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M_Sinistrari
Sep 5, 2008

Do you like scary movies?





STAC Goat posted:


I worried this might not be representative of Band's work but its the 5th most popular horror of his on Letterboxd so whatcha gonna do?


It's not representative at all which is why the gross laziness with slathering on the overdubbed parts bothered me a lot. Full Moon films tend to be cheesy comfort food, but sometime fairly recently it seems like they've been stumbling.

If you want better examples of Band/Full Moon films, there's Bad Channels, the early Puppet Master series, Subspecies, Trancers, and Dr. Mordred.

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I enjoyed The Red Queen Kills Seven Times quite a bit. It's true that it's an example of style over substance, but sometimes if the style is good enough it can become the substance and I think that's what happened here. The color palette, the locations, the costumes, the beautiful women, it's just very very nice to look at no matter what frame you happen to stop on. The plot is manages to be both convoluted and also predictable for anyone who's a giallo veteran, but I liked that it allowed me to mostly figure it out by the end.

The red/black thing is the main draw of the movie though in my opinion. It does the standard giallo thing where it gives you an opening scene that kinda sets the stage for everything that will happen, and this includes the visuals because you've got a Red Queen and a Black Queen. Almost every scene in the movie has some sort of representation of this, especially when it's throwing suspects and possibilities at you. I have to admit, I'm a sucker for this stuff, clear and strong color palettes that define the look of a film. It's not necessarily the sort of thing that requires a director be Kubrick to pull off, and yet you can win me over pretty easily with it even if the rest of the film has major flaws.

Hard to imagine any giallo fan not wanting to seek this out and at least give it a shot. If there's any subgenre that exemplifies style as substance it's giallo.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Still gotta say it, even if you hate everything else Noe has done, Climax is legit great even if not entirely free of his problematic poo poo. But there's no animal slaughter.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

TrixRabbi posted:

Still gotta say it, even if you hate everything else Noe has done, Climax is legit great even if not entirely free of his problematic poo poo. But there's no animal slaughter.

My favorite story about Climax is that Noe was ready for a bunch of controversy, but it was universally liked and enjoyed, so he spent a lot of the premiere disappointed that no one was upset or offended.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Yeah, its most grueling moment happens off screen and most of the time it's just an immensely fun movie. Oops, Noe made a crowd pleaser.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Ack, missed the first streaming evening - I'll jump in today and watch Corona Zombies while y'all go see something better.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



TrixRabbi posted:

Still gotta say it, even if you hate everything else Noe has done, Climax is legit great even if not entirely free of his problematic poo poo. But there's no animal slaughter.
For sure. As much as I dislike Noe's philosophy and what I perceive his intentions to be Climax is a pretty remarkable achievement of film that was utterly captivating and mesmerizing to me. It messed me up but I Stand Alone didn't because I Stand Alone was incapable of every making me care or invest. Climax is both technically wonderful and felt worth watching on that alone but also engaged me enough to hurt when Noe's nihilism took affect. He may be an edgelord troll, but he's one with real filmmaking skill.

Franchescanado posted:

My favorite story about Climax is that Noe was ready for a bunch of controversy, but it was universally liked and enjoyed, so he spent a lot of the premiere disappointed that no one was upset or offended.
Ugh. I dislike this guy.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

STAC Goat posted:

For sure. As much as I dislike Noe's philosophy and what I perceive his intentions to be Climax is a pretty remarkable achievement of film that was utterly captivating and mesmerizing to me. It messed me up but I Stand Alone didn't because I Stand Alone was incapable of every making me care or invest. Climax is both technically wonderful and felt worth watching on that alone but also engaged me enough to hurt when Noe's nihilism took affect. He may be an edgelord troll, but he's one with real filmmaking skill.

Ugh. I dislike this guy.

