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Month: May 2019

Movie Review: THE GRAPES OF DEATH

Le Raisins de la mort (translation: The Grapes of Death) turns out to be a pretty blunt title for a movie that I’ve seen described as “surrealistic” from a director whose calling card was, arguably, surrealism. I suppose one could cook up some kind of symbolic meaning behind the title if so inclined, but in the end this is a zombie a movie in which literal grapes are the source of literal death, and the unimaginative title is reflected in a surprisingly unimaginative movie.

But let’s start with what there is to like about The Grapes of Death. The zombies are interesting and notable in that they’re not utterly mindless, merely murderous. They are not reduced to base impulses such as hunger or rage, They can still feel remorse and at least a semblance of love. They can connive and make sacrifices. They are just far enough removed from their humanity to be dangerous–especially en masse–but not so far removed as to be hopeless. It’s a welcome take on a supersaturated genre. READ MORE

Movie Reviews: WE GO ON

$30,000 for proof of the afterlife seems like an underpayment, but when it’s all the payer can afford I suppose you can’t say that he’s a cheapskate. Anyway, that’s the general premise of We Go On, a decent little horror flick with some quite-qualified actors available on Shudder.

A mostly ordinary man named Miles is so terrified of the idea of dying that he’s willing to give half of his recently inherited $60,000 to anyone who can prove to him that death isn’t the end of it all (he spends the other half on the ad calling for all potential purveyors of paranormal proof). I say “mostly” ordinary because Miles has a pretty run-of-the-mill job (well, by movie standards) and life, but is exceptional in that he’s host to an inordinate amount of phobias. On top of thanatophobia (death anxiety), he has agoraphobia, acrophobia, septophobia, and vehophobia. We find out about the latter in a reasonably effective opening-scene nightmare, and it’s apparently caused by the knowledge of his father’s death via car accident. READ MORE

Movie Reviews: YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY

Exchange the word “vice” for “love”, frame the second clause and Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key would be a fitting title for a mid-70’s, quiet storm R&B song. I can absolutely hear Michael Henderson or Ronald Isley singing those words in a chorus that concludes by pushing the metaphor to the brink of literality.

It’s a fittingly excessive title. Just before the film reaches the ten-minute mark it features the following:

  • Public spousal abuse by way of trying to make one’s wife drink a bowl of wine at a party
  • Racist / supremacist sexual harassment of a black maid
  • Impromptu hippy a capella choir singing accompanied by nude table dancing
  • Oedipally influenced psychological taunting and sexual assault

I’m unsure of what drugs the party-people in this scene have indulged in–besides alcohol–but the writers of this film might have had powder-caked nostrils. READ MORE