Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Blair Witch Project is the greatest movie of all time

The Blair Witch Project.  "I just want to apologize to Mike's mom, Josh's mom, and my mom. And I'm sorry to everyone. I was very naive. I am so so sorry for everything that has happened. Because in spite of what Mike says now, it is my fault." Anyone who doesn't like this movie got bamboozled when it came out. Another horror movie from my Greatest Years in Cinema Project. This one form 1999. The first time I saw this movie, before my junior year of high school,  was at the drive-in. I was at the concession though and missed the first few minutes. I missed the bit about Rustin Parr, the hermit who kidnapped and murdered a bunch of kids in the 1940s on the orders of the witch, stealing two at a time and making one stand facing the corner while he killed the other one. Sooooo, at the end when Mike is in the corner it didn't carry the impact intended as I thought he was taking a piss or something. I thought the movie was fucking dumb as shit because of this. When it came out on video I rewatched, forgetting all about that, just remembering I hated it and it was stupid. Oh, I thought, that shit is scary AF, actually. Greatest found footage movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain -- thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

Gist is that three film student who disappeared after filming a documentary in the woods of Maryland about the Blair Witch legend have their footage show up and shows a bunch of creepy shit. This is that footage.

More or less just three people in this with a few extras. The three we care about are Heather played by Heather Donahue, Josh played by Joshua Leonard, and Mike played by Michael C. Williams. Josh pops up every once in a while but Heather and Mike not so much, which is unfortunate since they were pretty solid, in my opinion, and since they didn't make shit and couldn't really capitalize on the success of the movie. A lot of why they could was because of the viral marketing campaign that said these were real kids that died. People ate that shit up, this was the early days of the internet and people believed everything. They still do I guess. Bursting that bubble though was when Donahue showed up in the Steak 'n Shake commercials. But some people still believed. Probably Trump supporters now. Donahue was also in maybe the worst movie I've ever seen, Boys and Girls. My girlfriend at the time made me go see this piece of trash. When middle school girls were walking out of it and shit, I thought about breaking up with her for making me stay. I never forgave her for this experience.

I remember there was this "documentary" that came out the summer of 1999 that aired on the SciFi Channel in 1999 called Curse of the Blair Witch that detailed the legend and was maybe as cool as the movie. In it we learn that the witch, one Elly Kedward, was this woman blamed for these child disappearances in the late 1700s. The towns folk ultimately sentenced her to death by exposure and banished her to the woods. Her body was never found. Then we get the guy from the 1940s, Rustin Parr. That shit was hot. Honestly, that whole legend shit and the marketing around it was the best part about it. I mean, total bullshit but cool. That is the MVP of the movie for me.

20 years later for my third viewing, shit holds up. Lot better than that Blair Witch trash from a few years back. Real disappointed by that turd. Loved two of the director's, one Adam Wingard, other movies. You're Next and The Guest but have pretty much hated everything since that. You're Next though is one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade. Up there with Get Out and shit. Then there was the sequel to BWP called Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 which I like a lot but was extremely poorly received. It stared Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice and Shut Eye both shows I was somewhat into and Kim Director whom I found extremely attractive. Will have to rewatch that one as well to see if it holds up. Will get back to you on if it does.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is the worst movie of all time

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. How old do you have to be before people start treating you like a person? What the fuck, man? That is a difficult question in the universe of this film. One of the horror movies from my Greatest Year in Hollywood Project. This being one of two from 1976--the first was CarrieBasic gist of this is that 13 is too young to take care of yourself... and probably to fuck. Weird shit. Did not like. Was too uncomfortable in too many ways. Seeing an old dude trying to sexually molest a child who maybe lives alone, torture killing her pet in front of her, strong arming her child boyfriend. All of that was not easy to set through. Then there was sex scene that nearly made me throw up. Never really prepared for that. But then that child whom I just suddenly watch go to the bone zone killing some pretty awful people... That I was for the most part okay with.

