit out of me! Those twins are the scariest little girls ever commited on film - Samara (if i remember her name correctly) from The Ring is nothing in comparison! Theres so many awesome moments in the film like the steadicam shot, the bar scene and the typewriter scene not to mention ''here's Johnny'' which has been parodied in so many films over the years not least in one of my kids' favourite cartoon; Finding Nemo!

It is a superb chiller which can only be rivaled by The Exorcist.

And one of Kubricks best.

< Message edited by Nexus Wookie -- 22/11/2012 12:26:35 AM >


_____________________________

My blog: http://nexuswookie.wordpress.com/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 14555
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 11:47:35 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005
God I'm away for a few days and this place turns into Reviews Central . Not going to quote everything, but

Nexus Wookie, a fabulous review of Blade Runner,your love for this masterpiece really shows, this is one film I really didn't like on first viewing, hired it out on video after missing it on TV and was no bored I almost turned the bloody thing off. Several years later I watched it again, the 1992 'director's cut',and thought it was bloody brilliant. Funny how a few years can change one's response to a film. Look forward to reading more reviews from you!

Lost Highway,shame about Excision, we seem to be agreeing quite a bit about films of late, though I'll still give this film a go...

Platter, well done, will def. read when I have the time!

Bill, I love Dreamscape, a real forgotten and neglected gem which I think I will pull out and watch again, have not actually seen Brainstorm though know of it. And like you, I HATED 2001 when I first saw it. Of course, like with Blade Runner, I eventually saw the light!

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14556
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 11:58:32 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005


Seven sorority sisters; Katey, Morgan, Stevie, Liz, Vicki, Jeanie and Diane, all pull a prank on their strict house mother, Mrs. Slater, who is known for carrying a sharp walking cane. Despite Katey’s objections, their idea is to put Mrs. Slater’s cane out in their dirty swimming pool and force her at gunpoint to swim through and retrieve it. The prank goes awry when Vicki, who is holding the gun, accidentally shoots Mrs. Slater. The girls all agree to hide Slater’s body in the pool until a graduation party being held in the house is finished. As the party begins, a guest wanders around the pool and an unknown figure stabs him through the neck with Mrs. Slater’s cane and drags him away……..

Though I know that many consider most of them to be crap, I have a considerable affection for ‘Stalk and Slash’, which remains one of the horror genre’s most maligned subgenres. I personally though tend to prefer the slasher films of the 80’s that followed in the wake of Halloween to the second wave of films that emerged in the 90’s after the success of Scream [and is still producing some]. There is a rawness, an edge and oddly also an innocence to them that many of the more recent films don’t have, and for me good old-fashioned make-up effects beat CGI any day! Some of this might just be nostalgia of course, as I grew up watching some of these films. The House On Sorority Row is one I never got round to seeing till now. The 2009 remake Sorority Row was a reasonable effort, and even had a slight 80’s feel to it, though upon viewing the original movie they changed quite a bit of the plot. The 1983 The House On Sorority Row was clearly influenced by the 1973 classic Black Christmas more than Halloween, and may in turn have inspired I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Held up for two years after completion and then subject to a few studio-imposed alterations, most notably the black and white opening sequence being colourized and the heroine surviving at the end, House didn’t make much of an impact in an over-crowded field and is certainly no Stalk and Slash classic, but it is a decent way for fans of this kind of movie to spend an hour and a half. The opening scene is actually rather eerie the way it has been semi-colourized with black and blue and has exaggerated soft focus. It gets things off to a fine start and even though the next half an hour is devoted to setting things up, you shouldn’t mind because the setting feels quite genuine, the filming is of a higher quality than many similar films of the time [though director Mark Rosman didn’t really do anything of note afterwards and some of his work, such as The Invader, is very poor], the girls mostly look nice and even the acting is reasonable. Star Kate McNeil, whose only other major cinema role I can think of is in Monkey Shines, looks like Kristen Stewart but can actually act. Win!!

The remake moved at a much faster pace and I suppose some expecting tons of creative gore and chasing around may be disappointed, but after the accidental death and the first kill, the pace does pick up and there is some suspense if not quite enough. More than that, the film just isn’t scary enough [though Jack-in-the-boxes and clowns never fail to make me feel uneasy!]. I couldn’t stop thinking of how frightening the original Black Christmas,which had a similar setting and even a similar style in places, is, even the second and third times you see it. Individual scenes are very well staged; good mileage is made out of cliches like the body in the swimming pool, the swinging light and being trapped in cubicles, and there’s a decent surprise when you think the killer is in the back seat of a van and he comes at the victim from somewhere else. There are also some very well composed shots, with some effort obviously being made to make the film look good and more expensive than it actually is. The climax throws away the great potential of the heroine having to fight off the killer whilst drugged when the effect seems to wear off in minutes and she’s able to run around and climb, but there’s some seriously good lighting in the bit where she’s tied to a chair, she being bathed in purple/reddish hues while all around her is blue. Alfred Hitchcock would have appreciated some nice black comedy involving the disposing of a body.

The killings, all with a cane, are pretty brief and tame, even with two shots restored to the DVD that were missing from UK and US theatrical prints. With only brief sex, nudity and swearing too, the film doesn’t at all justify the ‘18’ certificate it still has and should be lowered to a ‘15’. Overall this has a less exploitative feel than many slashers of the time and I think that, added to its general avoidance of cheap scares, even if you generally don’t enjoy this subgenre much, you might actually find The House On Sorority Row more enjoyable than you might expect. The script is nothing to be ashamed of and I even guessed the killer wrong. There’s nothing really remarkable or outstanding about it, but I have a hunch it’ll stick in my mind for longer than the remake, which to be honest I can hardly remember at all now!

Rating: 6/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 22/11/2012 12:29:49 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 14557
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 12:03:19 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005

1990. Space travel is frequent and we have colonized the Moon. Despite it being a dead place, an international collective of scientists is looking for evidence of life in space. A transmission is received from an alien species who announce they are coming to visit and are sending ambassadors. Shortly afterwards, one of the scientists receives a video log showing that the aliens have suffered an accident to their ship and crashed on Mars. A rescue team is assembled and heads for Mars, where they find the crashed alien ship but only one dead alien inside. It seems that the rest of the alien crew must have left in a rescue ship…..which may have crashed landed on Phobus, one of Mars’s two moons……

It’s probably well known amongst science fiction fans that Ridley Scott’s classic Alien was influenced by two much earlier films; It! The Terror From Outer Space and Planet Of The Vampires. It seems to me though that another influence was this B-movie from 1966 [which I suppose is a partial remake of It! The Terror From Outer Space and may in turn have influenced Lifeforce?]. As well as being about a spaceship which picks up a monster from a planet, only for it to start dispatching the crew, it even has not one but two scenes where astronauts find and go into crashed spaceships. An early effort by Curtis Harrington who a bit later seemed on the verge of becoming a really good horror director but never fulfilled his promise, it was a typically micro-budget production from B-movie producer king Roger Corman, a master at making the most out of almost nothing. It’s a fun space adventure that is sometimes ridiculous and sometimes a bit draggy even considering its brief running time, but also has moments of surprising effectiveness and is highly atmospheric. It also looks quite lavish for some of the time, as if Corman had really spent a considerable amount of money. In fact, there are special effects involving spaceships with model work and matting that are of very high quality for the time, even bettering Toho movies of the late 50’s/early 60’s..

Well…um….actually….Corman and co. didn’t film any of this footage. A few years before, he bought the rights to three 60’s Russian science fiction films; Mechte navstrechu [A Dream Come True], Planeta Burg [Planet Of Storms] and Nebo Zovyot [The Heavens Call]. These epics were rather too serious and worthy compared to the kind of stuff that Corman usually produced, so instead he cannibalised them for their special effects footage to enhance his own movies, Queen Of Blood not being the only one of his pictures that did this, but probably the best. Though I have not seen any of the original Russian pictures [Planet Of Storms being one of those films I keep meaning to obtain and always get sidetracked by something else!], it seems that Soviet footage takes up over half of this film, with some of the early scenes allowing long sections of it to play without interruption. The spacecraft have unusual shapes and the design of the interior of the alien spacecraft is very imaginative, full of odd bits and pieces and looking….well…..alien. Combined with really bizarre electronic sound effects, these sequences have a trance-like feel, something already created by the opening titles, which combine astonishing paintings of space and alien creatures [by John Cline] with eerily discordant music.

Queen Of Blood takes its time and around the half way point gets a little tedious with lots of to-ing and fro-ing from the Moon, Mars and Phobos. Of course the technical side of things is highly flawed because you have these lavish Soviet effects, but also some spacecraft interiors that are as lo-tech as they come, with papier mache walls that don’t even look finished and dime store props. There’s some laughable inaccuracy such as Mars being red and….yellow. Nonetheless the tension builds quite considerably when they find the green-skinned humanoid female alien and bring her onto the ship. Her first appearance, leaning against a doorway before she collapses, is startling, and the look on her face, with a cruel smile and evil glint in her eyes, when she awakes to find new sources of food looking at her, is chilling. That food is, of course, blood, so she’s a kind of vampire. The ‘feeding’ [which, it is hinted at, may not be just feeding] is mostly off screen, but Harrington makes the most of her appearances, in one scene seeming to appear and disappear as her victim-to-be is transfixed, and Czech actress Florence Marly acts the part superbly, being creepy and also rather sexy. Funny how she’ll probably be remembered most for this film and not the classic movies of director Pierre Chenal,the French director who was once her husband.

The climax is over before you know it though the film atones for this with a rather bleak ending. The cast which include a young Dennis Hopper and John Saxon plus a rather dignified Basil Rathbone in one of his final roles, all give decent performances even when given lines like; “what do we do, take turns playing dinner for her”? I cannot deny that this is, by the very nature of its conception, a somewhat messy movie, with a score that veers awkwardly from electronic soundscapes which are more like sound effects to heroic-sounding orchestral stuff [though it's always good to hear the theramin!]. It does though have distinct qualities and an almost dreamlike atmosphere which similar films of nowadays rarely have, while I am more and more appreciative of handmade effects done without the aid of any computer. You may not feel you’re in space or on Mars watching Queen Of Blood, but you’ll certainly feel you’re in a weird and perhaps slightly wonderful world.

Rating: 6/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 14558
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 12:21:38 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005

A naked figure sits in a tree in a white room. This is the deeply troubled Fenix. He remembers his childhood, which he spent performing as a child magician in a circus run by his father, a knife-thrower and his mother, a trapeze artist and aerialist. His only friends were an elephant who sadly died, Aladin a midget, and a girl called Alma. When his mother lost her arms and his father perished in a fight over the father’s mistress the Tattooed Woman, Fenix was traumatised so much he spent over a decade in a mental asylum. Now, Fenix is let out, on a field trip to a movie theatre along with some other patients, and espies the Tattooed Woman. That night, back in the asylum, Fenix’s armless mother calls out to him from the street and he escapes by climbing down his cell window. The Tattooed Woman is murdered and Fenix returns to the circus, reuniting with Aladin and accompanied by his mother, with whom he puts on a new act…..

It’s hard to always pinpoint the moment, that moment, when you realise that you have fallen in love with the film you are watching and know that has become one of your favourites. Sometimes the opening credits or scene is enough. Sometimes it takes almost half the film for you to realise it has cast a most wondrous spell. I can’t remember when it was during Santa Sangre that I had that revelatory, transformative moment, but it was definitely a most extraordinary experience. It’s hard to sum up Santa Sangre. My old video had the words “David Lynch goes to the circus” on the front, which isn’t bad, I suppose, and I’m sure I once read one review which called it “Federico Fellini meets Dario Argento”. Both descriptions sound like they are of a most enticing film but don’t really do it justice, though they both make it clear that this is a movie for the adventurous film watcher, the film watcher who wants to explore strange new worlds.

Santa Sangre is astoundingly surreal, a parade of audacious images both beautiful and ugly, and yet it’s also an incredibly compelling story. It’s extremely disturbing, taking viewers into the mind of a character they may not want to enter the mind of, and yet it’s also very touching. It has the feel of a dream, yet it also says a lot about the human mind. It’s as full of metaphors and symbolism as any intellectual could want, but you don’t need to understand all that you see, because the imagery has the power to bypass the thinking parts of the brain and hit you on a primal level. It’s horrible and brutal, but is also full of compassion and love. It has echoes of many other films, some horror, some not, but paradoxically there really isn’t a film like it. The film usually ended up categorised in the ‘horror’ section in video shops, and you could certainly call it a horror film, but it’s not really frightening. It will, though, probably stay with you months after the details of the last ghost or slasher picture you saw at the cinema have been forgotten. You may hate Santa Sangre. Many do. For me personally, the film touches my soul deeply, and I’m well aware that this could be a controversial statement when describing a film when the hero is, amongst other things, a murderer, transvestite and necrophiliac!

Strange as it may seem, Santa Sangre is actually a little more conventional than Chilean director/co-writer Alejandro Jodorowsky’s other major films. Jodorowsky remains one of cinema’s true originals, though he only really dabbled in film as he was also a playwright, actor, author, comic writer and spiritual guru! His experimental, avant-garde approach to filmmaking resulted in three brilliantly audacious works; Fando And Lis, El Topo and The Holy Mountain, the latter of which for me is one of the great works of art in cinema and a genuine mystical experience. Such weird and wonderful stuff was never destined for more than cult status though what many people don’t know is that in the 80’s Jodorowsky tried his hand three times at more ‘normal’ filmmaking. Tusk and The Rainbow Thief disappeared into obscurity but Santa Sangre got a decent release and even, alone among Jodorowksy’s films, made money. I suppose it’s the midpoint between his 70’s and his other 80’s work, placing Jodorowsky’s startling imagery and crazy imagination on something resembling a conventional plot. Santa Sangre was actually inspired by a Mexican serial killer called Gregorio Henandez. Hernandez murdered three prostitutes and one female student in 1942, was sentenced for life and became both a major celebrity and totally rehabilitated, including even marrying and having four kids. Freed in 1976, it was a chance meeting in a bar with Jodorowsky that inspired him to make the film. The director says producer Claudio Argento, brother of Dario and producer of many of his movies, just wanted to make “a film about a man who kills lots of women”.

Well Fenix the ‘hero’ certainly kills lots of women, and yet he remains sympathetic. This is partly due to the first third, which details the painful events that made him the person who we see in the asylum and who shouldn’t really have been let out. No other film to me has shown as well both the beauty and the ugliness of the circus or better exploited its strangeness. The early scenes of Santa Sangre cast a hypnotic spell; even if you don’t enjoy what you are watching, I doubt you’ll be able to tear yourself away, and actually there are moments of loveliness in there, especially concerning the growing love of Fenix and Alma, which happens entirely without dialogue. The sadness of Fenix’s early life is detailed in a heartbreaking manner, and usually with a small band of musicians playing in the background, like Greek chorus without words, changing the mood of the music according to what is happening on screen. There are scenes of simply startling impact like an elephant’s funeral where the huge coffin of the dead animal is tipped into a garbage dump in a huge valley and starving scavengers tear into it, pulling bits off the creature to eat. Others, like Fenix’s father throwing knives at the Tattooed Woman, who is sexually aroused by it, seem designed to correlate sex with violence in a way which really does seem a little depraved, but this is the kind of film Santa Sangre is, it’s a window into the crazy soul of its creator, and by the way he himself admits it was inspired by his own childhood and unresolved relationships with his parents.

After some shockingly gruesome mutilation and death, we return to Fenix’s current state and begin a small section of the film which is almost documentary in style, as Fenix integrates with the children in the asylum and goes on a trip with them, the trip which will set him on his murderous rampage. The kids nearly all have Down’s Syndrome and are played by actual children with the condition, and some might find the scenes of them being given cocaine by a pimp more disturbing than anything else in the picture. Jodorowsky dares us to enjoy seeing this, because he stages a wonderful sequence when the kids are bouncing along the street to music and are joined by more and more pimps, prostitutes and other low-lives in what becomes a virtual musical number. In most other films, such a scene would probably seem out of place, but in this one it fits perfectly. And then, Fenix espies the Tattooed Woman, and everything changes. Summoned by Concha his mother, he escapes the asylum and goes back to the circus. He is now under Concha’s control, often walking and sitting behind here with his arms thrust through the sleeves of her dresses, so that his hands do her bidding. Their nightclub act is a thing of beauty, but Fenix is now a killer of anyone whom he finds sexually attractive.

An extremely bloody early kill resembles an early Dario Argento set piece with its stylised lighting and the way it is shot, and Argento’s influence can be seen elsewhere in the film’s camerawork, use of colour and psychosexual imagery, though Santa Sangre goes further than any Argento movie did with the last aspect. What is amazing is that the BBFC passed the film uncut in the UK when far tamer pictures required the use of their scissors. In the US though two scenes were cut down drastically to get an ‘R’ rating, though sometimes what the film suggests is more disturbing than what it actually shows. One scene clearly gives us the information that Fenix has sex with his dead victims without showing it explicitly. Others are of a more surreal bent as we seem to be shown inside Fenix’s mind. One incredibly haunting scene has Fenix’s dead victims rise out of where they have been buried, all painted white. Of course there are bits which don’t seem essential. There’s a moment where a man comes up to a character just to rip off his own ear. This person actually turned up to the shoot unannounced and asked to be in the film. His little scene may be unnecessary, but I’m glad it’s there.

There’s a healthy element of black humour, like the sight of Fenix pulling a huge snake out if his trousers, or Fenix trying to kill a wrestler he is fascinated with and constantly being got the better of. And occasionally, we slow down for moments of pathos. There is a scene where Fenix and his mother sing a song together whilst playing the piano, and it’s so beautiful and touching that it almost makes me cry just thinking about it. I should mention that the performances all throughout hit the right notes, especially from Axel Jodorowksy [Alejandro’s son] as Fenix. Just look at the way he moves his arms exactly like a woman in some scenes. The climax is maybe rather low-key and was actually originally intended to be a larger-scale scene, but the real ending is afterwards, with a twist that won’t be a surprise to many but may hit you emotionally. I’m not going to tell you exactly how things end, but you will probably feel happy and sad at the same time. I personally never fail to be affected by it in a way it’s almost impossible to describe. The last thing you see is actually a quote from the Bible and it seems to be used both ironically and seriously.

This is a good place to say that, like all good Surrealists, Jodorowsky shows his suspicion of religion throughout. Early on, Concha is the leader of a cult which seems to be a bastardised form of Roman Catholicism, and throughout the film plays with religious imagery. The influences on this one-of-a-kind masterpiece are many. You will probably think of Psycho and perhaps the story The Hands Of Orlac which was filmed several times but best as Mad Love. Freaks, in fact much of Tod Browning’s earlier work too. Viewing the film last night again for this review, I kept thinking of the Venus de Milo. What Jodorowksy does is what all great artists do; they assimilate influences and out of them create something new. Santa Sangre is a work of art, with every ingredient combining into a perhaps-not-exactly-unified but totally and utterly wondrous whole of which the cinema has rarely seen since, and I know I haven’t spared a moment to go into detail on the fantastic soundtrack which combines Simon Boswell’s evocative score with Mexican songs. The sight of young Fenix, tearful and helpless, banging against the window of the caravan he has been locked in as he watches his parents tear each other to bits. Alma raising her arms towards the murderous Fenix. Fenix trying to ‘become’ the Invisible Man. Thankyou, Mr Jodorowsky, for giving me a film of such richness and of such profound emotion that, whenever I come home disappointed with the latest trash I’ve sat through at the cinema, all I need to do is watch a few seconds of Santa Sangre and I am again happy.

Rating: 10/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 14559
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 7:13:04 PM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

God I'm away for a few days and this place turns into Reviews Central . Not going to quote everything, but

Nexus Wookie, a fabulous review of Blade Runner,your love for this masterpiece really shows, this is one film I really didn't like on first viewing, hired it out on video after missing it on TV and was no bored I almost turned the bloody thing off. Several years later I watched it again, the 1992 'director's cut',and thought it was bloody brilliant. Funny how a few years can change one's response to a film. Look forward to reading more reviews from you!

Lost Highway,shame about Excision, we seem to be agreeing quite a bit about films of late, though I'll still give this film a go...

Platter, well done, will def. read when I have the time!

Bill, I love Dreamscape, a real forgotten and neglected gem which I think I will pull out and watch again, have not actually seen Brainstorm though know of it. And like you, I HATED 2001 when I first saw it. Of course, like with Blade Runner, I eventually saw the light!


Thanks Dr! Blade Runner really is a spellbinding experience and i'm glad to hear you eventually grew to it!

I must say your reviews above are absolutely superb. So much so in fact i've taken it upon myself to track down the trio (i haven't watched them unfortunately ).

_____________________________

My blog: http://nexuswookie.wordpress.com/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 14560
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 7:19:30 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: losthighway



After reading some very positive reviews for this one I finally sat down and watched it last night. It's an interesting film with an impressive cast, has a fantastic central performance from McCord and is darkly comedic throughout up until its inevitable conclusion. However, the avant-garde scenes where much of the gore takes place are visually striking but feel a bit tacked into the narrative and I couldn't get past the feeling that I'd seen it all done before in Ginger Snaps several years previous with werewolves instead of body horror. It's a certainly a film that's worth hunting down, although whether I would sit through it again is another thing.

Overall: 3.5/5

Been hearing good thigs about this film,very much the way you discribe it,though your the first to compare it to Ginger Snaps,so i think i'll try and get hold of it soon,on DVD??

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 14561
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 7:46:32 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera



With only brief sex, nudity and swearing too, the film doesn't at all justify the '18' certificate it still has and should be lowered to a '15'. Overall this has a less exploitative feel than many slashers of the time and I think that, added to its general avoidance of cheap scares, even if you generally don't enjoy this subgenre much, you might actually find The House On Sorority Row more enjoyable than you might expect. The script is nothing to be ashamed of and I even guessed the killer wrong. There's nothing really remarkable or outstanding about it, but I have a hunch it'll stick in my mind for longer than the remake, which to be honest I can hardly remember at all now!

