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Masters of Horror: Imprint (2006)
Too Dark For Cable?!!!
Showtime proves once again that media whoredom trumps creativity every time. Now, Miike's entry into the MOH series is not without its faults. The whole "twin sister" thing is pretty lame. Had Miike kept the horror entirely within the confines of human depravity this little film would have been perfect. That said, this film is by far the best episode in the MOH series. It even had me uneasy in a couple of places. And I love Cannibal Holocaust: not as an exploitation flick but as a commentary on media prostitution. MOH is a mixed bag. It ranges from mainstream cheap thrills to the truly dark. But Miike pushes the envelope. The real horror isn't from aliens or bog creatures. It comes from between the ears of the worst monster that there is: man.
Wonder Showzen (2005)
Brilliant. Sarte couples with Monty Python then does it again with Sesame Street. Nowhere else can racism, misery, homelessness, despair, dismemberment, inner childness, addiction, sadness, blasphemy and existential crisis be so damn entertaining. It is so wrong that it's right. This show is absolutely genius in a guerrilla theater kind of way: it works because it seems that the show's creators don't give a rat's about pandering to the masses. They're writing to entertain themselves. And that is why the sick and twisted thing works. If you are sensitive to the nasty truths about human nature, this show is not for you. But if you embrace the futility of it all, well kids, this might just be your kind of entertainment. Toxic amoral golden joy in tasty 30 minute bites. This should be shown in smarty ass colleges in the stead of Philosophy 101. Because it doesn't just go to the heart of the truth: it disembowels it and lights up a smoke after. I'd give it thirty stars if I could. In fact, scratch that. I give this sucker ****************************** out of **********. Amen
A Huey P. Newton Story (2001)
Huey Newton back to life
Mr. Smith is amazing in portraying a man who was as brilliant as he was self destructive. He was the greatest mind in the Black Panther Party. Eldridge Cleaver notwithstanding. But he was also ultimately a sad victim of his own appetite: he took to crack like he took to revolutionary theory. Robert G. Smith becomes Huey Newton: the chain smoking hyper active monologue master. He also shows that Newton was not just some slogan spitting radical: he was funny as hell. And when he spoke of revolution, it was with brilliance, passion and clarity. But never was it boring. He could have you in hysterics and furious indignation at the same time. The great thing about Robert G. Smith's play is that he IS Huey Newton. His performance is mesmerizing. It is also woefully under rated. He brings to life a portrayal of Huey not as a martyr or a joke. He shows Huey as a real human being with real weaknesses. A genius junkie who at one point had much of white America in fear. Because Huey (and the Panthers) represented the antithesis of the MLK approach. To Huey, if they shoot at you, you shoot right back. Because dignity means standing up for what you believe, and human rights are inalienable rights. And should be protected (of attained) by any means necessary. Just see it. If you don't care for the politics, just appreciate a brilliant on target performance by Robert Guenveur Smith. He will bring Huey Newton into your living room.
Totally Bill Hicks (1994)
Oh How It Breaks My Heart:Cruel Fate
Funnier than Lenny Bruce, way smarter than all of his contemporaries, perhaps edgier than Richard Pryor. Most Americans need to see his stand up to witness his brilliant skewering of all that is false, corrupt, sleazy and hypocritical in America. Bill had no time for morons. Although "It's Just A Ride" is a nice little "primer" on his beginnings and the development of his routines, the truly enlightened will watch his routines "Relentless" and "Revelations' WITH JAWS DROPPED. Bill was an evangelist. He loved humanity. His wish was to have us evolve beyond the robotic consumerism and greed of our society. His stand up routines were not basic stand up, not just sermons. They were epistles. He pointed to the Pharasees and revealed their hypocrisy. If this is your first exposure to Bill Hicks, follow up with his live shows. HBO plays his One Night Stand every so often. Then check out his CD's. "Rant in E Minor" and "Arizona Bay" are brilliant. It breaks my heart every time I watch his routines. I laugh my guts out, but also realize that fate took away possibly the Jonathan Swift of our time. Bill always told the truth, and sometimes the truth is painful. But he was not a misanthrope. He had a basic faith in the (potential) goodness in humanity. And the loss of Bill Hicks is great indeed. Maybe in another generation they'll be someone like him.