I don't know for sure, but I feel like Noe would be a pretty interesting guy to talk with? I read an interview with him, and he was saying something like "I make movies that I find fascinating. I just don't think about censoring myself, or my ideas. I just tend to be fascinated with dark, controversial ideas." He then went to say "I can make other movies. I'd love to make a G or PG kids movie. I'd love to make all sorts of movies. My favorite movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey, I'd love to do a sci-fi movie like that. But for now, the projects that I do that get made happen to be darker ideas."

I don't think he made Climax to be controversial or anything. I just think he expects to offend people just because his name is on the project, and he was just surprised, and a little dismayed, that Climax didn't get any controversy. The crowd got it when he was expecting it not to be.

I think he's a fascinating guy.

Shrecknet
Jan 2, 2005

Nosferatu Enthusiast
@shrecknet



Franchescanado posted:

"I make movies that I find fascinating. I just don't think about censoring myself, or my ideas. I just tend to be fascinated with dark, controversial ideas." He then went to say "I can make other movies. I'd love to make a G or PG kids movie. I'd love to make all sorts of movies. .
He should team up with Eli Roth and make House with Clocks In The Walls 2

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Franchescanado posted:

I don't know for sure, but I feel like Noe would be a pretty interesting guy to talk with? I read an interview with him, and he was saying something like "I make movies that I find fascinating. I just don't think about censoring myself, or my ideas. I just tend to be fascinated with dark, controversial ideas." He then went to say "I can make other movies. I'd love to make a G or PG kids movie. I'd love to make all sorts of movies. My favorite movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey, I'd love to do a sci-fi movie like that. But for now, the projects that I do that get made happen to be darker ideas."

I don't think he made Climax to be controversial or anything. I just think he expects to offend people just because his name is on the project, and he was just surprised, and a little dismayed, that Climax didn't get any controversy. The crowd got it when he was expecting it not to be.

I think he's a fascinating guy.

Yeah, when I said "he may be an edgelord troll" I didn't mean to say that as a fact. Just "maybe he's what I interpret him as, maybe he's not." Obviously there's plenty of people who feel the way you do about him and that he's got something interesting to say and share. I just really can't find it myself and unlike some of the other directors I struggle to "get" like Lynch or Cronenberg I find his stuff too unpleasant to make it worth digging deeper.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I mean, Lars von Trier made a workplace comedy once.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I've never actually seen a Von Trier film besides the first 10 minutes. He's just guilty by association.

And that I don't want to watch something called "The Depression Trilogy."

Also the Bjork stuff.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

STAC Goat posted:

I've never actually seen a Von Trier film besides the first 10 minutes. He's just guilty by association.

And that I don't want to watch something called "The Depression Trilogy."

Also the Bjork stuff.

The Bjork stuff is inexcusable, but I am firmly in the camp that "Melancholia", while an excellent portrayal of depression and the finality of life, is actually just a dark comedy for most of it's runtime. The movie (after the tone poem intro) begins with a dick joke!

edit: Dogville and Anti-Christ are actually just straight up depressing, though.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





corona zombies - just awful, zero reason to watch this

I Stand Alone - I was anxious about this one at first, tje reputation of the movie and Noe didn't give me a lot of hope for a good time. Well, I didn't have a good time, but not because I found it to be a vile movie... I found it boring. Noe's movie is well made, has some good experimentation, and accomplishes its goal as a character study. A shame that I just find it to be a snoozefest.

Bloodstained Butterfly - I consider this one of the better giallos out there. The mystery is well fleshed out and is unique in its presentation.

Voted for Bloodstained Butterfly

The Happening - surprisingly funny and not the worst b-movie out there. marky mark and zoey drag the whole thing down for me though.

Red Queen Kills Seven Times - a delightfully fun giallo with a great villain and premise.

Under the Skin - unlike i stand alone, i love this slow burning character study. it's haunting and has some incredible visuals

Voted Under the Skin

E: Cleaned it up a bit.

