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4 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Which it isn't, since it's a documentary.  (The Criterion-restored version has the silent version with classical music, not the later sound version with jazz, and William Burroughs reading the narration.)

Most of the German-impressionist cavorting in devil costumes are mostly depicting what medieval times believed, or what the accused claim was going on, claims made under various conditions of duress, torture or insanity.
The majority of the movie is devoted to illustrating how "witch hunts" (not the Russian variety :lol:) were used against the old, feeble and outcast as a way for the upper-class to find convenient scapegoats, but the last third, matching victim's claims against what 1922 now knew about "modern" psychiatry, is just a genius head-thump of "D'oh!!"
(Eg., the bewitched suspect claiming "the Devil climbed in his window every night to give him secret instructions", vs. the modern schizophrenic believing he's getting secret messages from Dan Rather on the news--Only a matter of "Who people talked about the most in their day".)

Still a little too German-silent-impressionist, but if you can get through the artsier scenes, there's some great Halloween deconstruction here.

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6 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

Actually the first supernatural element in the original DARK SHADOWS series was the appearance of the ghost of Josette Collins.

Later, when Matthew Morgan was holding Victoria Winters hostage in the Old House and told her he had decided to kill her, the ghost of Josette appeared to Victoria when she cried for help and told her not be afraid. When Matthew returned with his freshly sharpened axe, the ghosts of the Widows called Matthew's name. The ghosts moved toward Matthew and basically scared him to death, thus saving Victoria's life.

Yea, you're right, I remember that now but I don't remember it being a big long story arc. 

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Too Busy to Work (1932) - Will Rogers comedy with a bit more sentimentality, and even a few heavy dramatic moments, from Fox and director John Blystone. Rogers plays an amiable hobo who makes his way to California to confront judge Frederick Burton, who is about to run for the senate. It seems Burton made off with Rogers's wife while Rogers was fighting in WW1, and Rogers hasn't heard from her or his daughter in all that time. When Rogers arrives at the judge's house, he keeps his identity secret and gets hired on as a manual laborer. He also tries to get to know his now grown daughter (Marian Nixon), who hopes to marry the judge's son (Dick Powell) from his first marriage. Also featuring Charles Middleton and Louise Beavers.

Rogers's patented folksy humor and aw-shucks demeanor are present, but this time there's a slightly weightier tone to the themes of marital abandonment and familial reconciliation. Powell's character also gets involved with murderous robbers, so there's even a criminal element. These moments come in between the usual gentle Rogers comedy bits, such as tricking others into doing his work chores, or learning to drive a car with comical results. Many of Rogers's films have cringe-worthy racial stereotype characters, and there are a couple of unfortunate moments with Beavers, but overall she's very good, getting some funny lines without being too condescending.  (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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Two-Fisted Law (1932) - Another Tim McCoy B-western, from Columbia Pictures and director D. Ross Lederman. Tim stars as Tim, a rancher who has been rustled out of business by bad guy Wheeler Oakman. Tim heads out of town to try his hand at silver mining while Oakman sets his sights on the ranch belonging to Alice Day. Tim rides to the rescue, but Oakman and his henchmen will fight dirty to win. Also featuring Tully Marshall as the old sheriff, Walter Brennan as a crooked deputy, Richard Alexander as Zeke Yokum, and John Wayne as Duke.

I found this McCoy programmer to be a little more routine and forgettable than Texas Cyclone. Wayne is only in it about 5 minutes, Brennan only slightly more, although he gets to play his own age. There's one scene that looks unscripted where, during a chase on horseback, McCoy's horse looks like it missteps and is about to crash forward, but McCoy manages to get it back straightened back up and barely misses a stride. That was a very impressive piece of horsemanship, and it rivals the mounted jump over a wagon that he did in Texas Cyclone.  (5/10)

Source: YouTube.

