Re93animator's Review Thread

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I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (1970)
A major social crisis threatens the future: women are growing beards and refusing to shave in protest. Naturally, men must go back in time and murder Einstein. Believe it or not, this is a smart, rapid-paced screwball comedy from under-acknowledged absurdist director Oldrich Lipsky.





First Men in the Moon (1964)
The apparent first manned expedition to the moon finds a Victorian-era flag on the surface. This takes some time to get going, and the humor borders on childish at times (it does have moments though). Nonetheless, it’s one of the most lavish sci-fi productions of the time. The remastering is gorgeous.

Magnetic Rose (from 1995’s Memories)
The rest of the anthology is unrelated (sans genre), so I’m judging Magnetic Rose as separate from the rest. An atmospheric and emotional story set aboard a crumbling abandoned spaceship.

Barbarella (1968)
Hippie-powered caricature of sci-fi with a comical overload of sex and psychedelia.

Quatermass and the Pit (1958)
This apparently has a nostalgic appeal for those that lived during its run. Those that get sucked in by its reputation (obscured as it is) might look at it through rose colored glasses, but it’s still fun. Andre Morrell is ideal as Quatermass.

The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin (1965)
Some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. A convoluted plot that ventures through heavy doses of noir, political thriller, and campy science fiction. It seems every part of the crew knew exactly what they wanted, but forgot to have a meeting beforehand. It’s not bizarre at face value, but I can’t think of anything close to it.




Outlander (2008)
Man from distant galaxy chases alien monstrosity to Earth and ends up partying with some Vikings. Granted, the material could’ve been handled much better and less generic. The Vikings were disappointingly Hollywood, but it’s still fun. The writers seemed to have fun with the premise, and had no trouble milking it.

Man Facing Southeast (1986)
Asylum patient thinks he’s an alien. It’s much more philosophically potent and meditative than that may suggest. There’s a nice odd sax and synth score too. It’s a bit of a dirge, and took a while for me to get into, but it’s sulkily beautiful. Thanks @MonnoM ; for the rec.



Possible Worlds (2000)
This movie makes just enough sense to follow along, but leaves plenty of room for the mind to wander. The introspective dialogue tries a little too hard, but this is a very beautiful movie with a dreamy and meditative ambiance. One of my clear favorites of the list.

Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)
The only movie I’ve seen that briefly casts a little butterfly as a horror villain. There are some very cheesy drawbacks, but this is a great version. The atmosphere isn’t as strong as the ’31 movie, but the story is much more involving and epic. Every character is flawed and complex; likeable and hate-able. The monster has an impressive regression. It doesn’t feel like a TV production.




Son of Frankenstein (1939)
The gothic atmosphere and Tesla-esque electrical paraphernalia of the first, met with a much heavier dose of expressionism. This is the last Frankenstein performance from Karloff, but Lugosi as Ygor is what you want to write home about (maybe his most entertaining character). The Cabinet of Dr. Frankenstein's turn to more pervasive expressionistic art design may distract and polarize those that liked the more emotional story-driven nature of Bride of..., but given how quirky it is, this might actually be my favorite Frankenmovie.




You Are a Widow, Sir! (1971)
Sex, brain swapping, and murder. An elaborate dark comedy. The Czechoslovaks again show that they had a penchant for quick-witted silliness.

Max Headroom: 20 Minutes in the Future (1985)
Maybe not a great film, but an aesthetic embodiment of its subgenre. Primo cult material that also spawned a likably cheesy American TV show with superior cinematography.

Stingray Sam (2009)
Cory McAbee’s 2nd best space western rockabilly musical.


The Lost Room (2006)
A sci-fi mini-series with such a captivating plot. The less known going in, the better. It feels a bit like an older Syfy channel b-movie, but still makes you want to blow through it in a day.

The American Astronaut (2001)
Cory McAbee's 1st best space western rockabilly musical. McAbee is a visionary director/actor/musician with a wild imagination and an offbeat talent for manipulating the English language.



