House (1986) directed by Steve Miner and starring William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll and Kay Lenz.
It is surprisingly difficult to find this movie series since the Hugh Laurie TV show of the same name came into existence.
Lesser Known Posters:
… Has anyone ever tried watching Suspiria but replacing the audio track with Shock Treatment’s? >_> (or vice-versa) I’ve never done it, but I get the feeling the results would somehow be spectacular.
I can only endorse this experiment.
“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”
Poster art by Reynold Brown, 1963.
The Raven (1963) produced and directed by Roger Corman, staring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson. Loosely based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name. Very loosely.
Movie posters with the titles of the books they were based on: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep / Blade Runner, Oil! / There Will Be Blood, The Short-Timers / Full Metal Jacket, Heart of Darkness / Apocalypse Now!, Monkey Planet / Planet of the Apes, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale / Total Recall
REVIEW: Whew! This one took a while. It’s so visually iconic, I wound up taking over 800 screenshots. I whittled it down to 242. I’ll try to control myself better next time.
Phillip K. Dick was a loony-toons writer, but he had a creative and wondrous flavor of loony-toonicity that gave rise to mind-warping tales that leave the reader questioning the very nature of reality and identity.
Smack dab in the middle of this oeuvre is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel that Blade Runner is based on. It raises questions on the nature of consciousness: can an artificial being be a real person? What if it has feelings? What if it doesn’t even know it is an android? How is ending the life of such a creation morally different from ending the life of a human being? Would a society that invented and used such beings be different from slavers? Would the difficulties and turmoil of a slave-based culture be the same?
It is set in the near future, on a somewhat dystopian Earth whose population is decimated by off-world emigration, leaving only the poor and sick behind, along with those that profit from them. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a sort of bounty hunter who specializes in hunting these androids, known by the trade name Replicants.
A quartet of off-world Replicants have come to Earth, pretending to be human, in search of answers. Most notably: how can they extend their lives beyond the built-in expiration date they were designed with?
Deckard’s heart is not in it. They seem to be a metaphor for his own failing life, but he hunts them anyway — and the strongest of them hunt him in return, until it becomes a showdown on the roofs of the city of Los Angeles.
Stylistically, this film is iconic. Anything cyberpunk, anything in a dark, messy dystopian future, owes much to Ridley Scott’s creation.
Speaking of Ridley Scott, Do you suppose this could be the same world as Alien? We see the spacefarers, but don’t spend much time on the streets of Earth seeing what it’s like for those left behind. I think it could be.
This is Scix in the Back Row, taking the Voight-Kampff test.
Blade Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong, Morgan Paull, Kevin Thompson. Based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.
Repo Man (1984)
I saw this movie in the 80s when I was a teenager — not at the theater, strictly a VHS video rental scene. I don’t recall thinking very much about it, and it didn’t seem to make much of an impact with me or my friends. Though as I recall, bits of the soundtrack kept showing up in our proto-hipster mixtapes.
You see kids, in the old days music and movies were stored on magnetic strips of tape…
Each time I have rewatched it since, I have found myself more and more moved. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about this quasi-mystic dystopian teen badboy working stiff alien comedy-drama gets under my skin. Maybe it’s all the adjectives.
Tracey Walter’s character, like Filo in UHF, like quite a few oddballs in 80s film and TV, is the only one that really knows what’s-what, even though he’s a cloudcuckoolander. I like to imagine that’s me, but what are the odds? We’ll only know when the mother ship returns.
This is Scix in the Back Row, with a can of Drink and a bag of Snacks.
Directed by Alex Cox, starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton. Also starring Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Susan Barnes, Fox Harris, Tom Finnegan, Del Zamora, Eddie Velez, Zander Schloss, Jennifer Balgobin, Dick Rude, Miguel Sandoval, Vonetta McGee, Richard Foronjy, the Circle Jerks and Samuel T. Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb
True Stories (1986)
David Byrne is the frontman for the 80’s new-wave band Talking Heads, of which I am a great fan. Their music is avant-garde and quirky and while being played totally straight, clearly has a playful sense of fun and never takes itself too seriously.
True Stories is just what you’d expect then. It plays, in a way, like an extended music video, though it is more. Byrne narrates throughout like the narrator in Our Town, but with a big hat and a slightly bemused expression. In ways it’s a Waiting for Guffman-esque mockumentary, introducing the fictional town of Virgil, Texas and its preparation for the big sesquicentennial celebration. It introduces characters that are only a few notches from David Lynch — a woman obsessed with cuteness to the exclusion of all else, a woman who matter-of-factly spins ever-more extravagant lies, unchallenged by the baffled people she is addressing. A woman who has never left her bed. A psychic who reads radio waves by touching your nose. A man obsessed with getting married. A voodoo housekeeper. A captain of industry who hasn’t spoken to his wife in 12 years, and who seems part robot attempting to pass as human.
You know. The usual.
There are moments of poignancy, moments of idiocy, moments of lunacy, and Byrne narrates it through immersing himself in the little town, becoming one of the characters. Observing like an alien.
Does it all mean anything? Maybe.
This is Scix in the back row, wearing the big hat.
True Stories (1986) directed by and starring David Byrne of the band Talking Heads, costarring John Goodman, Swoosie Kurtz, and Spalding Gray.
The Raven is the only time these three horror movie giants appeared on screen together. It is also one of Jack Nicholson’s first appearances. He’s really only the Jack we’ve come to know and love when he’s possessed with some “diabolical mind control.”
The film is quite silly, and not to be taken even remotely seriously. As such, Corman’s silly special effects fit right in. It’s a good watch if you have nostalgia for these horror giants, or like “so bad they’re good” films. Beyond that — there’s nothing particularly important or interesting about the film itself, but still I enjoy it immensely.
This is Scix in the back row, under diabolical mind control.
The Raven (1963) produced and directed by Roger Corman, staring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson. Loosely inspired by the Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name. Very loosely.
In 1935, Karloff starred in a film directed by Lew Landers with the same title, with Béla Lugosi.