Reviews written by registered user
|134 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Cremator" is a film that is dark and unforgettable with its horrifying images. At times it's an extremely dark comedy, but mostly a psychological horror satire. In Wold War II Czechoslovakia, Kopfrkingl is a rich and wealthy cremator. He's obsessed with his job to the point of sadistic insanity. He thinks that cremating people is a way to free them for the afterlife. His hunger for power causes him to join up with the Nazi occupiers. That's when he really goes nuts, he even thinks his family needs to be killed; including his son Milli for being too flamboyant. He takes over the crematory by murdering the head director. He longs to build a larger crematorium, where he can pretty much dispose of anyone not living up to the Reich's standards. Again in his own sick mind, he wants to free them for the afterlife and reincarnation. The film is extremely disturbing in it's psychological atmosphere. Director Juraj Herz builds tension as the film progressively gets worse as it goes on. Amazing cinematography, surreal images and a hallucinatory feel. Herz has created a masterpiece that still remains undiscovered to many. Also the film was pretty groundbreaking for its time with its sexual content and macabre violence. So watch "The Cremator"; it's worth tracking down a copy.
Years before the erotic thriller "Swimming Pool", director Francois Ozon directed the the morbid dark comedy gem "Sitcom". If you're a fan of Almadover, Bunuel, John Waters or even Peter Greenaway; you'll probably find this film hilarious. I did! In "Sitcom", a father brings home a pet rat. Little does he know about how the pet rat will effect his family. The rat has a power that unleashes the families innermost desires. The son tells the family he's gay at dinnertime. He seduces the maids boyfriend and later has orgies in his room. The sister jumps out the window and becomes a wheel chair bound paraplegic into kinky S&M. She is cruel to her boyfriend and makes him where leather. She says "What, I don't turn you on anymore?". That scene is so sick, but so funny. Then on top of that she tries to seduce her own father. In an attempt to turn her son straight, the mother seduces the son. Although this is so dark and twisted, the film is downright hilarious. I mean, it's over the top satirical lunacy! Some aspects of the story are confusing, so you may want to watch it twice.
OK. so I usually never use drug terms to describe a movie, but how else can you describe the Feebles. Long before Pete Jackson became well known for doing the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He made some hilarious gross out horror comedies like "Bad Taste". His second feature "Meet the Feebles" is a raunchy crude film with all puppets. The fabulous Feebles variety hour is facing problems. The star Heidi Hippo (almost resembling Miss Piggie) is at a low point of her career and goes on an eating binge. Her lover and manager Bletch the Walrus is cheating on her with the trampy Samantha the pussy... cat that is. We also have Larry the Rabbit, a sexually active swinger who discovers he might have aids. Other deranged characters include a fly tabloid journalist, A drug addicted frog who's a knife thrower and the sweet and innocent porcupine Roger. (he longs to win the love of Lucille the poodle) Who can forget a film with a rat who's a porn director or a homosexual fox who sings a song called "Sodomy". "Meet the Feebles" is hilarious, disgusting vulgar fun. It's sick and twisted with Puppet Sex, Drugs, Violence and Great Music too. I met the Feebles and had a great time. Maybe you should check out the Fabulous Feebles and their deranged variety show. It would make for a great double feature with "Team America: World Police".
"Vortex" is a very bizarre and experimental Greek film; with a style thats reminiscent of Bergman, Antonioni, early Polanski, Jodorowsky and Arrabal. To be honest, it's really hard to describe. "Vortex" is a movie within a movie and is shown out of sequence with repeated takes. The story gets interrupted repeatedly with the click of the director's marquis. He yells "Vortex, Take 20 etc. etc. etc."! So it's hard to decipher if a story is taking place or if your watching behind the scenes of a movie. What's surprising is that the film was made in 1966 and contains both frontal male and female nudity, a lengthy sex scene and even the use of the F-word. (the only version I know about exists in English) It was hard to tell what the exact plot was; the story also had something to do with the Greek myth of Medusa. It seemed to be about friends on vacation and going on a sort of boating trip. One man asks the girl if she has seen his brother? Then the film has a flashback of the brother's sexual encounter with the beautiful lady while in England. They then here news that the brother is now dead. Scenes keep repeating themselves over and over, but along the way we're treated to a good looking Greek cast, bizarre images and beautiful architecture . The film is shot in black and white and images appear to jump right out because of the chiaroscuro landscapes. The film's music is haunting and mystical. Among the scenes that I remembered the most were; the skull on the scarecrow, face painting while the performance of bongo drums, and the female actress reattaching the leg of a creepy doll in the water. "Vortex" was very ahead of its time in its on screen portrayal of sexuality. "Vortex" is very unique; I wonder why it has seemed to of faded into obscurity?
"Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me" was trashed by critics. Even the AFI put it on its list of top 100 stinkers (worst movies). I totally disagree with the critics and AFI. I feel that "Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me" is definitely a strange and unique masterpiece as only David Lynch could conjure up. The movie is a prequel to the show and deals with the bizarre disappearance of an FBI agent and later traces the final hours of Laura Palmer's life. At times it is very psychological and dark. We get to know more about Laura (Sheryl Lee) including her drug addiction, sex life and the dirty secrets of her family. We also see a slightly different side of her best friend Donna (originally played by Lara Flynn Boyle, but she turned down the part due to nudity) In order to understand the story better, Laura's father can best be compared to Bill Pullman's character in "Lost Highway". This film is dark, disturbing, violent, mesmerizing and filled with dream like images that still haunt me. "Twin Peaks: fire walk with me is a cult masterpiece; regardless of what critics have said. Not to mention, the first half hour is somewhat humorous in a Lynch like way. In order for the film to make sense, watch the complete "Twin Peaks" series first before viewing the film
"The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb" is extremely bizarre. It often reminded me of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer. The story concerns a tiny Tom Thumb who's oddly born to a regular sized couple. They live in the slums in a bleak sort of future. Tom is kidnapped and taken to a science lab of mutated creatures. The lab does horrible experiments to animals and wants to try some tests on poor Tom. Tom has to fight against the evil Jack the Giant Killer, and try to find a way home to his family. Some viewers will find the the film frustrating since the characters talk in grunts and squeak noises. If you enjoyed "Eraserhead" or bizarre stop motion films like "Alice" (1988) and "Faust" (1994), you should definitely witness "The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb".
Director Seijun Suzuki is one of the Japanese pulp directors that was a huge influence on Tarentino. So, film students take note! Viewing Suzuki's films you'll see its influence on "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill". Suzuki is best known for his film "Branded to Kill" "Pistol Opera" is the sequel made almost 34 years after "Branded to Kill". This time the story concerns a female assassin, Stray Cat. Stray Cat longs to move up the ladder in the criminal underworld since she is number 3. She has to kill her opponents including 100 eyes, in order to take his place and be the number 1 assassin. What makes the film interesting is the fact that among all the shootouts and stabbings, there is not one drop of blood. The film becomes a highly surreal head trip, chock full of bright visual eye candy. The film's last 15 minute showdown becomes so bizarre, it almost reminded me of Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain"(1973). At times "Pistol Opera" moves very slow, like a live action play. But it still was very entertaining! If your a fan of directors such as Quinten Tarantino, John Woo, Tekashi Miike and Alejandro Jodorowsky; you should check out this film.
Little Gus is a ten year old delinquent. He runs away from his parents and decides to go on a road-trip. Reaching the petal is somewhat tough for him, so he creates a device to help him. His goal is to win a gimmicky lottery type card game called Motorama. He has to find all eight letters in order to spell M-O-T-O-R-A-M-A. Dark laughter follows as it turns into the road-trip from hell. He runs into some deranged Lynch like characters. Most memorable is the gas station attendant, who puts his picture on a kite in hopes that God will see it. Later Gus gets a tattoo and an eye-patch for his injured eye. He becomes one of the most rebellious bad-ass 10 year olds you may ever witness on screen. This is no kid's flick! Look for cameos by Jack Nance, Flea and Drew Berrymore. Be warned although Drew is on the front cover, she only appears in the film in a dream sequence for a couple seconds. Also the film gets confusing towards the end reaching David Lynch territory, you may want to watch it a couple times. "Motorama" was written by Joseph Minion, most well known for his screenplays for "After Hours" and "Vampire's Kiss" So enjoy this depraved surreal road-trip of fun!
Director Werner Herzog created a bizarre revolutionary world made up of dwarfs. Every actor in the film is a dwarf, not to mention angry and German too. They all decide to rebel against the system, but a revolution is tough when you can't even reach the door handle. One of their friends is held hostage for interrogation by a rich authority figure. It's dwarfs to the rescue! Watch in shock as dwarfs try to drive a car, look at porn, set fires, break things and even torture animals. The film even includes a brutal cock fight and the crucifixion of a monkey. "Even Dwarfs Started Small" may be to disturbing for some. To me, it was challenging but worth watching; it shows viewers that your never too small to fight the system!
"Funeral Parade of Roses" is an underrated unknown work of Japanese gay cinema. It was one of Stanly Kubric's favorite films, and it had a significant influence on the the style of "A Clockwork Orange". The film deals with Japanese drag queens, including the clubs, rivalry and their sex lives. In an Oedipus fashion, except reversed, the main character kills his mother so he can have relations with his father. Director Toshio Matsumato seemed to be way ahead of his time for his portrayal of sexuality and violence on screen. Also in a Bergman like fashion, actors are interviewed so the audience realizes it's only a movie.(and a twisted one at that) The film has many hallucinatory scenes, and who could forget the drag queens using urinals. There's also a weird fight scene between the two drag queens, and when they yell comic bubbles pop out of their mouths. Thank God this movie is in black & white! It's very brutal, disturbing and violent at times; so watch with caution. "Funeral Parade of Roses", is simply shocking and brilliant!
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