I got a bit lazy the past couple of weeks, but there should be only 2 or 3 more sci-fi list posts here (including this one). Thank you to any who bother reading.


Moebius (1996)
A mathematician seeks a missing train. This is written sort of in the convoluted spirit of Pi and Primer, though it predates both. It has a uniquely brooding and dark ambient tone heightened by attractive cinematography (especially during a gorgeous climax).





Remote Control (1988)
An evil video tape sends dangerous subliminal signals to viewers. Although it shows love for 50s b-movies, this may be the most 80s movie I’ve ever seen. Geometric costumes, VHS-centric plot, Fairlight CMI-sounding score, and ample amounts of neon & hairspray. The ozone layer shed a tear during production. It’s silly & dumb satire with bad acting (apart from 2 leads), but fun with butter and a soda.




Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992)
Tsukamoto further honing his craft with enhanced stop motion, industrial effects, bizarre comedy, and artsy cinematography. Unfortunately, it lacks some of the teeth-gritting nihilism of the first. It seems keener on telling a campy story than it is on turning “this f*cking world to rust.” I still love it though.

Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)
Sci-fi elements don’t poke their head out until approximately halfway through (when most tend to say the movie faceplants), but it’s pervaded by unusual mystery throughout. Sort of feels like an X-Files episode, and Julia Ormond plays an amazing antisocial character. Be wary of much dumb thriller logic though, and excessive Gabriel Byrne deadpan.

Cypher (2002)
A slick & offbeat sci-fi noir that can range from oddly dreamlike to conspiratorially thrilling. I prefer it to Natali’s Cube.


Avalon (2001)

The plot isn’t too engaging, but the heart of the movie is a beautiful and ambient tone with a heavy post-production glow that does wonders for it. Try to avoid the Miramax version if you can, as the color scheme is altered and the subtitles are f*cked up.



Liquid Sky (1982)
A wild mix of intentional crap and effective shock value. The shamelessly crap bits have a charm unto themselves, but the movie later shows spirit beyond its distorted face value. It ain’t easy to like, but it doesn’t want to be. Includes an uber-bizarre psychedelic post-punk atmo, preachy free spirited commentary, and amusingly cheap sounding Residents-esque music.





The final bunch:

One Point O (2004)
In a nightmarish future permeated by dial-up, a computer guy that codes faster than crack-fueled CSI techs keeps getting empty boxes in the mail. This is a lower budgeted world builder. The visuals aren’t terribly extravagant or advanced, but the Stalker-esque grit and cinematography gives it an otherworldly pizazz. I know this stuff doesn’t appeal to most, but it’s my affinity. I don’t care about its lackluster rep. I think this movie is amazing.
Read with Lance Lenriksen’s rasp: “The bad people can save you, but they won't... The good people wanna save you, but they can't.”




Lexx: I Worship His Shadow (1997)
Lexx was a TV show, but the first season is essentially comprised of 4 features. I Worship His Shadow is the introduction to the universe. Holy f*ck. It’s like Star Wars on crack. Unashamedly cheap and stupid. You can tell the writers had a blast just thinking of the weirdest sh*t they could come up with. With hammy acting, hand puppet monsters, comic perversion, and PS1 caliber CGI, it’s a borderline satire of extravagant sci-fi adventures.



Split (1989)
I think many (or most) would strongly dislike this. If you look at film as a storytelling medium, this is 3rd rate trash, but as an oddball experimental, LSD-soaked, DIY, ‘street’ movie, it’s exceptional. The lack of budget could be one man's trash/one man's treasure, but a lot of those VHS mangling effects are no joke.




A Scanner Darkly (2006)
I know it’s not too highly regarded, but this is special to me. I found much resonance in the novel when I was younger. I love the babbling dialogue, I love the introspective bits (like Arctor hitting his head), and I love the animation. Linklater has never been a very ‘visual’ filmmaker, so the animation gave it a panache that would’ve otherwise been missing. The story is a web that takes time to unravel, but it gets more coherent with repeated viewings and further deliberation. PKD wrote this from the heart. I know not everyone will see it this way, but I think it’s bitterly beautiful.

