Holiday Wish List

  Stinger839's Rating My Rating
Eraserhead 1977,  R)
Mulholland Drive 2001,  R)
Blue Velvet 1986,  R)
Blue Velvet
UPDATE 7-30-08
yeh, i friggin love it. genius, duh
I saw it for the first time yesterday, but I cannot thoroughly appraise it yet. I was a bit underwhelmed, but I do tend to have a hot or cold reaction on first screenings. My biggest gripe: needed more Ben (Dean Stockwell's character). This movie feels like the abridged version of Twin Peaks. Frank Booth is a great character, but Kay-Lo (Kyle MacLaughlin) was intolerable in this one (cept I did like that cheeky glance at his dangler). Need to rescreen a few more times before I can rate this one. Then again, Lynch is in that rare category where "ratings" are irrelevant to the degree that it's like asking a toaster its marital status.
"So Fucked Up" highlight:
the "zombified" yellow man
Pretty As A Picture: The Art Of David Lynch 1997,  Unrated)
Pretty As A Picture: The Art Of David Lynch
All Lynch fans MUST see this. It is a sort of biography of Lynch via most of his major collaborators and mentors over the years talking on Lynch, most taking place with Lynch present and interaction between him and the other subject. These interviews are interspersed between segments of real-time observation of Lynch doing various projects. We get to watch him work on some carpentry, several paintings, a few installations, scoring film with Angelo Badalamenti, and cutting 'Lost Highway'. He returns to the 'Eraserhead' set with all of the original cast to discuss what he still considers to be his most spiritual film.

If you still aren't convinced, visit
The Short Films of David Lynch 2002,  Unrated)
The Short Films of David Lynch
I was pretty sure I had already reviewed this and placed it on my favorite films list. Apparently not.

Anyways, this is required watching for all Lynchites and I love all the films in this collection. Lynch provides some necessary commentary on how each of these films came about, which I found to be quite inspirational to young film-makers and revelatory about how Lynch perceives his ascent into a productive film career.
A Slice of Lynch 2007,  PG)
Lost Highway 1997,  R)
Lost Highway
New favorite movie. Will figure out exactly why soon enough (besides all the obvious that many others have probably already mentioned). After a few more absorbs and reading the reviews already up, I'll add my highlights and "oops we missed this" commentary.
Inland Empire 2006,  R)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me 1992,  Unrated)
Dynamic: 1: The Best of 2006,  Unrated)
Dynamic: 1: The Best of
HAHA nobody's got anything to say about it here because they all huddle in the forums
Rabbits 2002,  Unrated)
Nadja 1995,  R)
the most poetic vampire film I have ever seen. Beautiful, emotional, raw, engaging, and vastly under-seen and under-rated.
Mirrors 2008,  R)
I regret NOT going to see this at the movies, that the reviews got to me, because this is actually damn good.

Remakes are never a good idea, but Aja and Levasseur prove again that if a studio insists on doing it, HIRE AJA. The diamond duo of modern gore showed that they could handle an era remake with "The Hills Have Eyes" and here they prove that they are also suited to adapting new Asian wave.

Keifer Sutherland is the weak point of the film, often lapsing into Jack Bauer mode and overacting. He sort of goes mental with the gun brandishing and frequent shooting (no wonder his character was kicked from the police force) to the extent that it does become silly (especially shooting the mirrors in the front yard).

DP Maxime Alexandre deserves a medal for his work here, as we have some dead-on shots into these mirrors and as Alexandre commented, "When you receive a script called 'Mirrors', it's a cinematographer's nightmare". The art direction is astounding and the department store is beautifully decayed.

There is undoubtedly a constant sense of tension created by this movie, and though I didn't fall for any of the jumpscares, I thought they were handled very well in that they weren't made over-obvious by the score. I found myself constantly checking the screen for reflective surfaces that could be potential antagonists, and on that level, the movie is extremely successful at giving inanimate objects intimidating and creepy qualities.

The final sequence is particularly astounding and I thought the SPOILER demonic nun WAS scary and such an awesome makeup job. SPOILER END

The two biggest gore scenes were a bit ruined by putting them on the internet for advertisement, as the surprise was removed. So if you haven't yet seen the "red band" trailers (or any trailer), DON'T and I believe you will enjoy this film more.

