Eraserhead; courtesy of American Film Institute
Greetings and salutations * my pretties … Judging by all my fan mail, it looks like some of you sickos are totally into soaking up Poppa H’s gonzo brand of Munchausen-esque film juice with a giant buttermilk biscuit while some of you clearly are not …
Ahem, my mail even includes a correspondence from one of my old journalism school professors, how lovely. According to his wife, the octogenarian newspaperman shot skim milk through his nose before dropping dead from a heart attack while reading … my Reel. I’m depressed. * Something about Poppa H breaking every rule of journalistic ethics he taught me in my 7x7sf.com column … I mean, uh, er, um … what the fuck is he talking about? After a moment of silence, I’ve decided to honor the old fart this week by 86ing the whole cult of personality thing and sticking to just the facts (ma’am).* Maybe now my cranky Professor will stop spinning in his grave …
Keeping it close to the vest this Halloween frankly may not be such a bad thing considering the fucking fiasco known as the party in the Castro has mercifully been shut down. This could finally be the year when some of us actually stay in on Halloween, so throw another duraflame on while I frost your pumpkins with some eye candy for your entertainment hole so you’ll know where to look when you want to scream, scream for your lives. *
The Hunger; courtesy of Warner Brothers
Freaky Friday the 13th Picks to Click From Hell … And So Forth
The Hunger (1983) Dir. Tony Scott – Tragically hip vampire flick based on a Whitely Streiber novel about a sexy threesome (Bowie, Deneuve, Sarandon) of NY blood suckers who go Uptown to get-down (repeatedly) before going downtown for all eternity … into, vampire hell, or something. Susan Sarandon is a scientist trying to discover the secrets of natural aging. Thankfully, the ravages of time haven’t tainted our young bug-eyed Suze as she spends a fair amount of screen time knee-deep in come-faced, semi-nude lesbian sexcapades with the sexotic Catherine Deneuve, who (completing the love triangle) is ironically married to real-life vampire David Bowie. It’s like a savagely stylish rock opera (where lots of beautiful people die) that features sexed-up Upper East Side bat owners at their heroin chic best. What’s not to like bitches?
Lost Highway, courtesy of October Films
Lost Highway (1997) Dir. Lynch – When a Hollywood couple discover someone has been taping them (at night) from inside their own house while sleeping in their bed, they summon the cops and (with a devilish plot turn) all of hell’s fury rains down in the form of porn stars, Marilyn Manson, Gary Busey and a Mephisto-like mystery man played by Robert Blake. This is parallel universe horror only Lynch could dream up so strap in for a crazed investigation into identity in a land where time is dangerously out of control. If it sounds like a total mind fuck that’s because it is—a big one! But that’s why we love Lynch. This underrated post-modern film noir gem about Los Angeles’ wicked underbelly will probably get it’s just desserts soon after Lynch dies and is sucking down cigarettes and coffee at the Bob’s Big Boy in heaven. What a shame, the mainstream don’t know what they’re missing. Get with it and don’t wait too long to get hip to his kind of trip, man.
I Walked with a Zombie (1943) Dir. Tourneur – Classic noir art house thriller with no names but plenty of genuine creeps. Zombie is not so much about brain eating and more about the chilling moments captured on film that actually contains no dialogue at all. It’s all mood, baby. Tourneur filmed real-life voodoo freak fests on location in the Caribbean and weaved the footage into a story about a possessed hottie who strolls around the West Indies after midnight with a wild look and a revealing negligee. If you know Jacques Tourneur (Cat People, Out of the Past) then you know the eye-patched lunatic was a master of the “black unknown” who utilized darkness and silence better than anyone else. It’s like signing up for Club Med then realizing only you and the local zombie tribe are invited—now who brought sunscreen? Anyone?
Les Diaboliques; courtesy of Filmsonor
Les Diaboliques (1955) Dir. Clouzot – Often imitated but never matched, the original is a thing of beauty that should not be confused with the craptacular Sharon Stone remake. If you’ve got any taste for what’s cinematically cool, take a flyer on the b/w version about a wife and mistress of an evil headmaster who plot to kill their favorite fella. After they drown and dump his body in a stinking swimming pool, they think the sun’s gonna shine again but what’s this, the pool has been drained, and the body’s disappeared? Uh oh. When there are sightings of the dead dude rolling around town, the ladies realize they’re up merd creek. Now, if you hate subtitles, don’t fret, don’t you know the cinematic language of suspense is universal? If not, how do you say, “fuck off” in French?
Eraserhead (1977) Dir. Lynch – One of the greatest cult movies of all time, Eraserhead is Lynch at his freakiest (and some would say most profound). I call the genre: freaky relevance. A jagged little art house horse pill if you ever saw one, this masterful exercise into the avant-garde is an experience for film savants who are into watching the birth of a mutant bastard child from the uterus of the most freakish alien in Tod Browning’s traveling circus. Mr. Lynch, the mad genius busts his bizarre wad of imagery and nightmare all over the black and white celluloid screen to create an experience that will remain in your subconscious until you are dead as Edith Head.
Phew, and I’m spent …* Until Halloween, keep stuffing your face with candy America and be bad and get into trouble baby …* MRF
The Good, the Bad and the Sick
The ‘80s Stephen King Weekend (Castro Theater)
• 10/26 – Creepshow and Pet Cemetery
• 10/27 – Dead Zone and Fire Starter
• 10/28 – Christine and Cujo
Brand New 35mm Print!
• 10/29 and 10/30 – Eraserhead (1977) Dir. Lynch
Volume 36 Footnotes
• “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder
• “I’m depressed.” – Twin Peaks (1990): Jerry Horn bemoans Laura’s death and the fact they had those Vikings by the horns to brother Ben.
• “Just the facts ma’am,” – Dragnet (1960): Stone-faced Jack Webb to any punk who will listen on the famed TV show.
• “Scream, scream for your lives. The Tingler is loose in this theater!” – The Tingler (1959): Vincent Price breaks the fourth wall at a William Castle tingle-o-rama showing of the cult classic.
• “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.