15 items from 2015
Los Angeles' Bendix Building. Photo by Jordan Cronk.The bats have left the bell towerThe victims have been bled Red velvet lines the black boxBela Lugosi's dead —BauhausBela-Bonkers Brit Bloke Brazenly Boosts Bendix-Building Black Bandana!In the annals of Los Angeles crime, it was hardly an episode to titillate James Ellroy. Was it even really a crime? I was on the short stairwell that connects the 11th—the top—floor of the Bendix Building, a Garment District block on the corner of Maple St and 12th St, when I spotted the square of white-patterned black cotton. Into my pocket it rapidly went, compensation for the fact that my quest for rooftop access had been stymied. An orange plastic sign across the door up ahead, warning (bluffing?) of alarms that would ring out if opened, dissuaded further progress. I wasn't too disheartened—my unplanned visit to the Bendix Building had yielded sufficient delights. »
- Neil Young
If there are ‘freaks’ on display, they are not the versatile performers to whom this 1932 movie’s title appears to allude
Tod Browning’s 1932 tale of love and deception among the members of a carnival sideshow was banned for years by the BBFC on the grounds that it “exploited for commercial reasons the deformed people that it claimed to dignify”. Today, Browning’s sympathies are clear; if there are “freaks” on display here, they are not the versatile performers to whom the title seems to allude. Now accepted as a modern classic, Freaks boasts a memorable turn by Johnny Eck that would inspire the casting of the drones from Doug Trumbull’s sentimental 70s sci-fi charmer Silent Running. As Trumbull recalled: “Here’s this remarkable, beautiful guy, with this amazing agility. Not once do you feel horrified. You are amazed and respectful at his adjustment.”
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- Mark Kermode
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 5th June to Sunday 7th June 2015…
Melissa McCarthy’s latest collaboration with director Paul Feig, the action comedy Spy, has topped the UK box office chart in its opening weekend, with the film earning £2,557,824, including £198k in previews. That’s pretty much on par with 2013’s The Heat, which debuted with £2.5 million, but less than the £3.44 million opening for Bridesmaids back in 2001.
Elsewhere in the chart, horror prequel Insidious: Chapter 3 pulled in £1,440,299 to take third place (matching the opening of the first movie but half that of Chapter 2’s £2.88 million debut), while Secret Cinema’s screenings of The Empire Strikes Back earned £304,115 to claim eighth, followed by Bollywood comedy-drama Dil Dhadakne Do with £212,719 in ninth.
Number one this time last year: 22 Jump Street
1. Spy, £2,557,824 weekend (New)
2. San Andreas, £1,794,747 weekend; £8,334,562 total (2 weeks)
3. Insidious: Chapter 3, £1,440,299 weekend (New)
4. Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Gary Collinson
Once banned in the UK, Tod Browning’s bizarre circus-set horror is both a vision of a long-gone weird world and a reminder of the censor’s squeamishness
I love Freaks – the notorious 1932 film rereleased in UK cinemas this week – for any number of reasons. As a fleeting glimpse of the Old Weird America of tent-shows and carnivals and rural backwardness that was long gone before anyone thought to commit it to celluloid. Because after its original test screening, a woman sued MGM claiming it had forced her to miscarry, thus prompting the studio to perform cuts on the film so savage that they unwittingly reenacted the brutal mutilation meted out in revenge to its leading “normal” protagonist, who starts out as Cleopatra of the trapeze, and ends up as the legless, tarred-and-feathered Chicken Lady.
Because MGM made it – the studio of class, elegance and poise! Because it killed off »
- John Patterson
For a good while, fans of Arrow Video’s amazing releases had to put their heads in the laps and cry while listening to Joy Division, due to the releases not being U.S. capable (unless you had an all region player or liked to be a hacker…like the girl in Jurassic Park…). Well, Arrow is a company that cares, and they’ve expanded their releases to the States, and I for one, have been doing jumping jacks nonstop over it (not really, I still have a gut dammit).
We were sent some information that made us quite excited, and if you’re one of the cool kids (blame my daughter for my using of that phrase, she is obsessed with that crazily catchy song), you’ll be excited as well!
- Jerry Smith
As far as cinematic genres go, few are as reliably controversial as horror cinema. From the days of Tod Browning’s Freaks (which used real sideshow performers for its ghastly tale of retribution) way back in 1932, to some of the unforgettable moments of Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, controversy is one of the genre’s constants. While there’s no official title bestowed upon the filmmaker who’s the king of upsetting mainstream audiences (often in the worst way possible), if there was, director Tom Six would probably be the reigning ruler. Six is the man responsible for The Human Centipede films, a trilogy of features that find people (in ever-increasing numbers…) being connected mouth to anus for…something. Six’s third installment...
- Mike Bracken
It’s the start of a new month, and as ever in film and Blu-ray circles, nothing gets the fans salivating more than the upcoming release slate from the awesome folks over at Arrow Films. Its line-up of releases for August has been unveiled (both UK and Us), and you can view all the information below, including the stand-out title, David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, which is getting a very special, limited edition release in a collector’s package.
