Five Great Films for Puerto Rican Heritage Month

Sadly we were not able to have the Puerto Rican Day Parade this year for the first time in so many years, but November is Puerto Rican Heritage Month. While the origins of the month are tied to (ugh) Christopher Columbus, the sentiment behind the month is fantastic, as November marks the celebration of the Puerto Rican culture, and all of its contributions to society, science, education, technology and pop culture. This year, be sure to stay home and celebrate with these five great films that are perfect for Puerto Rican Heritage Month.

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BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasocism (1995)

It’s incredibly how only twenty five years ago, the idea of the sub-culture of S&M and fetishes like bondage and roleplaying were still so hush and barely spoken of. In modern society we’ve somewhat turned a corner and managed to embrace kink and sexuality a lot more, but the people we get to meet in “BloodSisters” are clearly individuals that have been suppressed by a society that just doesn’t understand them.

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Morgana (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2020]

Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess’s “Morgana” is a documentary begging to be turned in to a feature film. It’s a wonderful and heartbreaking account of sexual repression, forced domesticity and using pornography as a means of re-claiming individuality. “Morgana” is short, but it’s an engaging journey in to the life of Morgana Muses, who suddenly found herself without the demands of a marriage that offered zero fullfilment. When she’s finally free she has no idea what to do with herself. That is until she realizes sex is a big part of what kept her from blossoming as a woman and adult.

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Mondo Balordo (A Fool’s World) (1964) [Blu-Ray]

There are some films you can sense where everyone put their best foot forward. And then there are some films where it’s obvious people were just running out the clock to get a paycheck. With “Mondo Balordo” you can sense Boris Karloff would shamble in to the studio, record his narration for this monstrosity and then leave back to his home. The absolutely awful “Mondo Balordo” is one in a series of pseudo-documentaries that exploit their topics to a certain degree.

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Stadium Anthems (2018)

Scott Douglas Brown’s “Stadium Anthems” is a movie that is just fine when all is said and done. The direction and production values are very good, and most of the cast keeps the film afloat with their charisma. It’s an okay movie that ultimately feels like with a bit of alterations it could have been great. I am always a fan of mock documentaries about rock bands, and varying shades of egos, et al. It’s just that “Stadium Anthems” suffers from feeling like there are just too many ideas struggling to rise to the surface, and it drags it down big time.

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Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time Volume 3: Comedy and Camp (2020)

Danny Wolf’s documentary series is something of a contradiction in that it’s a series about cult movies that were or continue to be unappreciated. And yet, every movie that’s covered all has rabid fan bases. Some of them even have conventions and social gatherings celebrating them. While the “Time Warp” movie series doesn’t re-invent the wheel, if you’re in the mood to celebrate some fun cult films and just lose yourself in mainly American cult classics, then Volume 3 is right up your alley.

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You Have to See This! Showgirls (1995)

The nineties had a weird trend where studios took classic films and attempted to rework them in to contemporary trash films. Pamela Anderson starred in a “Casablanca” remake with “Barb Wire,” Vanilla Ice tried for his own “Rebel Without a Cause” remake with “Cool as Ice,” and oddly enough Paul Verhoeven aims for a remake of “All About Eve” with the cult Joe Esterhas anomaly known as “Showgirls.” Simultaneously lambasted and praised for being so unabashedly stupid and sleazy, Verhoeven attempts to hide a narrative better suited Skinemax than world wide release in theaters beneath thin art house veneers that fool no one.

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