Archive for the ‘Shock’ Category

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Shock

FYI: This controversial film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini (who was murdered shortly after its release) is based on the book, The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade. It is very graphic in nature so viewer beware! It’s still banned in Australia!

This notorious film is set in the Republic of Salo of Italy in a fascist area in 1944. Four old political guys (including the president) decided to marry each others’ daughters in the start of a bizarre ritual. They then orchestrated the kidnappings of 18 young men and women. They took them to a palace where they subjected them to violence, sex and corruption.

Now, back to what I was talking about before, how this film is MORE. It takes talent to be able to direct a film with complete balance between art and obscenity. I knew what I was seeing, and that it was repulsive, but it didn’t feel that way.

The reason for me was the camera work. There were lots of long shots, figures in a hallway, a person at the foot of the stairs, someone through a window.

The movie has a charm and grandeur to it that cushions everything else that may be objectionable.

This film is clever in that way, because you lose sight of the seriousness. Several parts are just plain funny, other scenes are visually beautiful, until the ending, when the reality of it comes crashing back down.

If you are used to these sorts of films and haven’t seen it I’d say watch it. But I know there are some of you out there who are new to the exploitation genre, and to you I would say have caution! This is not the type of movie you invite a new girlfriend to watch with you, or watch “just for fun”. You might hate it or think it’s brilliant, but the bottom line is that it’s a real piece of work.


House of the Devil (2009)

Posted: November 13, 2009 in Shock
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College sophomore Samantha Hughes is in dire need of cash to pay a deposit for her new apartment. She finds a position as a babysitter that seems too good to be true when she answers and ad posted on campus. $400, for one night, how awesome is that? Samantha’s best friend Megan gives her a ride to the house and insists on going in with her to meet the people who live there. Better safe than sorry, right?

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Afterward, Megan begs Sam to ditch the job, as the parents seem pretty weird, but she needs the money and doesn’t listen. After Megan leaves, things go completely fine and Sam occupies herself by snooping around the house and listening to her walkman. But, the night wears on, she bumps into a few strange clues that lead her to believe that maybe she should have listened to her friend after all.
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This has to be one of the most refreshing films I’ve seen in the past two years I’d say. Set in the early eighties, it pays homage to true 80’s film, featuring a very prolonged buildup, the climax occurring not until the last 20 minutes of the film. There was some really fantastic imagery, this scene I found particularly lovely:
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I also was way into the first death scene. For those not accustomed to the style of these slow build-up films this will really wake them up. From that point on things remain more tense, leading up to a visually stimulating climactic scene.
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This film was very stylish and fun. For fans of cults, pentagrams, super tall dudes, and pizza.