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Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

Real talk, I have sat down to watch Scanners three times for this challenge, and have fallen asleep at the half-way point each time.

That has been my history with the film for years. I can't not fall asleep to it. It's like cinematic melatonin for me. On Tuesday, I was like "I'm doing it! I'm staying awake! This is exciting! Ha ha, yes!" and then Robert Silverman's character is murdered, I blacked out and woke up to the end credits.

So tonight I'll try once again, from Silverman's death, to watch it to it's conclusion.

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twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


Iím also Creature and Nightmare. I had to look up Robert Silverman to remind myself who he played.

CelticPredator
Oct 11, 2013



Franchescanado posted:

Real talk, I have sat down to watch Scanners three times for this challenge, and have fallen asleep at the half-way point each time.

That has been my history with the film for years. I can't not fall asleep to it. It's like cinematic melatonin for me. On Tuesday, I was like "I'm doing it! I'm staying awake! This is exciting! Ha ha, yes!" and then Robert Silverman's character is murdered, I blacked out and woke up to the end credits.

So tonight I'll try once again, from Silverman's death, to watch it to it's conclusion.

I dont think Scanners is very good. Its almost good but its boring due to the lead. Ironside is awesome but it doesn't make up for the rest of it.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Yeah, Scanners is two memorable gore scenes starring a strong antagonist that bookend the film and then like an hour of a really bad lead piecing together a conspiracy. Unless you really enjoy that conspiracy stuff its a drag.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

The better Scanners is Brian De Palmaís The Fury.

I canít recognize who also made that connection on Discord, but I share that conclusion.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Finally got the last one in under the wire.

2. Shinya Tsukamotoís Nightmare Detective vs. 7. (STAC Goatís Creature Features) Guillermo del Toroís Hellboy

STAC Goat posted:


- (56). Hellboy (2004)
Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, co-written by Peter Briggs, based on the graphic novel Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola.
Watched on Starz and Debís Bracketology Chillstream, available on Hoopla and DirectTV.


I like Hellboy, but I don't love it. I'm not entire surely why. There's lots of parts I do love. I love Pearlman's Hellboy. I love how it looks with the mix of practical effects and well used CGI into a very gothic kind of look that has aged better than films made 10 years later. I love Doug Jones' Abe even if I wish they had let him just do the voice, but David Hyde Pierce is good too. I love Selma Blair, even if there's some problematic elements of her character arc, but they feel like poorly thought out tropes of the time and genre rather than anything malicious. I love My... I love a the monsters and creature designs. I love the opening. I love the closing. I love the comedy. For some reason I just don't love the movie.

There's Myers. Look, I don't really like Myers either but do I think he's a serious problem? No, not really. Did the film need a basic white dude as an audience stand in or avatar. No, I don't think so. But I think GdT handles it well. He's not the star of the film. He's not the chosen one or specially gifted in some way. He doesn't grow a golden sweater and turn out to be from a destined line of champions. He's a dork, and he's in over his head. He's mostly just along for the ride. And he serves some purpose. He's a sounding board for the Professor to drop us some exposition and how he feels about Hellboy. He's bridge for Liz to bring her back into the fold and compare what she has with "normalcy." He motivates Hellboy to confront his feelings, mature, and tell Liz how he feels. You know, he's basically a support pet. Maybe he does good, maybe he just makes people feel better, maybe that's the same thing. But I don't think he's too obtrusive to the film.

And hilariously I saw the Director's Cut concurrently with the Theatrical Cut tonight and like 90% of the difference are Myers scenes that were cut without a ton being lost. GdT prefers the Director's Cut and you know, I'm sure he likes the scenes he made and the film he cut. And like I said, I'm ok with Myers. But its funny that when it came down to trimming the fat its was largely him.

But no, I don't think its Myers. I just don't think the movie fully rounds together. But I'm not sure why. The villains are all cool but I guess none of them are truly commanding. Probably the other 10% of the cut scenes were Rasputin ones but I don't think they really changed anything. I dunno. I would say the film could stand to be a bit longer but apparently its already two hours, which shocked the hell out of me because I didn't feel that. But I dunno. There's just something I've never really been able to figure out.

But still, I think this a really fun movie that doesn't feel its length. I think Pearlman is a great Hellboy. I love the world GdT creates (or adapts) with its monsters and creatures and "freaks." And its a fun story. And a dark and gritty CGI superhero film from 2004 that ages really well and still works and looks good. Which feels like something of a miracle. So I dunno. Maybe its great? It just feels a little off for some reason.

STAC Goat posted:


56 (64). Nightmare Detective (2006)
Written and directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Watched on Dailymotion


What do get when you mash up Inception with A Nightmare on Elm Street with The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en? A bit of a mess.

I saw a lot of bad reviews for this and a lot of good ones and I find myself firmly in the middle. I didn't hate it and there were some solid or interest elements but ultimately it never came together for me. I just could never get on the film's vibe or tone. The first half feels overly procedural as a cop movie without all the usual tropes but with a supernatural slant. I kinda liked the spin of putting a young woman in the cliche position of the inexperienced young blue chipper but Hitomi gives a kind of cold performance? I guess you can chalk that up to her basic characterization as being socially awkward but apparently she's also a singer and this is the only film on her resume? So its possible giving the lead role to an amateur was just a tactical mistake. I wouldn't say she was bad or anything, but I also wouldn't say she had the necessary skill or energy for the character focused role. And I'm not sure the script did her any favors as it really didn't flesh out any of the characters beyond one sentence descriptions.