MacheteZombie fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Jan 12, 2021

Irony.or.Death
Apr 1, 2009




Anti-Christ resides on the hallowed list of good first date movies, alongside Possession and Audition. There are some other niche candidates if you already know a little about their specific tastes, but those are the three go-tos for a totally blind meeting.

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



Gotta sneak Eraserhead in there to find out how they feel about having kids

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Maybe that's the push I need to finally watch Anti-Christ, if someone showed me Possession or Audition on a first date they'd definitely come away with some hot hand-holding action, maybe I'd even show them my ankle

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



The Von Trier I'd suggest for people who don't like Von Trier is Europa. It's a Kafkaesque story dealing with the aftermath of WWII but its sensibilities are closer to something like Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Plus it's got a great cast of Euro-favorite character actors like Max Von Sydow, Barbara Sukowa, Udo Kier and Eddie Constantine.

The Five Obstructions is also a fun watch.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Debbie Does Dagon posted:

Maybe that's the push I need to finally watch Anti-Christ, if someone showed me Possession or Audition on a first date they'd definitely come away with some hot hand-holding action, maybe I'd even show them my ankle

While I understand where this is coming from, Anti-Christ is on a darker level than both of those. I'd say it's closer to something like Salo, but I find it more bleak than Salo, probably because all the gore effects look so real. Possession feels allegorical in it's surrealism, Audition feels like a cautionary tale, but it's pretty grounded until the finale. Anti-Christ's surrealism feels like a Fairy Tale, but from a pitch-black imagination.

edit: My first Von Trier was Dogville, which I did like, but haven't seen since the first time, and then it's been Anti-Christ, Nymphomaniac, and Melancholia. I'd recommend Melancholia first. I think it's a really empathetic portrayal of depression, instead of the abrasive portrayals of the other two. I really should watch The Kingdom or one of his comedies.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 15:25 on Jan 12, 2021

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



The thing about Antichrist is that it is at least a legit good film with great performances. Like, I don't think it'd be talked about in nearly the same way if it didn't have substance. However, it's been closing in on a decade since I watched it so I may need to refresh myself at some point.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

TrixRabbi posted:

The thing about Antichrist is that it is at least a legit good film with great performances. Like, I don't think it'd be talked about in nearly the same way if it didn't have substance. However, it's been closing in on a decade since I watched it so I may need to refresh myself at some point.

Agreed on all points. I see it's Criterion edition on every sale and think "Should I??" And then I don't because I dread rewatching it.

That's why I picked him! Von Trier is admittedly a controversial and lovely dude. But he also collaborates with a lot of our greatest actors and artists in film, he makes movies worth talking about, and he is, unquestionably, one of the most interesting and influential directors in the horror canon right now. And I always dread watching one of his movies. Not because I can't handle them--I do every time-- but because I'm worried about what he's going to show me about humanity and how it'll sit with me for a while. Noe's in the same camp, which is why they're a team. For better or worse, I can't think of a better reason to put someone in a horror tournament. But I also understand why people avoid him/them, for his films or his personality and crimes against fellow artists.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



There's a tendency to want to dismiss them as primitive provocateurs but they're both very talented artists who succeed in making you feel like poo poo because they actually are hitting at dark truths about humanity and life. But also, both can be incredibly funny at the same time. I'd argue a good number of Von Trier's films in particular are comedies.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

TrixRabbi posted:

There's a tendency to want to dismiss them as primitive provocateurs but they're both very talented artists who succeed in making you feel like poo poo because they actually are hitting at dark truths about humanity and life. But also, both can be incredibly funny at the same time. I'd argue a good number of Von Trier's films in particular are comedies.

Yeah, like I said, Melancholia is really really funny. And it's not "you're just a weirdo with a dark sense of humor" laughing. I was in a theater, with friends, and the whole audience picked up on the sense of humor!

