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Movies That Screw with Your Head

The Shining
The Shining; courtesy of Warner Brothers

Halloween DVD Peeks to Shriek: Part II

 
Greetings and salutations* film ghouls and ghoulettes. Unless you’ve been buried alive or sleeping in an urban catacomb all month, you probably know the witchiest of witching hours is upon us. So sound the horns from hell, it’s great Hallow’s Eve here in the Yay Area so get ready to get weird.
 
Whether you’re a groovy gremlin howling at the Haight Street moon, a domestic princess shoveling candy corn to costumed critters or a slutty D.A., slutty nurse or slutty cop pounding purple Everclear punch out of a make-shift beer helmet, Poppa H’s Peeks to Shriek: Part II are scary good and sure to sate any of you non-beer-helmet-wearing Halloween-o-philes.
 
Halloween Picks to Click: Part II
 
Body Snatchers
Invasion of the Body Snatchers; courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) Dir. Kaufman – Any SF-based movie where Donald Sutherland, Leonard Nimoy and Jeff Goldblum are cloned from ’70s nice guys into soul sucking alien slime balls with tweed jackets and elbow patches is one I’m not missing. This is the movie that had me turning to my girlfriend halfway through to ask, “You’d make me carry your pod wouldn’t you?” Ask yours and you’ll get the same answer: yes. Be warned, if you are a big fan of happy endings like the one added to the original 1956 version, rent a different flick. If you ask Poppa, the final shot of the SF Snatchers movie is thrilling and bloody awesome.

Repulsion
Repulsion; courtesy of Compton Films

Repulsion (1965) Dir. Polanski – Young (crazy hot) Catherine Deneuve suffers from sexual repression, recurring rape fantasies, sibling envy and delusional hallucinations. Sounds like an average day off for most of us SF freaks but the repulsive terror in Repulsion comes from peering into Deneuve’s subjective world, which comes as a series of surreal dreams and visions. If you get halfway through and don’t know what in the hell is going on, don’t freak out. Polanski's final frame settles on an image that freakishly resolves the enigmatic film with killer efficiency. If you miss Repulsion, you’re so dead to me and Roman.

Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby; courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Dir. Polanski? – This stylish thriller tells the story of a young idealistic NY newlywed (Mia Farrow) who gets slipped Mickey Finns by her neighbors then a few miles of Satan’s sausage by her hubby—no shit. Raped by Satan (repeatedly) over a period of time, Rosemary goes along (unsuspectingly) picking out colors for their baby room. Farrow's alarming depiction of a pudding-eating emaciate who’s knocked up with the devil’s seed was so unnerving and real, her hubby at the time, the swingin’ Satan himself, Frank Sinatra, flipped his wig and served his waif wife divorce papers while on set. But don’t let the scandal fool you, John Casavettes and Ruth Gordon steal the Polanski show.
 
The Shining (1980) Dir. Kubrick – A triumphant art horror movie that’s gotten better over time. Stanley Kubrick, who crafted a brilliant adaptation of Stephen King's novel about one family man’s plunge into insanity during a secluded Colorado winter, actually made the novel better. But don’t tell that to Stephen King, who felt the film, was too scary. “I think Stanley wants to hurt people with this movie,” King said. With an ominous score, Kubrick’s trademark master and tracking shots, and the perverse genius of Jack Nicholson, you can’t lose with a rental even if you forget to spot Scatman Caruthers as one of hoteliers with “the shine.” Redrum forever.
 
Exorcist
The Exorcist; courtesy of Warner Brothers

The Exorcist (1973) Dir. Friedkin – So disturbing it will screw with your head for years. Controversial, blasphemous, awesome, it remains the most harrowing movie ever made, probably because it features pure evil in the form of a possessed girl masturbating with a crucifix who’s into dissing God in the creepiest of dead languages, Latin. When the flick was hot, moviegoers fainted, wailed and wretched. In some communities, you had to have a note from your doctor and your clergyman in order to attend. People ran screaming out of theaters in droves. Of course, now we call those people total pussies so (even if you’re eight-years old and have a heart condition), I highly suggest you see The Exorcist immediately.
 
And I’m spent …*  As for Poppa Straight Lace, I may be the douche at the Ambassador dressed like a suicidal Owen Wilson or my doppelganger posted up on top of Mount Tamalpais praying to heaven for the sanctity of my soul. If you manage to find the Undercover Brother, don’t bother the meditating GZA unless you’re Lama chill, Orson cool, Gisele hot or preferably both. Until next week, be bad and get into trouble baby …* MRF
 
Halloween Happenings Around Town
•    10/30 – Eraserhead (1977) Dir. Lynch – Castro Theater
•    10/31 – Fido (2006) Dir. Currie – Red Vic – Set in the 1950’s where everybody knows rotting zombies delivers the mail. As the dead rise, a war between the living and the dead rages and (of course) a corporation is created to combat the zombies called ZomCon. ZomCon domesticates the undead and makes them productive parts of society, or do they?  Come dressed as a zombie and get a $1 off at the concession stand and find out!
•    11/1 – The Valerie Project (1970) – Castro Theater - Creepy Czech dream narrative chock-full of vampires, doppelgangers, sinister evildoers and sexy celestial maidens. A 10-piece sonic ensemble sets the score for the creepy dream narrative.

Episode 37 Footnotes
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder
•       “And I’m spent …” – Austin Powers (1997):  Swingin’ Austin shoots 40 roles of mojo all over a gaggle of British Birds.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack