In case you missed it, here’s what has happened so far in “The Peepshow Collection” movie series: The first nineteen volumes were filled with a lot of adult porn performers having sex, and engaging in general sexual acts. The next volumes will likely have those events unfold, too. Now that you’re caught up, for folks that value this kind of nostalgia and once thought lost series of stag films and porn theater shorts, “42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. 19” from Impulse Pictures is back to the basics once again. As always the volume, which clocks in at almost two hours, is split in to man on girl, girl on girl, and basic shorts with orgies, threesomes and the like.
Courtesy of Undercrank Productions, “Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers” starring Douglas Fairbanks garners a brand new DVD restoration. With a new score by Ben Model (along with new color tinting digital restoration, and stabilization), and with restoration by Karl Malkames, “The Three Musketeers” can be appreciated in a new edition and new vision. One of the many iterations of the classic action tale, “The Three Musketeers” stars film icon Douglas Fairbanks as the noble swordsman D’ Artagnan a young man who goes to Paris to become an ally to three of the best swordsmen alive. They are, of course, Athos as played by Leon Bary, Porthos as played by George Siegmann, and Aramis as played by Eugene Pallette.
An author writes stories for the 3 dead trick or treaters he killed and buried. These stories are about teens going murderous, a human sacrifice, hungry homeless people, and a special delivery. Writer/director Torin Langen takes the anthology sub-genre and gives it an extra twist by having no dialog. The film is not actually silent, there are noises and the characters make the occasional sound, but no one actually talks to anyone. This twist or different way to do things forces the film to develop its stories without the strength of the spoken word, giving more importance to the actions and the music to pass information and emotions. This shift is interesting and leads to the viewer having to pay more attention to what is on the screen.
From The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and Andrew Leman comes the excellent “The Call of Cthulhu,” a short film I was lucky enough to experience years ago and was lucky enough to re-visit. From 2005, the independent effort channels the horror and sheer terror of HP Lovecraft’s mythology so well, the time manages to fly by without a hitch. “The Call of Cthulhu” is a brilliant throwback to the silent film era channeling the likes of Val Lewton to bring audiences a love letter to a time in film when horror meant the twang of the score, and focusing on the horror of our actors.
Impulse Pictures returns with their continued series of “Peepshow Collections” with volumes 11 and 12 on DVD. For folks that enjoy watching these ten to fifteen minute silent reels, these movies are a trip back to a time where porn was viewed in private booths and theaters and often involved a lot of discreet viewers sitting in a dark room to view what was in store for them. Some of the better adult shorts in volume 11 includes “Giant Tits Meets Marc Stevens” where the gorgeous Annie Sprinkles collides with Marc Stevens and indulges him with her large and incredibly impressive body and curves; as well as her bust.
If there was ever any doubt before of the acting ability of Robert Redford in his long career as a film star, then “All is Lost” may change many minds. “All is Lost” is very much a film I was not prepared for. I’d heard rumblings that it was basically “Castaway” meets “The Grey,” but that’s a complete misunderstanding of what “All is Lost” is striving for. “All is Lost” has two lines of dialogue, and only one character in it. Even “Castaway” about a man stuck on an island for many years couldn’t help stuffing the film with a slew of performers.
Yes, we’ve all heard it already. It didn’t deserve to win Best Picture. It didn’t deserve all of its accolades. Now go away and tell us about how you don’t care about the Oscars, hypocrite. Now that we’ve gotten past the whining, “The Artist” is a film that is generally one of the finest films of 2011. It was a year of utterly underwhelming pictures, and “The Artist” took the accolades left and right because it was and still is a deserving ode to the era of cinema that left many actors out in the cold once sound was introduced to an eager audience. Even as a silent picture it works in developing rich and empathetic characters along with a truly sweet and heart warming story about friendship and love and remembering those who helped you rise to stardom.
At the request of director Grzegorz Cisiecki, I cautiously entered in to his 2007 short film entitled “Dym,” and hoped to see what would be the seeds of a great director in the making. While in the end “Dym” leans toward being a demo reel for work in the states, “Dym” is also a striking short film delving in to the psychosexual madness our main character endures when experiencing a turbulent romance with his girlfriend.