Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bullet Points: Monstrous Beasts

Since we're getting close to Halloween, I'm in the mood for some creature features.  Literal monsters can been pretty scary, but sometimes the psychological ones can be downright terrifying. So to try and make a theme, here's some of the monstrous things I've recently watched:

  • Black Moon:  Lately I've really enjoyed collecting films from the Criterion Collection.  If you subscribe to their Facebook page, you can really benefit from some deals such as 50% off sales.  At times, these films can be a little too artsy for me, but I definitely appreciate Criterion for making some of the best film transfers, commentaries, and supplements to ever be seen.  For this particular case, Louis Malle's Black Moon didn't make a lot of sense (then again, I don't think it's supposed to), but this film has some beautiful and unforgettable moments.  To sum up my stream of conscience (and I'm sure it won't make much sense to you either), this is what what I experienced from the movie:  A military war between men and women, talking plants and animals, an ugly unicorn, naked children beating up a pig, incestuous sibling care-takers, and breast-feeding absurdness... What's not to enjoy!?!?

  • Jaws:  I really don't think I need to go into depth, but this is one of the most influential horror masterpieces in cinematic history.  To continue celebrating Universal's 100th Anniversary, Jaws was remastered frame by frame.  I always thought the film looked awesome from the transfers I've seen, but if you compare screenshots of this blu-ray to others, it's superior.  I would also like to point out Jaws recently made Tarantino's Top 10 List for the 2012 Sight and Sound Poll.  Although other film makers exploited Steven Spielberg's vision of unknown natural terrors (such as Grizzly), Tarantino would make an exhilarating monster flick.  

  • Godzilla:  Before there was even Jaws, the Japanese made the original giant monster - Godzilla!  I truly enjoyed watching this film and appreciated how the film makers used a guy in a rubber lizard suit to cause so much destruction.  Although the suit itself is terrifying (I think the original design is my favorite), there are some dark and horrific moments where Godzilla isn't even seen... And too think, is it pure coincidence these moments take place near the ocean?  I rewatched this classic from the Criterion blu-ray.  Included with this print are some documentaries of how Godzilla actually came to fruition.  I always just thought Godzilla was created for sheer entertainment.  However, the monster was supposed to be a social commentary for the disaster created by atomic weapons.  Besides the atomic bombs drops during WWII, there was also some nuclear testing that caused death to a crew of fisherman coined the Lucky Dragon Incident.  It's amazing how these messages can be hidden in film.

  • The Brood:  I've been searching for this film for a long time.  I finally saw it at my local Movie Stop and I immediately picked it up.  Being one of David Cronenberg's earlier films, The Brood is pretty terrifying.  In hindsight, I actually laugh at myself, but there's a certain part in the film where I had to actually pause the movie and get a drink of water so I wouldn't be so freaked out.  The story is about a father who is trying to keep his daughter away from her mother who is locked up in a mental institute.  However, there are some supernatural forces causing horrific murders near the little girl - all believed to be linked to the isolated mother.  With images of body horror associated with the Cronenberg name (including some frightening "little people"), The Brood is a hidden horror gem more people should recognize.

  • Dexter: The only reason I subscribe to Showtime is so that I can watch Dexter (and now Homeland, but we'll discuss that at some later time).  If you watch the show, you know why this season is so intriguing (the Deb and Dex debacle).  However, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, do yourself a service:  Watch the finale of Season 6.  I'm extremely excited to see how the sibling's relationship progresses.  Plus, this season guest stars Yvonne Strahovski (the hot spy from Chuck), my favorite blonde on Television (sadly an actress unknown to a lot of people I know). 

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