Do you like movies?! Do you like so called “cult classics”?! Do you like Films people have rarely heard of?! Do you see your friends switch off when you begin to go on and on about a film that you know they’ve not seen but you can’t help it, its like word vomit?! Well my friend this is the series for you!
In this series I indulge in my favourite pastime; watching films and then annoying people with my opinions on them. Some odd, some wonderful, some downright bad, all watched over the course of one week and then reviewed for your pleasure. Sit back, relax, and potentially find your new favourite flick.
So I guess this is technically a Tuesday Movies, I had work and then a real life social life, I apologise for forgetting! But If you’re reading this in the future it doesn’t make any difference so…I’m real hungover and I have no idea what I’m saying. Lets watch some movies!
FILM : Frankenhooker
RELEASE DATE : 1st June 1990
WATCHED : On DVD
RATING : 6/7 Days
SYNOPSIS : When his fiancé dies in a tragic lawnmower related accident Jeffrey Franken decides to bring her back to life using body parts liberated from the streetwalkers of NYC.
Sometimes I like to buy random DVD’s based upon their cover art. In doing this sometimes the film totally bombs, and sometimes I hit the lottery and get a real gem. Frankenhooker is one of those gems. This is an amazing film for effects, and is absolutely hilarious and heart-warming and I’m going to do my best to endear it to you without spoiling anything.
If you’ve been here before you’ll know that physical effects get me all hot under the collar and Frankenhooker has brilliant effects. Before the era of CGI this film is surrounded by people drilling their own heads, buckets of legs and boobs, and of course the titular Frankenhooker. It of course doesn’t look real; there’s nothing realistic about the pile of hands in Jeffrey’s lab, or the strange brain in the tank, or the exploding hookers but there shouldn’t be! It’s what lends to it’s charm! If you’re here for anatomically accurate human explosions you came in the wrong door, but you should stay anyway because what Frankenhooker has to offer is pretty damn amazing.
I also love the performance of Patty Mullen in this film, she plays Elizabeth (Jeffrey’s fiancé) and later her re-animated self. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her, but her performance makes this film. She is hilarious, her Frankenstein walk is perfection and she’s an all round pretty excellent actress. I also love that Elizabeth’s reaction upon re-animation, I thought it was intelligently written and accurate to how most women would react. I won’t spoil it but I promise you, you wont be disappointed. Not that I’m saying this is a very feminist film; the poor streetwalkers don’t exactly get treated too well but they do get their own back in the end in a way.
James Lorinz’s Jeffery is also an interesting soul. He seems sweet (probably 90% Lorinz’s excellent performance) and he’s trying to do right by his fiancé, but also he’s a mad scientist who’s plan to do right by said fiancé is to kill a hooker and attach his fiancé’s head to her body. You generally feel sorry for the chap, which is astonishing considering he wants to kill a woman. So what happens is that on the one hand there’s this very sweet love story of how Jeffrey would do anything for Elizabeth, and on the other is his quest to get body parts to bring her back to life. It’s like one of those cringy mid-90’s romance films had a baby with a documentary about serial killers and somehow it still works.
All in all I can really see why this film has so called cult status; its a bit too raunchy and silly to get rave reviews with critics, but the underlying current of undying love and absolutely brilliant effects really endear it to the audience. I really liked this one.
TL;DR Phenomenal effects, good acting, actually okay plot. Not one for sensitive snowflakes.
FILM : The Love Witch
RELEASE DATE : 11th November 2016
WATCHED : Digital Download
RATING : 7/7 Days
SYNOPSIS : A young witch uses her craft in her quest for true love. Go in as blind as possible please.
Yep I have a new favourite film. And director. You watch me go on an Anna Biller binge, you just watch me. I think the thing I love most about this film is the thing most reviewers go on about and that is the glorious use of old film and lighting techniques to make this film look as though it was shot in 1967. It really is stunning.
I love the old sexploitation films of the late sixties, not as deep as my love for the horror of the seventies but very close, and this is a modern day reproduction of those films. Though reproduction is probably the wrong word to use; this film is a gem all of it’s own. But if you enjoyed something like the original Stepford Wives you’re going to have a fun time with this one.
