Saturday, August 1, 2009

House of Three Films Make A Post

Casus Kiran (1968): Yilmaz Atadeniz, the king of Turkish pulp filmmaking remakes (without consent, of course) the classic Spy Smasher serial and comic book. It all plays out like the Platonic Ideal of a serial, as a series of brawls and stunts and excitement without the scenes and scenes of filler and talk that often marr its models. I just love the way the 1940s morals of the original clash with ideas and moments that just scream "Young Turkey 1968!". Spy Smasher's (Irfan Atasoy) girlfriend and assistant Sevda's (Sevda Ferdag) fighting skills (and way of dress) wouldn't have gone down too well in the original I bet. Poor Sevda is still getting kidnapped when the plot affords it, but it's a big step in the right direction at least half of Hollywood still hasn't done. There's also some excellent (appropriated) 60s Surf guitar on the soundtrack. What more can you want?

Pripyat (1999): An Austrian documentary about the town of Pripyat, next to the Chernobyl reactor, and the few people now living and working there or in the closed "Zone" around Chernobyl. The film is not interested in the Zone as a place where real-world castrophy, books of the Strugatzki Brothers, Tarkovski films and Ukraininan computer games converge, but first and foremost in the people now eking out a living in the place. It is a very deliberate and slow  - sometimes a little too slow - film that's a bit too unimaginative for my tastes, but that's really more my problem than that of the film.

The places and the people in Pripyat can't help but impress in any case.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark (1973): A future yuppie pair inadvertantly frees the wee li'l demons living in the fireplace in the cellar study. The cute things are just like sea monkey, just with the little more spunk they need to peek out of flower arrangements and try to kill the lady of the house to make her one of her own. Will they (or the incredible chauvinistic asshattedness of hubby) succeed?

A silly and cheesy little TV movie without too many redeeming features, but fun enough, and still better than Puppetmaster Meets Dollman in the Mansion of the Evil Toys. I also dare you not to root for an early death of hubby.


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