1-20 of 25 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Jacques Doillon’s most recent film—known in English, if it is known at all, as either The Three-Way Wedding or In the Four Winds—has never, to my knowledge, been shown in the States since its release in France in the spring of 2010. According to Jordan Montzer in Variety, Doillon’s “oeuvre reaches new heights of faux-kinky gobbledygook in [this] low-budget chamber piece.... With a pitch that could have provoked untold laughter in the hands of a Larry David, pic somberly reveals the ego-tripping, backstabbing and, well, butt-slapping that occurs when two thesps spend a day at the country home of a misanthropic playwright. What ensues is far from enjoyable, and adequate perfs won’t carry Doillon’s pretentious banter further than French ears.”
That last part may have proved to be right, but I’ve always loved the highly unusual and borderline grotesque poster for the film. I had »
In 1993 Super Mario was bigger than Mickey Mouse, and so Hollywood decided it would be a good idea to make a Mario Bros film. It wasn't
In the early 90s, Mario the plumber was more famous than Mickey Mouse. He was so famous he got his own film, and while the Super Mario Bros movie was the first-ever videogame adaptation, it was so bad it was almost the last. The game's hallucinogenic, 8-bit world of piranha plants, pipes and mushrooms made it an unlikely property for a live-action adaptation, and so it proved. Super Mario Bros has gone down in legend as the Heaven's Gate of the videogame movie, nearly destroying the entire genre singlehandedly.
In 1896, acclaimed author H.G. Wells released his novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau, a chilling tale that was equally disturbing and controversial. Since then, Hollywood has consistently tried to bring the story to the screen, often with mixed to mediocre to flat out awful results. One of these films, however, serves the original story justice while at the same time existing on its own merits and that film is 1933's Island of Lost Souls.
A long thought lost classic from the beginnings of the sound era (resurrected and brought to the High Def world by the always wonderful Criterion Collection), Island of Lost Souls is a tremendous horror/thriller that manages to work on one level as a genre picture, but also has a layer of social commentary that touches on some subjects that is still to this day a bit taboo, making it even more so in the 30's when it was released, »
Choosing my favourite horror films of all time is like choosing between my children – not that I have children, but if I did, I am sure I would categorize them quite like my DVD collection. As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. Also, it was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried. I based my list taking into consideration three points:
1- Technical accomplishments / artistry and their influence on the genre.
2- How many times I’ve revisited the films and how easily it makes for a repeated viewings.
3- Its story, atmosphere and how much it affected me when I first watched them.
42 – Nosferatu: The First Vampire
Directed by F.W. Murnau
1922 – Germany
The earliest surviving film based on Dracula is Nosferatu, an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. One of the first vampire movies, it is perhaps on one of the best vampire movies ever made. Generally creepy from beginning to the last frame.
Federico Fellini (segment Toby Dammit)
Roger Vadim (segment Metzengerstein)
1968 – France
First thing to notice is the three directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim. Second you need to take notice in the cast which includes Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Alain Delon, Terence Stamp, Salvo Randone, James Robertson Justice, Françoise Prévost and Marlène Alexandre. Spirits Of The Dead is an adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe stories that amount to one mixed bad, but with one incredible segment that needs to be seen. »
I’m not a big fan of the horror genre. I don’t care for horror films, TV shows, novels or anything like that. But I do have an understanding of the genre and the roots that it has in something I really do enjoy: German expressionist cinema.
German expressionist cinema is a type of film that highlights bizarre sets, unusual angles, dark shadows, strange people and strange places. Mental illness was often a feature of the stories in one form or another. Expressionism got its start in Germany in 1913 with The Student of Prague, but it didn’t really take off and come into its own until after World War I. Though the Expressionist movement was largely dead after 1933 (not coincidentally the year that the Nazis came to power in Germany), it nevertheless created vibe that resonates throughout film today, inspiring, in whole or in part, such genres as »
- Chris Swanson
In the real world Arkham Asylum would a very, very bad idea. Putting the most diabolical and dangerous of Gotham’s lunatics together in the same building has ‘unwise’ written all over it. Also considering that many of former staff members, including Harley Quinn and Hugo Strange, are now inmates, and the architect went mad and hacked his family to pieces before the project was finished, it would send alarm bells to ring in any government officials head, leading to the building being demolished and the earth on which it stood salted. But thankfully comic books don’t subscribe to real world logic. If it did, we wouldn’t get books like Arkham Asylum: Living Hell.
