Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shaman of Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!

I had every intention of going to see A Serbian Film at the Bloor tonite, but I am zonked. My body, aching from my recent re-start of the physically fit Matt program, and tired from lack of sleep and recovery, is telling me stay home, rest, and watch Reign of Assassins. So that's what I did. Here's what I was missing.

My body will thank me for it. And Reign of Assassins was amazing enough to warrant the change.

Pin - A grand fine piece of Canadiana with a very young David Hewlett, about a family and their relationship with Pin, a life sized, anatomically correct dummy the father keeps as a prop at his family practice. The father, a doctor and also a ventriloquist, uses Pin as a means of education and entertainment for the youngsters, using his ventriloquism skills to have an engaging conversation with the dummy. Of course the doctors children, particularly his son, develop a strange relationship with Pin. A strange relationship indeed. Also a strange but engaging film that I liked a lot.

Voodoo Island - A silly b-horror film from the 50's featuring the acting stylings of Boris Karloff, it features some really bad excuses for killer plants and a rather abrupt and anti-climatic end. But it on the plus side, it features some great dialogue and Boris Karloff!

The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake - Another 50's horror film, incidentally released by MGM as a double feature along with Voodoo Island, this film is the much better of the two. The story is far more interesting, the special effects are far better, and it has this guy with these weird catfish mouth barbs dangling over his lips and he walks around in silence, poisoning people with a long dart.

The Manson Family - This film took 10 years to make! And its great. Disturbing, and crazily psychedelic, this film is probably takes you as close as you can get to visualizing the state of mind the family must have been in during their time of love and then death. Its frickin' trippy, but oh so good.

Karla - This was interesting. It had the appearance and feel of a made for TV movie, and whilst the approach to the narrative was interesting, presenting Karla's view of events and then letting you know at the end she was probably lying the entire time, it doesn't really use that route to its advantage. Its a bland film. Not in the least bit offensive, but not really engaging either. It just sort of exists.

The Collector - From Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, the writers of Saw 4, 5, 6 and the upcoming 3-D incarnation, comes a film that's basically Saw but in a house with a man dressed as gimp instead of jigsaw. At heart the film has some interesting ideas, a decent story, and some solid cinematic execution, however the insistence on using gratuitous violence and even more gratuitous means of death in this film is taken to levels that are borderline loony tunes. There is physically no way in hell this guy was able to rig that house the way he did without Arkin ever realizing. I laughed. Which is sad, because it did excite me for the first 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, until it descended into mindless, pointless and ultimately meaningless and ineffective gore. Plus, Arkin's decisions get more ridiculous as the film progresses. If your suspension of disbelief level is so high that you think you can fly in real life, then you will probably enjoy this film. Otherwise, you'll get frustrated.

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