Gorehound Mike Presents: An Open Letter: A.Cox or fitting name?
What it means to be a film maker and how to treat fans.
To celebrate the milestone of Repo Mans 30th birthday, I thought what a awesome idea to do a cast/crew reunion to be interviewed and share there memories on this cult classic film. I had a few cast members agree to be apart of this. So of course it was a no brainier i`d want Alex Cox its writer/director to be apart of this special event... Wasting no time I had emailed Mr.Cox and he had agree`d to be interviewed BUT only via email. I felt abit disappointed but never the less I was grateful to have the chance to least get to interview him even if it was just via email. So i labored over good insightful questions but also stuff casual fans/viewers would want to know finally i sent them - and nothing...Month went by, nothing. I sent a gentle reminder and another week later I get a email back saying he never received the document I had sent. Resent. A few weeks go by and finally I get the document back with questions written in. My excitement and happiness was swiftly smashed when reading over his answers...One or two word answers to my well thought out questions. Angry, you bet I was, but I took a deep breath, sent a nice reply asking if he could give me something longer. Waited over a week for a reply. Nothing- I was and am applaud at how thoughtless this film maker was and I would have rather him had the decency to say Sorry but i`m to busy to really focus on this (busy with what I don't know, certainly not making movies) at the moment. I had explained to him that this was to celebrate his film and had attached the banner that Lou Rusconi had done just for the event.
I thought long and hard, if I should bite the bullet and post the interview anyways, but folks its so embarrassing on his part I`d rather not waste your time on mine dealing with it. But it goes to show you how some people let a little bit of success go to there heads and they lose sight of us the audience that goes to there movies, posts pictures on facebook and keep the magic of the celluloid alive. I`m not here to trash talk Cox because i`m above that. And thankfully this is a rare, i`ve had many wonderful guests on the blog and they`ve all been so kind to give our followers both insightful and candid interviews.
Frankly It didnt mean anything to Alex that a fan of his film (doing it for free might I add) was trying to do something neat to mark its anniversary. Clearly I had both a lot of work and energy into this.
I had asked in the interview if there would be a Repo Man 2. His reply simply. If there's any interest.
Repo Man 2? Why bother, he clearly doesn't care about you the audience.
So that is why I`m dropping the Repo Man Anniversary that was in the works. I do like to thank Sy Richardson for his interview though.
Also a Huge thanks to Lou for again providing balls out awesome artwork, even though Mr.Cox didnt seem to pay it any mind I know I sure did.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Spoiler free-as always.
We here at Gorehound Mike`s love gory films, the messier the better. Chainsaws ripping through flesh and axes buried in brains....But I think being a good diverse horror/cult cinema means treating the genre like a wonderful buffet. So many different types of horror and today I picked a sorely over looked and I think very understated. Think of it as maybe not the yummiest looking thing on the table but given the chance a filling and satisfying little dish for any horror palate. The film were going to look at today is called "The Other" NOT to be mistaken for "The Others" starring Nicole Kidman. I find it hard to do this review without giving to much away, as there is a nice plot twist and even if you figure it out early on, there is still a few nasty little surprises in store.
Anyone expecting fast paced music video style horror you can stop right here. Its not that kind of film, yet for the patient viewer this film simmers then boils to a climax that while is not the showiest does leave the audience feeling unnerved. I know I did. The director perfectly captures the ugly side of the seemingly ideal Rockwell type slice of rural America.
This movie is wonderfully shot. This is due in large part to Robert Surtees who d.p`d such classic films as Ben Hur,The Sting and The Graduate, just to name a few. The beautiful farm area is captured in equal parts splendor and dread. Normally i`m not a fan of the soft focus lens used through out yet in this it works, giving it a almost dream like quality,
While Other does not have the gore that say Saw does, it does however have plenty of creep factor that in my book goes a lot further. So belly up to a slice of good ol`fashion horror show that will stay with you for awhile.
Friday, March 21, 2014
New York millionaire Steven Taylor seems to have it all, a vast fortune a wonderful home and a beautiful wife. But things are not at all what they seem as his wife Emily is having a spicy affair with David a typical 90`s bad boy artist. But sly Steven quickly finds out and makes David an offer. Kill his wife. But what seems like "a perfect murder" quickly spirals out of control and soon the tables are turned on Taylor.
Unlike the horrible Psycho remake (which Mortensen was also in) this is not a shot for shot carbon copy. Wisely this remake keeps the basic premise of the original film yet adds new elements to make it stand on its own.
This is an interesting departure from director Andrew Davis`s normal action packed films. He seems out of depths at times with the material but overall turns in a decent thriller. Believe it or not its very sub due compared to what he`s use to doing. I always like to see a director expend to a different genre so I give Davis credit for trying something completely out of his usual realm.
Michael Douglas plays the jilted husband Steven. As with films like Wall Street and The Game, Douglas has the icy rich guy role down to a science. Its a safe choice but the right one, as I do like his acting.
He is such a pro adding little touches that makes his character more three dimensional with out hamming it up. Its also his wordless acting that speaks volumes. He can turn on the charm, yet you know deep down he has little to no real feelings, real cold blooded creep.
Gwenth Paltrow proves that she can hold her own against the powerhouse Douglas. Their is no doubt that her acting range is broad, but still comes off as flat and unlikable, and a film like this hinges a lot of sympathy for her character. Though I dont think all the blame should go to Ms.Paltrow, as I suspect many of these issues were with the way her character was written.
While were on the subject of writing, this film is clever BUT not as clever as it would like to think it is. All the characters are not very likable and while were suppose to feel sympathy for the Paltrow character she as stated above comes off as just a cold cheating wive. The lead detective is basically a throw away character that doesn't actually save the day or solve the crime. Why is here there if only fill time/space. Worse yet is the typical bumbling side kick who only utters some dumb one liners, but otherwise serves no purpose to the story. Come on, do we really need these tired cop cliques. To the films credit despite some character issues and some story padding the twists and turns are well done and it keeps you in suspense as to whose really got the upper hand.
A Perfect Murder is not a perfect film but at the end of the day it is a sexy taunt grabber that keeps your attention and leaves you guessing.
Gorehound Mike hopes you enjoying this four part series. Look at 2013s archives for the other three parts. In closing I like to day that Hitchcock has been the master of suspense for decades and even after his death other film makers have studied from the best and even though just four films were mentioned there are countless celluloid that have Hitch s bloody finger prints on them. So if your not already a fan of A.Hitchcocks films well.......what are you waiting for?
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Film Class from Hell:Underrated Horror/Cult Cinema Part 3 What dirty little treasures you should be watching!
The first and only anti-pot pro Christian killer half human half turkey gore film. The terrible acting and ultra cheesy monster and the heavy handed message makes this film great to watch after the right herbal refreshments of course. And loads of laughs from the narrator who seems like hes going for an Oscar. A must see for bad film lovers. Make it your Thanksgiving tradition!
Coffin Joe Trilogy
Hes Spanish wears a top hat and cape with long finger nails...Hes Coffin Joe! This super creepy black and white Spanish horror films featuring our titular character in his quest to find a woman to bear him a child. Folks this is the stuff of nightmares, filled with dread and creepiness.Its one of those films that the black and white makes it that much more effective. Take for example the spider scene from At Midnight I`ll take Your Soul, its a sequence that is sure to get under the most jaded horror film fans skin. Blue Underground has all three in a coffin shaped box set. Well worth finding!
Directed by Danny Elfmans brother Richard Elfman this bizarre odyssey is something your likely not to soon forget. Daring choice to have the sets made of of cardboard which only serves to make this world seem all the tripper insane. Its twisted and funny and its a hoot to see Danny as the devil himself. Speaking of Danny,fans of Elfmans band Onigo Boingo will enjoy the music which they did just for this film. I could go on and on but you need to just see it for yourself. P.S The alphabet song from F.Z should be taught in school, just sayin.
Wanna see bums melt, penis keep away vomiting and more? Of course you do! Street Trash is a cult clas-sick for a reason. Theirs really not much I can say about this film, you just have to see it and experience it for yourself.
Richard Stanleys brilliant science fiction film set in a post apocalyptic waste land. Its a place where Iggy Pop is your D.J (Screamin Bob) and Lemmy from Motorhead will drive you anywhere you wanna go. This is equally suspenseful visually beautiful and action packed. Its also interesting to see eastern religion blended together in this harsh cyber punk world. (btw this was cyber punk before it was cool!) I could go on and on about this but bottom line-See it!!
Your thinking to yourself Gorehound Mike a Disney movie is on Film Class?! But let me explain. While yes there is no gore to be found in the land of Oz, its quiet a dark film and twisted film that would give any child a few nightmares. I felt I should add this film to the list because not only is it a imaginative film and as stated earlier it has a much darker tone then most Disney films, in fact it did not do very well at the box office because parents felt it was much to scary for them...But its now a cult classic and is even featured in Scissor Sisters song "RETURN TO OZ" <--you tube it.