SO much better than mainstream critics AND horror fans have labeled it. Aja and Levasseur aren't breaking new ground here, like they did with Haute Tension, but they ARE making great horror, which is astoundingly rare these days for a major studio release.
High Tension (Switchblade Romance) 2005,  R)
High Tension (Switchblade Romance)
A magnum opus. One thinks of great and iconic first horror films: Craven's "Last House on the Left", Carpenter's "Halloween", Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", Romero's "Night of the Living Dead", Argento's "The Bird with Crystal Plumage". And we should be reminded of these as these are the films that the directors, Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, studied and adored in their youth. More specifically, they wanted to pay tribute to this new form of horror film which emerged in the early to mid 1970s. But this isn't a big allusion-fest, this is a contemporary extreme thriller. Aja and Levasseur have clearly digested the films they've seen and are capable of using that knowledge to create fantastic film.
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur) 2007,  R)
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur)
Must-see horror. Best to go into this knowing nothing. A new classic, with some of the most gripping gore to splatter the screen in decades. This is one of those movies where I feel the only substantial thing I have to say is, "Why haven't you seen this yet?"
After a second screening, I've noticed some cool details: the address of the house is 666, the film uses fade wipes not to indicate passage of much time but to indicate a shift in perspective (except for once towards the very end), the first time the killer is in the house her shadow appears pregnant. As I recall from the first screening, the house feels incredibly womb-like and I still can't exactly decipher how the director does this other than pure pacing, tension, some of the soundtrack, and the story itself. The sound is brilliant and is responsible for making the kills seem so immediate and vicious. The whole final scene, but especially that final creepy shot is excruciatingly horrifying to the extent that it almost makes me want to quit the horror genre. Few films have delivered such genuine and unforgettable scares. I was left genuinely frightened and creeped out at the conclusion, feeling that same residual horror that The Exorcist leaves stained upon your brain. I'm ratcheting this up to five stars.
"So Fucked Up" highlight: supposedly dead and eyeless policeman rises and fights back
Rampo Noir (Rampo jigoku) 2005,  Unrated)
Rampo Noir (Rampo jigoku)
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
Ramp Noir is comprised of four short pieces all based upon the writings of valued horror writer Edogawa Rampo. The first is the most art-house, avant-garde, lacking sound and existing within a world of its own colors and kineticism. The next is an astoundingly creepy detective horror with a superb mythical-meets post-modern/surreal ending. The third is one of the most beautiful disgusting movies you'll ever see, with much astute - no, plain genius - subtext. The final piece feels like a good end, as it has the least ambiguous conclusion and the most gratuitous beautifully rendered decay and madness.
Everyone should see this so that they can know what proper modern horror film is supposed to be.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
wife simultaneously copulates with and tortures her crippled mute husband, who sort of likes it
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975,  PG)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
It was suggested amongst a gathering of friends that we watch Holy Grail, and I started with just some Knights of Ni! and was soon reciting my favourite skits. Twenty minutes later, my monologue concluded with, "Yeah we've totally gotta watch it right now!". Silence and astounded looks held for several seconds until one friend said, "I think we just did."
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life 1983,  R)
Monty Python's Life of Brian 1979,  R)
Brazil 1985,  R)
The Fisher King 1991,  R)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 1989,  PG)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
underrated Gilliam. For me, more fun than Time Bandits.
Tideland 2006,  R)
A new jewel for the Gilliam crown
Koroshiya 1 (Ichi the Killer) 2001,  R)
Koroshiya 1 (Ichi the Killer)
This is a landmark gorefest, with some of the most inventive torture scenes in cinematic history. The plot is a little convoluted but I believe that's because when this transfered from manga to script, alot of characters and unnecessary segments were kept which could have been condensed.
Also I've been mislead by the box art for years now. Having just watched it, I now know that the character on the posters is not the infamous Ichi, but his masochistic equivalent Kakihara, who is a far more interesting, if less complex, character than Ichi.
Some of the CG doesn't fit right, especially the halved body or the first time Kakihara unhinges his whole jaw, and that's not acceptable when the semen used in the title sequence is real (and looks it). Miike could have re-shot the halving scene in a more traditional "Cube" way and it would have been just as good.
Kakihara should (if you are a stable human being) blow you away with his insane acts of self mutilation; they're truly impeccable and Kakihara is a villain of the highest order.

