3 items from 2016
Any horror movie that starts off with a Serlingesque voiceover has my attention. And when you make your antagonist a hulking alien who looks like an eight foot tall Gene Simmons sans Botox with a proclivity for ripping off people’s heads And shooting laser beams out of his eyes, you are granted permission to take all my money. Welcome to The Dark (1979), a fun throwback to a time when audiences weren’t beholden of such things as logic and coherence to have a ripping drive-in experience.
But what audiences do always appreciate is a good cast, strong direction, and some solid jumps. The Dark answers the call though in such an unassuming way that before you could blink, it was gone from theatres (but hung around drive-ins for a bit, as horror films were wont to do). It’s so low key that viewers at the time probably felt »
- Scott Drebit
Rolling Thunder is one of my favorite films. I’m not just saying that because it is next month’s Late Nite Grindhouse screening, it includes almost everything I loved in 70’s cinema. It is a vigilante story, a character study, a road movie and a great, justifying finale. It doesn’t hurt that it feels, at times, an echo of co-writer, Paul Schrader’s previous work, Taxi Driver (which is definitely in my top 5 of my favorite films).
The film has had a release history that was troubled. Rolling Thunder was to be released by 20th Century Fox but after it showed as a sneak 2nd feature in a double bill with the third Dirty Harry film, The Enforcer, the crowd reacted violently towards some of the studio heads in the audience. This infamous screening took place in San Jose where the majority of the crowd was latino and »
- Andy Triefenbach
“You learn to love the rope. That’s how you beat ’em. That’s how you beat people who torture you. You learn to love ’em. Then they don’t know you’re beatin’ ’em.”
Rolling Thunder (1977) screens Midnights next weekend (April 8th and 9th) at The Moolah Theater and Lounge (3821 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, Mo 63108) as part of Destroy the Brain’s monthly Late Night Grindhouse film series.
Paul Schrader followed his Taxi Driver screenplay with the one for Rolling Thunder, a gritty revenge thriller directed by John Flynn in 1977. Similarities abound as both are about Vietnam vets who are ticking time bombs pushed to the brink by the violence they’ve come home to. But Rolling Thunder’s plot eventually veers from character study into a Death Wish-style vigilante thriller. Like Taxi Driver, it leads slowly toward a cathartic bloodbath finale. Rolling Thunder is highly regarded by fans and critics alike, »
- Tom Stockman
3 items from 2016
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