Tuesday, January 10, 2023

SUSPIRIA (1977)

Twenty-eight-year-old American ballet student Jessica Harper arrives at a ballet school in Germany just in time to see another student frantically sprinting out the front door and then run off  into the woods screaming. The next morning, Jessica learns that that girl was brutally murdered by not only being stabbed multiple times, but also having a cord tied around her neck and then being tossed through the skylight of a tall building. A normal human being would probably start to have second thoughts about this creepy school staffed by creepy people, but not ol’ Jessica. She loves that goddamn ballet! Not that we ever actually get to see her do any of it because the very first time she even tries to do anything physical she falls the fuck out and start bleeding from her nose and mouth. Now too sick to take part in any classes, she sits around her room and counts the footsteps of people in the hallway. It’s all very exciting.

SUSPIRIA has always been praised as being a great horror movie (it’s currently at 7.3/10 on IMDB with 96k votes), but, outside of the soundtrack, I’ve never cared for it. I first saw it back in the 1990’s on VHS and figured that I was missing something because it was probably edited (and it might have been), but I’ve revisited it multiple times over the decades and while it is visually appealing, especially the colours, it’s a fucking slog to get through. The best thing about SUSPIRIA is that awesome soundtrack by Goblin.

Slow pace, kill scenes that are nowhere near as violent as they are hyped up to be, beautiful colours, interesting set designs, the worst case of box stacking in movie history, average acting that leans towards being campy, the origin of the "Stop it!" sample from Ministry's "Psalm 69", Udo Kier in one scene with his voice dubbed over, zero nudity, disappointing ending, thick blood, characters too stupid to live, crazy ass wallpaper, maggots, influential soundtrack that makes up for the disappointing film.

SUSPIRIA isn’t my cup of tea, but still worth watching by horror fans for its historical importance.

Remake - Suspiria (2018)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

LICENCE TO KILL (1989)

James Bond is in America to attend a friend's wedding.  Naturally, he parachutes (from an airplane that is suspended from a helicopter) into the wedding.  After that he nearly burns the brides face with an overpowered lighter and a man's leg is bitten off by a shark.  At the same time, a crooked DEA agent helps an imprisoned drug lord escape.  Soon, Bond is on the case and before you can say "They should make an ultra macho version of POINT BREAK where Bodhi and Utah fuck.", Bond is popping wheelies in a semi, tossing people out of an airplane, feeding a guy to maggots, holding a knife to a woman's throat and getting kicked in the face by a ninja.  In other words, it's a typical day for James Bond.

LICENCE TO KILL is a step up from the previous Bond film.  Timothy Dalton also has more to work with here and does a fine job.  Quick pace, a VH1 t-shirt, lots of explosions, wacky gadgets, only a few seconds screen time for Moneypenny, okay but forgettable villain, a young Benicio del Toro as a sneering bad guy, disappointing female leads, a guys head exploding on screen, cool 80's fashions, mildly interesting locations.

Overall, LTK isn't anything to rip your dick off over, but it's still a fun watch.

Three thunderballs out of five.

Part 1 - Dr. No (1962)
Part 2 - From Russia With Love (1963)
Part 3 - Goldfinger (1964)
Part 4 - Thunderball (1965)
Part 5 - You Only Live Twice (1967)
Part 6 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Part 7 - Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Part 8 - Live and Let Die (1973)
Part 9 - The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Part 10 - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Part 11 - Moonraker (1979)
Part 12 - For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Part 13 - Octopussy (1983)
Part 14 - A View to a Kill (1985)
Part 15 - The Living Daylights (1987)
Part 17 - GoldenEye (1995)
Part 18 - Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Part 19 - The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Part 20 - Die Another Day (2002)
Part 21 - Casino Royale (2006)
Part 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008)
Part 23 - Skyfall (2012)
Part 24 - Spectre (2015)
Part 25 - No Time to Die (2021)

Non-Eon James Bond films:
Casino Royale (1967)
Never Say Never (1983)