Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hall of Strangeness Part XIX

Ms. 45 – (Abel Ferrara) After Thana, a shy, mute working girl in a bad part of New York City (this is Ferrera after all) gets raped, she becomes nearly catatonic with trauma. When she is raped a second times, she turns the tables. With a murder under her belt and a .45 under her skirt, she is transformed into an extroverted killer who hunts the slime of the street. Her gradual conversion leads to ever more questionable purges, until she dons a nun outfit and goes on a man-hating killing spree. Gritty exploitation collides with some sort of twisted feminist extremism in this deliciously high-casualty car crash.
Artistry: * Fun: ** Strangeness: ***

Mr. Vampire – (Ricky Lau) Considered the greatest of the “Hopping Vampire” Hong Kong sub-genre, that earns its name from the Chinese vampire myth that assumes even living corpses must deal with rigor mortis. The combination of martial arts, slapstick comedy and Asian horror conventions is bound to entertain just about everyone.
Artistry: ** Fun: ***** Strangeness: ***

Mulholland Dr – (David Lynch) A beautiful amnesiac escapes an assassination and takes up a room with a painfully naïve struggling actress in a Hollywood apartment. They become friends and attempt to piece together the fugitive’s identity while trying to land a role, but many mysterious events intervene. Tons of signature Lynch logic, elliptical twists and a compelling half-glamour/half-pulp atmosphere. Several critics consider this to be the best film of the 21st century so far.
Artistry: ***** Fun: **** Strangeness: *****

My Name is Nobody – (Tonino Valerii) Terence Hill is “Nobody,” in this comedic spaghetti western from a parallel reality of pure revisionist excess. Nobody is a roguish cowboy who hero-worships aging outlaw legend Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda), a man who once survived a duel outnumbered seven to one. Beauregard has long since grown tired of life in the limelight and has booked a reservation on a boat to Europe, but Nobody is obsessed with the idea of engraving his idol in the annals of history. His plan? To arrange a final battle in the desert wasteland with Beauregard facing down 150 gunslingers simultaneously! One of the most preposterous and entertaining westerns of all time with a brilliant final fifteen minutes and a semi-satiric score by Ennio Morricone.
Artistry: *** Fun: ***** Strangeness: ****

Myra Breckinridge – (Michael Sarne) With a transvestite protagonist played by Raquel Welch, a legendary production struggle and an unfair critical notoriety, it isn’t surprising to find that Myra Breckinridge has been consigned to cultdom, but it truly deserves a wider counter-culture appreciation. Insert shots from old 20th Century Fox 30’s and 40’s films liven up the already outrageous barrage of surreal sequences and riffs on sexual politics.
Artistry: *** Fun: **** Strangeness: *****


Mad Dog said...

I really, really wish Mulholland Dr. had gotten greenlit for a TV series. Having awesome performances that are even MORE over-the-top than the ones in Twin Peaks would've been the best. And yes, I'm glad you mentioned how painful Naomi's naivety is. Remember that scene of her just twirling through the apartment going "WOW"?

The-Iron-Inspector said...

"Gimme a whiskey"....what a line! A funny western that was'nt Blazin Saddles...who'd a thought it??
This deserves a remastered special edition