Monday, March 16, 2009

Chick Flicks

Chu Yen-ping's A Home Too Far (Yi Yu, '90)

POSITIVES

* Sad, grand, operatic score by Ricky Ho
* Relentless, big scale war violence
* Stunning cinematography
* Grim tone
* Emotionally engaging love story
* Authentic atmosphere of menace and tragedy
* Career-defining performance by Chun Hsiung Ko
* Wrap-up is an absolute downer

NEGATIVES

* Inappropriate use of sped-up horse riding footage
* Terrible theatrical and non-theatrical distribution
* DVD is taken from 1"master and features tape tears

Uwe Boll's Seed (2008)

POSITIVES

* Incredible one-shot sequence in which serial killer bludgeons the face of his female victim to a pulp (she is tied to a chair)
* Audacious slamming of infant into a pole.
* Moody cinematography

NEGATIVES

* Hand-held style kills the tension
* The performers overact
* Script recycles cliches over and over again


Johan Vandewoestijne's Lucker ('86)

POSITIVES

* In grossest sequence, title character plays with corpse, then licks his fingers.
* Grim, misogynistic vibe
* Detestable protagonist
* Necrophilia focus

NEGATIVES

* Extremely slow and boring
* Direction is inept
* Poorly lit
* Zero characterization
* Victims are ciphers
* Wants to be disgusting and disturbing, but is undone by its amateurishness

Dennis Yu's The Beasts (Shan kou, '80)

POSITIVES

* Hong Kong-produced mix of The Hills Have Eyes and I Spit On Your Grave
* The Michael Berryman replacement is a naturally ugly retard and the movie benefits greatly from his presence
* Unrepentant use of copyrighted music
* Rainstorm climax beautifully shot
* Cavalier disregard for human and four-legged life
* Putrid atmosphere of vile menace
* Leering treatment of sexuality
* Non-stop action and deviance
* Nauseating death by hanging
* Revels in nastiness and base behavior

NEGATIVES

* It ends
* Occasional stabs at comedy relief fall flat

3 comments:

  1. I think Uwe Boll is truly one of the most interesting directors at the moment. Sure, he's easy to hate but his films are at the very least entertaining (aside from the plodding Heart of America... which still had some interesting material). I often wonder what the fuck he's thinking making such trash films peppered with some stronger material like Amoklauf or Postal. I'm wondering what country's tax loopholes he's exploiting now that that whole business in Germany will no longer fly. I'm wondering how much coke he had to send to Ray Lliotta's house to get him in In the Name of the King because if you watch his performance closely enough the man clearly looks deranged.

    I liked Seed well enough, rotten as it is. Soft spot in my heart for any film where a psycho unceremoniously slams an infant into a pole.

    Lucker is a film I simply loathe. That rather icky fingering scene aside, it was just awful for all the reasons you stated.

    I love The Beasts. It's my favorite of the post ISOYG revenge flicks--it's the most competent and one of the meanest. There's a scene in a bar, iirc, wherein a low-angle shot of a woman's ass is punctuated by a fart noise. As tacky and misplaced as it was, that moment evoked side-splitting laughter. That's bad, I know.

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  2. d-- As a filmmaker, I am in awe of Boll's ability to finance some very dark and disturbing material. And it's not like his movies do well. I figure he's got decent DVD and cable output deals worldwide and is exploiting tax loopholes and concessions. There's something he's doing that is either very clever or very underhanded. It's great for him that he's getting movies made. Money talks, so I'm not surprised that he's getting actors who have "worth" in the global marketplace.

    I forgot about the pole slamming. I will add it to my post, courtesy of your reminding me of it.

    Lucker I pretty much loathe, too.

    The Beasts is an HK classic. Very tacky. Just a really pure exploitation gem. It gets everything right.

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  3. For more on Uwe Boll's deal structuring, refer to his commentary on R1 edition of 'Alone In The Dark', and any edition of 'House of the Dead' Redux. Both films are unmitigated shite, but I have to say I found the commentaries very interesting and entertaining, and worth purchasing both discs for. Boll has been very forthcoming about the way his films are financed on the discs and in interviews, should you care enough to let your fingers be Sam Spade, but if what 'd' says is correct about the German tax breaks, then the party would seem to be over, and it is all a moot point anyway.

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