Rating: 6/10

To be honest this one didn't impress me back then or now the remake,i'd always fall on the side of BLACK CHRISTMAS,the original of course.Still an excellent review as always,and it seems there's a flood of reviews after a bit of a drought,a bit like the UK weather.
quote:


 
The climax is over before you know it though the film atones for this with a rather bleak ending. The cast which include a young Dennis Hopper and John Saxon plus a rather dignified Basil Rathbone in one of his final roles, all give decent performances even when given lines like; “what do we do, take turns playing dinner for her”? I cannot deny that this is, by the very nature of its conception, a somewhat messy movie, with a score that veers awkwardly from electronic soundscapes which are more like sound effects to heroic-sounding orchestral stuff [though it's always good to hear the theramin!]. It does though have distinct qualities and an almost dreamlike atmosphere which similar films of nowadays rarely have, while I am more and more appreciative of handmade effects done without the aid of any computer. You may not feel you’re in space or on Mars watching Queen Of Blood, but you’ll certainly feel you’re in a weird and perhaps slightly wonderful world.

Rating: 6/10

I said it before i'll say it again"nobody make films like this anymore",and i love the fact Corman only bought the three Russian Sci/Fi films just to get the effects.He really is the KING of Low Budget filming,yet he's able to turn out some real pure classic cult films, which reminds me i must get back to the Corman Poe reviews.COMING SOON TO A PAGE ON THIS THREAD.
quote:


 
This is a good place to say that, like all good Surrealists, Jodorowsky shows his suspicion of religion throughout. Early on, Concha is the leader of a cult which seems to be a bastardised form of Roman Catholicism, and throughout the film plays with religious imagery. The influences on this one-of-a-kind masterpiece are many. You will probably think of Psycho and perhaps the story The Hands Of Orlac which was filmed several times but best as Mad Love. Freaks, in fact much of Tod Browning’s earlier work too. Viewing the film last night again for this review, I kept thinking of the Venus de Milo. What Jodorowksy does is what all great artists do; they assimilate influences and out of them create something new. Santa Sangre is a work of art, with every ingredient combining into a perhaps-not-exactly-unified but totally and utterly wondrous whole of which the cinema has rarely seen since, and I know I haven’t spared a moment to go into detail on the fantastic soundtrack which combines Simon Boswell’s evocative score with Mexican songs. The sight of young Fenix, tearful and helpless, banging against the window of the caravan he has been locked in as he watches his parents tear each other to bits. Alma raising her arms towards the murderous Fenix. Fenix trying to ‘become’ the Invisible Man. Thankyou, Mr Jodorowsky, for giving me a film of such richness and of such profound emotion that, whenever I come home disappointed with the latest trash I’ve sat through at the cinema, all I need to do is watch a few seconds of Santa Sangre and I am again happy.

Rating: 10/10


You and me too,when i feel let down by a soo called great film,i too dig out some totaly out of it film like this,to remind me there are directors willing to go the extra mile,and take risks.Now i see Nexus Wookie may just dip his toe in the darker side of film land,well Nexus this is one of the films that this thread was started for,you'll not find many films more weird or stranger than this.And i just dug up an old short review of my own,which the good Dr has blown out of the water with his long overdue review.
SANTA SANGRE 1989(Holy Blood)

A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the arms of his mother, a religious fanatic and leader of the heretical church ofSante Sangre("Holy Blood"), and then commit suicide. Back in the present, he escapes and rejoins his surviving and armless mother. Against his will, he "becomes her arms" and the two undertake a grisly campaign of murder and revenge.

There's so much you can say about this totally weird horror/thriller,with it's vivid characters, colours, and situations that practically leap out of the screen,but i'll keep it short this time.A wonderfully quirky, disturbing,violent, blood thirsty story,it's a strange film and your likely to be pleasantly astounded at,and even charmed by its visions.With great cinematography that turns slums and sideshows into an eerily beautiful netherworld, countless images that  Jodorowsky paints with a heavy, vibrant brush, but it's the perfect tone for this primal tale.This sadly neglected wonder deserves every bit of word-of-mouth promotion it can get,but beware it's not an easy watch or to everyone's taste.It's like some crazy paintings made in human blood as opposed to oils, and a bloody carnality mixed in with your religious metaphor's.

The most representative images are any of the moments where Fenix stands behind his mother and acts as her hands, especially when he is wearing his long red plastic nails.Also there's Feliniesque carnivals, an elephant funeral, a cult that worships an armless girl, a hermaphrodite wrestler, and graveside hallucinations featuring zombie brides.There's a slasher-movie mixed in this crazy movie, he spares neither erotic excess nor stage blood and gore,but adds an arthouse sheen of psychological depth and surrealistic wonder, thereby appealing both to us exploitation movie fans and Arthouse lovers.The actors playing out this bizarre tale are pretty good too,and never over act,which in this style of movie seems to happen a lot.Although SANTA SANGRE is much easier to follow and comprehend than Jodorowsky's previous works,and was Jodorowsky's most critically acclaimed film, as well as his most popular and accessible,it's still a disturbing film about a murdering, transvestite and necrophiliac.8/10



_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 14562
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 22/11/2012 7:53:41 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

God I'm away for a few days and this place turns into Reviews Central . Not going to quote everything, but

Nexus Wookie, a fabulous review of Blade Runner,your love for this masterpiece really shows, this is one film I really didn't like on first viewing, hired it out on video after missing it on TV and was no bored I almost turned the bloody thing off. Several years later I watched it again, the 1992 'director's cut',and thought it was bloody brilliant. Funny how a few years can change one's response to a film. Look forward to reading more reviews from you!

Lost Highway,shame about Excision, we seem to be agreeing quite a bit about films of late, though I'll still give this film a go...

Platter, well done, will def. read when I have the time!

Bill, I love Dreamscape, a real forgotten and neglected gem which I think I will pull out and watch again, have not actually seen Brainstorm though know of it. And like you, I HATED 2001 when I first saw it. Of course, like with Blade Runner, I eventually saw the light!


Thanks Dr! Blade Runner really is a spellbinding experience and i'm glad to hear you eventually grew to it!

I must say your reviews above are absolutely superb. So much so in fact i've taken it upon myself to track down the trio (i haven't watched them unfortunately ).

Ahh a convert

quote:


Once again another superb analysis evil bill this time on a film i refuse to watch without the lights on! . Trust me after buying the Stanley Kubrick boxset this was the one i watched last - not because i rate it less than the others, on the contrary because it is so damn brilliant and scares the shit out of me! Those twins are the scariest little girls ever commited on film - Samara (if i remember her name correctly) from The Ring is nothing in comparison! Theres so many awesome moments in the film like the steadicam shot, the bar scene and the typewriter scene not to mention ''here's Johnny'' which has been parodied in so many films over the years not least in one of my kids' favourite cartoon; Finding Nemo!

It is a superb chiller which can only be rivaled by The Exorcist.

And one of Kubricks best.


Thank you once again,and look forward to some more of your reviews mate,what about The Exorcist,and have you seen The Exorcist III(Legion),it's the one and only ture sequeal to the orginal.By the way if you hav'nt i'll dig out my review of Legion,and i'm sure the Dr has one too,to give you an idea of why we rate it so highly on here.I'm going to get to work on a couple more reviews soon of Kubrick's films,that fit this thread and Corman/Poe which i'm about to put on in an hour or so.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14563
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 23/11/2012 1:00:23 PM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity
I have watched The Exorcist evil bill and its one of the greatest horror films ever made without question. I've also seen Exorcist III but it was a while ago and my memory of it is very vague. I think its time for a rewatch. However i don't rate the second film too highly. As for the prequels i haven't watched the lesser known one of the two - i'll rectify that soon. By the way bill, i wrote a review for the original classic last night. I had to stop midway through writing it as i got really spooked out! . The missus and the kids were asleep and i swear i felt the presence of Pazazu nearby lol!



The Exorcist (1973)

A young girl Regan (Linda Blair) who resides with her mother (Ellen Burstyn) in Georgetown, Washington, starts exhibiting strange symptons. Her mother concerned, seeks medical attention but to no avail. She seeks advice from a priest who is convinced that Regan is possessed. But things start going for the worst...

I still remember vividly my first viewing of The Exorcist. It was many years ago on Channel 4 one night. Growing up i would hear about and read about this 'infamous' film and the legendary persona it had aquired. ''Its so scary a man had a heart attack and died while watching it'' a friend told me at school. ''theres genuine evil in the film'' cried others. And due to it being banned (along with A Clockwork Orange) it took on a legendary aura. And so, one night all those years ago i finally had the chance to see for myself what all the hullaballo was about. Lets just say i was left absolutely shaken by the whole experience, that and the fact i could not sleep without my lights on for a week! It seems quite funny looking back on my first experience but i will not lie; The Exorcist was a totally life changing experience.

Why did it affect me so much? From a young age i always believed in the paranormal and through my own experience and those related by others, always felt the world was a far stranger place than we gave credit. Watching The Exorcist brought back all those unexplained and scary feelings i had as a child. That feeling of dread when i saw a fleeting shadow across the dark room or the sound of Church bells in the late hours of the night. But it was more than that, It was a number of things.

The uneasy feeling of foreboding which pervades the whole film. The superb score in particular Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. The sound design by Robert Knudson and Chris Newman ( who were rewarded for their stellar efforts with an Oscar). The excellent direction by William Friedkin. The screenplay, the makeup, and not forgetting the excellent turns fron the cast; Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair as the suffering Mother and daughter, Max Von Sydow as Father Merrin and of course the superb Jason Miller as the tortured Father Karras. But the truly powerful clog in this terrifying machine was the creation of the demon Pazazu himself. I say creation, but not in the sense of design or makeup (although we do get that) but of something more as we shall see. Indeed it was the coming together of all these things which made this film a masterpiece.

From the opening scenes of Father Merrin in Northern Iraq we are gripped by the lucid power of Pazazu. We can feel his presence in the office where we find Merrin. Or in the streets and especially the ruins where father Merrin comes face to face with this ancient foe in stone form. A feeling of dread pervades the opening scenes. The uneasy calm before the storm. We cut immediately to Georgetown, Washington; quite a contrast between two worlds, two worlds which will merge as an ancient evil comes a knocking. Again the feeling of unease carries on in the autumnal streets of Georgetown, leading up to our first major shock....in the attic. And pretty soon all hell breaks loose...

There are certain key moments in the film which make it a truly terrifying film. Of course Regans transformation being one, but in my opinion the scenes which truly makes this film unique in its genre is the quieter scenes. Scenes such as father Karras' dream. This is a superb moment in the film and one of the most chilling. We understand the guilt that Karras feels for he feels as abandoning his mothet in the psychiatric home. And the devil plays on his fears. This dream scene really unnerved me on first viewing (and still does). Its really unsettling; the photography, the use of sound such as the breathing and of course THAT subliminal image of the grinning face of Pazazu - I will not lie, i nearly shat myself! The scene really is terrific cinema. I'm not overstating it when i say those few minutes alone are far more scarier than the entire running length of some supposed horror films i have watched over the years.