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Let's not forget about Lars von Trier's attempt at Twin Peaks, Kingdom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO9zzTilCxY

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

This also feels appropriate, and will be a nice reference point for if/when we get to him:

Lars von Trier: The Burden from Donald Duck an hour-ish interview from a few weeks ago.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





There are many films to get through this week, so allow me to attempt to bull rush through them, starting with the bad, Corona Zombies. I don't think I hated this movie as much as I expected, but it's barely a film in all honesty. Corona Zombies attempts to stitch together the terribly racist and misogynistic Hell of the Living Dead, and the excellent and easily recommendable though trashy Zombies vs Hookers, with a few chunks of original footage of course. It doesn't work, it falls flat on its face, and it's not enjoyable. I will say however that I enjoyed the new footage of the Barbie character navigating her newfound plague-filled dystopia, and whiling away her time by engaging in such activities as showering with her clothes on. It's just not enough however, and what there is I didn't want.

Continuing with the bad, let's skip straight to The Happening, which is M. Night Shyamalan's Birdemic, complete with a clunky and barely-coherent environmental narrative, awful stilted dialogue, plot beats that go nowhere, and zero character development, unless you count being pregnant or dead a development. Why tiramisu, why hotdogs, why is Marky Mark harassing a poor woman as her daughter commits suicide over the phone, and why hasn't he apologised for being a huge racist?

The middling tier is the Giallo tier for me, I'm not a fan of their focus on twisty turny procedural plots, and neither of these films disabused me of that prejudice, unfortunately. The worse of the two was The Bloodstained Butterflies and not necessarily for any fault of the film itself, I'm sure for the target audience it represents a taught intellectual thriller, but it just didn't engage me at all. I found my attention embarrassingly drifting to anything other than the screen. Garbage Baby's stream intro was far superior in every way, imho. Then we have The Red Queen Kills Seven Times which is a lot more fun and vibrant and dynamic, including Satanic babies, beautiful Italian fashions, and a few cute set-pieces, but nothing that lit my world on fire in particular.

On to my winners for the week, for me it was the easiest choice in the world to choose I Stand Alone and Under the Skin, two remarkably similar yet quite distinctly unique character studies, which both allow their subjects to slowly reveal themselves, but in a way that feels breathtakingly and heart-wrenchingly natural, especially in the case of UtS, despite its subject not being of a terrestrial origin.

To narrow in on a few previously mentioned issues, hopefully without labouring them too much, I would like to address the two major criticisms of both films. Firstly, that UtS is boring, I did not find this to be the case at all, whatsoever. UtS is easily the most engaging film not only of the week but of the tournament so far. While it is absolutely true that the film allows events to occur at a pace that is perhaps sub-break-neck speed, I feel like this is an absolutely justified creative choice due to the nature of Scarlet Johanson's character. She plays a character who is specifically designed for one function, and that is as a predator, and all of the first act choices engage with this stalking behaviour in a natural and yet uncanny, and often deeply disturbing way. Her then slow pivot to embracing a humanity that she cannot fully grasp is masterfully depicted in small moments, like, yes, eating cake. The point however is not to be mundane for the sake of mundanity, but to actually dig into the granular difficulties of adjusting to a life that is not meant for us. For me, it was rich, it has texture, it was compelling, it was nuanced, and it broke me in ways no other film has so far in the tournament, with the possible exception of...

I Stand Alone seems to suffer mainly from the accusation that it is directionlessly abrasive. I am eagerly awaiting Peacoffee's post exploring why ISA is actually a film of great depth exploring the psychology of the wandering minstrel chud, playing his internal droning bile dirge of the middle-aged narcissistic male ego (Yes, I will be calling people out and giving them homework, welcome to the glorious new regime) I would like to offer a different perspective though, that emotional impact is sometimes a good in its own right, and does not need a grander point.

