Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Films Make A Post: Don't believe the rumors about all the dead bodies... They're the people who fainted watching!

Source Code (2011): If you need proof that yes, you can make a mainstream SF film in Hollywood that works as a piece of entertainment as well as a humanist reminder that neither the boring cynicism of the Bruckheimers of this world nor the Spielbergian kitsch school is the be all and end all of filmmaking, Duncan Jones has you covered. While Source Code is quite a bit more Hollywood (in a Frank Capra makes a thriller sort of way) than Jones's wonderful first film Moon, it's the sort of film that moves so well inside the best of Hollywood's parameters that complaining about it would be like complaining about Captain America dressing up in a US flag - rather missing the point of the whole thing.

The point is, obviously, that you can still make a film with a brain and a heart, taking what's good about the conventions of the thriller and the undercover SF film (that is, the SF film mainstream reviewers won't ever call SF because it doesn't include squid in space), and just leaving out everything else.

Death on the Fourposter aka Sexy Party (1964): Jean Josipovici's film (original title Delitto alla specchio) is another one of those Italian movies from the early 60s that tried to bridge the gap between the Italian Gothic films and what was already beginning to become the giallo genre. It's not very successful at it - way too much time is spent on decidedly not sexy sexy-times that will delight hardcore lovers of camp but left me wishing for something to actually happen. Once (after half of the movie is already over) the actual plot starts, the film gets a slightly more exciting, at times even a bit clever, but I don't think a handful of scenes of gothic atmosphere is worth fighting through forty-five minutes of dubious sexiness. As a historical artefact that's nearly a giallo of the "rich bastards in a castle/mansion", the film is mildly interesting, as a movie much less so.

Scream of the Banshee (2011): As if I needed another reminder how crap so-called horror can get (though I have to admit it is pretty horrible), along comes this derivative, badly written stinker whose sole saving grace is that Lance Henriksen is in it for a bit. It's still crap, though.



Doug Bolden said...

Something kind of odd (?) about Scream of the Banshee is all the original promotional materials had white skin side-boob with a red cloak. The DVD case has skin-tight red covering added in, at least the ones I see around here. A lot of the product pages still seem to use the old promotional materials.

I'm wondering...did they really think that covering that up would convince people that this is other than a low-budget bit of "You've seen it before" SyFy original style movie?

houseinrlyeh aka Denis said...

Why do I suspect they put more thought into the "cover the side-boob or not" question than went into the film?