Okay. Gist of this movie is that Jodie Foster is the child of a professor or something. She claims he is around but he is most obviously to everyone not. She mostly tries to keep to herself but I think the school superintendent, played by Alexis Smith who was quite the looker and B-List starlet (she was like Ronald Reagan level famous) in the 1940s and 50s, and her rapey ass son, played by Martin Sheen, keep coming around, fucking with her shit. Being an independent tween or whatever of the world, can't have people come to her house and make her do shit. So she starts killing folks. Oh, and she gets a boyfriend which is dumb and filler mostly. You've never seen him or anyone else in the movie. It was also directed by a guy you've never heard of, one Nicolas Gessner, who did a handful of low-budgets and made-for-TVs before and after this and is still alive but hasn't had anything else to his credits since 1997.

So the movie opens on Halloween with Sheen's character showing up at Foster's house a few minutes before his kids come ringing the doorbell for candy. That is not how this works, man. And is obviously is putting it out there that he is DTF. Foster isn't having any of this shit. She is stern in a way that suggests old dudes are always pulling this shit. Days later, his mom starts snooping around, basically playing a truancy officer or something. She dies at the house from being an idiot, more or less, and Foster hides as much evidence as possible, but really isn't hiding shit. After a few days, Sheen comes back over while Foster is entertaining this magician boyfriend kid she met that day, don't ask, and gets all passive aggressive about his mom. He and Foster fucking know but they play the game until Sheen has had enough and tortures her hamster to death with a cigarette. Okay, movie, you fucking lost me. That was it. But I watched on, like an idiot.

Foster wins the movie, but at what cost? I mean she is indeed a kid that is going places. This is around the same time as Taxi Driver, also a 1976 watch, but more fucked up. You've been warned. The shit that I couldn't deal with in addition to the hamster torture had to do with her sex scene. I mean, is it too much to ask not to have animal deaths or fucked up kid shit in a movie? Those are my two things. I pretty much dig everything else. But this movie has both. Too much. So the shit I am talking about comes near the end when Foster's BF stays over. It is not super obvious they are going to fuck but then you realize that is where they are going. By the time you realize this, unable to completely mentally prepare that this is about to happen with a very young child actress, she is suddenly naked. Fuck, man, I didn't want to see that shit. I seriously almost spilled the groceries... But then I read in the trivia section on IMDB that it wasn't Jodie Foster that we saw nude but her at least of legal aged sister. Apparently, the producers of the film adamantly wanted this nude scene for god only knows what reason, and Foster refused and walked off set. Now, she doesn't talk a lot of shit about the movies she likes or dislikes that she was a part of, but she has hinted, somewhere but I don't know where, that this is a movie she is not extremely fond of, I think for obvious child labor/nudity reason.  

In any case, yeah, never watching that shit again. Do not recommend. The end is pretty satisfying though. But I won't give that shit away. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Carrie is the greatest movie of all time

Carrie. These are godless times. Indeed. Finally getting back to one of my Greatest Years in Cinema flicks. First film from 1976. Skipping ahead to the horror movies since it's close to Halloween and all. Watch a shit ton of horror this month, obviously. It's been well over 20 years since I've seen this particular flick. Talking junior high days. This is what I thought high school would be like. Girls having their first periods. Not knowing what it was. Getting ridiculed mercilessly. Going to prom. Winning prom queen. Having pig blood dumped on them. Raging out and killing everyone with your telekinetic powers. You know, normal stuff. On rewatch, holy shit-balls, this was a great movie.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.

I pretty much set up everything you need to know about the movie already other than it is based on a Stephen King novel (which you probably know) and was directed by Brian De Palma. But her is some extra: Carrie White's mother is a religious nut job and blames the period on her sinning instead of biology. Because of her upbringing, she is bullied constantly. She does have an advocate at the school, the gym teacher played by Betty Buckley, who is smoking hot. She is basically the same age as all the actresses playing high school chicks but they pass for high school while Buckley is a woman. She is old now, of course, and has sort of become my surrogate grandmother in film, but she is still attractive for an old lady. She is the chick from Split, the psychiatrist that treats people with multiple personalities. I like her. So does Carrie. Just want to hug her.

