Monday, August 11, 2008

Repulsion

Repulsion (1965)

Ranking: Yes

Feeling somewhat cheated after watching Wizard of Gore on Scream (well, I liked it...) Mr. White and I decided to watch this movie which came on afterwards. I'm glad we did.

The plot (for anyone unfamiliar with it) involves a disturbed young woman (Catherine Deneuve) who lives with her sister (Yvonne Furneaux) and manages to live her life. When her sister goes away on a trip with her boyfriend, things start to fall apart and she basically goes crazy. Thematically very similar to Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant.

And it scared the living shit out of me. In a subtle way (if such a thing is possible). It was just so intense and creepy. Whenever the commercials came on and violated the film I would jump and exclaim 'holy shit'. ("You keep doing that", Mr. White said.)

It was just a generally engaging film. I was quite concerned about Carole, particularly the fact that the only thing she seems to eat in the whole movie is a biscuit.

And that her descent into total craziness is so believable, almost rational. I could see that happening to me if I were left alone for long enough, and that worried me. Okay, I'm not quite that terrified of men, nor am I paranoid schizophrenic. That just means it might take a little longer...

And that thing about the crack in the wall! Frig, that was spooky. And the rabbit head. Weird. I dunno, the movie just freaked me out in a general sense (as did the other films in Polanski's little trilogy of creepiness). It was really well done.

Catherine Deneuve was really good in a cute/scary sort of way. I dug her, and sympathized with her character in a weird way. Felt bad for her boyfriend, though. He seemed like a nice enough guy.

Yeah, I spent a long time worrying about this movie afterwards, which is probably a good thing. Can't think of anything else to say about it (I only know how to trash movies...).

END


Directed by: Roman Polanski. Written by: Roman Polanski and GĂ©rard Brach. Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Yvonne Furneaux, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Patrick Wymark.

Wizard of Gore

Wizard of Gore (1970)

Extremely Trashy
Ranking: YES


Somehow tricked Mr. White into watching this on Scream one night (also tricked her into watching Return of the Living Dead, which seemed a lot better the second time around).

About a magician (Ray Sager) whose act involves brutally killing women on stage... and... well, that's pretty much it. It's kind of a one note movie.

Okay, there's the usual amateur sleuth subplot (Judy Cler is the chick this time) and then there's something about hypnosis and blood on peoples hands and crap like that.

It took Mr. White and I more than half the movie to figure out what the fuck was supposed to be happening (which is much more thought than one really wants to spend on a cheap-o splatter pic), not that it really mattered. The plot was incomprehensible and barely nonexistent. The only function it really served was getting from one cheesy murder to the next.

And boy oh boy were them murders cheesy, and ridiculously graphic. I laughed my head off (again I wondered if there might be something really wrong with me). My favourite was perhaps the punch press.

As for the rest of this movie... the acting was terrible even by Lewis' standards (any scenes with dialogue were almost unwatchable) as was the script. The monologues by Montag the Magnificent were pretty dull, but seemed kinda funny if you pictured Gob Bluth reciting them. The sets were unimpressive. Even the camera work was stultifying.

All the way through, Mr. White was suggesting they remake it as a musical. This is a pretty good idea. They actually remade it last year (I don't think it was a musical though) with, like, Crispin Glover and Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs. Cool cool cool.

Terrible though this film may have been, it was still a must watch, at least for me, and cemented Herschell Gordon Lewis in my mind as the ultimate master of horror.

END


Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis. Written by: Allen Kahn. Starring: Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay, Phil Laurenson, Jim Rau, Don Alexander, John Elliot.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Moderately Trashy


Second part of the Scream triple feature, following Pretty Poison and preceding something else... actually, I think it was Furious Wolfman. I couldn't sell Mr. White on that one.

Anyway, we wanted to watch it coz I thought it was Bring me the Head of Jerry Garcia and I was going 'alright, somebody finally takes that ice cream guy down'.

The film follows a sleazebag (Warren Oates) who is hired to retrieve the head of Alfredo Garcia, I'm not really sure why. I missed the first ten minutes whilst cleaning up cat barf and Mr. White wasn't very helpful filling me in.

That didn't matter all that much, though. It was really more about Warren Oates and his hooker girlfriend (Isela Vega) on some kind of sleazy roadtrip.

About halfway through the movie I started thinking 'this has got to be Sam Peckinpah'. I've only ever seen one other Peckinpah movie (Straw Dogs), but something about the slow motion gun fights really clued me in there. Also, the nearly overwhelming level of grime on every surface.

It was a total guy movie and unbelievably sleazy (not that those two things are in any way related) but in an good sort of way. I did kind of enjoy it (maybe that's my masculine side taking over? Wouldn't be surprised...). Warren Oates was pretty good.

I kept thinking about, like, Quentin Tarantino though. I mean, he 'homages' pretty much every film ever made, but this movie in particular jumped out at me as being like Kill Bill or something.

Well. You know. Whatever. I liked this movie. It was amusing in an unpleasant sort of way. It was horrible and disturbing, actually, but something about a guy carrying a head around in a bag tickles me... just goes to show you how fucked up the North American viewer is.

END

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah. Written by: Sam Peckinpah & Gordon Dawson. Starring: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernandez, Kris Kristofferson.