Archive for Village of the Damned

The Carpenters

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by dcairns


As a change from my usual past-time of making up compendium movie titles (you know, like, THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN IS A WOMAN, or DIAL V FOR VENDETTA or WHEN DIRTY HARRY MET CRAZY LARRY) which allow one to save time by imagining two or more films at once (there are TOO MANY MOVIES! Couldn’t we just mislay Brett Ratner’s entire oeuvre or something?), I’ve been working on a scheme to miniaturise John Carpenter’s career, converting his feature films into music promos for popular music artistes. This would allow his entire body of work to be watched in an afternoon, making film studies quicker and simpler.

Allow me to demonstrate.

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK would become ESCAPE FROM NEW ORDER, replacing one electronic soundtrack with another, and playing the whole film just slightly faster to make it the same length as Blue Monday. The belated sequel (and I plan on writing something about that particular phenomenon, with ideas for how D.W. Griffith and Fred Niblo might revive their careers) could be called ESCAPE FROM E.L.O. Carpenter’s pointless remake of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED could even retain its title, but with Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies digitally inserted in place of Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley. I’m not saying it’s an improvement but it is a refreshing change of direction.

ELVIS! can also keep the same title, but now it’s going to be about Elvis Costello. Sorry.

TV thriller SOMEONE’S WATCHING ME will now incorporate the song of the same name by Rockwell, who will be played by Adrienne Barbeau.

THEY LIVE! will now be a concert film, with the full title THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: LIVE!

Here are some more:








That last one could have just been called IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and been about Madness, but it made me laugh and in fact is the entire reason I wrote this post. If anyone has any more pop group/movie title mash-ups ideas, let’s have them.

12 Angry Films

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2008 by dcairns

There’s a mutating meme coursing across the interweb — bloggers challenging each other to name twelve films they haven’t seen. The task varies from blog to blog, sometimes amounting to a confession of what well-known or important movies the author hasn’t caught up with, sometimes tending towards a list of extreme rarities that nobody can find.

I think both lists have value. Maybe somebody out there will be able to help me out with the films I want to get my mitts on. And maybe naming the films I haven’t seen will shame me into watching them. I also like the Self-Styled Siren’s approach, which involves listing twelve films in her collection which she hasn’t gotten around to running yet (including LA FIN DU JOUR!).

So my first list will be twelve rare films that I went to considerable effort to get, then didn’t watch.

1. THE POWER AND THE GLORY. An early Preston Sturges screenplay. Looked for this for AGES, finally got it a couple months ago. Haven’t even peeked at it. What a maroon!

2. Early Hitchcock. I’ve seen most of the thrillers, but odd things like RICH AND STRANGE are sitting neglected. Nice quality, from the recent box set of early Hitch… I’m contemplating spending a whole week running all the Hitch I haven’t seen. Yep, I’m CONTEMPLATING it…

3. Murnau’s TARTUFFE. Bought the Kino edition from America. I keep putting it on, then getting distracted. It may not be major Murnau, but it certainly has inspired bits (I love the style of the modern framing story more than the actual Moliere adaptation), and if I watched it properly who knows what I’d get out of it?

4. Michael Powell’s quota quickies. A fascinating glimpse into the creative process: watch Powell slowly spread his wings and try things out and gain confidence, on threadbare budgets and schedules so brief the Kleig lights barely have time to warm up. I have a number of these, all more or less unwatched. Let CROWN VS STEVENS stand for them all.

5. UN REVENANT. A fog-bound Parisian gangster film in the poetic realist vein, directed by Christian-Jaque and starring the mighty Louis Jouvet. I paid good money for a fine copy of this. So why haven’t I watched it, two years later? BECAUSE I AM AN ARSE.

6. Resnais’s MURIEL. Got very excited about seeing this, bought it, watched ten minutes, was intrigued, got interrupted, never went back. I’m dreadful. A failure as a man, and as an assemblage of molecules.

7. LES ORGEILLEUX. Gerard Philipe gives an astonishing performance (I peeked) in Yves Allegret and Rafael E Portas’ sensational drama. An unusually articulate IMDb reviewer calls it “one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen”. It may be one of the greatest films I haven’t seen. How would I know?

8. THE HUMAN CONDITION. Masaki Kobayashi’s nine-hour three-film extravaganza, released by Criterion but now out of print. Miraculously got a copy via Mark Cousins, then failed to watch it. Kobayashi is one Fiona’s very favourite filmmakers, but I think the phrase “nine hours” is putting her off.

9. MARILYN. Wolf Rilla (VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED) directs this British B-movie answer to THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. Got a surprise TV airing this year, I recorded it. Then kind of set it to one side. We met Wolf Rilla’s son once, Nico Rilla. He recommended a Rilla movie with a terrific title: THE WORLD TEN TIMES OVER.

10. THE HONEYMOON KILLERS. Perfectly nice pre-record boxed DVD of this lying on the living room floor amid a heap. And yes, I know Scorsese directed part of it, I know the story behind his firing, and I was able to use that information to work out which bits he directed. And I’ve watched those bits. But I need to watch the whole thing!

11. LE TROU. I have this Jacques Becker crime yarn in a beautiful Criterion Collection edition, (and TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI too). I loan it to people. They watch it. I don’t. And yet I liked CASQUE D’OR quite a bit.

12. UNDERWORLD BEAUTY. I do like a Seijun Suzuki yakuza flick. I’ve watched BRANDED TO KILL numerous times (I still get utterly confused). And yet this one remains unwatched. I am an idiot!

Of course, I’ve barely scratched the surface…


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