The Shining, like director Stanley Kubrick’s other masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, seems to offer up as many meanings as there are willing interpreters to expound them. Is there any inherent “darker” message to The Shining than the darkness already on display? Or perhaps is it, like 2001, simply a “mirror” to the ideologies and subconscious drives of those who view it?
So the other day I was reading through this old review guide to horror & sci-fi movies, and I found an intriguing entry. Called “The Aries Computer,” it was from the early 1970s and starred Vincent Price. Now, I thought I had heard of every Vincent Price movie—but not this one.
Amityville II: The Possession
Dino De Laurentis Company/Media Transactions
Director: Damiano Damiani
Writers: Hans Holzer, Tommy Lee Wallace, Dardano Sacchetti
Starring: Jack Magner, Burt Young, James Olson, Diane Franklin
Quentin Tarantino once cited Amityville Horror II: The Possession as one of his top 50 sequels of all time (Video Watchdog #172). That surprised me, as up to that point I had only heard pretty negative things about it—this, despite the fact it’s obvious the film had some sort of an influence on the latest crop of “retro” horror flicks like V/H/S (for example, compare the creepy hands emanating out of the walls from both).
But one screening was all it took to convince me that Amityville Horror II possessed the sort of primal, deep disturbing quality of a Alice, Sweet Alice and Sleepaway Camp— a quality that sets it apart from its predecessor, and, at least in the mind of the “mondo video” consumer, makes it a (albeit somewhat flawed) cult classic.
Way before the era of the Internet…back when DVDs had barely broken through the market, and Marvel Studios was just the faintest glimmer in the eye…there was a legend. A legend of a movie that had not just Captain America in it, but Spider-Man. And Mexican wrestler-hero Santo. All in the same movie.
How was this possible? How did Marvel sign off on this?
Of course they didn’t sign off on this, silly—this was a completely unauthorized Turkish movie called 3 Dev Adam (“3 Giant Heroes”).
We have the same neuroses.
–Maila Nurmi on her friendship with James Dean
Irresistibly bound up in the seemingly eternal icon of James Dean is equal parts sex and death, like sweet heroin to the angst-ridden teenagers of multiple decades. So perhaps it was only fitting that one of Dean’s supposed “best friends” also encapsulated that dark wedding of eroticism and morbidity, her simultaneously cadaverous and sexy visage spawning a veritable amazonian army of the undead.
This past Sunday, Hollywood lost a comedic legend: Jerry Lewis. The star of The Nutty Professor and The King Of Comedy, Lewis was a film/TV/radio/stage actor, screenwriter, director, producer—and, in his extensive work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a humanitarian.
But throughout the condolences and tributes that poured in over social media for Lewis, a small contingent of cult movie fans couldn’t help but wonder aloud: will this mean The Day The Clown Cried will finally be released?
It’s late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday, and a question popped into my head: who portrayed him better on film, Johnny Depp or Bill Murray?
Depp, of course, starred as Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s surreal 1998 adaptation of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Murray headlined the less well-known but still really good HST flick Where The Buffalo Roam in 1980.
I feel that to determine who did the Thompson role best really comes down to an assessment of how the acting styles of Depp and Murray differ.