nedjelja, 19. kolovoza 2012.

Soiled Sinema - bizarni, odvratni i rubni filmovi

Soiled Sinema

Na internetu naravno ima mnogo stranica posvećenih kultnim/horror/bizarnim/trash/ultranasilnim/rubnim/odvratnim/politički nekorektnim filmovima. Soiled Sinema je zanimljiv zbog svog eklekticizma - istovremeno im se gadi feminizam ali još više holivudska lobotomija. Nordijski libertinizam.

"SS is a postmortem Occidental Sinema site led by two admittedly vicious Nordish libertine cinephiles. We ruthlessly, yet charmingly rip at the bowels of the prissy populous PC-beast; offering the more discerning reader a piece of our eclectically refined minds and our uncompromisingly distinct weltanschauungs. At Soiled Sinema, we believe in cinematic diversity and equal-opportunity film criticism. Do yourself a favor by allowing us to gouge at your Hollywood-lobotomized gray matter, as we have a pleasant plethora of svelte and seminal writings on films we have come to wholeheartedly and fanatically cherish, as well as expertly diagnosing loathsome cinematic abortions worthy of total celluloid deterioration"

In a Glass Cage

 A number of years ago, I made a valiant attempt to hunt down and see every sexually perverse Nazi-themed arthouse film ever created in post-WWII Europa. Naturally, I viewed and savored Luchino Visconti’s The Damned (1969), Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974), and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), but none of these films compared to the antipodal aesthetically-pleasing unsightliness, thematic depravity, and overall solemn gloominess of the Spanish film In a Glass Cage (1987) aka Tras el cristal directed by Balearic auteur Agustí Villaronga (Moon Child, Black Bread). Without a doubt, Villaronga is the greatest director of stark and ruthless coming-of-age films, but none of his subsequent works quite compare to the grim, emotionally-draining and uniquely uncompromising nature of his directorial debut In a Glass Cage; a work that John Waters – the Baltimorean auteur who once directed a pot-addled and unflatteringly overweight drag queen eating steaming dog feces – once described as, “a great film, but I’m scared to show it to my friends.” In a Glass Cage focuses on a pedophiliac ex-Nazi doctor named Klaus (Günter Meisner) who is permanently constrained to an archaic iron lung (the 'glass cage') due to being paralyzed after a botched suicide attempt. Upon a superficial glance, Klaus – a robust and impeccably dressed family man with a wife and a daughter – seems quite bourgeois, but underneath his clean exterior lies a soul modeled after infamous child murderer Gilles de Rais heart. In fact, Villaronga was partly inspired to create In a Glass Cage after reading Georges Batailles’ book on the Breton knight leader and companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc turned prolific serial killer. Instead of setting the film during the Hundred Years’ War, Villaronga decided to study Nazi concentration camp experiments on child, which inevitably inspired the script for In a Glass Cage; a work that makes Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) seem like a mundane melodramatic television mini-series on monetary-steroids. Despite being easily one of the most emotionally grueling and unsettling films ever made, Villaronga’s film features less nudity and violence than Spielberg’s artless and overly sentimental zio-ganda epic, thus, unlike The Damned and The Night Porter, one can hardly make the argument that In a Glass Cage is a work of exploitation masquerading as art. Needless to say, do not watch In a Glass Cage if you’re looking to gratify a fetishistic compulsion for images of gratuitous torture or hoping to find a kinky masturbation aid, as you will be certainly disappointed, unless you happen to be someone like Albert Fish or Victor Salva.
Ultimately, In a Glass Cage is a tale about the vicious circle of abuse where the victim become victimizer; a relatively common and unfortunate occurrence that few people want to recognize. Klaus has had many victims over the years but few probably compare to Angelo (David Sust); a seemingly angelic boy who shows up to the ex-Nazi doctor’s house anonymously as an adult to volunteer as a nurse. Immediately upon arriving at the pedo's pigpen, Klaus’ neurotic wife Griselda (María Paredes) treats Angelo as a contemptible nuisance with dubious motives. Indeed, grizzly Griselda – a less than delightful lady whose ever-present resentment seems to be the result of extreme sexual repression – is correct when it comes to her female intuition, but little does she know that Angelo plans to become the new man of the house and he is not looking for a nagging wife. Out of all those living at the house, Klaus’ daughter Rena (Gisèle Echevarría) – being a highly impressionable prepubescent girl with a rather pathetic, physically immobile and suicidal father – is most impressed with Angelo and his intriguing, haunting aura. After the Second World War, Klaus went into exile with his family in Catalonia, Spain and continued to molest and murder young boys; an aberrant addiction he must have had an overwhelming guilty conscious about, hence his bungled attempt at self-slaughter via jumping off a tower. Sometime before attempting suicide, Klaus sexually tortured and eventually murdered a young boy with a mere blow to the head, which was witnessed by adolescent Angelo; another victim of the good doctor who escaped from and stole the pathologically perverse pedophiles incriminating diaries and torture photographs. Clearly physically (as signified by a scar over his eyebrow) and emotionally scarred by the odious ordeal of his childhood, Angelo – who is incontestably now more mentally deranged than Klaus – begins bringing young boys to Klaus’ haus and murdering them before his very weary eyes while reading fiendish excerpts from the stolen experiment diaries, thus both ironically horrifying and further compounding the irrevocable guilt of the stiff Nazi doc in the process. As his already fragile sanity wanes and his coldblooded ruthlessness becomes more pronounced, Angelo’s appearance changes dramatically as he goes from looking positively pusillanimous and wearing drab clothing to looking like some sort of stoic New Wave Nazi chic dictator. Of course, with Griselda gone and with Rena under his spell, Angelo is now indeed the Führer of the house and he celebrates by interior decorating the place in a strikingly complimentary fashion; adorning the now almost-phantasmagorical abode with tons of barbed wire and gloomy blue wallpaper, henceforth making it seem like an extravagent post-apocalyptic art deco concentration camp for deathrockers. It is quite apparent as In a Glass Cage progresses that Angelo is in the midst of completing his metamorphosis from petrified child to prudent perpetrator. In the end, Angelo's self-prophesying future looks bleak, but he has an accidental protege of sorts to take his place.
Not unsurprisingly but certainly unfortunately, In a Glass Cage has been often compared to Apt Pupil (1998) directed by Bryan Singer and based on a novella by Stephen King, yet unlike its predecessor, the propagandistic Hollywood film is not the least bit artful nor subtle. As an obscenely candid and unsentimental work of celluloid art, In a Glass Cage, like in deplorable crimes of similar nature in the real world, offers no sort of reconciliation, thus leaving the viewer with a paralyzing feeling of fretfulness that haunts one literally years thereafter. Despite its disconcerting persuasion, In a Glass Cage is also an aesthetically dynamic work that has aged most gracefully since it was released about ¼ a century ago. In short, there is no other film in existence that is quite like In a Glass Cage that has the ability to both dazzle and dishearten the filmgoer in a most penetrating and audaciously austere manner. It should be no surprise that In a Glass Cage, much like the considerably inferior American homosexual serial killer Frisk (1995) directed by Todd Verow, was met with ample animus when it was screened at various gay and lesbian film festivals upon its initial 1987 release. Thankfully, unlike Tom Kalin’s Swoon (1992) – an American arthouse work based on the real-life thrill killing of a child by infamous rich gay Jewish homosexual lovers Leopold and Loeb – In a Glass Cage does not feature any sort of sociopolitical message, hence the controversy it stirred amongst certain overly prissy politically correct aberrosexuals. Considering its often hardboiled portrayals of child abuse and murder, In a Glass Cage is not a film I would recommend to real-life victims of similar craven crimes. In fact, although it has been nearly a decade since I first saw the film, I am still baffled that In a Glass Cage – a work that is like a cross between the dolorous stock-footage featured in the HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and the high camp of German New Wave auteur Werner Schroeter’s Der Rosenkönig (1986) aka The Rose King – even exists, yet it does as a brutal and beauteous work of cinematic bliss.
-Ty E

Next of Kin

As far as 1970's/80's exploitation films go, few continents/nations have created greater works than the Aussie auteur filmmakers of the wild outback. With such great Ozploitation films as The Devil’s Playground (1976) and Long Weekend (1979) – works that transcend the usually fine line between atmospheric art and tasteless trash – one could honestly argue that the Australians even gave the ever so artistically prodigious garlic-eaters a run for their money. Out all of the Ozploitation works ever created, Tony Williams’ whodunit horror-thriller Next of Kin (1982) is indubitably one of the most severely underrated and equally unseen. Sophisticatedly stylized but also totally demoralizing, Next of Kin is a sleek Kubrickian quasi-slasher flick featuring a cryptic coldblooded killer who lusts after elderly hemoglobin. Instead of arrogantly flaunting his fetishistic dastardly deeds, the senior-slayer attempts to make his crimes seem like everyday accidents that happened as a result of the aged victim’s golden year senility. After her mother dies, protagonist Linda (Jacki Kerin) – being next of kin – inherits a retirement home that she seems to be somewhat ill-equipped to deal with, not least due to less than fond memories she had acquired there as child. Banished from the family estate 20 years earlier for reasons she fails to remember, Linda engages in an increasingly fermenting internal war that would intrigue any serious psychoanalyst. As Next of Kin progresses and Linda begins to come to terms with her distressing childhood, her personal quandaries are further compounded by the stark realization that a murderous maniac is lurking underneath her roof. Not unlike Roman Polanski’s early masterpiece Repulsion (1965), Next of Kin is a slow but steady and often menacing and claustrophobic mood piece that engulfs the viewer in the impending hysteria suffered by the female lead. Unlike the stunning Franco-Nordic beauty featured in Polanski’s film, Linda is an extremely intelligent and intuitive yet homely lady that is surely scared for her life, but that does not impede her from defending herself from the loony longings of a pernicious prick. Needless to say, if you’re expecting an equally artless and aesthetically repugnant Australian equivalent of Friday the 13th (1980) with a senseless body count and lackluster direction, Next of Kin is probably not the film for you.

In my humble opinion, Next of Kin features one of the greatest endings ever featured in an Ozploitation film and, arguably even in horror cinema in general. As explained in the somewhat recent and extremely worthwhile documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008) directed by Mark Hartley, the adrenaline-rushing conclusion of Next of Kin was partly the consequence of happenstance due to a miscalculation in timing by one of the special effects men, which is quite the revelation when one considers the immaculate nature of this truly stunning and singular scene. In fact, I was so impressed by the ending of Next of Kin that I have re-watched it by itself no less than 100 times since I initially viewed the film. Comprised of televised ballroom dancing, a pyramid of meticulously stacked sugar cubes, a shotgun blow to the head a close-rage, and an aesthetically-pleasing explosion that no big-budget Hollywood film crew could have contrived, the nitroglycerin-heavy finale of Next of Kin combines hypnotic celluloid poetry with gritty human brutality in a cinematic marriage that synthesizes the best attributes of Ozploitation. Unfortunately, like most horror films, even the greatest ones, Next of Kin is not without its flaws. Due to the fact that the film features a number of memorable desultory sequences throughout, Next of Kin sometimes loses steam in between phantasmagorical dream-sequences and its handful of elaborate death scenes. As explained by a commentator in Not Quite Hollywood, the film has been often compared to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), which is no small compliment, but regardless Next of Kin is an original film in of itself that has few contemporaries, even within the Ozploitation movement.
Featuring a musical score composed by prolific krautrock musician Klaus Schulze (Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel), Next of Kin is a film that sounds as lugubrious and ethereal as it looks, thus it is a cinematic work that is notably trance-inducing throughout; an imperative trait that any worthwhile horror film should have but few can boast. Then again, Next of Kin is not merely a horror film, but a sui generis work created during a certain period at a certain place that totally (or at least as far as I can tell) captures the radical zeitgeist of its respective era. Created during the middle point of the Ozploitation and Australian New Wave movements – undoubtedly the most stimulating and innovative period of the nation’s film history – Next of Kin is a newfangled work that shares equal attributes from both sectors of the Aussie film renaissance, henceforth inevitably leading the way for much grittier (if less ambitious) future atmospheric films like Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek (2005) and Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown (2011). What makes Next of Kin conspicuously unparalleled among most Australian horror films is its striking supernatural/surreal scenes and overall labyrinthine essence. While featuring some of the sunny scenic realism typical of Aussie films, especially from the Ozploitation and Australian New Wave movements, Next of Kin also manages to have an ominous metaphysical aura that lingers like a foreboding malediction throughout. Needless to say, Next of Kin leaves a persisting imprint on the viewer that – like the childhood memories of the film’s lead protagonist – can never be cleaned away.-Ty E

The 120 Days of Bottrop

As far as Kraut comedies are concerned, none can compare to the dementedly iconoclastic semi-surrealist works of Christoph Schlingensief and his work Die 120 Tage von Bottrop – Der letzte neue deutsche Film (1997) aka The 120 Days of Bottrop – The Last New German Film – a ferociously farcical parody of German New Wave cinema (most specifically the works of R.W. Fassbinder) – is arguably the ardent Aryan auteur filmmaker’s most keenly reflexive and gut-busting effort. Featuring campy cameos and puckish performances from some of the biggest names in German New Wave (and Kraut cinema in general) – including Udo Kier, Helmut Berger, Volker Spengler, Leni Riefenstahl, Roland Emmerich, among others – The 120 Days of Bottrop is an overwrought unlove letter to German motion pictures that is more harsh than the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche’s in terms of its bloodthirsty besmirchment of the Fatherland. The 120 Days of Bottrop features a number of the real-life surviving members of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s lecherous, carnivalesque inner-circle in a notably degenerated state (including Volker Spengler as an eccentric flaccid-cock-smoking producer) as they attempt to remake Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final masterpiece Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin – Europe’s largest building site and the setting for Fassbinder’s 15 ½ -hour TV movie Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) – in a mere 5 days under increasingly topsy-turvy conditions. Intended as the final work of Neue Deutsche, the filmmakers in The 120 Days of Bottrop run into trouble as they begin to lose money and actors for their ostensibly ambitious final project. Part-homage but mainly a savagely sardonic satire of German cinema and post-nationalist Teutonic kultur in general, The 120 Days of Bottrop is very possibly the final word on German New Wave cinema from a director who couldn’t have been better suited for the job. Being a child of the German New Wave and casting many Fassbinder regulars (Margit Carstensen, Udo Kier, Irm Hermann, etc) in his own uncompromising and antagonistic absurdist works, Schlingensief offers a candid and carnal perspective with The 120 Days of Bottrop that is more sportively sadistic than stalely sentimental in its portrayal of the once-revolutionary film movement its pays exorbitantly erudite yet erratic anti-tribute to. 
 As an unhinged left-winger who had gained international infamy for the many combative ‘artistic pranks’ (as best exemplified in Paul Poet’s documentary Foreigners Out! Schlingensief's Container) he elaborately assembled over the past couple decades, it came as somewhat of a revelation to me that with The 120 Days of Bottrop, Schlingensief was quite critical of the ethno-masochistic and defeatist nature of most German New Wave films/filmmakers, especially regarding those works created during the last waning decade of the movement when passive nihilism came into vogue. Of course, with 100 Years of Adolph Hitler (1989), Schlingensief took a couple sharp snipes at Wim Wenders for his shallow and pathetically passive liberal idealism, but The 120 Days of Bottrop is an full-fledged offensive attack on the overly clichéd and often grueling weltschmerz that plagues most of late era post-WW2 German New Wave cinema. While also a radical leftist like his cinematic forefathers who had criticized and lampooned Germany’s National Socialist past in most of his works, Schlingensief never stooped to the irredeemable level of using his art as a platform for a one-man pity party of the putrid self-denigrating persuasion, nor did he ever embrace the highly contagious and toxic self-censoring artistic-hindrance of political correctness. After all, it is doubtful that Schlingensief was trying to appease culturally sensitive types when he decided to cast a real-life retarded untermensch as Fassbinder’s delightfully (if aesthetically disgusting) dimwitted doppelganger in The 120 Days of Bottrop. That being said, it would not be a stretch to describe The 120 Days of Bottrop as the sort of postmodern satire that Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame would have directed had they had an encyclopedic understanding of German cinema instead of a proclivity towards fanboy wet dreaming about pop culture trash. Of course, one wouldn’t expect anything less from Schlingensief; an anarchic auteur who had the audacity to direct Mutters Maske (1988); a terribly tragicomedic remake of Jud Süß (1940) director Veit Harlan’s National Socialist arthouse masterpiece Opfergang (1944). Needless to say, I doubt Joseph Goebbels would have found as much solace in Schlingensief's remake as he did with Harlan's celluloid magnum opus.
 For whatever reason (but indubitably to mock the pretentious German-Dutch auteur in some sense), The 120 Days of Bottrop opens with the intertitle, “Wenders would have called this film a melancholy parody. Fassbinder never would have made it.” Indeed, the film is a spoof, but it is more maniacally and malevolently merry than mirthless as Schlingensief certainly does not shed a tear for Fassbinder and his friends. Indeed, despite his cinematic experiments in black comedy with later films like The Third Generation (1979) and Lola (1981), Fassbinder would have never made a film so patently preposterous and seemingly unpretentious as The 120 Days of Bottrop; a work that has more in common with the early arthouse-sleaze films of John Waters like Pink Flamingos (1972) and Desperate Living (1977) than following in the rich cultural footsteps of the German New Wave filmmakers. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to state that not since Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977) has a German film been so gravely and feverishly preoccupied with its nation’s cultural history as The 120 Days of Bottrop, yet it is also a work that – not unlike popular American animated sitcoms like The Simpsons and Family Guy – can be also enjoyed by hopeless philistines who fail to appreciate its profoundly pastiche persuasion. Helmut Berger concludes The 120 Days of Bottrop with the snide statement, “I’ve had enough. If I had to act in one more German movie, it would be suicide.” Knowing that Fassbinder concluded his prestigious acting career looking quite disheveled and oafish in the intrinsically mediocre and pathetically prosaic West German cyberpunk Kamikaze 1989 (1982), one can only wonder whether or not the Bavarian auteur filmmaker's fatal overdose that same year was the result of an unconscious death wish, but judging by Schlingensief’s social commentary in The 120 Days of Bottrop, one does not have to think too hard to come up with an informed hypothesis.  After all, the German New Wave celebrity died with a copy of a script he was working on that paid homage to the life of a Marxist Jewess who sought the violent overthrow of his nation, which is undoubtedly a great metaphor for the life and work of Fassbinder and Neuer Deutscher Film as a collective, as so astutely observed and facetiously expressed by Christoph Schlingensief in The 120 Days of Bottrop.-Ty E

Le salamandre

With his risqué interracial-love-story-turned-homicidal-rampage Le salamandre (1969), Italian auteur Alberto Cavallone (Man, Woman and Beast, Blow Job) announced his potent and steadfast arrival in the world of Italian cinema. On top of making Cavallone a hot name (at least as far as producers were concerned) for the one and only time in his filmmaking career due to the film’s surprisingly successful monetary gain at the box offices (earning 500 million liras),  Le salamandre also launched the (albeit brief) careers of lead actresses Erna Schürer (Summer Love, Scream of the Demon Lover) and Beryl Cunningham (Il dio serpent, The Black Decameron). Despite its various scenes of gratuitous nudity (which seem quite tame by today’s standards) and preposterous scenarios of lipstick lesbian pseudo-love, Le salamandre – which is mostly set at a post-colonial Tunisian vacation spot – is fundamentally a staunchly defiant socio-political work with a biting and acrimonious message targeting the white colonial oppressor. The film opens with a conspicuously consternating dream-sequence featuring a young black man being violently beaten and eventually castrated by three good ol’ white boys on a serene and scenic beach. This whole scenario is witnessed by black American female protagonist Uta (Cunningham) as she hides in terror behind a bush like a wild bushwoman. Not long after seeing one of her brothers literally losing his manhood, Uta is welcomed with literal open-arms in a absurdly sympathetic manner by her white female lover Ursula (Schürer); a Swedish-American photographer with lady-licking proclivities. Apparently, this direful and sardonically symbolic dream-sequence, as well as the rest of Le salamandre was inspired by Cavallone’s reading of French-Algerian philosopher Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary work The Wretched of the Earth (1961); a volatile pseudo-Freudian/Marxist tirade that blames African male impotence on the (apparently) psychologically-emasculating brutality of colonizing white man. Considering the epidemic of rape and AIDS in most modern Africa nations, as well as starvation-stirring population booms, one can only assume the white devil’s super sterilizing powers have only swayed since the decolonization of the dark continent. Despite the sometimes anachronistic nature of the film, Le salamandre does offer some seemingly moldy food for thought that most filmmakers in our toddler-like times of authoritarian political-correctness would barely consider, especially in regard to the still somewhat prevalent phenomenon of master-slave relationships between whites and blacks.

Starting on the first draft of Le salamandre in 1967 with collaborator Sergio Lentati, the film – ultimately for commercial reasons – became notably more erotic and increasingly less political when the finished product was completed, yet the political subtext is still quite potent and an intrinsic attribute of the work. In a most antagonistic manner, Cavallone described the message of Le salamandre as follows: “You came to see this film just to see two naked women… you have a colonialist mentality. Nothing’s changed, the only way to change things is to kill you.” Indeed, Le salamandre ends on a murderous and sadistically psychosexual note that is bound to offend certain superficially liberal folks who see the antidote to centuries of hostile race relations as skin-deep physical love and miscegenation. The character of Uta learns everything she needs to know about whitey through her sexual relationships with Ursula and later psychologist Henri Duval (Antony Vernon); an intellectually inquisitive middle-aged man who randomly meets the twosome on the beach (when Ursula is topless, of course), thus eventually forming a torrid and tumultuous threesome. However different each white lover may initially seem to Uta, she discovers that most of them view her as nothing more than an exotic and sexually stimulating novelty of sorts and not as an individual with any inkling of personal merit. While watching Le salamandre one learns that Ursula 'rescued' and brought up Uta from being a penniless nothing to a renown international model. Ursula also fails to hide her overwhelming feeling superiority and sense of ownership over Uta, as if the black girl owes her body to her rescuing and ever so resourceful master. Initially, Uta is afraid of Henri and his psychoanalytic speculations, but she eventually comes to realize some less than flattering things about herself and her melanin-deprived lovers via these theories, to the eventual detriment of the good doctor. Cavallone also spliced in real stock-footage of executions as ghostly symbols of the colonial past that Uta seems to feel in a metaphysical manner (it seems Cavallone envisioned the mystical 'supernatural Negro' idea long before films like The Green Mile and The Legend of Bagger Vance were ever created), but fails to affect her perfectly comfortable and always hedonistic white compatriots. It is only when all the discommodious emotions brewing within her soul become intolerable that Uta is able to collect herself and take action in a seemingly unbecoming style that is no less audacious than the ending featured in Melvin Van Peebles’ revolutionary work Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971). Like Van Peebles' socially influential and economically successful film, Le salamandre was not intended as a ‘feel good’ exploitation work, but as a serious ‘call to arms’ of the violent nation-imploding persuasion.

