Published on September 4th, 2015 | by SgtKaiju0
Cult Of Consume – Vol IX
Greetings and welcome to my little dark corner of Need To Consume, THE CULT OF CONSUME. This is where we look beyond the frontline of film, deep into the DVD racks, into the VOD void and around the back into the alleyway of re-releases. This isn’t the place for your blockbuster drudgery. I’m going to be bringing you hidden gems of the cult world, lost classics and certainly some films that have been forgotten for good reason.
There will be zombies. There will death. There will be terrible acting and set that move when touched. There will be nudity, violence, aliens, gods, gangsters, madmen and femme fatales. Come with me…
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
In many ways, the genre of the small town slasher has been done to death. We’ve all seen elements of this film a thousand times over, from the creepily-homemade mask to the plucky heroine fighting against the odds. But that is kind of the point, and yet, The Town That Dreaded Sundown (TTTDS) is something more.
Pitched as a ‘meta-sequel’ to the 1976 original film, this film takes place in our world, where those films existed, based on real events. And in true Scream/Blair Witch 2 style, these in turn seem to inspire a new round of killings. Thrust into the middle of this is Jami (Addison Timlin), a local caught up The Phantom’s first killing and ignored by all around her. From here it’s a standard set of running-and-screaming tropes, with some surprisingly effective gore thrown in.
What lifts TTTDS out of the mire of straight-to-netflix slashers is two main things. Firstly Jami herself. Timlin is a great bit of casting, equally plausible as a screaming victim as a vindictive survivor. But mostly, the weight lies on the production design. Whilst the film is clearly set modern day, it couldn’t be more 70s inspired if it tried. From the fashions, to the grainy and coloured look of the film, it screams 70s, even going as far as to utilize the now rare technique of splitscreen in early killing scenes.
All in all, well worth your time and money, a cut above the usual slasher genre.
The Falling is a very odd film, reminiscent of Submarine or Heavenly Creatures, both fantastical and realistic, concern with young and obsession. It tells the story of a British girls school, overcome with a fainting spell. Heavily steeped in religious imagery, The Falling is a beautifully ethereal film, with the imagery being as important as the narrative itself.
The big headline of this film is the appearance of Maisie Williams, in her first big role outside of Westeros. It is always tricky when an actor has had a breakout role, can they bring something new to a different role, can the audience see her as a different character. Luckily, Maisie succeeds in both. Yes, there are moments of Arya in her performance, with the same indignant streak and provocative style, but here she is a different animal entirely. She is a follower, a manipulator, very much the ingenue that Arya can never be.
The Falling is definately one for the indie festival circuit, but a good film is hidden under it’s niche covers.
A film about a dog uprising against the human oppressors? Consider me sold.
This Hungarian film takes the unusual tack of making Hagen (the dog) the hero as much as the usual human protagonist. Hagen is a mongrel dog, kicked out by his owners uncaring father and left to fend on the streets. And fend he does, rising an army of disaffected dogs around himself, leading to the inevitable violent conclusion.
As with The Falling, White Dog is a gorgeous film, as concern with visual stimulation as with story. The shots of the dogs running wild are evocative and memorable, almost cartoonesque. In this day and age of CGI bombast, this film is a gloriously indie and low-tech take on surreal imagery and big-screen spectacle.
Go see it when you can.
To be honest, this film was always going to be a slamdunk for me.
Electric Boogaloo tells the story of Cannon Films, a film production house from the 60s to the 70s, who churned out some of the most lurid and memorable cult films Hollywood has ever seen. Essentially, these guys are the reason I write this article. Their filmography is long and infamous but the standouts are Delta Force, Breakin, The Last American Virgin, Lifeforce and Superman III. But the story of this company is as campy and unbelievable as any of their films, taking two friends from Israel who come to dominate the American market, bringing with them a decidedly different mentality.
The story is told in a mix of interviews, film clips and archive material, and clearly with a lot of love from the filmmakers. Whilst the owners are notable absent, interviews with Bo Derek, Micharl Dudikoff, Tobe Hooper, Dolph Lundgren, Elvira, Molly Ringwald and many many others lifts this out just being a fan piece. This is hands down my favourite film of the month, if not longer. If you have even the passing interest in the film industry, this is a must watch.
My Darling Clementine
Despite the best efforts of Tarantino, the western is a much forgotten genre in modern film production. It’s time has come and gone. And part of this, I believe, is due in part to films like My Darling Clementine. When a genre has reached it’s peak, what else is there to say?
Telling the well known story of Wyatt Earp and his gunfight at the OK Corral, My Darling Clementine is as close to a perfect Western film I’ve ever seen, outside of Leone. Ths one-two punch of this and The Searchers has rightfully cemented Ford as the master of this genre. Henry Fonda is on great form as the retired Marshall pulled back into that life after the death of his brother and Victor Mature is spot-on as his frenemy Doc Holliday. With great support from Cathy Downs as the titular Clementine, Walter Brennan as Clanton and Linda Darnell as Doc’s lady, it’s a wonderful cinematic experience.
The transfer done by Arrow is amazingly high quality, the richness of the film stock is evident in every shot, the quality pin sharp. If you see only one western see this one, but it may ruin all others for you…
A zombie movie isn’t a zombie movie. But really it is.
Umberto Lenzi’s 1980 film Nightmare City tells of an invasion of mutated and violent ghouls into an unnamed american city. Our hero is a plucky local reporter, caught at the scene of the outbreak and desperate to rescue is wife throughout, as the city around them descends into chaos.
Ultimately, Nightmare City is a disappointing watch. Whilst there are some strong moments of gore and action, the plot feels cobbled together and the non-infected actors do struggle with basic acting at times. Not a film worth seeking out for the film itself.
What does make this disc worth looking at are all the extras. The disc contains two versions of the films, from different negatives, each with differing levels of damage and deterioration. There is a fascination doc about the transfer process, dealing with those different versions. The film isn’t much but this is well worth a watch.
The very definition of the a cult film, Madman is an early 80s slasher film, in the mould of Candyman or Halloween or any other slasher film you’ve ever seen:
1. Put people somewhere isolated,
2. Introduce a killer,
3. Kill people,
4. Repeat step 3
So why does Madman get a bluray re-release? Because it’s story is the archetype of a cult favourite. Released in 1982, it’s popularity grew slowly, via drive-ins and midnight screenings, building a fanbase over several years, its hokey premise and clearly rubber monster matched with some very effective gore and horror scenes. Madmen, whilst lacking in named actors or a huge budget is a thoroughly fun watch. It knows exactly what is it, doesn’t try to be anything else and does it well.
Grab a beer, grab some friends, throw it on and I’ll guarantee you a good time.