The story didn't confuse or lose me but I found that in the second half the film itself did. Visually I just started to get lost and was never entirely sure what I was seeing. I basically understood what it was supposed to be, but I dunno... I know some people genuinely like this feeling. I personally have a low tolerance for disorientation as an enjoyable experience. Used sparingly within a narrative or in short bursts I can appreciate it, but over a long haul it just tends to lose me if not actively annoy me. It didn't get that far here but I just found myself very disengaged from the film and story. I knew (roughly) what was happening but just didn't really care.

Its not terrible but it feels a little cheap, pretty thin, and very chaotic. Again, some people like chaotic. Tsukamoto seems to do chaotic. But I dunno. Not my thing.

Nightmare Detective isn't terrible and Hellboy isn't great but Hellboy is unquestionably more my thing than ND. Not super horrory but that's not been the standard here and its got monsters and demons and great goop and creatures so its plenty horror enough. And a lot of ND is kind of a cop thriller so it evens off. Ultimately its definitely a taste clash and I get why some people are going with Tsukamoto and not loving GdT's comic adaption. But I'm going the way of my guys this time.

CelticPredator
Oct 11, 2013



Franchescanado posted:

The better Scanners is Brian De Palmaís The Fury.

I canít recognize who also made that connection on Discord, but I share that conclusion.

This makes me want to watch that.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Super down after events of the last day or two. Something feels very off about Bracketology, something missing, and I just feel a hole while doing this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28Gj5Bfj90Y

Alright, Iíll soldier on and find the resultsÖ Did anyone else notice that I was so sick last week I put the movies in the wrong bracket?



We have another tie! Second week in a row we couldnít decide a winner and once again 1 abstention proves every vote counts. Guillermo del Toroís superhero adaption and Shinya Tsukamotoís nightmare fueled cop thriller both had their share of fans and detractors and it all ended up evening off to send both into the Sweet SixteenÖ or I guess its Eighteen at this stage. Some much for whittling these down. But the 2 seed Tsukamoto avoids becoming the fifth bye to be knocked out early and GdT avoids an unceremoniously early elimination after last yearís run. For Tsukamoto it also propels him into the Top 5 of directors just under Gasper Noe. And on the other side it sends Creature Features into the Top 5 of teams.

In the other bracket we have another big upset as Team David go down in just the second round. Irony or Deathís experiment was a sound one. Team the two Davids who individually made big marks on last yearís tournament but now didnít have enough films to run on their own, but ultimately the diminished pools that forced them to team might have done them in as Scanners was largely criticized. Of course it was also up against a classic and while some were less than impressed by Creatureís historical legacy on Hollywood it was still more than enough to give Jack Arnold a decisive victory. As a matter of fact this victory along with The Incredible Shrinking Man makes Jack Arnold the new #1 director of the tournament overthrowing Gasper Noe! It also propels Team Universal into the Top 5 for teams.

And that sets up a second 3 way contest for our next round, although one with a unique aspect as I have a chance to pull off some magic. With two teams in the battle of Team Universal vs Creature Features vs Tsukamoto I go in with a 67% chance of victory and a truly miraculous defeat from the jaws of victory.


Ok, now lets see what this week has for us.

4. (Franchescanadoís Femme Fatale) Mary Harronís American Psycho vs. 5. (STAC Goatís Team Grindhouse) Quentin Tarantinoís Death Proof


A pretty interesting double feature draw this week I think. Both pretty dark comedy kind of things? It feels a little bit like a sure thing here for American Psycho but Death Proof feels like a nice opener for it. Franís Femme Fatale is fighting with the rest of the big teams as they just dropped out of the Top 5 but have a chance to climb back in this week, while Team Grindhouse is really just fighting to keep my W/L ratio above the Mendoza Line. Thatís a pretty deep baseball reference so no one got it but its very self deprecating. I donít got a lot to say here. Both Harron and Tarantino are making their Bracketology debuts so no history and like I said, this one feels like a lock. But I am looking forward to both rewatches as I havenít seen either in awhile so Iím interested to see how they hold up.

American Psycho is free on Pluto in the US.
Death Proof is free on Plex, The Roku Channel, Tubi TV, and VUDU Free in the US.


16. (Tarnopís Predation) Alice Loweís Prevenge vs. 8. William Castleís I Saw What You Did


Weíve had a couple of impromptu stars in this bracket like Larry Fassenenden who didnít have any films he directed in this tournament but popped up multiple times as an actor and producer. Alice Lowe now joins that group as two weeks ago she starred in and co-wrote Sightseers in a losing effort against the rampaging monster of Team Vulgaer and now she once again stars in a film that is also written by her but also directed. Iím not sure thereís been anyone in this tournament so far to take all three roles which makes Tarnopís predator this week unique. Her opponent is William Castle who comes off a decisive win against the questionable entry of Showgirls but will probably get a tougher challenge this week with what seems to be a weaker entry. Oddly this makes all four films this week comedies, if dark comedies or satires, which could help or hurt Castle as either his campy style will not be held against him or be overwhelmed by others doings similar things. And for Predation its an attempt to keep winning and keep pace with the team stats.

Prevenge is on AMC+, Shudder, and Direct TV in the US.
I Saw What You Did is free on the Internet Archive.


Thatís our week. Kind of a surprisingly light week by our standards, if serial killers can be categorized as light. But the RNG continues to make curiously appropriate weeks happen with three films that feel like they have fairly similar themes and approaches, if different styles. And Iím gonna do my best to enjoy it because next weekÖ anime.

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST June 4th (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week! Round 2!
- 3. Tobe Hooper vs. 6. The Nephilim
- 15. Brian Yuzna vs. 7. Team It's Not A Cartoon, Mom! It's Art! 😫

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



We now get to argue about which version of Death Proof is superior!

(It's the shorter, Grindhouse theatrical cut. Director's Cut gets bogged down in the excess dialogue)

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Either way I'm voting for it over American Psycho

Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011





The full length Death Proof is not a bad movie on its own, but it is the worst Quentin Tarantino movie. So, it has that going for it?

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Death Proof rules and the extended version is better but it is not even remotely close to being as good as American Psycho, one of the best horror movies of the 21st century easily

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

MacheteZombie posted:

Either way I'm voting for it over American Psycho

Is this because you love Death Proof or is there an issue you have with American Psycho?

I liked Death Proof but I only saw it once when Grindhouse first came out so I'm looking forward to rewatching to see if my opinion has evolved. But it's gonna have to really wow me to have a chance against American Psycho.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I like both of those films quite a bit, I'll have to think about that one, though I am leaning American Psycho.

The other two are new to me. Glad they're easily available. I'll probably watch both this weekend.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Basebf555 posted:

Is this because you love Death Proof or is there an issue you have with American Psycho?

I liked Death Proof but I only saw it once when Grindhouse first came out so I'm looking forward to rewatching to see if my opinion has evolved. But it's gonna have to really wow me to have a chance against American Psycho.

I'm definitely going to be in the minority on this one. I just like death proof more. It's just such a great take on exploitation films, Kurt Russell is great, and the ending sequence is baller.

American psycho is great, don't get me wrong. It's just a personal preference thing.

CelticPredator
Oct 11, 2013



Death Proof is one of the most underrated Tarantinoís. Right now I put it higher than pulp fiction.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its been a minutes since I saw Death Proof but I remember loving Russell, loving all the women against him, and loving the Zoe Bell action finale. Although it was the film that finally sold me on the feet thing.

I just would be shocked if it beats American Psycho. And I've never LOVED AP. I'm not sure its as complete a narrative or gives me the closure I need. But its also been a minute for me with that one so I'm interested to rewatch.

CelticPredator
Oct 11, 2013



The closure is that Patrick Bateman is a loon

Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011





CelticPredator posted:

The closure is that Patrick Bateman is a loon, but also that the 1980s were such a period of drug-addled self-delusional self-absorbed lunacy and bigotry that Bateman's brand of violent fantasia and self-aggrandizement is not only tacitly approved but out and out rewarded. Which denies Bateman his own sense of self-closure, as he will seemingly go on in such a self-perpetuating system forever, with no one around to check his impulses or even recognize his growing insanity, since they're all treated as a mild joke to be mildly tolerated and quickly ignored.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Oh definitely voting American Psycho here - Death Proof is a very strong entry but you can't beat AP with just very strong.
The others, I haven't seen, but I heard interesting things about Prevenge.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


16. (Tarnopís Predation) Alice Loweís Prevenge vs. 8. William Castleís I Saw What You Did



Prevenge (2016)
Directed by Alice Lowe
Watched on Shudder

This was already on my list after watching Sightseers, which I really enjoyed. I also generally like horror comedies. Prevenge didnít disappoint me at all.



Ruth is very pregnant and sheís very out for revenge on the people she blames for her husbandís death. The twist is that her future daughter is the one calling the shots. Itís all an extended metaphor for pregnancy itself. When you are pregnant, everyone treats you differently. More often than not, the treatment is completely unfair. In addition, youíre not necessarily in control of your own body or mind anymore.



I think that Alice Lowe is a very talented writer and she has a real knack for dark, deadpan comedy. Prevenge is evidence that she also knows how to direct. Itís not a perfect movie by any stretch, but it was very entertaining and well done. Iím excited to see what she does next.




I Saw What You Did (1965)
Directed by William Castle
Watched on Internet Archive

I Saw What You Did is only the second William Castle movie Iíve seen, so I was a little disappointed that he didnít show up at the beginning to introduce the movie and tell us what the gimmick would be. The tone is also really weird at the beginning, like a 60s sitcom. It even has a jaunty, upbeat soundtrack.



In this movie, Kit and Lib are two teenage pals who spend the night making prank calls. When they accidentally prank a murderer, then visit his house, not a whole lot actually happens. Itís the strangest thing. What would otherwise set up a very tense situation is just really boring. Until the last ten minutes of the movie, it never really feels like anyone is in danger, except of course the folks who were murdered.



I donít think that I Saw What You Did is necessarily a bad movie. William Castle is definitely a competent director. Itís just not really compelling in any way. None of the characters are especially interesting. It is ahead of its time as a parable about the dangers of technology.


