Here's a chance to get your horror quota filled before the
big Halloween rush on Monday, as the Coolidge Corner Theatre presents its 11th Annual Halloween Horror Movie
Marathon. They begin the 12 hour endurance test with two of
the best. Suspiria
(1977) by Dario Argento might be the maestro's scariest; it's the tale of a
coven of witches in a ballet school and it is visually glorious and utterly
It's a safe bet that the walking dead in Lucio Fulci's cult classic Zombie (1979) could kick, and perhaps eat, the
asses of the zombies in any other film you could name. These guys can turn
great white sharks into sushi. One of the favorite films of Guillermo del Toro,
it may or may not be screened with the complimentary barf bag that was offered
to audiences when it was first released.
For a long time Hollywood shied away from confronting the
Holocaust. Stanley Kramer was one of the first directors to broach the subject
in his Judgment
(1961), an epic rendition of the postwar trial of Nazi war criminals. Its
three-plus hours features harrowing testimony, intense courtroom drama, the
Oscar-nominated black-and-white cinematography of Ernest Laszlo, and a stellar,
if sometimes unlikely cast, including the reassuring Spencer Tracy as a judge,
Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, and Montgomery Clift as victims, a perky
William Shatner as a US army adjutant, and Burt Lancaster and the Oscar-winning
Maximilian Schell as defendants.
After seeing, and smelling,
the blossoming corpse plant at a Seattle conservatory a few months back, the
first thing I (and just about everyone else) thought was, "That
looks just like Audrey Junior in Little Shop Of Horrors (1960)!"
Maybe Ecologist Aaron Ellison can explain if there is any connection
between the two intimidating tubers when he discusses carnivorous plants after
this Science on Screen screening of the film.
one puts on a showcase of the macabre like J.
the cult impresario, who works as an undertaker when he isn't busy being a
zombie connoisseur. In tonight's FEAST OF FLESH XI he outdoes himself, with music from
local metalcore band Acaro, bumps and grinds from
horror/stripper ensemble Black Cat Burlesque, and a screening of Demons (1985).
Back in 1922, with WWI fresh in everyone's minds, the
young film director Manfred Noa made the silent film Nathan The Wise, an adaptation of an 18th century Gotthold
Ephraim Lessing play about the title Jewish merchant who brokered a treaty
between belligerents during the Crusades. To acknowledge the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the
Goethe-Institut and the Coolidge Corner Theatre will screen this prescient and
passionate plea for tolerance and peace.
The soul-destroying grind of clerical drudgery has been part
of the American experience at least since "Bartleby the Scrivener." No offense
to Herman Melville, but the version of that theme depicted in Mike Judge's
first film, Office
Space (1999), is a lot funnier. Also, the vengeance that its
disaffected and downsized drones take on their ruthless masters is a lot more
When it comes to Italian neorealist movies, the only
movie that rivals De Sica's Umberto D. in the tear-jerk department is Federico
Fellini's heartbreaking La Strada (1954).
Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina plays Gelsomina, a simple, pure-hearted girl
devoted to the brutish circus strong man Zampano (Anthony Quinn), who bought
her from her impoverished family to assist in his act.
No matter how many times you watch it, Zoolander, (2001) never
lets you down. There will always be something that renews your appreciation of
the film's hilarity. Like the hallucinogenic orgy with the Maori tribesman and
Finnish dwarfs. Or the lines "You can read minds?" and "I feel like I'm taking
crazy pills!" Ben Stiller directed this classic dumb comedy and stars as the
titular supermodel, challenged for the top spot by archrival Hansel, played by
There are many shocking moments in Stanley Kubrick's
adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Shining (1980), but the
real terror is subtle, insidious, and will linger in your nightmares. Some
images will never leave you: the elevator full of blood, for example, or the
Diane Arbus twins, or the woman in the tub, or the eerie sound that Danny - the
little boy with the title gift of ESP - makes when his Big Wheel rolls from
bare floors to carpeting in the endless, empty corridors of the Overlook Hotel.
In addition to being the big shot director of
blockbusters like Spider-Man, Sam Raimi is a master of splatter, as evidenced
by Army Of Darkness (1992), the concluding chapter of his Evil
trilogy. In it the legendary Bruce Campbell returns as Ash, the wisecracking
hero of the earlier films, who gets transported back to a grisly 14th century
where he must fight the power of black magic and visceral special effects to
retrieve the Necronomicon, his ticket back home.
Kind of like Toxic
Avenger by way of Trash
Humpers, Jim Muro's Street
Trash (1987) lives up to its title. Stinky derelicts start
buying booze called Tenafly Viper at Ed's liquor store for a buck a bottle and
unleash the cheapo, gross-out special effects. Not only a revoltingly hilarious
indulgence in politically incorrect bad taste, the movie also reflects, not
unlike Bret Easton Ellis's American
Psycho, the contempt for poverty so popular during the Greed is Good
Far from being a source of escapism, the best science fiction
instead offers a perspective on the problems of our times. Such is the case
with Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005), the feature film based on the cult-favorite
TV show set on an outlaw cargo ship in a 26th century that has at least as much
bad shit going on as the present.
What to watch on a weekend that offers midnight
showings of Rubber, Serenity, and Jason Weiner's Hobo With A Shotgun? No beating around the bush with the latter; the
title tells it exactly the way it is, with Rutger Hauer unforgettable and
unwashed as the lethal bum. Sometimes hilarious, other times weirdly touching,
always violent as hell - of the three midnight options, this one just might be
If 3D was meant for anything, it was for photographing
a blood-dripping machete wielded by a maniac wearing a hockey mask. Long before
there was Avatar, schlockmeister Steve Miner added depth to bad
boy Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part III 3D (1982) the old fashioned way - with ugly cardboard glasses.