Despite its abrupt and unduly unpleasant ending (at least for white folks), Le salamandre also concludes with the revelation by Cavallone that the viewer is watching a mere work of fiction created by a filmmaker in a fashion not unlike the one featured at the conclusion of fellow Italian auteur filmmaker Federico Fellini’s late masterpiece E la nave va (1983) aka And the Ship Sails On. Although one of Cavallone’s earliest works, Le salamandre is also certainly one of his most complex, mixing discordant phantasmagorical dream-sequences, hyper-realist stock-footage of authentic mass murder, and sleekly stylized scenes of sensational lesbian erotica in a film that – in terms of execution and overall quality – totally eclipses the director’s later Africa-based post-colonial work Afrika (1973). Unsurprisingly, few of the filmgoers who originally saw Le salamandre upon its original premiere cared for its keen socio-political complexity. Although a film producer offered Cavallone the job of directing another film in the spirit of Le salamandre starring Florinda Bolkan, the Italian auteur declined and instead directed Dal nostro inviato a Copenaghen (1970) aka From Our Copenhagen’s Correspondent; a patently anti-American work about two U.S. army deserters who try to survive while taking refuge from the Vietnam war in Copenhagen. Of course, one of Alberto Cavallone’s greatest attributes as a filmmaker was his uncompromising artistic vision, even if he sometimes failed in his cinematic experiments, thus Le salamandre is an especially must-see work as it comes as one of the Italian filmmaker’s most adept efforts. 
-Ty E


Forget the revolutionary films of Senegalese auteur Ousmane Sembène (Mandabi, Xala) and mainstream Hollywood philistinic liberal swill like The Constant Gardener (2005) and The Last King of Scotland (2006), criminally neglected Italian auteur Alberto Cavallone’s Afrika (1973) is the ultimate dark romance flick set on the dark continent. Influenced by reading Algerian revolutionary Frantz Fanon’s unintentionally hilarious and preposterously overrated pseudo-Freudian/Marxist political diatribe The Wretched of the Earth (1961) and having previously directed the relatively successful work Le salamandre (1969) – a politically and racially-charged post-colonial work disguised as an erotic tale about an interracial lesbian love affair – artistically courageous Cavallone was more than prepared to direct one of the most downright peculiar and hopelessly repellant works set in the horn of Africa. As the director stated himself, the world of Cavallone’s Afrika is a contemporary Little Big Horn where white men act as General Custer’s soldiers. Of course, one would barely notice this if it were not for the film’s brutal opening scene featuring sexual mutilation and coldblooded murder against two suspect rebel women, as Afrika is essentially an often exploitative tale about a pitiable homosexual Italian boy named Frank (Andrea Traglia) who travels to Ethiopia to reunite with his fleeing gray-haired truelove; a self-loathing (and married) homo professor named Philip Stone (Ivano Staccioli) who has failed as both a painter and as a lover. To prove his undying devotion to Philip, Frank has undergone a drastic sex-change and has changed his/her name to Eva so as to be a 'proper woman' and thus (in his mind) legitimize their relationship in the eyes of sneering homo-haters, but the elder man is not impressed, henceforth culminating into the heartbroken lady-lad’s violent bedside suicide. Afrika was edited in a nonlinear fashion that is as spasmodic and unorthodox as the film's story and features a series of flashbacks from various character’s (Frank, Philip, and Frank's sister Jeanne) perspectives that tell the histrionic story that led up to Frank’s impending suicide. Although the socio-political themes featured in the film might seem strikingly modern upon reading a superficial synopsis of Afrika, the film is certainly on par with Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi’s mondo classic Africa Addio (1966) aka Africa Blood and Guts or Farewell Africa in terms of being ‘culturally sensitive’ or lack thereof.

 During Afrika, it is revealed that Frank and Philip first bumped into each other as both were searching for a copy of French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud’s work Illuminations (1874); an uncompleted collection of prose poems. Like Rimbaud himself and many other decadent European degenerates, Philip would also travel to the third world in a futile attempt to escape the existential crisis that consumes his soul. Not unlike decolonized Africa, Frank and Philip are going through big changes in their lives and the final outcome is quite questionable to say the least. Somewhat oddly, Tom Ford’s A Single Man (2009) often feels like an extremely loose, polished remake of Cavallone’s Afrika. Like Cavallone's earlier work, A Single Man follows a gay professor as he recollects over the past couple years about his deceased lover. Also, like A Single Man, Afrika depicts the professor’s failed past relationship with a female lover, but unlike the former film, Cavallone’s work does not hold back in showing the fairer sex’s absolute and utter detestation for male-on-male buggery. Even Frank’s seemingly sympathetic sister Jeanne is revealed to be completely revolted with her brother’s unconquerable vice as revealed in Afrika’s forthright ‘surprise’ ending. To cure his brother-in-law of his ingrained apathy towards woman, Jeanne’s husband contracts a group of teenagers to rape Frank (by a male and a female) in a scene that predates but is notably less effective than a similar scenario featured in Dutch auteur Paul Verhoeven's Spetters (1980). In the end, Frank – a self-eunuchized freak – has more testicular fortitude than his miserable, middle-aged and emotionally-broken boy toy. Like most of Cavallone’s films, Afrika is an unflinchingly nihilistic, pessimistic, and misanthropic work that leaves no group spared and that includes many of the nameless Africans in the film who merely act as militant Uncle Tom’s that are willing to kill their own kinfolk just so they can have a larger bowl of rice to eat at night. 
 If you’re like me and find yourself tantalized by the prospect of “Fassbinder meets meets exploitation" (or in this case, Afroexploitation), Afrika – as well as most of Alberto Cavallone’s filmography – makes for an uniquely enthralling cinematic affair. Admittedly, you won’t learn much about the continent of Africa by watching the film nor discover the solution to hostile race relations, but you will find yourself laughing ecstatically at some of the most absurdly melodramatic scenarios ever shot on celluloid. Of course, Afrika – like virtually of Cavallone’s work – is an acquired taste that, as a rule, generally leaves most viewers divided. If the spectator learns anything by watching Afrika it is that the white man should stay out of Africa and should have never entered the dark continent in the first place just as married professors should refrain from invading the murky nether-regions of flaky young men. 
-Ty E

The Angel’s Melancholia

Admittedly, German auteur Marian Dora’s arthouse exploitation flick Cannibal (2006) – a deadly serious reconstructed depiction of the intimate cock-chomping antics of real-life gay cannibal Armin Meiwes and his willing lover/dinner – left a notably profound impression on me. Opening with images of miscegenating cannibalistic serial-killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the Third Reich and featuring some of the most audaciously aberrant ‘love’ scenes ever captured on digital video (and that includes hardcore pornography), Cannibal is a delightfully deranged tribute to the wild and wonderful cryptic world of homo-cidal sadomasochism. Needless to say, I was quite excited when I learned about Marian Dora’s second feature-length film The Angel’s Melancholia (2009) aka Melancholie Der Engel; a 165 minute neo-pagan cinematic nachtmahr of dreamy Dionysian depravity that features a bombastic blitzkrieg of expressive and sometimes strikingly therapeutic portrayals of coprophilia, urolagnia (aka watersports), genital mutilation, animal cruelty, and melodramatic left-wing hero worship. Including music by swarthy American-born Israelite David A. Hess of The Last House on the Left (1972) infamy and featuring lonely scenic walks through Auschwitz concentration camp by the film’s two lead anti-heroes, The Angel’s Melancholia is a vehemently visceral window into the post-WWII German psyche and the death-drive-afflicted mania and scatological perversity that such ethno-masochistic self-loathing entails. Following in the aesthetic and thematic footsteps of his fellow countrymen Jörg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Der Todesking) and Andreas Bethmann (Der Todesengel aka Angel of Death: Fuck or Die), as well as Italian auteur Ruggero Deodato (Waves of Lust, Cannibal Holocaust), The Angel’s Melancholia is an unflinching work of noisome and loathsome yet lavishly assembled cinematic artistry that wholly transcends its influences, thus sailing subversive sicko sinema to a new uncharted sea of sadistic and satyric extremity. Forget Siegfried Kracauer's neo-Marxist psychobabble on the German expressionist films of the Weimar Republic, The Angel’s Melancholia is a truly sordid spectacle of a spiritually devitalized, emotionally demoralized, and self-flagellating people that worships death and strives unceasingly for self-annihilation; or at least one would be led to believe that is the case after watching such an innately intemperate and inimical post-völkisch work. 

 During the beginning of The Angel’s Melancholia, we are introduced to two loving yet loony friends: Katze; a slightly overweight Nordic degenerate with a keen fondness for warm urine and Brauth; a seemingly Semitic Christ-like/Satan-like messianic figure who initially gives off the impression of being the more dominant of the two fiendish confidantes. These two bodacious bros of brutality haven’t seen each other in years, but they are eternally united due to their past communal excursions in debauched perversity. On their way to achieving abyssal Arcadia, the two cunning comrades pick-up three girls who have nil inkling as to what sort of vicious licentiousness the mysterious men will force them to partake in. Katze and Brauth initially cruise an amusement park to find potential female concubines. I found this segment of The Angel's Melancholia to be especially effective in setting the tone for the rest of the film. Echoing the foreboding phantasmagoric atmosphere of Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls (1962), but especially Curtis Harrington’s cult masterpiece Night Tide (1961), the early carnival segment of The Angel’s Melancholia lets the viewer know that they are about to go on a riveting ride with Brauth acting as a overly extroverted and mesmerizing lead carny/magician of sorts who guides the show and with Katze as his introverted crony who helps carry things along behind the scenes. The deranged dynamic duo is later turned into a threesome when an older but equally demented artist named Heinrich joins the group. The clique eventually settles in an old dilapidated house where they commence their quasi-spiritual journey that includes physical and metaphysical pandemonium, hedonistic degradation, ritualistic torture of a sexually swinish nature, and heathenish animal sacrifices. When not smearing his feces on vaginas, Katze seeks to obtain final transcendence through the defilement, mutilation, and – eventually – the total disintegration of his earthly body, thus becoming – or so it would seem – the much idealized ‘Melancholy Angel.’ 

 What makes The Angel’s Melancholia particularly enthralling and singular, especially for Germanophiles and Germanophobes alike, is the consciously and distinctly Teutonic nature of the film, most specifically within a post-Nazi era context. During his often erratic exploration of mind and body, Katze reflects somberly while visiting the graveside of leftist German New Wave alpha-auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the memorial burial ground of Red Army Faction members Jan-Carl Raspe, Gudrun Ensslin, and Andreas Baader; individuals whose piercing hatred of the National Socialist era Germany – the epoch of their parents and grandparents – played a cardinal role in ultimately leading to their total self-destruction. In one notably symbolic scene in The Angel's Melancholia, Katze's corpse can be seen firmly gasping a copy of controversial German novelist Wolfgang Koeppen’s last major work Der Tod in Rom (1954) aka Death in Rome; a novel that sparked nationwide controversy upon its release in Germany due to its uncomplimentary and uniquely critical portrayal of a German family set only a couple years after the Nazi era that does not shy away from holding the entire Fatherland accountable for the sins of its fathers. Katze and Brauth also take a hallucinatory pilgrimage to Auschwitz as if it is some sort of Holy site in a brief but pivotal allegorical scene that symbolizes the internal reasoning behind the characters' deleterious compulsions and self-debasement: the burgeoning burden of guilt of a people that has yet to come to terms with its unscrupulous history and debilitating defeat. While certain Judaic psychoanalysts absurdly described the archetypical National Socialist as an individual that was compelled by the death drive ("Todestrieb"), one can certainly argue that is the case for many German citizens of the post-WWII era as exemplified by popular historical figures like Fassbinder and Badder, thus The Angel’s Melancholia acts as an extremely lucid, veracious, and uncompromising expression of a nation on the break of collective suicide. This phenomenon becomes especially obvious when one examines modern Germany’s steadily declining birth rate and the sort of sadomasochistic pornography that is popular there nowadays. I do not think it is any coincidence that many of the scenic nature scenes featured in The Angel’s Melancholia come off as some sort of grotesque parody of illustrations created by the prestigious völkisch scientist Ernst Haeckel. Needless to say, The Angel’s Melancholia brings new meaning to the National Socialist phrase Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil).

 I think it is safe to say that The Angel’s Melancholia is a film that is not for everyone and that even includes certain individuals from the already marginal subculture of thoroughly desensitized Gorehounds due to its artsy fartsy portrayal of fetishistic bloodlust and hermetic view of German history. The film can be best described as a glimpse into the German collective unconscious that illustrates a Ragnarök within the Germanic soul, but it is quite dubious as to whether or not the two lead characters reach any sort authentic rebirth, therefore The Angel’s Melancholia also acts as a sort of metaphoric tombstone for the Fatherland, henceforth giving meaning to the Goethe inspired narration (featured near the conclusion of the film), “All evanescent is but a parable….here, it’s done. The eternal feminine pulls us down.”  Despite featuring some of the most ridiculously repugnant scenes ever concocted in celluloid history, The Angel’s Melancholia – in its overwhelming and often odious entirety – is a work about the liberation of mind and soul through self-sacrifice of the body, therefore it would not be absurd to describe the film as a intrinsically spiritual effort, even if it is of an exceedingly nihilistic persuasion.  Christ, Crowley, Nietzsche and Wotan may be long dead, but their historical influence lives on in The Angel's Melancholia as exhibited in many scenes featured throughout the film.  Only by death can Katze rid himself of the spiritual syphilis that has corroded his sin-ridden soul. One can only speculate in regard to Marian Dora's personal motivations for directing such a fiercely idiosyncratic work, but I think most people will concede that The Angel’s Melancholia is – for better or for worse – one of the most emotionally enervating films ever made. Indeed, in terms of aesthetic malignity, the film indisputably eclipses the cinematic works of Pasolini, Buttgereit, Hussain , Cerdà, and Spasojević. Whether or not The Angel’s Melancholia has as much artistic merit as the films of these compatriot auteur filmmakers of the carnal and callous is quite debatable, but I no doubt found it to be worthwhile as it is a work that I will never consign to oblivion, especially when comparing it to overly stylized and superficial modern German films like Run Lola Run (1998) and Good Bye, Lenin! (2003). At worst, The Angel's Melancholia is a potent work of incandescent decadence and barbarous yet beauteous bliss that offers a crude but uncommonly charming cinematic experience that one might expect to see at a concentration camp in purgatory. 
-Ty E

Heilt Hitler!

A couple years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with an elderly German mensch named Dieter who came of age during the rise and fall of the Third Reich. To this day, this kindhearted – if often thoroughly inebriated –Teuton, is an unrepentant true believer of the long vanquished National Socialist cause.  During one of our talks, he told me how, "Hitler would be in the American White House" had history gone in the direction he thought it would as a young Hitler-Jugend recruit from Frankfurt. Naturally, his American-born children and grandchildren found his nostalgia for Nazism to be a tad bit bothersome due to growing up in a nation that places Steven Spielberg films as the height of cinematic perfection and thus write-off the aged Aryan’s hysterical Hitlerism as a sign of mere elderly eccentricity and naivety. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch the fiercely farcical German arthouse epic Heilt Hitler!: A German Motion Picture (1986) aka Heal Hitler! directed by Herbert Achternbusch (Das Gespenst aka The Ghost, Servus Bayern aka Bye-Bye Bavaria!); a film that – somewhat peculiarly but not unsurprisingly – reminded me of my seemingly surreal conversations with the unusually charismatic German old-timer. Heilt Hitler! follows a German soldier with a Little Richard/John Waters mustache named Herbert (played by director Herbert Achternbusch) who has become so disgruntled with the war effort in the Battle for Stalingrad that he rather turn himself into a human statue than waste time combating endless swarms of untermensch russkies. Forty years later, Herbert wakes up at a war memorial in Munich thinking he is still in Stalingrad and that the Thousand Year Reich has secured final victory. Like the Dieter I knew personally, Herbert is a living relic trapped in a world he is not mentally (and to some extent, physically) equipped for. At over 2 hours in length, Heilt Hitler! is an absurdist super 8 saga that is like Back to the Future Part II (1989) meets the consciously and satirically German films of Christoph Maria Schlingensief (Terror 2000, The 120 Days of Bottrop). Seemingly plot-less in structure, Heilt Hitler! takes an anti-nostalgic and less than sentimental look at twentieth century German history in the structure of a freeform cinematic poem. In Achternbusch’s Germany, Aryan women become quite jubilant at the prospect of offering their minds and bodies to American G.I.s in return for cartons of cigarettes and even attack one of their own men to protect an exotic enemy soldier (aka American Negro), yet such seemingly deplorable scenarios are portrayed in such a curiously caricatured and pleasantly preposterous fashion that one can only respond by smiling jovially; be the viewer a German nationalist or second-generation holocaust survivor.

Despite its many incessant esoteric digressions, nonsensical poetic ramblings, and satirical situationist scenarios, Heilt Hitler! is ultimately a film about family and everything it entails (e.g. incest, bickering, philandering, etc), most specifically Herbert Achternbusch’s own dysfunctional rural Bavarian kith and kin. In the film, the female characters have quite a hard time discerning who the father of their child is. One genius of a Bavarian peasant even convinces an American Negro that he should breed with racially pure German woman so they can, “tell their kids apart. If one of them has a little of your color….these women have looked alike for generations…..No one can tell them apart. Not even the authorities. There’s got to be some form of order.” Indeed, in Heilt Hitler!, the rationalization for miscegenation comes down to the stereotypical Germanic love for order. As much as I disdain dysgenic and nihilistic race-mixing, I think most Fassbinder fans will agree that the world would be a better place with a couple more mulatto Bavarian fellows like Günther Kaufmann (R.I.P.). One can only assume that Heilt Hitler! is Achternbusch’s own kooky way of discrediting National Socialism and the generation that passionately and unwaveringly supported it. Bastard babies or not, one cannot argue that the illegitimate children of Heilt Hitler! are the product of racial mingling and thus – to Achternbusch's blatant and hypercritical disgust – are in league with the National Socialist ideology of Blut und Boden. When Herbert is transported into the future, he is lucky enough to be just in time for a wedding that may or not be for his own child.  Although some things have changed in the peasant countryside in Heilt Hitler!, other things, like incest and family secrets, are perennial, henceforth leading the viewer to believe that the blood-on-the-hands of previous generations is innate and passed on through the blood with each new generation of Germans.  Like fellow German pessimist Arthur Schopenhauer over a century before him, it seems that Herbert Achternbusch is a staunch antinatalist.
 At the war memorial in Munich’s Hofgarten, the inscription “They Will Rise Again” is engraved. In Heilt Hitler!, a Munich couple mocks the memorial and remark that the soldiers died for nothing. Undoubtedly, after viewing the film there is quite clear that Herbert Achternbusch concurs with this ostensibly cynical sentiment. Ironically, Herbert does rise again, but only to eventually realize that the familial discord that plagued his personal life before the war has only been compounded and that Germany has been dealt the ultimate defeat; being conquered by semi-Asiatic Slavic hordes. While wandering around Munich in a daze, Herbert is quite startled to realize that the world no longer has Kotzis and Nazis, but only money; too much money or not enough money. Like the old German man named Dieter that I conversed with a couple years ago, Herbert is a man from a despised generation that time has forgotten. Not even his own progeny (whoever they may be) are interested in honoring his legacy, even if he has been quasi-supernaturally resurrected in a fantastic sort of way. It is most apparent while watching Heilt Hitler! that Achternbusch has no empathy for the pain and struggle suffered by his fellow Bavarian countrymen of the past, thus the film comes across as an especially sardonic tragicomedic romp that takes no prisoners; blood relative or not. With jocular lines like, “just imagine how boring it is in a concentration camp? Dead Boring,” it is not hard to see why Heilt Hitler! is an exceedingly facetious family affair of the most meretricious and batty kind that proves that the international tribe that was Germany's enemy during the Second World War are not the only Kings of Comedy. As for Dieter, he went on to produce five or six different children with four different women (one being of the non-Aryan sort), although most of his family members seem to agree that one his sons – who is apparently really his grandson – was the product of a borderline incestuous relationship between his eldest son and his second wife. 

Blow Job – Soffio erotico

Worthwhile works of Gothic horror-core are quite hard to come by, thus Alberto Cavallone’s phantasmagoric porn flick Blow Job - Soffio erotico (1980) – although intrinsically inferior to the Italian filmmaker's previous films – comes as notable exception. Directed by the nearly forgotten arthouse smut auteur who brought us such mostly unsung cult classics as Zelda (1974) and Blue Movie (1978), Blow Job signified the steady artistic and monetary decline of Cavallone’s – at best – marginally successful film career. The production of the film was cursed from the beginning as one of the film’s producers committed suicide (as if he was an anti-hero in one of Cavallone's films) during the filming of Blow Job, which is indubitably a shinning, albeit tragic (at least as far as the film's budget was concerned) example of life imitating art, at least for those individuals that have seen the film. Essentially divided into two halves, Blow Job begins as what initially seems to be a generic Italian smut flick and later morphs into what is one of the most ridiculously wanton and discombobulated Gothic horror films ever created. Following in the delightfully despoiled footsteps of the Amero brother’s gothic LSD trip Bacchanale (1970) and anticipating Stanley Kubricks’ final effort Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Blow Job is a spasmodically sleazy yet swimmingly surreal cinematic wet dream where everything is not as it seems; at least, for the film’s oversexed and mentally obscured protagonist; a flagrant fellow who could pass as Jim Morrison’s swarthy and less attractive Italian ½ brother. Like the poetry and lyrics of Mr. Morrison, Blow Job is a haunting expression of an erotically-obsessed and esoteric escapist mind that is thematically naughty and aesthetically nice. Cavallone stated of Blow Job, "the whole film was focused on the possibility of escaping from our own bodies, by modifying sensorial perceptions through the use of drugs or self-concentration,” thus, it should be no epiphany that the film is best viewed while one’s intellect is totally tuned out; or at least when one is reasonably inebriated.
Blue Job begins with the introduction of actors/lovers Stefano and Diana frolicking around stark-naked in a scarcely furnished hotel room that they do not even enough money to pay for. Although Diana makes quite the first impression when she crawls on the floor while in the bare like a seductive sex kitten on the prowl, she cannot compare to the various nefarious nymphomaniacs who will eventually ransack Latin lover Stefano’s crotch. Naturally, Stefano and Diana find themselves in trouble when they fail to pay their hotel bill, but they manage to escape unscathed after a woman randomly falls to her death from the balcony of the building. The couple’s luck seems to change for the better when they encounter an eccentric middle-aged woman named Angela at a racetrack who has a keen eye for foretelling the winning racehorse. After profiting from the fruitful predictions of lady luck, Stefano and Diana follow Angela to her lavish countryside villa, a somewhat chilling yet chimerical spot with seemingly shady characters whose dubious intentions appear less than savory. Not long after arriving at this majestic maniac mansion, Angela’s put Diana under an incapacitating spell that ultimately uncouples her from Stefano. After being separated from his inamorata, Stefano enters through a series of literal and figurative doors of perception that become increasingly nonsensical and indiscreetly erotic. Among other things, Italian stallion Stefano encounters a quaint she-devil on wheels with a kitschy totenkopf mask who rides her motorcycle in the mansion during a lunatic's ball; and a one-eyed erotomaniac who enjoys teasing the man with her grotesque facial deformity and devouring his body. In the divinely demented Gothic delusional realm of Blow Job, nothing is as it seems, thus making for a rare quasi-porn flick that concludes in an abrupt and fantastic fashion that is worthy of being compared to such cinematic classics as the German expressionist masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Herk Harvey's extremely influential cult horror flick Carnival of Souls (1962). 
Compared to Alberto Cavallone’s previous works Man, Woman and Beast (1977) and Blue Movie (1978), Blow Job – despite its various scenes of hardcore and not so hardcore sex – is a relatively harmless yet sporadically tasteless work directed by a once politically and socially concerned man who – like many creative and revolutionary individuals of his era – settled for escaping in his own manifestly tainted psyche via irrational metaphysical mumbo-jumbo and mind-altering chemicals as testified by the film. Of course, Blow Job is a much more artistically ambitious, campy and erotically-charged work than the Andy Warhol 1963 short it was inanely named after. Additionally, Blow Job seems like an immaculate masterpiece of erotic arthouse cinema when compared to the awfully artless yet somehow more popular works of fellow Mediterranean libertine filmmakers Joe D’Amato and Jess Franco.  Watching Blow Job may not be as gratifying as receiving actual fellatio, but it does feature an oftentimes entrancing diacritic Arcadia all of its own.
-Ty E

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

Undoubtedly, Asia Argento is one of the most interesting and idiosyncratic female filmmakers/actresses working today; and her emotionally afflicting white trash arthouse coming-of-age flick The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004) is one of the best examples as to why. Starring and directed by the exotic Italian auteuress, the film is a much more mature, artistic, and controversial work than her previous autobiographical feature-length work Scarlet Diva (2000). Indeed, Scarlet Diva may open with footage of Ms. Argento being pounded doggy-style by a bestial Negro (played by her ex-boyfriend) in a most crude and repulsive (and apparently unsimulated) manner, but The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things features a young child named Jeremiah who is repeatedly drugged, sodomized, and otherwise abused in a variety of appalling ways by a number of true blue American degenerates, including his own mother Sarah (played by Asia Argento). Taking its name from King James Version of the Bible, Book of Jeremiah, chapter 17, verse 9 and based on a novel of the same name by JT LeRoy (a fake identity taken by American writer Laura Albert who was sued for fraud right before the release of the film due to her gross literary dishonesty), The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things is a minor masterpiece of independent film with an all-star cast of ambitious actors; both young (Jeremy Renner, Michael Pitt) and old (Peter Fonda). Clearly inspired by the films of Harmony Korine (who is a personal friend of Argento), The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things is like Gummo (1997) meets Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin (2004), except ultimately more degrading and emotionally damaging. Asia Argento’s maternal great-grandfather Alfred Casella may have been a notable and respected fascist composer, but she is certainly an exponent of exceedingly decadent, degenerate, and hopelessly nihilistic art, as so brazenly expressed in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; a cruel cuming-of-age film with such a sadistically sordid tale of a childhood-gone-askew that Henry Lee Lucas probably could have personally identified with it.

