Spending a little quarantine time with friends. Two films that are beyond gimmick. First up, Scare Me is a 2020 film that takes the anthology formula and then makes life even harder for itself. Breaking down the character arcs from the film’s logline. The secret anthology relationship Scare Me still has – hint: it’s not the segments, it’s the other part. Secondly, Creep. Eric struggles to describe Creep without asking if one of the characters is a Creep. An impossibly good found footage film that might be as good or better than all the other found footage films. Admit it already, found footage is interesting and you like it. Secret third double feature theme today: two films that have other films by the same name, and in Scare Me’s case, another film from this very year. What, were there just too many horror movies in 2020 for each one to have a unique title? Continue reading
The adventure continues as Double Feature pairs up another Studio Ghibli film with a stop motion film. Digging deep to find the best and worst in yourself. Whisper of the Heart is a Studio Ghibli film like few others. Waiting for a floating what-not. Self discover and ambition. Anomalisa might be stop motion, but that’s only the beginning. Anomalisa’s many devices.
Try watching a movie the week voters in the United States finally defeated the president. After four long years of heartache – and with the pandemic now spiking again – Americans have decided to put someone new in charge. They’ve done so by casting the most votes than any candidate has received in history. Double Feature celebrates the decisive victory by taking an honest look at any otherwise throwaway joke with Joe + His House. First up, Nicholas Cage should be who everyone thinks of when you hear Crazy Joe. Michael has conflicts with the fly-over states. His House is a surprisingly deep and rich film with a multitude of layers. Internal conflict vs external conflict. Past vs future. A schism in the unit. Racism, immigration, ICE and the rest. Britain as a kind of Trojan horse. Continue reading
Even fluff can be painstakingly deconstructed.
Happy halloween! An trip through the decades of horror lands in the modern era. For all that is awful in the one, hold on to this one moment where two arthouse horror films had a wide theatrical release. It it utterly insane that Midsommar was a pop phenomenon. People took their nine friends to see Midsommar. It was an actual summer hit. And it’s fucking weird. Midsommar is about grief, it’s about relationships, it has a host of things an audience has never seen before (and a lot of them audiences probably wish they still hadn’t seen) and yet, here it is. A movie everyone saw. Isn’t it a great time to be alive? For those still not convinced, enter The Lighthouse! This poster was in theaters. People saw the trailer infront of the highest performing movies of the year. And it’s a constrained ratio, black and white, kitchen-sink insanity piece about two guys drinking late into the night and doing grunt work. It’s so authentically about its subject, and yet somehow audiences still came. There’s no secret hook, there’s no gimmick. If there’s a marketing tactic, it’s to tell the audience what this movie is about and then ask them to come see this movie. And it worked. Continue reading
Y2K Horror: scares at the turn of the millennium. Eric finds something very worth-while in his least favorite era for horror. Valentine was really successful and for some reason people ignore it. A sincere attempt (and a false start) at bringing the slasher genre back. Valentine walked so Adam Green could soar. Idle Hands is pretty fucking good and for some reason people ignore it. Michael over-explains numetal. Will you bite? The hand that feeds you? Will you stay? Down on? Your knees? The various stages of the hand. American Pie presents Idle Hands. There is only one idle hand in the film Idle Hands. What films escaped Y2K alive? Continue reading
Straight into the heart of the 90s video films. Remember strolling through Video Value and taking a look at the covers of Ice Cream Man and The Dentist. Unorthodox Halloween continues! Another VHS, another film with renewed cult status. Clint Howard is the Ice Cream Man. The extended weirdness through sound and light. Reach back into Family Value’s discount section for the last copy of The Dentist. Straight to video does not mean unsuccessful – even financially! When a character just snaps, and then his snaps snaps, and that’s all before we even find out what’s going on with the poolboy. How many people can you fit in a dentist’s office? Continue reading
Off the beaten path of early 80s slasher films. The weirdest Halloween of our lives continues with two non-traditional halloween horror films. Three robots get together for good old fashion mall-cop brutality. Their victim? No, not the Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles, but instead a mall in the valley that looks suspiciously like the Beverly Center. Bloody Birthday as an experimental slasher film that was released before there were rules for this kind of thing. What happened with the 80s slasher films no one wanted to franchise? Why did some slasher films get franchises and others did not?
War with a kink. How many bloods are in Da 5 Bloods? Spike Lee enters the stream. The Five Bloods. Talking about politics by actually talking about politics. How war and other tragic events shape reality for the years to come. Does a war ever truly end? Overlord, Bad Robots, and your favorite Wolfenstein level. Creating a film people will remember in their idle moments through set pieces and production design. The one WW2 element suspiciously absent from Overlord. When Hitler gets in the way of your good time.
Unconventionally overcoming a person’s station in life. First Reformed and the path of radical activism. Inevitable comparisons to Paul Schrader’s Taxi Driver. Shouldn’t we all get radicalized? Eight and one half. How to decipher a film after you watch it and and aren’t even sure you could say what it’s about. Laying all the pieces of 8 1/2 on the table. French movies that are about something but you’re not sure what that something is. A different (and better?) way to handle the tortured genius trope. Continue reading