philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Halloween (1978)

One element that I've always felt was the main strength of "Halloween" is the way that it is, at heart, a monster movie. This distinguishes it from other slashers like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Black Christmas".

While, Leatherface in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a nightmarish figure, in the end he's just a weird guy who likes to wear other people's faces. The (horrendous) Plantinum Dunes remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" tried to change this somewhat and it just didn't feel like a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movie to me as a result. The more recent "Texas Chainsaw" reinstated Leatherface's inner vulnerability (even if that movie wasn't any good either).

But it is only when we get to the series more closely following Carpenter's approach to the genre that we get the real 'monsters'. The lumbering Jason from the "Friday the 13th" sequels and Freddy from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. (See my reviews for both those series here.) Watching them run around causing havoc is not really so far removed from Dracula or even Godzilla. A central inhuman villain with a supernatural side to them where we are excited by their pattern of attack and keen to figure out their potential weaknesses.

Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)

I've been trying to catch up with classic sci-fi movies and this was one that came up a lot. More recently the director Jean-Luc Goddard was known for releasing a film titled "Film Socialisme" in which he considered it so unimportant whether the audience understood it or not that he insisted that showings not include English subtitles. Perhaps that should have been a clue as to what I should expect from this earlier work.

I get the impression that Alphaville has dated badly. Which is strange since presumably the future world is portrayed by just shooting the contemporary setting in order to appear timeless. Then again, Goddard chose to film apartment blocks because they seemed futuristic in the 60s when he was filming. It was inevitable that those same apartment blocks would date.

Click here to read the rest of my review of "Alphaville"... )

Cosmopolis (2012)

David Cronenberg's adaptation of a Don DeLilo novel is not exactly set in the future so much as in some kind of bizarro parallel dimension. Characters talk to one another as if every word were highly significant, yet the people saying the words barely feel like real people. There are a few points where a particular actor will get a real sense of their character and manage to seem like a real person in spite of their highly pretentious script. But one person never seems able to give any depth to his character at all and that's Robert Pattinson. His ability to express himself appears to have been botoxed away.

Cosmopolis is about a billionaire who is trying to make his away across town to a very particular hairdresser in his limosine. He has everything he needs to carry on his day in the limo. Traffic is barely moving, firstly because of security blocks related to a visit by the President and later because of anti-capitalist protests. This means that various people will visit the protagonist in his limo, including his doctor, who reveals to him that he has an asymmetrical prostate. That's supposed to be highly significant. The slow traffic also allows him to go out for a bite to eat with his fiancée every now and then and easily return to the car.

Click here to read the rest of my review of "Cosmopolis"... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
While "The Mangler" is possibly Tobe Hooper's least well-received film I felt that had some remote level of charm (at least in the final moments).

Below are the films I think showcase Tobe Hooper's worst ever work.

Why is "John Carpenter's Body Bags" included here? Well while I absolutely loved that movie, Tobe Hooper's contribution to it was utterly dire.

14. Body Bags (1993)
This was a special treat since it was a film that really ought to been in my Carpenter/Cronenberg marathon. Two out of the three short films are directed by John Carpenter, but also John Carpenter actually does the in-between sections himself!

Now one might easily imagine that John Carpenter shouldn't really be trying to act in his own movie. He's a great director, but he's not ever played any acting roles in any of his other films. However, in this role he doesn't have to react to anyone else. He's a strange man alone in the morgue drinking formaldehyde out of a cocktail glass. Carpenter gives such an enthusiastic, hyperactive and wonderfully eccentric performance that I wonder whether his sections weren't my favourite part of the film.
Read more... )

15. Night Terrors (1995)
Robert Englund appears in the background throughout the film as the Marquis de Sade, as well as de Sade's modern descendant. Oddly, it seems that the identical descendant of an upper class frenchman is an American living in the middle east.

Read more... )

Masters Of Horror episodes (16 & 17)

As with John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper has his own short films made for the Masters Of Horror series. Unfortunately they really do not represent his best work. In fact they represent some of the worst work of his entire career!

Read more... )
philosoraptor42: (Metroid)
Recently discovered this cool poster (below). It's from 2010 when John Carpenter had only just released "The Ward", so it may well not be happening now, but the poster certainly looks cool:

philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
Warning 1: Video contains spoilers for John Carpenter's "The Thing".
Warning 2: Video contains Pingu using a flamethrower.

(video link)
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
Okay, this sort of a follow up to my review of John Carpenter's episode: "Cigarette Burns".
In the Masters Of Horror series major horror directors are given a choice of hour-long scripts and the opportunity to impress us with a short film. I have now seen four of these: "Ciggerette Burns", "Sick Girl", "Pro-Life" and "The Black Cat".

Ciggerette Burns

(click image for imdb link)

Read more... )

Sick Girl

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The Black Cat

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philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

The final part in my consideration of the movies of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. Finally we have reached what I consider to be their very best works. (Once again, I must remind everyone that I have not seen "Fast Company" or "M Butterfly" from David Cronenberg. They're a bit hard to come by it seems.)

Wondering about some other movies by these directors? Well if you look into part 2 you'll see some quite strong recommendations, while in part 1 I considered the movies from these directors which I viewed as most disappointing. (Please note that I like every movie mentioned in parts 2 and 3. In part 1, movies I might suggest as "worth watching" would be "Dark Star" and "Prince Of Darkness" from Carpenter and "Shivers" and "eXistenZ" from Cronenberg.)

The Very Best Of John Carpenter

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The Very Best Of David Cronenberg

Read more... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

This is my second entry reviewing the movies of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg, two of my favourite directors. While you might wonder what point there is in reading about their worst movies, the thing about these directors is that even their worst efforts can capture the imagination, so do check out part one. (In part one, I also note that two Cronenberg movies are unfortunately missing from my list.)

The third entry will feature what I consider to be the very best movies of Carpenter and Cronenberg. Meanwhile, this entry features those which are very good, but didn't make it into the top list. I actually would highly recommend any of the movies mentioned in this post and many of you may well view some of these as personal favourites from these directors. Naturally I will give a full explanation not only of what I enjoyed about each of these movies, but also what kept them from the final list.

Seven Good Carpenter Movies

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Two Good David Cronenberg Movies

Just two? Yep that's right. It seems that Cronenberg movies are often very much love 'em or hate 'em movies. (And though I say that, it must be noted that while the lack of a decent narrative structure in movies like "eXistenZ" or "Naked Lunch" irritates the hell out of me, I do have a soft spot for them as pieces of cinema all the same.) Expect a large number of Cronenberg movies still to be dealt with in part three.

Read more... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

This will be the first of three posts on the movies of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. Sadly the Cronenberg movies "M Butterfly" (1993) (RT score: 44%) and "Fast Company" (1979) (RT score: 75%) are so far unavailable to me, however I have been able to see every other movie from these two fantastic directors and what follows is my assessment of their respective bodies of work, asides from those two exceptions.

What is interesting about John Carpenter and David Cronenberg is that even their worst movies tend to have something interesting about them. This post shall deal with the worst of their movies, but later posts shall deal with their good movies and their best movies. This particular post shall take the form of a countdown.

The Six Worst - John Carpenter

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The Seven Worst - David Cronenberg

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