Wednesday, February 01, 2006

They shot a movie once in my hometown

I have a gaping hole in my DVD collection - yeah, i do. One genre in particular has never had a particularly strong presence, good old fashioned Horror films. The big problem is i'm not a huge fan - while other kids my age were going ga-ga over Freddy Kruger, i was lost in space with Lucas' galactic space operas. Other kids were watching gore drenched splatter-fests while i was watching Riggs and Murtaugh rip up LA in persuit of criminal scum. I just never got into the whole "slasher" genre. The only horror films i've ever been capable of enjoying have been those with some sort of eerie/creepy/moody atmosphere - those flicks that genuinely get under your skin and cause your spine to shiver - not have a hocky masked psycho splatter the screen with your brains in the hopes that you'll find the excessive gore anything but laughable. So in an effort to bulk up the horror i've been grabbing some stuff i'd heard people talk nice about - particularly the ginger Snaps stuff, and a bit o Stephen King material - and i took the plunge into Italian horror with Suspiria.

Well myself and my bro Johnny Z sat down to broaden our horizons a little - It did not end well.

ALERT! ALERT! - Fans of Dario Argento leave now... you will find no pleasure in what lies beneath...

i've never seen a more incomprehensible pile of garbage in my life. Lighting, shot composition and direction were non-existant, acting was horrendous, and the score! My god the score! This movie was a wretched steaming pile... It was utter dogshit! Don't give me any sort of minimal budget, experimental bullshit either - it wasn't experimental, it was the cinematic equivalent of 12 year olds with their Dad's super 8 and a few red and blue lightbulbs throwing crap at a wall until something stuck. The plot was incomprehensible, the film jumped around like a flea on a sinking cocker spaniel. There wasn't even any worthwhile gore... it wasn't experimental, it was amteur night! And i've seen what can be done on a minimal budget with some talent - i've seen student films made on CVHS with 15 dollars and two hours on a linear editing suite that put this thing to crying shame... The end result of my Suspiria experience?

I had to exercise some mad photoshop heal brushing skillz to get the skidmarks out of the crumpled insert after Johnny boy wiped his arse with it... Sure i could have traded this bunk in for a dollar or two (maybe blockbuster might have been stupid enough to give me 5!) but the way i see it - i'm preventing this disc from ever being played again - i'm performing a goddamn public service - i should get a freakin medal!

In other news... to wash the BLARGH out of our mouths following "He that shall not be named", Johnny and i popped in Big Trouble in Little China - classic Carpenter awesomeness - quite possibly the greatest line diliveries in film - ever! Much fun was had, much laughing was done, and much admiration of Kurt Russell's Wayne Gretzky hair and chisled physique (in a purely hetero way of course) did commence... Now if you'll excuse me, i'm off to rule the universe from beyond the grave... or check into a psycho ward... whichever comes first!


"Where there's smoke... there's Steve taking a zippo to a copy of Suspiria!"


Mitch said...

***Mitch laughs uncontrollably as he imagines Deacon Burry using the insert as toilet paper.***

My reactions haven't been quite as extreme as yours, but I don't get Argento. Just be glad you didn't watch Phenomena. A jail bait Jennifer Connelly uses telepathy to control bugs, or something like that.

At least now you know why his daughter is so messed up.

Soap said...

I don't really like horror so I'm glad I didn't pop over last night. I'm also especially glad you've watched Big Trouble because you probably won't be so zealous in trying to get me to watch it for the next little while. :)

Though I still have to come over sometime soon and check out Phantom Brave and Radiata Story. Oh and tonight is Thur... I'll also have to check out Stella Deus at FW Microplay and not miss the season premiere of the new survivor.

Dan Mancini said...

Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when Suspiria quakes, the Phenomena fall from the sky, and the pillars of Tenebrae shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks old Dario right in the eye and says, "Give me your best shot. I can take it."

Dunnyman's Castle said...

Steve, I feel like you may, in fact BE my evil twin! I thought this flick blew chunks, too.
Is it a score, or a garbage truck driving through a nitro factory? Sounds like a 9 year old playing with his first synthesiser!
What plot?
Seen five Argento flicks, and NONE of them live up to
the hype!
Try Mario Bava instead.
Blood and Black Lace.

SteveTP said...

Dawg - nice! :)

Mark - you missed out - you lam3 n00b.

Dunny - Duely noted - i shall look into Bava...

Mitch - Phenomena sounds like another "winner" - i'll pass...

JD said...

Wow. Incorrect sir. Had your basis been the acting alone, you would have a partial leg to stand on. The lighting, score and direction are all outstanding. But there's no accounting for taste. I'm more surprised you have as many hanger's on agreeing with you.

My question is, what garbage copy of the movie did you watch? It looks like a public domain release, which I find hard to believe.

All these comments about Phenomena are pretty humorous too. These people have no problem lauding a film in which a man turns himself into a fly, yet bring up Connelly controlling bugs by telepathy as 'ridiculous'.

To anyone who thinks Suspiria is weak on story,it's supoposed to be a nightmare(insert juvenile joke here)/dream/surreal film. I'd argue all of his other films with the exception of Inferno contain great plots.

Bava? You complained about bad acting? Good luck... Narrative? Bava rarely contains any thread of logic between killings, so I'm not quite sure you want to go there either.

JD said... my ranting haste, I forgot to mention the reason I was posting in the first place.:(

I wouldn't turn back my on Argento yet. His most surreal films are Suspiria, Phenomena and Inferno, with the majority of the others falling under giallo, or murder mysteries. You may well find them more appealing than Suspiria. I would recommend Tenebre, Opera and The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, if you would be so inclined to give him another go.

SteveTP said...

Hey JD,

You may be right - perhaps i should just avoid Italian horror altogether. As far as direction and cinematography were concerned... lighting the entire stage with a blue halogen flood is not lighting my friend... and the rapid edits, while probably used to mask budget restrictions, did nothing to assist in the narrative flow... i just felt the flick was a trainwreck... shot composition was completely thoughtless as well - it just felt to me that Argento stuck a camera on a tripod and hit record with little to no thought on framing, lighting, etc... I like you man, but to say my thoughts are out and out incorrect, when yeah, i do have a fair bit of knowledgeable insight into such matters - is kinda harsh (though no harsher than my treatment of a film you obviously enjoy - so fair game i guess) ;) I want to see imaginative low budget horror, i'll watch Evil Dead or Hammer... Or Generator when it's done... I'll leave the Italian stuff to you very brave souls with the mental fortitude to handle it - may god have mercy on your souls, i admire that you can go to places i cannot...

Cheers bud, and i DO appreciate thoughtful commentary from fine folk like yourself.

SteveTP said...

Just caught your second post - Murder Mysteries sound MUCH more like my typical cup o joe... To coin a Saxisim cum Homer-ism - I'm intrigued by your ideas and i wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Jon The Uncool said...


You sir are a cowardly S.O.B. And don't think that I won't make you watch Big Trouble in Little China. You call that zest? It's lust my friend...pure sin driven lust. And I will be victorious, you will watch it.

Mitchellaneous - Steve didn't get a good picture of me giving the disc the brain buster. If his daughter and better looking half hadn't been asleep upstairs...we probably would've shot it a few times as well.

Dunnyman's Castle said...

Fergot to ask, how did you dig the homegrown Ginger Snaps?

SteveTP said...

Thought it was awesome - picked up both sequels as well - haven't watched either yet though...