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Wedding Rehearsal (1932) - British romantic comedy from director Alexander Korda. Roland Young is an aging bachelor of noble birth whose grandmother (Kate Cutler) demands that he get married or risk being financially cut off. She gives him a list of eligible women of proper breeding from which to choose. At the top of the list are the Roxbury twins (Wendy Barrie and Joan Gardner), but they have their hearts set on "Bimbo" (John Loder) and "Toodles" (Maurice Evans). Young facilitates the marriage of those four, and then sets out to see all of the other women on the list are married to others, too, all under the scornful eye of his grandmother's secretary Merle Oberon. Also featuring Lady Tree, George Grossmith Jr., Morton Selton, and Edmund Breon.

Once again seeing Young cast in a lover's role is odd, to say the least. It was even more strange seeing a very young and thin Maurice Evans as a baby-faced suitor. Oberon, in her first major role, is gorgeous in that "she's dowdy because she wears glasses" rom-com way. I enjoyed Lady Tree as the sweetly addle-pated mother of the twins.   (7/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

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"Five Dolls for an August Moon" (1970)--Starring William Berger, Ira von Furstenberg, and Edwige Fenech. Directed by Mario Bava.

Handsomely photographed film from Bava, with striking set pieces, sets, and color schemes. A pity the plot is not more original. But Bava's morbid sense of humor permeates the film.

The plot; Five couples come to an island for rest and relaxation. There is a maid and manservant. One of the guests tries a sacrifice--to whom, what or why isn't explained. The lights go out. The sacrifice is dead when the lights come back on--or is she? One of the guests is an inventor with an invention worth millions. After turning down three financial offers for the formula to it, people start dying. The boats that are an avenue of escape are stolen and the only telephone line is cut. The list of suspects dwindles. Will anyone survive the movie?

The cinematography was done by Antonio Rinaldi. Bava himself did the quick, jumpy editing, which contributes to the viewers' sense of unease. The dominant color schemes in this film are dark blue and purple, especially at night; in three scenes, the only colors used are black, white, and red. The actors are adequate.

The plot isn't exactly logical, the ending comes close to breaking the bounds of disbelief, and the details of the epilogue are whispered and lost, so I had to check imdb's full plot summary to make sure I had heard right. The epilogue beggars belief. It's like Bava gave up on everything but the visuals. The plot may become unbelievable, but the film's a visual feast and Bava keeps things moving so I didn't have time to get bored. Film's worth a look. 2.7/4

Source--A very good print on YouTube. Print's so good I gave it a higher score than originally intended. Search "Five Dolls For An August Moon 1970 (Toto films & clips)".

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Westward Passage (1932) - Misfire romantic (?) drama from RKO Pathe and director Robert Milton. Ann Harding and Laurence Olivier are madly-in-love newlyweds who run into marital discord when she realizes he's a frustrated writer and a royal jerk. Their decision to have a child only makes things worse, and Olivier eventually abandons them. Harding turns to wealthy suitor Irving Pichel who has always loved her. Several years later, the happily married Harding runs into Olivier again. Now he's a successful writer, and attempts to rekindle their romance. Also featuring Zasu Pitts, Juliette Compton, Irene Purcell, Herman Bing, Edgar Kennedy, and Bonita Granville in her debut.

I watched this for Olivier, and he's terrible here. I'm not sure if the filmmakers wanted his character to come across as a completely repellent lout, but that's how he turned out, obnoxious, irritating and without any real redeeming qualities. I was left wondering what Harding saw in him. Olivier would give up trying to be a Hollywood star not too long after this and turn his attention to the stage where he would build his reputation. That was a good call on his part. However, this film does allow for the unlikely screen teaming of Olivier with Zasu Pitts.  (5/10)

Source: TCM.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Rewatched most of Back to the Future on TCM. It was one of my favorites a few years ago, and it still holds up charmingly well. A true delight of a film.

I like it too.  Years ago I watched it with my teen sons and re-watched again recently.

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That movie still tickles me.  I've mentioned this before, but for the "newbies"....

When at the theater watching it when it came out, there came that point in the movie in which the 1955 Doc Brown asks, "OK future boy, who's president in 1985?"  And Marty, with some hesitation mentions it's RONALD REAGAN.

