The Friday Night Horror Movie: Cure (1997)

cure movie poster

Unlike previous Friday nights, I’ve actually sat through tonight’s entire Horror Movie before writing this post. Theoretically, this means I can actually write a review of it now, instead of making vague promises to tell you what I think of it tomorrow (and then forgetting to actually do so). In reality, it is late, and I am tired, and my brain cannot think of anything to say about it.

Briefly, the plot involves a series of grisly murders being committed by seemingly ordinary people. There is a detective (Kôji Yakusho) trying to understand why this is happening, and an amnesiac (Masato Hagiwara) who may be hypnotizing them into doing it.

The plot is, at times, a bit silly and it is a whole lot enigmatic, but the director Kiyoshi Kurosawa fills it with atmosphere and mood. It is all about the vibe of the film more than the actual plot. I really quite loved it.

Two from Sergei Eisenstein: October (1928) & Alexander Nevsky (1938)

two from eisenstein

Sergei Eisenstein was one of the most important of the early directors. He’s someone I’ve heard about many times but until I watched and reviewed these two films back in November of last year I’d never actually set down and watched anything from him. I’m glad I finally did. You can read my reviews here.

Counterpoint (1968)

counterpoint blu-ray

There are a lot of boutique labels putting out all sorts of movies on Blu-ray these days. All the recent blockbusters get releases, of course, and the certified classics. Companies like Arrow Video and Severin and releasing cult films and old schlock horror movies. Kino Lorber continues to do a magnificent job of releasing what I like to call Almost Classics. These were mainstream movies with A-list directors or actors that were aiming for greatness and somehow fell short. They usually aren’t bad, sometimes they’re even quite good, but for one reason or another they never quite attained classic status.

I’ve reviewed quite a few of these over the years and Counterpoint is one such example. It stars Charlton Heston and Maximillian Schell and has an interesting WWII era plot. But it has largely been forgotten and with good reason, as it isn’t really very good. Anyway, you can read my full review here.

Show of the Day: Grateful Dead – New York, NY (09/19/70)

There is an app called Relisten which takes all the shows in the Live Music Archive and lets you stream them on your phone. It does a nice job of organizing them so you can browse by artist and search through each year, etc. One of my favorite things it does is when you click on an artist it will show you all the shows they played on that particular day.

On my drive to work, I often listen to a Grateful Dead show they played on whatever day it happens to be and this has been a really fun way of catching up with shows I might have missed.

I love the idea of having a show of the day on this site, so that’s one of the many ideas I have percolating through my little brain. I’m not sure if I’d like to talk about shows that happened to be performed on the day I happen to be writing about it, or maybe I could just choose one show to talk about each day.

Trouble would be being able to have the time to listen to an entire show and have something to say about it each day. I have no idea if I’ll actually regularly do something like that, but today I have something.

I meant to talk about it yesterday and forgot. In fact, I don’t have much to say about it except that you should listen to it.

On September 19, 1970 the Grateful Dead played a monster shows in New York City’s Fillmore East auditorium. They started with Sugar Magnolia and then launched into one of the all-time great jam-filled medleys: Dark Star>Not Fade Away>Darkness Jam>China Cat Jam>Not Fade Away>Turn On Your Lovelight.

It is about 70 minutes of the best music you’ll hear today. You can download it from me here, or stream it on the Archive here.

The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

8 diagram pole fighter blu-ray

As you’ve probably guessed by now I’m a huge film of genre cinema. I love horror movies, detective movies, film noir, kung fu movies, and many more. What I love about a genre is that you know what to expect coming in. Genres have conventions. There is something comforting about watching an old western and knowing John Wayne is going to win in the end.

What I love about great genre movies is how they can subvert those conventions. It is really fun to watch a movie where you think you know what is going to happen, only to find out that what happens is completely unexpected.

I don’t know that The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter subverts any of the conventions found in kung fu movie, but I do know that it is a really great kung fu movie with fight scenes that will blow your mind. Sometimes that’s all I really want in a genre movie. You can read my review of it here.