Another unsettling moment is the tape scene. Its the moment we here the guttaral voice of Pazazu. Its the films piece de resistance. All this was possible thanks to the actress Mercedes McCambridge's effort, enhanced of course further by the sound team. Its also her voice we hear when Regan is shouting all manner of unholy profanity in the direction of the terrified priests. The tape scene is a deeply disturbing moment; the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The look on Father Karras' shocked face says it all.

And so those are just some of the reasons why i hold this film in such high esteem. For me, the only film which can come close to matching the unbridled terror of The Exorcist is Kubrick's The Shining. Today there are arguably more scarier film's than the aforementioned, but The Exorcist will always be the daddy of them all.

10/10




< Message edited by Nexus Wookie -- 23/11/2012 10:36:23 PM >


_____________________________

My blog: http://nexuswookie.wordpress.com/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 14564
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 24/11/2012 10:53:37 PM   
Platter

 

Posts: 113
Joined: 14/8/2010
FYI Blu-Ray Kubrick boxset now only £18 at the moment.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stanley-Kubrick-Visionary-Filmmaker-Collection/dp/B004MW57KA/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

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My novel:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Cuckoo-Island-ebook/dp/B00EIP4ZVS/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377097535&sr=1-4

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14565
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 25/11/2012 8:12:24 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5159
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Set your recorders for next Saturday guys, The Keep is on Film4 !

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 14566
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 26/11/2012 7:47:30 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey

Set your recorders for next Saturday guys, The Keep is on Film4 !

Well finally i'll be able to have it recorded on DVD,for though i still have the VHS copy,i've no VHS player anymore,though i do hope the Film4 showing is not like the VHS tape,IE Pan Scan.It was shot in widescreen,and that's the way it should be seen,and i still love this classic cult film,here's the re vamped review.
THE KEEP 1983
 
A detachment of WW2 German Soldiers (commanded by Jurgen Prochnow) is sent to guard a mysterious Romanian Keep located on a strategic mountain pass in Carpathian Alps.The Nazis ignore villagers' warnings and also of a Orthodox monk (Robert Prosky)about a weird presence inside the keep.When one of the soldiers unwittingly releases an unknown spirit trapped within the walls,one of the soldiers is mysteriously killed.An SS officer(Gabriel Byrne) arrives to deal with what is thought to be partisan activity,but soon he realizes this is far more than some human force,and with no way of combating the force,they have no option but to seek the aid of a Jewish man (Ian McKellen) and his daughter (Alberta Watson), who are both knowledge about the history/myth of the keep,and who can also translate signs vital to combating the menace/force of evil within the walls of The Keep .

This underrated movie packs action, violence, terror, suspense with creepy and eerie scenarios into it's all but to short running time.The story is based on F.Paul Wilson's novel and thankfully he also wrote the screenplay with Michael Mann also involed in the screemplay,who directed this classic cult film.Now i believe there is finally a fully restored version,that was seen at the BFI,who helped track down and restore lost footage with Mann also involed.It got a showing at the BFI with Mann there to talk about it,and the fact it had been taken from his control after he did the final cut,back in 1983.For on it's original release it got butchered by the distributor Paramount,and so there are many different endings and spins on the story,due to a lot of additional footage that was dropped and re editing all with out Mann or Wilson's imput.This cut ended being a critical and commercial failure,though it has took on a life of it's own among cult film lovers,and i would love to see the restored version which though not complete,is going by reviews of those that seen it at the BFI,very close to the book,as both Mann and Wilson planned.

With a great cast of mainly British actors, impressive production design,colourful use of fog,lights and the dark,and as you'd expect of a Mann film,cinematography is stunning.Now script wise it's a bit of a mess and this is due to the hack job down by the film company,who took Manns finished work,and decide they could do better.Still there's the bonus of a superb creepy soundtrack,of music composed by Tangerine Dream,which if you have the CD of it,is now imposable to get,so hang on to it.

Michael Mann,as we know became a successful director and screenwriter with films like Manhunter,Last of the Mohican's, Heat,Insider, Ali, Miami vice etc).Yet his one and only powerful horror movie,gets overlooked by many,and this is a real shame.He loved the book and after making Theif 1981,he wanted to get away from crime films,and wanted to really go to town in style and vision,but Paramount where hoping for a ALIEN type film,and got a film they just did not understand.I know it has it's faults,but on a overall view of a film that cost less than $6 million to make,which even back in the 80's was a small budget,it still packs a punch.Very Lovecraft inspired,a real Gothic horror surreal thriller,that still looks great,but needs to be fully restored and given the full HD treatment in both sound and vision,so come on Paramount get your finger out.7/10 

< Message edited by evil bill -- 26/11/2012 8:15:52 PM >


_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to paul.mccluskey)
Post #: 14567
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 26/11/2012 8:37:24 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie

I have watched The Exorcist evil bill and its one of the greatest horror films ever made without question. I've also seen Exorcist III but it was a while ago and my memory of it is very vague. I think its time for a rewatch. However i don't rate the second film too highly. As for the prequels i haven't watched the lesser known one of the two - i'll rectify that soon. By the way bill, i wrote a review for the original classic last night. I had to stop midway through writing it as i got really spooked out! . The missus and the kids were asleep and i swear i felt the presence of Pazazu nearby lol!



The Exorcist (1973)

A young girl Regan (Linda Blair) who resides with her mother (Ellen Burstyn) in Georgetown, Washington, starts exhibiting strange symptons. Her mother concerned, seeks medical attention but to no avail. She seeks advice from a priest who is convinced that Regan is possessed. But things start going for the worst...

I still remember vividly my first viewing of The Exorcist. It was many years ago on Channel 4 one night. Growing up i would hear about and read about this 'infamous' film and the legendary persona it had aquired. ''Its so scary a man had a heart attack and died while watching it'' a friend told me at school. ''theres genuine evil in the film'' cried others. And due to it being banned (along with A Clockwork Orange) it took on a legendary aura. And so, one night all those years ago i finally had the chance to see for myself what all the hullaballo was about. Lets just say i was left absolutely shaken by the whole experience, that and the fact i could not sleep without my lights on for a week! It seems quite funny looking back on my first experience but i will not lie; The Exorcist was a totally life changing experience.

Why did it affect me so much? From a young age i always believed in the paranormal and through my own experience and those related by others, always felt the world was a far stranger place than we gave credit. Watching The Exorcist brought back all those unexplained and scary feelings i had as a child. That feeling of dread when i saw a fleeting shadow across the dark room or the sound of Church bells in the late hours of the night. But it was more than that, It was a number of things.

The uneasy feeling of foreboding which pervades the whole film. The superb score in particular Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. The sound design by Robert Knudson and Chris Newman ( who were rewarded for their stellar efforts with an Oscar). The excellent direction by William Friedkin. The screenplay, the makeup, and not forgetting the excellent turns fron the cast; Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair as the suffering Mother and daughter, Max Von Sydow as Father Merrin and of course the superb Jason Miller as the tortured Father Karras. But the truly powerful clog in this terrifying machine was the creation of the demon Pazazu himself. I say creation, but not in the sense of design or makeup (although we do get that) but of something more as we shall see. Indeed it was the coming together of all these things which made this film a masterpiece.

From the opening scenes of Father Merrin in Northern Iraq we are gripped by the lucid power of Pazazu. We can feel his presence in the office where we find Merrin. Or in the streets and especially the ruins where father Merrin comes face to face with this ancient foe in stone form. A feeling of dread pervades the opening scenes. The uneasy calm before the storm. We cut immediately to Georgetown, Washington; quite a contrast between two worlds, two worlds which will merge as an ancient evil comes a knocking. Again the feeling of unease carries on in the autumnal streets of Georgetown, leading up to our first major shock....in the attic. And pretty soon all hell breaks loose...

There are certain key moments in the film which make it a truly terrifying film. Of course Regans transformation being one, but in my opinion the scenes which truly makes this film unique in its genre is the quieter scenes. Scenes such as father Karras' dream. This is a superb moment in the film and one of the most chilling. We understand the guilt that Karras feels for he feels as abandoning his mothet in the psychiatric home. And the devil plays on his fears. This dream scene really unnerved me on first viewing (and still does). Its really unsettling; the photography, the use of sound such as the breathing and of course THAT subliminal image of the grinning face of Pazazu - I will not lie, i nearly shat myself! The scene really is terrific cinema. I'm not overstating it when i say those few minutes alone are far more scarier than the entire running length of some supposed horror films i have watched over the years.

Another unsettling moment is the tape scene. Its the moment we here the guttaral voice of Pazazu. Its the films piece de resistance. All this was possible thanks to the actress Mercedes McCambridge's effort, enhanced of course further by the sound team. Its also her voice we hear when Regan is shouting all manner of unholy profanity in the direction of the terrified priests. The tape scene is a deeply disturbing moment; the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The look on Father Karras' shocked face says it all.

And so those are just some of the reasons why i hold this film in such high esteem. For me, the only film which can come close to matching the unbridled terror of The Exorcist is Kubrick's The Shining. Today there are arguably more scarier film's than the aforementioned, but The Exorcist will always be the daddy of them all.

10/10




AWESOME!! love the way you've written this review from a more personal view,IE the way it affected you,and how you still feel about this classic.I take it you have the DVD or is it the Blu-Ray now,i myself forked out for the SE DVD box set that has the film on DVD with the making of,plus BFI Modren Classics 2ND edition book on the Exorcist film by Mark Kermode.The book gives a real deep insight into the history of The Exorcist,right back to the real life story that got William Peter Blatty to put pen to paper.Also about the subliminal images that where cut from the film,and how they filmed the shocking effects,and why some sences where dropped from the final cut.It's a fantasic read and is worth buying if you love this film as much as i know you do,though i'm not sure if you can still get the book,but try a search of the net see what comes up.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14568
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 26/11/2012 9:53:48 PM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity
Thanks evil bill!

I still have the 25th Anniversary DVD with Kermode's terrific documentary (which if i remember from the top of my head was called 'The fear of god'). But would you believe it that i've yet to read Blatty's original novel? I know i must be mad. I was discussing it with someone on another forum about the new 40th anniversary edition of the novel with an extra scene by the author and the introduction of a new character; well Blatty states this is his preffered version so i don't know , i might go for that. But one things certain which ever version i choose i just need to read it ASAP!

EDIT; the BFI Series is awesome and i must read the book you've mentioned. I'll track it down, in fact i might buy both this and the novel together.

< Message edited by Nexus Wookie -- 26/11/2012 9:57:21 PM >


_____________________________

My blog: http://nexuswookie.wordpress.com/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 14569
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 27/11/2012 8:13:18 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie

Thanks evil bill!

I still have the 25th Anniversary DVD with Kermode's terrific documentary (which if i remember from the top of my head was called 'The fear of god'). But would you believe it that i've yet to read Blatty's original novel? I know i must be mad. I was discussing it with someone on another forum about the new 40th anniversary edition of the novel with an extra scene by the author and the introduction of a new character; well Blatty states this is his preffered version so i don't know , i might go for that. But one things certain which ever version i choose i just need to read it ASAP!