Thomas in Love (2000)
Shot entirely in first person, a desperate agoraphobe’s only link to the outside world is chatting on video feeds and partaking in erotic virtual programs. The main character is kind of a dick, but he’s understandably pessimistic and fed up with the constant annoyances of technology and unempathetic people. It’s also pretty funny, though not always by intention. The sets are very vibrant, and the movie has a ton of character. A great experiment.





Accion Mutante (1993)
Disfigured ruffians are committed to violently terrorizing the attractive upper-class world we see on TV. A fast, twisted screwball movie set in a trashy dystopia with no protagonists.



Dead Man’s Letters (1986)
"You shall hate your neighbor. You shall hate your distant. You shall hate yourself." Evocative post-nuclear commentary that's ruthless & bleak while still coming across as humanistic in the end. Moreover, this has some of the grimmest post-apocalyptic sets I’ve seen. Konstantin Lopushanskiy has an artsy style in the vein of Tarkovsky, if Tarkovsky fancied dipping his head in piss and anti-depressants.





... and some more movies that I've already written about in this thread, but I feel like bringing up again for this list:
Visitor of a Museum (1989)
Until the End of the World (1991)
O-bi, O-ba and Ga, Ga: Glory to the Heroes
Doctor X (1932)
Hardware (1990)
Posrednik (1990)


I'll wrap up with a great stop motion short; a poignant allegory with a very cool soundtrack:
More (1998)



Nice to see a mention of Lexx. It was one of those programmes they'd show here at 3am on a Sunday morning which I might catch after getting home drunk. Such a weird show but I really enjoyed it. There were times when I'd think I'd fallen asleep because something didn't make sense to me, but even on the occassions I'd watch it sober it'd sometimes feel like that.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



Huh, I never expected to see Thomas in Love, to be honest. I rarely ever see or hear anyone talking about it, but it's a personal favorite and I'm pleasantly surprised to see it mentioned here. Actually there are several you mentioned that I consider favorites. One Point O being another, though it's been a while since I've seen it but I remember loving it. The Eastern Euro mentions are a given, I'm just a sucker for those. Altogether this has been an excellent list/thread.



Nice to see a mention of Lexx. It was one of those programmes they'd show here at 3am on a Sunday morning which I might catch after getting home drunk. Such a weird show but I really enjoyed it. There were times when I'd think I'd fallen asleep because something didn't make sense to me, but even on the occassions I'd watch it sober it'd sometimes feel like that.
I blindly picked it up on DVD a long time ago expecting another campy generic sci-fi channel show. I loved that it seemed like a batsh*t parody of that. Still need to get around to season 2 though.


Huh, I never expected to see Thomas in Love, to be honest. I rarely ever see or hear anyone talking about it, but it's a personal favorite and I'm pleasantly surprised to see it mentioned here. Actually there are several you mentioned that I consider favorites. One Point O being another, though it's been a while since I've seen it but I remember loving it. The Eastern Euro mentions are a given, I'm just a sucker for those. Altogether this has been an excellent list/thread.
Thank you! I think I remember seeing One Point O mentioned in an old thread of yours alongside Ugly Swans (would've probably made my list if I'd rewatched it), and that made me think you have good taste . It felt odd re-reading my mini-review of Thomas in Love now considering how most of us are living currently.



Thank you! I think I remember seeing One Point O mentioned in an old thread of yours alongside Ugly Swans (would've probably made my list if I'd rewatched it), and that made me think you have good taste . It felt odd re-reading my mini-review of Thomas in Love now considering how most of us are living currently.
I see your compliment and raise you. Your thread played a major role in helping me hone my proverbial taste buds.

I was going for something clever, but now that I've actually typed it out I'm not so sure. I'm sure you'll appreciate the effort, though.