Sunday, April 26, 2009

Les Diaboliques

I had seen this on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments, I didn't think it was scary but it was suspenseful. This is the story of two women, Christina and Nicole and the man they share who happens to be Christina's husband. The husband, Michel, runs a boys school which Christina happens to own. Nicole is one of the teachers and Michel's mistress. Instead of hating each other, the two women are friends, finding sympathy with each other because Michel is an ass to both of them. Christina and Nicole take a school holiday to visit Nicole's hometown. While there, they lure Michel to come see Christina and then they drown him in the tub. They drive his body back to the school and dump it in the pool with the idea that it will look like he fell in. But when the pool is eventually drained, there is no body. The rest of the film is Christina and Nicole trying to figure out what happened to the body and wondering if Michel's ghost is haunting them.

Prior to this, my only knowledge of Simone Signoret was what I had read of Marilyn Monroe having an affair with her husband, Yves Montand, and not understanding why Yves wouldn't leave Simone for her. Well, Simone Signoret is generally acknowledged as one of the best actors in French Cinema having won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, recognition at Cannes and a Silver Bear. I'll need to see more films with her in them, but what came across in this one is that she definitely has charisma.

I'm recommending this as one to watch. Although I do want to say boo to Criterion for not having any extras on the disc.

Simone and Laurence Harvey in Room at the Top for which she won the Academy Award

Sunday, April 19, 2009

List to Self - Giallos to Watch

Going through a Giallo faze, got the list from Wikipedia, all the links go back to there. I love lists. Now Giallo itself means yellow in Italian, the genre got its name from pulp paperbacks full of lurid tales of murder, sex, and violence; the covers were usually yellow, several of those books were turned into films and a genre was born. Some think that Giallo can mean any Italian thriller and some require more structure before terming something Giallo, the killer wears black gloves and has or had some kind of psychological problems, there should be lots of gore, beautiful women and nudity. Fantastic cinematography and great music are also required. Perversion Story is an excellent example of is it or isn't it Giallo as it can swing both ways. The back of the dvd box says its a Giallo, but there is no gore and no killer wearing black gloves; however it does fulfill the requirements for murder, sex, beautiful women, and nudity.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's supposed to animate, G'dammit!!!

Thank you to Giallo Fever for pointing me to The Deuce Grindhouse Cinema Database, a site I could easily spend hours exploring. From their site: This is a site dedicated to Exploitation genre films from the 1930s - early 1980s. Our main goal at The Deuce is to include as much information about that bygone era as we can and make this the ULTIMATE online classic Exploitation film wiki/database.

My apologies to The Deuce, I couldn't get stupid Blogger to animate your button in the sidebar.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Taste the Blood of Dracula

I'm not going to describe this one, the trailer says it all. (can you tell I've learned how to embed youtube clips?) All the standard Hammer items are here, nubile young women, earnest lovesick heroes, strawberry sauce for blood, awesome music, but there is one thing missing and that's Dracula himself. It seems that Christopher Lee was feuding with Hammer over salary when this was written so it was written as a showpiece for the Lord Courtley character (he who tastes the blood) but Warners wouldn't release a Dracula movie without Christopher Lee so Dracula was written in. He gets very little screen time but what's there is effective. The script being so Dracula-light had to be more inventive and I think because of that its a slightly better script than usual, its also well-acted, and well-shot. I also liked the tie-in with Dracula Has Risen from the Grave which is my favorite of the Hammer Dracula films.

Should you watch it? Of course because #1 its a Dracula movie and they should all be watched, and #2 because its a Hammer and they should all be watched.

I really liked Linda Hayden, I did a google search and discovered she is in something called Blood on Satan's Claw which sounds marvelously promising, unfortunately stupid Netflix doesn't have it.

While we're here I wanted to mention that this gentlemen is doing his PHD project on Exclusive films who was the distribution arm for Hammer. And for more Hammer delight, please check out Hammer and Beyond via the sidebar.

Oh and lastly, did you notice in the trailer that the announcer says "clammy excitement"? WTF is that and why does he make it sound like a good thing?