by Norm Nielsen
Scarecrow Video’s March Crosscut theme is “March Badness,” and Robert Mitchum’s role as the child stalking, sexually repressed, gospel-spewing serial-killer Harry Powell in 1955’s The Night of the Hunter is one of the great cinematic portrayals of badness. Self-proclaimed preacher Harry Powell marries and murders widows for their money believing he is doing God’s work by eliminating women who arouse men’s carnal instincts. On the knuckles of his left hand is tattooed H-A-T-E on his right hand is L-O-V-E; given an opportunity Powell uses his clenched hands to demonstrate the Biblical struggle between love and hate. Two standout lines in the film characterize Powell: “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15), and “It’s a hard world for little things.”
by Evan J. Peterson
Last month, SHRIEK had our largest turnout yet to watch The Cabin in the Woods. This Sunday, join us at Naked City Brewery in Greenwood for the Blu-ray final cut of the original Wicker Man!
Tickets available here.
Stats on The Wicker Man (1973)
Country of origin: UK
Director: Robin Hardy
Writer: Anthony Shaffer, loosely based on David Pinner’s novel Ritual
Major actors: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland
Score: Paul Giovanni and Magnet
Nudity: abundant female nudity, no male
Sexual Assault: none
Gore: arguably none (a severed hand and a bandaged stump)
Does it pass the Bechdel-Wallace test? Yep!
by John S.
When it comes to Cinematic Baddies, there are three distinct categories: Icons (the cream of the crop known by everyone), Honorable Mentions (good ones who stop just short of Icon status because not everyone knows them), and All The Rest (the vast population of villains, ranging from the okay down to the meh). Put simply, Die Hard’s Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) is most definitley an Icon. In the years following this flick you couldn’t toss a popcorn bucket without hitting at least three Die Hard clones with smooth, frosty antagonists trotting out second-rate Hans Gruber impersonations. That’s the sure mark of an Icon: the legions of imitators trying to one-up the original, but always falling short.
by John S.
Movie Postmortem is a monthly series which reviews certain films that showed promise but misfired (critically and/or commercially) upon initial release. Join us in our attempt to find out exactly what the hell happened.
THE CASUALTY: Possession
THE CASE HISTORY: England, 1990. Novelist A.S. Byatt publishes a romantic mystery that quickly becomes a bestseller and ultimately wins the prestigious Booker Prize. The novel revolves around two modern British academics who discover overlooked love letters from the Victorian era which suggest two of the most famous poets of that period were romantically involved. As the two scholar-sleuths in the present follow the illicit trail of the secret lovers from the past, they find themselves repeating history and gradually falling in love themselves. In essence, they are “possessed” by the historical affair they are investigating. Hence, the book’s title: Possession.
by Ryan Swen
First things first: yes, the cultural bonanza known as the Academy Awards are by and large a fairly silly enterprise, more accustomed to a certain kind of back-patting than to even acknowledging the best films of the year, let alone rewarding them. The 89th Oscars are no exception, neglecting to give more than a paltry single nomination (if that) to such movies as Silence, Cameraperson, Sully, and Certain Women, and that’s not even including the myriad deserving foreign films. But there is a noticeable difference this year – a larger amount of films that seems to come from the margins in form if not content – mixed in with the standard awards bait.