Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hall of Strangeness Part XXVII

The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh – (Sergio Martino) Sergio Martino often gets unfairly designated as the fourth wheel on the Italian horror tricycle of Argento, Bava and Fulci. One of his best films, Strange Vice mixes excessive violence, copious nudity and plenty of last minute plot twists into a stylish giallo that fans of the subgenre should not miss. Edwige Fenech, in the title role, possesses a feral beauty that fits the perverse tone precisely.
Artistry: ** Fun: *** Strangeness: ***

Switchblade Sisters – (Jack Hill) Othello receives an unlikely adaptation as an exploitive B-movie about an all-girl gang called The Dagger Debs. The imperturbable Maggie quickly ascends to leader Lace’s right-hand position just in time to swap switchblades for automatic weaponry as gang wars and intrigue mount.
Artistry: * Fun: *** Strangeness: **

Suture – (Scott McGehee & David Siegel) With a murder investigation closing in, Vincent decides to kill his look-alike brother, Clay, (whom no one has ever met) in a car accident to convince the police that he, Vincent, is dead. There’s only one problem… and it isn’t the apparently obvious yet never mentioned fact that Vincent is white, Clay is black and the two look nothing alike. Post-modern to the core and bitterly cold in tone, Suture is a unsung, subtle masterpiece of the indie circuit, full of wit, grace and depth.
Artistry: **** Fun: ** Strangeness: **

Sweet Movie – (Dusan Makavejev) Yugoslavian auteur Makavejev transmutes shoestring budgets into brilliant set pieces including a checkerboard river barge with a 15-ft high Lenin-bust on its prow and a suspended sugar tub in the hold. And that’s just the lesser of two parallel stories. In the other, Miss World Virgin marries a thick-headed American billionaire, but flees in disgust from his hygiene fetish and golden phallus. She experiences a globe-trotting Dante-esque journey that terminates in a chocolate-coated porn commercial. Makavejev’s shocking, overflowing opus continues to be banned in the UK after more than 30 years and still holds the power to offend even jaded modern viewers. Nevertheless, the director manages to provoke awe as much as outrage, contemplation as often as contempt.
Artistry: *** Fun: * Strangeness: *****

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance – (Park Chan-wook) After being hoodwinked of 10 million won and a kidney by the black market, deaf-mute Ryu takes the law into his own hands. Conspiring with his politically dissident girlfriend, he kidnaps the daughter of a businessman loosely associated with his heartless boss. Soon the unpredictable spiral of revenge spins out of control and exquisite tragedy results. Followed by two thematic sequels that are worthwhile films in their own right: Oldboy and Lady Vengeance.
Artistry: **** Fun: **** Strangeness: ***


Mad Dog said...

Switchblade Sisters also has the incredibly awesome gang member nickname of "Donut", the fat girl that can't do anything right.

And I have to say that Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the best out of that trilogy. The sheer intensity of that one is off the CHARTS. I think it would be fun to trick someone into seeing it by telling them it's a comedy, since the film so drastically changes direction halfway through.

Anonymous said...

First Martino movie we saw, yay! Was it also the first Edwige Fenech one?

Also, you should totally post your CG glasses with that capsule review.

Obviously I love Park chan wook. Is that as trite now as liking QT seems?

Mad Dog said...

It should never be trite to like someone with good work. :)

Unknown said...

...orson welles?

FilmWalrus said...

Sometimes the uninspired media lackeys and those with genuine taste agree. That being said, saying that your favorite movies are "Citizen Kane" and "Pulp Fiction" doesn't really let a person know which you are.

Besides, I can hold trite and sophisticated opinions simultaneously... because I'm just that cool.

Anonymous said...

Also, naming:
Gone with the Wind
The Godfather
whatever just grossed the most last summer (or, any Spiderman movie)
[shudder] any American Pie type movie

Anonymous said...

Not that those are good. Crap, I forgot to say that. Just that they are meaningless to like with regards to having individual taste.

Man. I rule.