Christian Momdjian powers through an extra quick kickflip in Glendale, CA.
Christmas Evil (Lewis Jackson, 1980)
NYPD hunt down a murderer in a Santa suit on the night before Christmas. More thriller-mystery than horror, but chilling nonetheless and just as demented as this still makes it look.
Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
From the director who brought…
Dennis McNett has created some of your favorite skateboard graphics, and you may not even know it. This weekend was the opening of his show TEMPLE OF WOLFBAT curated by hip hop’s own DANTE ROSS. Enormous wood carvings and woodcut prints fill Known Gallery on Fairfax where the opening was held and the show will stand until the end of the month. Take a look at some of the stuff Dennis had to offer, and for christ’s sake, GO DOWN THERE AND CHECK IT THE FUCK OUT.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN COLLECTIVE! Checkout this list PQRS put together in an effort to make your Halloween a great one. A list of “modern” classics, as he calls them. Not for the faint of heart… these are horror movies that have proven the test of time, and are definitely necessary to checkout this holiday.
Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
By recasting an old plot line in a modernist mold, Ridley Scott made the greatest haunted house movie of all times. In large part, the brilliance of Alien is that it has no protagonist. Although Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley has become an icon of various genres which intersect here, and was the star of all of the subsequent films of the series, the main character is in fact the alien itself. In a way it is a shame that the movie is so well known, because if any given viewer knew nothing of the plot they would never see it coming.
Christine (John Carpenter, 1983)
Carpenter’s gift is making great movies out of plots that just shouldn’t work. A perfect example is Christine, in which a car seduces a nerd and methodically kills everyone who attempts to disturb their relationship. Who would have thought that this would be a high water mark for 80s horror? On a side note, like all good things, including most of the movies on this list, this was spoofed in The Simpsons.
Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978)
The zombie apocalypse hits America and where do the zombies go? The mall, of course. Romero’s magnum opus is not just top notch horror, it is also a scathing critique on the the brainless consumerism that defines American culture.
Dressed to Kill
(Brian De Palma, 1980)
Unfortunately, all of the key selling points here are also spoilers, so you will have to trust me. Watch this!
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
Among the most fascinating works of American film in the 1970s. Released the same year as A Woman Under the Influence, Mean Streets and The Godfather II, Hooper’s masterpiece finds its closest artistic relatives in the New Hollywood rather than the budding slasher subgenre. Although most contemporary viewers may be unfazed by the violence itself, the creepiness of it all is sure to get through to anyone.
Tomorrow, this Sunday at Promissory in Riverside, come hangout with the CBNC skate guys for our deck release. This shit’s gonna go off. Beer, skateboards, beer, beer and beer.
The title of this post is only halfway joking. After watching Stuck on You (2003), it is obvious to me that there is more to the Farrelly brothers than jokes about diarrhea and people getting hurt. In fact, they might be the most humane directors in Hollywood since its classical era and therefore in direct contradiction to spirit of cynicism and mistrust that dominates film. Post-millennial cinema has been obsessed with the threat of war, sexual predators, terrorism, economic failure, corruption and even the apocalypse. It is true that these concerns, to varying degrees, have preoccupied people forever, but it is hard to envision a generation more concerned with such calamity than this one is.
Similarly, a cultural climate such as ours makes it hard to stomach the optimism historically associated with America’s “can-do spirit,” a corny relic of our unenlightened past. But consider, for example, that during the rise of film noir in the 1930s and 40s, Frank Capra enjoyed the height of his popularity. Even thoughnoir - a genre defined by its darkness and disillusionment - tackled the country’s widespread depression, it still recognized the source of its depression as a problem rather than the insurmountable reality that contemporary America views it as. Furthermore, Capra, whose work has been marginalized by increasingly pessimistic audiences and critics, was one of the greatest and most-loved directors in all of cinema. So, even in other troublesome eras in our country’s recent history, the solution had been valued, missed and sought after.
For a long time Frank Capra had no heir, but all that changed with Stuck on You. In all honesty, it is highly dubious that Frank Capra would like any of the Farrellys’ movies, even their most mature and thoughtful work. However, the fact remains that they occupy the same populist position. Both Stuck on You and, for example,Mr. Smith Goes to Washington speak to the audience on the audience’s terms and herald values that are common to virtually all people, no matter how vicious and vain our culture has become: love of the underdog, suspicion of authority, contempt for unfairness and the belief that the human spirit is a thing of wonder. As conjoined twins Bob and Walt Tenor (played with sensitivity and grace by Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear) navigate their way through a host of nay-saying producers, sleazy agents, arrogant celebrities and jaded cops, they make some faithful friends. In this way the Farrelly brothers seem to be recounting their own history with audiences and critics They express a knowledge and acceptance of the fact that many will merely dismiss their movies as simple-minded, unrealistic or downright stupid, while simultaneously making the claim that they will persevere regardless of being accepted by the right people.
Bob and Walt look foolish, just like Mr. Smith, only until they are vindicated. Mr. Smith is vindicated through the triumph of justice and nearly a dozen Academy Award Nominations, while Bob and Walt are vindicated through their personal success. Bobby and Peter Farrelly have yet to find undeniable vindication, but true believers will accept Stuck on You as an invaluable celebration of humanity in an era polluted by hate and fear and a milestone of humanist cinema.