Some Frightening Dingbat (sanspoof) wrote,
Some Frightening Dingbat

The Movie Backlog, Part One

House (AKA Hausu, 1977), Nobuhiko Obayashi. Oct 31, 9pm. View count: Two.
Straight to Hell (Returns) (1987), Alex Cox. Nov 1, 7:15pm. View count: Five?
Days of Heaven (1978), Terrence Malick. Nov 4, 7pm. View count: One.
Mad Monster Party? (1967), Jules Bass. Nov 6, 5pm. View count: One.
El Topo (1970), Alejandro Jodorowsky. Nov 6, 9pm. View count: One.

House I have a lot of love for. It's a weird, weird movie, with a few horror aspects that don't really make it into a horror movie. It is, however, filled with amusing, self-aware effects and mattes, lovable acting, and stuff you'd never have thought would be a good thing to include in a movie. Schoolkids talking over someone's retelling of a memory, as if it were a film, and they could see it? A character whose scarf is always blowing around, for seemingly no reason? A skeleton who, even in the background, is really into whatever's happening? All these and more, friends. It starts slowly and never truly gets fast, but if you can take the low rate of occurrences as a natural consequence of appreciating the secondary visual and conceptual aspects, then maybe you will like it.

Straight to Hell is an old favorite of mine. It's not as polished as Repo Man, and its meandering plot is perhaps the most obvious symptom of that, but it has so many good components. Not the least of which is the wonderful casting -- Jim Jarmusch, Courtney Love, Elvis Costello -- heck, Joe Strummer is a lead, and does a damn fine job. Alex Cox bears a lot of knowledge and love for the western genre; he's even written a book, so you know he's on the level.

Days of Heaven was recommended us by a coworker. My favorite part, easily, is the running monologue from the little sister, Linda. JP characterized it as Babycakes-like, and it is, after a fashion, but it's missing Babycakes' whimsy? If Babycakes were a twelve-year-old girl who had grown up on various factory floors, being exposed to various weird stripes of biblical input, then maybe that would be Linda. A few quotes here.

Mad Monster Party is pretty terrible. Maybe if I'd seen it as a child I would see fewer of its flaws, but as of now it does seem to be mostly flaws. Phyllis Diller, for once, did not help. The jokes are poor, the songs are excruciating... it's all very sad.

El Topo is the sort of thing that, if I were ever to have patience for it, it would have been in college. However, I can't help but think that even then I would have rejected it. I was not in the correct mood to appreciate much of it, and therefore did not pay attention.
Tags: 2010 movies
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