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  • The Crazies

    The Crazies

    ★★★★

    Released only a few years before he made his two greatest films, 'Martin' and 'Dawn of the Dead,' 'The Crazies' is an odd entry in the George A. Romero canon. The film concerns a small Pennsylvania town where a plane carrying a top secret biological weapon has crash landed in the nearby mountain range. The chemical seeps into the water supply causing infected citizens to go mad, murder each other, destroy their homes, and rampage through the streets. The military…

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    I’ve already watched this film twice in 2020. I’ve held off on reviewing it, but today I felt compelled to jot down some thoughts about watching 'Texas Chainsaw' on the 4th of July this year. The experience has really stuck with me. I remember nothing felt right about a holiday taking place at the time, especially one that celebrates a country that remains so undeserving of praise at the moment. Instead of the traditional BBQ, some friends and I did…

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  • Messiah of Evil

    Messiah of Evil

    ★★★★

    When asked what attracts people to 'Messiah of Evil' in an interview on Code Red’s Blu-ray release, Willard Huyck says it’s an “odd film,” which he believes allows audiences to interpret what it’s “about” in a variety of ways. But its appeal for me is actually the opposite — the “about” is the least important part. In its released form, the story of 'Messiah of Evil' is, by any Screenwriting 101 professor’s account, a total mess. But the lack of…

  • Arbor

    Arbor

    I don’t have much to say after this first viewing but I think I’ll be spending more time with Geiser’s films. This one is very eerie, like a series of memories being forgotten right before your eyes. A collection of her short films are available on Fandor and I recommend checking them out. 

    Thanks to Rob for the recommendation! Look forward to learning more about Geiser’s work.

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  • Safe

    Safe

    ★★★★★

    There is an interview with Guy Maddin on the ‘My Winnipeg’ Criterion disc in which he compares melodrama to Werner Herzog's ecstatic truths. Maddin defines melodrama as "life uninhibited,” a style where characters can turn their insides out by articulating their deepest emotions in their fullest and most expressive forms. In ‘Safe,’ Haynes does something unique with melodrama, because he treats the film’s most ecstatic moments like they are being yelled through gritted teeth. There is a disharmony between the…

  • Meek's Cutoff

    Meek's Cutoff

    ★★★★★

    For all practical purposes, 'Meek’s Cutoff' is a Western. But for many viewers, here lies the problem, for at its heart 'Meek’s Cutoff' doesn’t function like a genre film. It certainly revises and challenges traditional elements of the Western genre — accentuating the females’ perspective, avoiding an action-centric narrative for something more explorative — but 'Meek’s Cutoff' is the type of film that shows a weakness in words like “subversive." Reichardt isn’t just toying with conventions, she is leading us…