Doc Brown, in disbelief shouts, "The ACTOR?  Then who's VICE president?  JERRY LEWIS?"

At that point, someone in the theater shouted, "Close enough!" and the place erupted in laughter.  Of course, many might recall Reagan's vice president was George H.W. Bush. ;)

Sepiatone

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

That movie still tickles me.  I've mentioned this before, but for the "newbies"....

When at the theater watching it when it came out, there came that point in the movie in which the 1955 Doc Brown asks, "OK future boy, who's president in 1985?"  And Marty, with some hesitation mentions it's RONALD REAGAN.

Doc Brown, in disbelief shouts, "The ACTOR?  Then who's VICE president?  JERRY LEWIS?"

At that point, someone in the theater shouted, "Close enough!" and the place erupted in laughter.  Of course, many might recall Reagan's vice president was George H.W. Bush. ;)

I remember when MTV's movie-news sponsored a fan debate at the end of 1989 about "What was the Movie of the 80's?"
Was it E.T.?  Raiders?  Ghostbusters?  Wall Street?  Rocky IV?  Most of the fans at the time picked Risky Business, which shows you what things were before nostalgia kicked in.

Me, I thought the question was asking what movie most historically represented the mindset of the 80's--And you couldn't have a more allegorical summing up of our entire confusion with the decade than hip, young teenage Marty McFly, getting behind the wheel and grabbing a little new technology on his own, only to find himself trapped back in his own parents' world of the 50's, being able to survive them by using his own 80's hipness (Walkmen and Star Trek references...And he recognizes a Honeymooners rerun the first time it's aired!), and in the end using his own shared 50's/80's sensibilities to try and bring his own present-day parents to a more progressive, independent age.  To actually HAVE a 50's-Reagan joke in the script was almost redundant.

No wonder most of Those Millennial Kids Today believe they're watching a documentary of the 80's, it's practically the next best thing.  And I remember going to see Back to the Future II on Jan. 1, 1990, and the "Cafe' 80's" joke, that we might someday look back and make fun of Michael Jackson, Max Headroom and Rubik's Cube in the far future of 2015, seemed a prophetic concept for its time.

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Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth? (1932) - Silent Japanese comedy-drama with an unwieldy title, from Shochiku and director Yasujiro Ozu. A group of four male buddies are barely making it through college when one of their number (Ureo Egawa) has to drop out and take over his father's large company. His three underachieving friends all come to him seeking jobs, a proposition that he is more than happy to facilitate. However, their relationships may suffer irreparably from the change in status. Also featuring Kinuyo Tanaka as the bakery girl Egawa loves, Tatsuo Saito, Haruro Takeda, Ryotaro Mizushima, Chishu Ryu, Takeshi Sakamoto, and Satoko Date in a funny scene as a prospective wife.

Although still working in the silent film medium, Ozu is close to cementing his particular film style with this enjoyable outing. The cast are all good, with special notices for Egawa, Tanaka, and Saito as Egawa's quietest friend. The theme of after-graduation reality hitting hard is a universal one. Ozu continues his early penchant for placing American film posters in his sets, with one for Million Dollar Legs featured here.  (7/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Doc Brown, in disbelief shouts, "The ACTOR?  Then who's VICE president?  JERRY LEWIS?"

 

And don't forget Doc Brown wondering if Jane Wyman was First Lady, and Jack Benny was Secretary of the Treasury. I've always found the Wyman reference interesting, since the year is supposed to be 1955 - and Reagan had already divorced Wyman and was married to Nancy Davis.

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5 hours ago, EricJ said:

I remember when MTV's movie-news sponsored a fan debate at the end of 1989 about "What was the Movie of the 80's?"
Was it E.T.?  Raiders?  Ghostbusters?  Wall Street?  Rocky IV?  Most of the fans at the time picked Risky Business, which shows you what things were before nostalgia kicked in.

