Rock's Cheapo Theatre of the Damned

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The trick is not minding
I did rewatch Lost Highway somawhat recently (couple months ago), and while I think it fruitless to directly compare the two, I do like that film quite a bit as well.
I havenít watched that since HS. When I first started watching films more seriously. I wonder how itíll hold up over 20 years later?
Reminds me that I should rewatch Mulholland Drive as well.



This is all a trick to convince more people to watch Nightbeast, isnít it?
Hey!


I watch other movies too.


Like China De Sade.





You're probably familiar with some of the recent Paul Verhoeven interviews from Cannes where he was ridiculing what he sees as a neo-puritanism in the sexuality of recent films. I was amused that Shailene Woodley (of all people, not one I'd guess to speak out about this) agreed with him and pointed out the artificiality of actresses who have sex on screen while keeping their tops on.
Can't wait for his new one. He still had it with Elle (although it helps when you're working with a Queen of Cinema like Isabelle Huppert), hoping that's a sign of things to come.



Also I might dig up my Lost Highway write-up later. It's late here now (read: too lazy to do it at the moment).



Antonioni is generally a mixed bag for me and can leave me cold more often than not and L'Eclisse was no exception to this, but I did enjoy some of its experimental qualities. The final scene, in particular, might just be my favorite thing I've seen from Antonioni. Overall though, I've responded better to his output from the mid-60's and onwards (Red Desert, Blow-Up, The Passenger) than his earlier films (Le Amiche and his Trilogy of Decadence).

Mulholland Drive is my favorite of Lynch's films, tailing right behind Eraserhead. Despite having watched it 2-3 times, I'm still not sure I understand what it all means, but since I had such a strong emotional connection to the film, part of me feels changed every time I watch it. The Club Silencio scene, in particular, is one of the most emotionally powerful movie scenes ever.

I've seen The Departed once and enjoyed it quite a bit, but that was several years ago so my memory of it is really fuzzy. The fair share of backlash I've seen it get on RT/Corrie over the years though hasn't motivated me to revisit it. And that I don't care for most of what I've seen from DiCaprio doesn't help much in this regard (to be fair though, he has improved a decent bit throughout the 2010's).




I've seen The Departed once and enjoyed it quite a bit, but that was several years ago so my memory of it is really fuzzy. The fair share of backlash I've seen it get on RT/Corrie over the years though hasn't motivated me to revisit it. And that I don't care for most of what I've seen from DiCaprio doesn't help much in this regard (to be fair though, he has improved a decent bit throughout the 2010's).
Dude, that was me last week.*But it just started playing in the Netflix, and voila, I'm back to thinking it rules. Even the Marky Mark bits. You can do it, Popcorn.*


On a side note, there's a thread in the general discussion section framing it as reductively as possible, but I do think there's a fair bit of tribalism around how certain films are received.*A lot of the Departed backlash seemed partially motivated by the fact that it was embraced by "film bros", for lack of a better word.*



Dude, that was me last week.*But it just started playing in the Netflix, and voila, I'm back to thinking it rules. Even the Marky Mark bits. You can do it, Popcorn.*


On a side note, there's a thread in the general discussion section framing it as reductively as possible, but I do think there's a fair bit of tribalism around how certain films are received.*A lot of the Departed backlash seemed partially motivated by the fact that it was embraced by "film bros", for lack of a better word.*
I suppose I could give it another shot. I just need to get in the right mood for it. We'll see.



I suppose I could give it another shot. I just need to get in the right mood for it. We'll see.
One must be in the right mood for peak Marky Mark.



Olivia (Lommel, 1983)




This review contains mild spoilers.

