Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Introducing a new type post I'm calling:
Incredibly Strange Films™

1980 - USA - The Forbidden Zone - B&W

This one is a real LouLou.

The Hercules family moves into a house with their exchange student (Frenchie) and they find a portal to another world in the closet. The portal feeds into a giant digestive tract and the passenger/traveler is pooped out into the 6th dimension. King Fausto is played by Herve Villechaize (Tattoo from Fantasy Island).
One bright sparkly moment in the whole film is Satan as played by Danny Elfman. He is joined here by the Knights of the Sacred Order of Oingo Boingo.
The sets are big cardboard cut-outs. Yeah, it's super- low-budget and quite crap, really. There's one hilarious alphabet song scene in the film, but otherwise, I'd say avoid it unless you have an unnatural urge to see Herve Villechaize, or the understandable inclination to see Danny Elfman.
1992 - Man Bites Dog - France (C'est arrivé près de chez vous)
This is a French film by Belgian director Rémy Belvaux. At the time the movie seemed rather original but I think deserves a second look. When I think of it now, it seems oddly prescient of reality tv and film programming, and of the collusion of the filmmaker (documentarian *ahem*) with the subject's activities.
A documentary film crew follows a psychopath around, filming his navel-gazing rantings and his occasional random murder. He's obviously deranged but is manipulative/charismatic and eventually draws the film crew into his activities until they find they are at the business end of his nefarious urges.
Looking back, I would like to think there was a statement being made about the culpability of the people who film people bent on evil rather than acting to prevent same. They are glorifying a bad actor, but feel they should be immune from consequences.
Odd footnote is that after relatively great international acclaim for this film, director Belvaux didn't do much more. In 1998, he was in the news as one of 4 people who cream-pied the face of Bill Gates. Last September, Rémy Belvaux committed suicide, aged 39.
This is a good film, better than average, I'd say. Worth watching if you are in the mood for something a little offbeat.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well now I want to see them both! Great finds and boffo idea for an occasional series.

Lin said...

Phlegmmy, you might want to check out this YouTube video on Hell by Rowan Atkins A.K.A. Mr. Bean: