Friday, May 25, 2012
LIE#1 (with a review of DVD MIA “The Day of the Beast”)
LERNER INTERNATIONAL ENTERPRISES—
Much in the same way Advanced Idea Mechanics was an offshoot of HYDRA,
This is an offshoot/spin-off of (sequel to?)
The United Provinces of Ivanlandia,
& this site intends to be more straightforward than its schizo-lysergic-manic big brother.
LERNER INTERNATIONAL ENTERPRISES will be an attempt to publish more, editorialize more, and concentrate on the writing.
All matters of interest will be covered, but
primarily LIE will be covering films, and how they might relate to my evolving theories regarding The Cinema of Weirdness.
So, what is “The Cinema of Weirdness”?
Welllll, lemme tell ya… I’m still working that one out.
It’s not necessarily a cult movie or a weird flick, something TCM used to air at 2:30 am;
I know it when I see it, and I can tell you some of its boundaries—however, it’s also a game that moves as it’s played—
And the term “cult movie” is one I have problems with, as well—because basically the biggest money-makers have the largest cults: look at the Star Wars movies, or Twilight, or Titanic, or The Hunger Games, or Harry Potter, or Avatar—sheesh, people were painting themselves blue after that one!
So, are you saying “cult,” when you should be saying “niche”?
Not to say that there aren’t cult movies in the “obsessive fan” sense, most famously The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and, to a lesser extent Phantom of the Paradise or Repo Man, and others.
Or the cults for films that are usually reviled by the arbitrators of “taste” and the majority of society, like some of Lucio Fulci, Ken Russell or John Carpenter’s movies.
It’s those flicks that are potential Cinema of Weirdness material: flicks that create obsessions in others—because they are made by the obsessed? Flicks that push that envelope—and aren’t boring.
One thing’s for certain, it needs a level of uniqueness or personality, and, if not pure aggression or anger, then it must have some teeth (but there’s always exceptions)—in most cases though, the film we see is the only possible film that that director could have made, and as such has a unique and distinct personality.
For example, I don’t think David Lynch could have made any other movie than Eraserhead when he did, and I think the same for Jodoworsky with The Holy Mountain, John Boorman’s Zardoz, Coffin Joe’s At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, and Timothy Carey with The World’s Greatest Sinner.
Other the other hand, big studios are always making “what the hell were they thinking” flicks (due to the film’s craziness, insanity and/or being over-the-top—or for having trangressive ideas), and most die and are forgotten—but some just really stand out and live on: Infra-Man, 2012, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Godzilla Vs. Hedora, Kitten With a Whip, The Adventures of Milo & Otis, and Otto Preminger & Jackie Gleason’s LSD-fest Skidoo, to name just some.
Then there are the sleazy, grindhouse flicks that rise above their poor station in life: The Todd Killings, Fight for Your Life and Cannibal Holocaust are a few.
The Cinema of Weirdness has a wide spectrum, and places to grow, but in the interim, there will be reviews, and commentary. Like this, a film that most certainly could be considered part of the Cinema of Weirdness:
The Day of the Beast (El día de la Bestia; 1995; Alex de la Iglesia)
More of a very well-structured blasphemous comedy-thriller than a horror flick, The Day of the Beast is a trickster movie: first a priest gets killed by the most unlikely murder weapon possible, then another priest starts sinning and sinning again, but in the most petty and almost pathetic ways.
This trickery continues until, at one point, the viewer is not sure whether what we’re seeing is a hallucination—things are so mundane, but off; we are convinced our protagonist is wrong, then WHAM! We get the hideous truth.
You don’t have to be a Catholic to appreciate this movie, just someone who can appreciate twists and turns as an innocent priest (with the help of a heavy metal acid-head and a bogus TV occultist) starts sinning to save the world in a very convoluted plot to stop the birth of the antichrist on the eve of the Apocalypse: The priest has figured out the mathematical code in the Book of Revelations and determined that the end is now. He figures the only way he can find the antichrist is if he’s a Devil Worshipper and to do that he needs to sin.
A very funny and smart film, but one that isn’t afraid of slapstick or bad taste (without venturing into truly disgusting), The Day of the Beast is worth hunting down—
Many of the director’s other films are available in the US on home viewing formats, but not this one for some reason. I watched it HERE.