On Letterboxd I gave ISA 5/5 stars, and what really pushed me towards that pinnacle score was that final act, and how it was simultaneously playful and yet terrifically brutal. Throughout the film Noe presents us with a character with perhaps some qualities we as the audience can sympathise with, such as the inability to hold down work, and the anxieties of dealing with family pressures. Then this potentially identifiable person is twisted at every moment to reveal an even more deeply reprehensible visage. The final hug absolutely captures all of this, turning what begins as a warm moment of potential reconciliation, into something worrying, disturbing, and then abysmally earth-shattering, and with only a few small gestures, and a few too many eager rubs. It's little moments of effortless visual storytelling like this that make cinema my absolute preferred medium, and Noe is a clear master of them.

RobbZombae
Feb 9, 2010


Screaming is the only useful thing that we can do.



I think I'm more of a fan of Argento than Giallo. I wish they were all psychedelic and crazy and scored by Goblin.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Debbie Does Dagon posted:

To narrow in on a few previously mentioned issues, hopefully without labouring them too much, I would like to address the two major criticisms of both films. Firstly, that UtS is boring, I did not find this to be the case at all, whatsoever. UtS is easily the most engaging film not only of the week but of the tournament so far. While it is absolutely true that the film allows events to occur at a pace that is perhaps sub-break-neck speed, I feel like this is an absolutely justified creative choice due to the nature of Scarlet Johanson's character. She plays a character who is specifically designed for one function, and that is as a predator, and all of the first act choices engage with this stalking behaviour in a natural and yet uncanny, and often deeply disturbing way. Her then slow pivot to embracing a humanity that she cannot fully grasp is masterfully depicted in small moments, like, yes, eating cake. The point however is not to be mundane for the sake of mundanity, but to actually dig into the granular difficulties of adjusting to a life that is not meant for us. For me, it was rich, it has texture, it was compelling, it was nuanced, and it broke me in ways no other film has so far in the tournament, with the possible exception of...

It also opens up a lot of interesting questions to a viewer that's willing to sit and think about what they're seeing. When the alien is eating the cake, I get lost in the thought of "What are they tasting??". Humans have 3 color receptors in our eyes, which grant us the ability to see about 10 million variations in colors. Mantis Shrimp have 16 color receptors, meaning they see more than 50 million color variations that we can't even fathom. Dogs and cats have taste buds humans haven't developed, meaning they taste whole nuances to water that humans can't, and never will. So using this logic, this completely alien being in a human suit may be eating the same piece of cake as a human, like a human, but that doesn't mean they are experiencing the same piece of cake as us.

Very rarely does a movie make me get into the sensory headspace of a character, which is kind of ironic, since we are sensory creatures. Our memories and our emotions are triggered more by smell than any other sense. Taste is an extension of smell. There's also interesting tactile things in the movie to trigger physical responses. It's a very cold film, with lots of snow, visible breath. When the characters are in the space ship void it triggers the memory of bare feet on smooth texture, like glass or steel, and yet it's an alien material. Is it warm? Is it cold? And the floor turning to liquid or goo triggers that sense memory. If you've ever had a fear of drowning, or a dream where you are sinking, that scene can itch a weird part of the lizard brain. That it does all this with an alien is fascinating.

Also it has one of the best soundtracks of that decade.

And also also I genuinely appreciate that the movie does candid camera on people and then incorporates the non-actors into the film to the point of intimacy that they're showing their dicks. That's filmmaking.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 13:27 on Jan 13, 2021

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Quick impressions:

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times: Colourful gothic giallo, impeccable style but honestly it drags a bit for me. It would have a fighting chance against some other movies, but its DOA in this matchup.

The Happening: I love M. Night Shyamalan and his goofy movies. There's just so many really funny things happening (hah) in this one, and it baffles me how people think they are not intentional. Marky Mark is dogshit but his line readings are hilarious, and he also gets into an argument with a fake plant. I just want to go to the bathroom! People think it's terrorists? The lions, the lawnmower. A child is shot, the movie gives no fucks. A whole emotional arc centered around those stupid colour changing mood rings. The whole thing, it rules. The world needs more off-beat dark comedies like that.