- Tom White
Halloween evokes imagery of all of the great myths and monsters. Witches cackling on broomsticks, Vampires screeching as they turn into bats and the ominous groan of the ever-loved Frankenstein‘s Monster. But is there anything so chilling as the stop-you-in-your-tracks anguished howl of a werewolf? A man reduced to his most base instincts. An unwilling killer. A victim.
Ever since I was a kid I have wanted to be a werewolf. They have always been my favourite monster and any Psychotherapist worth their degree would probably track it all back to the issues of growing up as an outcast, puny Geek. And they would most likely be right.
I don’t care. Issues or no issues, having the sheer raw ferocity to rend limb from limb always seemed quite romantic to me. Clearly I have missed the subtext of the human cursed, a murderer but not by choice. Maybe I do have issues. »
- David Hawkins
Monsters are a dime a dozen and have been throughout history. There’s the Vampire; the Werewolf; the Centaur; the Fish Man; the Fly Man; the Ghost and the Goblin. And it doesn’t end there, the list goes on and on into the shadows but it only needs to be observed to realise that we love a good miscreation more than we possibly should.
But let’s examine the word itself – Monster. It’s derived from the Latin word monstrare which is ‘to show, point out or reveal’ (also intrinsic in the etymology of the word ‘demonstrate’). In order to truly terrify, a monster must reveal to us something in ourselves – something we may not necessarily want to acknowledge. This is why the Zombie endures even as other monsters are committed to history – our survival instinct forces us to fear our mortality and so most of us refuse to truly recognize it. »
- Stuart Bedford
As our second annual 31 Days of Horror spectacle is now well and truly underway, check out WhatCulture!’s ten best Hammer Horror picks!
They were one of Britain’s most successful film studios throughout their heyday from the late 1950s to mid 1970s and within that time they produced some of the most memorable horror films ever to be made here. After disbanding in the late 1970s, after a slew of commercial flops, today Hammer Picture Productions is a fully-fledged, working company once again. With their production of The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, eagerly awaited in cinemas next year and in celebration of our 31 Days of Horror spectacular, it’s time to get nostalgic and remember the 10 Best Hammer Horrors! So dim the lights, grab a cushion…you’re in for some sheer terror!!
10. Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971)
This has to be one of Hammer’s greatest films from the advertising campaign alone! »
- Stuart Cummins
For the horror buff, Fall is the best time of the year. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling and a feeling of death hangs on the air. Here at Sound on Sight we have some of the biggest horror fans you can find. We are continually showcasing the best of genre cinema, so we’ve decided to put our horror knowledge and passion to the test in a horror watching contest. Each week in October, Ricky D, James Merolla and Justine Smith will post a list of the horror films they have watched. By the end of the month, the person who has seen the most films wins. Prize Tbd.
Ricky D – 14 Viewings
Directed by William Friedkin
One of the few horror films that really gets under my skin. Essential viewing for any cinephile.
Directed by William Peter Blatty
Directed by Tod Browning
Director Tod Browning grew up in the circus – under the big top – amidst manic clowns, hairy women and human deformity all lined up for our entertainment. These were his people. Roll up, roll up.
Roll up, roll!! Dare you see Freaks: the controversial classic, banned in the UK for 30 years!! Gather round and gasp at these misshapen misfits. Dance with the Pinheads; lust after sexy Siamese Sisters; be confused by Joseph/Josephine the half man, half woman; and cower at the murderous Code of the Freaks!!!!
One of us, one of us!”
It was made in 1932 and has gathered a reputation as a perverse masterpiece. People cower at its name, »
- Tom Fallows
DVD Playhouse—October 2011
By Allen Gardner
Terri (20th Century Fox) An awkward, obese teen (Jacob Wysocki) finds himself forming an odd friendship with his equally left-of-center vice-principal (John C. Reilly), who decides to help the boy navigate his way through adolescence’s rocky road. Low key film is filled with pathos and humor, but is ultimately too laid back for its own good (not to mention too long). Worth seeing for young Wysocki’s amazing, completely natural performance, and Reilly’s goofy charm. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Featurette; Deleted scenes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.