For me, Prevenge is the obvious choice in this matchup.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



STAC Goat posted:


63 (72). I Saw What You Did (1965)
Directed by William Castle, Screenplay by William P. McGivern, Based on Out of the Dark by Ursula Curtiss
Watched on the Internet Archive.


ĒIím normal!Ē
- Me during any one of these scavenger hunt challenges when I look at the numbers.

This one time when I was a kid I made stupid prank calls and it ended up getting real complicated and scary because it turns out one of the random numbers I dialed had some serious poo poo happening on their end of things. Little did I know William Castle had made an entire film to warn me. a

This film is only 88 minutes but it really presses the limits of that 88 minutes. Its kind of a cute premise. A basic Leave it to Beaver domestic suburban bliss setting and tone where a couple of teenage girls do some seemingly harmless dumb kid stuff that millions of kids have done. Theyíre just killing time, just amusing themselves, no malice, no ill intent. Its kind of a lovely thing to do but it seems harmless. But they donít know whoís on the other end of phone and Castle cycles through a bunch of comical settings of people reacting with minor annoyance or hopefully easily resolved domestic squabbles. But then thereís that one place they called that actually didnít have just normal regular people in it and actually had a storm brewing that this one random, stupid, clueless kid prank lets loose. Accidently prank calling a mass murderer. Whoopsie.

It is a fun enough concept but it really drags. Once youíre done smiling a little and weighing the moral responsibility of making some random wife think her husband is cheating and we get to the actual danger it kind of just crawls along. I think Castle tries to space out the dangerÖ I say I think because I honestly forgot if the people they call in one scene are the same people they call in the next, but Iím gonna assume they are because it would be weirder for them to call a bunch of murderers than for them to just dial the same number a couple of times for narrative reasons. But the goofy 60s sitcom tone of the film really doesnít allow any tension to actually build. The girls have no idea theyíre in any danger and the danger is so deeply removed and slow moving that its like worrying about a storm you can hear in the far distance or something. I guess its gonna come but it doesnít feel like I gotta run inside quite yet.

Castle is so committed to his silly premise that even in the final act when the storm has finally arrived and things SHOULD be getting tense thereís still this silly soundtrack playing that defuses the danger. Its actually kind of funny. If you drop a sinister soundtrack on the last 30 minutes I bet you get a pretty tense Hitchcockian thing. Hell maybe the entire film. Castleís a good director but heís also kind of a goof and in this case the goofiness just undercuts the good stuff. This isnít really a mistake. Its clearly Castleís intention. The way the final act plays out pretty much cements that. But it feels like a bad call. I mean, maybe not a bad one. Castle obviously had fun doing what he did and this is another weird and silly Castle thing. But I dunno. The result is something that I wouldnít call bad, and wouldnít quite call boring but definitely kind of drags at points and never really feels like it has the urgency it probably needs. It does pick up right at the end but by then, I dunno. I was ready to move on.

Not a bad film, really, definitely kind of unique. But I probably wonít be watching again.




64 (73). Prevenge (2016)
Written and directed by Alice Lowe.
Watched on AMC Plus, available on DIRECTV and Shudder.


I spent an inordinate amount of time focused on the title of this movie and trying to decipher what ďprevengeĒ meant before I accepted/realized it was just a forced portmanteau. Then again arenít all portmanteaus forced? But I spent a lot of time trying to figure out of getting preventative revenge was just a psychotic break or some kind of Minority Report thing.

That might have been the first clue that this wasnít gonna be something I quite clicked with. This is the second Alice Lowe written film Iíve seen in a few weeks after Sightseers and I really didnít feel that oneís tone of dark comedy at all. Just a brand of really dry, really dark, often British humor Iíve never gotten a lot from. Its why Iíve never watched the UK Office. And I really wasnít feeling this one much at all for the first half and was thinking this was gonna be another polarizing difference from me from the norm. But I actually started to get sucked in more in the second half when it felt like the movie started to focus more on Ruthís grief and her motivation for the killings. Like I had a vague idea all along but once the exact link became clear I think I started to engage more in the story and character.

While I donít get a ton from her writing i did really enjoy Loweís acting in this. She puts on a great performance of split between anger, grief, confusion, and fun. Ruthís dance as she clearly enjoys herself doing these things she knows are wrong but believes sheís being driven by someone else, be it the unborn child destined to torture the neighborhood pets or just her own internal anger and grief lying and rationalizing things to herself. Lowe has great presence going back and forth and keeps the film from ever getting quite as dark as I thought it was going and would have definitely lost me entirely.

I didnít love it. I struggled too much in the first half to say that. But the fact that it pulled me in later actually is pretty rare and a testament to the film. Ultimately my problems with the film really arenít criticisms of it at all, theyíre just purely taste stuff. So if you like Loweís stuff or that style of British dark and dry humor then this really probably more your think and definitely worth checking out. Still, even despite my problems it still did eventually click a bit and give me something so it probably really clicks for the people who like that stuff.

