Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

October is the best time of year...

I'm definitely a Fall-type of person - good things tend to happen for me in the Fall, as everything prepares to die for the Winter...

Final shooting on Patrick Rea's NAILBITER wrapped up... they're looking at a premiere date sometime in Spring 2011, so if the Film Distribution Gods smile upon them, it could be out in general circulation sometime in 2012... BUNKER HILL is still looking for a distributor, so the only way to see it for now is to check your local film festival. AU PAIR, KS is finished, so I'm told, and will hopefully be at a festival near you sometime next year.

October also brings about the yearly Halloween movie themed links.

THE KIND OF FACE YOU HATE is doing its annual Shocktober blogging of horror literature, "The Kind of Face You SLASH!", and you can check out the entire series going back to 2008.

Stacie Ponder over at FINAL GIRL, is doing her Shocktober film listings;

and at A THRILLER A DAY, they're checking out the recently released tv series THRILLER - and getting to the horror episodes just in time for the holiday.

As for myself; refer to last year's posting and the post on the obscure CHILD'S PLAY down further on the page.

This year, I plan to keep to 'obscure horror', starting with television shows... I'll get to a few movies soon enough in the next week.

First on that list of obscurities is the anthology show DARKROOM, from the early 1980's, which featured James Coburn as the host.

It only lasted some six weeks; not really enough time to gather a general audience, but just enough for the few episodes that aired to stick in the heads of those who watched them. It chose from a decent pool of stories by writers like Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, Cornell Woolrich, William F. Nolan and Robert McCammon, though the execution was somewhat spotty. It was only available on torrent, with dubious image quality, though that could change - the entire series was released on R4 dvd in Australia, so it's entirely possible an R1 release will happen soon - or at least better quality torrents will soon be popping up.

More obscure than that is the little seen QUINN MARTIN'S TALES OF THE UNEXEPECTED from 1977, broadcast on NBC. Really, the only memorable thing from this is the funky opening theme by David Shire:

No episodes of this available on the 'Net, which may not be a bad thing... As anyone who's seen the movie THE MEPHISTO WALTZ can tell you, 'horror' and 'Quinn Martin' are two terms that don't go well together - the most memorable episode was basically THE INVADERS done in the space of an hour instead of two seasons. Although "Force of Evil" looks like cheesy fun - in retrospect.

Since I mentioned cheesy horror, I went to see BLACK SWAN at the Kansas International Film Festival tonight, a late birthday present from a couple of friends. I'm a bit lukewarm on Darren Aaronovsky - I like PI and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, didn't like THE FOUNTAIN and haven't seen THE WRESTLER as of yet.

Can't really say that I liked BLACK SWAN, even though there's a lot that I should... unfortunately, for me, the parts don't add up to a satisfying whole. It definitely AIN'T your mother's THE RED SHOES, with its deliberate unromantic and realistic look at the world of ballet dancing... well, realistic in terms of the environment and feel.

It's sort of a combination of THE RED SHOES with REPULSION - Natalie Portman is a dancer who's chosen to headline the lead role of the Swan Queen in a production of SWAN LAKE. Natalie isn't quite so tightly wrapped herself - she's stifled by her mother (Barbara Hershey), who simultaneously spurs and hinders her; and another dancer (Mila Kunis) may be attempting to take over her role.

It aspires to be a modern version of THE RED SHOES, yet its soul is more attuned to the type of movie that you'd watch on Skinemax at 2am. Granted, THE RED SHOES might be even more appreciated if it had lesbian oral sex, gratuitous CGI effects, and really obvious symbolism...

Bottom line, there's nothing here that I haven't seen before, and in much better films - I just named them! It's visually great to look at, and Barbara Hershey will probably get an Oscar nomination, but I was doing the faceplant several times during the last third of the film.

Watching THE RED SHOES, I felt I'd watched something tragic, but was exhilarated by its love of Art. The takeaway from BS (note the initials) is pretty much, Dancers Are Even More Fucked Up Than Actresses...

Maybe they're right, but still.... 

And I can't imagine anyone wanting to even consider being a dancer after watching this.