After being taken away from his loving and caring foster parents, 7-year-old Jeremiah is reunited with his drug-ridden and sex-crazed biological mother Sarah; a bleach blonde gutter-level harlot who has been long since disowned by her extremist Christian family due to her exceedingly unruly and sinful behavior. Not long after taking him in and causing him to wet his bed due to her innately deplorable lack of mothering skills, Sarah abandons Jeremiah with a melancholy pedophile (Jeremy Renner) – a pathetic man she briefly married but soon dumped after the honeymoon – who shows no mercy in his despicable deflowering of the boy. Needless to say, Jeremiah – who is in a state of absolute confusion that results in out-of-body hallucinations – ends up in the emergency after the ruthless life-altering attack, thus eventually transpiring in his Christian cult grandparents taking him in. Despite only being in the company of his mother and her many drug-addicted delinquent lovers for a short period of time, Jeremiah – to the dismay of his hyper stoic and strict authoritarian grandfather (Peter Fonda) – already shows glaring signs of being exposed to psychedelic drugs and anti-social punk rock music, as displayed by his random impromptu performance of songs by The Sex Pistols and propensity for spitting on indoor floors. Somewhat surprisingly, Jeremiah does quite well at his holier-than-thou Christian grandparents cult compound and even becomes an eager propagandist for the church, but, to his misfortune, Sarah comes back to reclaim him when he is 11-years-old. Now dating a country-loving reprobate redneck truck driver named Kenny who hates her favorite music genre of punk rock, Sarah takes her son on a relentless road trip where she prostitutes herself out to various rustic would-be-cowboys at an assortment of truck stops so she can support her steady drug consumption. Naturally, country boy Kenny gets tired of Sarah’s Subhumans (UK anarcho-punk band) cassettes so he abruptly ditches her and Jeremiah at a less than delightful roadside diner. In what seems to be a dubious attempt to get her son to follow in her slapdash footsteps, Sarah encourages Jeremiah to be her 'little sister' and dresses him in drag. Clearly already mentally unsound due to a lifetime’s worth of anomalous personal trauma, Jeremiah embraces his feminine side and seduces his mother’s latest boyfriend Jackson (played by a hillbilly-attired Marilyn Manson), henceforth resulting in Sarah erupting into a jealous rage of sorts that involves the throwing of piss-poor beer cans and feeble excuses from Mr. Manson. By the end of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, Jeremiah is once again in the hospital due to his mother’s insistence that he drink ipecac while she is in a frantic meth-induced psychosis. Once again, Sarah’s proves her dedication as a mother by kidnapping her son and taking him on what one can only assume is another exciting and chemical-driven magical mystery tour. 
To say that The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things is an extraordinarily appalling and decisively disheartening film would be a bit of a distortion as it is easily one of the most dehumanizing flicks I have ever seen, yet a barbarously brilliant, aesthetically dynamic, and undeniably captivating work nonetheless. Unlike her friend Harmony Korine’s directorial debut Gummo, Asia Argento does not seem to be mocking the poor human rabble that she so keenly and calculatedly depicted. Asia also deserves much praise for her performance as crackhead concubine Sarah because despite her Italian background, she is totally convincing as a thoroughly debauched and awfully abominable Amerikkkan white trash darling with an array of undiagnosed mental illnesses and pathologies. As someone whose own father suspiciously directed her in the bare (Dario Argento’s Trauma), one can only assume that Argento is desensitized to do just about any and everything on camera as displayed by her unmitigatedly unflattering but acutely enrapturing performance in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; one of a handful of films that has the capacity to give the viewer spiritual syphilis. In fact, she once stated of acting, "I always thought it was sick to choose looking at yourself on a big screen as your job. There has to be something crooked in your mind to want to be loved by everybody. It’s like being a prostitute, to share that intimacy with all those people," so there should be no doubt as to the sort of dauntless and unhampered mind-set Asia had when approaching the role of Sarah. Her father may be regarded as a (once) legendary master of fantastic horror cinema, but his talent pales in comparison to his daughter’s ability to direct true to life domestic terror and torment. After nearly a decade of reflection upon my initial viewing of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, I can honestly say that Asia Argento is one of a handful of filmmakers – and the only female filmmaker – whose career I eagerly follow.-Ty E

The Bloodthirsty Fairy

Sophisticated and worthwhile fairy flicks are doubtlessly hard to come by because – let’s face it – miniature flying nymphs are mostly of interest to little girls and sexually frustrated middle-aged wiccans and not many other people. The conspiring female fays on HBO’s True Blood are somewhat tolerable due to their seductive sex appeal, but their baroque male counterparts certainly put to shame those real-life effete estrogen-driven fellows who feel it is a bold political statement to wear nothing but pink thongs at homo-rights parades. Additionally, the sort of little winged imps featured in the British film Photographing Fairies (1997) directed by Nick Willing are about as appealing as CGI fireflies due to their miniscule size, lack of character, and seemingly asexual nature. It was not until I saw the Belgian arthouse-exploitation short The Bloodthirsty Fairy (1968) aka La fée sanguinaire directed by Roland Lethem (La Ballade des amants maudits, In Memoriam Alfons Vranckx) that I felt I found the superlative and definitive fairy flick, albeit of the lavishly lecherous and preternatural avant-garde persuasion. As a student of early surrealist master filmmakers such as Jean Cocteau and Luis Buñuel and Japanese auteur directors like Seijun Suzuki and Ishirō Honda, Lethem is certainly a filmmaker with imperative and contradistinctive influences, thus his cinematic works are – quite unsurprisingly – strikingly singular and ostensibly original accomplishments in a class all of their own. With the aesthetically and thematically merciless and incendiary poetic 15-minute short The Sufferings of a Ravaged Egg (1967) aka Les souffrances d'un oeuf meurtri (1967) – in a fashion worthy of Georges Bataille at the height of his demiurgic depravity – the Belgian auteur proved that maggots in postmortem vaginas make for sapient symbolic social commentary against the Catholic church. With his admittedly sometimes repetitive but undeniably hypnotic thaumaturgical 22-minute short Le Vampire de la Cinémathèque (1971), Lethem turned his camera on fellow Belgian physician and mathematician Joseph Plateau’s 1832 invention of the phenakistoscope (an early animation device made from a spinning disk) to create an optical illusion of an exquisite and statuesque lady degenerating into a hideous archetypical witch. Out of all of his curiously corporeal cinematic efforts, The Bloodthirsty Fairy seems to be his most erotically potent yet venomously vulgar, as well as politically and thematically transgressive work.  In short, Lethem's fairy tale makes the less-than-erotically-charged films of Richard Kern (You Killed Me First, Fingered) seem like failed pastiche experiments in softcore dandy dilettantism by comparison.
 During the beginning of The Bloodthirsty Fairy, a relatively young intellectual who resembles a stereotypical late-1960s pretentious French leftist twat notices a barrel on his front doorstep that was recently delivered by two swarthy-looking hippie bastards. Upon opening the seemingly humdrum barrel, the man discovers a beauteous unclad woman submerged in water inside. Not long after making this particularly stunning discovery, the comely human-sized fairy without wings emerges from the barrel and begins performing beguiling gestures, much to the noticeably intrigued pundit's delight. In no time, the young intellectual finds himself turning into a hopeless romantic and impulsive philistine of sorts, giving the fairy sensual bubble bathes while gently massaging her feet in a dainty manner, but little does he know that his quasi-supernatural Madonna is a brassy black-hearted butcher in the spirit of the soulless darling from Hanns Heinz Ewers' Alraune with a keen and unquenchable addiction to politically-motivated bloodlust. On top of beating police to death in a most jubilant manner just for kicks and choking nuns into purgatory before finding her latest gentleman suitor as depicted in a series of flashbacks in The Bloodthirsty Fairy, the pitiless puck also has pernicious plans for her new infatuated Romeo. As someone who initially thought that Jörg Buttgereit made totally commensurately prodigious cinematic works, I think I have to change my assessment of the aberrant Aryan auteur after discovering the works of Roland Lethem, most specifically The Bloodthirsty Fairy. Packed with equal doses of iconoclastic beauty and brusque yet seemingly comical brutality, The Bloodthirsty Fairy – much like the works of blond beast Buttgereit – is a rare work that can be enjoyed by both thoroughly desensitized/deranged gorehounds and adventurous arthouse cinema addicts. 
The Bloodthirsty Fairy also features a political subtext that was somewhat lost on me due to my version of the Belgian film’s lack of English subtitles. Essentially, the perturbed member-dismembering pixie seems to be a lone wolf anarchist (another possible nod to Bataille) of sorts as she collects the castrated cocks of famous/infamous assassinated political leaders ranging from Civil Rights Christ Martin Luther King, Jr. to American Nazi Party Führer George Lincoln Rockwell (whose Aryan-American member is noticeably uncircumcised) to apartheid-advocating South African Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd. Unfortunately, the genital-gnawing fairy was unable to eunuchize Henry Kissinger, thus his special kosher Johnson jar remains empty, but one must admit that this fierce fay has quite the eclectic and prestigious political penis pile! - Ty E

Sweet Angel Mine

It is not often that one watches a film that carries an aura that feels like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) meets the TV-series Northern Exposure (minus an ample dose of the quirky humor) meets The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) with Lynchian undertones; as such an ideally idiosyncratic work – for better or for worse – certainly sticks out in one’s mind. Last week, I had the random luxury of sharply gazing at such a work – Sweet Angel Mine (1996) directed by Curtis Radclyffe and co-scripted by Sue Maheu and Tim Willocks (Swept from the Sea, Sin) – and I was certainly not left with a feeling of chagrin, even if the film was not exactly up to par with seemingly equipollent works like David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986) and Philip Ridley’s The Reflecting Skin (1990). In terms of quality, aesthetic, execution, and essence, Sweet Angel Mine is in agreeable company with Garth Maxwell’s equally underrated and unseen film Jack Be Nimble (1993). Like Jack Be Nimble, Sweet Angel Mine is a work that although sometimes extremely violent and vulgar in regard to imagery and sentiment, features a certain metaphysical dream logic that further accentuates its quasi-mystical rural setting and the menacing mystique of its mentally-imbalanced characters. Sweet Angel Mine follows a bodacious and sometimes bratty twenty-something Brit named Paul (Oliver Milburn) who has traveled to Nova Scotia, Canada in the hope of finding his long vanished father. While keenly cruising around on his crotch-rocket (a 1973 T140V Triumph Bonneville), Paul eventually encounters a visibly hesitant, awkward, and somewhat feral-like yet pulchritudinous country girl named Rauchine (Margaret Langrick). Although Paul takes an instant liking to the sub-literate little lady and her young, voluptuous body, he has yet to realize that her mother Megan is a homicidal maniac who has intimate conversations with ethereal beings. In an attempt to get closer to Rauchine and what lies beneath her virginal white skirt, Paul convinces the always confrontational Meg to hire him as a laborer on her farm; a place where hogs engage in comical carnal knowledge and where many formidable family secrets lay in plain sight. Not long after taking residence on the farm, Paul begins to have less than wet erotic dreams about the atypical mother and daughter that eventually evolve into a real-life nightmare that inevitably leads him to solving the mystery of his father's unexpected disappearance and the bounty in Rauchine's panties.

As someone who has personally encountered the detrimental effects that mentally ill matriarchal mothers have over their physically and mentally abused daughters, I found Sweet Angel Mine to be an especially eerie yet radiantly-stylized cinematic work. In Hitchcock’s Psycho, one learns that exceedingly bitchy and overbearing mothers can spawn sexually depraved homicidal lunatic sons, but the calamitous side-effects of a unhinged wench on a daughter is a subject that has been rarely explored in cinema, thus Sweet Angel Mine comes as a notable and mostly worthwhile exception, even if it does not feature the same psychological depth and wholly convincing acting one would expect from an Ingmar Bergman film. Upon first appearing in Sweet Angel Mine, it is quite apparent that Rauchine has virtually nil self-esteem and barely even a distinguishable personality of her own. After Megan initially appears it is obvious as to why Rauchine seems to have a glaring hole in her emotionally-ravaged soul, as the girl's callous and cunning mother dictates every thought and action of her grown daughter’s life.  It is only when she meets and swoons over Paul that Rauchine begins to form an identity of her own, thus resulting in a quasi-schizophrenic break in her psyche between her new organic self and the old one formulated by Meg's nefarious nurturing. Being a chivalrous and charming British chap, Paul is wholly willing to deal with Meg’s backwoods megalomania and Canadian-peckerwood pomposity during his precarious mission to win Rauchine’s heart. Of course, Paul also encounters hostility from local would-be-vikings yokels that are far from welcoming when compared to how the North American Nordics from Northern Exposure dealt with the ill-disposed and whiny Judaic fellow from NYC. In short, Paul is a strange young man in a strange sullen land, but he stays committed to the philosophy of ‘love conquers all', in spite of it threatening his very existence. Although Paul is the lead protagonist of Sweet Angel Mine, Megan is ultimately the most complex and multifaceted character and a lot of this is owed to actress Alberta Watson’s (La Femme Nikita, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) erotically and psychotically-charged performance. To say that Meg makes Paul seems like a bitch-that-eats-fish-n-chips would be a reckless underestimation. As Paul lets her know, Megan is certainly a cold cunt incapable of true love and human companionship, but she certainly knows how to (literally and figuratively) crucify a virile young man and handle a loaded firearm due to what seems like 2+ decades worth of steadily seething sexual repression.
After appearing briefly on VHS, Sweet Angel Mine all but disappeared (only to be recently unearthed via Netflix instant-viewing) from the world and has henceforth remained a rarely seen work with a virtually nonexistent cult following, but I have a feeling that will change as the years pass as the film will certainly appeal to fans of Philip Ridley (Sweet Angel Mine is a virtual "sister film" to The Passion of Darkly Noon) and the less pretentious admirers of David Lynch's work. Unfortunately, director Curtis Radclyffe would go on to direct the rather mundane and fundamentally formulaic British horror flick The Sick House (2008), thus one can only wonder if Sweet Angel Mine is a fluke of sub-masterpiece psychosexual filmmaking; or a sound and succulent synchronistic marriage between director, screenplay, and actors (I would assume the latter). Either way, Sweet Angel Mine is undoubtedly one of the most audaciously ambitious and perversely gratifying works about a disintegrating derelict matriarchal family gone awry.  If any film has the potential to inspire an individual to second-guess a relationship they have with a girl (or guy) who has a bats in the belfry mother, it is indubitably Sweet Angel Mine.-Ty E


Until last week, I thought Andy Milligan was one of the most irredeemable, talentless, and inconsequential filmmakers who had ever made the unfortunate mistake of picking up a Bolex 16mm camera. The fact that he has a marginal but loyal following baffled me as most of his inept cinematic works would not even be worthy of a minor Troma direct-to-video release. Of course, that was before I saw his extremely sordid yet queerly charming x-rated anti-romantic drama Nightbirds (1970); a mostly unseen work that was once considered lost until Milligan biographer Jimmy McDonough revealed a 16mm print of the film that he would later sell to Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising, Drive); who would later help with the restored release of the film (with Milligan's campy vampire flick The Body Beneath) on dvd/bluray by actively petitioning the British Film Institute (BFI). If it hadn’t been for Refn’s serious commitment as both a filmmaker and a cinephile, I am fairly certain that I would have never attempted to watch another Andy Milligan smut-piece again after my last grueling experience with his appropriately titled  yet surprisingly banal work Fleshpot on 42nd Street (1972). In fact, the sole reason (aside from a recommendation by Phantom of Pulp) why I decided to give Nightbirds a chance was due to Refn’s name being on the front cover of the new BFI release because, unlike unrefined cinephile Quentin Tarantino, the Danish auteur filmmaker is someone whose taste in cinema I can trust and count on. Indeed, Nightbirds proved to be a magnificent piece of gritty melodramatic misogyny that totally took me by surprise; so much so that I ended up watching the film no less than three times over the course of a one week period. I don’t know whether or not Milligan was experimenting with a different kind of drug, amidst a breakup with his latest boy toy, or emotionally influenced by the wet and dreary London air, but with Nightbirds he proved that behind all the vapid degeneracy and technical incompetency was a serious and uncompromising artist with something profound yet inordinately pessmistic to express, even if it was a stereotypically gay contempt for womankind and heterosexual love. Mr. Refn stated of maniac Milligan: "He was sort of a Douglas Sirk figure." Indeed, Nightbirds is a quasi-Sirkian work for degenerates, delinquents, dandies, and other socially defective individuals that makes Todd Haynes' Sirk-inspired work Far From Heaven (2002) seem quite restrained and prosaic by comparison. Nightbirds follows the spontaneous and aimless rise and deadly fall of an ephemeral relationship between two lanky British blondes: Dink (Berwick Kaler) and Dee (Julie Shaw). Right from the beginning of Nightbirds, it is blatantly apparent that goofy momma’s boy Dink is submissive to all of Dee’s self-indulgent desires. Sensing and eventually exploiting his kindheartedness and gentlemanly demeanor, Dee – an opportunistic succubus who uses her beauteous body as a man-eating weapon – takes Dink’s heart hostage and drains his feeble soul. Squatting on the top-floor of a decrepit apartment building owned by a young slumlord named Ginger, the twosome spends their days and nights having mostly one-sided impassioned sex, but unlike kindly Dink, Dee has no other expectations nor desires for a relationship other than erotic debauchery where her body is treated as a precious temple of worship and her groveling man is nothing more than a glorified vibrator with arms and legs that makes whining noises.

Like the equally unseen and shameless British film Duffer (1971) directed by Joseph Despins and William Dumaresq, Nightbirds is a gloomy and gritty work depicting the peculiar perversity of the non-working urban proletariat.  Neither Dee nor Dink were born in the working-class, hence their abhorrence of work and failure in regards to self-sufficiency.  Unable to deal with the neurotic ramblings of his distraught widowed mommy, sweet and humble man-child Dink chooses homelessness over reasonably plush bourgeois comfort and eventually bumps into ferocious femme fatale Dee by mere chance, thus beginning their manifestly foreordained relationship. Leading desultory lives with nil goals for the foreseeable feature, the curious couple of Nightbirds sees nihilistic sex as a way of life and working and building a family as a gross pestilence. As a socially retarded would-be-romantic at heart, Dink is willing to overlook the fact that his quasi-sociopathic girlfriend is an unsentimental ice queen of the most unrelenting and thoroughly demoralized kind. In his pathetic and ultimately self-destructive naivety, Dink is willing to do anything and everything to please his idolized girlfriend as long as it does not involve working, including grovelingly kissing her feet and performing cunnilingus on Dee's command and masochistically accepting her venomous verbal reproaching, whilst totally oblivious to the fact that Dee sees him as nothing more than a momentary fling and a semi-entertaining sexual novelty. Unable to provide for himself, let alone his girlfriend, Dink relies on Dee’s crafty flirtations with other men and shoplifting to survive. Essentially, Dink and Dee – as a product of the post-WW2 generation – are an unstable couple that are totally at odds with every characteristic that was once expected of traditional and healthy western societies. Naturally, the couple would also feel at home in the sort of degenerate hipster ghetto microcosm of false values mindless sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll contained within the early cinematic works of Paul Morrissey. Unlike Morrissey’s pseudo-cinéma vérité works Flesh (1968) and Trash (1970), Nightbirds has a fairly potent, penetrating and expressive atmosphere, even if most of the film is constrained to a single and relatively unfurnished room. Originally shot on grainy greyish 16mm film stock, Nightbirds – like Duffer – is as aesthetically dispirited and decayed as it is thematically, thus near-perfectly accentuating the lifelessness of the demoralized characters and post-industrial setting the film so candidly portrays. Nightbirds also features a sometimes erratic and disjointed editing style that is analogous to the despoiled psyches of its lead characters. Needless to say, Nightbirds is a film that will appeal more to antinatalists than hopeless romantics.

Like Andy Milligan’s first film Vapors (1965), Nightbirds is considered to be one of the hysterical homo auteur filmmaker’s most personal and unprecedented efforts, sort of like Fassbinder-meets-grindhouse-kitsch. As a rabid misogynist who was raised an exceedingly cold and emotionally and physically abusive alcoholic mother, Nightbirds features one of the most naturalistic and inexorable depictions of a vicious vixen of a woman ever captured on 16mm film. Although evidence of Dee’s sadistic personality is sprinkled throughout Nightbirds, it is not until the remaining minutes of the film that one learns the true extent of her utter soullessness and sheer depravity.  Like all great exploitation works, Nightbirds features a tragic conclusion that is guaranteed to fully agitate less than demanding filmgoers. Although featuring scenes of sex and nudity throughout, Nightbirds is about as erotically stimulating as a vintage Polaroid of Steven Spielberg in a bikini and as romantic as a winter season coathanger abortion.  I can honestly say that Nightbirds is one of few films that has inspired me to reexamine the work of a director that I was once vehemently dismissive of, so if you're an Andy Milligan virgin, make sure that you pop your cherry with Nightbirds.  For an auteur that boasted of never directing a film that cost over $10,000.00, Nightbirds is certainly no small achievement.-Ty E

Track 29

Out of all of his many experimental and distinctive auteur works, Nicholas Roeg’s drama-fantasy-horror hybrid Track 29 (1988) is very possibly the English filmmaker’s most singular, inscrutable, and artistically ambiguous work, even if it is his least technically innovative. Co-produced by George Harrison of The Beatles fame and penned by English screenwriter Dennis Potter, Track 29 takes an outsider (aka liberal Brit) look at a small American Southern town in a most contemptuous and unflattering way. Starring Roeg’s cat-eyed ex-wife Theresa Russell (Eureka, Insignificance) in the lead role, Track 29 is a work centering around a mentally-unstable and under-sexed alcoholic housewife named Linda Henry who receives a surprising visit from a young eccentric British hitchhiker named Martin (played by Gary Oldman) who purports to be the son she reluctantly put up for adoption as a scared teenager. Fed up with her pretentious yet eccentric philandering surgeon husband Henry (played by Christopher Lloyd) – who has a peculiar duel fetish for masochistic spankings and model trains – Linda begins to embrace the loony leprechaun of a man that is apparently her long lost sole progeny, but unfortunately for her, he may be only a figure of her distorted imagination. While her hubby Henry is off getting routine spankings at work from his beak-nosed mistress nurse Stein (played by a young yet still considerably repulsive Sandra Bernhard), Linda enters the mysterious world of incestuous family bonding with her man-child son; a hyperactive and high-strung lad who feels that being a coddled grown-up toddler is an ideal career move. Noticeably scarred by his abandonment as a child, Martin inevitably has a terrible temper-tantrum and takes out his pent up rage on Henry and his extravagant model train set in this extremely loose reworking of Oedipus Rex.

 It should be apparent to most viewers of Track 29 that Nicholas Roeg is not exactly sympathetic towards the inhabitants of the small Southern town that he depicts in the film. In fact, not a single character in the entirety of Track 29 is remotely likable. One can only assume that Roeg was pompously sneering at the fictional degenerate confederate Anglo-Americans characters that he so brazenly concocted throughout the production of Track 29. Many of the characters and scenarios played out in the Track 29 would be at home in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that Track 29 is a work that is probably more of interest to Lynch lovers than fans of Roeg’s previous work. Although missing Roeg’s signature choppy deconstructed narrative montages, Track 29 does features a couple Lynchian flashbacks that scream rustic surrealism and oddball clodhopper perversity, which is undoubtedly the English filmmaker’s prejudiced vision of the American South. Right from the get go of Track 29, it is most apparent that Linda is the no longer desired trophy wife of her intellectually superior husband Henry; a man whose sense of superiority over his spouse is quite glaring to the point where he barely sees the need to conceal his preference for toy trains and his less than homely Hebraic mistress. Linda, being of a more conventional sexuality, fantasies about her Daddy but eventually settles for her overly sensitive son; a fellow who is quite conscious and equally vocal about his overwhelming Oedipus complex. Only through her son (whether he be real or imaginary) can Linda expel the "inner demons" of her fragile mind and rid herself of a soulless man who sees her as nothing more than blatantly inferior aesthetically-pleasing white trash. Despite the mostly obnoxious and otherwise loathsome nature of the main characters in the film, I was reasonably impressed with all of the lead performances featured in Track 29. I tend to think of Theresa Russell as a savvy and sophisticated seductress so it was nice to see her play against character as a psychosis-ridden philistine with a self-destructive drinking problem. Additionally, I have always found Christopher Lloyd’s iconic character roles in the Back to the Future trilogy and The Addams Family films to be patently exasperating, so I certainly welcomed the unwavering chutzpah and gross infidelity of his character in Track 29. Of course, out of all the performances featured in the film, Gary Oldman deserves the most praises for his willingness to hop on Christopher Lloyd whilst au naturel, on top of acting like an all-around retarded rug rat throughout Track 29
At the conclusion of Track 29, many questions are left unresolved; hence the general mixed feelings towards the film among Nicholas Roeg fans and general viewers alike. For me, Track 29 is an abominable portrait of Americana that keeps on giving with subsequent viewings due to its lack of resolve and overall incoherence. Whether Track 29 is a dream-within-a-dream, a series of alcohol-induced illusions, and/or a semi-surreal depiction of reality is up for speculation, but I certainly consider the overwhelming ambiguity of the film's storyline to be one of its finest assets.  After all, being that Track 29 is an intemperate celluloid psychodrama of sorts that depicts the lifelong trauma a woman suffers from after being brutally deflowered by a bestial carny, one can only expect a certain amount of rationality for such a work. It should be noted that Martin himself takes on the appearance (even featuring the same trashy Mother tattoo sprawled across his chest) and wardrobe of his hillbilly father, who he actually meets while hitchhiking during the beginning of Track 29.  For Linda, Martin is a dichotomous symbol for her greatest dreams and worst nightmares; the son of the man who would not stop when she said "no" during sex, but also the man that gave her carnal pleasure and her only child.  It is only when she comes to terms with these conflicting emotions via Martin that she can move on with her life.  Needless to say, I think that rape victims should approach Track 29 with the utmost caution.-Ty E

Mondo Weirdo: A Trip To Paranoia Paradise

Although I find both filmmakers absurdly overrated in their own respective ways, I could not help but be intrigued by a film that opens with the seemingly nonsensical and equally pretentious inter-title, “dedicated to Jess Franco & Jean-Luc Godard.” The film in question is Mondo Weirdo: A Trip To Paranoia Paradise (1990) aka Jungfrau am Abgrund aka Virgin on the Edge aka Virgin at the Abyss directed by Carl Andersen (Vampyros Sexos). Despite the (thankfully) misleading title, Mondo Weirdo is not another mundane mondo movie, but it does feature a wealth of demoralizing sleaze and exploitative nudity, at least certainly more so than one would typically expect from a standard work of the mostly asinine pseudo-documentary subgenre. Instead, Mondo Weirdo is an almost feature-length (at approx. 54 minutes) arthouse splatter-porn flick from Uncle Adolf’s homeland of Austria that is in welcome schitzy-kitschy company with Demetri Estdelacropolis's Freud's Flesh & Mother's Meat (1984) and Fred Halsted's The Sex Garage (1972) with psychosexual elements of Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) and George A. Romero's Martin (1978) thrown in for good measure. Quite befittingly, the film opens with narration from a ambiguously Jewish psychoanalyst named Dr. Rosenberg (assumedly, of no relation to Alfred) who discusses the case study of an atypical 15 year old girl with latent lesbian tendencies who suffered from a series of erotically impassioned nightmares as a result of her overwhelming sexual repression. This psychosis-ridden girl named Odile (played by Jessica Franco Manera who is apparently Spanish slime-auteur Jess Franco’s real-life daughter) – a pixyish punk girl with a short semi-butch hairdo who sports booty shorts and Doc Martens boots – first enters the phantasmagoric dream realm of hot hallucinatory debauchery after having her first menstrual cycle while showering. Equally dismayed and intrigued by the heavy flow of hemoglobin seeping out of her pussy and dripping down her leg, Odile tastes her vital bodily fluids in a most prurient way. Odile must have some sort of unholy ancestral blood taint as it sends her on an often arousing yet harrowing nachtmahr by way of the dark underbelly of her subconscious, thus putting the little flapperesque lady in sexual contact with apparitions of luscious lesbian vampires, beauteous “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Báthory, and a stark-naked army of man-eating lesbos. Although Odile has a special appetite for kraut-cunts, she also encounters a variety of male perverts and unrepentant wienerschnitzel-fondling public-mastubators whom she has no qualms about sexually servicing, even if she does get involved with a little bit of castration and aggressive carpet-munching towards the conclusion of Mondo Weirdo. Despite the intrinsically hypnagogic nature of the film, all of the sex acts featured in Mondo Weirdo are graphic and real, including scenes of standard sexual intercourse, fellatio, female-on-female cunnilingus, borderline fisting, and homo sodomy.

 Unlike like most pornography, Mondo Weirdo is keenly accentuated via an erogenous pulsating soundtrack by the Viennese EBM/industrial group Modell D’oo – who also composed the music for Carl Andersen’s previous facetiously titled work I Was A Teenage Zabbadoing And The Incredible Lusty Dust-Whip From Outer Space Conquers The Earth Versus The 3 Psychedelic Stooges Of Dr. Fun Helsing And Fighting Against Surf-Vampires And Sex-Nazis And Have Troubles With This Endless Titillation Title (1989) – henceforth making the film seem like an extended music video from sort of depraved bloodlusting S&M musical project. Undoubtedly, if Mondo Weirdo was a strictly silent film without a soundtrack it would lose 1/2 of its erotic potency and aesthetic essence as I cannot think of another better example of a musical score the fits the description of electronic body music as the film takes the human bod to bodacious and sometimes brutal extremes in a manner that is in unerring unison with its unruly yet startingly hypnotic sounds. In fact, the soundtrack is so gratifying and mischievously merry that I, too, felt like I was getting in on the action with little lass Odile and her many phantom lovers. Ultimately, the low-budget aura of Mondo Weirdo works to its advantage as a work with a very conscious punk rock aesthetic. Indeed, Mondo Weirdo is like an early Bruce La Bruce flick, except more appealing to breeders and lesbos than homos, although male-on-male copulation makes a brief yet savage appearance in the film.  Although created a couple years after the artistic peak of the so-called Cinema of Transgression movement, Mondo Weirdo has more balls and succulent sadomasochistic sex appeal than anything ever directed by the likes of softcore pornographers Richard Kern and Nick Zedd and with the added bonus of not featuring the always detestable and ever so unattractive gutter-queen Lydia Lynch. Jessica Franco Manera may not be the most bewitching babe in the world, but she has a certain tragic cutesy-little-girl-who-has-fallen-from-grace quality that is altogether beguiling, as if she was the Louise Brooks of no-budget punk rock filmmaking. Even while inquisitively inspecting the freshly amputated cock of a maliciously mutilated man, Odile has a saccharine naivety that is wholly endearing. 
 After Odile accepts and acts upon her undying love of ladies, her erratic erotically-charged nightmares cease to appear and Mondo Weirdo concludes with the fitting end-title, “The End or a New Beginning.” Personally, I would have liked to see Odile hook up with some sort of Nazi chic Brando-type, but I guess Mondo Weirdo – a castration-anxiety-driven work of artsy fartsy punk pornography and pop psychology – is ultimately a male’s worst nightmare, even if an acutely orgiastic one. Like virtually all other works of its unclassifiable cinematic breed, Mondo Weirdo is as glaringly flawed work that looks like it was shot over the course of a single day, but that is also one of its greatest appeals.  In short, Mondo Weirdo is the celluloid equivalent of a one-night stand with a mentally-imbalanced mixed-blood heiress-turned-hooker. -Ty E

Man, Woman and Beast

Man, Woman and Beast (1977) aka L'uomo la donna e la bestia aka Spell - Dolce mattatoio is most assuredly one of the most lavishly, methodically, and harmoniously crafted works of lecherous high-sleaze ever concocted. Directed by Alberto Cavallone of Blue Movie (1978) infamy, Man, Woman and Beast has all the aberrant auteur ingredients one would expect from the unabashedly debauched Italian filmmaker: killer sex (both literally and figuratively), sexually impotent artists, apprehensive commie verbal spew, and immoderately crude scatological fixations. Easily Cavallone’s most well-known and most artistically eclectic effort, Man, Woman and Beast manages to do the seemingly insurmountable by seamlessly hybridizing both the sensational surrealism and quasi-cinéma vérité realism that the filmmaker is celebrated for. Unlike the mental maestro’s subsequent effort Blue Movie – a work that was essentially assembled in an improvised manner on a nonexistent budget over the course of a week or so – Man, Woman and Beast has the certified picturesque stamp of an idiosyncratic 1970s masterpiece of Italian cinema, as it features obsessive direction and polished technique that is surely in recherché company with the 'self-indulgent' later works of Federico Fellini, yet it also includes incendiary libertine content that rivals that of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), except executed in a charmingly campy fashion that is more akin to Dada than to de Sade. In fact, Man, Woman and Beast is a work that pays humble, if equally intimately perverse, homage to its aesthetic influences. Featuring appearances of artistic works by artists including Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dalí, Gustave Courbet, and José Posada, as well as thematic nods to literary lechers including Comte de Lautréamont, Jean Genet, Georges Bataille, and to a somewhat less noticeable and more anachronistic extent – Marquis de Sade – Man, Woman and Beast is a work that although culturally cultivated, does not attempt to mask it’s influences in a borderline plagiaristic fashion. Out of all its morally execrable influences, a delightfully deleterious tribute to Georges Bataille’s short novella Story of the Eye (1928) is ultimately the most assuredly memorable, negligently nefarious, and perversely potent. Despite its many scenes of somber and severe sadism, Man, Woman and Beast is indubitably a mischievously mirthful work that has few contemporaries in regards to its bodacious bestialized badinage and overall ribald absurdism. In short, Man, Woman and Beast is an ungodly and exceedingly audacious avant-garde work that pays paradisiacal homage to Dadaism like no other cinematic work before nor after it. In fact, Marcel Duchamp himself could not have done a more desirable job capturing the essence of the innately irrational art movement in celluloid form.
 Upon superficial glance, Man, Woman and Beast seems like a domesticated Italian neo-neo-realist work due to its sometimes everyday portrayal of a seemingly traditional and typical Italian Catholic village, but underneath the thin veneer of normality lies a copious collection of vicious, violent, untamed, and even murderous sexual pathologies that would even astound the most seasoned of Reichian psychoanalysts and cannibalistic gay pornstars. In the village of wanton vulgarity featured in Man, Woman and Beast, a butcher packs his meat with his own unkosher meat, an Electra complex is utterly appeased via incestuous progeny-begetting familial relations, a lapsed-Marxist maniac attempts to tame his even more deranged wife, and a conspiring priest uses images of saints and the labor of unsuspecting children as a parasitic means to sell lottery tickets.  Unsurprisingly, Man, Woman and Beast was filmed around the period of the so-called 'Anni di Piombo' (aka Leaden Years) during the mid-1970s in Italy when a nation-revamping revolution seemed like a very real possibility and when right-wing and left-wing were in unofficial camaraderie in their campaign to blow-up as many government buildings and officials as possible. Man, Woman and Beast does a most decorous job expressing this corrosive countrywide phenomenon at the community-level by the way of man’s most rudimentary, if base, form of social interaction: sexual intercourse. What becomes most apparent while watching the mostly sadistic sexcapades featured in Man, Woman, and Beast is that not one of the characters featured in the film approaches eroticism from a natural and utilitarian manner, hence the predominant theme of a society in disorder. In Man, Woman and Beast, sacrilegious sexual dysfunction and frivolous fetishism become sport and societal degeneration an uncontested, if unspoken and strategically veiled, matter-of-fact. Cavallone did a marvelous job highlighting this perturbing paradox by assembling a series of contradictory collages and montages comparing society of the old (outdoors and in public) and new (indoors and in privacy). For example, toward the end of Man, Woman and Beast, footage of jubilant villagers dancing jovially during an annual religious festival is spliced together with images of a young woman murdering her unsuspecting partner with scissors and scheiß during an impassioned session of sexual intercourse. Strangely (but most appropriately), the film ends with the melancholy face of an impressionable young lad who is undoubtedly symbolic of Italy's problematic future. It is not unlikely that this boy would grow up to be like Marco Corbelli; the lurid cross-dressing lunatic behind the Italian noise project Atrax Morgue who committed suicide by the way of hanging in 2007 after a lifetime of necrosis fetishism.
 Director Alberto Cavallone once admitted that the character of a Christ-like homeless man featured in Man, Woman and Beast was his alter-ego. Fittingly, this mystery man is a herald of change, but – unfortunately for the villagers and himself – their damned futures are already foretold. The uncanny wanderer also meets a deplorable doom that would anticipate the thoroughly demented defecation-phile anti-hero of Cavallone’s successive film Blue Movie. Indeed, in the wretched realm of Man, Woman and Beast, god has died a most unflattering death and has gone to waste in literal human waste. Even the fanatical godless commie of the film has lost his faith in Marxist propaganda and the world revolution, as expressed by him vocally and when he superimposes an image of Vladimir Lenin over a picture of a woman’s sin flower, which is most certainly a bantam and frolicsome expression of Cavallone’s own newfound political disillusionment. Unquestionably, Man, Woman and Beast is an uncompromising expression of nihilism and a bold testament to the apocalyptic arrival of der letzte Mensch, but also a work of active artistic nihilism that had the potential to spark a revolution in cinema that was only vaguely hinted at by future subversive arthouse filmmakers like Jörg Buttgereit, Karim Hussain, and Andrey Iskanov. Disenchanted with commercial success and (arguably) cinematic artistry in general, Cavallone would later get give total way to his abased aesthetic proclivities as expressed by the hardcore pornographic nature of most of his later works. Aside from possibly his lost masterpiece Maldoror (1977), Men, Woman and Beast is unmistakably Cavallone’s crowning achievement as a filmmaker and his celluloid magna opera.  Like his vital influence Georges Bataille, Cavallone is one of few artists that successfully proved that artistically-refined works can be pornographic and vice versa. If it were not for his later propensity for creating mostly incoherent esoteric hardcore pornography, Cavallone may have gone onto consummate a reputation as grand and venerated as fellow Italian filmmakers Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini, as he certainly deserves it, even if only for Man, Woman and Beast; a blissfully carnal phantasmagorical work that does the seemingly inconceivable by vigorously raping the senses in a spellbinding and inordinately multi-orgasmic way with salacious sin-ridden scenes of grotesque human depravity. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra once preached, "as for me, I rejoice in great sin as in my great solace."-Ty E

The Raid: Redemption

Quite assuredly, red-band clips or trailers from most necessarily violent action films are always followed with a rush of excitement for said title. This method of delivery involves making an almost whispered promise of at least one especially outstanding scene, the one in which is in question as the video streams or graces the cinema screen. It would be quite the disappointment if that preemptive, in this case, single scene was the only of its kind in quality, whether it be in suspense, bloodshed, or gratuitous feral generosity. It would be of similar character to show the final fight of Flash Point or even The Man from Nowhere, to a pair of virgin eyes for the sake of absorbing salivation for your own esteem's gain, which, admittedly, I am guilty of. Thus was the curse I carried for months after watching a red-band clip from The Raid: Redemption. I feared an all-too real terror of this scene spoiling a key moment that I had built myself up for, so you can imagine the feeling of dread when, during my temporary stay at the cinema while viewing The Raid: Redemption, this scene in particular popped up. But alas, the scene continued without a hitch or hiccup! Gareth Evan's masterful global marketing team knew and approached the limitations of exposure with a certain bravado lost upon most action films and their combined run at arousing attention. It was as if a heavy burden was lifted off of my shoulders and I could open up to The Raid: Redemption. I could let it tell me, without hesitation, all of its little secrets and worry me with all of its woe. You see, for me and most everyone I know who has bore witness to its third world grandeur, The Raid: Redemption marks the graduation of this new blend of international action film. One in which encroaches upon the formula of simple and similarly structured action pieces such as Ong-Bak or The Protector, save for the sparsely seen Indonesian fighting style of Pencak Silat. The two aforementioned Tony Jaa vehicles were met with massive appraise but were also maligned for their doe-eyed absence of thought, whereas The Raid: Redemption wrestles from this stranglehold with a candle of ease that holds steadfast without a flicker or chance of dimming.

It's become so that I find it difficult to sit and review, in-thought, a post-Raid: Redemption-esque film without finding myself victim of that classic compare/contrast to the next best thing, which is obviously being The Raid. For in its wake, left screaming an army of "boorish males", comes an expectation that might be nigh to match - an obsessive exercise in ceaseless savagery, each minute being more daring than the last and each fight sequence becoming more stylized, choreographed, and calculated. Since the shriek of this Indo-wizardry was heard worldwide, you can be certain that these highly-marketable future Eastern exercises of sweat-soaked exertion won't end with The Raid: Redemption and for that matter, any of its sequels. Many attempts will be made upon their title of champion and these challengers' motives will fall victim to cynical ratings as cinephiles use the schematics of The Raid: Redemption as an impromptu gradebook, cursing while X-ing in heavy red permanent ink, not even bothering to wonder where, or why, it all went so wrong for them. These "substitutes" will only increase in numbers while the action film of our heritages fate relies on the likes of A Good Day to Die Hard and The Expendables and their promised sequels (or should I say squeals, drastic to stay afloat these are, with mild results). The problem falls on Hollywood and their hasty decisions to brand Western audiences as ignorant to the beauty and eccentricity found in foreign styles of fighting. Hollywood will continue to pump out action remakes of popular foreign films with a soulless nod to an alien and titular fighting style. Their repayment plan?  To replace a key diversified system of offense with  sub-advanced grappling maneuvers merged with hyper-edited body blows. You might as well refer to the Bourne handbook for how I imagine The Raid remake turning out, but I digress. Known in its homeland as Serbuan Maut and then internationally as The Raid, the evolution of title didn't quite stop there. Overseas in the American market, The Raid later had "Redemption" tacked on to its title to allow copyright to resume naturally as well as opening up options for a sequel, or in this case, two. Released at Sundance with an alternate score from Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park "fame" and the unfortunately named Joseph Trapanese, this exclusive composition for The Raid served as an occasionally unruly love letter to a film that needed no such grabs for attention, especially from a post-applied promise of being faithful to the images. 

Unfortunately, the faithfulness to the original artistic vision wasn't all in check, as the Western theatrical run felt the need to doll itself up beyond the limitations of an American adrenal-pop soundtrack considering intelligence. Things proved all and good until the simplicity of the electronic score, that followed alongside with the hurried sense of survival, ran out and gave room to the scene-chewing appetite of a mid-chaos dubstep routine which, far dependent on your opinion of the (awful) genre, is most unfitting for a frenetic cinematic scenario, especially if it wants to be taken seriously. But in regards to the U.S. release of The Raid: Redemption, this was close to its only sin. The Raid: Redemption, if to be remembered by a single act, had one thing going for it and that is apart from the luxurious and fruitful sequences of violence, aways from the viciousness of tenant to tenant, and far from the incredible death scenes that will leave your nails clawing at plush. No, what The Raid: Redemption has is an incredible sense of utter helplessness and defeat, a feeling that could not be anticipated from watching the trailer alone. Now, mind you, a trailer that boasted the tagline of "20 Elite Cops - 30 Floors of Hell" refused to give way to the actual gravity of the situation which is a merit to be thankful of. Imagine my surprise when this micro-army of skilled officers were scattered, slaughtered, and slain. The Raid: Redemption, no matter what you may read from genre-waving bannermen, applies well within me as the cinematic equivalent of an old classic arcade-style beat em' up - in particular, Streets of Rage (although a rendition that meets the concrete isolation of Die Hard). You have for potential evidence a small band of aggressive law-abiding citizens battling wave after wave of weapon-wielding rapists, junkies, murderers, and other related fallen ilk. Each character combats his own specific mini-boss, of sorts. The floors of the building can be taken, literally, as levels, and as an added bonus you are also given the architectural despondency of the Silent Hill multiverse. It is no coincidence that the core demographic suited for The Raid: Redemption are 18-32 year old fans (gender not applied as my fiancée was quoted as dubbing the film "a masterpiece") of ferocious competition. Much to their surprise too, is that it is gift-wrapped in a package anonymously sent to "Fanboy". No return address either, hmm.

If you have it within you to embrace such nonchalant acts of treachery, murder, and extreme violence then open your ears, eyes, arms, and tendons to this assault on the senses. The Raid: Redemption can easily be followed and the events can even transpire/unfold to the dull senses of a quasi-intellectual cinema-goer. The Raid is that certain sort of film that you can view once and rely on later as a perfectly competent sound and space filler as you multitask on whatever in-house errand(s) lie on your plate, and in which by some magical method of multimedia memory, The Raid: Redemption can be mentally visualized as well as synchronized alongside the groans and moans of both pools of victims - good and bad. For exceptional physical feats, look no further. You will notice the actions of those depicted on-screen, no matter the side you choose, attempt to disguise themselves as falling under their own category of exceptional heroism but that is never the case in The Raid. Even the rookie SWAT lead, Rama, has an agenda for entering the building and only when their original plan becomes so, for lack of a better word, fucked, does he step up to the plate to ensure the safety of himself and the scattered survivors. Welsh born director Gareth Evans would obviously follow up the enormous critical success of The Raid so in his future we can assuredly see two more sequels to the Indonesian debut and as I mentioned before, at least one American remake. When asked about his plans for The Raid: Redemption's sequel, now tagged with the subtitle ": Retaliation", Evans could only comment about his hopeful inclusion of car chases - "I want to bring car chase elements to it as well. So we have like a cool fight scene where you go inside a car, fighting against four people as it’s speeding along a one-way." Now, I'm all for diversity but the greatest appeal of The Raid was its horrific seclusion - a terrible event sealed off from outside communications or contact. If these men are even remotely allocated to another life-or-death situation, then what is keeping them from turning the wheel. I'm not sure how it could possibly work out without some method of escape but my brows stay curiously and cautiously raised. This beast was meant to be leashed. If you slaver for intense bodily nihilism then look no further. The Raid: Redemption reigns king of overkill - a rare film event in which officers of the law die like dogs while the villains perish under much more honorable circumstances, and that is more bravery than I ever could have expected from such a piece.

Le nécrophile

Unfortunately, temerarious and innovative films about necrophilia are quite hard to come by, so I am always stimulated by the possibility of viewing a new work of audacious avant-garde corpse-fucking. With their wealth of films relating to jaded incestuous romances gone awry and sexually aberrant behavior galore, one would think that France would have produced a number of revolutionary man-loves-corpse epics by now, but quite regrettably, that is not the case. Naturally, when I discovered the 36-minute French short Le nécrophile (2004) directed by Philippe Barassat, I was on tenterhooks. Admittedly, as a longtime kraut-lover and loather of abstract ideas relating to culture-distorting liberty, I must admit that I am an unrepentant Francophobe of sorts who would rather watch a screening of Schindler’s List at an Israeli drive-in than languish through the mundane masturbatory marxist disgorge that comes along with a Jean-Luc Godard marathon. That being said, I did not expect Le nécrophile to be as romantic nor as aesthetically-gratifying as either of Buttgereit’s Nekromantik flicks, yet it certainly proved to be a more farcical work with its brief yet fulfilling buffet of jovial incestuous pedophilia, campy cannibalism, and marvelously morbid moments of exceedingly awkward necrophilia. Indeed, Le nécrophile may deal with some of the most taboo topics ever explored in cinema, but these sordid scenarios are expressed in such a merry and startlingly palatable manner that I almost forgot that I was watching a film about serial necrophilia and the long-term effects such demented behavior could potentially have on a seemingly virginal preteen girl. The film follows a loathsome lunatic who is so grotesque and patently pathetic in appearance (and character) that he looks like the ill-fated bastard spawn of Peter Lorre à la Fritz Lang’s M (1931) and a mutant frog (He even has an elastic bug-catching tongue to boot) with Down syndrome.  When not isolating himself from the general peasant populous of the decrepit urban ghetto he calls home, the nervous necro basks in bumping angelic cadavers in the night.  This unintentionally humorous heteroclite fellow is so terribly timid that he is even unstrung whilst in the one-sided company of an inanimate corpse. When the piteous man is forced to adopt his young niece after her parents die, he must become more creative and covert in regards to probing cold-cadavers during the dead of night. When an adolescent Afro-Arab teenager falls in crossbreed puppy-love with his niece, the neurotic necro finds that his much cherished midnights of intimate necromancy are disastrously jeopardized, thus eventually culminating into dreadfully flustering results. 