MSG TO YOU PEOPLE KNOW WHO YOU ARE: DO NOT WATCH A FUCKING DUB. These dubs redo everything INCLUDING screams and gasps and it just RUINS the movie (obviously the creators wanted viewers to not favor the dubs as they are done so shittily). Dubbed, you won't get the full experience; it's a complete star rating worse with the dubs.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: the jaw unhinged properly, Kakihara having himself tortured
Three...Extremes (Saam gaang yi) 2005,  R)
Three...Extremes (Saam gaang yi)
Still have to see Miike's portion. Will write or adjust a bit more if needed.

Based on Chan's "Dumplings" and Park's "Cut", I love this. My favorite Asian horrors are tending to fall into the "compilation" pile so far. Maybe I just have such bad ADD that, when it comes to horror, I'd rather three short tight stories totaling near or over two hours than one seventy to ninety minute piece that has to stretch its flesh and tension across such a long lapse of time. American films tend to deal with this by sucking (adding irrelevant character scenes, "metal music" and "gory stuff" montages, retreading a plot point that just caused another character's demise). Asian films just seem to keep layering and layering with new even more nasty details that either stay or become relevant (check the Art of the Devil movies for a good example of this layering). Obviously, I'm preferring that latter tactic, but it can be overwhelming and leave an audience member feeling emotionally exhausted before the movie's done (check out Park's Vengeance trilogy- I had to watch all of those films, though brilliant, in pieces).

"Most Fucked Up" highlight: bathtub scene at the conclusion of "Dumplings"
Visitor Q (BijitÔ Q) 2002,  R)
Visitor Q (BijitÔ Q)
Most fucked up movie and most fucked up fictional family I've seen yet. Anything extremely taboo is stacked together like a sandwich. Some incest, lactation fetish, forced defecation, rape with a microphone, impromptu murder, regular beatings, and corpsefucking combines with the theme of family values and the cycle of violence and bullying. I defy you to watch this entire movie.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: corpse voids itself of feces whilst father character rapes it and then the family helps dad get his wee wee out of his dead colleague
Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha 1999,  R)
Gozu (Gokud˘ ky˘fu dai-gekij˘: Gozu) 2003,  R)
Gozu (Gokud˘ ky˘fu dai-gekij˘: Gozu)
Builds to a great ending. a bit too obsessed with lactation. This is best described as a surrealistic thriller. As usual, Miike makes a list of extreme activities and mashes them together to make grotesquefest. Not as nasty as Visitor Q. Too slowly paced, but some full characters and obviously fantastic visuals.

