The original One-Armed Swordsman was played by Wang Yu. This total reboot stars David Chiang, and it’s a blast. Here the Shaw Brothers go for more straight-forward action, not Five Elements Ninjas-type insanity. Don’t let that discourage you, this is a very entertaining martial arts film. Even the dramatic scenes kept my attention. Recommended, fast-paced action that is not for the whole family (what with the arm chopping and all).
Joel Peter Witkin is an influential photographer while his twin brother Jerome is a less celebrated, but excellent painter. This documentary talks about their lives, relationship, and a Mexico City exhibition of both artists’ work. Witkin & Witkin is not for sensitive viewers as it contains a lot of nudity, people with deformities, and dead bodies which make up the majority of Joel’s photographs, as well as some of Jerome’s source material. Overall this is a well made and revealing film that should appeal to anyone interested in contemporary visual art with a dark edge.
Robert Graysmith’s 1986 book version of Zodiac is a serious page turner. It’s one of the best I’ve true crime publications I’ve ever read. This adaptation isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damned solid. I love the dark atmosphere, which David Fincher wisely ported over to Mindhunter. If somehow you missed this one, check it out.
This is mandatory viewing if you are a fan of cult movies. Sean Connery’s outfit alone should convince you. It’s definitely weird as hell, but be warned, it’s a bit dull. I think John Boorman was hoping to appeal to fans of Jodorowsky’s El Topo, as the audiences at that film’s midnight screenings were always stoned out of their skulls. In that frame of mind I would think Zardoz would not be dull in the least. It might even seem like you just saw the sci-fi equivalent of Citizen Kane. Hmmm… I hear pot is legal in some states.
Why the hell would anyone want to watch a ’60s car racing movie? I asked myself that same question and then realized it was directed by Jack Hill. He’s the man behind several excellent fast-paced action / exploitation movies including Coffy and Switchblade Sisters. This one isn’t nearly as violent, but damn it grips your attention just as well. You also get to see a young Ellen Burstyn from The Exorcist, and of course, Sid Haig (who didn’t know how to drive when they started production). I thoroughly enjoyed Pit Stop, so give it a chance.
FYI – there are two versions up on Amazon Prime. The better quality one begins with the Film Rise logo.
I almost didn’t recommend this one as it was on the Netflix Top 10 when it was first released, and has received a lot of press. However, The Platform deserves that attention AND is very much Anomalous Cinema. This movie skillfully blends horror and sci-fi, into a borderline-art film. Now let’s hope this leads to Netflix releasing more even more daring and intelligent weirdo features.
FYI – I recommend if you watch ANY foreign content made after 1990 on Netflix you do so in it’s original language with subtitles. Netflix’s English dubbing is absolutely horrible 99% of the time.
Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer (sign-in necessary)
Henri-Georges Clouzot is responsible of two of my favorite European movies of the ’50s, The Wages of Fear and Diabolique. In 1964 he was given a huge budget to create an experimental drama combining his usual black and white photography with candy-colored hallucinatory sequences. The bad news is, pretty much everything went wrong, and the film was never completed. The good news is, we have this fantastic documentary. This is worth watching to see the trippy color scenes alone, but the rest of the story is absolutely engrossing as well. If you’d like to see another excellent unfinished movie, check out Andrzej Zulawski’s On the Sliver Globe.
Dr. Hess Green is stabbed three times by a mystical dagger and becomes a different kind of vampire. Different is an understatement with this experimental dream of a movie. Director Bill Gunn was tasked with delivering his version of Blackula. Instead he made an art film in the guise of horror. Despite an award at the Cannes Film Festival, the original cut was butchered down to a more commercial version, and faded into cinema history. Thankfully MoMA and Kino Lorber were able to restore the original version. They didn’t do the drastic restoration job that we’re used to these days either. The film probably looks similar to when it was first shown, warts and all. That was a wise choice, as polishing Ganja & Hess would have taken away from all the elements that make it special.
This movie will not be to everyone’s taste. It challenges your attention span at times, and then challenges your sense of decency. That’s why I love it. Additionally you get to see Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) in his very best screen performance. That should be reason enough to see this, but the script is great, and the music is excellent as well. Watch with patience and you might just appreciate it as much as I do.
Ok, so this movie was one of the epic flops in cinema history. The nutshell version is that the estimated budget was 44 million and the cumulative gross worldwide revenue was less than 3.5 million. Ouch. However, Heaven’s Gate is a damn good film! It’s also bloated, over-complicated, bizarre, and excruciatingly slow at times. I can imagine seeing it in the theater was quite a trial. Watch this in a few chunks, and you’ll appreciate what Michael Cimino was trying to do. Some of the scenes in this movie are just jaw droppingly insane on multiple levels. It’s honestly a must-see work of Anomalous Cinema. I’m just very happy that the director got to see it appreciated during his lifetime.