Author Archives: Eric Thirteen

Frailty + Where the Green Ants Dream

Frailty + Where the Green Ants Dream

Absurd beliefs disrupt society. Bill Paxton’s Frailty as a truly bizarre piece of 20001 filmmaking. What sets Frailty apart from everything that was coming out at the time. Religion obviously hurt Michael as a child. Who’s perspective is it, and does the film believe what its saying? The era of the twist further frays the possible reads of the plot. True Detective head cannon. Werner Herzog brings the strange docufeature Where the Green Ants Dream. Fake story, real activism. Or real story, fake actors? Fake acting, real activists? A more curious take on the previously discussed corporate destruction template. Continue reading

The American Friend + The White Ribbon

The American Friend + The White Ribbon

German bleakhause. A taste of German nuwave and cultural revolution. After a year chasing films like Possession and the Luca Guadagnino Suspiria, Double Feature goes on a quest to uncover the real German deep cuts. The low key insanity of The American Friend. Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz is enough, but it’s really only beginning. Who doesn’t love a West German Contax Zeiss prime? As long as it’s an MMG, we don’t need any ninja star bokeh over here. Sorry, forgot what this show was about for a second. Everything is terrible all the time and it’s not even World War 1 yet. How telling you exactly what to get from the film makes it even more puzzling. Is Michael Haneke a pain in the ass? Finally, someone sees this cold dark place for what it really is. When mastery allows you to fuck about in a way people wouldn’t accept otherwise. Continue reading

Phantom Thread + In Fabric

Phantom Thread + In Fabric

Spooky threads and haunted people. Sophisticated looks at various points in the fashion industry – first up, it’s high fashion houses and haute couture in Phantom Thread. The deviant lifestyle of Paul Thomas Anderson’s characters. Craftsmanship, the crunch, and doing literally anything for a break. What is Phantom Thread really about? What a time for strange and complicated fetishes. The work of Peter Strickland, a name that should be in everyone’s rolodex. The straight premise of In Fabric and the various themes discovered as it’s exercised. Various reads on dry britishisms. Continue reading

Man From Deep River + In My Skin

Man From Deep River + In My Skin

Exploitation meets the New French Extremity. Surprisingly little skin will be eaten in this not-exactly-cannible double feature. Is it Man from Deep River, The Man from Deep River, Sacrifice!, Il paese del sesso selvaggio, or The Land of Wild Sex? Why not all? In My Skin, a beautiful and weird film by writer / director / actress Marina de Van. See the Sea gets another namecheck, people really need to find See the Sea. For fans of Lucky Mckee’s May, In My Skin (or Dans Ma Peau in French) talks about some weird stuff. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in America + Pee-wee’s Big Holiday

Once Upon a Time in America + Pee-wee’s Big Holiday

An unfamiliar New York. Navigating the dangerous waters of Once Upon a Time in America. Sergio Leone’s gory fairytales. The fear of a film swinging immoral. The impossibility of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Paul Reubens performs the magic trick. Is Pee-wee reading weirder or are we? Lost to time: 42nd start and geographic places that no longer exist on this earth. Continue reading

The Proposition + I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

The Proposition + I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

Fraternal revenge! Decidedly foreign takes of crime genres typically reserved for American cinema! Pairing up a listener pick! Release the bats is a real song and it’s actually good? The Birthday Party is not The Birthday Massacre. Also, El-P has a really good album called I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead. Anyways, who are the characters in The Proposition and what do they tell us about the themes of the film? DVDs: you wouldn’t steal car, would you? The brutality of the western and why American westerns never showcased it. From Michael Koester’s extensive Clive Owen collection comes I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. An alternate angle to cover the rape revenge film from. Continue reading

Vampire’s Kiss + Repo Man

Vampire’s Kiss + Repo Man

Rediscovering cult movies. A tiny bit of genre, because who can help themselves. Michael is tricked into Vampire’s Kiss with the word vampire. Of every frame that is shocking in Vampire’s Kiss, which is the most shocking? What that accent actually does accomplish. Eric tries not to get fired while delivering some Nicolas Cage insight. The Cage performance is crazy, but it does make sense once you get it. Vampire’s Kiss as the story of a how a person becomes one of those New Yorkers who screams random things on the street. Repo Man is as a very out there film that stays very out there. Repossession is very cool, depending on whether or not you are presently employed as a repo man. The low-fi punk-a-fuck. Things you see, in a graveyard. Assassin murder monster! Enough time has passed that we can safely allow two cult Repo films to exist. Continue reading

Back to Black: The V/H/S Horror Franchise and the Thrill of a Mystery Tape

Back to Black: The V/H/S Horror Franchise and the Thrill of a Mystery Tape

by Samantha McLaren

When I was a kid, my uncle gave me a box filled with unmarked VHS tapes.

It was the late 90s and I was just discovering the joys of science fiction and horror. My uncle, a lifelong nerd, had recorded every episode of the Scott Bakula-starring sci-fi series Quantum Leap (1989-1993), which aired its final episode the year I was born, but any attempt to label the tapes had long since rubbed or peeled off. With streaming services still a distant dream, I experienced the series through this mystery box, never knowing if the black rectangle I was inserting into the machine was the conclusion of a two-parter I had yet to start, or the bittersweet final leap long before I was ready to say goodbye—or, indeed, whether my aunt had inadvertently taped over the last 10 minutes of a nail-biting episode with some tedious soap drama. It was at times frustrating—occasionally downright aggravating—but the thrill of anticipation never waned. Continue reading

Killapalooza 41: VHS

Killapalooza 41: VHS

V/H/S films 1-4. Breaking down every single segment of every single VHS movie in under an hour! The names behind each and every VHS film. Bonus Adam Wingard announcement – Eric Xandra Thirteen’s new documentary on the look of The Guest called Light and Fog. Creativity birthed through the fear of comparison. One word loglines for each V/H/S short. The alternative, darkwave, goth, post-punk & emo kids of Adam Wingard films. VHS segments, one by one. The VHS spin-off called Siren. The lost VHS segment. When the cheap look of an era moves from worst to chique. Repeat producer Roxanne Benjamin! Which is the lightest VHS segment? Which is the heaviest VHS segment? Michael makes a call for techno-horror. What ultimately makes V/H/S work. Continue reading

Summer of 84 + As the Gods Will

Summer of 84 + As the Gods Will

Adolescents faces the threat of imminent demise. Childhood games go very, very wrong. Summer of 84 taps into the ongoing 80s-kids-on-bikes genre. The overwhelming sense of dread. When the twist is simply delivering on the promise. Adults, and how they basically fuck everything up for everyone. The oppression of daily life before legal coming-of-age. Films getting the hooks in. Takashi Miike plays a dangerous squid-less game with As the Gods Will. Earth’s new obsession with bottle films revives this prior unsceen WTF film. Soviet Montage Theory inspires Japanese CGI theory. Asian cinema – is it weird, or is it cultural ignorance? Even on the podcast, two Americans can’t put together enough collective knowledge of childhood games to make sense of it all. Continue reading