CiCi Sees B's

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Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Hello everyone! It's lil ol' Callum back from the depths of Survivor and the Mofies. I've recently had a lot of spare time on my hands so I thought what better way to spend it than watching cheap flicks! And I've been meaning to review again for some time now, so I thought I'd combine the two and make a new thread.

I thought of some guidelines that I'll try to stick to when choosing films etc. and I thought of:

Less than 1,000 votes on IMDb
Budget less than $1 million

I might a few exceptions for famous B films yet, we'll see!

But I shall get posting shortly, I saw one yesterday and I'm dying to see if anyone else has seen it



Looking for a movie watching partner
Good thought!! But I don't find new one which not yet watch, may b this holiday going so bore for sure. Looking for movie lovers
__________________
Ovoo - Cannot wait



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
HARVEST LAKE (2016)






Votes (at time of writing): 222
Budget: N/A
Director: Scott Schirmer
Writer: Scott Schirmer

In case you're wondering how I even stumbled across this, I follow Tristan Risk on twitter, and I remember her tweeting about this quite a lot when it was released, then it just took me over a year to actually watch it

But the plot follows 5 twenty somethings retreating to a remote lake to celebrate one of their birthday's. Yet once arriving, they slowly become entranced and influenced by the forests around them where they begin to engage in some disturbing behaviour.

Positives

Well, considering Ms Risk was the only one I had heard of before seeing this, I was somewhat surprised by the acting. After scanning their credits, quite a few of the principal cast only have a few credits, and even then, this marks some of their first ventures into feature films. Tristan Risk always plays enigmatic, quirky characters, and this is no different, and her distinct Canadian accent amongst a group of Americans makes her even more different and alien from the rest, however unintentional that probably was. Even so, she's a scene stealer from the get go, conveying a sexual, wild aura that fits the tone of the film perfectly. I was less impressed with some of the other actors, but on the whole, this is cast well, and the group do share an undeniable chemistry.

Moving on to sexuality, the film isn't restrained when it comes to nudity, but what B movie is? Nevertheless, it's not present simply to titillate or to put some T&A in there, it's used to clearly display that something eerie and creepy is at work. The group of friends that the film follows are highly sexed, but their interactions after venturing into the lake for the first time seem incredibly impulsive, forced, and unnatural. It is a sexual film, and even the plants that start spurting all over the place are overtly phallic. I feel like I might have missed the point of it all to be honest, the whole portrayal of sexuality reminded me of It Follows in that I think it's condemning promiscuity, but it's too vague and contradictory overall to definitively state that. I should probably watch it again, and at 77 minutes, it isn't a long watch!

The cinematography was gorgeous on this film, I couldn't find the budget for this film, although I'm guessing based on the minimal cast, and the single location that it was fairly small, but it honestly doesn't look like it. It enhances the sublime nature of the environmental setting wonderfully, and it makes it all look idyllic and serene, even though it's far from it. It therefore creates this juxtaposition between what we see, and how it's twisted by the cinematographers, making it all the more unsettling.

Finally, the soundtrack, and this is a big grey area for me. It is unsettling, unique, and actually quite marvellous... but it's relied on a bit too much. I know that's ironic since I adore Suspiria, but the thing is, the music doesn't always match what is on screen, and so it's a bit of a head scratcher on this sense.

Negatives

I have to mention this first. So, towards the end, there's a bit of a confrontation, and a "fight" ensues. Dear lord, it's one of the tamest things I've ever seen. It was more Anne of Green Gables than The Raid and it was massively off putting from what had been a thoughtfully paced and constructed film.

Anyway, moving onto the actors. It was a mixed bag, Ellie Church was pretty mediocre, and I can't even remember the names of the male actors, because each one of them was quite forgettable. I make it sound worse than it was, the acting wasn't Tommy Wiseau standard by any stretch, but I'd say it just about sufficed on the whole, it didn't dazzle me.

As for the writing, well it explores sexuality confidently, and that alone makes it somewhat unique, but like I mentioned before, I feel like it's trying to hint away at some hidden message, but I couldn't really pick up on anything. And if you can't pick up on something here, then essentially this film is 77 minutes of double entendres, phallic plants, and full out sex.

The creature effects were a bit meh overall as well. But they do.

Conclusion

It has a lot of promise, creativity, and heart. But it's still quite mediocre on the whole. Nevertheless, I feel as though this film deserves a re-watch, because like I said, I feel as though I'm missing something that is meant to be there.




Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Very interesting idea for a thread CiCi. I always enjoy discovering little films that aren't hugely well known and this looks like it could help with that.