So lets talk about this sixties vibe shall we? It’s bloody beautiful. Elaine, the titular “Love Witch”, dresses, and to a certain extent lives, as though it’s 1967. In fact if you were distracted at all while watching this film you might miss the subtle technologies that show that this film is in fact set sometime much closer to the present. The easiest of these to spot are modern cars on the streets and Trish’s use of a modern iPhone. It’s actually decently easy to miss these when no one makes any mention of Elaine’s dress up and many of the outfits worn by background or side characters are timeless enough to make you think maybe this film is in fact set in the sixties.
But the real trip is the way this film is shot. I’ve not done a huge amount of research around the shooting of this film but for goodness sake its beautiful. The lighting is a perfect copy of what was being used in the old technicolour days; everything pops. None of this “everything is black or very dark grey because *~realism~*” crap going around at the minute, it looks like a movie. And quite honestly if this film had been made with a modern digital feel it would not have been half as genius. And technique! Oh be still my beating heart! Clunky quick zooms in on eyes and lips. Camera movement. Obvious green screen in driving shots is obvious. It’s so gloriously time period specific that I love it.
And lets talk about performances. I love the way everyone acts in this film. It’s like they sat down and were like “okay so they don’t necessarily need to be good, but they need to be really stylised” Elaine especially has a very interesting way of speaking that I always assumed was the way people just spoke to each other in the mid 20th century, which could still be true I guess but now I rather suspect that it has more to do with how actresses were instructed to speak at the time. And the vibe of a young actress who is making her first big break is really carried off by Ms. Samantha Robinson, it really is a brilliant performance on her part.
Robinson really does do a stellar job because I honestly think that in the wrong hands Elaine could have been a terribly annoying character. She’s so obsessed with love and being loved, but at the same time she’s targeting men who are never going to be able to give her everything she wants. And she’s using magic to get everything she wants from these men. Because of her honesty about her sexuality I can’t figure out if she’s incredibly naïve or an incredible feminist. In the hands of a less competent actress this could have come across as an annoyance, but it really just comes across as enigmatic and interesting.
TL;DR Beautiful, brilliant, incredible. NSFW and a generally amazing time. Do yourself a favour and get on this.
FILM : Kaboom
RELEASE DATE : 22nd August 2010
WATCHED : On DVD
RATING : 6/7 Days
SYNOPSIS : A young man seems to be having a totally normal college experience until, when tripping balls one night, he believes he’s witnessed a murder and then shit gets real real.
This week is a week of nudity and NSFW films apparently. This thing is 80% softcore porn so if you’re not here for seeing teenagers going at it I would avoid the whole situation. But the gratuitous sex is completely worth it, I swear, because the plot gets bonkers at the end.
Before I talk about anything else I want to just mention the lighting in this film. For goodness sake it’s gorgeous. The leading male, Smith, spends a lot of his time indoors bathed in this beautiful blue light. It’s definitely not realistic but it does do a lot for the mood and it made my heart feel things so props to whoever’s decision that was because it was 100% the right one.
I know that this is a spoiler-free blog because I honestly want all of you to go and watch all of these films, well the ones that get above a 3/7 anyway. But this film kinda just has a fun “college kids all figuring their genitalia out, do they ever even go to class?, can I redo college and have it be like this please?” vibe for the first act, a “wait is the weird shit actually happening?” vibe for the second act, but it’s the third act that gives this film it’s 6/7 rating so fuck the spoilers lets talk about that ending!!
No but seriously SPOILERS AHEAD.
THE END. IS PERFECTION. I love how all of the strange things going on with Lorelai were explained, I love that every single character was tied into the final car chase/shoot out, I love that not only did all of our characters die in a massive car crash at the end but the world fucking exploded. The world. Fucking. EXPLODED.
Okay so I see how this ending could be seen as lazy or uninspired or whatever but I loved it. I literally could not stop laughing when it happened because it’s essentially equivalent to writing “and then they woke up and it was all a dream”. This movie is what I imagine half of the worlds young filmmakers would make if they were given a budget and no oversight, and I include myself in that half. It’s 80% sex, with the other 20% being a cult, magic powers, and the god damn world exploding. I used to say that if I was ever able to make a film but ran out of money before completing the third act I’d just end it like The Apple (which I can’t find online anymore but I swear to review it one day) but now I’m going to end it like Kaboom; with a world explosion. It was amazing.
TL;DR The ending makes all of the gratuitous boobage worth it. Kaboom indeed.
That’s all for this week! If you have a film you think I’d enjoy or you’d like me to review please leave it in the comments below, and let me know if you watched any mind blowing movies this week too! Have a good one folks!
Until Next Time,
Emily Jayne xo