Good heavens, would you look at the time! Why, it's time for a franchise! And how very topical, since Scream--which is what we're calling the fifth movie because sure, why not--is coming out this month and I'm... um... hm. Okay, so the original plan for January was to watch movies by Mr. Ulli Lommel, who I fucking hate because he made some of the worst garbage I've ever seen. Then I found out that Scream was coming out on the 14th, so I canceled those plans and pivoted to the Scream franchise with the intent of wrapping it all up with the new movie. And then the Omicron variant hit and I can't shake a stick without hitting someone who's caught COVID in the past two weeks. In person hangouts are being trashed and the thought of going to a theater is just... it's too risky. But I'd already watched the first two films in anticipation of this, so here we are. 2021 is off to a great start.
The world is--arguably--a more progressive place than it was in the past. People feel safer to be their true selves--although again, that varies from place to place, so just imagine that every positive statement in this opening comes with a little asterisk next to it. And that openness is reflected in media, with queer characters appearing more and more frequently, even in stuff for kids. Enter Luca, a story about coming out and the hostility one may face in living their life.
The first time I heard the premise of Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas, I though it was hilariously fucked up. Now, when most people hear the word "ghosting," they think of ditching someone without saying a word. And yes, that is a plot element here: a girl goes on a date with a guy and then ghosts him. The catch is THAT SHE FUCKING DIED. SHE GHOSTED HIM BECAUSE SHE DIED AND IS NOW A GHOST. That's macabre! And hilarious! And it's a Christmas movie? Sign my morbid ass up!
As I said in the Eraserhead post, I watched a double feature of films made in 1977 by first-time directors that were surreal as all hell and part of the Criterion Collection. How very specific, but that applies to Eraserhead just as much as Hausu, AKA House. Director Mr. Nobuhiko Obayashi had previously worked on commercials, and that comes across in how bizarre and at times episodic the film feels.
A while back, the Criterion Collection had a sale and I bought a couple DVDs that I'd had my eye on. I've already reviewed a few of the movies I picked up, namely The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Beau Travail. But I'd been sitting on the rest for a while now, and it's been a growing annoyance in the back of my skull. So I'm finishing up this week with a light theme! I'm going to be talking about 2 movies I picked up from the Criterion Collection that are surreal experiences from first-time directors released in 1977, starting with Mr. David Lynch's Eraserhead. Yup, that very specific description applies to more than one cult classic.
I want to start by saying that I enjoyed Eternals. I went in with some fairly low expectations after all the mixed reviews, but I thought it was better than expected. It was fun--and not in a "so dumb it wraps back around to enjoyable" way--and despite the long run time, I never really felt it drag. But there be spoilers ahead, so keep reading at your own discretion. Like the header said, I won't spoil the big moments, but still.
On the surface, Lord of Illusions has very little to do with the Hellraiser franchise. One is about a shrewd detective in way over his head among supernatural nonsense, while the other is all about Hell. But what if I were to tell you that they take place in the same universe? Because that's absolutely the case, straight from Mr. Clive Barker himself. So this film actually does fit into this year's October themed event, The Hellbound Halloween! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I want you all to know that I tried. Around the middle of September (after watching Malignant) I took a break from horror movies. The plan was to go without until October, when I'm going to start the same thing I did last year where it's nothing but horror movies every weekday, with a franchise running throughout the month (last year was October of the Corn). But I'm a horror junkie, man! It's my favorite genre! So I'm starting the spooky spirit early with Willy's Wonderland, a horror comedy starring Mr. Nic Cage. It's dumb!
I honestly didn't plan on this being a mini-event week. I started with 1966's Django, then found out about 2017's biography Django about musician Django Reinhardt, who the western gunslinger is named after. Then I went down a rabbit hole of all the unofficial sequels that had "Django" in the title and noticed Sukiyaki Western Django, an English language Japanese western by... Mr. Takashi Miike? The same Mr. Takashi Miike responsible for Ichi the Killer, Audition, Visitor Q, and The Happiness of the Katakuris? Well shit, I guess I have to watch it! And so here we are. No more "Django" movies next week, I promise.
I'm back with more Beethoven movies! Yes, the franchise with fewer films than Air Bud and Air Buddies (14) continues on with its first sequel. I imagine this was made because the first Beethoven made back 8 times its budget, and money talks. As we get further into the franchise I'm going to start assuming that "a desire for money" is the main motivator behind ideas like "Beethoven, but The Prince and the Pauper" or "Beethoven, but with Christmas magic." But those are future reviews; today we're going to talk about the one with an attempted sexual assault and a sexual abuser!