5 items from 2017
Author: Sean Wilson
As if last year’s nostalgia-infused sensation Stranger Things didn’t make it clear enough, the world is currently going mad for all things eighties. Not the big hair or the shellsuits, mind – rather woozy synthpop, blood-rich neon and anything related to the heyday of creepy body horror.
With Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski’s splattery new gorefest The Void out now, one that gleefully mashes up loving homages to H.P. Lovecraft John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and more, here are the essential throwback horror movies that you need to watch in preparation.
Writer/director Ti West is at the forefront of recent revival horror and this deliciously slow-burning spooker remains one of his best. Drawing on the ‘Satanic panic’ craze that swept America during the eighties, it’s the unbearably suspenseful story of a young woman (Jocelin Donahue) whose babysitting job at a creaking, »
- Sean Wilson
Anna Biller captures the colours, style and mores of the lurid 70s in this near-perfect pastiche
Stiletto-sharp and as precise as a stocking seam, Anna Biller’s terrific homage to campy 1960s and 70s sexploitation horror movies is a riot of synthetic hair and vampy overacting. Biller, who designed the costumes and sets as well as writing, directing, editing and producing, has immersed herself in the Beyond the Valley of the Dolls-meets-Hammer psychological-shocker aesthetic. Hers is a witty and playful approach, but as with her 2007 film Viva – a lascivious, early 70s B-movie take on the sexual revolution – Biller lovingly recreates the film-making of the era with a fan’s obsession to detail. As such, it reminded me of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s giallo pastiche, Amer: both pictures are deliciously lurid but wholly serious in their appreciation of the genre they evoke.
Biller cites George Romero’s »
- Wendy Ide
A transformative and exquisite creation by Anna Biller (who directed, produced, wrote, edited, scored and designed every aspect), The Love Witch is a gorgeous-looking tribute to 1960s/70s low-budget horrors, classic American soap operas, Technicolor melodramas and vintage sexploitation aesthetics is an affectionate masterful pastiche with a deft feminist bite.
Think Russ Meyer meets Douglas Sirk and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls via Charmed and Dynasty as lovelorn young witch Elaine (a stunning Samantha Robinson) uses spells and potions to bring her everlasting romantic happiness. Finally meeting her dream man, Elaine’s desperation to be loved drives her to the brink of insanity and murder.
Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. »
- Phil Wheat
Richard Dreyfuss once starred in an X-rated film. Let that sink in for a moment. Placing that into proper context reminds us that the 1970s were a very different time. The MPAA film rating system became effective in the U.S. on November 1, 1968. Six months later, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy received an X-rating, and less than a year later, became the first (and only) X-rated film to win the Academy Award as Best Picture. Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls earned the X-rating for its release in June 1970, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange received it upon its original release in the U.S. in February 1972, Ralph Bakshi's animated Fritz the Cat was tagged with an X in April 1972, and Bernardo...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
In The Overlook, A.V. Club film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky examines the misfits, underappreciated gems, and underseen classics of film history.
“How can you wear a white wedding dress over your filthy body?”
—The Cross Of Love
In the pantheon of unclassifiable filmmakers, there is a special place for Teuvo Tulio, Finland’s king of shameless melodrama. A fetishist, an outsider artist of 1940s and ’50s film, he was outrageous, incapable of subtlety, rising to a higher plane of camp—beyond Ken Russell, beyond Nicolas Cage doing an accent, beyond Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. His films feature distorted, bug-eyed acting, sometimes petrified in ecstasy, equally redolent of silent cliffhanger serials and late-night infomercials; a camera style that deliriously scrambles silent Soviet and German cinema with smoky Hollywood glamour, while maintaining almost no continuity; plots that are as formulaic as they are insane. The paradox of Tulio is that »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
5 items from 2017
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