Fascination

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Film

Magnetandsteel's Blog

Before it actually fascinates. Fascination serves merely to titillate. In fact, the first half of this film is an increasingly frustrating experience. All the dialogue about what is going to happen later intercut with softcore sex scenes. The two female leads are both very attractive and play their parts well, but we start to lose interest when the narrative slows to a crawl.

Luckily, something wonderful happens at the half way point. Almost instantly the sexual aspects of the film are dropped and a sequence of  violence changes the whole direction of the film. This sequence is not particularly brutal or grotesque, but rather is done so well and feels earned that the viewer becomes enthralled with the story and changes happening with the major characters. Now new characters are introduced and new themes as well. Where before sex was titillation of both characters and audience, it is now portrayed as…

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Chet Baker

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Film, Music

La Comtesse Perverse (1974)

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

A Gin Soaked Afternoon

Inconsistency, thy name is Jess Franco; for every classic like Eugenie: The Story of Her Journey into Perversion there is a dog like Paula Paula. For someone who has never seen one of Franco’s good films, she can be forgiven for wondering what all of the fuss is about. However, when Franco’s combination of freak-beat jazz scoring, buxom brunettes, bizarre plotting and euro-sleaziness comes together just right, the results are undeniable, which is certainly the case with La Comtesse Perverse.

The plot is one of many to rip off Richard Connell’s classic short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, wherein a rich, debauched aristocrat, bored of more traditional fare, has taken to hunting humans for sport.

In Franco’s case, a rich Countess and her sleazy husband prefer to first seduce their prey before hunting and ultimately eating them. The actresses are stunning–Lina Romay in particular. The photography is also…

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“Frog Song”

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Film

Uncouth Reflections

Paleo Retiree writes:

A truly oddball 2007 Japanese “pink” movie from director Shinji Imaoka, who also made “Underwater Love,” another memorably peculiar entertainment. It’s a slow-moving, low-budget and quickly-shot, ultra-lowkey kitchen-sink-type drama (with some touches of whimsy) about a pair of young women trying to get started in life and not making a very good show of it.

They barely seem to have a clue, in fact. One wants to be a manga creator but for the moment is working as a freelance hooker. The other seems to have nothing on her mind whatsoever, and in fact may be a little slow. She’s got a boyfriend who’s forever cheating on her; she loves reading manga; and she falls into prostitution too.

Some nudity and sex … but also lots of one-shot, underlit scenes; aimlessness; deliberately static camerawork; real-time-type conversations; failures to connect; and advanced-economy monotony and brutality. The Question Lady…

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Sasori

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Film, Music

AN ART MOST VULGAR

10.  At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (José Mojica Marins, 1963)

If you’re not Brazilian, you may not be familiar with Coffin Joe (even though you should be).  Think of him as a sort of Freddy Kruger type; a pop culture boogyman who’s appeared in films, TV shows, and comic books, always outfitted in top hat and black cape and possessed of some gnarly fingernails.  He’s the brainchild of genuinely weird director José Mojica Marins, who has also portrayed the character for half a century.  More than just a popular horror franchise star, Coffin Joe was loved by the Brazilian avant garde as a figure of subversion and gleeful blasphemy.

The plot of At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, the first movie to feature Coffin Joe, is the definition of perfunctory: a sadistic undertaker nicknamed Coffin Joe is hated by the locals for his disdain for religion and superstition…

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Deep Red (aka Profondo rosso)

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Film

HORRORPEDIA

Deep Red – original title: Profondo rosso; also known as The Hatchet Murders – is a 1975 Italian giallo horror thriller film, directed by Dario Argento and co-written by Argento and Bernardino Zapponi. It was produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento, and the film’s score was composed and performed by prog rock band Goblin.

Plot:

Music teacher Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) investigates the violent murder of psychic medium Helga Ulmann (Macha Meril), a violent act he witnesses in an apartment building. Other major characters are introduced early, including Daly’s friend Carlo (Gabriele Lavia), Ulmann’s associate Dr. Giordani (Glauco Mauri) and reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi).

After his attempt to rescue the medium fails, Daly realizes he has seen a certain painting among a group of portraits on the wall of the victim’s apartment, but it seems to have disappeared when the police arrive. Later in the film, he also initially overlooks another clue that…

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