Under The Skin: I mean, I can't not vote for one of the best horror movies of the decade, can I? It's this one. I've seen it exactly once, years ago, and there are still so many scenes burned into my mind, I don't even think I need to rewatch it.
Under The Skin/Team Predation it is. Theyíre insanely underseeded and are probably going to kick the number one seedís rear end and then walk all the way to the finals.

Corona Zombies: There's just no way I'm watching more than 20 minutes of this shameless hackjob movie.

The Bloodstained Butterfly: I saw this a while ago when I was doing an October Challenge exclusively based on giallos. After drudging through so many mediocre, by the number pieces, seeing this one was a revelation. An actual, serious giallo that's not just pretty pictures and mindless titillation (I like these)? Yes please.

I Stand Alone: Holy crap, this is a movie. Not a horror movie to me, but it made me feel so many things. Am I the only one who absolutely loves the font used in that movie? The countdown before the end is an absolutely brilliant piece of 4th wall breaking, and I donít know if itís meant to be funny, but it certainly made me giddy in expectation. And then the ending, of which nobody can claim they were not warned. Iím a sucker for happy endings, and to give that to me after the grueling time before that, it put tears in my sappy eyes, but then it yanked it away from me again, so cruel and yet so good. I liked that pain. That being said, can I vote for it? It just doesnít fit my personal view of horror, and I really donít want to be forced to watch movies like that without mental preparation. Iím moody as hell, and if Iíd seen it on some other day of the week it could have wrecked me. Iím not happy to be gambling with my emotional wellbeing, so Iíll watch more Gaspar Noe for sure, but not on a schedule.

Bloodstained Butterfly it is. Canít have both my giallo teams go out in the first round.

smitster
Apr 9, 2004




Oven Wrangler

I already voted but I wanted to jot down some thoughts:

Corona Zombies - This was just kinda all over the place and didn't cohese in a way I enjoyed. I don't necessarily mind Troma-esque movies, but this didn't really work for me.

The Bloodstained Butterfly - I wanted to like this. The ending was good. But the courtroom drama just took up too much of the runtime, and that's not a type of movie that makes me pay attention.

I Stand Alone - The only thing I wasn't a fan of in this bleak and brutal movie was the mechanics of needing a constant inner monologue. You obviously can't make this movie without it, his inner self *is* what the movie is about, but current life issues meant I needed to divide attention, and that was hard to do.


Voted I Stand Alone



The next three I've seen before.

The Happening - The trees are killing people?

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times - I like this a lot. It has some striking visuals and an interesting story, some good acting, all around fine giallo.

Under The Skin - The first time I watched this it gave me nightmares, which movies don't tend to do. And not erotically fun nightmares, no, I was being chased by shadow-things made out of the void goop. I was shaken awake, drenched in sweat. Great movie! This time I didn't have the nightmare, but I'm still giving it my vote.

Voted Under The Skin

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

My votes will be for The Bloodstained Butterfly and Under the Skin.

Truth be told I enjoyed The Red Queen Kills Seven Times more than The Bloodstained Butterfly, but it just couldn't compete with Under the Skin. I haven't even rewatched Under the Skin yet, and I plan to in the next few days, but I feel comfortable with voting now because it's such a clear decision.

As I tend to do with these matchups, I didn't really try to use any objective criteria. It's all about the type of films I like and what I want to see more of. So while I think you can argue that I Stand Alone is the better film, it's just not anything I'd ever seek out on my own or really enjoy. The Bloodstained Butterfly was a bit too dry and meandering for my taste(I love pretty pictures and mindless titillation!), but it still is very nice looking and has enough of that giallo flair for me to give it the vote. And yea count me as another one who didn't want to vote against two giallo teams.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



married but discreet posted:

The Happening: I love M. Night Shyamalan and his goofy movies. There's just so many really funny things happening (hah) in this one, and it baffles me how people think they are not intentional. Marky Mark is dogshit but his line readings are hilarious, and he also gets into an argument with a fake plant. I just want to go to the bathroom! People think it's terrorists? The lions, the lawnmower. A child is shot, the movie gives no fucks. A whole emotional arc centered around those stupid colour changing mood rings. The whole thing, it rules. The world needs more off-beat dark comedies like that.
I mean, obviously there's intentional comedy like talking to the plastic plant or whatever. I think the issue is the tonal conflict. The movie is at least presented as dead serious. Maybe its all campy and subversive. Maybe the characters are meant to be terrible and their relationships needlessly and confusingly hostile and everything's supposed to be silly and stupid. Maybe that was the joke. But if a room full of people don't laugh at your joke then you still bombed even if some people got it. You gotta play to your audience and if the Happening works it works for a much smaller audience than it was made and marketed to.


Franchescanado posted:

If you've ever had a fear of drowning, or a dream where you are sinking, that scene can itch a weird part of the lizard brain.
Oh boy, you have no idea how right you are on that. I drowned as a kid. I've lived my entire life with a ton of anxiety and fear of water and drowning. I've gotten better over the years and thought I had it under control. Under the Skin hosed me up. I had to excuse myself from the stream during the actual drowning scene because I was shaking, sobbing, and felt 120 degrees. I got ok, picked back up with the movie where I left off the next day but every single time the film went back to a body of water or that abyss everything in me freaked out a little and got ready for all hell to break loose. That film is intense on "drowning" and really, really hints at it over and over again.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

STAC Goat posted:

You gotta play to your audience and if the Happening works it works for a much smaller audience than it was made and marketed to.

I think that was fundamentally the undoing of M. Night Shyamalan as a blockbuster director. He's in a better spot now, having gained wide enough exposure so people who don't like him know to avoid his movies, and those who appreciate his tone can seek out his weird little gems.

quote:

Oh boy, you have no idea how right you are on that. I drowned as a kid. I've lived my entire life with a ton of anxiety and fear of water and drowning. I've gotten better over the years and thought I had it under control. Under the Skin hosed me up. I had to excuse myself from the stream during the actual drowning scene because I was shaking, sobbing, and felt 120 degrees. I got ok, picked back up with the movie where I left off the next day but every single time the film went back to a body of water or that abyss everything in me freaked out a little and got ready for all hell to break loose. That film is intense on "drowning" and really, really hints at it over and over again.

I'm really sorry this happened to you. I can't think of any other movies with those triggers in the tournament, but if they come up I'll make sure to warn you.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
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It really doesn't happen to me much with films. I haven't even had that bad a reaction near a real body of water in maybe 10 years. I watched the Red Queen giallo right after and that had a lake/drowning thing and it did nothing to me.

Its honestly a testament to the power of that scene and themes in Glazer's film and how deep it tapped into something I thought I had largely gotten under control.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





The Happening is good for a comedic group hate-watch, but I'm not sure it actually works at all as an intentional comedy. It's not even at the level of sensible chuckles without the audience making their own fun.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
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Yeah, there's a reason comedians test material in front of live audiences. A lot of stuff they think is funny and their peers and friends think is funny just bombs hard.

But I definitely agree that M. Night's better off in his current place as a bit of a niche director who people know what to expect from and have to seek out instead of a huge "next Spielberg" name making blockbusters. I generally like him but his approach doesn't seem to fit "mass appeal" and I think the problems with The Happening feel like they rest a lot in him trying to bridge that gap and failing terribly.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
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Ok, just about 30 hours or so left to vote. Time to actually get my thoughts together and vote.

