Friday, April 27, 2012

Cinema Somnambulist Is 3 Years Old Today

This is the official soundtrack for this post:

Daymn, are you serial? Yes, my friends, it's true. I just called to say I love you and I mean it from the bottom of my bottom. So I've been doing this blog dealie for 3 years now and I have loved every minute of it. I have been so lucky to have such great folks reading the blog, following the blog, commenting on posts, and making connections to their blogs with mine that it's just insane. Thank you so much, all of you, and thank you for being patient while I get some of my other projects off the ground. I already have theme months and other goodies planned for when this summer of writing my ass off is over and I can get back to writing my ass off for the blog. I'm keepin' it rael. Dats a promise.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

He Made Me Do It: Last Tango In Paris and Saint Jack

This is He Made Me Do It.

This is a movie challenge featuring Brad and Richard choosing movies for each other to watch.

This could get ugly.

Round 5

Warning: Contains some spoilers.

Richard: I want you to see Last Tango in Paris because it is one of my favorite films of all time. Yeah, I know it's a dirty movie but it is one of the least sexy dirty movies ever made in my opinion. Marlon Brando in this movie... Damn. This performance makes we wish he had completely retreated from the public eye forever. Forget The Godfather, this is, for my money, the best the man had to offer. And don't let that grim tone and all that morbid dialog fool you, Last Tango is one of the most life-affirming pieces of cinema I have ever seen. I hope you see what I see when you see this film. Life is a ballroom dancer and you can make fun of her garish outfit and death-mask makeup all you want but she will be tangoing long after you're gone.

Brad: This is one that had escaped me over the years. I love Bertolucci's The Conformist so it was just a matter of time before I got around to it so I thank you for forcing my hand. The first thing I noticed was cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. Now I'm super sold because Storaro is, in my opinion, the best cinematographer that ever lived. The opening scene with Brando screaming under the train set the tone very well. Before I go on I'd like to ask you to elaborate on your "most life-affirming pieces of cinema" statement.

Richard: It's complicated. And maybe it's more of how the film makes me feel. I think a lot of the answer lies in the cinematography you mentioned. How could any movie that beautiful not be life-affirming? Mainly, I think Jeanne and Paul reject life when they make their little pact and have their anonymous affair. The results are fucking disastrous. After Paul breaks that pact and attempts to form a real relationship with Jeanne... Well, you know the result. Once you're dead, you're dead. You can't change the rules and come back and be a real person.

Brad: Excellent point. I think Paul is dead from the get go. I think he only became alive when he declared his love for Jeanne at the end. His face changes. His life changes. It ends. So while the end results are disastrous I think that 5 seconds are the best of Paul's life that we see in the film.

Richard: Nice. I think the message of the movie is "No glove, no love."

Brad: Most films you can't truly absorb in one viewing and that is especially true of this one. I think Brando's mid period is far more interesting than his early days. I'll see this one again.

Brad: You should see Saint Jack because it is one of the 70's most underrated films. Can you really have too much Ben Gazzara? Bogdanovich made two films in a row, this and They All Laughed, that did not get the distribution that they deserved. Denholm Elliot proves that he was much more than the bumbling Marcus Brody of the Indiana Jones films. I know you are a fan of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and this is a great companion piece. Bogdanovich should have had a big comeback with this character piece about a pimp in Singapore. Sadly it is not as well known as it should be.

Richard: It took me a really, really long time to get around to Saint Jack because I had a feeling that it would have been ruined if I tried to watch it too soon or checked it out when I wasn't in the mood. So I finally got to it the other night and it couldn't have hit me more perfectly than it did. When the credits were rolling and I saw that Bogdanovich was directing with Roger Corman producing, my mind just started reeling. I was like "I know absolutely dick about where this film is going!" What can I say? Saint Jack is all drunk smiles, bro hugs, and manly tears for me. I love the happy-go-lucky street smart loser that Ben Gazzara is the master of. The film has an excellent comedic edge to it with all the grittiness to make it feel more realistic. Also, I love how it ends as it begins. Classic. And you're absolutely right about this being a companion piece to The Killing of a Chinese Bookie which is an old favorite of mine. Excellent recommend, sir.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm Just A Top 10 List Among Many Other Fine Top 10 Lists

I was invited by the awesome Scott of EuroCultAV to contribute to a list of top 10 lists. How did I do? Presents Top 10 Horror Lists

Just a warning: I did a sort of top of the bottom top 10.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

VHS Covers of Doom - Part 5

While I'm doing all this VHS tape slingin' on eBay, I have been thinking about the VHS tapes whose covers were, for one reason or another, just so terrifying that I never could muster up the courage to rent. Some of these are pretty obvious but others might need a bit of explaining.

This is pretty obvious. Yeah, I didn't see Blood Feast until I was in my 20s.

I had completely forgotten about Grotesque until the DVD came out recently.  This is such gorgeous artwork though it does look more like a horror fiction book cover than a VHS. All I know for sure is that my youthful fright came back very strong. I kept my distance from this tape.

I was scared of Junior and I never rented it. The reason being that I imagined that the wood that the chainsaw is cutting through was flesh. Why? I don't know. I just did. The thought of all that carnage (which probably isn't in the film) just made me feel queasy. 

These two effective covers, one for Scared Stiff and one for Humongous and they are both pretty obvious as to why they were too much for me. Scary faces! I think Humongous is more brilliant because it hides what is likely something very much like the image on Scared Stiff

After I saw both Jaws and Jaws 2 on television, it was over for me and shark films. O-V-E-R. The artwork for this cover for Up From the Depths was obviously inspired by the burned face of the shark in Jaws 2. Seriously though, this is one crunked up undersea beast! That was more than enough for me and I never watched this film.

More VHS covers of doom!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hello! This is the Doomed Show Episode #15 - Terror

It's not a secret. It's a podcast. Here is our fifteenth episode, my friends. We talk about Norman J. Warren's Terror and a bunch of other insanities. Listen/download here or check out the archives.

Your votes are in and here's the mascot you've chosen for us:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Queens of Evil Review

Brad has been quite busy while I'm toiling away at this thing they call Giallo Meltdown: The Book. He has written his first review for Doomed Moviethon. It's of a rather unusual and beautiful little film called Queens of Evil. Check it out right here. The film is available from the awesome folks at Cinema de Bizarre.