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Author Topic: Seen and not seen's, recommendations and queries on top films in general.  (Read 802310 times)
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absurdexposition
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« Reply #2910 on: February 18, 2020, 03:15:38 AM »

Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara, 1992)

Escape from New York (John Carpenter, 1981) - Caught a screening of this Saturday night after work. Not my favourite Carpenter and some of it "truly looks like it was shot in a cardboard box" but damn, all of it is amazing to see on 35mm.

How to Seduce a Virgin and The Perverse Countess (1974, Jess Franco) - Filmed back to back with essentially the same cast of Lina Romay, Alice Arno, Howard Vernon, Robert Woods, Tania Busselier. I preferred the former, though the ending of Countess Perverse was amazing. Psychedelic sex, murder, cannibalism, trophy hunting abound.

Lorna, the Exorcist (1974, Jess Franco) - 3/3 from yesterday's Franco marathon and my favourite of the lot. One of his best for sure. Lina Romay is incredible in all three of these.

Christina, Princess of Eroticism (1973, Jess Franco) - Was still in a mood for Uncle Jess today. Very dream-like with a worthy score from Bruno Nicolai and with the legend Howard Vernon. I watched the 'director's cut' which removed the zombies that were added in by Jean Rollin. Another great ending.

Looking forward to seeing Stephen Thrower give a talk on Jess Franco in a couple months courtesy of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror in Brooklyn.
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« Reply #2911 on: February 20, 2020, 11:56:21 PM »

Paha maa (2004)

Thanks for the review, great film! Super depressing with just the right touches of pitch black humour as you describe. Fully agree on Finns being the most authentic onscreen drunks too, lived experiences and all that...
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« Reply #2912 on: February 21, 2020, 03:03:48 AM »

Paha maa (2004)

Thanks for the review, great film! Super depressing with just the right touches of pitch black humour as you describe. Fully agree on Finns being the most authentic onscreen drunks too, lived experiences and all that...
It's probably so authentic because they fucking are drunk onscreen
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #2913 on: February 21, 2020, 04:28:25 AM »

Paha maa (2004)
With a script written and structured around the unofficial Finnish anthem (hrm)  Murheellisten Laulujen Maa I didn't quite know what to expect from this film. It won the "Best Movie" prize from the Church of Sweden in 2005, but also a number of serious awards. Finnish cinema is simliar to general Scandinavianin the sense that it is very fond of day-to-day human debasement - not only in the form of alcohol, drugs, sex and violence, but also and more importantly as it manifests in boredom and all-too-human shittiness. The difference is that whereas Swedish movies are often based on a narrow social clique's political views and social experiences, Finnish elokuvat are usually more convincing. When you're stuck with social realism, Swedes and Danes tend to focus on the "social", whereas Finns go for "realism" - you haven't seen an actor playing "drunk" or "alcoholic" until you've seen a Finn do it in a Finnish movie. None of that American shit with people being on their ass one second, and clear as day the next.... Paha Maa basically depicts a series of depressing events, some closely interrelated, some randomly produced in a butterfly effect fashion, and the story moves through all stages of humanity and subhumanity, only to offer some vague hope at the end.

If you're into politics, the "upper class" shadily fleets by as it ever so often does in Finnish films, but for the most part Paha Maa presents a series of highly believable underclass/lower middle class characters involved in more or often less incredible events. There is very little mercy and romanticizing here. The major model for each and every participant is this: an individual is dealt a bad hand by life/fate, and chooses to make the absolutely worst possible decisions for some or no reason. Having aggravated an already intolerable position, the character proceeds to pass some or most of the terrible consequences on to someone else. There are some seriously touching moments, and not a few black comedy highlights, but there are also very stupid (but hence also surprising and effective) plot twists. The impressive part of this film is the portrayal of each and every character, whether it be the castrated family man or the old Alcoholics Anonymous drunkard turned vacuum cleaner salesman turned murderer. Each and every participant is brought forth as a manifest failure of a human being, while still retaining a (realistic) degree of humanity, in the sense that you could actually know any of these guys and think they were decent enough people to hang around with. Perhaps preferable to the guys you hang around with now, in some cases? The song on which the movie is based is often interpreted as a parody of irresponsible, fatalistic thinking and romanticism. This is reflected in the story, absurd as it may often be, since while the film acknowledges and bemoans social misery in a "progressive" manner, it also exposes horrible and unnecessary choices leading to doom in a way that could surely be seen as "conservative". This attitude is symptomatic of the never-completed Welfare state of Finland - there is a certain empathy for the unlucky, but also an iron clad contempt for many forms of failure amoral behavior (this attitude is perhaps even more common in Sweden, believe it or not, since the populace has been deprived of any social responsibility by the state - for better or for worse, I might add,).

Paha Maa has vacuum cleaner lethal beatings, male-on-male as well as male-on-female rape, far-worse-than-The-Office socially uncomfortable situations and any number of strange occurrences. It is, however, not directed by Gaspar Noel - the story, with its odd undertones of humor and Suomen C'est La Vie, proceeds without bothering you with self-centered attempts on the part of the director to keep you squirming by making unpleasant things more unpleasant than they would be in real life. Silly as it may seem, I found it unsettling and won't be watching it again for a while, but it was a good film.

Thanks for sharing!  I have not heard of this movie before, and it sounds really interesting.  I will have to check it out.
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Theodore
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« Reply #2914 on: March 07, 2020, 04:21:07 AM »

On Netflix : Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski , documentary about Stanislaw Szukalski, sculptor and painter. I didnt know him and man this is great art ! The film has his life story, big parts of Szukalski speaking / explaining / teaching on camera, his american later friends / fans talking about him, part of his works / plans etc. Very good, mostly cause of the man's personality, story, art. - Creators faced a problem, searching about his past they found out that he was a nationalist and was publishing antisemetic magazine in Poland ! Ouch, haha ! Then they continue with the 'necessary' 10min propaganda about how modern polish nationalists dont know about the 'real' Szukalski, that they exploit his work, that Szukalski wouldnt like / aproove that blah blah blah. OK guys we believe you, the old semi-crazy grandpa Szukalski who started to have insane theories and you met, maybe he wouldnt aproove, maybe not. But when he was younger, hey, it was him ! Stop excuses, concetrate on the art and the man himself ...

Nevertheless, this is a film worth watching, especialy if you dont know about him.
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« Reply #2915 on: March 07, 2020, 04:39:16 AM »

On Netflix : Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski , documentary about Stanislaw Szukalski, sculptor and painter. I didnt know him and man this is great art !

I hadn't heard of him either, so I looked him up. Amazing work. I'll try to watch this docko, thanks for the tip.
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« Reply #2916 on: March 07, 2020, 04:38:11 PM »

Revisited A Nightmare on Elm Street, parts 1-7
1. Watched this as a kid in a movie theater, and it spooked the hell out of me. Turned out not nearly as scary as I remembered it, but still very good.
2. A botched sequel. Deviated from the formula too much and in wrong directions, which didn't work at all. Better pretend it doesn't exist.
3-5. Real sequels that worked. Even less scary than the original (and lots more Freddy Humor) to the point I'd call this dark-ish urban fantasy rather than horror. Nevertheless, fun entertaining movies. I like #4 best of the three.
6. A fucking trainwreck, get wrong absolutely everything that made the franchise fun. Compared to this, #2 is a masterpiece.
7. Soft reboot / reimagining /meta in a kind of way not unlike Scream, with a somewhat more serious tone than other NES sequels. Surprisingly decent.

Current project: rewatch all of Friday the 13th. Four movies in so far.
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« Reply #2917 on: March 09, 2020, 03:51:20 PM »

started Hammer House of Horror (TV Series )

only on episode 2
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« Reply #2918 on: March 10, 2020, 02:57:49 PM »

Wispy Kung fu facial hair in 1982 SAMO HUNG romp THE DEAD AND THE DEADLY. Wispy.

