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Frame Of Mind
In the horror world, there are a handful of movies that are household names, movies that are well known by even those who aren’t fans of the genre. Movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Night of the Living Dead have transcended the genre and have leapt into the vernacular of everyday cinema. Then, there are films that are just as legendary, but are only revered and worshipped by the insiders, the hardcore horror fans. Suspiria is one of those movies.
Last weekend saw the passing of the influential filmmaker Ulli Lommel. One of the freshest voices of the New German Cinema movement of the sixties and seventies, Lommel collaborated with both Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Tenderness of the Wolves) and Andy Warhol (Blank Generation) throughout his career, but he is best known by horror fans for his 1980 proto-slasher The Boogey Man.
Hampton Lansdon Fancher. You may not recognize the name, but you are no doubt familiar with his work. His biggest claim to fame is that he wrote the first drafts of the script for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, but he also had an extremely prolific career as a b-level character actor. But even behind the scenes, Fancher has led a fascinating life. So fascinating, in fact, that his filmmaker pal Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) made a movie about him. That movie is called Escapes.
There are movies that are hits from the start, and there are movies that fade away into obscurity. And then there are movies that find their audience years later by playing to packed theaters at midnight to viewers who come back night after night, despite having seen the films several times over. The ultimate midnight movie is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but movies like The Room and Night of the Living Dead have also brought people out in the middle of the night. And so has the 1977 cult film Eraserhead.
Documentaries about subcultures are usually fun because they give the viewer a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise have never even known existed. The new film from Jon Manning, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe does just that, and does it in a way that is both informative and entertaining.
One of the most pointless disaster films of the twenty-first century was Pompeii, the 2014 action vehicle for “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harrington. But there’s a better Pompeii movie, and we’re not talking about any of the many interpretations of The Last Days of Pompeii. This week, Cinema Fearité takes a look at the 1958 B-movie Curse of the Faceless Man.
The seventies gave the horror world a ton of classic movies. Jaws scared people into not going into the water. Halloween struck fear into the hearts of babysitters everywhere. The Exorcist made people afraid of demonic possession. But, for every Jaws, Halloween, or The Exorcist, there were a dozen other movies that fell along the wayside. Made in 1977, Ruby is one of these movies.
In the rapidly declining world of print journalism, newspapers are known for their different sections. There’s the news and politics section, the funny papers, the sports page…and the obituary column. Obit takes a good look at the surprisingly lively writers who are responsible for producing the content for that last section.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Don’t Answer The Phone!’ – Just Another Eighties Slasher Imploring You To Not Do Something
A while back, Cinema Fearité celebrated horror movies that urge audience to not do things, like Don’t Look in the Basement, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Don’t Look Now, and even Don’t Open Till Christmas. This week, we’ve got another movie that’s bossing you around, this time with an exclamation point à la mother! and Bloodlust!, called Don’t Answer the Phone!
American rock and roll music is seen as a smorgasbord of musical influences, borrowing liberally from both European and African sources. But the influence of the Native American culture on rock music has rarely been acknowledged. Documentarian Catherine Bainbridge (who also explored Native Americans in Hollywood movies with Reel Injun) and cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (who worked with Bainbridge on the TV series “Mohawk Girls”) explore the Indians that have had an impact on rock and roll in their fascinating new movie Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Let’s Scare Jessica To Death’ – A Hauntingly Slasherific Psychological Vampire Thriller
The seventies were one of the coolest decades in horror history. There were slashers, occult movies, vampire flicks, psychological thrillers, and old-fashioned ghost stories. And sometimes, as in the 1971 classic Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, there’s a lot of subgenre overlap.
After getting his start in nonfiction television, documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld has carved out a nice little niche for himself in the music film world with his The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?). Keeping up the momentum, he now explores the life of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in his newest film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.
A few months back, Cinema Fearité waxed upon the confusion that sometimes can be inspired by horror movie titles when we compared Witchtrap to Witchboard. But what happens when two movies from different decades share the same name? We saw it with the non-Chucky Sidney Lumet movie Child’s Play. We saw it with movies called The Hand and Maniac. And now, we’re going to see it again with the non-Hitchcock 1945 British movie Frenzy.
Revisiting old technologies can be fun. The analog warmth of vinyl records sounds better than the harsh digital compression of CDs. The feeling of flipping the pages of a good book in your hands beats the hell out of scrolling through that same book on a tablet. And, as any avid movie collector will tell you, VHS tapes often have way cooler artwork than their DVD/Blu-ray counterparts. But no one ever thinks about that other lost form of communication – the typewriter. No one, that is, until music video director-turned-documentarian Doug Nichol made California Typewriter.