Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Guide Post

This guide post (yay, pun…) is nothing more than a series of links to help organize the Film Walrus. All of the content can be found by browsing through the archives, but this provides some context and structure.

About this Blog

First off, a quick introduction: I am your host, the Film Walrus. I’m a St. Louis computer science engineer with a background in, and obsession with, film studies. If you want to know a little bit more about me and this blog, here are some good places to start:

The First Post

How do I review?: Some insight into my opinions and predjudices. If you are interested in meta-criticism, check out Who Will Review the Reviewers.

Personal Life: Miscellaneous posts that (often loosely) relate to myself.

Czech Films: I wasn't actually born there and I don't speak the language, but the Czech Republic is the part of my cultural heritage that I savor most. Their largely-overlooked film tradition is absolutely amazing.

Content (Reviews!)

The heart of this site is the many reviews. You can use the labels on the left to search by country or genre.

All Reviews

Reviews with Screenshots: Hey, who doesn’t prefer skimming through the pictures?

Recommended Viewing: These are reviews of films that I rated an 8.5 out of 10 or higher. I also have a completely unmaintained top 100 favorites.

Rants and Ravings: These include free-form Shameless Rants and vehement, usually negative, reviews.

Essays: These are the denser reviews that get a little headier and often involve me whipping out 20 cent film terms and theoretical mumbo-jumbo. If you’d rather see only shorter reviews, try The Hall of Strangeness (more details in the next section).

Lists: Top 10 lists and top 100 lists (and all sorts of other less-round numbers) ranked by me with various criteria.

Humor: My most popular posts tend to be the ones I write when I get sick of either watching bad movies or writing serious essays or both.

Special Series

These are long or reoccurring series or sometimes just areas I’m especially interested in.

Film Atlas: An ongoing series in which I review a favorite film from well over 100 countries! Start with the introduction or use the index of countries here.

Italian Horror Series: This is primarily focused on gialli, a brand of Italian horror films to which I’ve dedicated this site. See the next section for more details.

The Hall of Strangeness: Short capsule reviews (usually a single paragraph) on bizarre or forgotten gems. These are posted in sets of five, in alphabetic order. They are rated from 1 to 5 in terms of fun, artistry and strangeness. See the first set here.

Japanese Directorial History: A brief overview of cinema in Japan with an auteur perspective.

Noir Marathon: This link will get you to all the film noir related material I’ve posted. As a special series I put out eight top 10 noir lists (with categories like best villain and best ending) and a top 100 list (always changing).

Iceberg Arena: These are longish comparison pieces between two or more films that I deem similar in some way. These include:

Olympics documentaries (Olympia Parts I and II vs Tokyo Olympiad)
The five adaptations of ‘Dangerous Liasons’ (Les Liaisons Dangereuses vs Dangerous Liaisons vs Valmont vs Untold Scandal vs Cruel Intentions)
Foreign rip-offs of “Star Wars” (Turkish Star Wars vs Star Crash)
Cheesy Rutger Hauer B-movies (Omega Doom vs Blind Fury)
Fake British documentaries about the apocalypse (War Game vs Threads)
Johnny To action films (Running Out of Time vs Breaking News)
Materialistic mid-90’s family fodder (Blank Check vs Richie Rich)
Similar sounding titles from the autumn of 1980 (Heaven's Gate vs Gates of Heaven)
Hollywood depictions of mutiny (Mutiny on the Bounty vs The Caine Mutiny)
Cult Soviet sci-fi (Aelita: The Queen of Mars vs Solaris vs Kin-Dza-Dza)
Gradiose WWI aerial adventures (Hell's Angels vs Wings)
Feminist vigilante vengeance (Ms 45 vs Bang vs The Brave One)
Death and destruction on wheels (The Cars That Ate Paris vs Death Race 2000)
British sci-fi of the 1950's (The Man in the White Suit vs The Four Sided Triangle vs The Quatermass Xperiment)
Czech sci-fi (Ikarie XB-1 vs The End of August at the Hotel Ozone vs Dinner for Adele)
Ant Attacks (Them! vs Phase IV vs Empire of the Ants)
Time-travelling Czech comedies (Journey to the Beginning of Time vs I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen vs Tomorrow I Will Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea)
Ridiculous Japanese monster movies (Dogora the Space Monster vs Frankenstein Conquers the World vs Godzilla versus Biollante)
Unofficial Pinocchio Sequels (Pinocchio in Outer Space vs Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night)
Animated films about cats (too many list!)
The worst sci-fi muscial? (Toomorrow vs Space Is the Place vs The Apple vs Electroma)

Vampire movies: Including a week-long countdown of my top 35 vampire movies leading up to the Halloween of 2007.

Poor Little Animated Shorts: A month-long series reviewing ~40 animated shorts covering as much ground as I could. Includes classical cartoons, non-narrative experiments, stop-motion, modern CG and more.

