Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Invasion of the Retro Posters!

Jenny Gets on Top

"An expose of the record business!"

Her single --
and her short shorts
-- are about to drop!


Charles (now literally) in Charge


"She died with her boots on...
and not much else."

Who goes into a whirlpool with their boots on?

Teenage Mother


Female Trouble
's Dawn Davenport!

Love Airlines

"At last you can come aboard!"

The nuts and nuts are complimentary.

New entries into the

Come Ride the Wild Pink Horse

"Bored, thrill-hungry...
They shop for sin!"

They're a little old to be
riding the mechanical horse at the grocery store...

Diary of Knockers McCalla

"A book so hot its cover should be made of asbestos!"

Sample Diary Entry:

"If I get married, no one will ever take my name..."

Auteur Update

The Skin I Live In
(La piel que habito)
is said to be Pedro Almodovár's "horror" film. As is typical of his career though, that genre can barely define or contain his style and sense of humor. The style of the trailer is another topic altogether. The soundtrack pops and veers over absurd imagery involving tiger suits and basement hose downs. While it seems to give away some bigger plot points, its manic meld more or less conjures questions like, "What the hell was that all about?" As should be expected, the mood is dazzling, the colors pop, and Pedro's storyline seems to soar and startle in equal measure.

Antonio Banderas returns for his sixth collaboration with Almodovár, a place where he's found his most fruitful roles to date (apologies to the Puss in Boots fans). I didn't create and dutifully enforce "The Law of Desire for Antonio Banderas" without damn fine reason...

It should be interesting to see if he once again falls into the mold of playing completely lovable psychotics, such as the sensual stalkers of Law of Desire and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, or his gentle attempted rapist from Matador. Being a man is more than enough to make him seem dastardly in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. (And Labyrinth of Passion remains my one unseen Pedro picture, considering it's caught in the labyrinth of unreleased titles in the US.) Playing with guns, making skin suits and abducting pretty ladies is enough to verify Banderas' psychotic side, and he does look lovely as ever.

Paredes, Banderas, Almodovár and Anaya at Cannes

His lovely leading ladies are played by Elena Anaya (Talk to Her) and fellow Almodovár veteran Marisa Paredes (All About My Mother, The Flower of My Secret, High Heels), while cinematographer José Luis Alcaine has captured some of Pedro's most seductive and sensational images with Volver, Bad Education, and Antonio Banderas naked in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! It promises to be a horror film with heart... clad in a skintight tiger suit.

David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method looks to pair the the heated psychosexual dueling (and dualing) of Dead Ringers with a historical period piece. However, if this trailer were a Rorschach blot all anyone would see is Oscar-bait. That generic music swell completely stifles the madness and masochism we know is more to Cronenberg's style. It's a safe method I suppose to avoid the more sordid subplots with eyes on the acting prize, but this trailer couldn't be more confining if it were a corset.

You don't need a monocle to see that Michael Fassbender makes for a dashing lead as Carl Jung, tightly tailored and touting an oddly entrancing moustache. Together with Cronenberg favorite, a dapper Viggo Mortensen (as Sigmund Freud), well... One can only hope they experience a Freudian slip.

Oh, and Keira something or other is all messed up in the head... It seems to have all the period opulence with even more opulent actors, and enough headplay to burst your head Scanners-style. But that's just my professional opinion.

Psychology Quiz:

Jung or Freud?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Something Rank (#4)

4 Fiends, 36 Feuds, Frequent Flaying

Previous Entries:
(#36-33) (#32-29) (#28-25)
(#24-21) (#20-17) (#16-15)
(#14-13) (#12-11) (#10-9)
(#8-7) (#6-5)

(#4) Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

"Miss me?" - Freddy Krueger

Wes Craven's razor sharp return is a film-within-a-film-within-a-franchise. A meta horror exercise that directly recalls those halcyon days when we first met Freddy Krueger. Once a janitor spoken of only in hushed tones on the playground is now an icon spoken of with such high regard by his leading lady. A bedtime boogeyman having reached the heights of Santa Clause or King Kong.

Freddy Krueger has expanded beyond the dreams of Craven and into the nightmares of filmgoers across the decades. But with that revelation comes the knowledge that Freddy's grotesqueries have also become like a recurring dream. Some scares maybe, but we all saw it coming. Over the years the restless nights of Elm Street teens seemed more and more to the fault of a clumpy mattress. With a deviously clever device in mind, Craven strives to make the ultimate fanboy revival and finally put the series to slumber. Acknowledging its own historical horror legacy, fully embracing its fanbase, and bringing back its original cast -- as we know them now and as their iconic characters -- Wes Craven's New Nightmare goes through the looking glass of the original Nightmare film, through the ground glass of a fresh lens.

Heather Langenkamp plays Heather Langenkamp as she deals with her own hesitations of reviving Nightmare's original Final Girl, Nancy, and rejoining the grisly franchise now as a parent. Meanwhile, genre veteran Robert Englund digs his claws into Freddy both old and new. He paints himself as a reclusive LA painter and a freshly menacing Freddy that splatters Tinseltown blood red. John Saxon, too, returns to once again scowl on the sidelines -- supporting his co-star Heather, but disapproving still of his on-screen daughter, "Freddy Krueger. Yeah, right..." New Nightmare continually folds in on itself, shredding realities, leaving Freddy to rule the realms with his iron fist.

As Nightmare's ultimate creative force, Craven also folds himself into the film's many meta layers, preparing within the film a script for Freddy's final face-off. He speaks of writing Freddy throughout the years as, "Keeping the genie in the bottle." All the while the monster has surpassed its creator and is squeezing through the celluloid cracks into our "reality." The Craven within the film would be pleased to know he's written one of his most sophisticated screenplays, one that saw the self-referential suspense of Scream several years earlier. It's worth every bad dream he had.

With Wes Craven's New Nightmare we finally have a savvy satire of the Nightmare franchise, and an innovative horror film just the same. One that surprises and startles even as it embraces its tongue-in-cheek nature. Quite literally given Freddy's love for tongue action (he makes another dirty phone call and is rightfully tongue tied over the lovely Miss Langenkamp). It's also a unique spin on a classic fairy tale -- a morbidly modern variation on Hansel & Gretel. Think Ambien instead of bread crumbs, and a gothic, rotten candy house with a spacious oven. Freddy Krueger, like the child-hungry witch, is still a legend worthy of the playground. While Freddy may have overshadowed his master, Wes Craven's still a true master of horror.

The Face of Fear:

Killer Looks:

1) Freddy Krueger:
Post-surgery and pleased with his new look.

2) Robert Englund:
At home and at the office.

3) Swallowing the Heavens
4) Vomiting into Hell

My Thoughts Exactly...

Up Next: #3

The janitor cleans up after those damn, filthy kids...