Ever wanna see a 3ft midget from the Philippians play James Bond in a badly dubbed film? Well look no further. Featuring Weug Weug the pint sized secret agent! This film is a lot of fun and goes from so bad its great and then into the realm of mind numbing amazing. Not hard to find as well as Mondo Macabre has put out this film on a double bill. Totally worth checking out.
From the director of Mystics in Bali comes this film. I non stop strange bizarre action packed film. Now im not gonna lie its bad but its also supremely entertaining with enough fire power to up stage Peckinpah and John Woo. Also they shameless quote "Terminator" at one point which had myself and friend William rolling. This is just a odd film you have to see.
Thats all for this weeks Film Class... Get to watching! Lot of of these films can be rented on Netflix.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
First off, beside the name and a slight homage this has nothing to do with the original Vel Lewton film. From frame one I was totally mesmerized by the films stunning visuals and the David Bowie song (written for the film) Putting out fires only cemented that I was going on a unique journey and boy was I right. You gotta love a movie where in the first ten minutes a prostitute gets mauled to death by a giant panther. Its even better when said lady of the night is Lynn Lowey. (Not that i have any ill will toward the actress) So its safe to say that at this point the film had sunk its claws in me. As I stated earlier its visuals transports you into this world and its the films style that gives it a true edge and had it not been for it and a smart screen play by Alan Orsby Cat People could have been more silly then amazing.
Of course even a great screen play can flounder if it doesn't have a director that can not only grasp the material but translate its vision to the screen. Paul Schrader writer of such modern day classics like Taxi Driver,Raging Bull etc (and infamously got naked on the set of his latest film The Canyons to appease screen diva Lindsey Lohan) helms Cat People and does it wonderfully. In a lesser directors hands this could have easily become a cheesy horror film devoid of the depth and symbolism.
One example is when Ed B.Jr`s character gets ripped apart by a caged panther the red blood cascades on Nastassja Kinski`s white shoes, which given the virginal theme its a wonderful symbolic moment. That is just one example of the great symbolism strung throughout. Shrader keeps things very serious with no tongue and cheek to ruin its mood. And what a mood he creates. A great cast sells this film with the lead Nastassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell (when he was still a respected actor) and John Herd. It truly is McDowell that steals the show with his scenes, the one that comes to mind off bat is his nude scene in the bathroom after a night of feeding. More off putting then his being totally naked is when he chopped down on some left overs that was hanging off him. Bold indeed. Everything goes right in the case of Cat People, with its brilliantly written script, a great cast and a talented director blending it all together, this feline while may not be perfect will have even the most jaded horror lovers purring for me! And come on you know when Bowie does your theme song its going to be a bad ass film!
As always S.F has put together a nice dvd/blu ray with loads of extras. Totally worth buying.
Monday, March 10, 2014
In honor of the 30th Anniversary of the cult sci-fi punk epic REPO MAN directed by Alex Cox
Gorehound Mike is proud to present Some People Just Explode: Cast and Crew Interviewed!
ALSO Huge Thank you to Lou Rusconi for the mega awesome banner he did! visit his site
INTERVIEW WITH SY RICHARDSON Aka Lite.
GM: How did you meet Alex Cox?
]SR: I did a student film at UCLA for a friend of his. Mona Wali called Grey Area. He watched the shoot and after it was over he took my picture and resume and called me in to read of his student film Repoman. Funny thing about that is I came in to be an extra on Grey Area and one of the principle actors didn't show and got his part.
GM: And in Repo Man you went in for a much smaller part correct?
SR: Yes I went in for the guy who came into the office with his girlfriend in the set up to get his car back. And during the call back several actors didn't show up and he ask me to be his reader and I read different parts during the audition.
GM: And he liked you for Lite based on your reading?
GM: Was the character of LITE exactly how he was in the script or did Alex give you room to make changes to him?
SR:I made changes. For instant the scene where Emilo and I drove up and I started shooting at the house with a blank was not in the script. I didn't think he would let my dialogue when I said "Get out of the car white boy!" I went to a school in Chicago (St. Micheal) where I was the only male african american in the school and I called all the my friends and foes white boys. So it was natural thing to say for me.
GM: So some of your lines were adbibbed?
SY: A few, not many. 98% percent was all Alex Cox.
GM In the commentary for Repo you said you saw Lite as African american Bogart can you elaborate on that?
