Monday, August 31, 2015

RIP, Wes Craven

I'm sorry to report on the passing of Wes Craven, a gentleman and a scholar, one of the all-time great masters of horror who made his indelible mark on the genre with A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, NEW NIGHTMARE, SCREAM, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, and THE HILLS HAVE EYES. He had such range in his deeper cuts, too, with offbeat masterpieces like THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, DEADLY FRIEND, and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW.  In Freddy Krueger, he invented one of horror's enduring icons, and while Wes didn't approve of every ridiculous iteration of the character, I love Freddy in all of his terror and his hilarity, a Grand Guignol superstar for our times.  [I mean, as of this moment, I have a plastic Freddy glove, a Freddy goblet, and a sticker that says "Freddy for President" all within sight of my computer.  That speaks less to Freddy's album and one-liners than it does to Wes' capacity to effortlessly conjure our primal fears and visceral anxieties in a way that is ultimately exhilarating.]

About five years ago at IFC, it was my honor to briefly chat with him about the rumors of bizarro goings-on behind-the-scenes of THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW.  His eyes lit up, and he told me about the cast and crew having shared nightmares of cows with television static for eyes, crew members fleeing the set, strange wall seepage in hotel rooms, and others seeking mystical protection with local Houngans.  His demeanor was warm, fatherly, professorial.  You can get a great sense of the man from a New York Times piece he wrote two years ago on fear of retirement.

There are plenty of Wes' films I should have written about by now but haven't, but you can read more here on SCREAM 2, SCREAM 3, DEADLY BLESSING, VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN, SWAMP THING, and even Wes' fun cameos in films like BODY BAGS and DIARY OF THE DEAD.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Junta Juleil's Updated, Browsable List of Reviews– August 2015

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BALTIKA EXTRA 9 (2008, Russia)BANANAS (1971, Woody Allen)THE BAND WAGON (1953, Vincente Minnelli)
BARFLY (1987, Barbet Schroeder)
BASKET CASE (1982, Frank Henenlotter)
BATTLE IN HEAVEN (2005, Carlos Reygadas)
BEAT GIRL (1959, Edmond T. Gréville)
BEAT STREET (1984, Stan Lathan)
THE BEGUILED (1971, Don Siegel)
BEST WORST MOVIE (2009, Michael Stephenson)
BEVERLY HILLS COP II (1987, Tony Scott) BIG (1988, Penny Marshall)
BIG BLOW (2000, United States)
THE BIG CLEAN (198?, Michael Ironside)
THE BIG EASY (1986, Jim McBride)
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986, John Carpenter)
"BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA" (1986, The Coup de Villes)
BIGGER THAN LIFE (1956, Nicholas Ray)
BILL AND COO (1948, Dean Riesner)
THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970, Dario Argento)
BLACK BOOK (2006, Paul Verhoeven)
THE BLACK CAT (2007, Stuart Gordon)
BLACK MOON RISING (1986, Harley Cokliss)
A BLADE IN THE DARK (1983, Lamberto Bava)
BLADE RUNNER (1982, Ridley Scott)BLIND FURY (1989, Philip Noyce)BLOOD BATH (1966, Jack Hill & Stephanie Rothman)
THE BLOOD OF HEROES (1989, David Webb Peoples)
BLOODSPORT (1988, Newt Arnold)
BLOODSPORT 2: THE NEXT KUMITE (1996, Alan Mehrez)BLOODSPORT III (1996, Alan Mehrez) BLOODSPORT 4: THE DARK KUMITE (1999, Elvis Restaino)BLUE CHIPS (1994, William Friedkin)
BLUE COLLAR (1978, Paul Schrader)
BLUE DIAMOND BEER (2005, China)
BLUE STEEL (1989, Kathryn Bigelow)
THE BLOB (1988, Chuck Russell)
BLOOD WORK (2002, Clint Eastwood)
BOARDING GATE (2008, Olivier Assayas)
BODY DOUBLE (1984, Brian De Palma)
BODY BAGS (1993, John Carpenter & Tobe Hooper)
BODY OF EVIDENCE (1993, Uli Edel)
BODY PARTS (1991, Eric Red)
BOOMERANG (1992, Reginald Hudlin) BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1996, Gilbert Adler)
BORDERLINE (1980, Jerrold Freedman)
BOXING HELENA (1993, Jennifer Chambers Lynch)
THE BOY WHO COULD FLY (1986, Nick Castle)
BOYZ N THE HOOD (1991, John Singleton)BRAIN DEAD (1990, Adam Simon)
BRAINSCAN (1994, John Flynn)
BREWSTER'S MILLIONS (1985, Walter Hill)
BRAZIL (1985, Terry Gilliam)
BREAKING GLASS (1980, Brian Gibson)
BROKEN ARROW (1996, John Woo)
BRONCO BILLY (1980, Clint Eastwood)
BRONX WARRIORS (1982, Enzo G. Castellari)
THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (1978, Steve Rash)
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1992, Fran Rubel Kazui)
BUIO OMEGA (1979, Joe D'Amato)
BULLET TO THE HEAD (2013, Walter Hill)
BULLETPROOF (1988, Steve Carver)
BUNNY O'HARE (1971, Gerd Oswald)
THE BURNING (1981, Tony Maylam)
BURNT OFFERINGS (1976, Dan Curtis)
THE BUTLER (2013, Lee Daniels)
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