08 November 2017

What did I watch for Halloween this year?

As you can see, I watched a lot so I've kept it short for the most part.

Ridiculous but fun. The bad guy masquerading as a priest is one of my favorite tropes!

Blade Runner (Final Cut)
I started watching it distractedly as I checked my social media and slowly got pulled into it entirely.

Scream Blacula Scream
In both films, Blacula fights dudes with his bare hands. Just throws them around like nothing. It was lots of fun.

Eve’s Bayou
I loved it! Great to see Samuel L. Jackson play suave too. Also the rare film where I cared about all the family members. One of the bets cast films that I’ve seen in awhile, too.

Sign O’ the Times
How do you make a movie out of one of the greatest records ever? You make it the most Prince in the ‘80s thing ever. Even more than Purple Rain if you can imagine that.

Did you think I was going to watch Silence of the Lambs? This was another one that I put on distractedly but then got drawn into.

I Am Not A Serial Killer
This was a cat and mouse thriller and it wasn’t bad. I’d rather it ended on a more ambiguous note even if the title is a bit of a mislead anyway.

The Eyes of My Mother
A horror film about intergenerational trauma.

Trouble Every Day
This is why your mama warns you about boys like Vincent Gallo!

Under The Shadow
A character study as much as a drama about a supernatural invader. It’s a very mysterious film.

This movie does not hold back on strange men being terrifying!

The Blackcoat’s Daughter
This was a very effective supernatural thriller especially its sureness of tone as you’ve got three threads going in it before they converge in it final menace. I highly recommend it

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
This was not as gory or as terrifying as I’d expected. There’s a call out to Lifeforce that I appreciated. That really amused me.

Queen of the Damned
This was hardly on the level of a made-for-television movie let alone Interview With The Vampire. And there’s hardly any Aaliyah. She’s barely a major part of the plot - despite being the Queen of the fucking Dead of the motherfucking title. This was just dumb and not even fun at all.

The Void
There’s worse ways to rip off The Thing and The Beyond. At least it didn’t make it too boring!

The Fog
If you’ve worried about impending doom on the local level, this is the film for you! Carpenter captures the nocturnal atmosphere and explores the interpersonal dynamics quite well which is all you need to make it compelling. 

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
I loved it. And I cried at the end. Oh, and before the end. And towards the end of the second act. It was very emotional for me!

The Leopard Man
The classic Val Lewton atmosphere that you’d know from Cat People or I Walked With A Zombie. That’s pretty much all you need to enjoy this one. Which isn’t about man-leopards at all.

The Undying Monster
This was really neat! I had expected maybe a bargain basement detective plot but instead the movie had some cool technique.

Interview With The Vampire
I really had to go back to this after Queen of the Damned. It still holds up. It’s definitely the adaptation that did justice to the book which is why I think Anne Rice hated it so much at first. 

Goodnight Mommy
Anyone who wants kids needs to watch this movie first! Something I loved was how sympathy is elicited for the mom as much as the kids. I still can’t tell who was really the evil one.

This won’t win any kudos for deconstructing the gaze but I needed something cute and pleasant as a distraction. Do you think the Pushing Daisies creative team loved this film?

Cat People (1982)
Schrader made the original’s subtext textual and added a layer of guilt over sexuality and temptation. And bondage. And furry incest, of course. And then he made Mishima! God, I have no clue about the ‘80s sometimes.

A Dark Song
It’s kinda like if Ben Wheatley had made The Babadook.

The Living Dead Girl
The passion of sisters is for death, said she. 

This is less like Trouble Every Day and more like Living Dead Girl meets Fat Girl. 

Blade Runner 2049
This wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t great. There was a lot where it could have been great but all the effort to be great comes across more strongly in the cinematography/mise-en-scene/set design. Which isn’t bad cos the original is so excellent is those areas but in this film every scene and space is treated in the exact same way. It feels very similar and nothing new is really shown beneath those spaces. And they’re beautiful spaces - that’s what I want in certain scifi films! - but they’re more impressive than the ostensible drama. They feel too distinct from each other is most cases - like two separate films. I really wanted the drama to feel more blended with it all. Which really stands out for the worse when Harrison Ford steps out in the last third of the film and is given nothing to do. You could remove him and it’d almost have been the same film except for the final fight of course. Which compared to the original was just nothing. It lacked all the tension and all the stakes. It just happened. A lot of the film just feels like a scene happens to get to the next part of the plot or to set up something later. A lot of it was missed opportunity, sorry. But I’m still glad I saw it.

Lorna the Exorcist
Actually a little sexy but still a Jess Franco so that means ridiculous sex with great atmosphere overall. There’s only one Lina Romay so there’s that. I’m just kinda amused how like Vampyros Lesbos you have a supernatural theme that Franco uses to create the atmosphere but parlays it into the sexiness.

Prince of Darkness
October isn’t complete until you’ve watched a Carpenter! So of course in 2017 the pick was from the apocalypse trilogy. I really liked this one for its gradual pace and less claustrophobic atmosphere. It’s very gothic which I hadn’t noticed before but I liked that too. It’s Carpenter at a more relaxed pace but still a favorite.

Little Sister
Just kinda cute but in contrast to Rachel Getting Married it was nice to watch a film about someone trying to help a family member for once.

Lips of Blood
I’m not a fan of the lead dude character but it’s still a good Jean Rollin film. His reunion with the mysterious woman is very touching and I have to say their plan to go to sea in a coffin together is quite romantic! Leave it to the French, I guess.

Not as much of a horror film as I’d hoped but it’s low-key indie film vibe was charming. It’s not as much about Medusa as it’s about the mystery of the sudden statues but it’s not a bad story either. Definitely something you’d watch on a Sunday afternoon. Or as a double bill with Lips of Blood!

This was the new restoration from Synapse - and it was glorious!

Blood and Black Lace
My favorite Bava film. Beautiful and scary and just a perfect example of Bava’s style.

09 January 2017

Music of 2016

Angel Olsen, My Woman

Kristin Kontrol, X-Communicate

Julianna Barwick, Will

Mitski, Puberty 2

Nite Jewel, Liquid Cool

Suede, Night Music

Blood Orange, Freetown Sound

Sub Rosa, For This We Fought The Battle of Ages

Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death

Mary Lattimore, Music Inspired by Philippe Garrel’s Le Révélateur


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