EDIT; the BFI Series is awesome and i must read the book you've mentioned. I'll track it down, in fact i might buy both this and the novel together.

Heard about the new print of the book,and hears some real good news on the film too,plus my own review.
Director William Friedkin and Warner Bros officially confirmed a new digital print of The Exorcistis being used for the new Blu-ray release to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist Friedkin revealed the “spectacular” new print took him six months to make. ”The new Exorcist print looks exactly like what it did through the viewfinder when I shot the movie,” he tweeted. “I saw new things about the film that I had either forgotten or not noticed before. This is not hyperbole. When you look through a finder, the color is perfect, there is no dirt and no scratches, no flaws.”

Here’s a list of special features that were included in the 2010 version and should carry over to next year’s Blu-ray:
Disc 1: Extended Director’s Cut (2000 version)
  • English DTS-HD MA 6.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 (both Parisian and dubbed in Quebec), Spanish 5.1 (both Castilian and Latin 2.0 stereo)
  • New 3-part documentary on the movie’s production and legacy – for the first time, relive the actual on-set filming of classic scenes via never-before-seen set footage: Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist, The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now and Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist
  • Commentary by director William Friedkin

Disc 2: Original theatrical cut (1973 version)
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French Dolby Digital 1.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (both Castilian and Latin)
  • 2 commentaries: 1) director William Friedkin, 2) producer/screenwriter William Peter Blatty, plus sound effects tests
  • Introduction by William Friedkin
  • Feature-length 1998 documentary The Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist
  • Interview gallery covering the topics: the original cut, the final reckoning and stairway to heaven
  • Original ending and more

THE EXORCIST 1973

A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter,Regan MacNeil(Linda Blair) ,she is possessed by the devil.After exhausting all other practical options,that doctors and scientists can offer.Regan's mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn), acknowledges the supernatural nature of her daughter's condition and recruits Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) to stage an exorcism. Aided by the mysterious Jesuit exorcist Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), Father Damien must confront not only the supernatural phenomena in front of him, but also his own inadequate faith and displaced guilt over his mother's recent death.

Directed by William Friedkin,based on the book of William Peter Blatty,who also wrote the screenplay,which like the book was based on the true story of a young boy in Georgetown who became possessed,this also became a book by another author.But it is Blatty's that will always be remembered,which he based on news items from the local press of the time of the real exorcist,and he went through numerous rewrites of his script in order to meet Friedkin's exacting demands.This was no shot in the dark,as Friedkin,knew what he wanted from the off,and was just as hard on Blatty as he was on actors and film crew.Story's of him shooting off a gun behind Jason Miller,to get the desired effect,plus having poor Ellen Burstyn yanked by two strong men across the floor on her back hard causing real pain in her back,and that was an her actual scream of pain he kept in the movie,are all true.Some crew and actors claim the film was cursed,this was also stated by Blatty on video,and so did Burstyn who indicated some rumors to be true in her 2006 autobiography Lessons in Becoming Myself. Friedkin himself has claimed that a priest was brought in numerous times to bless the set,after interior sets of the MacNeil residence,except for Regan's bedroom,were destroyed by a studio fire and had to be rebuilt.Numerous accidents always happen on set but this seem to attract a few more than normal,plus actor Jack MacGowran (Burke Dennings) died of the flu during filming.Of course this added to the legend this picture was to become,as it also had the Christian far right up in arms,as they believed it would infect people with the power of the devil.Think that's mad,well i know of two Christians in work that refuse to see or read about this movie,they believe it to be cursed and those that take part to be cursed,doomed to go to hell.

THE EXORCIST was unleashed on an unsuspecting American public in 1973,and quickly became a nationwide sensation, leading to religious boycotts, fainting, and a huge box office return,in fact the highest grossing Horror movie of all time.Friedkin brought William Peter Blatty's Oscar-winning script to shocking life by establishing a realistic, everyday tone before allowing terror to creep in and take over the scream.With excellent performances from Burstyn,Blair and Miller further help to ground supernatural events in real life,making it seem far more real than you'd expect from a film like this.It also won an Oscar for best sound,and no wonder as it was one of the first movies to use Six Track Dolby Stereo and to great effect,also remastered to 70MM for re-release in 1979,which is now the master copy for all transfers.It was taken off the shelves during the Video Nastie years,but was never banned by the BBFC,it was just Warners who panicked,as they felt it might end up banned for years like I Spit On Your Grave etc.

I myself saw this first back in 1979 on it's re release with Exorcist II,and didn't know what to expect on the big screen,though i had read the book,so had a fair idea what i was in for.Well it opens in Iraq where Father Lancaster Merrin during an archaeological dig in Northern Iraq,detects signs of his final showdown with the devil,now these abstract scenes appear again later in the film and on subsequent viewings give the movie a more epic feel.We move forward to the MacNeil's in Georgetown,where it goes for a slow but sure build up of terror,never letting you out of it's grip as we move deeper in the film.The fact that the movie resists the temptation to jump right into acknowledgment that Regan is possessed,as doctors fail to cure her of her madness?continues the build up to Good versus Evil, God versus Satan, feel.Like the characters, in the movie who don't want it to be true, and don't want to go there and embrace that possibility,we too the audience refuse to believe but know that the inevitable must happen as all else has failed.

I love the carefully crafted and ever so gradual change in Regan's personality,her strange drawings and figurines she creates,and then the emergence of Captain Howdy her imaginary(we all had one at one time) friend?,and strange outbursts,and so called physical convulsions on her bed,force Chris to turn to doctors and eventually psychiatrists to try and get to the bottom of Regan's ever worsening behavior.When Chris MacNeil is told there is noting modern science can do,she is heartbroken,and is so desperate she turns to a priest she has seen on campus.She asks Father Karras,"how does one go about getting an exorcism?" which stops father Karras in his tracks as he, a man of the church,has lost his own Faith,and looks at her as though she's lost her mind.But he has not seen what we have seen,this little innocent girl taken over by forces that she shouldn't even know about,that have turned her into a sick twisted horror.A child that masturbates with a Crucifix,who's head spins,and can throw adults across her room etc.After he visits he knows he must try to help,yet still he finds it hard to believe what he See's and hears,as do we yet we are dragged screaming into Regan's hell.

Acting is Oscar level from Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller,Ellen Burstyn and even Max von Sydow's limited appearance in the film,and credit must go to Mercedes McCambridge for supplying the voice of the demon.But it's down to Friedkin's slice-of-life direction that enhances an essence of fear in an oddly subtle fashion,as though the viewer were actually alongside the characters in the film.And with no CGI as it was still a filmmakers dream back then,effects team did a remarkable job,adding to an eerie atmosphere,which resulted in one of the scariest films of all time.Dick Smith was the main effects guy and who some time after it's release wrote"while praising the film,i believed the effects to be so unusually graphic,i was surprised that it received an R rating and not X"This is very true as this was back in 1973,so was truly shocking to cinema goers of  1973,with it's sexual swear words coming from a child,and the infamous Crucifix scene"Let Jesus Fuck You!!",well it still shocks me this scene even now.With faultless direction with it's awesome use of shadow,and brilliant very low key imagery full of stand out moments,like we watch Lancaster Merrin walking up the sunny garden path, staring down at a newly delivered envelope. He doesn't have to read it,as he already knows what it says, as do we,then the imagery fades to an ominous foggy night as a taxi pulls up to the MacNeil place in Georgetown,as we're treated to the haunting imagery that inspired the cover art.Add to this the subliminal imagery?which adds a kind of dreamlike state,in certain scenes,but as Blattly said how can it be subliminal if you can see it.This was also the center of controversy about this movie at the time,as it was bad enough a child being abused on screen,by unseen powers,but trying to implant satanic images in peoples minds??The exorcism alone took three months alone to film and on some of those days the crew felt lucky to get one shot,and that was because director William Friedkin wanted to make it visually clear that the satanic spirit inside the possessed girl had made the room unbearably cold.So a refrigerated set representing her bedroom was constructed on a sound stage, and air conditioners worked all night to lower its temperature to 40 degrees below zero.

Loved the use of Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells in the film,and now i can't help but think of this movie every time i hear it.As for the music score itself,well it's good but could have been a lot better,though saying that,composer Schifrin's final score was thrown out into the parking lot by Friedkin, dubbing it "fucking Mexican marmbi music"so never got used,so it might have been far worse.So with the Blu-Ray on it's way for it's big 40TH birthday The Exorcist remains an effective excursion into demonic possession,and remains a very powerful film and a cinematographic milestone.But repeated duplication of this genre has no doubt, 'desensitized' a new generation of movie-watchers to this classic, though it remains an unnerving masterpiece,though it has been lampooned in numerous rip off style Scary Movies.It's a marvel of audience manipulation, with director William Friedkin pushing all the right buttons,and although he won best director award for The French Connection, for me The Exorcist will always remain his defining film,and a film i still will not let my kids see till there 18.10/10 



_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14570
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 28/11/2012 12:43:55 AM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie

Thanks evil bill!

I still have the 25th Anniversary DVD with Kermode's terrific documentary (which if i remember from the top of my head was called 'The fear of god'). But would you believe it that i've yet to read Blatty's original novel? I know i must be mad. I was discussing it with someone on another forum about the new 40th anniversary edition of the novel with an extra scene by the author and the introduction of a new character; well Blatty states this is his preffered version so i don't know , i might go for that. But one things certain which ever version i choose i just need to read it ASAP!

EDIT; the BFI Series is awesome and i must read the book you've mentioned. I'll track it down, in fact i might buy both this and the novel together.

Heard about the new print of the book,and hears some real good news on the film too,plus my own review.
Director William Friedkin and Warner Bros officially confirmed a new digital print of The Exorcistis being used for the new Blu-ray release to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist Friedkin revealed the “spectacular” new print took him six months to make. ”The new Exorcist print looks exactly like what it did through the viewfinder when I shot the movie,” he tweeted. “I saw new things about the film that I had either forgotten or not noticed before. This is not hyperbole. When you look through a finder, the color is perfect, there is no dirt and no scratches, no flaws.”

Here’s a list of special features that were included in the 2010 version and should carry over to next year’s Blu-ray:
Disc 1: Extended Director’s Cut (2000 version)
  • English DTS-HD MA 6.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 (both Parisian and dubbed in Quebec), Spanish 5.1 (both Castilian and Latin 2.0 stereo)
  • New 3-part documentary on the movie’s production and legacy – for the first time, relive the actual on-set filming of classic scenes via never-before-seen set footage: Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist, The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now and Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist
  • Commentary by director William Friedkin

Disc 2: Original theatrical cut (1973 version)
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French Dolby Digital 1.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (both Castilian and Latin)
  • 2 commentaries: 1) director William Friedkin, 2) producer/screenwriter William Peter Blatty, plus sound effects tests
  • Introduction by William Friedkin
  • Feature-length 1998 documentary The Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist
  • Interview gallery covering the topics: the original cut, the final reckoning and stairway to heaven
  • Original ending and more

THE EXORCIST 1973

A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter,Regan MacNeil(Linda Blair) ,she is possessed by the devil.After exhausting all other practical options,that doctors and scientists can offer.Regan's mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn), acknowledges the supernatural nature of her daughter's condition and recruits Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) to stage an exorcism. Aided by the mysterious Jesuit exorcist Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), Father Damien must confront not only the supernatural phenomena in front of him, but also his own inadequate faith and displaced guilt over his mother's recent death.

