Sunday, October 9, 2011

Three Films Make A Post: DOLL DWARFS versus the CRUSHING GIANT BEASTS!

Amer (2009): Amer is a film I suspect I should admire quite a bit more than I do, seeing as it works as a visual and (in part) thematic homage to the style of Dario Argento in his prime, with a bit of Mario Bava and the giallo at large thrown in. Alas, the film is so heavily metaphorical and so incessantly technically perfect that it becomes tiresome to watch pretty fast.

All its visual beauty and technical accomplishment is put to work to overwhelm the audience with as many symbols for sexual awakening and repression as the directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani could squeeze into ninety minutes of running time, but an unrelenting barrage of pretty symbols is all their film ever is. There's really no good reason for this to be any longer than thirty minutes, which - incidentally - was about the point in the proceedings when my interest turned into impatience, because I had already understood what the film was trying to say and didn't need any further repetitions.

Vampire (1979): Speaking of tiresome, this US TV movie written by Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll (both better known for their cop shows, and not showing much of a feel for horror here) does come to mind, too. Half mumbling cop character actors spitting out mock-naturalistic dialogue of the type beloved by professional TV critics and no one else, half a series of melodramatic declamations, the film goes through a lot of the suspected vampire movie motions without ever finding an original or just entertaining angle. I'm also a bit confused by its attempt to cast Richard Lynch of all people as a seductive vampire, but what do I know?

Garo: Kiba The Dark Knight Gaiden (2011): Finishing the trilogy of films I didn't much care for is this spin-off detailing the background of the big bad of the generally excellent tokusatu show Garo. Kiba suffers from the usual problem of gaiden (side-story) films in that it details things that were left vague in the show its spinning off from for a reason and doesn't do anything else of interest.

It's the sort of thing that only exists so that fans of the show can watch it, nod sagely and later start a message board flame war over some of its minor details, but isn't out to provide any actual entertainment, insight or a narrative that's interesting in itself.


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