So i didn't love either. Prevenge is probably the better made film. Castle's might have actually been more my thing at its highs and less not my thing at its lows. Lowe just doesn't seem to be my thing and Castle is kinda fun if not my favorite. But the trajectory of the films went the exact opposite ways. Castle's had me and gradually lost me while Lowe reeled me in when I was flailing. So I think I gotta give it the credit for that and the vote. Also my problems with Prevenge are purely taste ones while I think Castle kind of screwed up his idea a bit so it was neither comedy nor thriller. So yeah, I guess I'm voting Prevenge.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



The way Castle deflates the tension in that movie ó it's like watching someone who starts doing some jokey parody of a 'dance routine' with some silly kicks and spins but then halfway through you start to realize that no, they're actually moving their body fantastically, they really are dancing, and then they do some stupid move on purpose to let you know they aren't being 'serious' about it. I would have been into it if it the movie had just stuck with it.

Shrecknet
Jan 2, 2005

Nosferatu Enthusiast
@shrecknet



STAC Goat posted:

Yeah, Scanners is two memorable gore scenes starring a strong antagonist that bookend the film and then like an hour of a really bad lead piecing together a conspiracy. Unless you really enjoy that conspiracy stuff its a drag.
It kind of helps to learn Scanners started filming (not production, filming) with a half-finished script and off-hours were spent by Cronenberg and his PD driving around Toronto looking for cool buildings to shoot in.

Shrecknet fucked around with this message at 01:39 on May 31, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



STAC Goat posted:


- (78). Death Proof (2007)
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Watched on Amazon Prime, available on Plex, The Roku Channel, Tubi TV, and VUDU Free.


I dig Death Proof but its definitely got some problems. Its paced real weird with a ton of talking and Stuntman Mike disappearing for much of the film and an unbalanced split. I get what Tarantino is doing. The first half of the film is a 70s exploitation film and the second half is a modern film sticking it to the exploitation. I like it. Its got a great finale. Its got lot of good parts. It just takes an odd route there. A lot of this might just be explained by the reality that this wasnít made to be a single film release but rather part of a greater whole in Grindhouse. I think the pastiche of exploitation and sendup of it in the second half makes more sense in that context, as do a ton of the gags like damaged film, missing reels, director cameos, and even character crossovers from Planet Terror. The bigger picture even gives more context for some of the more indulgent male gazing and excessive sexualization. I think thatís all kind of intentional and feeds into the final act payoff. I donít know if doing it on purpose makes it ok or not, but it does seem more obviously about the grindhouse exploitation genre in the bigger picture of the grindhouse exploitation full feature.

Then again its also a Tarantino film and its a lot of feet.

I do really like it on its own though. Its stylishly a lot of fun even if maybe a little too gimmicky at times. The cast is tremendous and loaded with talented women even if some of them donít get a ton to do. People always wasting Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I especially love Zoe Bell. Her enthusiasm is adorable and he stunt work is not only the best part of the film but adds a great element of real physicality by actually being her. Kurt Russell isnít in the film enough but heís a fun truly despicable villain. And thereís Eli Roth. But heís playing a scumbag bro scheming to get women wasted past the point of consent. Tarantino really knows how to cast.

He also writes fun if sometimes hyper real dialogue so for as much as talking as there is its all mostly fun, easy talking. And the car stunt work is just really excellent. Honestly the last twenty minutes or so of the film probably makes up for a lot of the problems of the rest of the film. I think as long as I can watch those stunts and Bell yelling ďIím ok!Ē I forget a lot of the small nitpicks before and antsy pacing. I actually ended up watching that part twice tonight since some friends were streaming it after i watched. I was just kind of following along to comment but then i ended up just going all in again for the great finale.

So flawed, for sure. Probably fair to call the worst Tarantino film, although its also fair to say its not meant to be stand alone. I definitely think the best way to watch it is in the original Grindhouse format, and hell its 2021. 190 minutes is kinda nothing. Movies are routinely jumping the two hour mark all the time now and its still an hour shorter than the Snyder Cut. So thatís definitely the way Iíd encourage people to watch it at least as a first watch, but I think its still a fun little film on its own.




- (79). American Psycho (2000)
Written and directed by Mary Harron, co-written by Guinevere Turner, Based on American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Watched on DVD, available on Pluto TV.


American Psycho is unquestionably a great film led by an absolutely amazing performance from Christian Bale but for whatever reason something about its never really clicked with me or always left me feeling a little uneven. I was talking about it with a friend who tends to have the total opposite film viewing tastes and approaches and figured that the issue is really that its somewhat confusing hyper reality and resolution, unreliable narrator in Bateman, and very heavy themes and metaphors just feel too much like an exhibit Iím watching rather than an immersive film to me. For me my favorite films are once I just lose myself in and the best ones are ones I only really ďgetĒ after its over because I was too engrossed in the ride to really think about the themes or messages during the film. During American Psycho Iím just kind of hyper aware of everything the filmís doing. Batemanís little music reviews and overt Reagan references. I get it all, but Iím too busy getting it and thinking about it to just 100% engage in the film.

But thatís not to say that I donít really enjoy it. A lot of that is really Baleís deranged and iconic performance. He so fully commits to this facsimile of a person wearing a mask of humanity that gradually fades away to nothing. Bateman almost seems most human at his most deranged when he shows the first hints of guilt of a conscience. But I also have no idea what to do with that conclusion. Is it just the easy answer that its just a metaphor for the lack of accountability and consequence for the privileged or the lack of concern for toxic masculinity or misogyny or the fates of homeless or gay people? Does that mean that Bateman imagined all of this and the whole story was a delusion? Or did it happen but maybe its just exactly what he told us at the start, Patrick Bateman doesnít actually exist. Maybe heís an elaborate false identity and/or delusion and heís really Marcus, Mr. Smith, or Mr. Davis? Or maybe thereís some massive rich guy conspiracy to cover up the murders of the people who donít really matter like women, the homeless, gay men, minimum wage doormenÖ and Jared Leto. That does break the patter but its just Jared Leto.