M. Night Shyamalanís The Happening
As said and discussed, I just think the Happening is just a mess. Maybe Night was trying to make something with broad appeal. Maybe he was trying to make a really dry throwback B sci-fi spoof. I donít know the answer, but I know it doesnít work. The characters are terrible, paper thing, and just weirdly hostile. The story plods along weirdly like the stages of a video game or something. Its just the main characters moving from stage to stage while NPCs show up randomly to awkwardly recite exposition and then gently caress off and die so a new group of characters can show up to awkwardly introduce info and then die. Its so clumsy and I can understand why people assume it had to be intentional but it really feels like just someone struggling to tell a big story. I think Night works best in small, intimate little stories he can load up with tension. On a big scale he just feels like he kind of falls apart trying to juggle things and thatís never truer than in The Happening. It was fun watching it and making fun of it in the stream but Iíve now wasted 4 hours of my life watching this movie twice and I donít know how I feel about that.

Emilio Miragliaís The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
I donít like giallo, I really like gothic. So likeÖ I really like the gothic elements of this and really meh on the giallo elements. Iím not sure the film fully blends them together but maybe it was just me not liking a blend? But I thought the film was overall totally fine and maybe one of my favorite non Argento giallos. The story is largely coherent and makes sense even if it does that giallo thing where it introduces a piece of evidence late that explains the mystery that you had no possible way of knowing the rest of the film. But unlike in some other that didnít feel like it invalidated the previous murder mystery element of things. And really my main problem was just that I kind of got confused and lost track of which pretty Italian lady was which. But Iíd say the only real problem I had with the film was a rape scene that seemed entirely unnecessary and inconsequential to the plot or characters. That just felt like the worst of giallo to me. Sex and violence intertwined for the sake of it. But overall I enjoyed the film.

Jonathan Glazerís Under the Skin
This is the most challenging film for me. I already explained why. I watched it in two parts across two days, I suffered a panic attack and spent the rest of the film kind of right on the verge of fight or flight. Thatís all probably a testament to the film and its tension and vidid realness but it also was a deeply unpleasant experience that obviously kept me from fully engaging with the movie. But it was obvious the film was interesting. Balancing a lack of dialogue or overt storytelling with a lot of vivid imagery and advancing a pretty clear surface level story through scene framing and physical acting. ScarJoís excellent in conveying so much without ever really saying anything and its kind of remarkable that she and Glazer could make a movie where she spends half her time naked seducing guys and have it feel so completely alien and non sexual. And the themes of the movie are really interesting because I think at its core its just a very humanistic story about empathy and understanding. And Iíve seen people interpret that with gender, rape culture, race, immigration, etc and even if some of those donít click with me I donít think theyíre inherently wrong. Because when you tell a very effective and simple human story thatís easily adaptable to a myriad of different human experiences because weíre all basically struggling with the same poo poo deep downÖ ummÖ under the skin. And I think this film does a really good job speaking to that and giving its audience a starting place to dig deeper in themselves.

SoÖ while I have my flaws and blocks with Under The Skin I think it clearly has my vote. Red Queen was fine but not exceptional, and while I didnít love UTS I canít deny its quality of filmmaking and interesting elements.

I also decided to vote for Bloodstained Butterfly. While I Stand Alone is perfectly well made I really didnít feel anything interesting or unique in its storytelling. It bored me and felt pedestrian in its nihilism. I considered voting for Corona Zombies because Iím more interest in watching a Band film than a Noe/Von Trier or giallo. But that kind of negates the point of the random draws and Iíve come to love that part of this so I feel like I have to vote for the movie that I feel asleep during twice but still got more from than either of the other two.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





On Saturday at 2030 EST there will be a charity stream on the Scream Stream Discord benefitting the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as such, I will be moving my Bracketology streams to Friday and Monday. I hope people will stop along on Friday, as it will be an extra special stream for me, and I also hope everyone able to will also give generously to this worthy cause.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Sad that my real life schedule won't let me join Friday/Saturday streams nowadays

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STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



11 hours or so left to vote (depending on my bedtime). We had 18 votes last week and we have 16 so far this week. If you've been holding out make sure to get your vote in. With 3 ways and single digit divides of votes every vote counts.

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