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.
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.
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.
Linda Blair (The Exorcist) is all grown up, and out for revenge. This movie is one-half total cheese, one-half brutal exploitation, and 100% not for sensitive viewers. Sounds perfect for Friday night, right? Savage Streets is best enjoyed with your favorite mind-altering substance.
Bonus: This movie got some really well-made poster art thanks to Linda Blair’s involvement (and revealing outfit). You can see them over at Wrong Side of the Art.
Here’s an entertaining Technicolor British horror film starring Peter Cushing (also with Anomalous Cinema favorites Patrick Magee and Christopher Lee). Those facts alone don’t sell you on this? Well, it is not just any old possessed skull. It’s the former head of… the Marquis de Sade himself (insert thunder sound effect here)! In spite of what the poster and trailer want you to think, this is slow, suspenseful horror. Know that going in and you’ll probably enjoy it.
Experimental plastic surgery leads to the zombie apocalypse. This is arguably David Cronenberg’s best early film. Yes, the low budget shows at times. However this is intelligent, action-packed horror, and among my all-time favorites. It’s a shame Marilyn Chambers wasn’t able to permanently transition into legit acting. She’s good in this movie.
The Shaw Brothers made this absolutely bonkers horror / action flick years before The Toxic Avenger. It is even more gloriously ridiculous than Toxie. You might just enjoy this movie so much you have to own the collectible vinyl figure (it ain’t cheap though).
Most people missed that the director behind One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest made a very good historical drama revolving around “the father of modern art” Francisco Goya. It stars Stellan Skarsgård, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, and Randy “Cannibal Father Knows Best” Quaid. As I often say, it isn’t perfect. However Goya’s Ghosts is a solid choice if you’re looking for a movie off the beaten path.
We all know Hitler was an asshole. Did you know that the cherry on top of his asshole behavior was stealing and destroying great works of art? It’s true. You can learn all about it in this excellent documentary. I honestly I give The Rape of Europa my highest recommendation.
Not available on Blu-ray.
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