Reviews written by registered user
|134 reviews in total|
I am a huge Troma fan. I'd have to say that Lloyd Kaufman's three greatest films are "The Toxic Avenger", "Troma's War" and of course "Tromeo & Juliet". If Shakespeare were to of teamed up with Salvidor Dali and John Waters, the result would be a film like "Tromeo & Juliet". Tromeo Que (Will Keenan) is poor and his family and friends are into tattooing, piercing and the NYC underground scene. Juliet Capulet (Jane Jensen) is rich and wealthy, but has to deal with her abusive incestuous father and obnoxious relatives. Of course Troma had to throw in a lesbian character. Ness, played by the sexy Debbie Rochon, is the the Capulets tattooed cook, who secretly makes love to Juliet. When the Capulets have a party, Tromeo comes dressed as a cow, and meets Juliet. It's love at first sight. Insanity follows as the film turns into a surreal, violent and hilarious sex filled extravaganza of weirdness. Bizarre dream sequences including a giant penis monster and a popcorn pregnancy are just some of the film's wacky highlights. Juliet is also a vegetarian and her parents want her to marry a wealthy eccentric butcher. This film has gore, fighting and bodily functions galore. The violence in the film is very dreamlike, often with stretchy, gooey decapitations. And who could forget the troma car crash, with recycled footage from Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD. "Tromeo & Juliet " is gross, over the top and downright funny. So if your looking for a good, fun and slightly disturbed comedy "Tromeo & Juliet" is in a world of its own. To quote Juliet and then Tromeo, "Parting is such sweet sorrow", "Yeah and it totally sucks!" Did I also mention it's narrated by Lemmy of the band Motorhead? This film rocks!
In order to fully appreciate "High Tension", it's best to see it in its original language and uncut. There has been a lot of hype about this film amongst gore hounds and horror movie buffs. I'd have to say it lived up to its reputation. Although the story is very simplistic and nothing original, "High Tension" still manages to grab the viewer. It has flawless lighting and camera work, great acting and a truly disturbing psychological intensity. The story concerns the tomboyish yet sexy Marie, played by Cecile De France. Marie and her friend Alex plan a vacation away from the big city. Marie is to stay with Alex and her family at their farm house. Little do they know of the psychotic serial killer who is on the prowl, driving his old van through the country side. The killer, played by Philippe Nahon of "I Stand Alone", is a deeply frightening man. He carries a strait razor and at one point even has the nerve to give himself fellatio with a girls decapitated head. Yuck! The killer invades Alex's home and wrecks havoc on her family. The violence is extremely brutal and unrelenting. The bloody realism may cause some viewers to turn their head. The film becomes more insane from this point on turning into a endless pursuit of cat and mouse. Some critics have complained that the film contains certain plot holes. I felt that by director Alex Aja leaving certain things unexplained, it added to the intensity. Very suspenseful and horrifying, no wonder why they called it "High Tension". It sure gave me tension. The reason I recommend seeing the film in its original french version, is because the acting is so believable. Dubbing only takes away from the amazing performances. Also not to mention the MPAA taking their own strait razor to the film, slashing it down to an R rating. I highly enjoyed "High Tension". It marks a return to the style of old school horror directors such as Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter.
Jean Luc Godard's "Weekend" is so dark, so evil and yet so funny. There is not one sympathetic character. It's every man for himself in a crazed consumer world. The film shows the downfall of western civilization through automobiles. A wealthy and loveless couple are scheming to collect an inheritance. They'll do anything to get it, even if it means poisoning their relative's food. The husband knows his wife is having an affair, but he doesn't care. He asks his wife to describe her affair in boring graphic detail. Then we witness a road trip from hell; fender benders, shouting matches, a long extended traffic jam, car jackers, car crashes, Marxism, rape and even cannibalism. There is even a scene in which a girl is raped with a fish. Ouch! Talk about pushing the envelope, and this film was almost made forty years ago. Although "Weekend" was a product of its time, it is still relevant today. Especially with America and its SUV obsessed culture that's on the brink of madness. You can definitely see Weekend's influence in road movies like "Wild at Heart", "Natural Born Killers", "Crash" (1996), "Perdita Durango" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". So if your looking for a chaotic surreal road trip that leads into an insane violent free for all of satirical craziness; "Weekend" is a film for you. Although at times it can move slow with its dialog, the film is still amazing. I enjoyed it and almost died from uneasy laughter.
Czech surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer is known for his bizarre stop motion films. In his full length films like "Alice" and "Faust", he takes his viewers to a subconscious world with real actors and stop motion creatures. "Conspirators of Pleasure" deals with the fantasies and fetishes of various everyday people. Each person at first seeming normal, spends almost the whole film trying to invent methods of fulfilling their bizarre fantasies. There is even some moments when characters become puppets. One man designs a head of a chicken suit and fantasizes about dropping a rock on his neighbor's head. The neighbor lady fantasizes about dominating her neighbor, turning him into a puppet and whipping him. Another example is a woman's fetish for bread. She rolls up balls of bread and sucks them up her nose through a straw. Of course there's a whole assortment of other depraved people with strange fantasies. Although the film is extremely bizarre, it is also very funny. Jan Svankmajer has created an intense atmosphere of strange desire, that may not be far from how some everyday people function. It's a funny film that explores the strange world of hidden fetishes.