 What makes Le nécrophile especially deathly dreary and markedly morose is not the actual moments of debauched necrophilia, but the domestic dystopian setting of the film; a discernibly decayed French ghetto inhabited by third world refugees and thoroughly mongrelized post-racial Frenchmen. While the unusually unprepossessing anti-hero resembles a bloated corpse himself and is thus symbolic of France of the old (one could argue that the corpse-fucking is an allegory for the inability of the average working-class Frenchman to respond to change) and now degenerated, the lovesick brown boy is denotative of the new 'French'; an innately hostile alien population that will ultimately replace the indigenous race(s) of France via mass illegal immigration and miscegenation. Out of all the characters featured in Le nécrophile, the necro’s niece is indubitably the most seemingly pure and untainted. With her glistening golden blonde-locks and angelic fair-skin, one ultimately feels more repelled by the prospect of the colored teen defiling her than seeing the depraved necrophile manhandle an expired corpse. As one soon finds out while watching Le nécrophile, the nymphet niece is not exactly the most unsullied and immaculate of little girls, but she is a self-sacrificing mademoiselle who will do anything – and I mean anything – to safeguard her exceedingly eccentric uncle and the dubious relationship that they share, even if it involves being deflowered at a less than mature age in a most nauseous and nefarious sort of way. In the end, the little gal proves to be her Uncle’s most dutiful guardian angel, despite the fact that she seems to be at an already more corrupted and unsalvageable state than a man that delights in dating and devouring the deceased. Although tragically despoiled during her early years of childhood, the bittersweet little lass is quite stalwart, stoic, and sophisticated for her age due to a short lifetime's worth of personal struggle, thus she acts as a symbol of hope for France; a once proud and invigorative nation that is now literally full of corpses (who actually make a reanimated appearance in the film) from great heroes of a long forgotten past.
 Although featuring some of the most unmentionable moments ever captured on celluloid, Le nécrophile is essentially a lovesome (if ludicrous) and sentimental (without being simpleminded) tragicomedic neo-fairytale about the unbreakable bond of family ties. If the longtime decadent and irrevocably deracinated French have to make a film about necrophilia, incest, and cannibalism as a way to inspire ideas of self-preservation, nationalism, in-group loyalty, then so be it. I, for one, always wished Georges Bataille was a fascist and Philippe Barassat's Le nécrophile seems to be an undaunted expression of the next best thing.-Ty E

The Hunger

Admittedly, old school Deathrock aka Gothic rock has always been one of my favorite subgenres of music, so it should come as no surprise that I have made a point to watch Tony Scott’s debut-feature film The Hunger (1983) – one of few mainstream works to pay tribute to the often mocked but rarely seriously examined music movement – a number of times over the years.  In the film, blood takes on a orgasmic ejaculatory quality that for vampires is an afflicting addiction that comes with a viciously vexatious withdraw if an undead addict fails to adequately indulge in these vital living fluids. Opening with the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” – which is often regarded as the first Gothic rock single ever released – by British Deathrock group Bauhaus, as well as iconic footage of the band (mainly singer Peter Murphy) itself, The Hunger is an extravagantly stylized, erotic phantasmal work that pays more than apropos tribute to a music subgenre that is often maliciously maligned (if sometimes deservedly so) and endlessly ridiculed, but rarely objectively diagnosed for its actual aesthetic attributes and influence. Fittingly, proto-Goth David Bowie plays a starring (but progressively relinquishing) vampire role in The Hunger, as does French actress Catherine Deneuve; the ridiculously resplendent international film goddess that starred in Roman Polanski’s early dark masterpiece Repulsion (1965) and Luis Buñuel’s popular work Belle de Jour (1967).  Susan Sarandon also co-stars in The Hunger as the lesbian love interest/prey of Deneuve's character. Of all the filmmakers that could have been chosen to direct a modern Deathrock-inspired vampire flick, I would have least expected Tony Scott – a filmmaker best known for vapid blockbuster films like Top Gun (1986) and Man on Fire (2004) – but then again, the Hollywood auteur got his start creating successful television commercial advertisements, thus making him quite germane for directing the radiantly stylized montages and overly expressive horror/erotic interludes featured throughout The Hunger; a chimerical shadow play shot on celluloid. In fact, Scott cites the feverishly decadent and schizophrenically-structured work Performance (1970) directed by Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg and starring Bowie's one-time boy-toy Mick Jagger as one of the greatest influences behind The Hunger. Breaking with convention and expectations in almost every regard, The Hunger is a vampire lesbo flick on a gloriously grotesque cocktail of LSD and steroids that borrows liberally from every subversive bloodsucking flick of the past, including F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) and Hammer Horror classics like The Vampire Lovers (1970) and Twins of Evil (1971). Watch out delusional Afrocentrists, The Hunger features an ancient Egyptian vampiress of Indo-European stock whose glaring lack of melanin could be only that of an agathokakological undead honky. I do not think it would be a stretch to speculate that pseudo-sinister sodomite Aleister Crowley’s ultra-hedonistic quasi-religion Thelema – which adopted a triad of deities from ancient Egyptian religion – also influenced the audacious aura, libertine themes, and Kenneth Anger-esque music video mysticism of The Hunger.
 Indubitably, I think The Hunger would have somewhat benefited from having been set in New York City or Los Angeles, California as opposed to London, England. In fact, Tony Scott wanted to shoot the entire film in NYC, but due to monetary constraints, the English filmmaker settled for the dreary urban streets of his own homeland. As someone who has always had a greater affinity for American west coast Deathrock groups like Christian Death, T.S.O.L, and 45 Grave over Goth groups from over the pond, I feel that The Hunger could have had a more ‘magickal’ cosmopolitan feel of wandering-endlessly-through-undying-eternity had it been set in relatively rootless, amoral, and ahistorical Southern California. Despite having to compromise in regard to location setting, The Hunger still often has an anomalistic essence that tends to transcend national boundary. In fact, Tony Scott regards the closing shot of London in the film as geographically ambiguous, as if the film could have taken place in any modern metropolis. The personal home of the lead vampire lovers Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) and John (David Bowie) has a culturally-refined aristocratic quality that is decidedly timeless, yet at the same time startlingly futuristic. Tony Scott also made congenial use of artistically eclectic Art Deco architecture around London to further compliment the delectable yet decadent atmosphere of The Hunger; an unwonted vampire flick that, unlike Bowie's character in the film, has scarcely shown its age over the years. Upon its original release, The Hunger was critically lambasted by the majority of film critics, including the always pompous and never less-than-charming Roger Ebert who described the film as, "an agonizingly bad vampire movie." David Bowie himself even had doubts about the film stating, "I must say, there's nothing that looks like it on the market. But I'm a bit worried that it's just perversely bloody at some points." As the test of time has undeniably proven, the popularity of The Hunger has only steadily risen over the years, not least due to the film being one of the most scrupulously polished and ideally idiosyncratic vampire lesbo flicks ever made, but it also very possibly the greatest and most cultivated abstract filmic expressions of the Deathrock movement. Unless Miloš Forman, Oliver Stone, or Gus Van Sant decides that a lavishly-produced Rozz Williams biopic will be their most ambitious attempt at directing a celluloid opus magnum, I ingenuously doubt that the world will see a more vitalizing dark love letter to the long spiritless Deathrock movement than The Hunger.
 Quite honestly, the first time I viewed The Hunger about a decade ago or so, I felt the work was ridden with pulsating pomposity and unrealized artistic pretensions, but the film has certainly grown on me over the years, so much so, that I always look forward to re-watching it and discovering elements of the film that I had yet to notice before, sort of like with Tony's brother Ridley's masterpiece Blade Runner (1982). Indeed, in terms of aesthetic overload and plot incoherence, The Hunger, especially for a mainstream vampire film, is exceedingly self-indulgent, but so are a vast percentage of the most illustrious films ever made. Aside from True Romance (1993), The Hunger is the only Tony Scott film that I can wholeheartedly recommend, which makes it all the more interesting when one considers that it was the mostly hackish filmmaker's first-feature. Devastated by the harsh reviews that The Hunger received upon its initial release, one can only wonder whether or not Scott’s career as a filmmaker would have went a different, more artistically-ambitious route had the vaulting vamp flick received the mostly positive praise it deserved. Although Scott concluded The Hunger on an amibigous note hinting at a potential sequel, such a project would not even begin see the light of day, although the film would inspire a mediocre softcore TV horror anthology of the same name also starring David Bowie (at least for the second season). In 2009, Warner Bros. announced that the world would soon see an unnecessary remake of The Hunger based on a screenplay written by Whitley Strieber; the horror author whose novel the original film was based on.  Although I find the idea of a remake to be dubious and – at best – monetarily-inspired, it would be interesting if Tony Scott followed in the footsteps of Alfred Hitchcock and re-made his own film, especially after almost three decades of overwhelming mediocrity and mundanity as a filmmaker. 
Like Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973), The Hunger is one of the oh-so unsurprisingly few lesbian vampiress flicks that rises above being aesthetically-pleasing smut and for that alone, it is a noble cinematic triumph worthy of postmortem eulogy.  Although most of Tony Scott's films epitomize everything that is deplorable, soulless,and humdrum about Hollywood, at least he directed what is very possibly one of the most transcendent vampire flicks of the 1980s, as well as one of the most high-class and hunky-dory vampire films ever made.

Reflections in a Golden Eye

In the Hollywood Southern Gothic classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Paul Newman’s character Brick Pollitt expresses his undying love for his deceased friend Skipper over the brazen erotic yearnings of his feisty wife Maggie "the Cat" played by Elizabeth Taylor. Almost ten years later, Marlon Brando, as sexually repressed homophile and military man Maj. Weldon Penderton, would also chose a young man over would-be-Queen Elizabeth in John Huston’s underrated film Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967); a plentifully peculiar and perverse Southern Gothic work set in a military training camp during the homo-hating 1940s based on the Carson McCullers novel of the same name. As hinted at by its curious title, Reflections in a Golden Eye is an aesthetically magnetic work that shimmers a golden tone (or a “golden haze” as Huston described it) throughout, but protagonist Weldon Penderton has his gaze on a young recruit's brown-eye; whether he wants to admit it to himself or not. Major Penderton’s wife Leonora (Taylor) is a luscious and loose woman who gets her kicks by mocking her husband’s pathetic passivity and sexual impotence by forthrightly flaunting her hypnotic naked body and having a steamy love affair with his married friend Lt. Col. Morris Langdon (Brian Keith). Needless to say, Major Penderton is an internally conflicted fellow who wears the sort of fixed stoic mask of deceit that only a seasoned military man of the 1940s could have pulled off. Of course, when the Major sees Pvt. Williams (played by then-newcomer Robert Forster), his unspeakable love interest, riding a white horse while au naturel, he begins to lose his cold-cock cool, thus eventually culminating into a calamitous climax that reminds the viewer why AIDS-ridden S&M leather bars exist. Unfortunately for Mr. Penderton, Williams – who is not exactly the most mentally stable young man – has a fetish for sneaking into Leonora’s bedroom and ritualistically inhaling the pussycat pheromones from her panties and lingerie.

Before Brando obtained the lead role in Reflections in a Golden Eye, Elizabeth Taylor's good friend Montgomery Clift was cast to play Maj. Weldon Penderton, but instead died of a much anticipated heart attack before a single frame of film was shot. Lee Marvin was also considered for the role, yet he turned it down, probably because he was too hard-featured and unrepentantly manly, but one can only speculate. Brando – who although masculine in his own right but also a pugnacious pretty boy – was indubitably the right man for the job as further testified by a statement he made in 1976, “Homosexuality is so much in fashion it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me.” Of course, his character in Reflections in a Golden Eye certainly cares about what people think about him, so much so that he rather stay with a woman that unceasingly repels him than become a full-fledgling patriotic member of the pink army brotherhood. In terms of theme, aesthetics, and overall atmosphere, Reflections in a Golden Eye is essentially the total antipodean to the ultra-campy comedy The Gay Deceivers (1969); a silly fag romp were two straight friends pretend to be queer lovers so they can avoid being drafted into the military. After initially watching Reflections in a Golden Eye for the first time, it was quite apparent to me as to why the film failed at the box office. On top of featuring diacritic homoerotic themes set in the sort of period and place that most individuals would regard as a man-molding testosterone factory of inborn anti-fagdom, Reflections in a Golden Eye alienated many mainstream viewers due to its puissant gold tint, so much so that the film was subsequently re-released in a normal color format (thankfully, the "golden haze" was later reinstated when the film was released on dvd) so as to appease the typically mundane tastes of unadventurous mainstream filmgoers. Ultimately, Reflections in a Golden Eye is a tragic tale were not a single quandary is resolved, let alone properly addressed, but I guess one cannot expect much optimism from a film where a man unabashedly commits serial adultery against his sick suicidal wife (who cut off her own nipples after having a miscarriage during childbirth) with the spoiled, over-sexed spouse of one of his best friends. Despite its many poignant moments of human despondency, duplicity, and contretemps, Reflections in a Golden Eye has a few instances of (seemingly unintentional) comic relief in the form of an effete Filipino houseboy who has a queer eye for the golden eye as exhibited by his drawing of gold peacock whose ogle acts as a reflection of the world, hence the title of the film.

 Reflections in a Golden Eye is very possibly the greatest example of a semi-subconscious bizarre love triangle and one of John Huston’s most artistically ambitious and uncompromising efforts, as it is a work that was destined to be a commercial failure due to its terribly taboo themes and iridescent gold imagery. The fact that Mr. Huston made such an audience-antagonistic and emotionally-draining work with an all-star cast featuring Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor only adds to the case for the filmmaker’s artistic integrity. At the very worst, Reflections in a Golden Eye is work that eclipses its Southern Gothic predecessors A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and The Fugitive Kind (1959) in terms of ever seething starkness, domestic social dysfunction, and psycho-sexual derangement. Out of all the characters featured in Reflections in a Golden Eye, it is hard to designate which one is the most mentally unsound and abhorrent, but somewhat queerly, Brando’s character Weldon Penderton eventually seems to be keenly cognizant of his affliction by the end of the film, even if he blows something other than his load as a result of it. Aside from being a latent homosexual, I think many male viewers, especially older ones, can identify with Penderton’s plight and impasse with life. On reflection, it is not the honor and prestige that comes with being a decorated officer that the Major nostalgically ponders on, but his youthful days of impassioned brotherhood as a new recruit. In a sense, Penderton’s sexual longings for the stark-naked peeping tom on the horse seem to be a rather perverse way for him to recapture the sprightliness of his long lost salad days.  Although expressive in tone and sometimes even phantasmagorical in imagery, Reflections in a Golden Eye is in consummation a very realistic portrayal about self-imposed (and sometimes subconscious) prisons and the self-annihilating misery that such preternatural constructs sow. Next to Sidney Lumet’s Equus (1977), you won’t find a more penetrating and historic film about hysterical homos and horses than Reflections in a Golden Eye.

Blue Movie (1978)

I first became conscious of the devalued and often derided Italian auteur Alberto Cavallone (1938-1997) after researching cinematic adaptations of Comte de Lautréamont six cantos poetic novel Les Chants de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror). Although dismayed upon learning that Cavallone’s Maldoror (1975) was never ever actually released due to petty monetary reasons (even though the blessed few who have actually seen the film regard it as the filmmaker's celluloid opus magnum), I was at least introduced to the seemingly lunatic libertine filmmaker’s consistently controversial yet cinematically diverse filmography that includes everything from esoteric hardcore pornography (Baby Sitter aka Il nano erotico) to less-than-action-packed-post-colonial-homoerotic-race-mixing-adventure flicks (Afrika) to kaleidoscopic Bataille-esque avant-garde surrealist works (Man, Woman And Beast aka L'uomo la donna e la bestia aka Spell). Recently, I had the extraordinarily effete aristocratic pleasure of watching Cavallone’s Blue Movie (1978); a lurid scatological celluloid phantasm that the filmmaker made during a turning point in his career before gaining the distinction of being one of Italy’s most enigmatic hermetic hardcore pornographers. Borrowing its name from Andy Warhol's amateurish sex flick of the same name (Cavallone would do the same with his later Cocteau-esque surrealist sleaze flick Blow Job), Blue Movie was created in a similar perfunctory fashion as many of the earlier films directed by the famous American homo hack artiste. Apparently assembled on a whim inspired by a bet made by producer Martial Boschero, Blue Movie a work that foretells the Dogme 95 movement – was made in a lackadaisical Roger Corman-style manner (production lasted a week) on a nonexistent budget with mostly non-actors, yet the film is very possibly Cavallone’s most unscrupulous and discombobulated work. Despite featuring scenes of hardcore pornography (which were subsequently cut at the behest of the Italian Board of Censors), a decidedly incoherent plot, a depraved 'anti-hero' with a fecal fetish, and exceedingly somber themes of staggering hyper-nihilism, Blue Movie would go on to become a box-office hit of sorts in Italy. After watching Blue Movie a couple times, I find it quite unimaginable that such a debauched film featuring naked Italian beauties eating shit would prove to be palatable for public consumption, but I can't say I don't like the idea of such a ruthless eremitic work obtaining semi-mainstream notoriety. In short, Blue Movie proved to be a work that lives up to its underground cult cinema infamy.

 Blue Movie follows cunning Claudio, a serious newspaper photographer turned mechanic (while moonlighting as a shutterbug pornographer) who derives venereal and aesthetic pleasure from humiliating graceful statuesque women. While talking to a prospective sex-slave, Claudio matter-of-factly states to the lovely little lady, “Your beauty is absurd and I can’t stand beauty. I love to see fear on people’s faces. Degradation. Its then that they become human.” Indeed, throughout Blue Movie, Claudio proves his propensity towards ‘humanizing’ women through a variety of fetishistic dehumanizing methods that only a completely unhinged sadomasochist with an uncontrollable urge could execute so keenly and unwaveringly. After being nearly turbulently raped by a malicious masked man in the woods, a young beauteous named Silvia is picked up randomly by Claudio as he cruises down a desolate road in his beloved automobile. Little does stunned Silvia know that her personal nightmare is going to be compounded by a manipulative man who finds alleviation in footage of genocide and delights in taking photographs of girls drenched in toxic dung. As a man of exquisite refined taste, Claudio incessantly plays the musical compositions of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach as his own personal soundtrack (which acts as the score for the film). Like many patrons of the arts, Claudio is a committed cinephile of sorts who luxuriates in watching forgotten silent vaudeville comedies and slow-motion stock-footage of Vietnamese Mahāyāna Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burning himself to death. Not content with just using Silvia as his own personal Devil’s plaything, Claudio recruits an alluring model and an attractive homeless gal as disposable accessories for his scantly furnished scat-house. While the later two are mostly pleased with Claudio's omnipresent charm and confident courteousness, Silvia – who seems to be suffering from delusions brought upon by post-traumatic stress – cannot shake-off visions of encroaching faceless rapists and milky blood filling up the bathtub. Luckily, Silvia has a gay black male companion (who carries around a skull in a bag) who is looking out for her interests, but he essentially proves to be no more useful than the Negro elder from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). Speaking of Kubrick, Cavallone must have been a fan of A Clockwork Orange (1971) as Blue Movie also features an amorous spasmodic montage coupled with Teutonic classical music; the main difference being that while droog dictator Alex can more than aptly sexually service a tenacious twosome a number of times during a single sexual session, Claudio cannot even get off from a mere passive hand-job, hence the source of his preternatural proclivities. That being said, one can only guess how much of Alberto Cavallone’s own personality was channeled into the character of Claudio, as Blue Movie is undoubtedly an utterly frustrated expression of Weltschmerz and irremediable impotence. Forget fellow Italian filmmaker Romano Scavolini’s 1981 slasher flick, Blue Movie is a truly unflinching and wholly unequivocal expression of Nightmares in a Damaged Brain

 The relative commercial success of Blue Movie turned out to be just as big of surprise to Cavallone as the film itself is to most uninitiated viewers as expressed by the filmmaker introspective quote, "I was bewildered by the box office results. Blue Movie was meant to piss off the raincoat crowd, it was such an antagonist film…" Indubitably, one of the film’s greatest attributes is its abiding carnal cruelty and deep-rooted misanthropy and misogyny. Although the world positively suffers due to the lack of materialization of Cavallone’s unreleased masterpiece Maldoror (which has essentially vanished without a trace), Blue Movie makes for a germane celluloid panorama of Comte de Lautréamont’s clamorous influence on the venturesome Italian auteur, as it is a work that features a quasi-Satanic steady stream-of-consciousness (non) narrative and hypnagogic sexual deviance; two glaring traits that helped earn the tragic pseudo-Count posthumous immortality. Despite its grody dreamlike imagery and disconcerting schizophrenic editing, Blue Movie, not unlike Roger Watkins’ more or less tamer work Last House on Dead End Street (1977), often has the begrimed aura of a genuine vintage snuff/found footage, but incongruous with authentic stock-footage, one never really knows whether the scenarios played out in the film are real or imaginary, let alone discerning which character’s mind/reality we are peering into. Outstandingly, Blue Movie is often humorous (and seemingly intentionally so), in spite of the film’s loony licentiousness, but then again, such a fundamentally anti-human work would probably be rather intolerable without a little tenebrous comic relief. Like many of Cavallone’s earlier films, Blue Movie features Marxist political commentary about consumerism, but I won’t bore you with specifics as it ultimately, in my opinion, detracts from the film, but I will say it is more subtlety executed than anything that George A. Romero has ever done.  It should be noted that virtually from the get-go of Blue Movie, it is more than apparent that all the women featured in the film are absolute material objects for cagey Claudio to defile, hence the appearance of various symbolic toy dolls and figurines that somehow mysteriously change position as time passes on.  It is only when semi-psychotic Silvia forgets her foreordained subservient role that Claudio's Section 8 microcosm comes tumbling down.  In the end, cursed Claudio finally achieves the climacteric consolation that he failed to acquire from normal sexual intercourse.  If you're keen on watching films that rape your senses and berate your moral compass, make yourself some cold chocolate milk and cuddle with a love one to an intimate screening of Blue Movie; an original romantic comedy for less inhibited and more ambitious lovers.-Ty E

The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy

After radically reinventing the vampire film with Nadja (1994), auteur Michael Almereyda subsequently attempted to do the same thing with the mummy movie via The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy (1998) aka Trance with almost equally favorable results. Further declaring his unwavering assiduity towards deconstructing a classic horror subgenre and rebuilding it with new and often improved ingredients (while disposing of others), The Eternal features a mummy that also happens to be an ancient shape-shifting druid witch. Instead of being the typical pimped-out and gold-chain-sporting materialistic mummified Egyptian royal, the mummy of The Eternal is a “bog-women”; a freshly preserved corpse unearthed from the sphagnum bogs of Northern Europa. Of course, like most monster movies, the mummy of The Eternal is not the protagonist, but a hostile sphinxlike force with cryptic intentions and a mostly ferocious disposition comparable to the mummified succubus beauty of Curtis Harrington's worthwhile Thelema-esque TV-movie The Cat Creature (1973). Instead, an Irish-born American woman named Nora (played by Alison Elliott) acts as the film's lead protagonist/semi-anti-hero. After falling down the stairs (in an admittedly hilarious and hairbrained manner) during a belligerent night of drinking with her equally unstable co-alcoholic husband Jim (Jared Harris), the terrible twosome decides that it will be in their best interest if they (with their nerdy young son Jim Jr.) move to Ireland; the great land of exceedingly poor and destitute drunkards. Of course, it turns out to be a catastrophic mistake on their part, but not for the typical blackout-drunk-in-the-gutter reasons. Upon reaching Ireland, Nora decides that the family should visit her grandmother’s secluded Gothic mansion. Little does Nora know that her crank professor Uncle Bill (played by a very Brooklyn-accented Christopher Walken) has the mummified remains of a distant ancestor stored in the basement of the maniac mansion and he is quite adamant about re-animating the charming little corpse. Upon her reawakening, the menacing mummy-witch takes an instant liking to Nora, so much so that she attempts to steal her body, soul, and identity. Naturally, such sinister supernatural happenings prove to be indomitably stressful for Alison, a woman that is already suffering from acute alcohol withdraw and eerie head-injury-related hallucinations. Needless to say, I doubt The Eternal is a work that one would want to screen at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for motivational/inspirational purposes, but it does seem to capture the miserable soul-disintegrating metaphysics of alcoholism.  To add to the Celtic pagan allure that is The Eternal, the film is narrated by a Delphian little Irish girl that seems to hold a seemingly unfathomable degree of hermetic knowledge.

