Halloween Viewing.

This year, if you live in Los Angeles, the question of what to do on Halloween is non existent. The Silent Movie theatre is screening a pristine print of Phantom of the opera, with live organ accompaniment. not only that, but they are screening the awesome buster keaton short Haunted House! Go before they close down, re-open as a persian peepshow and you wonder why nothing good every happens in your town, you lazy son of a bitch!
For those of you who don't live in Los Angeles, you should rent either Basket Case or Eyes Without A Face. I have blathered on and on about eyes, but maybe a few words about Basket Case are in order.

Frank Hennenlotter's classic is the real deal. It's not really scary, but most horror movies rarely are, right? The scary movies are usually european and look like documentaries: Time of the Gypsies, Lilya 4ever, Come and See. Horror movies are about cool melting faces, screaming girls, stakes through eyeballs, and puss pretty much. What Basket Case has a lot going for it:
A truly great monster, the goofiest lead man since Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, a girl with a weird wig and lots and lots of non actors hamming it up. But don't get me wrong. This is not a "bad" movie where you laugh at it. It's a genuinely good movie. In many ways I think it's what every one wants from cinema-a singular artistic vision, something honest and genuine and distinct. Hennenlotter, when making this movie worked as a designer in advertising. In an interview published at the time, he says he doesn't look at filmmaking as a career. He does it as a hobby. And you look at this and see a guy whose gone full tilt unabashedly. His love of exploitation movies AND schlock clear. He likes the seem lines in the old blaisdell monsters, and the shaky walls in the sets and goofy mad doctors. And yet it works as a cohesive piece all its own, instead of justing feeling like lame pastiche because of excellent writing and charm. And gore.

And if you've seen Basket Case already? then rent Final Destination 2, skip to the Rube Goldberg inspired freeway pile up scene, about 10 minutes in, and set it to repeat and have it loop on full blast for the night. Done.
p.s. or you could watch the noir film Nightmare Alley (1947) with Tyrone Power playing a sideshow kid with dreams of getting rich. with probably the best alchoholic drunkard performance ever by Taylor Holmes, and the great Michael Mazurki (the lunk head from Out of the Past and other places) playing sort of against type.
Or fuck it, just rent Dawn of the Dead again and get drunk.

posted by sammy at 7:43 AM