These questions and theories donít really concern me. I get that its supposed to be ambiguous and it obviously works that way. I just think its that one thing that affects me. The lack of closure or clear answers or something. The feeling that I watched something thatís more themes than story. But thatís just a personal taste thing and this is absolutely a great movie that I enjoy a ton despite some small misgivings that donít let me love it.

I like Death Proof. I might actually like it more than American Psycho. It more fun, or at least the finale is. But Bale's performance is pretty fun too. Ultimately Death Proof's just punching outside its weight class here. I could make a lot of arguments for it but I'd be lying if I said I thought it was the better movie. And even if I did I can't imagine it making much difference. I'm tempted to throw Zoe Bell a pity vote but I'm probably doing American Psycho.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I think the best, or most satisfying, way to look at the ending of American Psycho is that it's a mix of both things. Is Bateman losing his grip on reality to the point that everything we see may not actually be happening? Absolutely yes. Would Bateman still probably be getting away with almost everything he's done, even if it were real? Also yes.

So the loss of identity that Bateman experiences throughout the movie is important thematically but also to the literal plot. Bateman himself has no real identity, he's completely hollow, but all that does is put him in the same mishmash of identical Gordon Gekko clones that populate the world he lives in. Nobody can tell anybody apart because nobody cares to, and they've all been living in that world long enough that almost all of their individual identities have been replaced by artificially constructed personalities that are specifically designed to compete and win(in ever aspect of life, down to which restaurants you can get reservations at) at all costs. And because they're so meticulously designed for this one particular goal they're almost all identical.

So regardless of how much of it actually happened, Patrick Bateman exists in a culture where a brutal serial killer can blend in without even trying. In this world it doesn't seem ridiculous at all that a killer could get away with their crimes because a witness saw some completely unrelated person at a restaurant and thinking it was the victim, provides the killer with an alibi. Because nobody knows each other and nobody has a personality or individual identity to latch onto, so Patrick Bateman blends right in with the background.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


4. (Franchescanadoís Femme Fatale) Mary Harronís American Psycho vs. 5. (STAC Goatís Team Grindhouse) Quentin Tarantinoís Death Proof



American Psycho
Directed by Mary Harron
Watched on Amazon

American Psycho is the secretly and overtly campy 80s prequel to The House That Jack Built that I never knew I needed until I watched it and it occurred to me that theyíre both about white men who appear to have some kind of antisocial personality disorder, are much more interesting and charismatic than anyone else around them, and largely exist in a consequence-free world.

Christian Bale is flabbergasting as Patrick Bateman. The rest of the characters, with the exception of ChloŽ Sevigny as Jean and Willem Dafoe as Detective Kimball, kind of fade into the background. This makes sense because itís really a story about Bateman and his perception of reality. I think that Jean and Detective Kimball might be given more weight because theyíre the only ones who really see the man behind the curtain, even a little bit.



Overall I thought that American Psycho was technically excellent ó the music, the cinematography, everything just works. In spite of all of the sex and violence is did feel a little sterile though. Iím assuming this is because weíre never really seeing this as they are.



I havenít actually read much about this movie so Iím not sure if this is an obvious take or not, but the way I understood the ending is that Bateman is delusional and never actually did any of the things he confessed to doing. This means that the prostitute he referred to as Christine (who is also the only person who could be a witness to his crimes) may not have existed at all. This could work because of the way they meet up. Bateman picks her up in a limousine that only appears in these scenes and sheís in an area of town where there is literally no other person.




Death Proof
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Watched on Tubi

I had seen the shorter Grindhouse version of Death Proof. Here, the prologue is stretched out to about an hour instead of whatever shorter length it was in the double feature. I couldnít find this info but I didnít spend much time looking. It seems like it should be relatively easy to find out though?



Part of me wants to criticize Tarantino for making movies just to pepper them with references, but Iíd do the exact same thing if I ever became a famous director. I especially liked when Julia called Stuntman Mike ďZatoichiĒ because he didnít notice the very obvious billboard. Itís also fascinating to me that all of Tarantinoís movies potentially take place in the same magical realism universe.



The longer version of Death Proof is still a lot of fun. I was a little apprehensive because I figured it would be a lot of padding or scenes that should have been cut anyway, but instead we got a lot more character development and no pacing issues that were obvious enough for me to notice. The finale is really what sets this movie apart. Anyone who has seen it knows already, but I donít want to say anything more about it because itís just fantastic if youíre coming in completely unspoiled.


I could go either way with this matchup. I think they're both great movies. American Psycho is more interesting, but Death Proof is more fun.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

I'm gonna promote the wonderful Faculty of Horror podcast for their American Psycho episode. It was recorded with a live audience, in a post-Trump presidency (from a Canadian perspective), and they discuss both the book and movie.

Episode 57. Hard Bodies: American Psycho

It's a great listen from a great podcast.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its that day of the week. You've still got about 38 hours to watch some movies, talk about them, and vote.
You can vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST June 4th (or when I wake up).