  Like Nadja and the majority of Michael Almereyda’s work, The Eternal features various scenes of fluctuant experimental filmmaking and deathly dry humor that is bound to thoroughly turn-off the majority of everyday filmgoers and mainstream horror fanatics. Unlike Nadja, The Eternal was shot in color and does not feature the peculiar pixilation of the Fisher-Price PXL2000 camera, thus the film is slightly more accessible than Almereyda’s earlier vampire flick, at least in the aesthetic sense. Ultimately, The Eternal is a vastly vague and strikingly spiritual work that is quite in contrast with the all-but-hopeless aristocratic nihilism of Nadja. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about ancient Celtic paganism yet The Eternal seems to more than aptly ascertain and resonate the essence of these arcane spiritual themes in a way that, like the mummy herself (as well as most other characters in the film), transcends the Christian view of good and evil. Admittedly, as long as I can remember, I have always been repulsed by nearabout anything and everything that is regarded as Irish, at least in a modern day context, especially in respect to their cult of victim-hood (the Irish may be the only European diaspora whose history parallels that of nonwhites) and cultural influences in American (from country music to the western film genre), yet Almereyda’s The Eternal brings some much needed culture and class to the eternally unlucky northwestern Celts, as the film echoes the early works of Irish occult poet W. B. Yeats in terms of both potent possessing poetry and esoteric meanderings.  On top of featuring the ethnic stereotype of the Irish as unrepentant alcoholics, The Eternal features the perennial cliché of the absent Irish father.  Aside from American Jim-Beam-loving Jim and nutty Uncle Bill, not a single male elder (be it father or grandfather) is featured in the film.  Unsurprisingly, most of the young male adults featured in The Eternal are (seemingly) symbolically killed off in fairly absurd scenarios by the wicked wench as if the the whole male gender of Ireland was eternally accursed due to one immortal woman's ancient failed love affair and subsequent seething scorn, henceforth lending evidence that the title of the film is an unintentionally humorous and saucy double-entendre of sorts.  Incidentally, an middle-aged Irish-American women (whose entire family was Irish/Irish-American) once told me that Irish men were essentially ignoble drunkards (referring to her own father as such) as depicted in Alan Parker's Angela's Ashes (1999) and it was up to the mother to raise the children and continue the legacy of the family.  The Eternal certainly portrays such a scenario of amaranthine generational family dysfunction where it is altogether up to the matriarch to lead the battle and shield her family's compromised future.  Fundamentally, The Eternal is a fantastically demanding celluloid work where magical and mystical primeval Ireland-before-alcoholism-and-English-persecution meets the innately imbibed and culturally-comatose Ireland of today, except disguised as an ostensibly incoherent B-grade mummy horror movie.

  I cannot think of a single mummy-related film that I have ever fancied to any notable degree, so I guess it is only natural that I would appreciate the intrinsically abstract and acroamatic anti-mummy film essence of The Eternal; a work that brings life to a seemingly postmortem horror subgenre. Leave it to Michael Almereyda to be the person to do it, but, of course, like most of his films, The Eternal is not for everyone, especially those individuals that found themselves especially enthralled by Stephen Sommers’ emotionally and aesthetically barren CGI-corpse The Mummy (1999) starring Brendan Fraser. Like most of Almereyda’s work, The Eternal demands at least more than one viewing, but works best with incessant re-visitings. Not unlike Nadja and Happy Here and Now (2002), The Eternal is an inordinately hip flick with a modern avant-garde soundtrack and intense inaugural imagery that is bound to satisfy most exploratory cinephiles to some noteworthy degree, yet leave most archetypical horror fans flustered and possibly homicidal. Admittedly, many of the actors and actresses featured in The Eternal are less than sexually alluring in appearance and character (unless you have a fetish for drunk girls falling down the stairs), as the film certainly does not feature the sort of kitschy pseudo-eroticism that the cover-art of the American dvd release misleadingly advertises, but then again, when I think of Ireland, I generally think of homely (and often short like a leprechaun) white ladies with hard-as-nails, contra dainty constitutions. Of course, the presence of delightfully dorky Brit Jared Harris does not help this predicament, but despite the film's lack of pulchritudinous lead actors, The Eternal is, in consummation, an elegant work in of itself that can only be understood by fully experiencing it, as a mere inactive superficial glance at the film will not suffice.  One can only hope that Michael Almereyda will give the werewolf and Frankenstein that same thorough and idiosyncratic treatment that he has so vivaciously bequeathed upon Dracula and the mummy, but judging by the commercial and critical failure of The Eternal, it is quite implausible that we will see the emergence of such clamorous horror works.  Regardless of where Almereyda's filmmaking career might lead, we still have The Eternal, the only film where a plastered American beta-male smashes a wine bottle over a equally drunk druid alpha-mummy-witch's head.-Ty E

The Passion of Darkly Noon

Upon first viewing Philip Ridley’s second feature-length film The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995), I was – at best – mildly entertained, but regrettably disheartened, yet the film never left my mind. I originally watched the work a day after I first saw Ridley’s daring debut feature The Reflecting Skin (1990); a work I instantly regarded as one of my favorite films, so one could say I had exaggerated expectations before watching the director’s second feature. Recently, I took it upon myself to re-watch both The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon as a double-feature. Like The Reflecting Skin, The Passion of Darkly Noon proved to be a more aesthetically potent and nobly mystifying work upon subsequent viewings. Starring Brendan Fraser, Ashley Judd, and Viggo Mortensen, The Passion of Darkly Noon is a work that boasts an all-star Hollywood cast and a seemingly straightforward plot for a thriller, yet – not unlike The Reflecting Skin – it is a film that unmitigatedly transcends preconceptions one would have for such a seemingly formulaic and straightforward work. Like Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly (1961), The Passion of Darkly Noon takes its title from passage 1 Corinthians 13 ("Now we see through a glass, darkly...") of the Bible and deals with the inevitable hopelessness of a degenerative mental disorder in an exotic rural setting. Although set in the Appalachian region of North Carolina, The Passion of Darkly Noon was actually filmed in rural Germany, thus giving the work a mystical quality comparable to that of the elysian silent German Mountains films.  Akin to his previous effort The Reflecting Skin, Philip Ridley's The Passion of Darkly Noon is an audacious adult fairytale that is in good company with films like Garth Maxwell's Jack Be Nimble (1993), Nick Willing's Photographing Fairies (1997), and Jeremy Thomas' All the Little Animals (1999).  Unsurprisingly, director Philip Ridley cited the child folk tales of the Brothers Grimm as a major influence on the storyline and aura of The Passion of Darkly Noon; a work of penetrating imponderabilia that is patently otherworldly from its erratic opening to its curiously hopeful (if equally tragic) ending. Like David Lynch (who Ridley is often compared to), Ridley has described his approach to filmmaking as primarily intuitive and barely intellectual, hence the quasi-spiritual nature of his work. Despite the ethereal constitution of The Passion of Darkly Noon, the film is scarcely sympathetic towards Christianity, especially of the ultra-conservative cultish sort, and, in fact, portrays an overbearing Nazarene upbringing as the nefarious and demonic source of psychosis and corrosive pathology. In part, Ridley hired the two lead actors due to their vintage all-American good looks as he felt that Brendan Fraser resembled Elvis Presley and that Ashley Judd echoed the semblance of Marilyn Monroe.  While watching The Passion of Darkly Noon, it is easy to see why the director made this conscious decision, as like the character of Darkly (Fraser), Mr. Presley was a sexually-puritanical momma's boy and like Ms. Monroe, Callie (Judd) is an unorthodox temptress with a knack for seducing men of various creeds and ages.  Indeed, The Passion of Darkly Noon is a diacritic slice of zestful yet zany imported American pie.  Of course, like all great culinary artists, Ridley has his own secret esoteric recipe.

 Darkly Moon (played by Brendan Fraser) has a couple problems. He is a virgin man-child whose only close friends/family members – his parents – have been gunned down by angry town folk. Running frantically in an attempt to save his hopelessly holy life, Darkly boy somehow ends up in the forests of Appalachia and is nearly run down by a kindly coffin-transporter named Jude (Loren Dean). Seeing that Darkly is blatantly daunted and possibly deranged, Jude brings the large lad to beauteous blonde Callie’s quaint and secluded forest-covered homestead. Upon nursing Darkly back to equilibrium, Callie takes an instant, if enigmatic, liking to the goofy boy and his peculiar brand of innocence. Unfortunately for both Darkly and Callie, the passive commando-for-Christ and his idle penis soon develop an overwhelming love for the tender woman that treated him so graciously. Callie is in love with a prick of a mute named Clay (Viggo Mortensen); a man that does not need words to express his pathological haughtiness and sexual prowess. To deal with his staggering sexual repression, Darkly commits the almighty sin of spilling his seeds in the moonlight, but this proves to an insufficient form of erotic deliverance for a man that has yet to penetrate and respire an actual furry flapper before his dismally weary, sad virginal eyes. Darkly also engages in masochistic behavior, torturing himself via barbwire and even going so far as wearing an undergarment suit of bloodletting wired spikes. It is not until Darkly meets Clay’s eccentric mother Roxy (Grace Zabriskie) randomly in the woods that he begins to consider that Callie may be an ill-boding conspiring witch that holds sinister supernatural sway over him. After seeing a 20-foot-long silver shoe randomly floating down the river, Clay begins to loss what is left of his Christian-lobotomized mind, but it is not until Clay sees bullet-ridden apparitions of his deceased parents that the loony lad must deal with cunning Callie and her dubious (and apparently diabolical) ways. In a fairytale realm, Darkly’s visions might be seemingly genuine, but it is quite apparent in The Passion of Darkly Noon that, from the get go, the poor boy is suffering from a monumental mental disturbance that is steadily disintegrating what is left of his fragile personality. Inevitably, Darkly finally experiences an atavistic transformation, henceforth ‘evolving’ into a quasi-paganized red-body-paint-wearing modern day berserker of sorts who carries a spear and is immune to pain and has nil serious qualms about storming half-naked through a fire and brimstone domain of scorching flames. 

 Auteur Philip Ridley has described his work The Passion of Darkly Noon as, “Marquis de Sade meets Liberace” (minus the homoerotic flamboyancy) but also as a work with its own “fairytale language” and “dream logic.” As a trained painter and all-around multifarious artist, Ridley has also admitted to realizing his films mostly in a visual fashion as opposed to a dialogue-driven manner. As a fan of Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976), Ridley has noted that The Passion of Darkly Noon is a work where one knows from the beginning that something awe-inspiring will inevitably befall the lead protagonist, thus leading to an impetuous climax that acts as a substitute to an actual sexual orgasm. Somewhat strikingly, Ridley considers The Passion of Darkly Noon a virtual reflective visual/thematic encyclopedia of horror cinema, as he cites everything from the films of Roger Corman to classic slasher flicks like John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980) as influences, but I certainly failed to consciously notice any of these (apparently) crucial and seamlessly blended works upon my initial viewing of the film. This may be due to the fact that Ridley intended these references as not pastiche nor parody, but as pseudo-spiritual allusions comparable to those made with traditional Christian iconography, thus, in a sense, The Passion of Darkly Noon is a work of eclectic blasphemy and artistically-refined horror cinema worship. On top of taking a quasi-pagan stance by portraying the eternal power of nature as the height of purity and depicting Christianity as a baneful source of aberrant inorganic abstraction, as well as making somewhat cynical references to the bible itself, The Passion of Darkly Noon begets a religion out of the almost wholly unholy horror genre, replacing Christ with fictional mass murderers Michael Myers/Jason Vorhees and mother Mary/Mary Magdalene with the archetypical seductive scream-queen, except to a more labyrinthine level. Of course, it would be superlatively misleading and disparaging to merely compare The Passion of Darkly Noon to works of traditional horror cinema, as it certainly transcends – both in aesthetic and thematic complexity – the mostly mundane formulas of the often formless genre. Ultimately, The Passion of Darkly Noon has more in common (at least visually) with the work of Ridley’s painter hero Frances Bacon – the subversive Anglo-Irish figurative painter – than any kitsch horror flick created by B-movie producers just to make a quick buck, as the filmmaker is foremost an uncompromising artist and secondly, a horror fan, hence his is lack of notoriety even in the horror world. Ultimately, Philip Ridley’s summed up The Passion of Darkly Noon as a tale of silver (magic, enchantment, innocence, etc) versus red (passion, blood, the darker feelings, etc), which I think is quite an apropos description, but, naturally, one will never discover the erotically-charged essence and marvelous mystique of the film unless they actually take the to watch it and reflect on the delightfulness of Darkly's invigorated lapse with sanity and the virtual forest of hair that lays quite naturally on Ashley Judd's underarm.-Ty E

Don't Deliver Us from Evil

The mysteriously perverse Comte de Lautréamont (pseudonym of Uruguayan-born French poet Isidore-Lucien Ducasse) and his sole novel Les Chants de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror) had an imperative influence on the anti-bourgeois/anti-Christian sentiments of the already debauched Dadaist/Surrealist artists (including Salvador Dalí, André Breton, Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, etc) of the early 20th century, but one can only wonder what kind of affect the quasi-satanic long prose poem would have on two increasingly subversive Catholic convent girls. In the exquisite once-lost French film Don't Deliver Us from Evil (1971) aka Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal directed by Joël Séria, such a succulently sardonic and sacrilegious scenario is played out for the pleasure of the viewer in a most cunningly cruel yet charmingly carnal fashion. Like Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994), Don't Deliver Us from Evil is loosely based on the 1954 little lesbians Parker-Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand, but, more than anything, the film is a potent therapeutic expression of actor-turned-director Joël Séria’s personal disdain for the sexually-repressed authoritarian nature of Catholic Church. As an angry Catholic schoolboy, Séria, like the two anti-heroesses of his directorial debut Don't Deliver Us from Evil, found much solace in the devilishly decadent poetry of Lautréamont and Charles Baudelaire. Of course, probably thinking that no one would want to watch two heretical frog-boys hop around for 100+ minutes, Séria opted for casting two exceedingly cute girls to play the lead roles than teenage boy characters modeled more after his own particular and less eventful misspent youth. Séria made the wise decision, as the two lead cutesy gals of Don't Deliver Us from Evil – Anne (played by Jeanne Goupil) and Lore (played by Catherine Wagener) – are quite the barely-legal eye candy. Anne, a Mediterranean-like girl with black hair and dark eyes, is the master in the relationship and little Lore, a blonde Nordic girl, is her loyal and obliging girl slave. After becoming disillusioned with the hypocritical mores of the Catholic Church and seeing two nuns involved in Lesbian blasphemy, the two girls rightfully decide to make an unofficial pact with Satan and bring havoc upon the cold convent they so thoroughly abhor. 

 The girls of Don't Deliver Us from Evil are truly bloomed flowers of evil. Quite conscious of the appeal of their fresh and curvy virginal flesh, Anne and Lore lure in a variety of older men by flashing their white panties in a terribly tempting way. After nearly getting raped in the process, the two girls reap revenge by doing everything from killing their prospective rapists’ precious pet birds to brutally murdering them in a bloody good fashion. Although much more stunning and alluring than her loyal compatriot, Anne uses the more saintly-looking Lore as the underage object of horny old men’s desire. Director Joël Séria has stated that Don't Deliver Us from Evil is less about a teenage lesbian relationship and more about one girl possessing complete psychological dominance over another. For those filmgoers looking for their quasi-pornographic fantasies of teenage girls to be fulfilled, Don't Deliver Us from Evil is probably the wrong film to see as it may bring about castration-anxiety in certain viewers. Like mute anti-heroess Thana of Abel Ferrara’s exploitation masterpiece Ms. 45 (1981), the lovely little ladies of Don't Deliver Us from Evil have an uncompromising disdain for criminally perverted untermensch and thus act accordingly. Of course, to an extent, Don't Deliver Us from Evil is an erotically-charged work, but the various scenes of sick teenage sensuality are ultimately eclipsed by the film's Satanic anti-Catholic and anti-bourgeois themes. In fact, upon its release, Don't Deliver Us from Evil was banned not for its steaming portrayal of enfant terrible eroticism, but due to its glaring anti-Catholic themes, hence the relatively obscure status of the film until somewhat recently. Virtually plot-less in form, Don't Deliver Us from Evil is almost as anarchistic in structure as it is in sentiment. Although director Joël Séria claims that the film is almost wholly inspired by his personal youthful experiences and communal readings of decadent French poetry, he did, unsurprisingly, cite the films of Luis Buñuel as a minor influence. That being said, a dual screening of Don't Deliver Us from Evil with Buñuel’s final work That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) would make for a flawless ungodly double-feature, as both films offer a distinguished and uninhibited exhibition of anti-bourgeois sex and politics, minus the overly preachy intellectual masturbation typical of such works. 

 Although a non-actor before appearing in the film, Joël Séria made the right decision when he decided to cast Jeanne Goupil as the lead in Don't Deliver Us from Evil as she would not only prove to give an iconic (if mostly unseen) performance, but would also go on to be the director’s longtime lover. Despite going on to mainly direct comedies, Joël Séria would make one more wonderfully wicked film with gorgeous Goupil as the lead. In 1976, Séria directed Marie, the Doll aka Marie-poupée, a work that like Don’t Deliver Us from Evil, examines the aberrant nature and inevitable symptoms of bourgeois sexual restraint, including pedophilia. In a sense, Marie, The Doll is a much darker film with an even more tragic ending, but Don’t Deliver Us from Evil certainly holds its own as a magnificent work of singular movie malevolence. If you’re a fretful young lady that wants to put an end to the dubious and undesirable propositions of a certain aggressive dirty old man in your life, recommend that they see Don’t Deliver Us from Evil and let those pathetic perverted fellows know how you really feel. I would never call myself a proponent of feminism, but Don’t Deliver Us from Evil is one of few works that reminds me that women have certain inalienable rights, including the right to kill if necessary. Of course, I would be lying if I did not admit that one of the greatest appeals of Don’t Deliver Us from Evil is Jeanne Goupil and her plentifully profane yet wholly persuading presence. If the Church of Satan ever gets around to updating their Video List, I think it is safe to say that they should make an effort to add Don’t Deliver Us from Evil to it, as it makes Rosemary's Baby (1967) seem like a cautionary Catholic fairytale.-Ty E


After many years of passively searching, I have finally discovered an experimental postmodern vampire flick that does not compel me to fantasize about breaking the jaws and eye-sockets of bearded hipster fags with pseudo-sophisticated black-rimmed poindexter glasses. Executive produced and presented by David Lynch (who also appears in the film in a cameo role as a morgue receptionist), Nadja (1994) is a work that many falsely believe was ghost-directed by no other than the Eraserhead auteur himself. With its excessive phantasmagorical imagery and sometimes schlocky experimental camera work (pre-dating Inland Empire by over a decade), it is not hard to fathom why one would assume Nadja was directed by tastefully loony Lynch, but for anyone who has seen Michael Almereyda’s previous efforts Twister (1989) and Another Girl Another Planet (1992), it should be plain to see that the underrated American auteur filmmaker’s metaphysical fingerprints are all over this wildly idiosyncratic vampire flick.  Beginning his career in film as a screenwriter, Almereyda wrote a screenplays for the post-apocalyptic Scifi cult flick Cherry 2000 (1987), Wim Wenders' Scifi epic Until the End of the World (1991) and an unreleased David Lynch project before ever having the supreme dictatorial honor of sitting in the director's chair.  Starring the beautiful Romanian Jewess Elina Löwensohn (the sole Hebrewess that I would bequeath such an unbecoming compliment to)  in the starring vamp role and WASP wimp Martin Donovan as a beta-male boxer with female trouble, Nadja also has the situational semblance of a Hal Hartley film, had the Henry Fool (1997) director digested an equal amount of Bram Stoker and George Sylvester Viereck (The House of the Vampire certainly comes to mind) with his readings of Jean-Paul Sartre as a young man. Shot on rich black-and-white neo-noir-ish celluloid for scenes of melodrama and traditional horror, and a children’s toy Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera for segments of inter-species lesbian sex and blotchy bloody murder, Nadja is surely a neo-gothic trip of sorts that offers an onliest sensory overload without the aesthetic advantage of an Argento-esque kaleidoscope of killer colors. Indeed, most people associate blood with the color red, yet the absence-of-color hemoglobin featured in Nadja is more than suitably potent as it takes on a fetishistic ejaculatory quality that acts as the main part and parcel for determining the dichotomous struggle between lust and love, impotency and vitality, and – ultimately – life and death. 

 Admittedly, I had to watch Nadja three or four times before I could soak up the integral plangency of the film’s storyline and various subplots. Like the films of Guy Maddin, Nadja features a weird and wayward thunderstorm of aesthetic and thematic wankery that is indubitably reflective of the filmmaker’s encyclopedic understanding of vampire film history, but unlike most films by the goofy Nordic Canadian director – when one examines the quality and flow of the work as a whole – it is quite apparent that Michael Almereyda is largely successful with his lucid and luscious cinematic love letter to the vampire subgenre. Nadja focuses on a wealthy yet patently dysfunctional bi-species vampire family (the human matriarch of the family died long ago after giving birth to her two mongrel children) from Romania that is currently living a life of cosmopolitan and hedonistic degeneracy abroad in modern day New York City.  As she explains during the beginning of the film, Nadja adores NYC because it offers a vibrant nightlife that is nonexistent in most European metropolitan areas. After Dr. Van Helsing (played by Peter Fonda) kills the patriarch (also played by Fonda) of the already decomposing Dracula family, two fraternal twins squabble over the dubious fate of their family’s mostly infamous legacy. Nadja, being an uncompromising and ferocious femme fatale of the entrancing bloodsucking kind, would like to see the family reinvent itself, but her passive brother Edgar (played by Jared Harris) – who is barely a vampire (he feeds off of exotic shark embryos instead of human blood) and is in love with a mere mortal – rather see the irrevocable extinction of the more-than-human half of his peculiar pedigree. After his girlfriend Lucy (played by Galaxy Craze) is put under the all-consuming spell of undead lesbo Nadja, archetypical beta-male Jim and his notably nimble Uncle Dr. Van Helsing chase the virulent vampiress half-way around the world with the central goal of driving a wooden stake through her exceedingly cold-heart, thus freeing the souls of the she-beast's victims. Naturally, Van Helsing and his cowardly nephew prove to be a pathetic match for cunning creature Nadja’s nefarious supernatural powers, but fortuitously for them, she is a true blue quasi-suicidal Goth girl at heart with an impenetrable desire for tragic transcendence and total rebirth. If you think the average premenstrual female is hopelessly erratic and wholly intolerable, you have yet to see blood-addict Nadja after she has been drained of her vital bodily fluids.