Also that is a pretty badass poster for Harvest Lake



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
HARVEST LAKE (2016)





crickets 100% seen that


Anyways great idea,Ive never heard of it before!
They auctioned off the bikini she wore in that photo... I wonder who bought it



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
It's a documentary, but it was all about the B movie industry, so why the hell not.

SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT (2003)




Votes (at time of writing): 190
Director: Jason Paul Collum

Positives

If you're into your B films, especially ones from the 1990s, you won't be disappointed with who they managed to grab. Debbie Rochon, Julie Strain, Brinke Stevens, they're all featured, with the charming Ms. Stevens hosting.

They offered unique insights into the not so often looked into world of the B movie industry. Debbie Rochon especially was eloquent, creative, and brightly intelligent. She vented some frustrations about her work (she revealed she did 25 films one year and still couldn't pay her bills) and cited that being creative and submitting work for her fans is the only reason any of them continue to work in B films, since the money is apparently just not there.
Not all of them are so endearing about their profession, Ms Julie Strain (who holds a world record for being the tallest living woman to lead a film - tied with Brigitte Nielsen) was particularly quite negative. She expressed huge disdain for digital filming, citing that it allowed anyone to make crap films in their back yards, and also being asked to do the same roles and films she did when she first ventured into acting.

But it wasn't a circle jerk, the ladies were asked, and provided, some interesting perspectives. Breaking into the industry was an intriguing one, for barely any of them intended to be a scream queen. Judith O'Dea's explanation of how she got the role of Barbra was intriguing, and her surprise at realising she had fans years later shocked her even more. Brinke Stevens was a marine biologist before her funding was cut, and got her first part when she got lost on a modelling job.
Another intriguing aspect was their attitudes to nudity, some, like Julie Strain, were totally fine with flinging their clothes off, and out of all the women, she she seemed the most self-aware and grounded. She was aware of who her target audiences were (men) and realised her voluptuous figure often played a big part in why she landed jobs. Brinke Stevens viewed nudity as an art form, and Debbie Rochon said she would only do it for artistic purposes. Almost all of them, however, seemed to agree that it was harder, nearly impossible, to frequently land jobs if they didn't do nudity, or partial nudity on screen.

I nearly died of a mixture of shame, embarrassment, and a bit of laughter when they discussed fan mail. Amongst them, Julie Strain would be e-mailed dick pics from men seriously asking if they were too big (she was a penthouse pet as well) and Julie again was stalked, which she weirdly found quite charming.

And like I've sorted of hinted at, they're a vibrant cast of women, and distinctly different from one another as well. If you know who these women are, then it really is a treat.

Negatives



Now I like my horror films, and I quite like more obscure ones. But half of these women I had never heard of in my life, and after checking their IMDb credits... well, I hope they considered another career or a back up job. The link above was literally me when Lillith Stabs appeared.

Not enough Brinke Stevens either and the absence of Linnea Quigley was a bit disappointing as well.

Conclusion

It's an interesting 70 minutes, although it is quite niche in that if you don't love horror, B-movies, and the people who occupy them, then you'll probably find it a bit of a drag.




Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Winter of Our Dreams (1981)



Votes at time of writing: 145
Budget: 320,000 AUD
Writer: John Duigan
Director: John Duigan

At the minute, I'm going through a Judy Davis phase, but a lot of her early work is a pain in the arse to find however, this is actually on Netflix so I pounded the play button when I found it! I also cannot remember the last time I made a review so I'm probably quite rusty

The plot concerns a disengaged book shop owner (Bryan Brown) who meets a heroin addicted prostitute, Lou (Judy Davis) who come together through chance after a mutual friend of theirs kills herself.

Positives

Everything in this film is understated, so although it looks relatively straight forward upon a first look, it nonetheless manages to get under your skin and force you to think about it some more. The liberal activist wrapped in an open marriage turns out to be incredibly cold and unfeeling in contrast to the uneducated, waif like junkie who learns how to feel again and care for someone other than herself.

Focusing on that, Judy Davis's transition from an uncaring, selfish prostitute concerned only about where her next hit will come from to a woman who learns to express herself and her feelings that she harbours for others is astonishing to watch. The change is quite dramatic, but she maintains all the subtleties of the character throughout such as the scratching of her arms, the inability to maintain eye contact. She is always playing Lou, not several different characters poured into one. Her final scene destroyed me as well
This also marks the debut of a very young Baz Luhrmann, who although having very few scenes, certainly holds his own against more experienced co stars.

