by Greg Carlson
(In this column, I go through the high volume of movie-related collectables that I’ve acquired over the decades, and revisit (or view for the first time) the film(s) associated with the used VHS tape, promotional T-shirt, scratchy vinyl soundtrack album, etc., that have filled my shelves and storage boxes.)
“Times Square” Discount DVD/LP Combo
Back in mid-2002, I was working at a health insurance company located on the outskirts of Tacoma, Washington. During my lunch breaks, I had the option of A) bringing my meal and eating it in the drab break room, B) driving down the main road and choosing one of the many fast food franchises, or C) walking across the street to the truck stop, and entertaining myself with the odd assortment of sundries and gadgets populating the shelves. Given my fondness for hunting down buried treasures and kitschy knick-knacks, you can probably guess which lunchtime option was the most popular.
by Travis Vogt
As much as it pains me to admit, there are lots of people In the world other than me. People with all kinds of different interests, belief systems and values. Huge cultural phenomenons spring up all over the place to attract these “non-mes,” often taking much of the world by storm while leaving me in the darkness of my own disinterest. In Discomfort Zones, I’ll be taking peek into some of the major cultural movements that I’ve always tried my best to avoid, but I’ll be doing it as quickly as humanly possible–by watching the tie-in movies they inspired.
For the first installment, I watched Eat Pray Love and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, films based on two very and gender-specific literary blockbusters from the past ten years.
by Kris Kristensen[This post originally appeared on the 20/20 Awards site.]
The 20/20 Awards uses the advantage of time and perspective to annually re-evaluate the Oscars from 20 years prior. Utilizing the benefit of hindsight, a voting body of film industry professionals from around the world carefully elects either new or previous nominees, and hosts a live awards ceremony, designed to both honor and offer new perspective with fresh commentary on the impact of this body of work on cinema itself, and its influence on our culture.
STORY: A detective on the eve of his retirement gets sucked in to one last case with his scrappy, young replacement. Together they must find a twisted serial killer who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins.
by Sean Axmaker
[Originally written for Parallax View, reprinted with permission of the author.]
Spider Baby (Arrow, Blu-ray+DVD) is one of the greatest blasts of creative B-movie inspiration to hit American drive-ins and grindhouses. It was the solo directorial debut of Jack Hill (whose Coffy and Foxy Brown both recently hit Blu-ray from Olive), a low-budget film that was financed by real estatedevelopers who wanted to get into the movie business and got stuck in limbo for years when the producers went bankrupt. Shot in 1964, it was finally released in 1967, by which time black-and-white films were no longer considered for first-run bookings. It was sold as a second feature and then fell into the public domain, where it became a cult movie a generation later, thanks to cheap videotape copies. Hill never made a dime on it, but he did belatedly get some attention for it. For all of its technical shortcomings and budget-related compromises, I still think it’s his most inspired film.