Ulli Lommel's The Boogeyman is not a great horror movie but it is one I think of often. It's marred by a clumsy, effects-laden climax, but the bulk of the movie has a strangely artificial tone. The gruesome slasher-esque kills (which earned it a spot on the Video Nasty list) and supernatural elements seem at odds with the picturesque, almost postcard-like veneer of the overall film. It's as if the reality of the film is at war with itself, echoing the tension in the horror plot. A primary driver of its tonal discord is the extremely uncomfortable opening scene, where the partner of the protagonists' (possible sex worker) mother physically abuses them and is then killed by one of the children, who subsequently goes mute from the trauma. The scene is shot in hot, saturated colours (a quality perhaps inspired by the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, with whom Lommel collaborated earlier in his career), giving it an especially rancid quality, as if it's corroding through the screen.

Olivia has a version of this scene. Here, the heroine witnesses her prostitute mother being killed by a violent john as a child, the scene this time being shot in moody dark blue lighting. We cut to fifteen years later, and now the protagonist, played by Suzanna Love (star of The Boogeyman and Lommel's wife at the time), is trapped in an unhappy marriage with a controlling, abusive husband. (I watched this the same weekend as Sudden Fury, a Canadian thriller about a man who schemes to kill his wife in the backwoods of Ontario, and it was startling to see two strong candidates for the Cinematic Bad Husband Awards almost back to back.) As she spends her days looking out the window towards London Bridge (where they live), she begins to envy the freedom enjoyed by the nearby prostitutes and tries going out to do likewise during one of her husband's night shifts. However, when she picks up a john, it turns out she'd internalized her childhood trauma more than we'd realized, and murders him at the behest of the voice of her mother who speaks to her. (It's worth noting that the man has mannequins in lingerie in his flat, which adds to the scene's weirdness.) She also falls in love with an American engineer hired to provide estimates for restoring the bridge, but when her husband finds out, things meet an abrupt, violent end. Years later, the engineer is visiting Lake Havasu, where the old London Bridge was relocated, and spies a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Love. Could this be the same person?

The plot has elements that were obviously inspired by Psycho and Vertigo. Compared to Brian De Palma and Dario Argento, two other directors who were channeling Alfred Hitchcock's influence to exhilarating results at around the same time, Lommel's film lacks the same technical sophistication, but that adds to its distinct atmosphere. A lot of films can be described as dreamlike and it can mean an awful lot of different things. Compare the films of David Lynch and Lucio Fulci (the latter of whom I will always bring up given the opportunity), which are very different yet the word applies to both. In Olivia, the film's tone and rhythms make its sense of reality feel strangely tenuous, even if there's nothing in the narrative to suggest what we're seeing isn't actually happening. In describing Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob, Roger Ebert cites its "sleepy/wide-awake style", which are words that came to mind. The visual style, which features a lot of strong blue lighting, is not as precise as the work of those other directors, putting the film in a state of slight stylistic flux. Production details add to this quality, with the bridge in Lake Havasu and the faking of London locations through well chosen props, as well as crew members cosplaying as Londoners during a crowd scene (which features some not terribly convincing British accents). That the murders (one of which makes similar use of an electric toothbrush as a scene in Boogeyman II) in the version I watched had their audio sourced from a video version instead of the original elements helps them ripple the film's fabric even further.

Speaking of Demme, the film also brings to mind Something Wild, in the sense that the night isn't just a time of day but a different state of mind and perhaps a different place altogether, which emphasizes the somnambulist qualities of the daytime scenes. Are these even in the same reality? Is night real and day just a dream through which the heroine sleepwalks? There's also the relationship between wardrobe, self and storytelling. (As I've spent too much of the last year and a half perusing menswear blogs and then trying to talk myself out of ill-advised purchases, this is an idea that's been on my mind a lot lately.) When Love dresses up as a hooker, she puts on a nice purple floral dress, which on one hand doesn't strike me as a particularly slutty outfit, but is also likely the most sexy item this character, who we understand doesn't get out much and is married to an unkind husband, would reasonably have. Yet with her sunglasses and golden hair, she suggests a Hitchcock blonde and balances the same aura with her kitchen sink daytime existence. (Lommel grew up in postwar Germany and would likely have been sensitive to the economic realities that drive people to that line of work, something he explored in Tenderness of the Wolves. Interviews with Love and assistant director John P. Marsh also suggest that the prostitution elements and opening scene were Lommel's way of processing traumatic events from his childhood. Lommel himself shows up to play a detective, while Love's brother Nicholas, who also appeared in The Boogeyman, plays the client who murders the mother, making this a family affair.)

