It’s rare that I take Netflix at its word about a horror film I need to see. Yet, this past weekend, I went with the suggestion. 13 Sins was recently added to the streaming service and actually had generally good reviews. I really committed when I saw it came from the same writer/director as The Last Exorcism.
Horror Thursday: 13 Sins
I Am Divine is a captivating documentary about the life and career of Harris Glen Milstead, better known by his stage name/drag persona Divine. Divine had a long and expansive career through many forms of media (film, stage, music, and television) and was by no means an overnight success. His most critically acclaimed performance, as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, was, sadly, his last. He passed away from a heart attack right when he finally seemed poised for the mainstream success he dreamed of his whole life.
I Am Divine tells the story of the notorious performer through archival footage and interviews with Divine’s peers. John Waters appears, naturally, as do Mink Stole, Susan Lowe, and Mary Vivian Pearce. Beyond the typical Waters’ players, Divine’s influence and reputation are truly shown. Journalist Michael Musto, actor Tab Hunter, and Emmy-winning casting director Pat Moran (among many other surprising participants) sing Divine’s praises for the entire run time.
I love it when my interests and needs can actually cross over. I watched The Call of Cthulhu as the last piece of my Lovecraft on the Silver Screen panel (this Saturday at ConnectiCon, come say hi) and knew it would also work for Horror Thursday. It’s the first (and probably only) time I’ve reviewed a short for the column. To be fair, at 45 minutes long, it is structured and feels like an actual feature film. It’s also surprisingly good.
Horror Thursday: The Call of Cthulhu
Next summer, I need to also consider what has been covered at Man, I Love Films for my Cinefessions viewing schedule. I had to go back in my notes a couple weeks for the new Horror Thursday subject. I was glad to cover it. Diabolique is one of my favorite noir films and just falls outside my top 10 horror films of all time. It’s just so smart, beautiful, and well-executed.
Horror Thursday: Diabolique
I had to break my trend of reviewing the weekly theme film for the Cinefessions Summer Screams Challenge this week. I just don’t see eXistenZ as a horror film.
Now Curse of the Cat People. That’s a great horror film. Such nuance. Such life. Such beauty. Such a terrifying recitation of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
Horror Thursday: Curse of the Cat People
15 years ago, an unexplained disaster hit Japan, wiping out a nuclear reactor and killing Joe Brody’s wife Elle. Now, in 2014, his son Ford is called to Japan to claim him from police custody. Joe has convinced himself that he can prove the disaster was not an earthquake if he breaks into the quarantine zone surrounding the disabled reactor. Ford humors him, only to discover that scientists have known for years that Joe’s theories about giant creatures and echolocation are correct.
Godzilla, the fifth attempt to reboot the giant monster series from Japan for an American audience, thankfully succeeds as a Godzilla film. The focus is not placed on the monster himself but on the people from all walks of civilian, science, and military life trying to find a solution to the rampage of an inexplicable beast.
One of my crutches in reviews is pointing out I’d rather watch something ambitious that fails than something safe that’s boring. Well, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh is the epitome of that kind of film. I applaud its ambition. I love the style, the mood, and the refusal to follow the traditional standards of film. However, it doesn’t quite come together as the narrative film it’s trying to be. It’s art, is what it is.
Horror Thursday: The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh
As part of the 3rd Annual Cinefessions Summer Screams Challenge, I’ve spent the past two days watching all of the films in the Hellraiser franchise. I’ve been obsessed with this series since seeing the trailers for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth when I was seven years old and have only grown to love the universe and Clive Barker’s expanded works since.
However, because I so disliked Hellraiser III, I never really paid attention to the six subsequent sequels released straight to video. I’ve seen bits and pieces of most of them, but not the whole way through while actually paying attention.
This time, I paid attention. Oh, goodness, how I paid attention.