Monday, January 5, 2015
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Regional horror films are the sort of thing every film gnostic lives for. Well do I remember the days of noting strange titles on drive-in marquees and wondering about their origin. Everyone of us used to know at least somebody who caught The Night Daniel Died on a one-week run or discovered the original Night of the Living Dead at the bottom third of week-end bill. And once in a great while we too might have found something special at 2:30AM on a local TV station. Because having access to this sort of experience is what made you cool among other film geeks.
So I was delighted that Mr. Ted Moehring would elect to send me a DVD-R (in an illustrated clam shell, no less!) of his gallo, Bloodbath in the House of Knives. Made in the isolated town of Boyertown, PA ( and surrounding environs), Bloodbath is a neat little film that shows how people with limited means can still create something to hold the attention. Using a cast of unknowns, it manages to capture the spirit of Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Suspiria.
The plot is complex: a nightclub hypnotist puts a man in a trance. Suddenly, the trancee goes on a rampage, killing a member of the audience before he is felled by a bullet from an unknown shooter. Meanwhile a sinister figure in black and wearing a theater mask is randomly killing people in the town where the movie takes place. And a woman named Ivy keeps getting threatening phone messages from a stalker. Are the killings related? And when is the intrepid police detective going to put it all together?
And there are a number of effect-laden murders, none accomplished with CGI or growth hormones. At least one is quite scary.
Lloyd Kaufman does an excellent job of playing himself. As a matter of fact, I can't think of anyone else who could do such a good job playing Lloyd Kaufman. The only problem is Lloyd Kaufman is supposed to be playing a sleazy lawyer in this movie.
A few other complaints would be the lack of exterior shots. Some local color might have been nice. At least I was able to see the town across from where I live for a few minutes in The Lovely Bones. But I don't recall any news of Mr. Moehring shutting down Boyertown traffic to film Bloodbath.
Good use of lighting, color, and a surprise ending. I hope we'll be seeing more of Ted Moehring.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Fascinating film about maverick publisher Barney Rosset. The complex doccumentary details his rise as a poor little rich kid with too much time and money on this hands to the free speech icon he is today. Along the way we see him found The Evergreen Review, turn Grove Press into a cutting edge book company and distribute amazing films. Countless interviews fill in the details. My only complain is the soundtrack draws too much attention to itself. You also get to see the aging Rosset interviewed by Al Goldstein right before the latter was about to have some major legal problems of his own. Not to be missed.