haven't done one of these in a while... short movie reviews;
Cronos - 8/10 : Guilermo Del Toro's first film. Lots of heart and cool F/X.
Nekromantik - 8.5/10 : Underground classic from Jörg Buttgereit. about a million times the movie you think it's going to be. the reality of it is that it's a depraved love triangle where one of the points happens to be a corpse. beautiful music that somehow fits with the genuinely gruesome images on the screen. the ending is a masterwork of over-the-top masturbatory splatter.
Schramm - 8.5/10 : Jörg Buttgereit's serial killer character study focuses more on the isolation and the ugliness of the mind rather than lingering on any actual murder. brilliant piece of work that may be his best film. shocking hyper-real scenes of existential torment that you can almost feel on your nerves like a child running his fingers against a chain link fence.
Shoot 'Em Up - 8/10: A carrot chomping hit-man and a lactating hooker protect a baby from another hitman. perhaps the most fun i've had watching an action movie since i was 10 years old (except maybe for RAMBO). It doesn't hurt that it has people i actually like watching (Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, and the timeless beauty Monica Belluci).
Sweet Movie - 9/10: one for the ages. Surrealist sex-comedy. worth it for the chocolate bath alone.
Tokyo Fist - 9.5/10: Shinya Tsukamoto. that's all.
Subconscious Cruelty - 10/10: FINALLY. Everything i heard it was and everything i heard it wasn't. This is more than a film...it's a nightmare being exorcised from a tortured soul, captured and transformed into grotesque visual and mental poetry. Rare, original, and inspiring in it's disgust for the human condition while simultaneously lusting for the very best in all of us. it shows that humanity and life are mutually exclusive, and the only way to really live is to embrace all the blood, cum, piss, and shit, and choose instead to evacuate our flat-earthed halves from our person.
Hellboy 2 - 7.5/10: Like the themes of the first one more (Hitler's interest in the occult, etc), but there were some really beautiful moments/effects here. the Angel of Death scene is the standout, particularly because the lair (as well as the Angel herself) were obviously based on Beksinski's paintings.
the Strangers - 2/10: loud noise loud noise quizzical head tilt loud noise loud noise loud noise loud noise quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt loud noise loud noise quizzical head tilt loud noise loud noise loud noise loud noise "Because you were home" quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt loud noise loud noise quizzical head tilt loud noise loud noise loud noise loud noise quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt quizzical head tilt fade to black.
Strange Circus - 8.5/10: Just about every taboo imaginable is represented here. Great imagery.
Suicide Club - 8/10: Cult hit from the same director of Strange Circus. Darkly funny and depressing.
The Mindscape of Alan Moore - 9/10: Remarkable documentary about the man and his work. Feels like you're trailing the creases of his rich brains.
Hostel 2 - 6/10 : liked the scene with the naked chick killing Weiner Dog and being showered in her blood. the girls were hot. acting and dialogue were complete shit... the almost Rob Zombie-level F-Bomb droppage was annoying and stupid.
Begotten - 9/10 : from IMDB; God disembowels himself with a straight razor. The spirit-like Mother Earth emerges, venturing into a bleak, barren landscape. Twitching and cowering, the Son Of Earth is set upon by faceless cannibals.
no review i could ever write could do this film justice. here's the trailer, with some blurbs from critics whose opinions mirror mine, though they somehow managed to cobble together their thoughts into words where as i just sat in awe..than crawled into my bed and hoped the images wouldn't destroy me too much;
Tideland - 8.5/10: without a doubt Terry Gilliam's most disturbing work. but it's also one of his most remarkable and dare i say charming films. Most won't be able to get past the putrid subject matter, but if you can just check your inhibitions at the door you'll see the film as it's meant to be seen...with innocence...with purity.
Nightwatch - 5/10: russian vampire epic. i found it to be no different than any shitty American blockbuster action/horror/fantasy mudfart, but because it's from another country it's considered "cutting edge". fell asleep in intervals through the viewing of the film. just not my thing at all.
Visitor Q - 8.5/10: Takashi Miike at his most demented is also Takashi Miike at his most hilarious. make your own double feature with this and Strange Circus.
Inside - 9/10: god damn this fucker is SAVAGE. Beatrice Dall's performance as "the Woman" is second only to Javier Bardem's "Anton Chirgurh" in No Country for Old Men when it comes to near otherworldly terror.
Frontiers - 8/10: the best Texas Chainsaw Massacre knock off ever.
C.H.U.D. - 8/10: an underrated classic. has the charm of a 1950s atomic monster movie with the Reagan-era grime of an 80s grindhouse feature.
Lizard in a Woman's Skin - 8.5/10: Lucio Fulci's psychedelic splatter film. Prefer this to his Zombie voodoo epics, though those are not without their charms.
Dellamorte Dellamore - 9/10: more commonly known as Cemetary Man. Excellent. simple as that.
Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer 9.5/10: SHINYA. TSUKAMOTO. the end.
the Machine Girl - 7.5/10: a little disappointing, but still a lot of fun. can't go wrong with a cute Japanese school girl with a gattling gun for a hand. Has that Troma/early Peter Jackson kind of b-movie likability. still could've been a bit nastier...and some of the directing was choppy.
Scarlet Diva - 9/10: Asia Argento's directorial debut. ...you know i was going to write something... maybe post a clip...but then i found this;
and i forgot who i was for a quick second. than i came.
Visions of Suffering - 9.5/10: Andrey Iskanov's unrelenting mind-rape. It's tough to describe his films...he's one of the few directors you can say really has a style all his own. They don't look like films, but rather vivid fever dreams being beamed from his mind to your screen, unfiltered by the inevitable compromise of the medium. true transgressive cinema.
Nails - 8/10 - see above.
Buio Omega - 9/10: Italian gore classic. Stands out from other films of that era due to it's portrayal of death being slow, meditative, and messy, where as most of the films of that time were like grandiose violent art-rock operas.
Boy Meets Girl - 8/10: When people talk about "torture porn"... they don't know Boy Meets Girl.
Dust Devil: the Final Cut - 10/10: It makes me shake with anger knowing that this film isn't on everyone's classic list. So unreal. The most effectively atmospheric film of it's era, even if it was lost in that time.
Art of the Devil 2 - 8.5/10: grueling and nasty, with a climatic torture scene that makes Audition look like and episode of Family Matters.