Category Archives: Camp

Naked Lunch

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Release Date: December 27, 1991 (screened June 20, 2014 – 16th Annual Provincetown Film Festival)
Runtime: 115 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Peter Weller; Judy Davis; Ian Holm; Julian Sands; Monique Mercure; Roy Scheider

OK, full disclosure: this is one weird fuckin’ movie. David Cronenberg has never been the most mainstream of directors, but this one is truly odd. Talking cockroaches that masquerade as typewriters; horny centipedes; Judy Davis shooting up roach killer…it’s all here. Welcome to “Naked Lunch.” Continue reading

Showgirls

Showgirls

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Release Date: September 22, 1995
Runtime: 131 minutes
Rating: NC-17
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Elizabeth Berkley; Kyle MacLachlan; Gina Gershon; Gina Ravera; Glenn Plummer; Alan Rachins

Let’s not bullshit each other, folks. You know you love this boondoggle of a flick from 1995, to date the most widely released NC-17 movie ever produced. Yes, it is far from a perfect film, the final print perhaps not representing what most of the actors, if not the production team, had envisioned when they initially signed on. That is arguably the precise reason why “Showgirls” has achieved the kind of rarified cult status that puts it in the same company as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Mommie Dearest,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” among others. Continue reading

Body of Evidence

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Body-of-Evidence

 

Release Date: January 15, 1993
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: MGM
Director: Uli Edel
Cast: Willem Dafoe; Madonna; Joe Mantegna; Anne Archer; Julianne Moore; Frank Langella; Jurgen Prochnow

Hoo-boy!!! This one’s a doozy! No one in this train wreck could possibly have thought that they were in a good movie. If they did, I have some waterfront property in Kansas to sell them.

In the wake of the success of “Basic Instinct” in the spring of 1992, the erotic thriller was a “hot” commodity. There was “Whispers in the Dark” in August of that year, “Guilty As Sin” in June of ’93, and William Friedkin’s “Jade” in 1995. Even “Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone got back in the sack for “Sliver” in 1993. Most were lame excuses for big name stars to get naked. But none was more ridiculous than “Body of Evidence,” released in January (nuff said) of 1993. Starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe, this has to be one of the least intelligent movies ever put to celluloid. Continue reading

Motel Hell

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Motel-Hell

 

 

Release Date: October 18, 1980
Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Kevin Connor
Cast: Rory Calhoun; Nancy Parsons; Paul Linke; Nina Axelrod; Wolfman Jack

[POSSIBLE SPOILERS]

This is one fun, albeit totally demented movie!!

I love it when movies don’t take themselves too seriously.  This one has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, understanding its own warped sense of the macabre. As a result, it makes for quite a twisted hour and forty minutes. Continue reading

Xanadu

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Release Date: August 8, 1980
Runtime: 93 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Robert Greenwald
Cast: Olivia Newton-John; Gene Kelly; Michael Beck

Something about this movie draws me to it.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that it was so viciously derided upon its initial release, whether it’s the tack, tack, TACKY sets and costumes, whether it’s the actually pretty likable music and “Solid Gold”-ish style dancing, or my strange obsession with the former Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Whatever the reason, I will always watch “Xanadu” with a smile…not because it’s good, but because it has a sincerity that is endearing in its naivety. Continue reading

Lost Horizon (1973)

Lost-Horizon

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Release Date: March 17, 1973
Runtime: 150 minutes (feels like it!)
Rating: G
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Charles Jarrott
Cast: Peter Finch; Liv Ullmann; John Gielgud; Sally Kellerman; George Kennedy; Michael York; Olivia Hussey; Bobby Van; James Shigeta; Charles Boyer

Hoo-boy!  Where to start with this one?

This is Ross Hunter’s infamous musical version of James Hilton’s “Lost Horizon.”  Essentially laughed off the screen in 1973, Columbia Pictures was so ashamed of this movie that they never released it on home video (until they recently decided ‘What the hell!’ and released it on DVD on October 6, 2011 – available at Amazon), even though it clearly cost a bunch of money and had some big name (for the time) stars in it.  In fact, in film circles, this cinematic dung heap is known as ‘Lost Investment.’  Ouch!! Continue reading

The Oscar

The-Oscar

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Release Date: March 4, 1966
Runtime: 119 minutes
Rating: N/A
Studio: Paramount
Director: Russell Rouse
Cast: Stephen Boyd; Milton Berle; Elke Sommer; Jill St. John; Tony Bennett; a slew of other Oscar winners/nominees

While watching this train wreck of a film, a number of questions occurred to me. The first came to me five minutes into the film: Why does the strip club owner almost immediately pull a knife on Frankie and Hymie when they ask for the remainder of their money owed to them? Doesn’t seem like the most productive, not to mention professional, way to do business. That scene pretty much set the tone of the picture: that everything would be over-the-top and have little or no connection to the real world. (Comparisons here to “Showgirls,” made about thirty years later: in the first five minutes of that pic, a hitchhiking Nomi (the lead nutjob) almost immediately pulls a switchblade on the guy who picks her up …all because he asked her her name!) Anyway, having realized what kind of movie this was doomed to be, I settled in to watch the rest. About 20 minutes in, another question occurred to me: Why is there this constant, almost nagging melodramatic music underscoring the entire film? Not just specific scenes that may justify it, but ALL THE SCENES!!! Someone gets up from a chair, the music swells; someone crosses a room, there’s the music again, incessant and irritating. And the music’s so cheesy you need a lactose pill to listen to it!! Continue reading