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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Incoming (1994): The Mind of a Missile

John Duncan, Incoming (Streamline, 1994)

[originally posted 8May2000]

photo credit:

Chemtrails for Dummies.

By now, anyone familiar with experimental music is probably familiar with the name John Duncan, the country- and citizenship-hopping pioneer in shortwave sound who always seems to be one step ahead of the law. One is forced to wonder, after a while, if performance art is really worth getting chased out of so many countries. The guy should just stick to nice, easy music instead of having sex with corpses and throwing a bunch of naked people into a room with all the lights off.

On second thought, maybe I’ll join him on the next tour.
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Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009): In the Crease

Dil Bole Hadippa! (Anurag Singh, 2009)

photo credit: Wikipedia

In India, people are easily fooled by fake facial hair, or so this film (and its accompanying poster) would have you believe.

I admit it—I’m a sucker for big Bollywood productions. (Which is odd considering how much I despise most American musicals.) I’m also a very big fan of cricket and I have generally been impressed with many of the “updated Shakespeare” attempts that have come across my screen (viz. recent Coriolanus review). So what we have here is a Bollywood movie about cricket that’s based loosely on Twelfth Night… it’s like someone went fishing in my brain and came up with the perfect combination of stuff. Which is not to say Dil Bole Hadippa! Is the best movie in the world or anything, but for what it is, it’s a barrel of fun.

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Dead Alive (1992): The Lawnmower Man

Dead Alive (Peter Jackson, 1992)

[originally posted 3Apr2000]

photo credit: IMDB

Every person is a book of blood…

Sometimes you just gotta laugh, and this is most definitely one of those times. Informed by every over-the-top horror film from Repulsion to Return of the Living Dead, filled with more Freudianism than a box of Cuban cigars, with more gore than any three Herschell Gordon Lewis movies combined, Dead Alive makes you wonder whether what’s bubbling up from the pit of your stomach is laughter or bile way too many times.
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The Eclipse (2009): Writer’s Block

The Eclipse (Conor McPherson, 2009)

photo credit: Wikipedia

Some ghosts are better left unseen.

After I hit paydirt with Outcast, the wonderful Scots urban fantasy picked up for US distribution by Bloody Disgusting not long ago, I figured I’d see what else the British Isles had in store for me. Ireland has been a solid, if not necessarily prolific, producer of good horror films over the past fifteen years (viz. Isolation or Dead Meat). The Eclipse, which boasts a cast headed up by Ciaran Hinds (There Will Be Blood), Aidan Quinn (Benny and Joon), and Iben Hjejle (Defiance) as the woman they’re both in love with, seemed like just the thing with which to pass a gloomy, snowy Friday night. Unfortunately, it fell quite flat.

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Admin note: updated indices!

Thanks to the spreadsheet that was causing technical difficulties over the weekend, I also hadn’t been able to update the indices for a few months. As of now, they are current. I will endeavor to get back to updating them monthly.

The First Power (1990): Spraytanic Panic

The First Power (Robert Resnikoff, 1990)

[originally posted 12Apr2000]

photo credit:

It’s El Diablo vs. La Bamba in a steel cage match that…would have been way better with luchador masks, really.

I’m still trying to figure out what this film is. It was made at a time when Satanism, in film, was still reserved for the heavy hitters, and it has one of those endings that are popular in horror film (think John Carpenter), but that you rarely see outside the genre. So this is either a straight thriller attempting to utilize some of the techniques of horror to get a really slick and original feel, or it’s a B-horror film attempting to get some legitimacy by passing itself off as a mystery/thriller/cop flick.
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Game of Death (2010): A World Filled with Pain and Shattering Dreams

Game of Death (Giorgio Serafini, 2010)

photo credit: Wikipedia

The war has begun, it’s death on the run.

An amusing, and unintended, consequence of my watching Giorgio Serafini’s Game of Death earlier this week is that it ended up making me like Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, released a year later, and which I watched back in March, even less than I did before. There’s a great deal of similarity between the two movies, but Game of Death is (slightly) better in that it knows it’s a genre thriller with nothing new to say, and doesn’t try to be anything else, while Haywire was trying to be Soderbergh’s last good movie, The Limey, and instead ended up being a genre thriller with nothing new to say, though I’m pretty sure you still can’t convince Steven Soderbergh of that two years later.

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Desert Island Disc Day 3I: Africa Addio

Day 3I: Africa Addio, Round Three

Day 3I Start

How we got here:
Day 2H, East/Midwest Subdivisions
Day 2H, West/South Subdivisions

We’re nearing the end of the first wave, and the fourth-last East Subdivision in the entire competition yields up…

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Hadewijch (2009): Corpo Celine

Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, 2009)

photo credit:

Celine of God?

I know it’s a matter of proximity—I simply watched the two movies too close together to avoid it—but I can’t stop myself comparing Bruno Dumont’s Hadewijch with Alice Rohrwacher’s 2011 film Corpo Celeste. Which probably isn’t as fair as it seems given that Corpo Celeste was released two years later, and given that the crises of faith suffered by its leads are polar opposites. But it stayed in the back of my mind the entire time I was watching this, and Hadewijch comes up short by every metric I can think of. Not to say it’s not worth watching, and if you haven’t seen Corpo Celeste you will probably dig it, but it seemed to me like there were too many times Dumont flirted with the idea of going there, wherever “there” was during a given scene, and then abandoned the idea for one reason or another.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957): Rheumstone

Gunflight at the O.K. Corral (John Sturges, 1957)

photo credit:

Rather terrifyingly, this is the least melodramatic of the film’s various posters findable on the Internet.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is now over half a century old. I’m just getting round to watching it. Which turned out to be a pretty tall order, if you’re attempting to take it solely on its own merits. I did try. But watching it now, it’s almost impossible to avoid comparing it to George Cosmatos’ wonderful 1992 film Tombstone, which as far as I’m concerned is one of the all-time great westerns (for that matter, it’s #66 on my list of the best movies ever), and thus “taking it on its own merits” is well… impossible, really. And when I put them up against one another, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral comes up short by every metric.

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