Directed by William Friedkin,based on the book of William Peter Blatty,who also wrote the screenplay,which like the book was based on the true story of a young boy in Georgetown who became possessed,this also became a book by another author.But it is Blatty's that will always be remembered,which he based on news items from the local press of the time of the real exorcist,and he went through numerous rewrites of his script in order to meet Friedkin's exacting demands.This was no shot in the dark,as Friedkin,knew what he wanted from the off,and was just as hard on Blatty as he was on actors and film crew.Story's of him shooting off a gun behind Jason Miller,to get the desired effect,plus having poor Ellen Burstyn yanked by two strong men across the floor on her back hard causing real pain in her back,and that was an her actual scream of pain he kept in the movie,are all true.Some crew and actors claim the film was cursed,this was also stated by Blatty on video,and so did Burstyn who indicated some rumors to be true in her 2006 autobiography Lessons in Becoming Myself. Friedkin himself has claimed that a priest was brought in numerous times to bless the set,after interior sets of the MacNeil residence,except for Regan's bedroom,were destroyed by a studio fire and had to be rebuilt.Numerous accidents always happen on set but this seem to attract a few more than normal,plus actor Jack MacGowran (Burke Dennings) died of the flu during filming.Of course this added to the legend this picture was to become,as it also had the Christian far right up in arms,as they believed it would infect people with the power of the devil.Think that's mad,well i know of two Christians in work that refuse to see or read about this movie,they believe it to be cursed and those that take part to be cursed,doomed to go to hell.

THE EXORCIST was unleashed on an unsuspecting American public in 1973,and quickly became a nationwide sensation, leading to religious boycotts, fainting, and a huge box office return,in fact the highest grossing Horror movie of all time.Friedkin brought William Peter Blatty's Oscar-winning script to shocking life by establishing a realistic, everyday tone before allowing terror to creep in and take over the scream.With excellent performances from Burstyn,Blair and Miller further help to ground supernatural events in real life,making it seem far more real than you'd expect from a film like this.It also won an Oscar for best sound,and no wonder as it was one of the first movies to use Six Track Dolby Stereo and to great effect,also remastered to 70MM for re-release in 1979,which is now the master copy for all transfers.It was taken off the shelves during the Video Nastie years,but was never banned by the BBFC,it was just Warners who panicked,as they felt it might end up banned for years like I Spit On Your Grave etc.

I myself saw this first back in 1979 on it's re release with Exorcist II,and didn't know what to expect on the big screen,though i had read the book,so had a fair idea what i was in for.Well it opens in Iraq where Father Lancaster Merrin during an archaeological dig in Northern Iraq,detects signs of his final showdown with the devil,now these abstract scenes appear again later in the film and on subsequent viewings give the movie a more epic feel.We move forward to the MacNeil's in Georgetown,where it goes for a slow but sure build up of terror,never letting you out of it's grip as we move deeper in the film.The fact that the movie resists the temptation to jump right into acknowledgment that Regan is possessed,as doctors fail to cure her of her madness?continues the build up to Good versus Evil, God versus Satan, feel.Like the characters, in the movie who don't want it to be true, and don't want to go there and embrace that possibility,we too the audience refuse to believe but know that the inevitable must happen as all else has failed.

I love the carefully crafted and ever so gradual change in Regan's personality,her strange drawings and figurines she creates,and then the emergence of Captain Howdy her imaginary(we all had one at one time) friend?,and strange outbursts,and so called physical convulsions on her bed,force Chris to turn to doctors and eventually psychiatrists to try and get to the bottom of Regan's ever worsening behavior.When Chris MacNeil is told there is noting modern science can do,she is heartbroken,and is so desperate she turns to a priest she has seen on campus.She asks Father Karras,"how does one go about getting an exorcism?" which stops father Karras in his tracks as he, a man of the church,has lost his own Faith,and looks at her as though she's lost her mind.But he has not seen what we have seen,this little innocent girl taken over by forces that she shouldn't even know about,that have turned her into a sick twisted horror.A child that masturbates with a Crucifix,who's head spins,and can throw adults across her room etc.After he visits he knows he must try to help,yet still he finds it hard to believe what he See's and hears,as do we yet we are dragged screaming into Regan's hell.

Acting is Oscar level from Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller,Ellen Burstyn and even Max von Sydow's limited appearance in the film,and credit must go to Mercedes McCambridge for supplying the voice of the demon.But it's down to Friedkin's slice-of-life direction that enhances an essence of fear in an oddly subtle fashion,as though the viewer were actually alongside the characters in the film.And with no CGI as it was still a filmmakers dream back then,effects team did a remarkable job,adding to an eerie atmosphere,which resulted in one of the scariest films of all time.Dick Smith was the main effects guy and who some time after it's release wrote"while praising the film,i believed the effects to be so unusually graphic,i was surprised that it received an R rating and not X"This is very true as this was back in 1973,so was truly shocking to cinema goers of  1973,with it's sexual swear words coming from a child,and the infamous Crucifix scene"Let Jesus Fuck You!!",well it still shocks me this scene even now.With faultless direction with it's awesome use of shadow,and brilliant very low key imagery full of stand out moments,like we watch Lancaster Merrin walking up the sunny garden path, staring down at a newly delivered envelope. He doesn't have to read it,as he already knows what it says, as do we,then the imagery fades to an ominous foggy night as a taxi pulls up to the MacNeil place in Georgetown,as we're treated to the haunting imagery that inspired the cover art.Add to this the subliminal imagery?which adds a kind of dreamlike state,in certain scenes,but as Blattly said how can it be subliminal if you can see it.This was also the center of controversy about this movie at the time,as it was bad enough a child being abused on screen,by unseen powers,but trying to implant satanic images in peoples minds??The exorcism alone took three months alone to film and on some of those days the crew felt lucky to get one shot,and that was because director William Friedkin wanted to make it visually clear that the satanic spirit inside the possessed girl had made the room unbearably cold.So a refrigerated set representing her bedroom was constructed on a sound stage, and air conditioners worked all night to lower its temperature to 40 degrees below zero.

Loved the use of Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells in the film,and now i can't help but think of this movie every time i hear it.As for the music score itself,well it's good but could have been a lot better,though saying that,composer Schifrin's final score was thrown out into the parking lot by Friedkin, dubbing it "fucking Mexican marmbi music"so never got used,so it might have been far worse.So with the Blu-Ray on it's way for it's big 40TH birthday The Exorcist remains an effective excursion into demonic possession,and remains a very powerful film and a cinematographic milestone.But repeated duplication of this genre has no doubt, 'desensitized' a new generation of movie-watchers to this classic, though it remains an unnerving masterpiece,though it has been lampooned in numerous rip off style Scary Movies.It's a marvel of audience manipulation, with director William Friedkin pushing all the right buttons,and although he won best director award for The French Connection, for me The Exorcist will always remain his defining film,and a film i still will not let my kids see till there 18.10/10 




Awesome review bill! Really indepth and insightful. Great reading about the production, the last paragraph in particular Friedkin's quote brought a huge smile to my face!

He's a hard man to please!

Great to hear about the upcoming blu-ray. Those new docs in particular have got me salivating. Of course theres the small matter of me finding a decent blu-ray player first...

Oh, thanks aswell for your review for The Keep; i've yet to watch it so look forward to catching it on Film4.


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Post #: 14571
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 28/11/2012 11:47:41 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie

I have watched The Exorcist evil bill and its one of the greatest horror films ever made without question. I've also seen Exorcist III but it was a while ago and my memory of it is very vague. I think its time for a rewatch. However i don't rate the second film too highly. As for the prequels i haven't watched the lesser known one of the two - i'll rectify that soon. By the way bill, i wrote a review for the original classic last night. I had to stop midway through writing it as i got really spooked out! . The missus and the kids were asleep and i swear i felt the presence of Pazazu nearby lol!



The Exorcist (1973)

A young girl Regan (Linda Blair) who resides with her mother (Ellen Burstyn) in Georgetown, Washington, starts exhibiting strange symptons. Her mother concerned, seeks medical attention but to no avail. She seeks advice from a priest who is convinced that Regan is possessed. But things start going for the worst...

I still remember vividly my first viewing of The Exorcist. It was many years ago on Channel 4 one night. Growing up i would hear about and read about this 'infamous' film and the legendary persona it had aquired. ''Its so scary a man had a heart attack and died while watching it'' a friend told me at school. ''theres genuine evil in the film'' cried others. And due to it being banned (along with A Clockwork Orange) it took on a legendary aura. And so, one night all those years ago i finally had the chance to see for myself what all the hullaballo was about. Lets just say i was left absolutely shaken by the whole experience, that and the fact i could not sleep without my lights on for a week! It seems quite funny looking back on my first experience but i will not lie; The Exorcist was a totally life changing experience.

Why did it affect me so much? From a young age i always believed in the paranormal and through my own experience and those related by others, always felt the world was a far stranger place than we gave credit. Watching The Exorcist brought back all those unexplained and scary feelings i had as a child. That feeling of dread when i saw a fleeting shadow across the dark room or the sound of Church bells in the late hours of the night. But it was more than that, It was a number of things.

The uneasy feeling of foreboding which pervades the whole film. The superb score in particular Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. The sound design by Robert Knudson and Chris Newman ( who were rewarded for their stellar efforts with an Oscar). The excellent direction by William Friedkin. The screenplay, the makeup, and not forgetting the excellent turns fron the cast; Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair as the suffering Mother and daughter, Max Von Sydow as Father Merrin and of course the superb Jason Miller as the tortured Father Karras. But the truly powerful clog in this terrifying machine was the creation of the demon Pazazu himself. I say creation, but not in the sense of design or makeup (although we do get that) but of something more as we shall see. Indeed it was the coming together of all these things which made this film a masterpiece.

From the opening scenes of Father Merrin in Northern Iraq we are gripped by the lucid power of Pazazu. We can feel his presence in the office where we find Merrin. Or in the streets and especially the ruins where father Merrin comes face to face with this ancient foe in stone form. A feeling of dread pervades the opening scenes. The uneasy calm before the storm. We cut immediately to Georgetown, Washington; quite a contrast between two worlds, two worlds which will merge as an ancient evil comes a knocking. Again the feeling of unease carries on in the autumnal streets of Georgetown, leading up to our first major shock....in the attic. And pretty soon all hell breaks loose...

