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Showing posts from 2010

The Exorcist: Repression And The Meltdown Of The Family

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Tony Williams describes the undercurrent in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist by writing, “In an era of recession, oil embargoes, the debilitating effects of Vietnam, and crisis of confidence in presidential leadership, cinema provides an ideological answer by invoking a traditional enemy - Satan (107).”  Everything terrible that occurs in our lives, by Christian standards is the work of the devil.  It is never the work of humankind, we could never be that horrible, it must be the devil working through us.  Human’s represent a duality between good and evil, if we can recognize something to be good or an action that we have to be right than we must have known wrong or evil within our lives.  We are light and dark, we are the shadow and the ego, we are the id and the superego, we are heaven and hell, yet we cannot admit to this.
The Exorcist can be interpreted as a lashing out on the family structure.  Ragan played by Linda Blair has no father and an actress mother who is sleeping with a c…

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Godless Universe & A Chainsaw Ballet

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“Exploitation films are no different from any other kind of movie.  All appeal to some desire or fear that the audience may have.  Only because they do it more directly, with perhaps a bit less finesse, than a Hollywood product, they are branded as exploitation.” Mike Quarles, Down and Dirty: exploitation filmmakers and their movies  (xiii)
Around the same year that The Last House on the Left was released another young documentary filmmaker was contemplating his own horror film.  He got the idea for his film while he was Christmas shopping.  He was in the middle of a large crowd of consumers all rushing to get their last minute gifts.  He couldn’t make his way down the main isles, so he went down a side isle and found himself in the power tools section.  He stared at a display of tools and thought about how easy it would be to clear the people out of his way if he only had a chainsaw.  Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre completely changed the face of horror.  The low b…

Check out Keen Cinema for the latest reviews

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Launched by filmmaker R. J. Chmiel, this site boasts new reviews of films just hitting the theater - given his independent spirit when it comes to his own films - his reviews are great write ups swaying from his own personal philosophy to the social context the film displays.  If you're questioning what to see in the current cesspool of cinema hop on over to Keen Cinema

You can also see trailers for the directors work over at: Suzy Dirge Productions

Check out "Song For Lindy" one of the most impressive debuts to come out of Chicago recently.  We hope to interview the director in a later post.

Night Of The Demons (2009) & Why Modern Horror Fails To Impress

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When the original Night Of The Demons premiered in 1988 it was considered the best of B-Horror and created a franchise that lasted two sequels.  It is still the only Kevin Tenney film that highlights his ongoing terrible reel – with possible exception to Witchboard made before Demons.  The ’88 version gives us gore, bad acting, ridiculous scripting, and a non-sequitur ending.  These were elements every 80’s slasher film wanted the perfect combination of.  To remake a great trash film does not give you license to try to make it modern cinema.  Adam Gierasch, the director of the updated version, does not provide his audience with anything more than a revamping over-sexualized depiction of a once innovative concept.  Cineniche does not blame Gierasch, we believe he did the best with what the studio gave him.  He is just another young filmmaker that wishes to create horror again – but unfortunately the American horror film is dying.
Here is where we’ve decided to rant on remakes again, tho…

It's Kind Of A Funny Story Is Kind Of A Good Film

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Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden team up again in this coming of age film that steals a few ideas from every teen film ever made and infuses them with a hint of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  The directing duo created a powerhouse film in Half Nelson but here lack the imagination to transform seemingly cliché material into something extraordinary.  Ned Vizzini’s novel is the stepping stone for this pseudo-memoir piece, but as with any novel that is told from the first person point of view things are lost in translation or become too contrived from narration.  The film carries some feel good moments that stand out and sequences of mixed media that attempt to go beyond the normal teen fare but seem forced.  Anytime a film switches from normal narrative structure to animated sequences or a music video it has a inorganic feeling of manipulation, but certain films are made with these elements in mind from the beginning and weave in well, but here they stop the forward momentum of the film.  We…

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About The Original I Spit On Your Grave

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In 1978 Meir Zarchi released I Spit On Your Grave another in the line of rape-revenge films.  A film that would have never been made without Last House on the Left, and Deliverance, but this time they centered on the rape and the revenge without any social context interweaved into the plot.  The tagline for I Spit On Your Grave was: This woman has just chopped, crippled and mutilated four men beyond recognition...  but no jury in America would ever convict her!  The second title for the film read: Day of the Woman.  This film shows the strength within womankind to stand up for themselves when they are mistreated.  The main problem with I Spit On Your Grave as being a feminist piece is that Zarchi draws out the rape scene for way too long.  The four men each get a separate chance to take advantage of the woman, and each time they let her go before they catch her again.  From the moment the rapists pull the victim’s boat onto shore and try to grab her the sequence lasts for twenty-five …