 I must admit that I never expected to see a vampire film containing songs by Irish alpha-shoegaze group My Bloody Valentine, but Nadja does indeed offers such a delectable and unrestrained diacritic aesthetic mix. A scene of Bela Lugosi from Victor Halperin’s White Zombie (1932) also appears in the film as a nostalgic flashback of young Dracula during his prime. A number of scenes also pay blatant tribute to the ruined Eastern European castles of F.W. Murnau’s vampire masterpiece Nosferatu (1922). These sorts of anachronistic ingredients contribute to a film that, although shamelessly postmodern and ardently artsy, is not the least bit pretentious, but it is surely a work for those individuals that are obscenely vampire-film-literate. Of course, Nadja is not the sort of film I would recommend to people who masturbate to ultra-sleazy softcore lesbian vampire flicks, even if it does feature an intensely pulchritudinous, carpet-munching cold-cunt bloodsucker. Nadja is also ultimately a work that poses sensible questions about life and death in a steadily deteriorating post-industrial and pre-apocalyptic world, but not in the superlatively mundane and emotionally barren my-name-is-Sofia-Coppola-and-my-bourgeois-life-is-unchallenging-and-I-want-to-die sort of way. After all, who would make a more suitable existentialist philosopher than a singularly worldly, ancient aristocratic vampire? Forget manic-depressive Maddin's uneven (yet admittedly ambitious) undead-Chinaman-ballet Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002) and instead bask in the beauteous beaming bright white light of Elina Löwensohn's immaculate pale skin in Nadja.  Nadja gets more pussy than pretty boy Edward Cullen, yet only puts forth about 1/100th of the effort to do so, which is beyond a shadow of a doubt the hallmark of a truly hip yet classic strigoi creature.
-Ty E

The Odd One Dies


For my money, the strongest work to come out of Milkyway Image, if not Hong Kong cinema as a whole, was the initial burst of nigh-forgotten classics released before the company's break-out hit Running Out of Time in 1999. Among these were a trio of films "directed by Patrick Yau" (Expect of the Unexpected, The Longest Nite, and The Odd One Dies) which have since been proven to be almost solely the work of Milkyway head honchos Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai. And while these fellas have provided us with some very consistent, effortlessly cool cinema over the years, none of it compares to the liberated burst of fuck-all experimentation that sparked it all.
So from what I understand, Patrick Yau was an assistant director to Johnnie To, and To either decided to cut the kid a break and Yau wasn't able to pull his weight, or to direct a few flicks for him to get him on the path to career, or something, but the whole house of cards came tumbling down about the time Expect the Unexpected came out and was nominated for some HK Film awards. At this point, To and Wai owned up to the fact they directed all but about three scenes of the film, and whether any of this has anything to do with these films sliding into obscurity I don't know (more likely than not it's the blink-and-you've missed it accelerated culture of HK than anything else), but if you can hunt down copies of any of these flicks (also Wai Ka-Fai's absurdly inventive Too Many Ways To Be No. 1 and To's heroic bloodshed send-up A Hero Never Dies), you'll be duly rewarded.
Of all the above-mentioned films, The Odd One Dies is in many ways the strangest of the bunch, a surprisingly tender inversion of the familiar tropes of Wong Kar-wai's mid-nineties work that manages to both stand on it's own as a winning alternate reality romantic comedy for fucked up weirdos and in a lot of ways comments on exactly what WKW's flicks are lacking. As a formative filmgoer, Wong Kar-wai was among the first non-exploitation directors to really grab me. The lyricism of Chungking Express' lonely urbanites and the unbridled cool of Fallen Angels, with Chris Doyle's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink camera ejaculation, spoke directly to a teenager for whom Godard was not yet a four-letter word. As time has dragged on, I can still appreciate Wong's work, but mostly on technical or nostalgic terms. There is a certain shallow center to all of the hip posturing, cool tunes, and picture-perfect casting (I mean, are we really supposed to believe that Leon Lai's existential hitman in Fallen Angels wouldn't drop everything to run away with Michelle Reis? And that she would pine for THAT guy? Look at her! What does she have to be all sad and lonely about? She's the fucking hottest babe of all fucking time) that doesn't quite hit the spot like it once did. Perhaps it has something to do with the aging process? As a teen I wanted my adult life to consist of blurry montages with a catchy pop soundtrack, a revolving cast of angsty babes secretly cleaning my apartment, excellent clothes and perfect hair and endearing monologues to myself about how my bar of soap is sad and shit. The reality of life has proven to be anything but a live-action WKW flick, though. Body fat, bad haircuts galore, some attractive women, granted, but not sadly pining for me, just beating me with umbrellas and bemoaning my fashion blunders. When I try to look off into the distance and smoke a cigarette and smoke gets in my eyes and instead of looking like some existential superhero for the Pitchfork Media set I'm just a smelly-fingered advertisement for quitting, while my interior monologues aren't quirky and metaphor-laden but pathetic and disturbing.
Fortunately, Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai took it upon themselves to make what is essentially a Wong Kar-Wai film for strange schlubs like us. Instead of populating The Odd One Dies with model-types bemoaning their inability to feel emotions or get over one unattainable hottie for another one, The Odd One Dies is the story of two imperfect, inherently flawed individuals who are briefly brought together, and within the rough edges of the story, some truly uplifting and real emotions are mined. Takeshi Kaneshiro (one of the stars of Chungking Express and Fallen Angels) is cast as a wannabe gangster who, wanting to prove himself after a humiliating beating and in need of cash, agrees to kill a Thai man for some actual gangsters in what is obviously a suicide mission. After a card game in which his bad fortunes are temporarily reversed (a great scene showcasing the understated, off-centre black humor of the film), he is flush with cash and decides to contract out the killing to someone else. That someone else happens to be a fresh out-of-jail, thoroughly pitiful Carman Lee, who agrees to the suicide mission either for the money and a chance to escape her past or because she is genuinely suicidal. The antithesis of the runway model WKW heroine, an early scene reminiscent of a similar section of Chungking Express, also featuring Kaneshiro, has him lovingly removing and washing her socks as she sleeps (much as he removes Brigitte Lin's shoes in that film) in a hotel bed opposite his, but undercuts the romance of the situation with the fact he does so because her feet fucking REEK. Furthermore, Lee's character knows REAL tragedy- she wasn't simply rejected by some pin-up pop idol taking a celluloid vacation, but tricked into killing her own cousin as a teenager by a conniving husband who hardly remembers her. As the todd pair share hotel rooms and plan the killing, the only expected element is that they are brought together romantically, though where it goes from there is completely unpredictable.
Further ribbing of Wong's flicks comes when Lee tries to give herself a hip, short haircut a la Faye Wong in Chungking Express and with Kaneshiro's help manages to shore her long locks into a horrifying mullet. When he respectfully acquiesces to a similar mane butchering, we know we are not in quite the same suave universe as Wong's flicks, but one strikingly similar to our own. Kaneshiro does a magnificent job of playing a conflicted, thoroughly confused young slacker, in some ways a reflection of his endearing mute slapstick performance in Fallen Angels (the sole pathos earned in that film comes via his mugging silent comedy, though it is almost robbed by going full-tilt sentimental towards the end), but instead of making the character saccharine sweet to the point of a toothache, in this flick he is merely severely stupid and in over his head, but given to moments of betraying his tough guy posturing with moments of compassion, typically in the form of beating those who dare offend the put-upon Carman Lee. One last mention of Wong Kar-Wai to be made before getting into what really makes this film an unheralded classic - Raymond Wong's synth-tango score is in some ways reminiscent of the similar musical direction of WKW's Days of Being Wild, but the main theme is far more infectious, and the casiotone kitschiness make it all the more shaggy dog endearing.
What really sends The Odd One Dies into another level altogether is how deftly it plays with our expectations. There is a scene where Lee manages to confront her scumbag scam artist husband, and with his snide dismissal, pulls out a gun and shoots him. The emotion rings true, but doesn't seem to fit the altogether more reality-based pull of the script. Then she snaps out of it and we realize it was but a daydream and, as in real life, she is forced to confront the situation without catharsis. One blackly comic recurring gag involved a gangster who, first by Kaneshiro, then Lee, is shorn of his fingers. Both scenes involve his henchman running like madmen looking for ice, while we the audience are blown away by the fact that this movie's idea of side-splitting humor is a dude getting his fingers lopped off. YES! But at a certain point, this character, after catching Kaneshiro and deigning to cut off his hand, looks like he will again be shorn his re-attached digits and the most unexpected thing of all happens. Forgiveness. This scene of redemption all but makes the film, subverting both the expected outcome and the comedic thrust of the finger-loppings by taking it into unexpectedly touching territory (mirroring an earlier scene in which a snobbish hotel clerk reveals himself to be far less one-note than anticipated). As the film nears it's end, things are wrapped up in a similarly low-key and road-less-travelled manner. From the word go, To and Wai (er, Patrick Yau), prove themselves to be sly genre revisionists of the finest caliber. While the recent work of Milkyway is continually inventive, classy, and often, like this film, the ultimate rarity- meta without devolving into film-geek condescension or mere homage - I can't help but wish they could still work in the occasional lower-budgeted, understated piece like The Odd One Dies or Expect the Unexpected. Genre cinema as a whole would benefit from more of this kind of expert capsizing of conventions.

Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men

Although I have never been particularly fond of serial killers nor the American populous' peculiar obsession with them, I spent a good portion of my time last weekend watching a number of films about them. Out of all of these mostly wretched works, only two left any sort of notable impression on me: The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer (1993) and Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men (1989). While The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer impressed me due to its unabashedly exploitative and downright uproarious portrayal of deranged Dahmer, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men had the total opposite effect on me. Based on a stageplay about Dennis “British Jeffrey Dahmer” Nilsen that was conceived by Lloyd Newson and performed by the DV8 Physical Theatre located in London, England, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men directed by David Hinton (Strange Fish) is a militantly expressionistic cinematic performance art piece that can barely described as a serial killer flick, at least in any conventional sense. DV8 Physical Theatre, which has been described as 'the theatre of blood and bruises', is somewhat notorious for its ‘unconventional’ approach to dance, using everything from virtual violence to less-than-mobile cripples in their pleasantly peculiar frolic pieces. Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men – a film that begins with four men feeding off of a catchy synthpop track and each other at an aggressive gay club and ends with three of these men laying dead in artful poses – is quite possibly their most infamous yet critically revered work. Featuring not a single line of dialogue nor acknowledging a single character’s name, the film expresses a variety of entangled emotions that surely cannot be properly articulated through the use of mere stagnant words. Shot with black-and-white film on minimalistic yet aesthetically domineering sets engulfed amongst unsettling shadows, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is a work that permeates gritty doom and gloom in a strikingly stylized and queerly indefatigable fashion. Had Jean Cocteau taken steroids instead of opium and collaborated with Jean Genet, Jörg Buttgereit and Derek Jarman on a film directed within the seemingly limited confines of a lone soundstage, it would most likely resemble Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men; a work of truly carnal cinematic poetry in motion.

If the real Dennis Nilsen were to watch Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men, I am sure he would be more than flattered by the highly fictionalized portrayal of his homo-cidal antics. On top of featuring four men that one would never mistake for being banal government bureaucrats, none of the actors give off the vibe of a feeble and pathetic introvert that footage and photographs of Dennis Nilsen radiate in a most shuddersome manner. Preying exclusively on the weak, including junkies, prostitutes, vagrants and the like, Nilsen was not exactly a stud of a serial killer and neither were his queer quarry. Sporting bold combat boots and shaved heads (or at least two of them are), the muscular martial men of Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men look as if they could be training for the remaining days of an apocalyptic world war. Of course, these agile brothers-in-arms are not getting ready to attack an enemy army, but each other. Featuring ambiguous dichotomies that blur the line between sex and violence, and love and hate, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is a work that examines psychosis and the transcendence of the individual from the organic to inorganic. Due to the exceptionally choreographed and brutishly calculated ‘dance’ sequences featured in the film, every movement in Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men seems quite naturalistic, despite the blatantly theatrical persuasion of the film. It is not until three of the four men are dead that the viewer realizes the line between the normal and abnormal has been irrevocably crossed.  As someone who has always found most forms of dance to be dreadfully insipid and uninspiring, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men proved to be an exorbitantly dynamic work that can be relished even by those individuals who are not very keen on grown men dancing around like coke-fueled fairies. 

 Using the curious case of cunning coldhearted killer Dennis Nilsen as a mere motif for examining ideas and interpreting emotions about the frailty of human condition in a refreshingly unpedantic manner, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is a film that will be more of interest to fans of Leni Riefenstahl and Ingmar Bergman’s work than the typical serial killer fetishist. For those interested in seeing a strictly realistic portrayal of Dennis Nilsen and his crimes, the gritty British horror-docudrama Cold Light of Day (1989) directed by Fhiona-Louise (who committed suicide shortly after finishing the film at the premature age of 21) makes for an atmospheric and endearing yet objective depiction of the mass murderer's odious 'sexual' conquests. In many ways, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is the ultimate anti-serial killer flick. Instead of portraying the killer in a typically romantic manner as a charming social Darwinist with a refined taste for blood (The Silence of the Lambs, American Psycho), or as a monstrous killing machine with nil emotions (Halloween, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men depicts the deadly manhunter in a state of unmitigated 'nakedness', characterizing him during his most vulnerable and, ultimately, his most human moments, thus bring humanity to the inhuman; undoubtedly, an audacious and perverse premise that is bound to offend an ample number of viewers. Indeed, the film is as visceral as serial killers flicks come, yet Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men does the seemingly impossible by not featuring a single drop of blood. Needless to say, I never expected for an avant-garde dance film to be one of very few works that, in my opinion, successfully playacts the metaphysics of murder, at least of the thoroughly repressed homosexual sort. Not only would I argue that Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is quite possibly the most importunate 'dance' film of its time, but I would also wager that it is one of the most celestially idiosyncratic offerings of mostly malodorous and depreciated celluloid ghetto that is the serial killer film. - Ty E

The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer

When a film begins with a scene of Jeffrey Dahmer driving around in a convertible as if he is some sort of suave gay playboy on the prowl like the fellows in Gregg Araki's The Living End (1992), you know it is going to be a great one. As I soon found out while watching The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer (1993) directed by David R. Bown and starring Carl Crew (Blood Diner, Ironhorse), not only did the flick prove to be an extremely entertaining effort, but also a notably (but unintentionally) gut-busting one as well, as it puts most genuine horror-comedies to shame with its mundane melodrama and bodacious interracial murder and mayhem. Featuring scenes of devilishly dandy Dahmer calling people “Pigs” (as if he is some sort of horror-film-addicted burnout metalhead), crying like a little girl, teasing a deaf Negro, prank calling his mom, turning Asian boys into zombies, sneering at a prankster priest, and many other wonderful things, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer is a delectable work of accidental political incorrectness that is not to be missed. Essentially, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer portrays Dahmer as some sort of ridiculous rebel-with-a- reprehensible-cause that lives in a state of indefinite adolescence and whose belligerent behavior is merely the result of having an estranged mommy and an overbearing daddy. Like angst-driven anti-hero Jim Stark (James Dean) from Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause (1955), the Jeffrey Dahmer of The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer is an uncommonly likeable anti-social rebel who loathes his family just as much as he disrespects the institution of law and order. Also, like Jim Stark, Dahmer has a special talent for attracting weaker social degenerates. Of course, unlike Stark, Dahmer is totally disingenuous in his charm as he is a master of deceit who will tell any lie and put on any front just to achieve his remarkably aberrant aims. In The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, daring Dahmer is as compelling as the most seasoned of carny hucksters yet he has the special natural born advantage of having all-American boyish good looks and a superficially laidback disposition, thus being able to easily deceive and manipulate his prospective victims in a rather unsophisticated manner. Throughout The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, Jeff lures a variety of gay and not-so-gay men to his domestic torture chamber (aka a scarcely furnished efficiency apartment) under the false pretense that he will pay them between $150.00-200.00 in exchange for agreeing to pose nude for a series of Polaroid photographs. Of course, snapping perverted photos is only mere foreplay for dirty Dahmer as he is a more “hands on” kind of guy. Despite physical appearances to the contrary, Dahmer ain’t no uptight wasp, but an active endorser of multiculturalism and die-versity as he lives in a ghetto and loves ridin’ dirty wit his many brothas of different colors. 
  If any part of The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer does the best job of capturing the film's essence as a whole, it is a scene towards the end of the film featuring our brave homicidal homo hero wearing a She-Devils on Wheels (1968) t-shirt as he murders and snaps photographs of his latest victim. Like the exceedingly gratuitous and pointless films of Herschell Gordon Lewis, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer is a work that features a wealth of tasteless humor and carnal campiness, except to a deeper, mostly unintentional, and ultimately more preposterous degree.  It should also be noted that actor Carl Crew (who also wrote the film's screenplay) previously starred as one of the cannibalistic Tutman brothers in the low-budget horror-comedy Blood Diner (1987); a pseudo-sequel to Herschell Gordon Lewis' 'pioneering' gore flick Blood Feast (1963). Indeed, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer features a ‘blood feast’ worthy of a bloodlusting Egyptian goddess, but contained within a seedy slum worthy of two thousand crack-addicted maniacs. Dahmer may live in an apartment full of strong and uppity welfare queens that 'get up in his grill' quite regularly, but his lonely apartment is a distinct lunatic microcosm of his own making, adorned with the scant furnishings of a generic mad man, including abstract skeleton paintings on the walls and a lone kitschy skull on a tabletop. To accommodate the imperative needs of his rapidly decomposing company, Dahmer has a large black barrel containing acid that acts as a substitute room if sorts. Anytime Dahmer wants to grab a quick bite to eat, he merely has to open his freezer, which contains a couple decapitated heads of color and other assorted body parts. When having guests over for dinner, Dahmer never forgets to offer them a mixed drink that he creates with the utmost care, as a lack of hospitality would be most unbecoming for a gentleman of Jeffrey Dahmer’s outstanding caliber. As the viewer soon learns while watching The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, one would be at a loss to find a host as attentive and concerned with the welfare of his guests than Jeffrey Dahmer. When not entertaining the company of prospective lovers, Dahmer is sitting in a chair all by his lonesome making pseudo-deranged faces while staring into eternity as if he was Bela Lugosi's pothead grandson.  To add to the sensory overload that is The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, Carl Crew narrates the film with cheesy and mirthfully cliched lines of reflection that are quite typical of ineptly assembled film noir flicks and made-for-television Lifetime channel movies. With sounds and images such as these, it should be easy see why virtually every second of The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer manages to be nothing short of captivating. 

 When considering the film within the context of the time when it was created, it should come as no surprise that The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer was made under the dubious confines of total secrecy. Initially intended as a theatrical release, the film would be cursed into obscurity as a straight-to-video release. Somewhat fittingly, while in prison, Dahmer was violently bludgeoned to death with a broom handle by a racist black man suffering from a messianic complex only a year or so after the release of The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer. Indubitably, in a audacious display of profoundly bad taste, the film concludes with a memorial list of Dahmer’s various victims. It is quite apparent while watching The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer that it was assembled in a hurried manner so as to monopolize on Dahmer’s newfound infamy using cinematic conventions that have more in common with satirical horror-comedies like The Undertaker and His Pals (1966) and the works of Herschell Gordon Lewis than what one would expect from a typical true crime docudrama. Thankfully (but unsurprisingly), The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer was not the last film to offend the families of Dahmer’s victims. In 2002, the American Jeffrey Dahmer biopic Dahmer starring Jeremy Renner was released. Unlike The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, Dahmer is overly empathetic towards its necrophiliac/cannibalistic subject and portrayals Dahmer as a victim of his authoritarian father’s homophobic tyranny. Lady auteur Kathryn Bigelow was so impressed with Renner’s performance as Dahmer in Dahmer that she decided to cast him as the lead of her Academy Award nominated and six-time Oscar award winning film The Hurt Locker (2008). Needless to say, Carl Crew’s performance as a ‘dashing’ Jeffrey Dahmer in The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer is less than Oscar worthy, but he does bring a certain exceptional anti-social charisma to the role that may have led some audiences from 1993 to believe that one day, like Charles Manson, the self-loathing homo-cidal serial killer would become a cult hero of sorts for disaffected gay youth.  Considering that abnormal Aryan auteur Jörg Buttgereit always opens his films with serious quotes from popular American serial killers, I think he might want to consider making Jeffrey Dahmer the central subject of a potential third Nekromantik film. Although Jeffrey Dahmer is still mostly regarded as the archetype for all things both evil and degenerate, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer has, rightfully, gone on to obtain a marginal, but vocal cult following. As someone who had the novel honor of being told as a child that I had a strikingly resemblance to a young Jeffrey Dahmer, a film like The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer holds a special place in my heart. -Ty E


It has certainly been sometime since I saw a film as intrinsically fucked up as the all but totally unknown British work Duffer (1971) directed by Joseph Despins and William Dumaresque (who also penned the script). The film follows a tragic young man named Duffer, a seemingly kindhearted and selfless bastard boy that has a deep semi-conscious desire to engage in steamy and seedy intercourse with both his father and mother – a dually destructive dichotomy (an oedipal and gay Electra complex if you will) of ailing ying contra yang – but being without a family and a strong independent personality of his own, he divides his time between two radically conflicting lovers: an exceedingly deranged middle-aged queer named Louis-Jack (played by co-director/screenwriter William Dumaresque) and a tacky yet affectionate middle-aged hooker named ‘Your Gracie.’ Duffer is a part-time masochist and Louis-Jack is his ever so clever personal (and oddly paternal) sadist, as the older man is always devising new and inventive methods to test the lad’s mortality, so as to derive maximum erotic pleasure through his malicious pseudo-fatherly endeavors.  Indeed, Duffer has no problem being Louis-Jack's personal dog, but he also enjoys assuming the role of a precious man-boy whose penchant for total amorousness knows no bounds.  Luckily for Duffer, Miss Your Gracie is a tad bit more conventional in her sexual yearnings, as her only demand of the boy is that he should develop better sexual stamina.  Miss Your Gracie also loves to spoon Duffer as if he were her vulnerable infant son. Despite taking it in the pooper like a seasoned poofer, Duffer is quite repelled by loveless lunatic lover Louis-Jack’s violent sexuality, but he rationalizes his passive abuse with reflective lines like (to paraphrase), “I wouldn’t want to deprive him of something that gives him great pleasure.” Quite openly, Duffer admits that he frequents the charming company of pseudo-mommy Your Gracie so as to, “restore my manhood", or so he says. Of course, Duffer has a hard time firmly establishing his manhood due to Louis-Jack’s insistence that he have a baby; an impossible task that the swinish old man thinks he can accomplish by sodomizing the boy until he has thoroughly bloodied his rectum and raped his mind. Being a precariously loyal lad, Duffer takes it upon himself to make Louis-Jack’s ludicrous dreams come true, henceforth culminating in the most despicable, yet sardonically symbolic, of results.  Quite vividly and even viciously, Duffer illustrates the benefits of being a bland breeder as opposed to being an undaunted buggerer.

Throughout the entirety of Duffer, the leading boy reflects on his thoughts and emotions by speaking directly to the viewer via voice-over narration. What makes this particularly disheartening is that co-director/writer William Dumaresque narrated the voice of Duffer and not the young actor (Kit Gleave) that actually played the boy. Admittedly, this was probably for the better as the dirty old man’s overly involved and elaborately detailed (bordering on the fetishistic) commentary adds another imperative layer of distinct aberrancy to Duffer that is destined to shadow the mind of the viewer for many decades to come after watching the film. Indeed, Duffer is one of those rare cinematic works that one would be most inescapably ashamed to show to friends, family members, and lovers, as the film acts as a carrier for what could most suitably described as an incurable metaphysical STD. Simply put, Duffer is one of the most thematically revolting films ever made as it exhibits human beings at their most hopelessly debauched, pathologically-enslaved, and morally unsalvageable, yet it is also an irregularly enrapturing work without any serious contemporaries, aside from maybe Peter Whitehead and Niki De Saint Phalle's inferior work Father (1973).  Duffer is like a collection of case studies from Richard von Krafft-Ebing's revolutionary work Psychopathia Sexualis (1886) come to life, except portrayed in a fashion that totally contradicts the emotional sterility of an objective scientist. Indeed, not only is Duffer a victim of vice, but, as much as one does not want to admit it, so are his two elder ‘lovers’, even the ever so morally and mentally insane Louis-Jack; an unrepentant sadistic sodomite with a keen proclivity towards combining the worst elements of his organ-piercing perversity and cerebral precariousness. After all, it is quite doubtful that Louis-Jack was born a brutish boy-buggering beast (as he certainly does not look like one), but, more likely, as a young boy, he sexually debased in a manner similar to the way he treats Duffer, thus proliferating a vicious circle of hysterical homo-sadomasochism. By the end of Duffer, the boy protagonist has gone from being a sensitive and passive boy looking for love in all the wrong places to de-evolving into a man whose lack of mental stability and newfound tendency towards gross criminality rivals that of his spiritual father Louis-Jack. One can only wonder what kind of life Duffer would go onto live after the film’s conclusion, but it is not a stretch to suggest that he, like his maniacal mentor, could very likely go onto to produce a number of equally perverse protégés. On top of being all but totally desensitized to every sexual perversion imaginable, Duffer – who is not always able to distinguish between reality and his erratic imagination – seems to be on his way to becoming a full blown schizophrenic. Although clearly uneducated, Duffer is a deeper thinker and ghetto philosopher/psychologist of sorts who constantly immerses himself in books as a form of therapeutic escapism. Of course, indulging in literary classics can only sway the irrational impulses of a brain-dammaged mind for so long….