Highly recommended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXSWv8BuSI4
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 02:59:21 PM by online prowler » Logged
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« Reply #2919 on: March 29, 2020, 06:42:59 PM »

Ice cold Neo noir from China:Black Coal, Thin Ice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXm1XcjP13E

Streetwise documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbe4KBocfTk
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 06:44:39 PM by online prowler » Logged
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« Reply #2920 on: March 29, 2020, 06:45:09 PM »

started Hammer House of Horror (TV Series )

only on episode 2

How is it so far? Curious.
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« Reply #2921 on: April 02, 2020, 10:59:50 PM »

started Hammer House of Horror (TV Series )

only on episode 2

How is it so far? Curious.

I like it - it's not gory or anything - more like suspenseful/scary stuff that isn't too campy
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« Reply #2922 on: April 07, 2020, 09:30:09 PM »

due to the current pandemic my social life has nearly ceased so I've caught up on some unwatched Blurays and made some other extremely dubious choices for the past month. Heregoes...

Lamberto Bava's Demons (1985) - nearly plot-less gorefest with very good gore, a bizarre soundtrack that swings between Italian synth and British heavy metal and hard rock, and a movie within a movie. I liked it more than when I watched it 8 years ago but it's still not a favorite.

Darrell James Roodt's Dracula 3000 (2004) - one of the worst movies I've ever seen but it's actually bad/good. And it stars Casper Van Dien, Coolio, Udo Kier (not as Dracula) and Erika Eleniak?! Of course it's bad but it's actually worth a watch with friends.

John Woo's Face/Off (1997) - It's the best English language film John Woo ever made, but it's still very flawed. And the whole hand across the face intimate thing John Travolta does? Terrifying and upsetting. While it was the coolest film when it came out and I was 10 years old, at 32 it's just dumb but fun.

Iain Softley's The Skeleton Key (2005) - my fiancee's choice but to her credit this wasn't the worst thing I'd ever seen. Especially for a mid-00s horror film. it did feel a little like Get Out stole some pages from it though.

William Friedkin's To Live and Die in LA (1985) - the plot is silly and acts as an excuse to push an inane/insane neo-noir police procedural, but its that aspect that makes it such a ruthless and nihilist showing of violence and greed culture. best character is Dean Stockwell as a big deal LA lawyer or the city of LA itself. Wang Chung's "soundtrack" which is inserted and cut super abruptly through scenes is a weird fucked up choice, and allegedly the impetus for the whole film being made. the car chase is mind-boggling, truly amazing. the only downside to the whole thing is when the main character's partner has his last scene with the informant. it's too corny. but everything else is just the right blend of cruel.

Lucio Fulci's Manhattan Baby (1982) - unsuccessful as "movie with a plot". very successful as a series of bizarre barely connected images with sometimes interesting sound design. first 15 minutes and last 20 are great vignettes by themselves. watched it streaming but actually bought the recent Bluray AFTER watching it because I'm insane.

Michael Showalter's The Big Sick (2017) - fiancee's choice. a rom-com partially based on the lead and his wife's relationship. some parts were funny but there's very little character development or much to like about either so it fell flat.

Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund's Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) - liked this one even more the second time. a great restart to this series that always had major pacing and tonal issues and still hasn't fixed them.

Lucio Fulci's Four of the Apocalypse (1975) - a mostly solid western that slows to a fucking crawl for no apparent reason to deal with the birth of a child and some related shit, only to have the last violent bits rushed. I felt disappointed by the film as a whole but loved some of the segments on their own. but isn't that what Italian cinema is all about?

Lucio Fulci's Aenigma (1987) - of all the Fulci I recently watched, this was easily my favorite. I watched it twice in 4 days! Honestly a new favorite Fulci film altogether. It has some very loose similarities to Carrie and Dario Argento's Phenomena but it does its own thing. if school girls are the focus I'm gonna be intrigued. the use of model shots was unexpected and great. the interiors were amazingly hilarious or bizarre and very cool. the gore wasn't insane but there were moments. if the budget had been higher this one could've looked even better!

