“We are the flesh” broke my mind

So what if you came across some information about an alleged “horror” movie which featured unsimulated sex between two adult actors who were, by the way, playing siblings…AND this film happens to be on Tubi?

Would you go “nah I’m good?”

OR

Would you say “yup, that sounds right up my ally”?

Be honest now, God’s watching.

Unfortunately this movie hit me at the right time. Not because of the sibling fucking and rock hard penises (and some vagina) throughout, but because the film’s subject matter appears to be “truth” itself.

http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/we-are-the-flesh-is-a-work-of-near-brilliant-anti-art-depravity/

What’s We Are The Flesh about? I honestly don’t know. Click the link above if want to find out more. It’s a Mexican film. I didn’t watch it with subtitles on. And I don’t speak Spanish. 🤷‍♂️ Plus I’ve got a terrible memory.

Nevertheless, I think it got its point across, which makes it a success in my book.

As the review above stated, it will draw comparisons to other movies in the “shock film” genre, but it lacks a little less punch. That might come as a disappointment to horror film buffs, but I think this was done deliberately.

In fact, the movie concludes (if my memory is correct) with someone getting up from a completed orgy, leaving the set, and walking out onto a normal busy street.

I’m assuming that person was meant to be “us”…the audience…just getting up and leaving the theater then going about our normal day after watching an hour and 15 minutes worth of people fucking and occasionally killing/raping on a very claustrophobic set.

I don’t recall the violence being particularly brutal, at least compared to other films in this genre, but the sex, of course, was. At one point, we’re just staring at a bare vagina and anus and then a penis and ballsack.

Why?

I dunno.

But as the review pointed out, we’re being forced to ask ourselves if there’s any artistic merit to any of this.

“Sounds pretentious,” you might say. And I agree. But the film is slapping you across the face with this question…because you’re staring at a penis and vagina for a GOOD 30 seconds each…almost as if it’s a commentary on filmmaking itself!

When it comes to the finer philosophical points to the film, I’ll defer to the review, as it explains them in far better detail than I ever could. But this movie really did break my mind.

I’ve never seen any film…or any piece of art PERIOD (except for a piece of long fiction that I recently completed, which I might go into detail about at a later time)….say SO much while simultaneously saying absolutely NOTHING.

…much like how TRUTH itself operates.

Black roses (1988)

When a movie informs you that it’s a Shapiro-Glickenhaus production, you’re in for a ride. And Black Roses did not disappoint.

I’ve always been intrigued by the psychological/political dimensions of the 80s. Poltergeist kind of touches on this in the most subtle way, how family dynamics were altered during this decade. Black Roses picked up on this concept and ran with it.

The film shines a spotlight on the contradictions within Reagan-era politics: parents being appalled yet titillated by youth culture (and a complete lack of awareness that these tensions exist). The story of Black Roses centers on some “heavy metal” band coming to small town USA and corrupting its youth. The youth become demon-possessed and start killing their parents. Only a mustached English teacher stands in their way.

Of course, the band is entirely blamed for the “corruption”. Despite the shitty parenting throughout, the adults never once ask themselves: “are we to blame?”. But I guess parenting styles in the 1980s didn’t include things like paying attention to your children. Additionally, because parents were unable to take responsibility for themselves, we now have “culture wars”…which stem back to this decade…on which adults can use as a scapegoat for why they have shitty children.

Now I’m probably giving the filmmakers WAY to much credit for this analysis. They probably just wanted to show rock n’ roll and boobs with a few demons thrown in for good measure. But all good art is a reflection on the time it was produced. And Black Roses certainly pulls back the curtain on Reagan’s America.

Rip Michael Krueger

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times: I am to Tubi what raccoons are to trash. So if Tubi puts something up there to watch, by God I’m watching it and leaving a godawful mess while I’m at it.

Why though? Why would one put themselves through pointless agony?

I’ll tell you why: Mindkiller and Night Vision.

Before you read this, you probably never heard of either of those films. But now you have. So I’m providing a FREE public service: finding overlooked gems before they are totally and completely forgotten. I’m a historian, this is what I do.

Both films were directed by Michael Krueger and both…according to IMDb…were released in 1987. Unfortunately, Krueger died in 1990, presumably leaving both films to lie in obscurity until their resurrection into the public consciousness by Tubi.

You might think I’m being facetious over my praise of Krueger’s work, but I assure you, I genuinely enjoyed both movies. Sure, they might look like cheap after-school specials…the sound editing is particularly atrocious in Mindkiller…but a few technical issues aside, aspiring filmmakers should take note: where you lack a budget, you can make up for with heart.

As you all know, I have a horrible memory. So I don’t recall too many plot details. But Mindkiller, roughly, is about a dork librarian who reads some outlandish shit and he begins to control minds. I think. He then begins to control the mind of his love interest, played convincingly by Shirley Ross as a strait laced librarian.

Ross then flips the script for Night Vision, also as the love interest, as she plays a street wise video clerk showing her boyfriend the ropes. The streets of Denver have never looked so mean. Remember, this was the 80s, before all the hipsters moved in and gentrified the place. But supposedly Night Vision is also a horror film. I think a VCR is demon possessed or something. While I don’t remember being scared, I do remember being taken in by the film’s earnestness and Ross’ performance.

It’s a shame that Krueger didn’t have a longer career. But I am thankful for what we did get.

RIP

Don’t let the sun go down on me

Slow day at work, so me and coworkers watched No Time To Die.

I was the only one that’s seen it prior. And I gotta say, it’s better on the second viewing. I think knowing how it ends, you can appreciate some of its intricacies.

There’s kinda a somber tone throughout. And the cinematography is incredible. The film constantly looks like it’s evening, like the sun’s going down on James Bond. And not just for 007, but for Blofeld and Felix Leiter, both established (and parodied) characters in the long running franchise.

It’s a shame that the Academy didn’t give Daniel Craig a Best Actor nod. He really gave a fulfilling performance for a character that didn’t have much depth prior to his portrayal.

But damn it, I knew how it ends. But I couldn’t help myself: I cried in front of all my coworkers.

Eddie and the tom cruisers

Here’s the link to that article:

https://academic.oup.com/jaac/article/68/4/355/5979888?fbclid=IwAR2qyZVg_oC0j2Lr9Fe4e-k7r_RyYX04w79xTFGibJ4LUwO6Ur7X-vyNifI&login=false

Of course I didn’t read the article. I don’t know how to read. I’m sure it’s interesting.

But I don’t know what it is about Cruise. I remember becoming aware of this phenomenon while watching Mission:Impossible II. I was absolutely creeped out when he told Thandie Newton “damn you’re beautiful.”

Tom Cruise should never EVER be that intimate with someone. No one wants to see that shit.

I suppose Cruise is the last of the old-fashioned male Hollywood hero. We don’t want any sort of emotional connection with him. He’s a blank canvas on which we can project our fantasies onto.

The moment he breaks that facade, we’re grossed out…like I was while watching MI:2.

I kinda explored this concept with the stupid ass “John Cannon” character from The Last Coming (or the First Coming, whatever the fuck it’s called): an over-the-top manly man, but once when you peek behind the machismo, you wish he’d kept that shit to himself. (Of course that’s probably a deeper analysis than what that story deserves)

It’s an archetype that’s almost gone out of vogue.

But I suppose we should appreciate Tom Cruise for what he is: essentially a relic from a bygone era. He’s been doing his thing for the last 40 years. And at this rate, he’ll probably be doing it for 40 more.

like harrison Ford im getting frantic

Speaking of movies that I had no business watching as a kid…infamous sex pervert Roman Polanski’s Frantic is another forgotten gem.

I saw it around the same time as Paris, Texas and it came on HBO after school. I also watched it for the same reasons as Paris, Texas (thought I’d see some titties, but only saw side boob and Harrison Ford’s pubic hair).

I’m not a huge fan of Polanski, but he can manage to maintain your attention although nothing is happening on screen. The first 30 minutes are just Ford and his wife at a hotel in Paris. Then Ford takes a shower and his wife goes is missing.

This is one my favorite sub genres: an everyday man has to traverse an unusual circumstance, in this case exploring the seedy underbelly of Paris in order to save the day.

I wouldn’t say the film was entirely successful. The ending was kinda underwhelming. But I enjoyed the hazy cinematography mixed with Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack. And the this might be Ford’s finest hour as he plays the perfect fish-out-of-water Everyman.

I usually talk shit about the French, but they know how to do noir.

faith based (2020)

So I was watching Spalding Gray’s Terrors of Pleasure when I thought “I’d probably enjoy this if I was sober.” So then I searched for something on Amazon Prime.

I came across a comedy called Faith Based, about two buddies that try to make a Christian film. It had all the ingredients to make a good film, or at least a movie that I’d enjoy. But it serves as a good reminder of how difficult it is to make a good motion picture.

It’s a story that I’d otherwise enjoy: about mediocre, yet good natured, talent trying to break into the big leagues by making a movie to help save their father’s church. Naturally, they discover the business is populated by cynical assholes.

Some of the jokes land. When the lead characters explain that “no one wants to see a movie where they don’t recognize anybody” and the camera lingers on the two actors you don’t recognize, I chuckled a bit. The film could have used a bit more of that self-awareness.

But I really am like my lead character in A Shot at the Title: I rarely watch a movie that I don’t want to completely rewrite and redirect. I think the film could have been salvaged by jettisoning all the Office inspired interviews and extending the length. The movie couldn’t have been made for very much money, but the production quality is pretty good. Maybe lingering on some of the shots would have extended its impact.

Of course, it’s not my movie, but if I were making it, as the lead characters go through their trials and tribulations, I would have played with audience by getting the movie as close to a shitty Christian film as one could possibly go before pulling the rug out from under them. That would have accentuated one of the film’s themes: that all of our hopes and dreams are actually just a scheme to make some asshole more money.

But if you’re interested, despite its subject matter, it’s not an anti-Christian or anti-religious movie. At its heart, it’s a film about family, community, and belonging. Nothing we haven’t seen a hundred times before.

Anyways, now I’m sober. Back to Spalding Gray.