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I think I just really click with William Castle style/sensibilities because I Saw What You Did was another Castle hit for me. Don't get me wrong, it's not up there with The House on Haunted Hill or The Tingler, mostly because it doesn't have an overwhelmingly charismatic presence like Vincent Price. But I enjoyed the odd tone of this movie, and yea even despite how goofy it is a times I thought there was still a decent amount of Hitchcock-like tension. Prevenge is sort of blah, it never really surprised me or had me guessing about where it was going and I thought even Alice Lowe was just ok in it. And there's not much that's fun about it, even if it's supposed to be a black comedy. Maybe I've just seen enough of this sort of thing where it's a damaged person going on a somewhat comedic murder spree, this one just didn't bring anything new to the table.

And in the spirit of the tournament I did rewatch Deathproof and I enjoyed it a lot, probably moreso this time around. I think I've probably gained more of an appreciation for Kurt Russell since this movie was released. Anyway, it's a solid little movie and I'm glad I rewatched it but American Psycho is a borderline masterpiece. I see Patrick Bateman's situation as almost similar to Superman's(without the moral code of course), he's an alien dropped into a world where it just so happens that his alien qualities actually give him advantages over other people. And it's such a bizarre world that Bateman moves through, for me it almost does have a sci-fi or fantasy quality to it where there's all these strange rules and dynamics that I have no context for because I've never been a cutthroat Wall Street guy in the 80's. And that's where most of the comedy comes from, the absurdity of how these people live and the hollowness of all of their interactions. They're basically all striving to become like Patrick Bateman, so he's ahead of that game because it comes so naturally to him. It's a unique and endlessly rewatchable film.

So my votes were actually pretty easy this week, I Saw What You Did and American Psycho.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

I'm tentatively leaning Prevenge and American Psycho.

I really like Prevenge's simple premise, it's colorful palette, and it's dry British sense of humor. I gotta give William Castle's film a chance, I just haven't had time for it yet. Hopefully tonight.

I think American Psycho had it's fingers on the pulse back in 2000, and it's only become more depressing/prescient over the least 21 years. I also love it's bizarre, darkly absurdist sense of humor and all the performances.

If I have time I'll rewatch Death Proof too, but the Friday 3AM deadlines have always been a challenge for me (cuz I have Fridays off, usually, and is when I get a lot of movie-watching done), and it's only gotten worse now that I'm fully vaccinated and restrictions have relaxed greatly. I've always found Death Proof a middling slow flick from Tarantino, but maybe I appreciate it more now? But not enough to say it's better than American Psycho, one of the most interesting horror films to be directed by a woman and to explore toxic masculinity and psychopathy in capitalism.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Franchescanado posted:

If I have time I'll rewatch Death Proof too, but the Friday 3AM deadlines have always been a challenge for me (cuz I have Fridays off, usually, and is when I get a lot of movie-watching done), and it's only gotten worse now that I'm fully vaccinated and restrictions have relaxed greatly. I've always found Death Proof a middling slow flick from Tarantino, but maybe I appreciate it more now? But not enough to say it's better than American Psycho, one of the most interesting horror films to be directed by a woman and to explore toxic masculinity and psychopathy in capitalism.

Again, this is why I favor the shorter Grindhouse cut. I missed Grindhouse when it was in theaters so I only saw the films later as individually packaged DVDs, which had Tarantino's longer director's cut. But it's plodding! It gets bogged down in the dialogue, which of all his films is the most insider-baseball of forgotten 70s media nerd poo poo. Like the vast bulk of what they discuss in that film is movies and TV and I think, especially if you don't follow the references, it's a bit alienating and tedious before you get to the goods.

The theatrical version trims the fat significantly. The dialogue is punchier and those scenes feel more purposeful and less meandering. You get less of Tarantino himself as the bartender which is good and you really get a tight, focused film. That's to say nothing of the action which is by far some of the best of the last 20 years. The final act car chase is an all-timer.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Yea I have to agree with that. I was surprised when I checked the runtime on it and saw that it was almost a full 2 hours, so I assumed it probably was an extended cut. And I have no issue with Tarantino dialogue, I can't say I was sitting there bored during the movie but at the same time I think it would flow a lot better if some of that stuff in the middle was taken out.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





I debated rewatching Death Proof and American Psycho long enough to run out of time to watch them, but I did get to Prevenge and I Saw What You Did.

I'm going to go with Prevenge, it's simply a more interesting movie. Castle's prank call psa is a bit to straightfoward and shallow while Prevenge takes a stab at looking at the struggles of pregnancy and grief in a unique way. Lowe's deadpan comedy is great.

I'm sticking with Death Proof, a top 3 QT flick imo (I agree the shorter cut is the one to go with).

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Prevenge
That movie gave me a lot of feelings, like annoyance at the camerawork, great boredom with the story, just general complete disinterest in what was happening on screen, and then surprise at how it all sort of fell into place again in the ending from the halloween party on. I guess murderous women and Halloween parties are a great mix. I was genuinely considering a complete re-evaluation of the movie at the end, but then it took the coward's way out and ended with a joke and comedy cut to credits that completely undercut the last couple minutes of the movie. What a shame. Still, as far as director's debuts goes, this is far better than for example The Roost. It's definitely rough, the tone is all over the place, but there is plenty of filmmaking style and talent displayed.

