only fibbing. this is just a regular old, opinion-o-nated bloog utree.
but i do have ants here. and it stands to reason and all that is primrose that they must pay for traipsing on any carpet but they own.
but naw, i'm not writing about insect creature features. to be 100percent honest i don't have the first clue what i'm-
(gimme a sec)
Alright. Things have gone too far. it's all well and good to go delving in the vast world-o-sphere circles of slimy, blasted 80s horror gems, but you have to accept the fact that there is no end to how subversive things are behind the film's likely intent: $tuff. Both Clownhouse (1990) and Pulse (1988) spend an unnerving amount of time shooting adolescent boys in an almost lascivious manner. It's one thing when you're seeing the eighties bvd commercial-style homoeroticism (there's almost zero sexycamera time spent on the female love interest) in A Nightmare on Elmstreet 2. It's one thing when you're peering into Neville Brand's soppy malt whiskey commercial gone horribly wrong in Eaten Alive.
When you're looking at this.
But there's something about Joey Lawrence being photographed as though there's volumes to be read in his self-conscious child actorness that just crosses a line. Clownhouse, like Pulse, was a film from my childhood that creeped me out. rather than waste time wondering why i find clowns scary, i'm more likely to be fathoming how in blazes anybody wouldn't. That clown doctor dream sequence, and the laughing parking lot clown that Pee Wee tied his stolen bike to in Pee Wee's Big Adventure both still creep me out. But, whereas Pee Wee was a quality film, Clownhouse and Pulse are decidedly not.
Though, admittedly, both have their redeeming factors for us mouldering vhs nostalgia hounds. In Pulse (probably the more watchable of the two) there's a ridiculous scene with a tv repair man where the actor is seemingly trying to stuff his entire resume into one two-minute confused, drifting snore of a monologue that seems to portend, and then just dithers about. Is he coming on to J. Lawr's step-mom or is he shaming himself before her? is he a pro with secret knowledge of electronics (the flick's about rogue killer electronics, or - as they are known in legend - "voices in the wires") or just a worker drone who reads the diagrams in his tv repair guy guidebook. This performance is so bizarre it almost eclipsed the film.
And Clownhouse, aside from having an insufferable, Tales from the Crypt-style soundtrack, is something that my friends and I really dug as a kid. naturally, we didn't notice the overly reverent, fawn-the-boy camera work, so it was just left to those scary scary clowns*. Years later i found out that the director had molested the young star of the film at the time. naturally this made watching the film a distracting, morose experience. decidedly more morose an experience than any horror, pure exploitation or otherwise, oughta be.
It raises the question: what separates the rarified septic glisten of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Martin from the wilted, sour dregs of a Maniac or Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer? Since none of the people involved with any of these films have any kind of bonafied artistic clout it must be left to chance. Some slapdash kind of race for something signature combined with an unrelenting, airtight foray into blankest of evil. The former are rewatchable while the latter only serve as cautionary tales for when you go buying into everything that gets dubbed a "cult classic". Nowadays, it seems to be a cheap way for some round-the-bend hack to try and cash in on us discerning esoteric bygone pop culture fans. I'll tell you all right now - stay away from The Garbage Pail Kids. I know, I know - but stay away! it's just nowhere near as amusing as it oughta be. Shoulda been a animated.
There's no telling how to separate good bad taste and bad bad taste but I'm pretty positive the distinction exists - and that it isn't completely mind-numbing and geeked out to some diseased degree. It has a lot to do with technique, and as many of these film-makers had particularly finite budgets, its whether all the ridiculous amount of facets that go into making a film are all in accordance with one another. a miserable film is a gorgeous one when it feels melodious and of a piece -- when (as is true in Martin and TCM) there's merciful/crafty editing and purposeful, uniquely choreographed camera work. if the idea isn't 100% or the crew as slick and professional as they'd like - there's still a belief in creating something truly memorable and deserving of its own consideration outside of any marketing context.
If I had my way, Let's Scare Jessica To Death (which i hope to acquire loads more images from to plaster all over this sumbitch) would be, not a midnight movie, but a midday movie. I saw it during the day as a kid and still enjoy it at this time today. I think this film, in some part, helped to show how horrifying a scene shot in broad daylight can be. Actually, one should try, right as the sun is coming up, watching Let's Scare Jessica To Death with headphones on. it's as rarely perfect and delectable a mood as you're likely to find. Cult schmult. This is something special. You don't know about it? I'm telling you now. Others likely will as well.
There are too many films that've taken a sledge-hammer to my proudly warped sensibilities and been revelations but some have merely been soul-sapping excursions to creatively bankrupt half-assery. Street Trash is another of these which one ought to steer clear of (unless you're dying to see a slapsticky some rancid homeless folks playing keepaway with a penis). It has the charmless feel of a Troma Production and Troma sucks because they're so self-consciously "cult" as to be more naseating with their leaden attempts at humor than the actual gore that is their stock and trade.
I can't commit to putting quotes on the word "cult" or not. I believe it's generally used in the negative, David Koresh sense, so there tends to be a trendy, in-the-know feel when you refer to a movie as such. yet there's an implicit meaning behind it that more benignly suggests something uncategorizable. Something that sticks out. Then again, my favorite films are exactly these sort, and sometimes catch myself resenting word "cult" being thrown at some of them. Homogenization is beyond threatening to me. If i'm part to be part of something, whatever it is, I want to consciously align myself. in turn, each film should be taken wholly on its own merit, and not in the context of what cultural trend it corresponds to. I'm sorry, but vh1 must die. They're shitting up the mystique and pretending to be celebrating in the process.
But there's really no need to get all up in arms about it. In the end, all art appreciation is destined to become fetish. Something strikes us and glitters our eye. But in this dizzingly chaotic world we inhabit, something like Invasion U.S.A. needn't be camp. It could be prep school! no, seriously, its a work of art worthy of the blissfully uncoveted Road House Award. You should see it.
Don't believe me. Read this:
MY MOVIE REVIEW OF CHUCK NORRIS INVASION U.S.A.
Lou Tetry, Grade Six
Chuck likes the life of a swamp rat. he has an indian friend in there and they boogie around in the swamp when chuck thinks hes getting to get killed its only his armadilla i named him Quincy. the goverment want him to stop the evil forein guy and his multi-racial army from shooting the entire world. chuck doesn't wanna do it, but he has a guilty consciense when his indian buddy is killed by the evil foreign guy who has blonde hair and doesn't liken to Chuck one bit. Chuck kills his adversery and then some before the movies thru. the best is when they attack christmas and the mall. i think this would make christmas shopping a real good one! there'd be chuck driving a truck thru kaybee and then back into record town. i think this is the best imagination of the movie. it stops and starts, but not too much - mostly all chuck, all action! he could kill my uncle bert with one punch. he totally could kill the entire evil empire that makes everything bad in happen in the world. he could kill a gorilla. there's nothing on earth we wouldn't kill so much as lookit. and when he's done, the stupid dumb reporter girl gets left with the mess so Chuck can get some quality time with Quincy on the bayou. that's a movie if you ask me.
*interestingly, i noticed that the real clowns were uncannily more chilling than the escaped murderers that replaced them -- somehow, clowns trying to scare you are not nearly as unnerving as clowns just being clowns.