As a reflexive nod to the audience (and probably to himself), Duffer co-director William Dumaresque (as sick fuck Louis-Jack) appears in Duffer as a gutter auteur who directs a number of borderline snuff films depicting his poor boy toy in various exceedingly comprised and devilishly disbarred positions. One can only wonder whether or not Louis-Jack aspires to be the next Paul Morrissey, but his naturalist knack for candid realism and exquisite exploitation is unquestionable. In one particularly odious scene in Duffer, Uncle L.J. simultaneously films Duff as he covers the sleeping boy’s naked body with an assortment of slimy worms. Demonstrating his commitment to creatively degrading his victim from every angle imaginable, Louis-Jack also forces Duffer to watch the edited final cut of his wicked worm-meets-willy micro-mondo movie. Unsurprisingly, Duffer, in his typically insightful forthrightness, is inordinately critical of the dubious artistic merit behind Louis-Jack’s latest cinematic effort. Being Louis-Jack’s greatest fan and most active supporter, Duffer’s articulate criticism cannot be easily dismissed; and neither can this film. Duffer is a masterpiece, but of what cinematic breed, I cannot say exactly, however, it is plainly apparent that it comes endowed with its own deep and diacritic pathology. Amateurishly (but more than adeptly) directed and shot on gritty black-and-white 16mm film stock, Duffer has a look that consummately compliments its themes and images of proletarian sexual perversity. Making the mental defectives of Frank Perry’s David and Lisa (1962) appear like bourgeois brats and the films of Harmony Korine seem ineptly contrived (a certain baby scene in Trash Humpers more than resembles a scene in Duffer) by contrast, Duffer is as authentic as fictional films come in portraying the irreparable dejection and soul-destroying afflictions that often times take hold of economically disenfranchised whites.  Duffer is the sort of film Andy Warhol always strived to make, but lacked the artistic ingenuity and humility to do so.  It is also a work that makes William Friedkin's portrayal of gay leather-bound sadomasochists in Cruising (1980) seem flattering by comparison. The Brits may have colonized and ruled the many citizens of India in the past, but the lives of the untouchable ghetto rats of Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (2008) seem inconsequential when compared to the life of perdition that pure-blood Englishman Duffer of Duffer leads.


100 Tears
10,000 BC
12 and Holding
12 Monkeys
120 Days of Bottrop, The
13 Beloved
2001 Maniacs
3 Dead Girls!
3 Women
36 Fillette
4th Dimension, The
88 Minutes
9 Songs


Abelard the Castration
Above the Below
Act da Fool
Adventures in Dinosaur City
Afterman, The
Afro-Punk: The 'Rock n Roll Nigger' Experience
Ages of Lulu, The
Ah Pook is Here
Alexandra's Project
All About the Benjamins
All Dogs Go To Heaven
All Good Things
All Night Long
All Night Long 2: Atrocity
All Quiet on the Western Front
Alpha Dog
Aluminum Fowl, The
Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 (Film Version)
Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 (Snuff Version)
American Gothic
Amicus Mortis
And the Ship Sails On
Andy Warhol's Bad
Angel of Darkness
Angel's Melancholia, The
Animal Lover
Anita: The Shocking, Young Nymphomaniac
Apocalypse According to Cioran
Apocalypse Now Appartement, L'
Arcade Attack
Arena (1989)
Arrival, The
Ashik Kerib
Assault! Jack the Ripper
Asylum (1972)
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World
August Underground Trilogy
Automaton Transfusion
Awakening Of The Beast
Away We Go
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life


Babylon A.D.
Babysitter Wanted
Bad Biology
Bad Boy Bubby
Bad Boys (1983)
Bad Ronald
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Bagman - Profession: Meurtrier
Bangkok Dangerous (1999)
Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
Basket Case
Bat Pussy
Batman: Dead End
Battlefield Baseball
Be Kind Rewind
Beasts, The
Beautiful Girl Hunter
Beauty and the Beast
Beguiled, The
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Being, The
Being Captured
Bet, The
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Beyond, The
Beyond the Darkness
Big Shave, The
Big Trouble in Little China
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bitch is Back, The
Bitter Feast
Bittersweet Life, A
Black Book
Black Cobra
Black Devil Doll from Hell
Black House
Black Night
Black Rage
Black Santa's Revenge
Black Sheep
Black Sun
Black Swan
Blade Runner
Blind Beast
Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf
Blob, The (1988)
Blond, Blue Eyes
Blood Creek
Blood for Dracula
Blood in the Face
Bloodthirsty Fairy, The
Bloody Moon
Blow Job - Soffio erotico
Blue Movie (1978)
Blue Velvet
Bondage Game
Bone Sickness
Bonnie and Clyde
Border, The
Boss Nigger
Box Ball
Brain Damage Films Introduction
Brokeback Mountain
Brood, The
Brutal Relax
Buffalo '66
Bullet Ballet
Bullet Train
Bunker of the Last Gunshots, The
Burial Ground
Burn After Reading


Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005), The
California Reich, The
Can You Call Me Sweetheart?
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
Cannibal Terror
Capitaine X
Captain Berlin Versus Hitler
Captured For Sex 2
Carnival of Souls
Carny Talk
Castle Keep
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Centipede Horror
Charles Manson Superstar
Chaser, The
Chichi Rangers Children, The (2008)
China Girl
Chocolate War, The
Christmas Story, A
Class of 1984
Class of 1999
Clean, Shaven
Cloak & Dagger
Closet Land
Cloverfield (Analysis)
Cold Fish
Cold Prey
Cold Prey II
Collector, The
Colony Mutation
Color Purple, The
Combat Shock
Come and See
Concrete-Encased High School Girl Murder Case
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Conversation About Race, A
Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover, The
Cool World
Crank: High Voltage
Crazy Love
Creatures from the Abyss
Creek, The
Crow, The
Crying Game, The
Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, The
Curse of the Puppet Master


Dance of the Dead
Dancer in the Dark
Dandy Dust
Dangerous Method, A
Dangerous Worry Dolls
Darjeeling Limited, The
Dark Knight, The
David and Lisa
David Icke: The Lizards and the Jews
Day of the Dead (2008)
Day the Earth Stood Still, The (2008)
Days of Heaven
Days of Nietzsche in Turin
Dead Calm
Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men
Dead Fury
Dead Girl, The
Dead Leaves
Dead Leaves (Anime)
Dead Pit, The
Dead Ringers
Dead Snow
Dead Zone, The
Deadbeat at Dawn
Deadly Camp, The
Dear Mr. Gacy
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
Death Bell
Death in June: Behind the Mask
Death Note
Death of Stalinism in Bohemia, The
Death Race
Death Racers
Death Sentence
Death Ship
Deception of a Generation
Deep Rising
Defenceless: A Bloody Symphony
Demolition Man
Demonic Toys
Denchu Kozo No Boken
Der Todesengel
Der Todesking
Descent: Part 2, The
Desperate Living
Detroit Metal City
Devil and Daniel Johnston, The
Devil Came at Night, The
Devil's Playground
Diary of the Dead
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Din of Celestial Birds
Dirty Shame, A
Disaster Movie
Disco Godfather
District B13
Do the Right Thing
Do You Like Hitchcock?
Dog Bite Dog
Dog Soldiers
Doggy Poo
Dollman vs. Demonic Toys
Dolph Lundgren is The Killing Machine
Donkey Punch
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)
Don't Deliver Us from Evil
Don't Go in the House
Don't Play With Me Part 2
Doom Generation, The
Doors, The
Double Headed Eagle, The
Down to Hell
Dragonball: Evolution
Dragon Lives Again, The
Drive Angry 3D
Dune Dying Breed


E.T. Porno, The
Eagle Eye
East of Eden
Easy Rider
Easy to Get
Eat the Schoolgirl
Eaten Alive
Eden Lake
Egon Schiele – Exzesse
Electric Dragon 80000V
Elevator Movie
Embodiment of Evil
Embodiment of Evil (Round Two)
Emperor of the North
Enchanted Forest
Entity, The
Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy, The
Europa Europa
Event Horizon
Ex Drummer
Executive Koala
Exterminating Angels, The
Eye in the Sky
Eyes of Fire
Eyes Wide Shut


Fair-Haired Child
Fando y Lis
Fantom Seducer
Far Cry
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear X
Feast II: Sloppy Seconds
Feast III: The Happy Finish
Few Screws Loose, A
Fighter, The
Final Solution to Adolf Hitler, The
Fire in my Belly, A
First Blood
Flesh & Blood
Flesh Eater
Flesh: The Truth About 9/11
Flesh for the Beast
Flock, The
Fly, The
Forklift Driver Klaus
Fourth Man, The
Foxxy Madonna VS. The Black Death
Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare
Freddy Got Fingered
Freeze Frame
Freezer Burn: The Invasion of Laxdale
Friday the 13th (2009)
Fritt Vilt
Fritt Vilt II
Fritz the Cat
From the Drain
From Within
Fugitive Kind, The
Führer Ex
Funeral, The
Funny Games (2008)
Funny Ha Ha


Gary's Touch
Gayniggers from Outer Space
German Chainsaw-Massacre, The
Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust
Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers, The
Go Tell the Spartans
Godfather, The
Godzilla 2000
Godzilla: Final Wars
Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Godzilla vs. Biollante
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster
Golgo 13
Gone the Way of Flesh
Good German, The
Goodbye Uncle Tom
Gran Torino
Grand Illusion
Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, The
Great Magician, The
Great White
Green Berets, The
Green Elephant, The
Grey, The
Guinea Pig: Devil's Experiment
Guyver: Dark Hero


Halloween (2007)
Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind
Hand, The
Hanging Shadows: Perspectives on Italian Horror Cinema
Happening, The
Hard Target Workprint
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantánamo Bay
Harry Brown
Harsh Times
Hated: G.G. Allin & The Murder Junkies
Haunting in Connecticut, The
Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, The
Heart of America
Heart of the World, The
Heavenly Creatures
Heaven's Gate Initiation Tape
Heilt Hitler!
Heinrich Himmler: Anatomy of a Mass Murderer
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Hellraiser: Hellworld
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Hell Comes to Frogtown
Hell Ride
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Her Vengeance
Here Is Always Somewhere Else
Hideshi Hino's Theater of Horror: Boy From Hell
Highway Patrolman
Highway of Heartache
Hills Have Eyes, The (1977)
Hitcher, The
Hitler's Jewish Soldiers
Hobo with a Shotgun
Homo Sapiens 1900
Horseman, The
Hot Rod
Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie
Hour of the Wolf
House (2008)
House on the Edge of the Park
Howard the Duck
Howling, The
How to Make a Monster
Human Tornado, The
Hunger, The
Hungry Devil Spirit
Hunting Creatures
Hustler, The


I Am Not a Freak
I Clowns
I Drink Your Blood
I Melt with You
I Saw the Devil
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
I Stand Alone
I Think We're Alone Now
I Will Walk Like A Crazy Horse
I'll See You in My Dreams
I'm Dangerous with Love
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
Ich Will!
In a Glass Cage
In the Folds of the Flesh
In the Mirror of Maya Deren
In Their Sleep
Incident On and Off a Mountain Road
Incredible Hulk, The
Inglorious Bastards
Inheritors, The
Inland Empire
Invocation of My Demon Brother
In the Soup
Iron Man
Iron Rose, The
Island Of Death
Island Of Lost Souls
Isle of the Damned
It's a Wonderful Life


Jack Be Nimble
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
Jack Frost
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door
Jean Genet's Un Chant D'Amour
Jeremiah Johnson
Jigga Jones
Johnny Sunshine: Maximum Violence
Journey Into Bliss, A
Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead
Julien Donkey-Boy
Junky's Christmas, The


Karate Bear Fighter
Karate Bull Fighter
Karate for Life
Karate Warriors
Katie Tippel
Ken Park
Kick Or Die
Kike Like Me
Kill List
Kill Zone
Killer: A Journal of Murder
Killer, The
Killer Condom
Killer Inside Me, The
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Killer Me
Killer's Kiss
Killer's Moon
Kindred, The
King, The
Kiss Napoleon Goodbye
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Kon Kin Plead 3
Kustom Kar Kommandos


L.I.E. L'immoralita
La Bouche de Jean-Pierre
La Cabina
La femme 100 têtes
La Haine
La Vie en rose
Lady Vengeance
Ladybug Ladybug
Lakeview Terrace
Last American Virgin, The
Last Frankenstein, The
Last House in the Woods, The
Last House on Dead End Street
Last House on the Beach, The
Last House on the Left (2009)
Last King of Scotland, The
Last Mistress, The
Last Performance
Last Winter, The
Late Bloomer
Lawrence of Arabia
Le nécrophile
Le salamandre
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
Leaves of Grass
Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen
Left Bank
Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural
Léon: The Professional
Leprechaun 3
Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood
Les enfants terrible
Let the Right One In
Lethal Force
Lightning Over Water
Liquid Sky
Little Noises
Live Free or Die Hard
Living and the Dead, The
Lolita (1997)
Long Island Four, The
Long Pigs
Long Weekend
Lords of Dogtown
Lost Boys, The
Lost Boys: The Tribe
Lost Highway
Lost in Translation
Lost Paradise
Lot in Sodom
Love Exposure
Love to Kill
Loved Ones, The
Loveless, The
Lucifer Rising
Lucker the Necrophagous
Luna Park


M. Butterfly
Ma mère
Machine Girl, The
Machinist, The
Madame O
Mamma Roma
Man Who Stole the Sun, The
Man, Woman and Beast
Manson Family, The
Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore
Many Moods of Boyd Rice, The
Maruta 3 ... Destroy all Evidence
Massacre at Central High
Massage the History
Masters of the Universe
Max Payne
Meatball Machine
Mein Papa
Men Behind the Sun 3: A Narrow Escape
Men, Heroes, and Gay Nazis
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Meshes of the Afternoon
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Meat Train, The
Midnight Movie
Miracle Mile
Mirror, The
Misled Romance of Cannibal Girl & Incest Boy, The
Mist, The
Mister Lonely
Mixed Blood
Mockingbird Don't Sing
Modern Vampires
Mondo Collecto
Mondo Weirdo: A Trip To Paranoia Paradise
Monkey Shines
Monopoly Men, The
Moon Child
Mother and Son
Mother of Tears (mAQ)
Mother of Tears (J-C)
Mother's Meat & Freud's Flesh
Mothman Prophecies, The
Ms. 45
Mum & Dad
Murder-Set-Pieces (Directors Cut)
My Bloody Valentine 3D
My Name is Bruce
My Nightmare
My Own Private Idaho
My Surfing Lucifer
My Sweet Satan


Naked Blood
Naked Kiss, The
Natural Enemies
Navel and A-Bomb
Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge
NEKRomantik 2
Neo-Nazi Satanism
Never Talk to Strangers
New Daughter, The
New York Ripper, The
Next Door
Next of Kin
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nigger Lover
Night and Fog
Night of the Creeps
Night of the Hell Hamsters
Night of the Hunter, The
Night Porter, The
Night Tide
Night Warning
Nighmare on Elm Street, A
Niku Daruma
No Mercy
No Mercy for the Rude
No More Souls: One Last Slice of Sensation
Nobody Loves Alice
Nói albínói
North Face
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
Notorious (2009)
Now You See Me, Now You Don't


Observe and Report
Omega Shell
On Hitler's Highway
Once Upon A Time In America
One Man's War
Ong Bak 2
Ordinary People
Orozco el Embalsamador
Orphanage, The
Out of the Blue
Outrage (2010)
Over the Top


Pagemaster, The
Paranoid Park
Paris, je t'aime
Park is Mine, The
Passion of Darkly Noon, The
Pastoral: To Die in the Country
Paths Of Glory
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Penalty, The
People Under the Stairs, The
Perdita Durango
Perfect Red
Perkins' 14
Pest, The
Petey Wheatstraw
Phantom of Liberty, The
Phantom of Regular Size, The
Philosophy of a Knife
Pig Fucking Movie, The
Pink Narcissus
Piranha 3D
Plague Dogs, The
Plague Town
Poltergeist III
Poughkeepsie Tapes, The
Prehysteria 2
Pride and Glory
Prince of Darkness
Problem Child
Protector, The
Punisher, The (1989)
Punisher, The (2004)
Punisher: War Zone
Puppet Master
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys
Putrid Sex Object


Quinta Dimensão do Sexo, A


Rabid Dogs
Rachel Getting Married
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rape! 13th Hour
Rape & Death Of A Housewife
Rape After, The
Rape Squad
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Rawhead Rex
Red and the White, The
Red Room
Red State
Redsin Tower, The
Redsin Tower, The (Second Opinion)
Reflections in a Golden Eye
Reflecting Skin, The
ReGOREgitated Sacrifice
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Return of the Living Dead, The
Return to Sleepaway Camp
Rhinoceros Eyes
Rig, The
Righteous Kill
River's Edge
Rocky Balboa
Rollerball (1975)
Rollerball (2002)
Rolling Thunder
Romper Stomper
Roswell Alien Autopsy
Rubin & Ed
Ruins, The
Rules of Attraction, The
Rumble Fish
Run and Kill
Russian Ark
Ruthless Revenge


S&M Hunter
Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom
Samurai Reincarnation
Savage Streets
Savage Vengeance
Save the Green Planet!
Saw V
Scarlet Street
Schizophreniac: The Whore Mangler
Schoolgirls in Chains
Scorpio Rising
Scream 4
Season of the Witch
Secret, The
Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb, The
Secret Glory, The
Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, The
Sella Turcica
Serbian Film, A
Sergeant York
Seven Pounds
Sex, Death & The Hollywood Mystique
Sex Garage, The
Sex Wish
Sexual Parasite - Killer Pussy
Shadow, The
Shaft in Africa
Shaolin & Wu Tang
Ship of Fools
Shock Waves
Silence of the Lambs, The
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Silent Night, Deadly Night(Second Opinion)
Simon Says
Sin of Nora Moran, The
Sinful Dwarf, The
Singapore Sling
Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul
Skin Gang
Skull & Bones
Slaughter Disc
Slime City
Slugs: The Movie
Slumdog Millionaire
Smokin' Aces
Snuff 102
Sodoma's Ghost
Soldier of Orange
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sore for Sighted Eyes, A
Southland Tales
Speak of the Devil
Special Effects
Speed Racer
Sperm, The
Split Second
SS Hell Camp
Stag Night
Stage Fright
Stand By Me
Star Vehicle
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder
Steel and Lace
Steel Helmet, The
Stephen King's Trucks
Strangers, The
Street Fighter, The
Street Kings
Street Trash
Subconscious Cruelty
Sucker Punch
Suicide Club
Suicide Club(Review #2)
Suicide Dolls
Sukiyaki Western Django
Summer Scars
Sun Scarred
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Super, The
Surviving the Game
Suspect Zero
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweet Angel Mine
Sweet Savage
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song


Taint, The
Tales from the Carnal Morgue
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
Tales from the Hood
Tammy and the T-Rex
Tampon Tango
Tard Spasm
Taxi Driver
Taxi Hunter
Ten Monologues from the Lives of the Serial Killers
Tenants, The
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Terror 2000
Terror Toons
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
Tetsuo: The Bullet Man
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (2003)
Thaw, The
There Will Be Blood
They Live
Thin Red Line, The
Third Generation, The
This is England
This Is How The World Ends
Thriller - A Cruel Picture
Tin Drum, The
To Die For
Toby Dammit
Tokyo Elegy
Tokyo Fist
Tokyo Gore Police
Tokyo Zombie
Torturer, The
Total Eclipse
Touch Me in the Morning
Toxic Crusaders: The Movie
Toys Are Not for Children
Tracey Fragments, The (mAQ)
Tracey Fragments, The (Ty E)
Track 29
Trailer Park of Terror
Trampa Infernal
Trial, The
Triangle (2009)
Trilogy of Terror II
Troll Hunter, The
Tropic Thunder
Truck Turner
True Romance
Turkish Delight
Turkish I Spit On Your Grave
Tweek City
Twilight of the Golds, The
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me


Umshini Wam
Unborn, The
Until the Light Takes Us
Up from the Depths


Vacancy 2: The Final Cut
Valhalla Rising
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl
Velvet Goldmine
Vermilion Eyes
Vienna Aktionist Collection, The
Village, The
Violent Shit
Violent Shit II
Visions of Suffering
Viva La Muerte
Voyeur, The
Vrooom Vroom Vroooom


Walk in the Sun, A
Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory, A
Wall Man, The
Wall Street
Wanderers, The
War of the Worlds
War Requiem
Warriors, The
Warriors Way, The
Watch Out
Watcher, The
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
Wesley Willis's Joyrides
What Have They Done to Your Daughters?
What is it?
What We Do Is Secret
White Darkness, The
White Dog
White Lie, The
White Ribbon, The
White Rose Campus: Then Everybody Gets Raped
Who is K.K. Downey?
Wicker Man, The (2006)
Wild Things
Wild Zero
Wilderness (1996)
William S. Burroughs: The Man Within
Wings of Desire
Witchcraft '70
Wizard of Gore, The (2007)
Woman in Berlin, A
Woman Who Powders Herself, The(La Femme qui se poudre)
Womens Flesh: My Red Guts
Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, The
Woodsman, The
World's Greatest Sinner, The
World Trade Center
Wraith, The
Wrestler, The
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead
Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan


X-Files, The: I Want to Believe
Xtro 3: Watch the Skies


Year of the Dragon
Yo-Yo Girl Cop
You Don't Mess with the Zohan
Youth Killer, The


Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!
Zorn's Lemma

100 Years of Adolf Hitler and the Dangers of Idealistic Art Fags

A Pact with Lucifer: Otto Rahn and the Quest for the (Un)Holy Grail

An Odious Ode to Horrorist Hanns
Brando Flirted with Fascism?
A Closer Look at Blaxploitation

Alien vs. Aliens

Anti-Aesthetic Approach of Paul Morrissey, The

Antifascist War Film, The

Banking Scam of Multiculturalism and the Death of Theo van Gogh, The

Cannibal Holocaust: Cultural Anthropologists Finally Get Their Due!

Chris Tucker is Ruby Rhod

Commando: The Homosexual Action Film

Crowley Rising: Kenneth Anger's The Man We Want To Hang and Brush of Baphomet

Crude Revolutionary Aesthetic of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, The

Cultural Pop Icon Quentin Tarantino tackles the Holocaust with Inglorious Bastards

Danielle Harris: A Tale of Two Michael's

Director of the Apocalypse: Gasper Noé

Eastern Promises of White Slavery

Ethical responsibility and race relations in Bamboozled

Freedom Writers, the Zionist Propaganda Classic

French Terrorists Destroying American Horror

Gay Jewish Nazi that inspired Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones, The

German Expressionist Cinema as Unintentional Nazi Propaganda

Gummo and the Decline of Western Civilization

Heath Ledger is the Joker

House of Rothschild

Hedonism, Jewish Altruism and Moderate Neo-Conservative ethics in Independence Day

I'd Rather Hump Trash Instead of Watching Another Movie about the Holocaust

India's Coming of Age in Slumdog Millionaire

Judea Declares War on Germany

Last Aryan Alive: Roy Batty, The

A Laud For Hans Landa

Legend of Dolemite: Not as Big or Bad

Luchino Visconti's Version of "The Night of Long Knives"

My Friday the 13th Adventure with Negro Smiley

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Homoerotic Revenge

On DVD: Man On Wire

One Year Anniversary of Soiled Sinema, A

Order of Myths, The

Personal Aesthetic Influences of Jean Cocteau, The

Postmodern Techniques in the Friedberg and Seltzer Films

President Barack Obama appoints brother of Hollywood Sleaze Agent to White House Chief of Staff

Satanic Neo-Nazi that played a Bar Mitzvah

Schindler's List and Steven Spielberg's Holocaust Myth Making Campaign

Sergei Eisenstein, Judeo-Bolshevism, and Genocide Denial

Shivers / Rabid: Double Feature

Star Persona of Marilyn Monroe, The

Stench of Inglourious Basterds, The

Sunrise: A Masterpiece Lost in Time

Super 8 Rot: The Legacy of Nekromantik

Terror of Friday the 13th, The

Tribute to Jean Reno

Tribute to Lloyd Kaufman

Tribute to Roy Scheider

Tribute to Vincent Cassel

Vin Diesel: Mongrel "Action" Hero

Viral Marketing Techniques Exploited in Cloverfield

Why is Hollywood "Obsessed" with Garbage?

Nema komentara:

Objavi komentar