You Have to See This! Freaked (1993)

I would call “Freaked” a spoof, but a spoof of what?

All I know is that it is something of a cult film and simultaneous antidotal piece of good old fashioned schlock in a decade that took movies very seriously. Even horror was somewhat stern for a long time until Wes Craven injected some humor in to it. “Freaked” feels like something out of 1987 that crept in to 1993 and it still rings as truly one of the more fascinating cult films I’ve ever seen. My memory with “Freaked” goes back to 1994 when my dad rented a copy for me. Little did he know what the hell we were in for, as “Freaked” teeters between completely surreal black comedy and an acid dream splashed on to film.

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You Have to See This! The Midnight Hour (1985)

Only in 1985 could a movie like “The Midnight Hour” have been created. This is the decade of Michael Jackson and music videos. This is the decade of MTV. This is the decade where one of the goofiest Halloween movies ever made has a musical number that breaks the fourth wall because… well, Michael Jackson, and Madonna! Duh. Seriously, it’s a shame that “The Midnight Hour” has been so hard to find and out of print for such a long time, because it’s such a ridiculous eighties gem that I figured people would be watching it during Halloween parties and laughing their asses off.

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You Have to See This! NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell (2007)

“New York wasn’t burning. It was burnt!”

Director Henry Corra’s exploration of what New York was in 1977 is quite fantastic and a surprisingly rare chronicle of the political and economic turmoil that ironically bred timeless art and music. As a born and bred Bronxite, 1977 is a mythical year, and a period of the decade that I’ve heard about very often from elder family members. In particular, the night of the infamous black out of New York, my mom and uncle were stuck in the edge of downtown Manhattan and had to brave their way home during the mass looting and rioting. “NY77” garners a very unique tone that balances out the inherent importance of the year, the depressing living conditions of the city, and the obvious fun that was had by most, who managed to endure poverty with laughs and creativity.

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You Have to See This! The Guest (2014)

Adam Wingard is one of my favorite filmmakers working in film today and he almost always works alongside Simon Barrett, a cuttingly funny and witty man who knows how to churn out a damn good script. Wingard and Barrett pull off some amazing feats together, and “The Guest” is another notch in Wingard’s belt that oddly enough doesn’t get as much mention as his banner horror film “You’re Next.” Granted, I love “You’re Next” and have seen it at least two hundred times since it arrived in theaters, but “The Guest” is such a unique horror thriller with a premise that’s very socially relevant without ever being preachy.

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You Have to See This! Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Russ Meyer was a man who loved breasts. He surely enjoyed the female form, but mostly he loved breasts. He fetishized them, worshipped them, and centered his entire career making films that idolized them in some form or another. Russ Meyer is one of the last directors who cast and adored curvy busty women, and though he’s written off sometimes as an exploitation director, Meyer definitely was a dying breed of male. Sure, breasts are still worshipped in today’s society, but not many directors have the guts to reveal them so much in their films.

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You Have to See This! Leon: The Professional (1994)

shot0034kLeon is a hit man, the best hit man working for Tony.  He kills without a sound, without any emotion, he has only one rule “no woman, no child”, he’s the perfect hit man.  Leon lives in the same building as Mathilda and her dysfunctional family.  Mathilda’s father is a drug-dealer who does not care much, her stepmom does not seem to like her much, and her big sister seems to hate her.  Mathilda’s sole solace is her younger brother, whom she loves very dearly.  Comes in New York City’s crooked DEA, Norman Stansfield, who hired Mathilda’s father as a drug dealer.  After the drugs are found to have been cut, Stansfield demands an answer as to how this has happened by 12 noon the next day.

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You Have to See This! Dobermann (1997)

600px-Dobermann_01Dobermann follows the title character (Vincent Cassel) and his group of bank robbers as they evade the law and particularly a maniacal cop, Cristini (Tcheky Karyo). The tone of the movie is set right away with the opening sequence, at the end of which a gun is given to a baby at his Baptism. The rest of the story, based on cop novel, is fairly simple; bad guys versus good guys, or is it?

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