Monday, 28 February 2011

Some Changes!

Hey there!

As you can see the name of the blog has changed! The previous name was a bit unimaginative so I've changed it to something slightly more imaginative! (Not much though hehe)

Also I have started a twitter page for the blog that is on the right of this page. Please feel free to join and discuss movies that you've seen recently or think I should check out, or anything else that's on your mind!

I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to read this blog, I appreciate all the effort that has been put in by commenting on the page and all the support given. Please keep the comments coming as I do love a discussion!

Also check out some of the great blogs I have been reading that are also linked on the right hand side of the page, they are quite awesome!

I'm a bit stuck on what to write about next. It's between "The Idiots" or "Salo". You decide! If you have any better ideas also give me a shout!

Thank you all very much for reading!

Michael :)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

House on the Edge of the Park (La Casa Sperduta nel Parco)

One of the most censored films in British history, having been rejected a UK cinema certificate in 1981, put on the video nasty list after being released uncut on video, and finally being eventually passed by the BBFC in 2002, House on the Edge of the Park was released in Britain with almost 12 minutes of footage cut from the film, mostly all the rape and violence.

Sound like a hard movie to swallow? Well it is and it isn't! Although the film deals with some controversial issues, the film is saved by the excellent casting of David Hess and Giovanni Lombardo Radice as the seriously deranged Alex and his dimwitted sidekick Ricky.

The film begins with Alex driving along New York city when he see's a good looking young woman driving alongside him. After making gestures to her he cuts her off at a nearby park. He goes to her car and gets in next to her. He brutally rapes and strangles her to death and takes her locket as a trophy. This is shocking scene foreshadowing the events to come.

Some time afterward, Alex is finishing up in the garage where he works with Ricky. Alex is planning to go "boogeying" at a disco and promised that Ricky could come along. Just as they are about to finish, a fancy car drives into the garage. A young, rich couple called Tom and Lisa ask for some help as their car is having engine troubles. Alex refuses to help saying that they are closed but Ricky offers to help. He fixes the problem and Tom, grateful for the assistance, says that he and Lisa are going to a party. Alex asks if he and Ricky could tag along, and Tom agrees. Before leaving Alex says he needs something from his locker. His locker has a lot of knives in it, and he takes out a cut throat razor.

They eventually reach a large house beside a park, and are greeted by the owner Gloria, and her friends Glenda and Howard. Some disco music starts to play and Ricky eagerly proclaims to be a good dancer. He looks to Alex for approval who then tells him to show them his moves. Ricky begins to dance and gyrate then starts to take his clothes off while everyone is laughing. Alex is not happy about this as he thinks they're taking advantage of Ricky and laughing at him.

Afterwards they decide to play some poker. Alex and Lisa stay out of the game and he follows her up the stair and watches her have a shower. Lisa teases Alex to go in and scrub her back. As he does this she gets out the shower and leaves him there pretty angry. Alex comes back downstairs to see that Ricky is losing all his money at poker. "Be careful Ricky, they're taking you for a ride", says Alex. Tom and Howard decide to get rough with Alex who then proceeds to beat them up. He then takes out the razor to show he means business and forces everyone to sit down at the poker table. He then let's Ricky deal the cards and let's him win back all the money.

After this point Alex takes over the party brandishing his razor. He proceeds to humiliate, assault and rape for the remainder of the film, with Ricky doing as he says as if he is looking for approval. In my view, Ricky is and is not responsible for his own actions. On one hand he is more than happy to go along with Alex sadistic plans, but on the other his role is portrayed as if he can't understand or make decisions on his own. He looks to Alex for guidance and doesn't try and think for himself. It's only when he is forced into certain situations or in the middle of an action that he begins to realise the gravity of his actions. Although he is a villain he is also the most innocent if that makes any sense? He only does things to please Alex but doesn't have the capability to understand how wrong a situation is until he is face to face with it. To me this is Giovanni Lombardo Radice's finest role of all of his exploitation films.

Once again there are several shocking scenes at the end of the film, but I hate to give everyone the full story and spoil the film! (Haha!)

Ruggero Deodato has had his fair share of controversy over the years, mainly due to the horror films he made in the late 70's. This was the decade of horror that was raw, sleazy and unflinching. Maverick directors making horror films about situations that could happen in reality instead of the fantasy of the 60's. Italian cinema was at it's most extreme and innovative and its powers to exploit where at their peak. There are many things that Deodato regrets about his films but the fact of the matter is in my opinion there are not many films around that still have the same potency as when they were first released, but Deodato achieved just that!

Giovanni Lombardo Radice has always said that he is not the biggest fan of horror or the horror films that he made, but hopefully he appreciates how much of an important role he played in that era of his life.

David Hess has also made a good name for himself in horror. He is especially good at playing the maniac (too good if you ask me) and between this film and "Last House on the Left", although he plays a similar role, I personally think that "House on the Edge of the Park" holds his better performance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Once again It's been a lot of fun to write and hopefully there will be some comments and a nice little conversation. Oh, one other thing. I would like to change the name of the blog to something a bit more original but I don't know what! I have no imagination for this sort of thing so if anyone can think of a good name let me know! The best name will get a prize!