I Know What you Did
Eh. An interesting premise, but overall just a sub-par attempt at a Hitchcock-style movie. Not exactly terrible, I liked the performances, but the story that I was hoping for never materialized - an anthology style horror with the girls calling various people who end up committing horrific crimes.

Prevenge it is. And American Psycho.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Hey, turns out we hit a new high of voters this week. Lets see our results.



No real drama this week. American Psycho and Prevenge seemed like the favorites from comments and sure enough both won the week comfortably. So at least there will be one matchup in the next round that isnít a three way. Both films actually rack up enough votes to join the Top 5 movies in the tournament and knocking Singapore Sling, Trouble Every Day, Gremlins 2, and Peeping Tom off the list. And while Mary Harron and Alice Lowe both made their first (and only) appearances as directors so thereís no movement for them as individual directors, Predation adds to its total votes retaking the team lead from Team Vulgaer and Femme Fatale join the field knocking Andrzej Żuławski & Jerzy Kawalerowicz out of the top five. On the loser side Death Proof joins its Grindhouse partner Planet Terror in both getting knocked out, so that might be the permanent end of Team Grindhouse. But Castle will probably be back in any future tournaments to share his unique brand of horror whimsy. Meanwhile this sets a major clash of two of the top teams in this tournament next round as Franís Femme Fatale goes against Tarnopís Predation. Should be a blood bath.

Speaking of blood bathsÖ

3. Tobe Hooperís The Texas Chain Saw Massacre vs. 6. (Irony or Deathís The Nephilim) Jennifer Chambers Lynchís Chained


Yo, Iím sorry, Ms. Chambers Lynch. The Randon Number Generator can be very cruel sometimes. Hooper draws his biggest gun in the second round and its hard to see it losing this one. Its such a lopsided battle on paper that maybe I can justify not watching Lynchís film? I try and be balanced with the pull quotes and get a representative sampling of whatever popular opinions I see in the review. But with Chained every single review focuses on how brutal and difficult the film is. I suppose thatís a fitting double feature for the film that basically created the genre and maybe Lynch can tap into people who find Hooperís film tame compared to the decades of torture and violence it inspired. Its gonna be a herculean feat for the spawn of the Davids to knock off the legend and his legendary film here. But weíve seen a lot of legends fall and weíve seen a number of legendary films fall off or come close.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is on AMC+, ARROW, Criterion, DIRECTV, fuboTV, IMDb TV, Showtime, Shudder, and Tubi TV.
Chained is on Tubi TV.



7. (A Conglomerate of People Who Hate Meís Team It's Not A Cartoon, Mom! It's Art! 😫) Eiichi Yamamotoís Belladonna of Sadness vs. 15. Brian Yuznaís Amphibious 3D


So its not just anime, its brutal rapey anime. Doesnít sound like the week I develop an appreciation for anime but Iím not really the audience here. The anime team seems like its drawing strong and Yuznaís drawing into his deep, questionable, cheap stuff here but thatís worked for him a couple of times now. Yuzna clicks with people in a way that seems to often overshadow the technical quality of the film, or maybe even is enhanced by it. So can the Bracketology King of Upsets pull off another one and spare me another anime film? Or do the animated films keep rolling. I havenít been keeping the stat but I do believe theyíre undefeated so far.

edit:
Sequel Alert: Belladonna of Sadness is apparently the third of a thematic trilogy called Animerama. Although apparently they have no story or character links and even the creative people behind the first two films have nothing to do with Belladonna? So I'm not exactly sure how they're related besides being anime from the same studio. But this is my nightmare. An anime rape film that's the third of a trilogy where the first two films are two hours. And apparently they're all really porny?

I'm frightened.

A Thousand and One Nights
Cleopatra

Belladonna of Sadness is on Kanopy, realeyz, and Tubi TV
Amphibious 3D is on Youtube



Thatís our week. Its a rough week for me when TCM is the only film I really feel comfortable watching. Iím 50/50 on watching at least two of them and it really feels like a harsh week even for our crowd. Or whatís left of our crowd.

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST June 11th (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week!
- 4. The One n Dones vs. 5. Wuxia Horror
- 1. John Carpenter vs. 9. W&W aka As Seen On V/H/S

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 06:07 on Jun 5, 2021

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Well that' an unfortunate draw for Team Nephilim.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Probably an unfortunate draw for Hooper as well because he really needed to save TCM for a tougher matchup. Now going forward he's really only got Eaten Alive, The Funhouse, Invaders From Mars, and then a bunch of stuff of questionable quality.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I must report a Bracket Master oversight.

Sequel Alert: Belladonna of Sadness is apparently the third of a thematic trilogy called Animerama. Although apparently they have no story or character links and even the creative people behind the first two films have nothing to do with Belladonna? So I'm not exactly sure how they're related besides being anime from the same studio. But this is my nightmare. An anime rape film that's the third of a trilogy where the first two films are two hours. And apparently they're all really porny?

I'm frightened.

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TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I will say, for as graphic as Belladonna is, I found it immensely beautiful and moving at the same time. Like calling it an ďanime rape movieĒ feels overly dismissive to me because this really is a film with a deep sense of humanity. However, disclaimer, Iím going off of six year old memories of seeing the restoration in d theater.

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