Me, I thought the question was asking what movie most historically represented the mindset of the 80's--And you couldn't have a more allegorical summing up of our entire confusion with the decade than hip, young teenage Marty McFly, getting behind the wheel and grabbing a little new technology on his own, only to find himself trapped back in his own parents' world of the 50's, being able to survive them by using his own 80's hipness (Walkmen and Star Trek references...And he recognizes a Honeymooners rerun the first time it's aired!), and in the end using his own shared 50's/80's sensibilities to try and bring his own present-day parents to a more progressive, independent age.  To actually HAVE a 50's-Reagan joke in the script was almost redundant.

No wonder most of Those Millennial Kids Today believe they're watching a documentary of the 80's, it's practically the next best thing.  And I remember going to see Back to the Future II on Jan. 1, 1990, and the "Cafe' 80's" joke, that we might someday look back and make fun of Michael Jackson, Max Headroom and Rubik's Cube in the far future of 2015, seemed a prophetic concept for its time.

Might have seemed prophetic, but turned out it really wasn't.  The last time I saw BTTF II WAS in 2015, and the world was nowhere near how it was shown in the movie.  STILL ain't.  Just as both 2001 wasn't and (thankfully) 1984 either.  And nostalgia is age-related.  Nostalgia for me at 66 is different than it is for somebody maybe just ten years younger.  And goes back farther.  How many of us also, recall a time when our five year olds referred back to a time, "When I was just a little kid."? :D

Sepiatone

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Wild Rose (1932) - Silent Chinese drama from director Sun Yu. Little Phoenix (Wang Renmei) is the feisty young daughter of a poor fisherman. She dreams of moving to the big city, but when circumstances force her to do so, she doesn't find the paradise she was expecting, instead struggling to survive amidst crushing poverty. Also featuring Jin Yan, Han Langen, Ye Juanjuan, Zhang Zhizhi, and Zheng Junli.

I'm unfamiliar with old Chinese cinema; I think I've only seen 3 films from that country made before 1960. The techniques are somewhat primitive, but director Sun Yu had studied filmmaking in America before returning to China and helping to kickstart their short-lived Golden Age. I thought the performances were fine, and I liked seeing the pre-war Chinese settings, but the story seemed to drag. There were also rough patches visually, but any pre-war Chinese films have survived by a miracle, so I shouldn't complain.   (6/10)

Source: TCM.

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Might have seemed prophetic, but turned out it really wasn't.  The last time I saw BTTF II WAS in 2015, and the world was nowhere near how it was shown in the movie.  STILL ain't.  Just as both 2001 wasn't and (thankfully) 1984 either.  And nostalgia is age-related.  Nostalgia for me at 66 is different than it is for somebody maybe just ten years younger.  And goes back farther.  How many of us also, recall a time when our five year olds referred back to a time, "When I was just a little kid."? :D

Sepiatone

Wasn't referring to the whole movie (apart from our electing Biff Tannen to the White House :P), just the Cafe 80's scene that someday we would actually think that all these iconic decade references from only four or five years ago would be treated like we were already treating the 70's...It was a mindblowing thought, but seeing it on the first day of the 90's, it was fun to accept and move forward.

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The Woman from Monte Carlo (1932) - Illicit romance in this continental drama from First National and director Michael Curtiz. Lil Dagover is the wife of French Naval captain Walter Huston. She's frustrated by how little time she gets to spend with him as he's always on board his ship, especially lately with rumors of war in the air. When she finally gets to see him during a party held aboard his vessel, she still takes a back seat to his naval duties. She drunkenly turns to lieutenant Warren William, but when she gets stuck on board ship as it sets sail, her infidelity could lead to ruination for them all. Also featuring George E. Stone, Matt McHugh, John Wray, and Robert Warwick.

Dagover was a huge silent film star in Germany, and this marked her sole American feature. She was obviously groomed in the Garbo mold, and in several scenes she could be Garbo's stand-in. Dagover's English was a lot more dodgy, though. Huston is good, underplaying as the man of duty who quietly resents having to be away from the younger wife he adores. William seems a bit miscast. I like him more in stronger roles. The naval scenes have a "toys in the bathtub" look, and the ending is too abrupt.  (6/10)

Source: TCM.