A whole bunch of other pretty ladies in this flick as well. Not only do you have Nancy Allen from other De Palma movies Blow Out and Dressed to Kill (my second/sometimes favorite of his)--who is just really something, though she doesn't really do it for me in this, probably because she is such a bitch--and P.J. Soles (the ditsy blonde from the original Halloween), you also have all these randoms in the standard De Palma gratuitous shower scene. Noice.

Unfortunately that leads to all the shit that goes down as Carrie, played by the Sissy Spacek, has her first period, which she knows nothing about, and loses her goddamned mind. All the girls in her class mock the fuck out of her as she screams like she is dying. The girls get in trouble from good old gym teacher Buckley and have to miss prom, which they take out on Carrie, and meanwhile telekinetic Carrie is traumatized as shit. The teacher then sends her to the principal, this idiot, who is like, "uh, hey, Cassie... uh, Wright, would you feel more comfortable if I shook you (which is his only move when it comes to 'consoling')? Ah, uh, go home, I guess, Corrie Night... Congratulations!"

So she goes home and is like, "you should have, you know, given me a fucking heads up about this shit and whatever," except Christian like. And her fucking crazy-ass mom, played by Piper Laurie from Twin Peaks is like, "You have sinned! Eve was weak! And the Lord visited Eve with the curse, and the curse was the curse of the Christ's blood! Oh, Lord, help this sinning woman see the sin of her days and ways, show her that if she had remained sinless, this curse of the Christ's blood would never have come down on her!" So I guess old Marge here thought that her daughter could pray her period away but was also born of sin because of Eve. The point here is that sex ed has failed Carrie White she really has no fucking chance. Meanwhile Nancy Allen blows Travolta whilst saying his name at the same time which takes some talent.

Oh my god
Good time as any to talk about what a fucking catheter in my dick Travolta's character is. Going to a slaughterhouse and killing a pig with a sledgehammer like a maniac. Fuck this sick fucking asshole. No way to get me to hate a character more than some shit like this. The chicks are fucking awful, too, of course, taking advantage of this chick who is clueless as fuck, for no reason really. She just doesn't want to be funny and sort of makes a friend in one of the girls who has her boyfriend take Carrie to prom. This is stupid and almost backfires as it seems he is trying to low-key fuck. But it doesn't ever get to that post prom party where everyone loses their virginity if they've still got it as the mean girls dump the dead pig's blood all over her and the bitches laugh like fucking idiots. This is when we get the fucking shit storm to end all shit storms and it is not limited to the ones that wronged her. Shit is burning the fuck down. Also, hell'a scary ending.

Spacek would normally win the movie. She goes from naive bumpkin to out of control banshee. De Palma is solid as hell, too. But King is the hands down winner here. This is the first of his 100+  movies based on his works. That shit is insane. This has to be near the top of them as most of them are indeed trash. But still. This was his first book. The one that got him on the map. This flick being fucking great catapulted him into rock star.  Finally, don't fuck with people for no reason or they will kill you with telekinesis. Remember that.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Madman is the okayest movie of all time

Madman. "You didn't let me finish," the survivor girl says to a hairy-assed dude giving her underwater cunnilingus when he comes up for air. "Gotta breath, baby, gotta breath... sorry." Nothing like watching a supernaturally ugly dude killing camp counselors for doing camp shit on a fall Saturday night. At the same time, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. This doesn't exactly add anything to the genre, if you know what I mean. Plus, the copy I watched, on a legitimate streaming service, mind you, occasionally had these weird purple lines going down it that were pretty concerning as far as my television goes but then I eventually realized it was just something with this flick. But it is serviceable. As I thought I had stated before, but maybe haven't, I'm no longer binary. I can deal with three ratings. Hence this is, like, the most okayest movie of all time.

Gist of the movie is that a camp pisses off a giant, monstrous killer who then does a shitload of killing. Some brutally with an axe. Some brutally in more creative/insane ways. More on that later. This is one of those they-tell-a-campfire-tale-that-ends-up-being-real slashers. You aren't going to recognize a single person in this except for maybe Gaylen Ross who was the female lead in Dawn of the Dead (the original) and had a minor part in Creepshow.