"So Fucked Up" highlight
the conclusion, and the way in which "Soup Ladle Yakuza Boss" dies
Izo 2004,  Unrated)
must see Miike
Dead or Alive 2: Birds (Dead or Alive 2: T˘b˘sha) (Dead or Alive 2: Runaway) 2000,  R)
The Bird People in China 1999,  Unrated)
Dead or Alive: Final 2002,  Unrated)
Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (46-okunen no koi) 2006,  Unrated)
Andromedia 1998,  Unrated)
Yakuza Demon 2003,  Unrated)
Jitsuroku And˘ Noboru ky˘d˘-den: Rekka (Deadly Outlaw: Rekka) (Violent Fire) 2002,  Unrated)
Dead or Alive 2 2003,  Unrated)
Deadly Outlaw: Rekka 2004,  Unrated)
MPD Psycho III ,  Unrated)
Salaryman Kintaro (White Collar Worker Kintaro) (Salaryman Kintaro) 1999,  Unrated)
Suicide Club 2002,  R)
Suicide Club
"So Fucked Up" highlight: the introductory scene
Kaze no tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) (Warriors of the Wind) 1984,  PG)
The Seventh Seal ,  Unrated)
The Seventh Seal
unrivaled in film history
Crumb 1995,  R)
A bold and unflinching examination of an (socially edgy) artist and his equally talented but more troubled male siblings. Deserved its Grandy Jury Prize at Sundance
Bent 1997,  NC-17)
Hot Gay Sex List Commentary:
This is a rarity for this list, as there is only a smudgeon of explicit sex in it (at the very beginning), but it simultaneously contains the most erotic scene ever filmed in which two Holocaust prisoners talk each other through a sexual encounter, whilst standing ten feet apart, not looking at each other, and whispering under the ever watchful eye of Nazi guards. On top of that, I think it's the best Holocaust film; I prefer it to Schindler's List.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: the really cute twinky boy is brutally beaten by Nazis on the train to death camp whilst his boyfriend watches, forced to deny knowing him in order to survive
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance 2005,  R)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
the modern day equivalent of M. The best film in the Chanwook Park Vengeance trilogy. It took him two movies to get there - one that is very subdued and avant-garde (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) followed by one that is a formulaic action movie, Oldboy - and here in Lady Vengeance a perfect balance is struck between the script and image making for an excellent, much overlooked, film.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: main character cuts her finger off as offering of forgiveness; schoolmaster rapes his wife casually at dinner table
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert 1994,  R)
Amadeus 1984,  R)
why say anything? if you are reading this, then you may not have seen Amadeus, which means you NEED TO SEE IT IMMEDIATELY. You poor deprived wandering soul...duallbuluboobub;l
The Elephant Man 1980,  PG)
Edward Scissorhands 1990,  PG-13)
Edward Scissorhands
There are few people alive who haven't seen this perfect fairy tale, but not too many know that it was Price's last film.
Jason and the Argonauts 1963,  G)
The Monster Squad 1987,  PG-13)
The Monster Squad
Only a 5 because it is a childhood fave. And technically, it is flawless in script, acting, cinematography, effects. It's a SMASH A MONSTARRRRR BASH!!
The Lion in Winter 1968,  PG)
Millennium Actress (Sennen joyű) 2001,  PG)
Millennium Actress (Sennen joyű)
visually stunning, but also something to emotionally connect with
Day Watch 2007,  R)
Day Watch
the modern equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back, except it's waaaaaaaaay better
Breakfast on Pluto 2005,  R)
Breakfast on Pluto
An overlooked masterpiece
Naked Lunch 1991,  R)
Naked Lunch
"So Fucked Up" highlight: shooting the wife on accident
Wristcutters - A Love Story 2007,  R)
Wristcutters - A Love Story
Fantastic film with one flaw - its ending.
Cannibal 2008,  R)
The Wackness 2008,  R)
The Wackness
fuggin awesome!

Stunning performance from Ben Kingsley, fantastic script, amazing soundtrack (and I'm not even a rap fan, but I AM a child of the 90s and the soundtrack is dead on). An inspirational dark comedy centering on an unusual relationship between pot dealer patient and mid-life crisis shrink. A film not to be missed.
Die You Zombie Bastards 2005,  Unrated)
Die You Zombie Bastards
I had a gigantic article praising this cheese romp but it was either lost in the shuffle or removed because of the naughty language oooh

Anyways see this flick if you want great satire of the oddest movie genre in history (zombies).

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
couple of zombie hos beat a four foot zombie penis with ketchup and mustard containers for all of their mutually assured sexual pleasure
Cannibal Holocaust 1979,  NC-17)
Cannibal Holocaust
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
I recommend you obtain the fully-featured DVD version of this, as many of the purposefully unanswerable questions about production that the movie raises are all answered in a documentary featurette and an "only when relevant" commentary from director Deodato and the movie's main protagonist. This film is infamous because it sparked legal action regarding the use of animals in film and the director Deodato was arrested under suspicion of murdering his actors (he didn't kill any people) and the film was banned in virtually every country, and had the unconfirmed reputation of being "the most banned movie in history".
Besides all that great hoop-la and film history, Cannibal Holocaust has got a great premise and the tactic of showing "found documentary footage" that is consuming the horror genre now, though 'The Blair Witch Project' is usually credited in mainstream sources with this innovation. Some extremely brutal scenes that leave no question in the viewer's mind as to why audiences thought all or most of the violence was real.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: the adultery punishment ritual
Best in Show 2000,  PG-13)
Dead Alive (Braindead) 1993,  R)
Dead Alive (Braindead)
"So Fucked Up" highlight: Momma's face begins falling into the soup
Velvet Goldmine 1998,  R)
Waking Life 2001,  R)
Home Movie 2001,  Unrated)
I Heart Huckabees 2004,  R)
Kill Bill: Volume 2 2004,  R)
Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities 2000,  Unrated)
Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities
Another movie I added. Great doc exploring the lives and thoughts of a range of transgender and transsexual people. As a documentary, very personal and artistically edited (for the better).

