Thursday, October 20, 2005

More Recent Viewings

I actually have watched a bunch lately, I just haven't had time to write.

Starting with Uzumaki, based on the Manga series Uzumaki by Junji Ito. I had just commented to a couple of people that I might open my wrists seeing another horror movie with a cool color tint over the whole film. This was slightly green tinted, but it didn't bother me. The whole feel of the movie was so wild and creative it just worked. Hell, it even managed to draw the very episodic nature of the original comic and pull a fairly straightfoward story out of it. Highly recommended.

Dolls by Stuart Gordon is really more a fairy tale than a horror movie and all the better for it. Yes, I would really show it to my kids. I think kids are supposed to get scared occasionally, it's how we learn to deal with fear. But, like nearly all Stuart Gordon movies, it's highly compelling and quite a fun romp. It features a wonderfully charming Guy Rolfe, best known to genre fans as Mr. Sardonicus, as well as a generally excellent and game cast, especially the little girl, who is, in fact, quite remarkable.

George Romero's Season of the Witch is a movie I saw and liked a number of years ago, but think probably appreciated much more now as a more fully-formed adult. The look at a woman finding herself out of place with her husband, teen-age daughter and friends is quite rich in character. Jan White is fantastic in the lead, which requires an almost Leone-esque study of her eyes and what goes on behind them. The supernatural elements are small and more symbolic than important as literal.

The movie was originally titled Jack's Wife, which I think is the best title for the movie it is, but it was originally titled Hungry Wives on release, to sell it as an exploitation title. Season of the Witch was it's post-Dawn of the Dead re-release title. It probably works best commercially, but ultimately puts too much weight on the supernatural elements and not nearly enough on her position as an aging woman and her place in society, which is what the film is really about.

Netflix does not have There's Always Vanilla, Romero's second film, which is confusing and annoying, since it's the second disk in the set with Season of the Witch. As opposed to Season of the Witch, which has been difficult and rare on home video, I believe this is, in fact, the home video debut of There's Always Vanilla and I'd very much like to see it.

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