If like me you own the Vinegar Syndrome blu-ray, you have up to three covers. The slipcover, which features a shrieking woman plunging a knife into her mate (and a grimacing face on the moon over London Bridge) suggest something more blood curdling than the finished product, while the reversible cover brings to mind a Playboy centerfold, accurate to brief sections of the movie (like really brief, before the movie snaps back to horror) in terms of the proceedings but certainly not the tone. The "actual" cover, with the heroine's face hidden by her large sunglasses and the deep blues of surrounding her, better capture the movie's distinct look and feel. And of course, much of the film's power comes from Love's performance, who brings an innate sympathy and low key nerviness to the role. (Love admits to having been uncomfortable with the sexual content in the movie.) Like the movie around her, the different sides of her character seem to be wrestling with each other, the resulting offness and inner tension making her performance, and the film as a whole, extremely compelling.




Related: Tim Krog's score for The Boogeyman is a low key great horror movie soundtrack.





the dancing couples against a purple screen in the opening, something that would seem tacky and amateurish elsewhere but feels oddly cohesive here.
This right here is something that separates Lynch from so many other filmmakers. I have had this thought while watching quite a few of his movies. Most recently in pretty well every episode of Twin Peaks: The Return. I think it's the (often ominous) tone he always manages to create so expertly. I just love it so much.

Also sweet thread.



This right here is something that separates Lynch from so many other filmmakers. I have had this thought while watching quite a few of his movies. Most recently in pretty well every episode of Twin Peaks: The Return. I think it's the (often ominous) tone he always manages to create so expertly. I just love it so much.

Also sweet thread.
Thanks!


I still need to see The Return.* I'd gone through the original series a few years ago but only watched Fire Walk With Me last year.*


I remember an episode of the VFX Artists React YouTube series where they where picking apart a pretty tacky looking effect from The Return.*All I could think of was how only Lynch could get away with something like that.*





I think that Devonsville Terror might still be the superior Love/Lommel collaboration.



I did enjoy that one, but aside from the effects-laden climax (Lommel sure loves those crappy optical effects), I don't remember it matching the sheer weirdness of Olivia or The Boogeyman.


TBH it would be nice to see all of them get fancy Blu-ray releases. And while we're at it, the original cut of Boogeyman II (not the ****ty edit Lommel did in the 2000s with fast-forwarded kills and the atrocious fake interview... there had to have been a rights issue).



Great writeup on Mulholland Drive. Love it.
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I did enjoy that one, but aside from the effects-laden climax (Lommel sure loves those crappy optical effects), I don't remember it matching the sheer weirdness of Olivia or The Boogeyman.


TBH it would be nice to see all of them get fancy Blu-ray releases. And while we're at it, the original cut of Boogeyman II (not the ****ty edit Lommel did in the 2000s with fast-forwarded kills and the atrocious fake interview... there had to have been a rights issue).
Huh, so The Boogeyman and The Devonsville Terror both have blu-ray releases from 88 Films.*Looks like they might be region-free as well.*


You're welcome, everybody.*



I think that label has a bunch of Hong Kong movies in their catalogue, but those look to be region-locked.



I did enjoy that one, but aside from the effects-laden climax (Lommel sure loves those crappy optical effects), I don't remember it matching the sheer weirdness of Olivia or The Boogeyman.
I thought the 'weirdness' of Boogyman was due to his more amateur approach to the crappy optical effects. Devonsville looks a little more professional.