The synopsis for this is misleading. The director may be reaching for some sort of futuristic theme, but yet another director has no idea that being trans is not a new thing and not as interesting as everyone thinks it is, but that doesn't matter because she picked great people to interview: trans people who know how to avoid that exploitative bullshit and really reveal just their general thoughts on life with the trans thing as a sidenote, albeit a large one, which is how it is in real life.
Cecil B. Demented 2000,  R)
Cecil B. Demented
De-ment-ed For-ev-er!!! I have no clue why people think this is not as good as Waters' other work. So vastly under-rated, waaaay better than Sunset Boulevard or Day of the Locust when it comes to a movie about movies.
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey 2005,  R)
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey
This is one of my favorite documentaries, not only because I'm a metalhead myself, but because it gives true insight into a large global cultural movement. That this movie was helmed by an anthropologist metalhead increased this full perspective of its subjects. Sam Dunn asks intelligent questions of the "heroes and gods of metal" so that even diehard fans will gain some insight on the art form. Dunn's talent at interviewing also creates some very compelling and full portraits of a spectrum of metal fans themselves. Dunn is also incredibly tactful when dealing with the "bad boys" of metal who just want to curse and fling beer at the camera, or especially the Satanic black metal musicians in Northern Europe (mostly Norway) who advocate violence and have prior committed or advocated terrorist acts of political natures. Overall, Dunn creates a fantastic and extremely informative doc, thorough, and one of the better music docs I have ever seen. This doc works for people completely oblivious to the metal scene as well as the seasoned headbanger. The DVD 2 disc edition is also required to get the best out of this doc. While what had the edited feature stands perfectly on its own and will be enough for some viewers, the extended interviews with metal's legends and revolutionary contemporaries are must-watch for rock fans or musicians.

