Ex-fest! It’s a great time to be a film fan living in the Philadelphia area. The Exhumed shows are worthwhile for anyone who is interested in experiencing unique film events and seeing movies you might never have seen otherwise (and definitely not in 35mm on the big screen!)
The opening shot of Eyes of Laura Mars is the POV of a murderer. It’s reminiscent of the opening shot of Halloween (released less than 3 months later), which makes sense because this one is also written by John Carpenter. But instead of revealing the murdered immediately, this time the mystery of who the murderer is takes up most of the film.
Streets tells the story of a young prostitute Dawn (Christina Applegate), who is on the run from a crooked cop. While escaping, she crosses paths with semi-runaway Si (David Mendenhall), another teenager. They stay together for a bit and grow closer to one another as the cop (Eb Lottimer) continues to track them down.
Nope! This is poorly made on nearly every level. The film opens on Stubby Preston, a professional gambler played by Fabio Testi. He arrives at a small town to try to make some money, but instead was intercepted by the sheriff and thrown in jail. Whilst there, he meets the other three main characters: young pregnant prostitute Bunny (Lynne Frederick), drunk Clem (Michael J. Pollard), and a black undertaker named Bud (Harry Baird).
What we Do in the Shadows is the latest comedic take on the vampire genre. This one is played as a mockumentary following a quartet of vampires living together in a flat in New Zealand.
Well, it turns out The Great Magician is very similar to the Detective Dee series. If you liked those, you would like this. And the inverse, in my case, is also true. I found it strange how similar they were because, as far as I could tell, the films don’t share any creative talent. Maybe movies like this are just the style of popular cinema produced in the Hollywood of China and Hong Kong? (Often referred to as Chinawood. No, I’m not making this stuff up, folks!)
A boring and bland every-man accountant, played well by Daniel Auteuil, loses his job in a big firm. The reason? Well, he’s just so unremarkable and they need to let go of someone so he is chosen.
This definitely is a solid, classic mystery, but so much more as well. Carol Lynley plays a mother, Ann Lake, newly arrived in England with her five year old daughter Bunny. She drops Bunny off for her first day of school before leaving in a rush to deal with the movers and other errands.
It’s that time for me once again to vomit forth my Favorites Films of the Year. This is my opinion, but I think all of the below films are worth your time. Oh, there are others for sure, but the tradition of a top 10 prevents me from including them. Tough choices had to be made but I went with my gut.
Now that the rush of the Best of 2015 is almost over, it’s time to broaden the scope of my film consumption. My problem in the past has always been that I get caught up going down a particular rabbit hole of film for weeks at a time. The Best of the Year is a good example. I’ve watched nothing but films made in 2015 for a month.
It’s Harry Knowles’ (from Aint it Cool News) birthday film bash where he shows 24 hours of movies in the theater, some vintage, some not yet released, as well as trailers, shorts, and various sneak previews and such. Oh, and there was a wedding with Elijah Wood as ring-bearer.
Another Exhumed Films Horror-Thon has come and gone and I am a better person for having attended. I’ll save you the gushing about why this even is so great, you can check that out in the previous write-ups below. I’ll just say that it is a huge privilege to be able to see 14 35mm classic/obscure/campy films, dozens of trailers and some in the theater in 24 hours.
Crimson Peak is old school big gothic to its core. It was advertised as a horror film, which isn’t really accurate, and that false-advertising probably caused some its box office issues. But that isn’t to say the film isn’t scary.
Grandma is a movie good in every way except for being great. This low-key tale of a grandmother attempting to help her granddaughter is simple and sweet but maybe a bit too simple to stick around. Which probably explains it’s short running time.
Deadly Friend has a tumultuous production history. Wes Craven wanted to make a psychological thriller and the studio wanted to up the horror and gore to capitalize on the Wes Craven brand. What results is some of both and not enough of either.
This Portuguese mini-series is extremely rare. There was a translated version shown on Australian TV only once. If you can, try to find a copy of this broadcast. It’s worth it.
Dope is a packed film. So much happens that the film seems to switch scripts or even genres every few minutes. But it works because of the unique energy pulsing through it from beginning to end. In it’s music, it’s characters, and its performances, Dope separates itself from the rest of the pack and delivers something fresh.
There are some things that make a film stand the test of time. A good concept, memorable scenes, a sure-hand in the director’s chair, and a solid script. Not to mention everything else that goes into making a good film (acting, music, production, etc.)
Exhumed Films put on a great show once again. This celebration of exploitation excess had a fairly consistent lineup with some great highlights and only one real stinker. Definitely a fun and memorable day in the theater!
This anthology film is an oddity among anthology films because it isn’t horror, and even more importantly, all the episodes are written and directed by the same filmmaker: Damián Szifrón.
The movie starts with a montage that shows that the director knows what he is doing. The monotony of the titular postman sorting mail at the post office is intercut with that same postman out on delivery, dealing with the daily annoyances while riding through the city on his all-too-small bike. It’s a charged and quirky little scene that increases intensity until the splash-screen of the title.