Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Visitor (1979)




What the HELL did I just watch?1 heheheh 

Mel Ferrer...Glenn Ford...Lance Henriksen...and the super adorable Joanne Nail...all in this weird little science fiction film that looks like the lovechild of THE FURY and THE BAD SEED.  This super creepy film (creepy because of all the inappropriate and strange child scenes) tells the tale of a bad space eight year old who's inherently evil. Luckily, Mel Ferrer is on the case, making sure the creepy eight year old and the evil folks on her side don't get poor Joanne Nail pregnant with a little brother for her.

The movie just keeps bringing on the bonkers.



Surprise gun gift madness. 




SHELLY fucking WINTERS cast as the "magical negro housekeeper" (it's a thing, look it uprole and inept bodyguard - providing wisdom during the...maybe one day she was on set shooting.  hehehehe 





Ice skating battles. 

A pigtailed 8ish year old kid delivering lines like, "Do you want to know where it is? UP YOUR ASS!"

The most bald people assembled for a film since THX1138. 

High aspiration green screen shots that are...magical. 

Secret Evil Businessmen around a large table...making evil plans.

A score fit for....maybe the 1972 Olympic Games opening ceremony throughout. 

Funhouse mirrors?

A LOT of bird attacks.

AND....Franco Nero as Jesus Christ. Yes...Jesus. 


Just...strange. Good old Italian strange. And long feeling. At an hour forty-eight minutes, it feels more like 2.5 hours or so.





However, I was all in on the film. It has enough in it to make it interesting. And they manage to make some things happen in the film that look kinda cool. Like this silver mirror effect on ole creepy kid's eyes when she's....alien-ing out.



This is a must see for fans of strange, Italian films. It's all in there and packs enough entertaining oddness in to keep you going. If you're a pot smoker, you might want to plan on being REALLY high when you watch this. I'm a whiskey man, myself, but I don't know if any amount of whiskey could get me spinning enough for this film to make sense. hehehehe

Check it!















Monday, February 12, 2018

Coherence










Super quick review for the wondrous film Coherence.

I thought I had put up a review already, but I guess I had missed it.

Short and sweet - Coherence is fabulous!

A dinner party goes VERY sideways when the lights go out and a comet goes overhead. And that's all I'm going to say about that for fear of messing things up.



The style is grand and the tension levels run super high as the film unfolds with Hitchcock-like mastery. Ok...that was a little flowery, but it's true. The film had me hooked from the opening and I was glued as I watched things play out.

Just watch it! It's a fun, tight, thinker of a film!


Trailer? Yeah...if you must....but it's better if you don't!








Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Passion of Paul Ross







I watched THE PASSION OF PAUL ROSS and, while it is not straight up horror, it has elements that were definitely horrific and strange enough to cause some flashback movie visuals through the evening. I think that counts for something for sure. 






The film is a strange mix of visuals, scenes, and character interactions. It tells the story of the titular Paul Ross and his strange, metaphysical journey. It's packed with dream logic and jarring visuals that really sunk it's claws into me and didn't let me look away from the screen. 


To quote the site: 
An aging artist discovers that his seemingly perfect suburban life is actually a prison conjured by unknown forces.


And, while it is definitely that, it's much more. 



Like Bryan Enk's other feature THE MOOSE HEAD OVER THE MANTEL   which I loved, the film has a feel of a play. I love the presentation. That play-like quality feels more present and in person which added to the intensity for me. That combined with the Twilight Zone / Twin Peaks vibe made me very happy. I choose these to get a general feeling only - this film is very much a unique creature, but the visuals are very Peaks in tone.






The other part of this film that made me happy is that it never fell into...how to say it? Pothead babble film plot? You know - that, "Duuuuuuude....what if you were in a prison...but it was like...the prison of your own....miiiiiind. heh! Whoooooaaaa...."   I've seen far too many films with their heads wedged firmly up their own arses when it came to a more philosophical plot. 

The Passion of Paul Ross avoids all that fakery and provides a storyline that not only makes you think hard about various things like spirituality (No...this isn't a Christian film. At least it doesn't come off that way if it is :) )   , but also tosses in some interesting elements that I have not seen in a film in a long while - subtle ghost overtones. Operative word here being subtle. No "beyond the veil" mist filled rooms or Darth Maul-esque demons. It's simplicity allows for the viewer to really sink into the tale being told. 





And now...the downsides. Just a few, really. 


Yes, this is a micro-budget film. ($15,000 USD ) Don't hate.  Enk was the writer, Director, Producer, light tech and many other things on here without question. He did what he needed to do to get the film made and not only got it made, but made it highly entertaining and solid. 

There are some hinky sound moments and a point where I thought the camera was going to be blown over, but non of that took away from my viewing experience. It does need to be called out, however. I know some horror fans are delicate flowers that have a tough time watching films that aren't tossing jump scares and digital blood at them from time to time. ::::grin::::

There is also a set piece at the beginning that goes on for a bit, but it has a point. You may start watching and think, "Is this a music video?"  Hang in there - it makes sense. Just enjoy the lovely tones of Amy Beth Coup - she a great singer! 


And...that's about it for negatives, honestly.  Very minor!




I've seen quite a few screeners of late and I've had to pass on writing reviews for about 75% of them just because...well...they made me angry, actually. This film was the polar opposite. I enjoyed it and immediately thought about a re-watch that very day to go back and pick up on the subtleties! 


Lastly, the acting was a lot of fun. Steve Bishop and Becky Byers are so much fun to watch on screen and run through every emotion in the book with a grace that I found to be very pleasing.

The aforementioned Amy Beth Coup's delightful singing voice was grand.

Hell, the whole cast was pitch perfect for the tone of the film and  looked like they had a ton of fun making it. Their commitment to the oddness really sold the feature and added to the overall feeling of unease and dream-like bizarreness.

Do yourself a favor and seek this film out. It's a lot of fun!   I'll post details about how and when to get the film as soon as I learn more.


The Passion of Paul Ross (2017) - Official Teaser from Third Lows Productions on Vimeo.







  • Bryan Enk
    Director
    The Moose Head Over the Mantel, The Big Bad


  • Bryan Enk
    Writer
    They Will Outlive Us All


  • Bryan Enk
    Producer
    The Moose Head Over the Mantel, The Big Bad


  • Steve Bishop
    Producer

  • Steve Bishop
    Key Cast
    “Paul Ross ”
    Scarlett Mecca and the Pentagram Girl


  • Becky Byers
    Key Cast
    “Amity”
    Play Hooky


  • Matthew Gretzinger
    Key Cast
    “Wilson Shand ”

  • Amy Beth Coup
    Key Cast
    “Natalie Lord ”

  • Kim Long
    Key Cast
    “Light-Haired Woman”

  • Jason Hugh Smith
    Key Cast
    “The Intruder ”

  • Gregory Bobak
    Key Cast
    “Bartender ”

  • Julie Konrad
    Key Cast
    “Johanna”

  • Aaron Sinclair
    Key Cast
    “Party Man ”

  • Maggie McKeon Vendely
    Key Cast
    “Party Woman ”

  • Joshua Detamore
    Key Cast
    “Gerry”

  • Keenan MacRitchie
    Key Cast
    “Terry”

  • Brendan Coomes
    Key Cast
    “Barry”

  • Bob Dawson
    Key Cast
    “Brad”

  • C.C. Snyder
    Key Cast
    “Joe ”

  • Dirk Manning
    Key Cast
    “Suburban Man ”
  • Yuri Lowenthal
    Key Cast
    “voice of Radio DJ ”