Winter of Our Dreams is one of those films where not much actually happens, yet I was completely absorbed anyway, waiting to see what would or would not develop between the two leads was always something I felt invested in. Again, it could be because of Davis's sublime turn, but I also think it's because of the writing. The internal self-conflict over identity and what it means to be liberal is explored fascinatingly through a suburban couple having to deal with a drug addicted prostitute coming into their lives in quite bizarre fashion.

Negatives

I'm not sure whether it was the writing of the character, or just bad acting, but I never cared about Bryan Brown's character. In fact, there were several times where I loathed his character completely. Yet I also got the impression that we were never meant to feel that way about him either.

I also mentioned the film feeling understated throughout before, and although it works for the vast majority of the film, the ending is a bit messy. It felt incomplete, like there was still feelings and conversations left to be had. Nonetheless, this was very early in the Australian New Wave, so many films and directors were trying to find their way and find the correct balances.

Conclusion

This nearly forgotten piece of Australian new wave cinema is compelling enough to watch just for the nearly forgotten Judy Davis, who is quite easily one of the finest actresses of her generation. However, there is little other appeal to the film, although I did find it quite enjoyable, and certainly quite intelligent.




Forgot to mention as well I'm in a very review-y phase at the minute, so any recommendations feel free
A few recommends would be;

- Deathstalker

- Neon Maniacs

- Popcorn

- Hellgate (1989)

- Stranded (1988)

- Psychic Killer (1975)



Survivor 5s #2 Bitch
Since I'm taking part in the B movie HOF part 2: electric boogaloo it seemed appropriate to revive this thread. And since he's hosting the whole thing, I decided to start with Joel's nom

HUNTER'S BLOOD




Votes (at time of writing): 553
Budget: N/A
Director: Robert C. Hughes
Writers: Emmett Alston, Jere Cunningham

The movie follows a group of five men from the city, who venture out into "redneck country" to hunt some deer, and drink some beers. After pissing off pretty much everyone they run into, the group become the hunted!

Positives
Where do I start? The opening alone is a gem. From starting with a shower scene so tame it looks like it was sponsored by the Catholic church, or the opening car ride with an oh so 80s beat humming in the background to shots of a pick truck reminiscent of a Camaro ad sponsored by the NRA. The dialogue, on the whole, manages to straddle the line of being absurd without being nonsensical or outright dumb. I laughed more times than I cringed at the random professions of love, or overly long debates on guns that wouldn't look out of place on Newsnight. Maybe it's dated well, or matches my admittedly odd sense of humour, but the whole affair seems self aware and tongue in cheek. It knows it isn't going to be the next Deliverance and instead just has fun.

The music! It wouldn't sound out of place in an 80s bar. I wasn't around then but I'm guessing it's the kind of music you wouldn't hear at an it place in Manhattan... or any bar in New York state. It'd be that run down, bar/club/restaurant multi purpose joint down the street that you keep meaning to try out, but it looks a bit seedy and any beer being sold for $2 surely must be a bit dodgy. That kinda place. It was vastly out of place here, but at least I could beat to the sound of men running around in a field.

Speaking of inappropriate, we move on to the acting. It too was wildly inconsistent. Luckily the bracket of acting ranged from passable to chewing the scenery so much you need veneers. Seeing that hillbilly whine over his dead son with a god awful accent and mix of emotions as though he didn't know which one to choose was glorious to behold. The actors seemingly not knowing whether this was a spoof or a piece of profound social satire only added to my amusement as a viewer.

Negatives
Holes and flaws are kinda expected with these films, it adds to the charm most of the time. Nonetheless, this did have some inconsistencies that did not have said effects. The most apparent of which was that it suffered from too many cooks some of the time. Towards the middle a surge of new characters just appeared, most of whom were flat, adding little to nothing to the mix. Then again, seeing some random character enter a shot to get that precious screen time couldn't help but make me smile.

Like I mentioned above, I loved the humour of the opening. But the build up and aftermath for the next hour or so following this is also pretty decent. It captured my attention, and a part from a bit of unnecessary dialogue here and there, it kept a hold of it. But the action quickly got repetitive, and the parallels to Deliverance kept coming thick and fast around the same time as well. It lost momentum fast and it didn't really manage to pull it back. I was thankful when it ended.

Overall thoughts
This reminded me of a poor man's Deliverance/Faster Pussycat (there's a bunch of chases in there). It was fun and cheap (like me) and very much a product of its time, which adds a layer of charm when viewing it retrospectively so many years on. It has so many humorous aspects to it, many of which I don't know were completely intentional or not, which amuses me even more. IMDb currently has this rated at a bang on 6.0 which seems fair to me. So I'll give this