Thank you!

Michael :)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes)

Hi everybody!

Sorry it has taken so long to write about another film but I'm finally back and have a few films I'm planning on writing about soon, the first of these being a little gem called Timecrimes.

Timecrimes is a 2007 Spanish film written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo. It deals with time travel and the paradoxes that can be created when things go wrong. Please bear with me as some of the story might be difficult to explain.

The film begins with the main character Hector (Karra Elejalde) relaxing in his garden. He is sitting in his deck chair with binoculars looking at the woods nearby. His wife (Candela Fernandez) has just finished building a coffee table in the garden and asks if Hector can drive into town to buy groceries. Hector bets his wife that she won't be able to fit the coffee table through the door to the house and if she does, then he will do the groceries. She loses the bet so drives into town.

Hector relaxes and begins to look at the woods again through his binoculars. He sees a woman in the woods beginning to undress, so curious, he decides to go into the woods to investigate. He finds the woman lying unconscious with no clothes on and as he gets closer to her, he is attacked by a man in a long coat with bandages covering his face. The man stabs him in the arm with a pair of scissors but he manages to run away.

Hector stumbles upon a house in the woods. Finding that there is no one there, he breaks in. He finds some first aid and a walkie talkie in one of the rooms. He speaks into the walkie talkie and a man replies. He tells the man about his attacker and is told by the man that his attacker is approaching and that he should leave the house and follow the road to his location. Hector follows the man's instructions and makes it to a building at the top of the road.

The man lets Hector into the building and he see's that he is in a lab with a large spherical contraption in the centre of the room with liquid in it. The man tells him to hide in the sphere while he tries to get rid of the attacker. The sphere closes over him and when it re-opens, he finds that he has went back in time one hour.

The man who had let him into the room is totally stunned that Hector has just appeared in the sphere and astounded that the device has finally worked. When hector leaves the building he looks through his binoculars to see his past self still sitting in the garden with his wife.

The man takes Hector back to the house to explain to him the dangers of time travel. He says that in order for his life to return to normal, the best thing to do is stay where he is and let his past self make his way to the time machine un-interrupted or else he could disrupt the flow of time and his present self would cease to exist. The man leaves Hector in the house and warns him not to leave the room or try and contact anybody.

Unfortunately Hector doesn't listen to the man's warnings and slowly realises that he only went into the time machine in the first place because of a chain of events put in place by his future self to try and rectify mistakes that he hasn't done yet!

Did any of that make sense? Unfortunately this is not a particularly easy film to describe. Also I don't really want to go too much into the story and ruin the plot for you.

This is a film that is very cleverly written and can be really confusing if you don't commit yourself to the story 100%. Everything that is in the film, even things that don't seem important to start with, have a reason for being there and are important to the story. You'll find that you will keep casting your mind back to earlier events as they start to reveal themselves later on in the film. This gives the film plenty of life with repeat viewings as you may notice things in different sittings.

If you like a film that will make you think (even if it does give you a headache haha) then this is the film for you! Also prepare to get completely drawn in by the story and it's complexities involving time travel paradoxes and then getting your mind in a twist by thinking too much in depth about "cause and effect" and other complex scientific terms......... In fact, that may just be me!!!!!!!!!

I usually like to put in a bit of history or a backstory to a film I write about but in this case, there isn't much to say. Only that Hollywood is planning an English languae remake (as per usual), and that the director is making a new alien invasion film called "Extraterrestre". As Wikipedia states, "Vigalondo writes that this will not be like a War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise, where a regular person manages to somehow closely witness all major invasion events. He writes that most people will experience a global alien invasion without even knowing it has happened, by listening to rumors, or engaging in pointless activities. Hence Extraterrestre." It sounds quite interesting to me!

I hope some of you enjoyed what I had to write and possibly feel compelled to watch this film as it really is a rewarding experience, as a film should really make you think and not completely take you for an idiot!

Thanks for reading I really enjoyed myself with this one! Please if you have time and you haven't already, join up. And also I would love to see some comments and get a little conversastion going!

The next film will be "The House On the Edge Of The Park" by Ruggero Deodato.

Take care!

Michael :)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Back Again!

Hey there!

My apologies for being off this page so long. Unfortunately my mind has been on other things recently so my brain sort of wandered off for a while!

I thought hard about continuing with the blog or not but I've decided to give it another go. The page started as a means to keep my mind occupied and focused. I haven't been going to the cinema as much as I'd lilke to so I'm out of the loop a bit but I continue to watch plenty of movies at home, so I should have plenty of rubbish to talk about if anyone is slightly interested haha!

I'm not too sure what film to write about next so I'll see if anyone who knows me has any requests. If not I'll dig into my extensive collection and see what I can dig up! I'm sure it will be as eclectic as usual!

Remember if possible to leave a comment so I know I'm not just talking to myself as I do that enough already haha!

Thank you for reading,

Mick! :)