This movie also introduced me to tons of great metal bands I didn't know about and I've also gotten around to listening to legendary bands that have been on my "discographies to digest" list; Right now I am listening to: Hammerfall and Candlemass in the former category, and Rush and Iron Maiden in the latter. \m/,.\m/
Diary of the Dead 2007,  R)
Diary of the Dead
I finally capitulated and downloaded a cam; I can't wait any longer!
Romero is back at the top of his form. This is the true Dead movie for our era, not the uber-derivative studio action trash that Land was. This is biting satire, with necessary biting zombies. One forgets how proper zombies move until you watch some Romero. I love the inside joke comments on the "breaking ankles if they try to run" thing. The effects look amazing and they are memorable, unlike "Land". I can't tell definitively how high the cinematography level is here because I did resort to watching a cam, but if the story and acting are any indicator, this is a new benchmark in horror films.
It's so rare that a film not only fulfills the hype I have for it, but exceeds the excellence I expected. Romero is better off running his own productions, and this movie should show fans and him alike that it is the only way to go with the stories he wants to tell. Dawn was consumerism, and Diary is its media equivalent. Huge achievement.
Songs From the Second Floor 2002,  Unrated)
Zombi 2 1980,  R)
Road to Perdition 2002,  R)
Schizopolis 1996,  Unrated)
Love this film. Met the sound engineer, and Soderbergh's regular sound guy since sex lies & videotape, Larry Blake. This is an out-there movie for people who love image, symbolism, montage, and astounding sound mixing. Slightly inexplicable in terms of its plot, but basically everything builds around an important man making an important speech and makes some damn amazing detours on the way. My favorite scene involves people's dialog slipping in and out of different languages, in different chronological order, speaking backwards, all kinds of great stuff. Plus some great send-ups to the pop videography of the early 90s with the bug exterminator's segments.
Delicatessen 1991,  R)
What else to expect from this dream team-up than a masterpiece? Delicatessen is a fabuously toned film, the best sequence being the "sounds" montage. Just great. Have to see it if you have any interest in scifi, dystopian films, Jeunet's work, or solid films in general.
Paris Is Burning 1990,  R)
Paris Is Burning
It's just fab that there are any documentaries as revealing and close to its subjects as 'Paris Is Burning'. An obvious landmark for queer filmmaking, a paradigm examination of documentary subjects - footage of people emoting and expressing raw feelings. Beautiful
Wizards 1977,  PG)
Winged Migration (Le Peuple Migrateur) 2003,  G)
Winged Migration (Le Peuple Migrateur)
This may be a 5, but it's been since the film's release that I've seen it, so I want to give it another view.
Janghwa, Hongryeon (A Tale of Two Sisters) 2003,  R)
A Scanner Darkly 2006,  R)
A Scanner Darkly
This movie must have been made specifically for me - one of my favorite authors done by the only modern film-maker I could imagine taking the material on - and done in the interpolated rotoscoping style I adore!
Pan's Labyrinth 2006,  R)
Day of the Dead 1985,  R)
The Return of the Living Dead 1985,  R)
The Return of the Living Dead
the first zombie movie I ever saw
Eden Log 2007,  R)
Eden Log
first screening: half awake, but still loved it
MalÚfique 2002,  Unrated)
I loved this. Tiny set, never lets up on the strangeness, deals with the occult alongside real-life horrors, and still packs in some great gore.

Using the tinniest of settings - one prison cell - the film stages a grand odyssey and one never tires of the setting.

As usual, I've got to complain that I don't think the trans character was handled in a manner consistent with the aspirations of trans-aware advocate-artists like myself.

All of the (four main and one temporary secondary) characters are complex and intriguing. For once, I'm not really that incensed at a "twist" ending, though I do think it was not appropriately foreshadowed and a montage of clips that were supposed to foreshadow the reveal shown right before the reveal is way too cliche and should have been cut.

Overall, the feeling of being utterly trapped with something so cryptic and powerful and surrounded by dangerous people is perfectly conveyed. I do wonder if there are modern prisons that are this shitty, though.
Calvaire (The Ordeal) 2006,  Unrated)
Calvaire (The Ordeal)
Survival horror for the art house crowd, Calvaire has a unique oddness that drives its deranged story straight into the eyeballs of viewers. The horror here is in the insanity of the captors and the atmosphere of the area where the main character is stranded.

If you want silly excessive gore, this is not your movie. If you want a captive survival horror narrative that dares to flirt with believable mental illness and bothers to use the camera and cinematography to tell the story as much as dialogue, this is it.

This is middle of nowhere backwards crazy people done to a perfect chime; look no further for your pigfucking scene needs. I hereby declare that I believe this film is superior to "Deliverance".

"Most fucked up" highlight: the village dancing around the piano
The Zombie Diaries 2006,  R)
The Zombie Diaries
A completely handheld zombie movie that I like. How often does someone who so much hates the handheld horror style and is so critical of anything zombie movie remotely like a movie done this way? Not since "Diary of the Dead". [REC] did NOT meet my standards by any means. I might get accused of bias towards slow zombies and non-linear storytelling, but both of those things, done right, makes for a better film than a decent linear verite with fast zombies. Leave full real-time verite for serial killer movies, and fast zombies for cheap-o apocalyptic scifi thrillers or horror genre parodies.

