Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hall of Strangeness VI

Cannibal: The Musical – (Trey Parker) The title says it all. A musical styled after Oklahoma! with a plot reminiscent of the Donner party. Humorous musical numbers parody the genre and lead into scenes of excessive gore. Has the same pleasures and pains of South Park creator Trey Parker’s other work.
Artistry: * Fun: ***** Strangeness: ***

Careful – (Guy Maddin) The small town of Tolzbad is perched so high on a precarious mountain slope, that all noise must be suppressed to prevent an avalanche. Amidst the whispering, tip-toeing and general repression, a host of terrible misdeeds is conducted, ranging from incest to murder. Shot in the intentionally antiquated style of 1920’s German Expressionism.
Artistry: **** Fun: **** Strangeness: *****

Cassandra Cat – (Vojtech Jansy) Revel in the Czech children’s fable about a magical cat who must wear special glasses to prevent nearby townspeople from appearing in their true colors (red for lovers, yellow for cheaters, gray for thieves and blue for hypocrites and liars). The bureaucrats want to kill it and stuff it, but the children want to hug it and love it forever. Who will win in this metaphoric lesson about the evils of taxidermy?
Artistry: ** Fun: *** Strangeness: ***

Cemetery Man – (Michele Soavi) Italian giallo revivalist Soavi, wittily casts Rupert Everett as Dellamorte, a dispassionate gravedigger who is surprisingly unfazed about the dead returning to walk the earth. With the “aid” of his feeble-minded, incomprehensible assistant Gnaghi, our hero does reluctant battle with such foes as a troop of undead boyscouts and a zombie motorcycle gang bafflingly buried with their bikes. After undergoing the repeat trauma of killing his girlfriend (both before and after she was a zombie) and other women (always played by the same actress as the girlfriend) Dellamorte finds himself driven to existential crisis. Assisted by great music, atmosphere and flair.
Artistry: ** Fun: **** Strangeness: ****

Charisma – (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) How many time have you gone to the video store looking for an existential eco-thriller and left empty-handed? Never let that happen again. In Charisma, a detective who failed to act during an important hostage situation takes a sabbatical in the woods, only to get caught up in a series of plots concerning a mysterious tree named Charisma. Think of it as Fern Gully for the Sartre and Lovecraft crowd (if there is one).
Artistry: **** Fun: ** Strangeness: *****

2 comments:

Kathryn said...

This IS a great set. All fine films!

Patrick said...

I think Charisma is my favorite movie, on principle. Why don't you own it yet (twice)? To be fair, if I actually saw Cassandra Cat I think that my become my favorite. (Sorry for sleeping during my best opportunity to see it.)