Archive for October, 2011
Beloved punk-porn princess and entrepreneur Joanna Angel is set to release a XXX web-only Frankenstein parody on her website this, um, coming Monday. Go to www.JoannaAngel.com on Halloween. For a preview teaser of Fuckenstein, which stars Joanna Angel with James Deen as Dr. Frankenstein and Spanish performer Ramon Nomar as Frankenstein, visit: http://xoxojoannaangel.com/2011/10/fuckenstein-free-teaser-and-pictures/.
Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s penchant for transgression has not diminished over the years. His latest, The Skin I Live In, casts Antonio Banderas as Dr. Ledgard, a plastic surgeon (and mad scientist) who keeps a woman (Elena Anaya) locked up in his clinic and conducts various procedures on her. Shades of Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face, although the film is actually inspired by the melodramatic Thierry Jonquet novel Tarantula.
The DLB recently spoke to Elena Anaya during the Toronto International Film Festival where I asked her if she considered Skin to be a horror film:
“It’s a cold horror film. I think horror with no blood, with no screams. It’s something that is starting to leave you frozen, like in a creepy, scary way. Like this question inside that you make to ask yourself like, ‘What’s going on here? Who are they? Who is she? What is their relationship?’ and then the answer comes — poof — it really cuts you.”
The Skin I Live In opens in Canada Oct. 28.
THE THEATRE BIZARRE
Directed by Richard Stanley, Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Tom Savini and Jeremy Kasten
Anthology films are by nature a mixed cinematic bag. After all, some are going to be better than others. Fortunately, in the case of The Theatre Bizarre, it’s more a matter of difference than quality, making this both a sweet and sour mix of horror bon mots that will appeal to various tastes, especially those with an appreciation of the Grand Guignol tradition.
The film’s framing tale sees a young woman (Virginia Newcomb) enter a decrepit theatre hosted by a clockwork figure played by Udo Kier. The figure introduces six tales, creeping ever close to his audience member and curiously growing more human with every story. It’s a creepy framework for a potpourri of nasty narratives.
WAR OF THE DEAD
Starring Andrew Tiernan, Samuel Vauramo and Mikko Leppilampi
Written by Barr B. Potter and Marko Markilaasko
Directed by Marko Markilaasko
Good things do not always come to those who wait. Finnish filmmaker Marko Markilaasko, for instance, filmed the WWII Nazi zombie movie War of the Dead back in 2007, but it only had its world premiere this past Saturday night at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Likewise, Toronto audience members who had been excitedly tracking the film since that time were greeted by a middling action movie with little horror content whose atrocious script left little meat for its cast to chew upon.
Starring Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace and Bill Moseley
Written and directed by John Geddes
“Admirable” is not the same as “enjoyable” when it comes to independent filmmaking, but it’s enough to earn raves from the horror community, bloodied and bruised as we often are by the sheer incompetence of many of our filmmakers.
Take Exit Humanity. The Canadian-made Western with zombies was recently hailed by Fangoria as “a rare gem that transcends the genre.” That is true, more or less, but it doesn’t stop it from being an overlong, turgid slog marked by awkward performances and poor directing choices despite beautiful cinematography.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
Starring Christopher Nicholas Smith, Laura Bittner and Chloe Csengery
Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Written by Christopher B. Landon
At this point in the life (afterlife?) of the Paranormal Activity franchise, it’s virtually impossible to judge the films based on their artistic merits. Instead one has to go by the visceral reactions of the audience. Did they jump? Did they scream? That is what sells these films, not whether or not they are good or even scary.