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"The Horror of Frankenstein" (1970)--Starring Ralph Bates, Kate O'Mara, and Veronica Carlson. Directed, written, and produced by Jimmy Sangster.

Lunatic Hammer remake of 1957's "The Curse of Frankenstein" has crazed or just plain sloppy inconsistencies. It may have been intended as parody, but I was mostly laughing at the film instead of with it.

As the film opens, Victor Frankenstein (Bates) is in medical school in 19th century Austria. After he makes a fool out of a professor and class ends, a classmate asks him "What's hypochondria?" A female classmate volunteers to help him in anatomy; a male's offer is declined. After Victor's father (George Belbin) says he'll die before he wastes money to send Victor to Vienna to study, Victor arranges for his death. After Victor becomes Baron Frankenstein, he goes off to Vienna to study. The film follows a well-worn, mostly predictable path from here.

The picture has elements that had to be intentional parody. There's a team of husband-wife grave-robbers (Dennis Price and Joan Rice) who do battle while they dig into graves, and complain they aren't getting paid enough. Alys (O'Mara), who is maid and bed partner for the father and later his son, is made to be a dreadful cook who all the characters complain about in the course of the movie. But then there are things like characters who live in the castle forgetting where Frankenstein's laboratory is (upstairs); the maid refers to it being upstairs and downstairs. The creditors of a victim's father refers to her owing "about $12,000 bucks" . The victims are all predictable; just listen to their lines. For those in the audience who needed more help, the women with the lowest cut dresses in the thinnest material are sure to die. Director Sangster makes sure there are plentiful bosom shots. The Monster's (David Prowse) appearance is unique. He's blond, is wearing only what looks like a iron dog collar around his neck and white underwear, has stitches all over and looks like he's spent all his time working out at the local gym. Was he Mel Brooks' inspiration for the Monster in 1974's "Young Frankenstein" and the inspiration for the Monster in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1976)??

Bates, O'Mara, and Carlson deliver professional performances, although Carlson seems to be fighting a case of the giggles. Price and Rice are the intentional delights of the film as the bickering grave-robbers.

Film still has the expected Hammer elements, and looks good. This Should be a terrible film, but it's more entertaining than it has any right to be. I laughed more at this than at some so-called comedies. 2.3/4.

Source--YouTube.

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Vice Squad (1982) City Of Angels - Grindhouse - "B" Neo Noir

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They were some of the best. Classical Film Noir that were low budget affairs featuring no name actors produced by "Poverty Row" studios.

Here is a great 1982 version of the above. Directed masterfully by Gary Sherman a Documentary, Horror, Zombie film director. The executive producers of the film were Frank Capra Jr. Sandy Howard and AVCO Embassy President Robert Rehme and Brian E. Frankish, producer, and Frank Hildebrand, associate producer. The two companies listed in the credits were, Dynamic and Hemdale.

Some trivia from IMDb:

"Controversial in depiction of its subject matter, this movie obviously had its detractors regarding this and its content. However, Director Martin Scorsese, director of Taxi Driver (1976) and Mean Streets (1973), came out and defended this movie. Apparently, Dawn Steel and Scorsese were at a Paramount dinner function when a disagreement allegedly broke out between them. Scorsese apparently said that the Academy didn't have the guts to nominate the best movie of the year. That picture was this film."

Cast for the most part with a bunch TV actors from the 1970s. A disclaimer here: I didn't watch much TV at all in the 70s, I was off the grid, out chasing women around the **** tonks of Montana, so these actors are all are pretty much off my radar. However all the players do a great job.

What the film does have is a cornucopia of,

A T M O S P H E R E.

This film is another visual noir lovers wet dream. A sleazy, gritty, vintage 1981 nocturne Hollywood and downtown L.A., glowing with a silvery sheen from street lamps, the incandescent gold of blinking chase lights, and multicolored flashing neon. All this is reflected in both storefront windows and wet city boulevards awash in bleeding colors. In a word it's

N O I R S V I L L E !