"Bread and Circus" is quite an interesting little splatter film. It's gory like "Bad Taste" and sick like "Pink Flamingos". In the beginning we see a vagina in the ground, which is mother earth. The vagina gives birth to a man (slime and umbilical chord included) The man is forced to be given a normality test by a monk. In the future people who try to be individuals, get hunted down by the government. Some people live in the woods as cannibals. The film is pretty disgusting, but also creative and surreal. Take note, there's gratuitous frontal male nudity, extreme splatter violence, excrement, and even a guy who gets a beer bottle stuck up his ass. Some of the Scandinavian humor is hard to figure out at times, but the film was still a lot of fun. If you enjoy Troma, John Waters, Pete Jackson and even Peter Greenaway; you'll probably love this film.
Mulli is on a journey through a surreal middle east, in order to retrieve his stolen backpack. On his way he's haunted by a song, that seems to constantly follow him. He discovers a strange place called planet blue. He's given a drug that resembles an onion bulb, which is supposed to be the ultimate high. After he meets an assortment of offbeat characters he heads to the dead sea. "Planet Blue" took me by surprise, I have never seen any Israili films before this one. I really didn't know what to expect from a film that's labeled a "Hebrew stoner comedy". I enjoyed "Planet Blue" because it had a style of its own that was completely original. The film is kind of like what might happen if director Richard Linklater got stoned at a Bar-Mitzvah and moved to Israel. This film is quite a cult sensation in Isreal. If you can find a copy, you won't be disappointed. Director Gur Bentvitch went on to direct "Total Love", a bizarre romantic stoner comedy about a love potion. So, if your looking for something strange and new "Planet Blue" is a film for you.
I love John Waters movies. Whether it's his old or new films. He has his own strange sense of humor. In "Polyester" Devine plays down to earth overweight housewife Francine Fishpaw. Poor Francine, her husband who runs the local porn theater (pronounced thee-ater) is having an affair. Her own mother insults her constantly, her son is a glue sniffer with a foot stomping fetish and her daughter Lu-Lu is a teen rebel with an unwanted pregnancy. The only true friend Francine has is Cuddles, played by the always hilarious Edith Masey. Francine's soap opera like life spins out of control resulting in alcoholism and depression. This movie is filmed in oder-rama and the DVD comes with a scratch and sniff scent card. If you need a good laugh, you should definitely see "Polyester". And who could forget the words of young Lu-Lu? "I'm having an abortion, and I can't wait!" Don't wait .... to see this movie.
"Static" is such an awesome movie, but has seemed to of faded away into obscurity. Director Mark Romanek, has also directed the "Nine Inch Nails" music video, "closer" and more recently "One Hour Photo". Keith Gordon of "Christine" and Amanda Plummer of "Pulp Fiction" give good performances. Also, the film has some (as they'd say in the 80's) totally awesome new wave music. I wish I could find the soundtrack. The story concerns Ernie Blick (Keith Gordon) a small town inventor who works at a crucifix factory. He has created a machine in which he believes can show people images of heaven. His long time friend Julia (Amanda Plummer) who plays keyboard in a new wake rock band, is in town for the Christmas holiday. Poor Ernie wants to see his dead parents in heaven. Probably because his mom and dad were much less annoying than his uncle, who's a fanatical religion crazed street preacher. Ernie is convinced his machine works, because he can see the images of heaven. When he gathers people around to see his invention, all that comes up on the screen is static. Ernie becomes frustrated, because people think he's insane. The film is simply amazing and unpredictable. Not to mention, it has a diner shaped like a fish. Actor Keith Gordon went on to direct the late 80's dark satirical teen melodrama "the Chocolate War". I highly recommend both films. Now if only they'd release both these movies on DVD.
"Un Chien Andalou" is amazing. A fifteen minute dream that's both breathtaking and eerie. This was the first film collaboration between Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. They both wanted to take their dreams and put it into a film. I must say they succeeded. The film is most notorious for the beginning sequence of the razor across the eye. The film was definitely ahead of its time. Even today, more than 75 years later, the image is still disturbing. A cow eye was used for the effect. The film also has a severed hand, ants that crawl from a wound and a man's Frudian like sexual obsession with a woman. If you are interested in surrealism or surreal films, this would be a perfect place to start.
Greg Araki is quite a unique director. Not many gay directors have his edge. Like John Waters and Derek Jarmon, he throws gay stereotypes out the window with an in your face style of directing. Out of Araki's Apocolyptic Teen Trilogy, "Nowhere seems to be the best. It's like a generation X "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", with its bright color sets, crazed sex, drugs and brutal violence. Did I mention, there's also a space alien? The story takes place in L.A. ... We meet a cast of assorted characters; some straight, gay or bisexual. It seems these teens are unhappy, but instead of confronting their problems they indulge in kinky sex and drugs. Besides, it's the end of the world. James Duval plays Dark, a lonely bisexual teen caught up in the madness. All Dark wants is to be loved. Whether it's by a guy or his permissive friend Mel, played by Rachel True. Some people complain about Araki's earlier films not having much character development. Who cares?, "Nowhere is stunning and features an all star cast of celebrities behaving badly. Look for a young Heather Graham and Ryan Phillippe as a horny couple with a fetish for death.
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