It has recently come to my attention, gentle readers, that some of you are again prioritizing dubious activities like working for a living or peeing over movie viewing. This simply can’t go on. When we are all absorbed into the Web, embedded in the Matrix, nodes in the Network, your ability to contribute to the collective dream-life of the Over-Mind will depend upon the resources you input and encode now. If your memories are mundane or your imaginings are marginal, you will be excised and allowed to spiral down to extinction. Be clear, in the future your survival will depend upon the entertainment value others find in your fantasy life. The boring will be deleted. So here you are, couple of movies you should have watched already that could help you stave of oblivion. Consider yourself warned,
The Media Fiend
1) I’m a Cyborg, But That’s O.K. (2006): It is hard to believe that this delightfully surreal romantic comedy came to us from the director of Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengence, two very tough movies, Park Chan-wook. Or maybe not when you consider how hard-edged the back story of trans-generational psychosis that provides the underpinnings for the movie’s comedic set-pieces. The plot is simple; a young woman from an unhappy home has a psychotic break while working at her soul-killing assembly line job. She is sent to a mental hospital where she refuses to eat or talk to her psychiatrist. She gets worse. She attracts the attention of another inmate, a handsome young man, who makes it his mission to get her to eat. Along the way we see conversations with vending machines, the girl convert into a battle cyborg after being “recharged” by electroshock therapy and proceed to take out most of the hospital staff, paper masks that transfer souls or identities, magic socks that help you fly, a grandmother who believes she is a mouse, eats nothing but pickled beets and is ultimately launched into eternity by a giant rubber band, nude rainbow watching, and Rain (a Korean TV and pop superstar that made it into Time Magazine’s 100 People Who Shape our World article (2005) and People’s Most Beautiful list (2007), who after stealing the soul of an inmate dressed like the Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate chick sings a bouncy ballad about his longing for Berne Switzerland that includes some rather impressive yodeling. This is a movie that will give your neurons something new to do and make you feel good at the same time. Available on DVD from Tartan, a company that just went under so grab it ASAP.
2) Pumpkin Head: This dark fairytale of backwoods black magic and demonic revenge is a modern classic and was the first (of only two) feature directorial effort of Make-up and Special Effects legend Stan Winston. Apparently, the studio gave this pet project of Winston’s the green-light after he won an Oscar (his first of 4) for his work on James Cameron’s mega-hit Aliens. It is one of the most atmospheric monster movies ever made and features one of the greatest creature designs of all time in Pumpkin Head, the demon of revenge. In fact, the title beastie has been done by Todd McFarlane’s (the creator of Spawn) toy company as very well-sculpted action figure in their Movie Maniacs series. The movie is beautifully filmed, with an effective, tragic performance by Lance Henriksen as single-dad, Ed Harley, who barters his soul away in order exact horrific vengeance on the people who killed his young son and then tried to evade any responsibility for their actions. The dark forest, a ruined church, a witch’s cabin, and a pumpkin patch/ graveyard provide backdrops comparable to those in the classic Universal Pictures monster movies. If Ray Harryhausen had ever dropped acid and agreed to do a feature length Tales from the Crypt episode, this is what it would have been like. It is available on a special edition DVD that has a great transfer and some cool extras. Given that we lost Stan in 2008, you really aught to buy this and hold your own memorial service for the man who gave us the designs for Edward Scissorhands make-up, the Predator, the robotic Terminator, a bunch of dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movies, the chimerical Cthoga, and Danny Devito as the penguin, as well as putting Michele Pfeiffer in the Catwoman suit (meow!!). Did I mention that it features one of the coolest monsters ever put on film?
- The Media Fiend.