The Noir stylistics are provided in spades by cinematographer John Alcott who worked with Stanley Kubrick, his credits include (2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange(1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), and The Shining (1980)).

As a Neo Noir, the film is gorgeous to look at. It ups the game a notch. The camera in John Alcott's hands creates magic, as in Barry Lyndon practically every frame is a work of Noir art. It's a gritty, slimy, sleazy, dose of reality, you can almost smell the **** in the alleys. There is one cool sequence in particular that quotes the visual candlelit interiors look of Barry Lyndon. Princess has a John who wants her to dress as a bride for his own funeral, She descends a staircase, lit solely by candelabras, accompanied by the wedding march. This film demands to be seen for its visuals alone. Gary Sherman's informed research of both the workings of vice squad and the sleazy street nightlife give the film a high degree of gravitas.

A quality film on a shoestring budget, up there with the best crime thrillers ever made. Nowadays it's practically forgotten (except in Grindhouse and Exploitation circles), I think, for two reasons, number one because of it's lack of "A" list actors. If it had starred say Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, or Jack Nicholson, and Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine, Karen Black, or Goldie Hawn, it may have stayed on the registers. The other contributing factor to its obscurity is of course, it's deviant adult, not for prime time, broadcast TV movie of the week, subject matter. It however, most likely did play on cable. Though for a film about hookers, I have to stress it has very little sexploitation nudity, a shame, that would have just been an added bonus. Screencaps are from the OOP Anchor Bay DVD, a definite keeper, bravo. 8/10 Full review with some screencaps here in Film Noir/Gangster and with a cornucopia of screenshots at Noirsville

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The Green Inferno (2013) - Writer-director Eli Roth's homage to the Italian cannibal movies of the 70's and early 80's. A group of social justice warrior college students travel to a remote Peruvian location to protest a natural gas company's encroachment on an isolated, primitive native village. The students initial efforts are a success, but when their plane out crashes into the jungle, the natives aren't exactly thankful for the Americans' good deeds, preferring to butcher them and eat them. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz, Sky Ferreira, Nicolas Martinez, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Richard Burgi, and Antonieta Pari.

Roth skewers Western do-good-ism and liberal interference with foreign cultures, showing that even the best intentions can (literally) come back to bite them. The lead performance from Lorenza Izzo is good as the freshman student whose naivete is shattered in more ways than one. The rest of the cast just has to scream a lot. The violence is extreme, the blood copious, and the gore plentiful, but it becomes just a bunch of latex and Karo syrup after a while. I realized watching this that Roth seems to have specialized in the fear of the traveler in foreign lands, whether it's city folk in the deep country (Cabin Fever), Americans in Eastern Europe (the Hostel films), or South America (Aftershock and this movie). I would have given this a higher rating if it weren't for the nonsensical ending or the dumb stinger in the credits.   (5/10)

Source: Universal Blu Ray

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33 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Green Inferno (2013) - Writer-director Eli Roth's homage to the Italian cannibal movies of the 70's and early 80's

I realized watching this that Roth seems to have specialized in the fear of the traveler in foreign lands, whether it's city folk in the deep country (Cabin Fever), Americans in Eastern Europe (the Hostel films), or South America (Aftershock and this movie).

Yes, Roth realized that most of the "torture-porn" craze of the 00's that involved rich shallow American college-kid tourists being tortured by Creepy Foreigners in the two Hostel movies (at least) was fueled by the GWBush era--Where we self-loathingly believed we were the a-holes of the world, and cathartically wanted to see affirmation of our fears that every other country in the world wanted to kick our rich, smug, imperialistic carpetbagger hinders for it.

Apparently Roth moved off his Miike Takahashi/Audition worship to move on to Cannibal Holocaust, but must have thought that the new Trump era would be close enough to the Bush era for American self-loathing fantasies. Maybe, but back then, it was a deeper neurosis, as we thought the Bush era would never end, unlike our being glued to watching the Russian follies today. :D

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