There are certain key moments in the film which make it a truly terrifying film. Of course Regans transformation being one, but in my opinion the scenes which truly makes this film unique in its genre is the quieter scenes. Scenes such as father Karras' dream. This is a superb moment in the film and one of the most chilling. We understand the guilt that Karras feels for he feels as abandoning his mothet in the psychiatric home. And the devil plays on his fears. This dream scene really unnerved me on first viewing (and still does). Its really unsettling; the photography, the use of sound such as the breathing and of course THAT subliminal image of the grinning face of Pazazu - I will not lie, i nearly shat myself! The scene really is terrific cinema. I'm not overstating it when i say those few minutes alone are far more scarier than the entire running length of some supposed horror films i have watched over the years.

Another unsettling moment is the tape scene. Its the moment we here the guttaral voice of Pazazu. Its the films piece de resistance. All this was possible thanks to the actress Mercedes McCambridge's effort, enhanced of course further by the sound team. Its also her voice we hear when Regan is shouting all manner of unholy profanity in the direction of the terrified priests. The tape scene is a deeply disturbing moment; the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The look on Father Karras' shocked face says it all.

And so those are just some of the reasons why i hold this film in such high esteem. For me, the only film which can come close to matching the unbridled terror of The Exorcist is Kubrick's The Shining. Today there are arguably more scarier film's than the aforementioned, but The Exorcist will always be the daddy of them all.

10/10





Excellent review of one of the great horror films, I first saw this on an almost unwatchable pirate video when it was banned for home viewing,and it still freaked me out. I remain [and I know Bill will kill me for this] a bit of a fan of the much maligned and misunderstood first sequel too

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Post #: 14572
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 28/11/2012 11:52:24 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey

Set your recorders for next Saturday guys, The Keep is on Film4 !

Well finally i'll be able to have it recorded on DVD,for though i still have the VHS copy,i've no VHS player anymore,though i do hope the Film4 showing is not like the VHS tape,IE Pan Scan.It was shot in widescreen,and that's the way it should be seen,and i still love this classic cult film,here's the re vamped review.
THE KEEP 1983
 
A detachment of WW2 German Soldiers (commanded by Jurgen Prochnow) is sent to guard a mysterious Romanian Keep located on a strategic mountain pass in Carpathian Alps.The Nazis ignore villagers' warnings and also of a Orthodox monk (Robert Prosky)about a weird presence inside the keep.When one of the soldiers unwittingly releases an unknown spirit trapped within the walls,one of the soldiers is mysteriously killed.An SS officer(Gabriel Byrne) arrives to deal with what is thought to be partisan activity,but soon he realizes this is far more than some human force,and with no way of combating the force,they have no option but to seek the aid of a Jewish man (Ian McKellen) and his daughter (Alberta Watson), who are both knowledge about the history/myth of the keep,and who can also translate signs vital to combating the menace/force of evil within the walls of The Keep .

This underrated movie packs action, violence, terror, suspense with creepy and eerie scenarios into it's all but to short running time.The story is based on F.Paul Wilson's novel and thankfully he also wrote the screenplay with Michael Mann also involed in the screemplay,who directed this classic cult film.Now i believe there is finally a fully restored version,that was seen at the BFI,who helped track down and restore lost footage with Mann also involed.It got a showing at the BFI with Mann there to talk about it,and the fact it had been taken from his control after he did the final cut,back in 1983.For on it's original release it got butchered by the distributor Paramount,and so there are many different endings and spins on the story,due to a lot of additional footage that was dropped and re editing all with out Mann or Wilson's imput.This cut ended being a critical and commercial failure,though it has took on a life of it's own among cult film lovers,and i would love to see the restored version which though not complete,is going by reviews of those that seen it at the BFI,very close to the book,as both Mann and Wilson planned.

With a great cast of mainly British actors, impressive production design,colourful use of fog,lights and the dark,and as you'd expect of a Mann film,cinematography is stunning.Now script wise it's a bit of a mess and this is due to the hack job down by the film company,who took Manns finished work,and decide they could do better.Still there's the bonus of a superb creepy soundtrack,of music composed by Tangerine Dream,which if you have the CD of it,is now imposable to get,so hang on to it.

Michael Mann,as we know became a successful director and screenwriter with films like Manhunter,Last of the Mohican's, Heat,Insider, Ali, Miami vice etc).Yet his one and only powerful horror movie,gets overlooked by many,and this is a real shame.He loved the book and after making Theif 1981,he wanted to get away from crime films,and wanted to really go to town in style and vision,but Paramount where hoping for a ALIEN type film,and got a film they just did not understand.I know it has it's faults,but on a overall view of a film that cost less than $6 million to make,which even back in the 80's was a small budget,it still packs a punch.Very Lovecraft inspired,a real Gothic horror surreal thriller,that still looks great,but needs to be fully restored and given the full HD treatment in both sound and vision,so come on Paramount get your finger out.7/10 


Ah another neglected gem that has always given the impression of being a butchered masterpiece, I actually almost went to see it at the BFI but money is too tight to spend going to London to just see a film these days if you don't drive!!

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Post #: 14573
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 28/11/2012 11:58:35 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005
I may as well post this....the wife has dragged me to all of these




Bella is a newborn vampire. Her senses are sharpened, she’s beautiful, and she’s strong. She is also thirsty for blood, so the Cullen family won’t let her see her baby Renesmee, who is growing at an alarming rate. When Bella finally gets to see her, she learns that Jacob ‘imprinted’ on her baby and snaps and attacks him. Missing her father, she is lost as to how to break the news of her transformation to him until Jacob takes the matter into his own hands by exposing himself as a werewolf to him. Irina, a sister of the Denali clan, misidentifies Renesmee as an “immortal child,” which is one of the highest crimes under Volturi law. The Volturi head from Italy to destroy Renesmee, and it seems Bella and co. need to recruit some help…..

Why do we do it? So many of us do things that we regret, then proceed to do them again and again. A good example is drink. I lost count the number of times in my younger years when I woke up with a splitting hangover after a night out on the lash and said to myself “never again, it’s not worth feeling this bad the morning after”, only to do it all over again soon after. At least though with drunken nights out I usually had a good time. With the Twilight film series, I didn’t even do that. I watched each film and afterwards said to myself I won’t bother with the next one, yet found myself being drawn back again and again. Maybe it’s because they are ‘major’ movies and I feel I ought to see them, if only just to say how crap they are. Maybe it’s because of Kristen Stewart, who may be the only good thing about this franchise and but not because of her acting. Maybe…..o sod it, it’s not worth thinking about! I try to treat films fairly, and I will say that the first movie was just about watchable, if still quite poor. The second and third ones though I found almost unwatchable with their awful acting, horrid dialogue and idiocy so all-encompassing that I would have thought any teenage girl with brains would have found it all appallingly condescending.

Well, I’m no teenage girl and therefore not the target audience for these films, but I like to think I am broadminded enough to appreciate a good film even if it is not aimed at me or my ‘cup of tea’. I was virtually dragged along to the cinema to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but even though it wasn’t really to my taste I could appreciate that it was a decent movie. With The Twilight Saga though I am at a loss. I don’t even buy the romance as it’s so terribly written, overwhelmingly tedious and drawn-out, with much of the second and third film simply replaying the same scene over and over again with minor alteration. In fact you could sum up much of Twilight as consisting of;

Kristen Stewart looking miserable

Robert Pattinson looking constipated

Taylor Lautner taking his top off


……which obviously seems to be enough for some, though I remain dubious that a series with such a depressive and passive heroine throughout most of it is a good influence on impressionable young girls!

The first Breaking Dawn film was actually a slight improvement and even brought a few interesting, if hardly original, elements to the story which could have quite easily have been told over two or three films rather than five [no, I haven’t read the books and if given the choice of giving one a go or a stake through the heart, I’ll seriously consider the stake]. I even wondered if the final film might actually be….good. What a fool to think that! Breaking Dawn Part Two is not quite excruciating as New Moon and Eclipse, but that’s like saying having one finger cut off is better than two; both things would bloody hurt and impair you for the rest of your life. With this film, it really feels like they couldn’t be bothered to end things in a decent manner because they knew the fans would buy it whatever. Melissa Roseberg’s script is an utter mess. It spends a lot of time introducing new characters then does hardly anything with them, has the Volturi take their time to attack so that Bella and her friends can conveniently get all the help they need, and then has a final twist which is one of the biggest ‘cheats’ I’ve seen in ages, the kind of thing where you go “what the ****”, rather than “wow”.

Bar the occasional tedious bit of someone moving in fast motion but shot so you can barely see it, it’s all a build-up to a big final battle, and I must admit I got almost excited at the thought of some decent action in Twilight, but once everyone reaches the area they are going to fight on, we have to suffer what seems like half an hour of chat before the actual battle, which is so ineptly done as to be laughable. Despite having some characters who boast special powers like being able to influence people’s thoughts and firing black ectoplasmic ‘stuff’, these powers are not actually used during the fight and everyone just hits each other and throws each other around, while the camera operator obviously has trouble filming what is happening. As usual, the perverse but all-too-common idea that you shouldn’t really see action dominates here. I will say that there are an inordinate amount of heads cut off, but the CGI effects are lousy. Once again, the wolves look awful and during some scenes I kept thinking of films like An American Werewolf In Paris and wondering if there has been much progress at all in that area.

Bill Condon [what on earth has happened to the director of Gods And Monsters?] just doesn’t seem to have much of a handle on the material. Perhaps he realised he couldn’t do much with it. The acting is as weak as usual. Stewart actually cracks the odd smile here and there but still doesn’t really appear to be actually alive. Pattinson tries to get by on silent movie-style hammy expressions. Lautner, as usual, is made of wood. Michael Sheen is a decent villain though, almost single-handedly creating a bit of fear, though it seems like he’s acting in a far better film than this one. Of course you get the obligatory ‘emo’ pop songs throughout which may just make you want to kill yourself. Carter Burwell’s music score is rather good and the film looks good when it isn’t relying on the special effects, with some decent outdoor photography. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two ends with images of Bella and Edward’s love from all the films. It’s supposed to be moving and beautiful. I wasn’t touched, but I was very happy. Because “IT’S OVER”!!!

Rating: 2.5/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 28/11/2012 12:20:49 PM >


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Post #: 14574
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 28/11/2012 10:17:05 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 645
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
I absolutely love this movie. I know it will never be regarded as one of Mann's best films but it's my personal favourite of his. Watched it again recently and I still love it. There are even some rather emotional scenes that almost brought a tear to the eye involving Ian McKellens character and his daughter. This definitely deserves a nice blu-ray release in one of those fancy steel tins!

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 14575
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 29/11/2012 2:17:40 PM   
Platter

 

Posts: 113
Joined: 14/8/2010
The Passenger (1975)

Watchable existential road movie
NOTE: I'm unsure if I saw the original edit or the extended 2005 version.

David Locke (Jack Nicholson) is a reporter who is tired of it all. In a remote part of Africa he comes across the dead body of a man in a hotel room. He decides to swap identities with the deceased. He finds that the man has an appointment book, so Locke decides to keep the meetings in it.

Not a lot happens at a fairly slow pace. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere specific, but it pulled the rug out from under me with a circular poetic ending that was satisfying and kind of meaningful in a pretentious, don't think too much about it way.

