Category Archives: Revisited

Revisited: Freddy’s Nightmares

by Tony Nigro

I love a scary movie as much as the next nerd who uses the word “superhero” in a URL — maybe more.  Interest in the genre began in my junior high years, the midst of the 1980s slasher franchise trend when Freddy and Jason ruled all and straight-to-video cheapies were bountiful.   With that kind of training, I quickly overcame childhood fears and dove in for all the blood and guts I could.   Then came Freddy’s Nightmares.

A Nightmare on Elm Street spin-off, Freddy’s Nightmares was an anthology series in the tradition of The Twilight Zone and the Tales from the Crypt comics.  In place of Rod Serling or the Crypt Keeper stood Freddy Krueger, killer of children, offering witty asides and on occasion participating in the story.  The show ran two seasons from 1988-1990, airing in Los Angeles in a late night slot on KHJ channel 9 (now KCAL).  The stories were like TV for the blind, a show-and-tell Scooby-Doo approach that led you by the nose from shock to shock.  The production value was as corny as Freddy’s one-liners. And the show scared the crap out of me.

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Revisited: Falling Down

by Tony Nigro

I don’t have a solid memory of the first time I saw Falling Down, the 1993 Michael Douglas vehicle about American white male frustration.  I remember that the movie was still fairly new, that I watched it on a television (either via cable or videotape) and that it didn’t affect me much.   The time was the early 1990s.  Douglas was Hollywood’s Male Victim #1.  Bill Clinton was a new President, I was in high school, and not too soon before there were riots in Los Angeles.  My interest in the film probably didn’t go beyond the shoot-and-yell-at-people trend that came into vogue after Reservoir Dogs.

Fast forward to the present: I spend about half of the intervening years living in New York City.  A terrorist attack occurs.  The country’s tenor changes.  Back in a Los Angeles hell bent on urban development, and with renewed interest in the city’s elusive soul, I figure, Hey, why not watch Falling Down again?  It’s Los Angeles around the time of the riots.  That’s interesting.  Why the hell not?

Well, now I know.  Because it’s lame.

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Revisited: The taxi ride in Suspiria

by Tony Nigro

Normally when I revisit a film, my response is affected by time and place, but it’s never so with Dario Argento’s Suspiria. The film exists on a different plane located at the other end of some wormhole, a place where temporal shifts are the norm, where every room looks like a mod experiment gone wrong, a set that Kubrick rejected as too baroque for A Clockwork Orange. The story isn’t short of any of the narrative leaps, bound, and WTFs found in its Italian horror contemporaries. The agenda is style over script, design above all, and not in a bad way. Indeed, spectacle is the best way to dress up what would otherwise be confusing schlock. But spectacle is one thing, and total sensory immersion is quite another. Suspiria happens to be one of my favorite examples of such, and maybe it’s the visceral responses it elicits in me, the inexplicable dread despite a story that is so damn retarded, that whenever I watch it all previous viewings escape me.

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Revisited: Tigrero

by Tony Nigro

”pi-RAN-ya!!”

Of all the movies I watch, only a small fraction get written about. An even smaller fraction consists of films I’ve re-watched. I suffer horribly from feeling the need to see everything I possibly can, that I have 100 years of catching up to do, and it doesn’t leave a lot of time for re-watching. Yet there is an undeniable pleasure in re-watching a film (detailed a while back by Girish Shambu, more thoughtfully and eloquently than I ever could), and every so often I watch one for a second, third or fourth time and see, feel or think something completely new. It’s a growth, and not the kind you need to get removed.

These visions, feelings and thoughts are longer lasting than anything I could have experienced the first time around, and sometimes I change my mind completely. Often I find my original opinions were influenced by my age or the place of viewing. The factors are so complex that I’m starting a category on the site to document this kind of revisiting. It won’t be restricted to film crit, either. I’ve got drawers and trunks and closets of crap that I forget about and could stand to revisit — either to re-experience it or to decide to finally junk it.

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