Well today was…uncomfortable. It started at 2 AM when I woke up and found my tonsils were so swollen I could feel my breath whistling past them. They were so damn big, I kept swallowing reflexively, and every time it hurt worse than if a cheetah were to use them for speed bag practice. Somehow I got to sleep and woke up the same way later. Couldn’t eat any more than yogurt for breakfast. Thankfully the swelling went down after I took some antibiotics and drank lots of water, but its evening and it is still difficult to talk.
It was REALLY odd then, feeling this way, and watching Apocalypse Now: Redux. I also managed to see Hardware (finally!) and I really enjoyed it. The last movie I saw on my list of surrealistic, dark films was Videodrome. I drove 40 minutes to get these (including Blackula, and Eddie Murphy’s elusive ‘Delirious’ special). Hollywood Video and Blockbuster both bite sagging nuts because they don’t carry a wide enough selection of movies. Netflix–though they offer more–still didn’t seem to have either Apocalypse Now or Hardware for some reason. I enjoy these wacked out, stylistic forays into the human imagination. The bonus was that it’s given me a few ideas for Chapter 4.2…which will be interesting.
Prepare for heavy linkage!
Apocalypse Now: Redux, originally premiered in 2001, was just an extended version of the original film, which came out in 1979. Though I’ve never seen the original, I really enjoyed this version a lot. There were a lot of powerful images, and I felt the acting was pretty spot on. The only part about it I’d have to say I didn’t like was the plantation scene, which dragged on and on–I literally fast-forwarded through it. Aside from that, it was all just great. Marlin Brando does an amazing job as the disturbed Kurt, and seeing the final scene with him and Martin Sheen was pretty excellent. I’m not a history buff, but the Vietnam War has always fascinated me. Seeing this movie made me want to watch Full Metal Jacket again…then maybe Rescue Dawn. (and just because the last film would have Bale in it, I’d probably run to find American Psycho…which is such a deliciously demented movie)
After that I watched Hardware, which I mentioned on the blog a little while ago. It seemed to parade around its soundtrack a little bit here and there, but for the most part I understand that it was a film mired in alternative culture, and I think the music really lended to the post-apocalyptic setting. I somehow missed ever hearing about Iggy Pop doing a voice cameo, so it was a surprise to see his name come up in the credits. Given the film’s budget, Richard Stanley and Steven Chivers did an EXCELLENT job with direction and cinematography. You can see the financial restraints whenever the killer robot, M.A.R.K. 13 is onscreen, but the sonuvabitch is actually pretty creepy in my opinion. The use of color and lighting sucked me in pretty well, so this easily joins my list of cult favorites (right next to Repo Man and The Warriors.)
The last movie I watched today was Videodrome, from good ol’ David Cronenberg. It’s your basic “body horror”–a kind of niche genre of story and film that deals with severe abnormalities with the body (mutation, parasitism, general gore.) I was glad to see it wasn’t as contrived as Scanners, another one of Cronenberg’s films, but the man does seem to have a penchant for stories with opposing forces…not so much one character versus another, but one faction versus another. Like in politics, religion…or comic books. Even in his recent film, Eastern Promises, that still seemed quite apparent…but I can’t really hate the guy for it. It’s pretty common in stories.
Anyways…the film I felt was pretty disturbing in places (which not many horror movies manage to achieve) but around the end it started to lose the creepy feel and gained more of a forced ‘epic’ feel. The whole ‘snuff video making people go insane’ was pretty good (just seeing little clips of it made me nervous), but they lost me at the sudden conspiracy theory BS. The special effects, again, were VERY good, making me miss the days when movies didn’t leave it all up to computers to make things look cool. I think my favorite scene was when the main character tries to stick his head into his television set…
So hopefully I can come up with some interesting stuff to write for this coming chapter, considering the bizarre things I’ve seen today. Tack on the fact that I’ve been feeling exactly as Nyx and Elmiryn have in the story, and the only way I could fail to do a satisfactory update is to put my pants on my head and light it on fire…