Mr. Nice (Mpi) Rhys Ifans stars in the true story of Howard Marks, a Welsh-born Oxford grad who gained the most notoriety in his life for being the UK’s biggest hashish smuggler during the ‘70s and ‘80s, when he wasn’t busy spying for Her Majesty’s government, hanging out with a »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
What makes a movie classic? Box office success is usually a big factor in elevating a film’s status, but even that’s no guarantee. The balance sheets on Avatar (2010) may have looked good but for all its technical brilliance, it lacked the special magic that immortalized Gone With the Wind (1939). It is very hard to believe that some of the best films ever made were commercial flops when they were first released. Were they too complex? Were the too arty? Or were they released at the wrong time? The reasons vary but there’s no denying these classics have survived better than many more successful movies of the day.
So what makes a movie classic? I think it has a lot to do with enduring appeal. Some have achieved cult status when released many years later while others were re-discovered after a lengthy period in obscurity. Art-house and underground »
Texas has become a hotbed of horror, and Dallas is the epicenter. With the massive haunt season just kicking off this weekend, it's only appropriate that one of Dfw's coolest venues hosts a night of classic horror. La Grange, in the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, is hosting a double-feature this Thursday, September 15th, that genre fans in the area won't want to miss.
Following Phantom, Hell on Film presents Tod Browning's legendary Freaks. Anyone who hasn't seen this once-lost masterpiece is lacking a chunk of vital horror history education. 80 years later, it's still a shocking, thrilling film.
The full evening of entertainment is only $5! Pro tip: La Grange's taco bar connected to the club has »
- Mr. Dark
Reader and contributor Gemma St. Clair returns this weekend with a new list of horror trivia:
2. Maximum Overdrive: The main truck’s head is based on Marvel Comic’s Green Goblin.
7. April Fool’s Day: The film »
- Jonathan James
Mars Needs Moms starts out at a run, and never lets up until you're already on Mars and far too involved to let it go. It would be nice if a lot more movies had the self-assurance to reel you in first, and let you figure things out later, rather than spelling everything out before anything happens. Funny, it's the kid movie that has this much respect for its audiences.
Young Milo has had his mother abducted by aliens, and being the brave and foolish lad that he is, he's chased them down to the ship, where he is accidentally snatched and brought along for the ride. Upon arrival, Milo is bagged, tagged, and put into storage, but he is soon rescued by Gribble, an adult human who is inexplicably living in the bowels of Mars' apparently planet-scale trash heap.
As it turns out, Martians pop out of the ground when they are "born, »
- Marc Eastman
Horror film follow-up featuring brutality, degradation and mutilation 'poses a real risk to cinemagoers', say censors
The Human Centipede, a 2010 horror film in which a scientist stitches kidnap victims together, was proudly touted as "the most horrific film ever made".
But its Dutch director, Tom Six, may have gone too far in the follow-up, because the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has denied The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) an 18 certificate for fears it poses a "real risk" to cinemagoers.
The BBFC refusal means it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK – even on DVD or download.
In the sequel, a man becomes erotically obsessed with a DVD copy of the original film – in which the victims are surgically stitched together mouth to anus – and decides to recreate the idea.
The film then focuses on his fantasies and the torture he inflicts. One scene involves him wrapping barbed »
- Catherine Shoard
How switched on are you when it comes to cinema's leading lights and darkest shades?
Back in 2002 Ikea launched the 60-second ad Lamp as part of its Unböring campaign. Directed by Spike Jonze, Lamp opens with a little red lamp sitting by the sofa. A melancholy piano piece hangs in the air. A woman unplugs the lamp, hoists it over her shoulder, and dumps it on the pavement in the pouring rain. Time passes, and shots of the lonely lamp are cut with others taken from its perspective, peering through the window at its former owner cosying up beside a brand new Ikea model. Then, from nowhere, a man walks into shot and says, "Many of you feel bad for this lamp. That is because you crazy. It has no feelings, and the new one is much better."
Maybe we crazy. Brick loves lamp, after all, and he killed a guy with a trident. »
By Saideh Pakravan - May 6 , 2011
The marriage of circus and cinema took place in the very early days, fittingly enough as film, the new form of entertainment, sought to capitalize on one of the oldest ones. Some of the first memorable movies about the big top are Chaplin’s “The Circus” in 1928 and Tod Browning’s unforgettable “Freaks” in 1932. From then on, the list of circus movies is unending, about pathetic carnival sideshows in Fellini’s “La Strada” or extravaganzas like Cecil B. de Mille’s “Greatest Show on Earth,” (this last earning a reputation as worse Academy Award winner ever). There are the Marx Brothers, there’s “Trapeze,” we even have Elvis in “Roustabout,” for crying out loud. Some of these films are spectacular or inspired, many corny, hammy, sentimental, and likable. None of these qualifiers apply »
- Screen Comment
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