Richard Elfman – Forbidden Zone (1980)

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Oingo Boingo fans and midnight movie mavens will love this bizarre black-and-white feature packed with music, madness, and members of the Elfman clan. The story revolves around the Hercules family, who live in a house that just happens to hide a secret entrance to the Sixth Dimension in the basement. When daughter Frenchy (Marie-Pascale Elfman) skips school one afternoon, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the forbidden door, and winds up a prisoner in this alternate world. King Fausto (Herve Villechaize), the diminutive leader of the Sixth Dimension, is enamored with the beautiful young Frenchy and keeps her in the same cell as his favorite concubines, despite the disapproval of Queen Doris (Susan Tyrrell). Continue reading

Julien Temple – The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle (1980)

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from imdb:
A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols “documentary”, told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular and punk rock in general were an elaborate scam perpetrated by him in order to make “a million pounds.” Silly and hard to follow at times, but worth seeing for some excellent Pistols concert footage, some wickedly amusing animated sequences, and Sid Vicious’ eerily prophetic performance of “My Way.” Continue reading

Jean Rollin – Le lac des morts vivants AKA Zombie Lake (1981)

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In a small lakeside town in the French countryside, young women are disappearing without a trace. The superstitious locals blame “The Lake of Ghosts,” but the town’s mayor (Howard Vernon) seems reluctant, or powerless, to take any action. When another girl is found with her throat ripped out, a Paris reporter begins to uncover the deadly secrets of the lake and the dead, green-faced Nazis who are aroused to action! Continue reading

Curt McDowell – Thundercrack! (1975)

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from imdb
A true underground satire, 11 October 1999
8/10
Author: Dave Godin (Dave G) from Sheffield, England

THUNDERCRACK! is, in a strange way, a scurrilous precursor of DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID, and with wicked wit and precision, subverts not only the entire `grammar’ of film, but an endless succession of Hollywood images, situations and clichés in the process. It even manages to satirise pornography; no mean feat when such images still retain their power to shock and unsettle some people! Using the familiar “lonely-house on a storm-swept night acting as a safe haven for lost and confused travellers” scenario, (some chance!!), it explores the manners and mores of `normal’ society with such wicked wit that only the most puritanical would not be capable of responding. Thankfully made in black-and-white, the entire cast and, it appears, crew, throw themselves into the venture without inhibition or qualm, and the result is Hollywood turned on it’s head, and all those previously `hidden’ and subliminal subplots exposed for what they really are. For broad-minded adults, a most amusing and entertaining tonic, showing perhaps, that even sex should not be taken TOO seriously. Continue reading

Dennis Hopper – Easy Rider (1969)

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Nobody went to see Easy Rider (1969) only once. It became one of the rallying-points of the late ’60s, a road picture and a buddy picture, celebrating sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and the freedom of the open road. It did a lot of repeat business while the sweet smell of pot drifted through theaters. Seeing the movie years later is like opening a time capsule. It provides little shocks of recognition, as when you realize they aren’t playing “Don’t Bogart That Joint” for laughs.

Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper play Captain America and Billy, journeying cross-country on their motorcycles, using a drug deal in Los Angeles to finance a trip to Mardi Gras. The drug is cocaine (sold to a dealer played by rock producer Phil Spector), but their drug of choice is marijuana. Billy gets the giggles around the campfire at night. Captain America, who could handle it better, is cool, quiet, remote, a Christ figure who flies the American flag on his gas tank, his helmet and the back of his leather jacket.” Continue reading

Henri Xhonneux – Marquis (1989)

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From IMDB:
‘Marquis’ is the only film I’ve ever seen by the oddly-named Henri Xhonneux, but it’s so imaginative and entertaining that I’m eager to see more of his work. ‘Marquis’ alleges to be based on incidents in the life and novels of the Marquis de Sade. If you’re seeking a “Cliff Notes” crib-sheet about de Sade or his works, look elsewhere. On its own merits, though, this film is highly enjoyable for those with a taste for the bizarre. Some of the activities of the real-life Marquis de Sade were downright contemptible, but I intensely admire the tremendous efforts he took to write down his prose in prison (where he was forbidden to possess paper or writing implements) and to smuggle his text out of prison for publication. I was intrigued to learn that the Marquis was a prisoner in the Bastille until only a few days before it was captured by the revolutionaries in 1789; it now appears that de Sade actively fomented the riot of Bastille Day, shouting to the people outside that there were weapons and allies within the prison. Continue reading