Lot of shit that doesn't really make any fucking sense but just roll with it. Stuff like a chick who goes out on a canoe to play a record for no reason, a strange precoital hot tub courting contra dancing, or this dude throwing a rock from the woods with noodle-armed bullshit of a hurle. I mean, they are in the woods and this dipshit couldn't have flung this thing 15 feet. But no, this breaks the window of this house that had to be miles away where they are having this fire is not in the wide shot when they show the house. But yeah, ignore that shit.

The "hot" one
Loosely based on the Cropsey Staton Island legend. A mental patient that was released from Willowbrook State--the one that Geraldo Rivera made a name for himself when covering the horrific conditions patients were subjected to, it is really fucking sad--that takes and murders kids. For a solid explanation check out the Cropsey documentary that also touches on a real series of Staton Island child murders that people associated with the legend. Insanely, this wasn't the only Cropsey movie being shot in 1980. Once the filmmakers heard this they downplayed the Cropsey stuff and changed the name to Madman Mars. The Burning was the other movie. Might be watching that soonish.

Bitch slap
The only attractive chick who has sort of an afro. The killer keeps going after her too, boy, almost getting her as she slides her way up a hill and drives around looking for people. He eventually gets her in the most infamous scene of the movie, involving a checking under the hood decapitation while she is jiggling the wires or whatever. One of the other girls, yeesh. Plus she takes everything out of the fridge and hides in it, just throwing all the shit that was in there on the floor right next to where she was hiding. This Bigfoot/human hybrid, though it doesn't appear he has a working refrigerator in the dilapidated home he (I assume) squats in, more of a icebox type, probably thought something like, "what the hell is all this shit doing on floor? Oh, yeah, some asshole is hiding in there. I paused the movie and typed this shit up, I'm watching the Joe Bob Briggs: The Last Drive-In on Shudder version, and Joe Bob made the same comment. Makes a lot of the same points that I do here. Great when our minds think alike since he is my favorite and all. But it makes me look like I'm plagiarizing which I am very much against.

I like how at the end, when most of the survivors (including the five kids at the camp) are in this ready to leave, they see Madman carrying someone to his trophy room. The chick is like, "someone should do something!" and the dude on the bus doesn't say shit and lets her go off to have a showdown with Marz while dude drives off to safety. What does she get for her effort? Marz bitch slaps her face off and gets thrown on a meathook. This is bullshit. She does burn his place down and stabs him from the meathook, which is impressive. I'd say that dude who drove the bus out of fucking dodge won the movie as there really was no clear winner.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Joker is the greatest movie of all time

Joker. I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it's a fucking comedy. Pretty damn solid. Might even be transformative to the superhero genre like The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's Joker performance was in 2008. However, don't see the flick as rewatchable as those Christopher Nolan Batman flix. I mean, you never really forget that you are watching a guy suffering from serious mental illness that society doesn't give a shit about. Not my idea of a movie I want to watch a whole lot. Like Taxi Driver, which everyone keeps comparing it to, in that way, but worse.

Gist of the movie is that Arthur Fleck, a mentally disturbed aspiring comedian, basically completely loses his shit after getting pushed to his breaking point. After getting jumped for the second time in the movie, he kills some stock brokers in self defense but guns another down as he is trying to escape. From there it is all down hill as he becomes an icon for the oppressed of Gotham City.

Stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joker (aka Arthur Fleck) and has a notable appearance from Robert De Niro as late night talk show host Murray Franklin. Something cool about having De Niro in the film is that it connects all the allusions to Taxi Driver (maybe De Niro's most memorable role) that are in the film. Both take place at the same time and Joker references this by talking about the garbage strike. This isn't laid out in Taxi Driver but it was filmed during a massive garbage strike in the mid 1970s in New York City. That is the reason the city looks like such shit in Taxi Driver and Travis has his whole fixation on washing away all the trash.

Other people you are likely to recognize are Zazie Beetz (a pretty lady who was in Deadpool 2) as Joker's love interest, Frances Conroy--whom you may remember as Ruth Fisher in Six Feet Under--plays Joker's mother (Penny Fleck), and Marc Maron whom I always assume is incredibly famous but no one seems to really know when I geek out whenever he shows up in anything (he is only the star of GLOW, Maron, and the host of WTF?, sorry he isn't Ben Shapiro or Joe Rogan or whatever). Then there are several "that guy"s like Glenn Fleshler who plays this monster clown coworker of Fleck's. This guy is brutally killed in everything I have seen him in including True Detectives (he is the serial killer in the first season) and Barry (he is the leader of the Chechens). Then the little person, an actor named Leigh Gill, was in Game of Thrones and Fantastic Beasts is somewhat recognizable but I think is mostly because he was the other little person in GoT.

First off, Phoenix was pretty great. Not anyone going to make a convincing argument that he didn't win the movie. It is nuts. Also, interesting stuff written for his character. One of the coolest things is the allusion to the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs which the Joker character from the 1940 Batman #1 comic was the obvious inspiration. Like the title character from that film, who looks exactly like the Joker, Fleck laughs despite the really fucked up shit that goes down around him. He has this disorder that resulted from severe childhood trauma where he would laugh uncontrollably when in extremely uncomfortable situations (which is how he ends up on Murray Franklin's show). I think I may have this for all I know made up disease, by the by (see my review for Pet Semetary, but I won't get into it here. He then can't really laugh when things are actually funny but sort of fakes it. As an aspiring comedian, we see him at a comedy club taking notes and such and faking a laugh like a second off from the audience in an obviously fake, not getting it way. I find that sort of shit extremely off putting. It is one of several ways that they show us that he is not in control. Another way comes after he starts his crime spree, killing for the first time. He is kind of freaking out but definitely sort of digging it. He goes to a filthy restroom to compose himself and does a sort of beautiful dance that is really something. Reminds me of a mime or a marionette. This stuff was really good shit.

As far as De Niro's character goes, he is a Johnny Carson type Pushing a civilian over the edge like that is pretty fucking gross. He wasn't asking to go viral. You are sort of on board with that shit, his rage. Then he shoots the guy in the face and at least I was like, "whoa buddy." Sort of like when Mike Tyson was all "I'm the best ever; there's never been anybody as ruthless" and I was all "yeah." "My style is impetuous." Yeah! "My defense is impregnable!" Yeah!!! "I'm ferocious. I want your heart." YEAH!! "I want to eat his children." Hold the fuck up, man, I'm not signing up for all this now. Same shit. Shoot a guy in the face on TV. Talk of butchering and eating a baby. Not quite at that level. Though we'll see how this Trump thing goes. Maybe in a year I will be. Anyway. Love that they do this shit. You see this in a lot Batman comics and graphic novel, Joker going on talk shows and then murdering people, and it is portrayed really ingeniously here.

Other things that are of note is what an asshole Thomas Wayne is. Dude is a one-percenter and is finally fucking portrayed like it. Fuck him. I always thought he was secretly a prick. If I have to watch him die in the same way for the 10th time on film, it better offer something. This totally does. Another thing is this twist that happens. Totally didn't see that shit coming. I think it is obvious that there would be one but this was not one I was expecting. Enough said there.

Complaint is did it need two goddamn endings? The first one was solid. The second was complete shit. Not going to give it away in detail but this is sort of a spoiler. It is like the studio and all the rich fucks that had say were like, "I'm a little uncomfortable with this ending, we have to make sure everyone knows he is in Arkham." Horseshit.

Overall, though, the film is a really fascinating study of how when pushed to the breaking point and politicians and agents of order just keep pushing, shit will go the fuck down. I would say if you ignore the second ending, it is a call to action of sorts (or maybe more of a warning). It says that we are fucking living this shit. The film doesn't fuck around with that. This may take place in the 1970s, but this Gotham is Trump's American. Burn the mother fucker down.