The St. Louis Film Scene (where I'm currently living) including coverage of SLIFF (The St. Louis International Film Festival).

Italian Horror

Italian horror movies are probably my favorite subgenre (along with the Czech New Wave). Watching them has turned into a passionate obsession and writing about them has evolved into a beloved hobby. Many of the links that you can find on the right are to other sites that share my love for Italian genre flicks.

For an introduction to Italian horror, particularly the giallo, start here.

Below are the individual giallo reviews I have written so far, listed alphabetically by their generally-accepted English titles. Last updated 01/16/10.

All the Colors of Darkness
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
The Black Belly of the Tarantula
A Blade in the Dark

The Bloodstained Shadow
The Card Player

The Case of the Bloody Iris
The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail
Death Walks at Midnight
Death Walks on High Heels
Demons
Fives Dolls for the August Moon
Footprints on the Moon
Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion

8 comments:

Mad Dog said...

Such a handy starter guide to Film Walrus is surely worthy of a Grump Alert. |:3

Kathryn said...

I like the links to each series, since it's easy to come in in the middle.

Yays.

Sad to see the robot picture go, of course.

Ellen Mc. said...

I've enjoyed visiting your site over the last couple of years, mostly catching up on the Italian Horror series though finding much of interest in your eclectic mix of essays (“The Legend of the Sky Kingdom” review really caught my imagination) and revelling in your wonderful collection of stills. I also appreciate the depth of detail and discussion in your Giallo reviews, and the comparisons with films outside the genre go further than other Blogs which can tend to talk more about the plot and the aspect ratio.

I'm still getting the hang of writing on the subject on some Giallo forums, I can talk about the subject for hours but - writing!? I like to think it's mainly because I'm more visual than wordy (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Anyway, now I'm finally getting in touch, just to add my ha'porth in congratulating you on a great blog.
I shall continue reading Walrus Reviews with pleasure, you are so spot on with the reviews of my faves (especially 'Death Laid an Egg', 'Perversion Story' and 'Le Orme') that I know I have to watch others I haven't seen yet, ooh, like The House with the Yellow Carpet, I shall SO be looking out for that one.
Thank you

Walrus said...

Ellen,

Thanks for posting (and for reading and, most especially, for enjoying). You've helped cheer up my day!

I've definitely been feeling guilty recently about not writing much. Other than covering the St. Louis film festival here in Missouri I haven't posted in the last 6 months. I hope to return one day, but it might not be very soon (though I hope to be writing about half a dozen films at Sundance next week). I can't even remember when I last saw a new (for me) giallo, so you can do me a favor and toss me some recommendations. :)

Also, thanks for posting on the Guide Post specifically, as it reminded me that I needed to update the Iceberg Arena and Giallo lists. That made me feel a little less lazy.

Anyway, I visited your site(s) and really enjoyed the animations. Definitely some giallo influence there, but quite original and unexpected! Also, the t-shirt site. Great idea! You need to let me know when the Bird with the Crystal Plummage shirt is available. I must have it. In the meantime, it would help if you ask your country to devalue the pound a little bit so I can go back to buying more British stuff.

Thanks again for writing in and saying nice things!

William Bourassa Jr. said...

Wandered into your blog looking for the title of a movie I'd seen a couple years ago involving a Czech town, a stuffed whale, and circus performers ("Werckmeister Harmonies", it turns out). You've got a really cool blog, some great selections for review. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre modern noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was released on DVD on August 24 through Vanguard Cinema. (http://vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm). The film had it's world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival and it's US premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica") and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing").

*****! (Five Stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle!" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured version of David Lynch." IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts Film Noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast." American Cinematheque

Petra Dominkova said...

Hi, I would like to translate your essay about "The Fifth Horseman is Fear" into the Czech language for the volume consisting of essays about CNW written in English. I am unable to get a contact to you, would you mind to contact me at amaliehod at yahoo for more details?

Thanks, Petra

nikejustin said...

Hello!

My name is Jhovy Lacsi and I do PR/Social Media for Clasico Entertainment. I'd like to submit to you the latest trailer for a short film from award winning writer / director: Carlos Funes.

THIS IS KILO 3 - Trailer

Synopsis: An airplane pilot, Kilo 3, flies his plane through a no-fly zone and sparks an international incident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAYHwTihdq4

We are currently working on a feature length version of this short that will be a sci-fi epic entitled simply: KILO 3

But, for now, let us know if you guys would be interested in watching the short film version. We have just started submitting into festivals so we would like to start getting the word out for the short:

THIS IS KILO 3

Please let us know if you can share trailer to your readers in the mean time. We will be sure retweet and post the link to his Facebook!


Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Jhovy S. Lacsi
Marketing PR