There are cooler zombie shots in this than in "Diary of the Dead". Obviously the closeups of Diary were better, but the hordes in this scare and shock like the original "Night". This movie has one of the best nightshot scenes in horror film (when the farm-camp becomes unraveled), definitely the best indie work I've seen (yeah, I like the angle and orchestration **way** better than the ending of "Blair Witch").
For zombie lovers, a must see that captures the strangeness and insanity of surviving in a zombie world. Don't know why they're re-making [REC] into Quarantine instead of just putting this movie, as is, out in American theatres ('tis a British film).
C'est arrivÚ prŔs de chez vous (Man Bites Dog) (It Happened in Your Neighborhood) 1992,  NC-17)
C'est arrivÚ prŔs de chez vous (Man Bites Dog) (It Happened in Your Neighborhood)
An extremely impressive neo-realist film, worthy of several repeated screenings. Punctuated with just the right amount of naturalistic dialogue and humour, and the image has a flawless ability to make events which are sometimes too serendipitous for narrative film work incredibly well within this illusion that we are watching real footage. Beyond being a very raw portrait of murder, this film is extremely poetic and the main character is unforgettable.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
main character kills friend for no apparent reason at birthday celebration, film-makers take part in a rape/double murder
Battle Royale 3D 2000,  Unrated)
Battle Royale 3D
Interesting premise, tight form. Hard to care about the characters except a select few - still better empathy here than in most gorefests like this. (Two weeks later) After two more watches, still feel the same amount of connection to characters (just enough but not that much).
A fun ride, a good movie, and well executed, this is a new classic in the Asian gorefest category. A remake is in the works for the American market, but this is truly a sublime staging of slaughter.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
girls in the watchtower go stir crazy and kill each other
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! 1965,  R)
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
This is such a fun exploitation flick. It suffers from a few filming problems (jump cuts that don't reveal what just happened, esp the race against the random "Boy Next Door" at the beginning). A great thriller story, and you can clearly see the influence on today's directors, especially Tarantino, and the rumor that he would do a remake of this has been reported numerous times on cinephile sites, but he sort of did his version of this with Death Proof and the Kill Bill films.
For my horror fan friends, this isn't horror perse but it is a very cool psychological thriller you need to check out if you have appreciation for compelling story as opposed to just gore. The body count is plenty high, but the accent here is on the distinctive characters and this odd world they've happened into. A must-see for anyone interested in film history as this film personifies much of the commonalities in exploitation film and bridges the gap between the masters of the 50s and the upped visual ante of the 70s.

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
conclusion of the story
Salo (Sal˛ o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) 1979,  NC-17)
Salo (Sal˛ o le 120 giornate di Sodoma)
Great. S'nuff said. Biggest complaint about this movie: nobody bothers with any sort of lube. wtf?

"So Fucked Up" highlight: candle held just beneath cock corona
Mysterious Skin 2005,  NC-17)
Mysterious Skin
It's a movie that lingers with you because of its taboo elements, but not to the overblown extent of Happiness or Visitor Q as this story follows a smaller number of characters. This is the sort of film where you don't want to discuss it in a simple review because it will give too much away. I will say that this movie falls into that rare category in which a graphic rape actually serves more purpose than audience-targeted shock value. The worst thing about the two main characters' arcs is that one goes through a complete evolution (Brian), but the other remains static (Neil). I feel this is a purposeful comment, but still unsettling as in we want to see some sort of more profound realization on Neil's part. The dangling end of this movie is frustrating not because it is vague (it isn't) but because the movie could stand to have another sequence or scene tacked on after it. Kudos to the creator's for showing me a new level of terrible with the "five dollar special".

