Collaborating with John McGovern and Julia Johnson, I contributed a few words on Wrong Festival (specifically about Future of the Left and Tokyo Taboo) for issue 89 of Bido Lito! My original contributions were truncated for length, so I have presented my original, unedited musings here for your enjoyment.
The attempt to combine humor and horror is a dicey proposition at best, which makes this film all the more extraordinary. The Return of the Living Dead weaves the two genre together seamlessly, each one complimenting the other. The screenplay and cast are perfect, with the always reliable Clu Gallagher holding the action together. A group of attractive young people plays their roles with a combination of believable finesse, terror and hormonal fever interspersed with slapstick style hysteria. Any movie with Linnea Quigley as part of the cast certainly is headed in the right direction.
“They’re back from the grave and ready to party!”
It’s fair to say that Straight to Hell isn’t widely considered to be one of director Alex Cox’s best films. Some people may even consider it to be his worst.
However, whilst its creation, cast, setting and gonzo punk style, make it an undeniable curiosity, it is its adaptation and reclamation of popular genre style, that may make Straight to Hell Cox’s most notably cine-literate film. For the uninitiated: Cox was the punk filmmaker who made it big early on, blew it nearly as quickly, and has steadfastly done his own thing ever since.
“A story of blood, money, guns, coffee, and sexual tension.”
Never having seen Vicious Lips (also known as Pleasure Planet) when it was first released back in 1986, this is one of those cult movies that has been on my list for a very long time but I’ve never gotten around to seeing. Because it’s a little harder to get and they never seem to replay it on cable, I’d actually forgotten about it. So when it popped up on Comet, I DVR’d it like nobody’s business.
“Beneath a blood-red moon, the dream, electric. The planet, futuristic. The nightmare, animalistic.”
Anyone with even the slightest interest in home entertainment recognises the importance of VHS. The marketing and promotion from the independent distribution companies elevated the medium to such an extent that collectors today now happily pay significant amounts of money for a VHS tape; not for the movie itself, but for the incredible artwork/design featured on the cover.