Videodrome: Limited Edition
Combining the bio-horror elements of his earlier films whilst anticipating the technological themes of his later work, Videodrome exemplifies Cronenberg’s extraordinary talent for making both visceral and cerebral cinema. Max Renn (James Woods) is looking for fresh new content for his TV channel when he happens across some illegal S&M-style broadcasts called ‘Videodrome’. Embroiling his girlfriend Nicki (Debbie Harry) in his search for the source, his »
- Scott J. Davis
Metrodome and Hollywood Classics have announced that Tod Browning’s controversial 1932 horror Freaks is to receive a big screen re-release in the UK, with the film set to open in cinemas in June. Banned in this country by the BBFC until the 1960s, the film is set in a travelling circus and tells the story of trapeze artist Cleopatra, who is welcomed into a group of deformed carnival sideshow performers after marrying midget circus owner, Hans. However, as it becomes clear that Cleopatra is only after Hans’ money, and is conducting an affair with the strongman, the close-knit clan of ‘freaks’ plan a revenge.
“Under our relationship with certain studios, we can create DCPs for selected features that we feel will be of particular interest to a discerning audience”, Hollywood Classics tells Screen Daily. “Tod Browning’s Freaks is widely considered of great cinematic importance, reflecting the macabre historical fascination »
- Gary Collinson
To celebrate Charlie Adlard illustrating the cover of their latest issue, the folks at Metal Hammer magazine visited The Walking Dead artist's studio in a new video. Also included in our latest round-up is a new release date for Mike Flanagan's Before I Wake and early details on an upcoming UK theatrical re-release of Tod Browning's classic 1932 horror film, Freaks.
Charlie Adlard's Studio: "Charlie Adlard, the comic book artist responsible for The Walking Dead (And The Latest Metal Hammer Cover) talks to Metal Hammer Magazine about how he got into comic books and his inspirations."
Video courtesy of Metal Hammer via TheWalkingDead.com:
"In this intense and heart pounding supernatural thriller, Jessie (Kate Bosworth »
- Derek Anderson
Exclusive: Hollywood Classics to re-release banned 1930’s film.
Browning’s 1932 film about a travelling “freak show” circus was completed in 1931 but disastrous test screenings forced studio MGM to make extensive cuts .
The original version was considered too shocking and exploitative to be released, and no longer exists.
The final 59-minute cut was released to international audiences but was rejected by the BBFC in the UK until 1963 when it received an X-rating.
The film, whose cast was made up of carnival sideshow performers with real deformities, charts a love triangle between a wealthy dwarf, a gold-digging aerialist, and a strongman; a murder plot; and the vengeance dealt out by the dwarf and his fellow circus performers.
Eponymous characters include The Living Torso, Bearded Lady, Human Skeleton, Half Boy and Stork Woman.
While director and producer Browning was given considerable leeway by MGM »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
by Vic Schiavone
Hosts Nasty Neal and Annabelle Lecter welcomed actor, drummer, and performance artist Mat Fraser. Mat is best known for his role as Paul the Illustrated Seal on the fourth season of the FX horror anthology TV series “American Horror Story”, which was entitled “American Horror Story: Freak Show”.
Highlights included the following:
• Wyh: How did you end up on “American Horror Story”? Is it something you sought out or did they find you?
Mf: “I had heard about it, but my agent in Britain had been unable to secure me an audition, which I was rather disappointed about, and I put the whole thing in the back of my head and forgot about it. Then, I was doing a show with my wife, Julie Atlas Muz. We were doing an adult version of “Beauty and the Beast”, which smashed it and got rave reviews »
What makes a film perverse? It could be a character and their individual perversions, or it could be down to the director of the film creating a pervasive air of seediness, but generally the rule of thumb is that highbrow perverted films that carry a ‘message’ get away with more than the lowbrow films which are viewed to be potentially corrupting to the masses.
This class division has been a rule of film classification and censorship since its inception and it carries on to the present day. Subtitled and foreign arthouse cinema generally gets away with more perverse unexpurgated material than your bog standard Hollywood film, which is also more likely to be censored.
Even more persecuted is exploitation cinema, whose raison d’être is generally to be prurient and perverted. These films are subject to severe censorship (12 and a half minutes were shorn off the first UK »
- Clare Simpson
This review contains spoilers.
4.12 Show Stoppers
All season long, American Horror Story has been flirting with something. It took a dozen episodes, but it finally got around to actually putting out after a season-long tease. I'm not talking about a character death or something of that nature, I'm talking about Freaks. Tod Browning's classic, iconic horror movie is one of the most enduring films of its type in the film canon, and even though it's in black and white and the sound is odd, it's one of the most unsettling things ever displayed for the public thanks to one scene. The freaks, betrayed by someone they accepted, get revenge.
“Show Stoppers” opens with a scene right out of Tod Browning’s Freaks, a huge feast to celebrate Elsa having sold the carnival to Chester. She asks for time alone with her core cast and announces that, as a thank you to Stanley for getting her a television show, she will screen Freaks. (From her own…
The post Recap: American Horror Story: Freak Show — 412, ‘Show Stoppers’ appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Samuel Zimmerman
It's the penultimate episode of "American Horror Story: Freak Show," which means Ryan Murphy and his crew are going at full throttle. There are horrific flashbacks, a murderous doll, sexy conjoined twins, revenge, revelations, and lots of blood. This episode isn't called "Show Stoppers" for nothing!
Gabba, Gabba, Hey!
It isn't a coincidence that the long dinner table that they occasionally use in the main tent looks an awful lot like the set-up in Tod Browning's seminal horror film "Freaks," and they finally got right down to it. When Stanley arrives for dinner, Elsa announces that evening's entertainment will be one of her favorite movies, "Freaks," and then Eve, Paul, Suzi, and the other performers explain how the "freaks" in the movie take their horrific revenge on the person who betrayed them, then gather their own weapons and chase Stanley through the fairgrounds. I was expecting more of an »
- Jenni Miller
15 items from 2015
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