"So Fucked Up" highlight:
ugly bear guy rapes our anti-hero, "five dollar special"
The Hole 2001,  R)
The Hole
"So Fucked Up" highlight: girl pukes herself to death
Angel Heart 1987,  R)
Angel Heart
"So Fucked Up" highlight: fucking on the blood bed
The Abominable Dr. Phibes 1971,  PG-13)
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Horror Not to Miss List Commentary:
Vincent Price, in glorious color with an AMAZING primary set, plays an ingenious serial killer who kills his victims in odd ways, the scenes of which are still innovative and original in today's market. The film also holds onto Prince's signature Gothic horror themes with the character of Phibes and his lair. A vastly underrated Price movie, and a hugely underseen horror classic.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon 2006,  R)
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
A new benchmark for slasher films. I love the self-referential genre film, especially one executed as nicely as this one (all puns intended). I hope this is the start of a gagillion Les movies. Dark, ironic, and revealing in theme, the story flows well. I found the killer to be genuinely scary, both in art design and character pschology.
The Signal 2008,  R)
The Signal
The premise of The Crazies receives the treatment and production the concept deserves in this new flick. Enough blood to satisfy any media vamps out there, and more than enough story to hold the cynical horror fan tendencies at bay. Some nice little scenes of insanity, and I don't want to give anything away because you should just see it. There are a few things the discerning viewer would gripe about, but compared to its contemporaries, this is a freshly sliced chunk of violent psychological horror that implements enough fun little cinematic techniques to tickle even the staunchest of classical film students. This is a horror film that I can confidently recommend to those outside the horror hound camp; this is a damn good scary movie as well as a thoughtfully structured tale and depiction. See it!
Dead Silence 2007,  R)
Dead Silence
A great modern Gothic horror story. As far as the "evil puppet" genre of horror goes, I'm usually not interested or stirred, with the exception that I thought the Chucky movies had their production moments. This movie delivers a cleaner chunk of story, more puppets, and the rare, actually scary ghost. It plays up on the "if you scream, you die" gimmick that has been toyed with for a while now, and it's loaded with jump scares, but most of them land really damn well, as in I didn't even expect some of them. When it comes to horror without self-deprecating humor, horror that tries to be totally serious, this movie does a pretty damn good job. Many fans will have no doubt mentioned the "twist" ending, which I didn't guess but felt completely right for the story as it was appropriately foreshadowed. I won't say more than that the clues/characters involved are subtle and atmospheric enough that they click into their plot place without feeling forced.
Fido 2007,  R)
One of my favorite zombie movies of the decade. Fido is an interesting and comical social satire, exactly what zombies were meant for. Matrix star Carrie Anne Moss is married to Dylan Baker, living in a 1950's setting ; the couple decide, against Baker's wishes, to get a zombie slave for helping around the house. When the zombie starts to bond with their son, the couple is split by their feelings towards the "domesticated zombie". Just an awesome movie.
Trailer Park Boys: The Movie 2006,  R)
Grandma's Boy 2006,  R)
Grandma's Boy
Finally a stoner comedy where the stoner part is actually a touch real. And the gaming stuff, close enough to real that I got all the "gamedork" allusions and references. Better than your average comedy, as it is actually funny. The lead actor is not my favorite for this role, but he does a decent job. Attention, Terri of Reno 911 fans, Nick Swardson is the protagonist's witty lil Sundance. Kevin Nealon's always great at absurd roles, here as a mid-lifer heavy into "the Asian fad" and I dunno his name, but the programmer is a funny and modern take of the eccentric prodigy character. Doris Roberts and her gang do a great job playing hammered old ladies. And did I mention that the uber cool weed dealer's got a ninja monkey? Yep, this movie has something for everyone.... who is awesome !Ka-Kow!
The Last Man on Earth 1964,  Unrated)
The Omega Man 1971,  PG)
Poison 1991,  NC-17)
Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) 1930,  Unrated)
What Dreams May Come 1998,  PG-13)
Memories 2004,  PG-13)
a great troligy of sci-fi animation
The Celluloid Closet 1996,  R)
They Live 1988,  R)
Hot Fuzz 2007,  R)
Chasing Amy 1997,  R)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 2004,  R)
The Lord of the Rings 1978,  PG)
The Remains of the Day 1993,  PG)
Vampire Hunter D (Banpaia hantÔ D) 1985,  Unrated)
Grindhouse 2007,  R)
now people will know that there is a genre with this name........
Dreams 1990,  PG)
Dune 1984,  PG-13)
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things 1972,  PG)
L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The Bird With the Crystal Plumage) 1970,  PG)
Kill, Baby, Kill (Operazione paura) (Curse of the Living Dead) (Don't Walk in the Park) 1966,  R)
George Carlin: Complaints and Grievances 2001,  Unrated)
House of Wax 1953,  PG)
Wings of Desire 1987,  PG-13)
Furia 2000,  Unrated)
Aja early work

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