Jorge Grau's The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974) - wow!!! this was so different and so much better than I knew to expect. really an exception zombie film full of gorgeous shots of the north English country side and ever escalating gore from the master Giannetto De Rossi. a slow burn but a damn strong one!
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« Reply #2923 on: April 07, 2020, 09:44:04 PM »

so the above post only covers March 12, 2020 to March 24...

Stuart Gordon's Dagon (2001) - dodgy CGI aside, this is a damn fine Stuart Gordon film and HP Lovecraft adaptation. and there's some really brutal scenes that kinda come out of nowhere too. REST IN POWER.

Wes Craven's The People Under The Stairs (1991) - a weird movie. there were parts of it I really liked, I think namely the relationship between Big Ed Hurley and Nadine Hurley, I mean Everett McGill and Wendy Robie. but it felt like it went on way to long and tried hard to make a socially conscious message that falls somewhere near flat. and some of the set design looks so incredibly cheap, and then other parts look great. it's weird. glad I watched it but won't be running back for seconds.

Lucio Fulci's The Devil's Honey (1986) - an erotic thriller that's pretty decent for the first 30 or so minutes and then kind falls off. the muff blasting saxophone scene was great though. there are some great erotic thrillers from the '80s but this isn't one of them. but its still fun to watch and doens't go on too long. I just felt sorry for the German Shepard though.

Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left (1972) - one of the first really harsh exploitation films I ever saw, before I was balls deep into this kind of thing. I think it still holds up. David Hess is a fucking legend. the tonal shifts make the bleak parts even bleaker. great stuff.

Francis Lawrence's Constantine (2005) - I like this movie. granted I've never read HellBlazer so I can't get all bent out of shape about the misrepresentation of the comic etc, but for a Hollywood attempt at neo-noir comic book stuff before the Marvel universe take over, it's pretty dang good. And you'd be surprised the amount of dark ambient artists and gabber artists have sampled it!
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absurdexposition
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« Reply #2924 on: April 07, 2020, 11:38:33 PM »

Lucio Fulci's Four of the Apocalypse (1975)
Is this the one where they're forced to crawl through the mud? That's a great scene.

Jorge Grau's The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)
Been on my list for years. Really need to get to it.

Stuart Gordon's Dagon (2001)
Love it.

Lucio Fulci's The Devil's Honey (1986) - an erotic thriller that's pretty decent for the first 30 or so minutes and then kind falls off. the muff blasting saxophone scene was great though. there are some great erotic thrillers from the '80s but this isn't one of them. but its still fun to watch and doens't go on too long. I just felt sorry for the German Shepard though.
For me it's the last few scenes that hold it up. It gets pretty brutal by the end.


I've watched a hell of a lot since this bullshit started but here are some hits:

The Disapperance (Stuart Copper, 1977) - Slow-burning 70s neo-noir with great cast (Donald Sutherland, David Hemmings, John Hurt, Christopher Plummer... ), editing and locations. I’ve had Cronenberg on the mind lately and while this certainly is nothing like one of his films, it does satiate the need for that frozen Montréal Brutalism of his early features (and make one wonder why Donald Sutherland was never in any of them).

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978) - I haven't seen the 2007 version but there is no way that this 1978 effort isn't the definitive take. Miles ahead of the 1956 version. It's damn near perfect.

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michael Fengler, 1970) - It's bleak.

Aguirre, The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972) - One of my favourite movies of all time and will always hold up. A decent into sweltering jungle madness. I also finally watched Herzog's Wings of Hope documentary about the lone survivor of the plane that crashed while this film was under production (the plane Herzog was supposed to be on until a last minute schedule change).

The Inner Scar (Philippe Garrel, 1972) - Finally saw this "collage of dreams" starring Nico. Gorgeous.

Elevator to the Gallows (Louis Malle, 1958) - MUBI is offering 3 months for free during this pandemic so I signed up and this was the first watch. Solid noir with Miles Davis soundtrack.
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