The opening is a bit bumpy and challenging. It really doesn't make any effort to be overtly appealing and audience friendly. After he discovers the body the film picks up and is sort of enjoyable. Or at least as much as a movie like this can be. It was not designed to be straightforward entertainment as the intention was clearly to make a slow, meandering, hollow art movie. The movie is all about tone and mood with little regard for telling a conventional story.

I was going along with the flow and I didn't mind the film until the last half hour. There is only so much vagueness I can take before it starts to stretch my patience. My usually complaint with these type of movies is that they could do with being as short as possible. The story can be told just as effectively at 80-90 minutes as it can over two hours. The film falls into this category. Some pruning wouldn't have done any harm. Movies don't need to be slow to signify that they are important and saying something.

The last half hour was hard going but the last seven minutes are impressive. It was cleverly conceived and filmed with a bit of surreal poetry to it.

The characters are very disconnected, which is the point. They are very sketchy with little to no dialogue to say to each other. Basically it's your typical say something by saying nothing art movie. The dialogue scenes never really get going, leaving whole relationships massively underdeveloped; and the gun-running subplot barely gets started.

It's not technically a well made movie. I watched a high definition TV broadcast and the film looked cheap, nasty and dirty. The camera pans are very creaky. It's like the tripod needed a good squirt of WD40. Visually I was reminded of the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood Dollars trilogy. The dusty isolated towns and the dubbed on later soundtrack are very reminiscent of those films.

The soundtrack is very odd. The ambient sounds (wind, trees rustling, office and street noises, traffic etc) are very high in the audio mix. It's a very noisy movie because of this. Also the sound effects are loud so they have an exaggerated unreality to them. I don't remember hearing any music in the film.

It was alright. It could have been significantly better and more entertaining. There are a bunch of interesting ideas in it (his wife chasing after him, how the film ends) but the story barely gets going. It's an existential film from an existential director so I knew what I was letting myself in for. I just feel the plot could have been better developed, the pace tightened (and the running time reduced) and that the characters could have been allowed to talk to each other for more than a few inconclusive terse words.

I didn't mind the film for the first ninety minutes. The last half hour was a bit of a crawl but the ending was worth it. The tone and feel of the film makes it worth seeing. As I said, I really like the ending. On balance I would say it was alright, but not something I can get excited by. There are good and bad things about the film. Overall the bad is more prominent than the good. I would describe the movie as below average.

The only other Michelangelo Antonioni movie I've seen is Blow Up (1966). I think The Passenger is the weaker film of the two.

4 out of 10 stars

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Post #: 14576
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 29/11/2012 2:37:03 PM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity

quote:

ORIGINAL: dannyfletch

I absolutely love this movie. I know it will never be regarded as one of Mann's best films but it's my personal favourite of his. Watched it again recently and I still love it. There are even some rather emotional scenes that almost brought a tear to the eye involving Ian McKellens character and his daughter. This definitely deserves a nice blu-ray release in one of those fancy steel tins!


Phew! For a second there i thought you meant Breaking Dawn in your first sentence!

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Post #: 14577
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 29/11/2012 3:29:42 PM   
Nexus Wookie


Posts: 2326
Joined: 24/9/2011
From: the Godcity
quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter

The Passenger (1975)

Watchable existential road movie
NOTE: I'm unsure if I saw the original edit or the extended 2005 version.

David Locke (Jack Nicholson) is a reporter who is tired of it all. In a remote part of Africa he comes across the dead body of a man in a hotel room. He decides to swap identities with the deceased. He finds that the man has an appointment book, so Locke decides to keep the meetings in it.

Not a lot happens at a fairly slow pace. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere specific, but it pulled the rug out from under me with a circular poetic ending that was satisfying and kind of meaningful in a pretentious, don't think too much about it way.

The opening is a bit bumpy and challenging. It really doesn't make any effort to be overtly appealing and audience friendly. After he discovers the body the film picks up and is sort of enjoyable. Or at least as much as a movie like this can be. It was not designed to be straightforward entertainment as the intention was clearly to make a slow, meandering, hollow art movie. The movie is all about tone and mood with little regard for telling a conventional story.

I was going along with the flow and I didn't mind the film until the last half hour. There is only so much vagueness I can take before it starts to stretch my patience. My usually complaint with these type of movies is that they could do with being as short as possible. The story can be told just as effectively at 80-90 minutes as it can over two hours. The film falls into this category. Some pruning wouldn't have done any harm. Movies don't need to be slow to signify that they are important and saying something.

The last half hour was hard going but the last seven minutes are impressive. It was cleverly conceived and filmed with a bit of surreal poetry to it.

The characters are very disconnected, which is the point. They are very sketchy with little to no dialogue to say to each other. Basically it's your typical say something by saying nothing art movie. The dialogue scenes never really get going, leaving whole relationships massively underdeveloped; and the gun-running subplot barely gets started.

It's not technically a well made movie. I watched a high definition TV broadcast and the film looked cheap, nasty and dirty. The camera pans are very creaky. It's like the tripod needed a good squirt of WD40. Visually I was reminded of the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood Dollars trilogy. The dusty isolated towns and the dubbed on later soundtrack are very reminiscent of those films.

The soundtrack is very odd. The ambient sounds (wind, trees rustling, office and street noises, traffic etc) are very high in the audio mix. It's a very noisy movie because of this. Also the sound effects are loud so they have an exaggerated unreality to them. I don't remember hearing any music in the film.

It was alright. It could have been significantly better and more entertaining. There are a bunch of interesting ideas in it (his wife chasing after him, how the film ends) but the story barely gets going. It's an existential film from an existential director so I knew what I was letting myself in for. I just feel the plot could have been better developed, the pace tightened (and the running time reduced) and that the characters could have been allowed to talk to each other for more than a few inconclusive terse words.

I didn't mind the film for the first ninety minutes. The last half hour was a bit of a crawl but the ending was worth it. The tone and feel of the film makes it worth seeing. As I said, I really like the ending. On balance I would say it was alright, but not something I can get excited by. There are good and bad things about the film. Overall the bad is more prominent than the good. I would describe the movie as below average.

The only other Michelangelo Antonioni movie I've seen is Blow Up (1966). I think The Passenger is the weaker film of the two.

4 out of 10 stars


I saw the opening half of this film the other night on Film4 - up to the part Nicholson drags the dead man's body along the floor by which time i had to switch over because my little girl was watching.

A shame though because i'd love to have finished watching it. You're right it was a slow burning film but one i found quite intriguing. Theres a terrific moment in the film when Nicholson is standing in the room alone, thinking about a conversation he had with the English bloke when he was alive, and as he looks out toward the desert the camera pans over and you see the guy there, and he's immediately joined by Nicholson's character. There was quite a few of those artistic touches which i found really good. Not to mention the amplified sounds which you've mentioned. It brought this almost surreal feel to the film.

I would love to come back to this film in the future and watch it from start to finish. Excellent review by the way.

< Message edited by Nexus Wookie -- 29/11/2012 3:33:18 PM >


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My blog: http://nexuswookie.wordpress.com/

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 14578
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 29/11/2012 7:06:54 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

I may as well post this....the wife has dragged me to all of these




Despite having some characters who boast special powers like being able to influence people's thoughts and firing black ectoplasmic 'stuff', these powers are not actually used during the fight and everyone just hits each other and throws each other around, while the camera operator obviously has trouble filming what is happening. As usual, the perverse but all-too-common idea that you shouldn't really see action dominates here. I will say that there are an inordinate amount of heads cut off, but the CGI effects are lousy. Once again, the wolves look awful and during some scenes I kept thinking of films like An American Werewolf In Paris and wondering if there has been much progress at all in that area.

Bill Condon [what on earth has happened to the director of Gods And Monsters?] just doesn't seem to have much of a handle on the material. Perhaps he realised he couldn't do much with it. The acting is as weak as usual. Stewart actually cracks the odd smile here and there but still doesn't really appear to be actually alive. Pattinson tries to get by on silent movie-style hammy expressions. Lautner, as usual, is made of wood. Michael Sheen is a decent villain though, almost single-handedly creating a bit of fear, though it seems like he's acting in a far better film than this one. Of course you get the obligatory 'emo' pop songs throughout which may just make you want to kill yourself. Carter Burwell's music score is rather good and the film looks good when it isn't relying on the special effects, with some decent outdoor photography. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two ends with images of Bella and Edward's love from all the films. It's supposed to be moving and beautiful. I wasn't touched, but I was very happy. Because "IT'S OVER”!!!

Rating: 2.5/10

Now because it's a 12A my young daughter is trying to get me (daddy) to take her to see this,as she knows i love horror films,but i pointed out there's a far better film i will take her to see The Hobbit."But Daddy you love horror films",my reply"yes i like horror films with horror in them,not a horror for me to sit through"
Your a brave man to admit you went because,She That Must Be Obeyed Said So,most of us just don't admit it.
Great review anyway,and though i have to say i liked the first film,i lost interest after number two big time.
quote:


THE KEEP 1983
 
Ah another neglected gem that has always given the impression of being a butchered masterpiece, I actually almost went to see it at the BFI but money is too tight to spend going to London to just see a film these days if you don't drive!!


AHHH!1 i'd of made the trip if i lived near London,just to see this classic the way it was meant to be seen,and with Micheal Mann there to give a speech on the making of and how they restored most of the film.But yeah i know how tight things can get,and there not getting any better are they?with Xmass just round the conner.

Just heard from Play.Com my Dark Knight Rises is in the post.

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Post #: 14579
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies fan base? - 29/11/2012 7:17:41 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6719
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie


quote:

ORIGINAL: dannyfletch

I absolutely love this movie. I know it will never be regarded as one of Mann's best films but it's my personal favourite of his. Watched it again recently and I still love it. There are even some rather emotional scenes that almost brought a tear to the eye involving Ian McKellens character and his daughter. This definitely deserves a nice blu-ray release in one of those fancy steel tins!


Phew! For a second there i thought you meant Breaking Dawn in your first sentence!


And yes The Keep needs a Blu-Ray steel box with all the extras they can dig up,plus we want the fully restored version the BFI had screened.
quote:


 

Awesome review bill! Really indepth and insightful. Great reading about the production, the last paragraph in particular Friedkin's quote brought a huge smile to my face!

He's a hard man to please!

Great to hear about the upcoming blu-ray. Those new docs in particular have got me salivating. Of course theres the small matter of me finding a decent blu-ray player first...

Oh, thanks aswell for your review for The Keep; i've yet to watch it so look forward to catching it on Film4.


Thanks i got most of the information about the making of from that book i mentioned,and i'm looking forward to the all new Blu-Ray of this film.As for Blu-Ray players you can get a good one for as little as £50 from of all places Richer Sounds,and it's mulit region DVD upscaler as well as Blu-Ray.
Looking forward to watching The Keep on Friday night/Saturday early hours,as i'll make it part of my Friday night horror double bill.

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"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Nexus Wookie)
Post #: 14580
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