Monthly Archives: October 2009

1,001 Words: Suspiria

Suspiria (1977)


Zombie 101 & Video Criticism

by Tony Nigro

A brilliantly realized zombie primer by Matt Zoller Seitz that astutely included George Romero’s The Crazies as a bridge to 28 Days Later and what he dubs “zombie-by-proxy” stories.

Along with Kevin Lee, Seitz is taking online film criticism in the right direction, using online video to elevate criticism above the print vs. blog roadblocks that have become all too commonplace.  (Another tremendous video entry by Seitz is the “Evolution of the Modern Blockbuster” series at The L Magazine.)

Here are some of my older (and less effective) entries on zombie film criticism:

Freak of the Week: Trick or Treat

Heavy Metal.  Ozzy.  Marc Price “from Family Ties.”  Someone call Tipper Gore and the PMRC, because it doesn’t get any more evil than this, folks.

Not Coming to a Theater Near You has a more respectful and well thought out piece on this piece.

DVD: Love, Hate, Action, Violence, and Death

by Lewis Manalo

Sam Fuller, bitch. This “Collector’s Choice” is a unique DVD set because it has more films in it that aren’t directed by Sam Fuller than are. The five un-Sam movies, on which he has a (shared) writing credit, have never been on DVD before, and only if you’re a real freak for Sam Fuller will you need them like I need them.

Crimson Kimono and Underworld USA are the two Sam Fuller pictures in the mix. You might be able to deal with Underworld USA, with its shades-wearing child-killers, but from the opening scene of a nude stripper getting shot dead on a crowded L.A. street, you won’t be able to handle Crimson Kimono.

You see, in the aftermath of World War II, the ladies got the Yellow Fever, and the Man – and you – can’t deal with it.

Click here for more info on the DVD set.

1,002 Words: Ringu

Ringu (1998)

Lookie here.

1,007 Words: White Zombie

White Zombie (1932)

You’ve really got a hold on me.

Squint and See

by Tony Nigro

A recurring argument in avant-garde cinema circles regards watching a film projected versus any other way.  The idea is that one cannot truly “see” a film except in an ideal projection setting, which excludes home and online video.  (Video art is another story, and I’m not going to touch that now.)  The broader discussion breaks down into two camps: purists and people the purists think are philistines.  Sometimes, the purists call each other philistines.  For more purist-on-purist action, check out the archives of Frameworks.

Of course, this is to say nothing of the irony that many avant-garde film folks, those supposedly ahead of the curve, are really purists.  Or maybe I mean “puritans.”  Anyway, that’s a different essay altogether.

Film Studies For Free is a tremendous resource of links and videos that fulfill the promise of the blog’s title.  (I only wish it existed before I went into hock to get a college diploma.)  A recent post there about Michael Snow included an embed of Snow’s avant-garde touchstone Wavelength, a 45 minute zoom that blah blah perception blah blah textures of film blah blah, or something.  Look Snow up sometime, because he’s fascinating.  Right now I’m more concerned with comments sparked by the embedded video, comments about how the only way to watch Wavelength is on film.

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Freak of the Week: Panic Face King

We’re taking a step back this week from freaky horror movies to look at real terror, or at least how a perverse Japanese reality show can inflict it upon one unlucky bastard.

Maybe the American remake could star Richard Heene.

DVD: Fados

by Lewis Manalo

Sure, you might be excited that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen may be out on DVD, but let’s be honest. You already made your lady suffer through Michael Bay’s dizzying orgy of robotic mayhem in the theater. Why not seduce that lady into a orgy of the flesh and rent Fados tonight?

Newly released on DVD here in the States, Fados is the third and final film in Spaniard Carlos Saura’s musical trilogy. A Goya winner, Saura is bit more subtle than his fellow musical directors such as Baz Luhrmann, so you can be sure that you won’t feel flamboyantly girly for watching this film.

Not only will you be treating yourself to some truly original filmmaking, you might get some out of it, too.

DVD: Ozploitation!

by Lewis Manalo

I’ve been waiting for months for this to drop on DVD, and if I’m a week late with this post, I blame my cluttered Netflix queue.

Not Quite Hollywood tells the story of Ozploitation, the roaring wave of exploitation films that Australia gave a wet, groaning birth to in the 1970’s and 80’s. You’ll recognize some saints of exploitation films such as Quentin Tarantino and Jamie Lee Curtis in the trailer, but the film includes quite a few people who are not ashamed of their involvement. See the trailer, and resist the temptation to make a killer kangaroo flick of your own.