SR In those days, by being new at pursuing acting with very few classes I had to find someone I admired their style. Bogart was a regular guy, Blue Collar kind of guy but didn't take no shit on screen and I heard from old timer he didn't take any off screen either. I could relate to him. Blue Collar family went to 14 grammar schools and five high school and three colleges in chicago. And lived in many different ethic groups where being Black wasn't cool. but I had to survive. So, I didn't take no shit.
GM: What was Ellimo like to work with? Did any his family visit him on set?
SR Great he taught me a lot about giving interviews on camera and how to work on camera vocally. Since I came straight from 1 and half years doing Vaudeville shows. Several other actors help me too. Anyway, His father came on the set love him real down to earth we had a good time talking to him. He would tell us jokes etc… It wasn't on the set tho it was during our call back audition His father visited.
GM Speaking of co-stars, I heard Harry Dean was quiet a character. Any stories working with him?
SR He is a method actor and kept it real, honest and stayed in the moment on set. I remember he used to bring his guitar on set and practice.
GM Did you see him and Alex clash at all?
AC No I didn't. Clash no not that I remember. When I am not on set or eating. I stayed to myself and kept my mind, heart and moment into being Lite.
GM Were any of the locations you shot Repo in dangerous?
SR Driving underneath the bridge was little on the shaky side. We worked in areas that could of been dangerous. But, the homeless, and the gangs sorta looked over us. The didn't pay us any mind. The blues and reds had better things on their minds then messing with a bunch of young cats making a movie. The knew we wasn't a high budget film.
GM What the most memorable behind the scenes story you have from Repo?
SY Tracy Walter and I was watching the crew lifting the car up for the last scene. And Tracy said millions of people would pay to be in a movie and we make a living doing them. That is when I took this business serious instead of just having fun doing something, like i spent my entire life doing just having fun. I have thanked him several times for that quote.
GM Do fans ever recognize you from any of your cult films?
SR All the time. Once i was on the pasadena bus and six young men ran over to me and started reciting some of my lines. And then they recited Bad Man. On different sets during actors and crew will crowd and around me and ask about Repoman, They Live, Bad Dreams, Straight To Hell and Walker. Oh yea and Colors.
GM What was working with Gary Oldman like on Sid and Nancy?
SR: LOL wonderful! the man awesome. Strong intense the kind of actors I like working with. My two favorite strong intense actors are Danny Glover and Ed Harris.
GM Personally what has been your favorite film you`ve acted in?
GM That a terrific film. What current projects are you working on?
SR I just finish Reluctant Polygot, and An I gets witness protection. I am directing a one man show now called The Devil and Billy Markham, and waiting for my editor to give my memoir back so I can publish it. And I getting ready to publish my book called An Actors Spiritual Armor. Just read a script was offered the lead in but, they are doing another rewrite. Can I get a witness protection.
GM: Finally advice to young actors?
SR Don't follow your dream, step in the middle of it and do it every day. Every step wheather it's right on wrong is one more step closer to your passion, your love. There is no greater feeling than doing what you love for a living.
Gorehound Mike would like to thank Sy Richardson for taking time out to do this interview and Lou Rusconi for the epic artwork.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Film Class from Hell:Underrated Horror/Cult Cinema Part 2 What dirty little treasures you should be watching!
Its time for round two. Get your pens and pencils ready and get to tracking down this movies. Think of this as your cinema 101 FROM HELL!!! And i`ll be your professor of the weird and wild Gorehound Mike to guide you through the under belly of all that films have to offer.
Pin is a medical dummy used by a doctor in a sleepy town. But this film is more akin to Psycho rather then Childs Play. I dont want to give away to much of this film, because its more fun to go in knowing almost nothing about it. I will say this film makes your skin crawl and the end will leave your jaw on the ground.
Made by Roman Polanski in his "apt trilogy i.e The Tenant,Rosemarys Baby) this weird black and white film explores a pretty girl going totally mad. Its style over substance but its very well crafted. See it, you`d be crazy not to.
Looking for a cheese filled monster movie by legendary EMPIRE pictures. Well Celler Dweller would suit you nicely. Ok it has its flaws but has a certain charm that makes these kind of films enjoyable, also the gore is awesome. Look for a beheading that is done quiet well. The creature itself is also designed well.
The Honeymoon Killers
A personal favorite of mine. T.H.K follows the rather large and fabulous Martha played by Shirley Stoler and her husband Ray. They have a scheme where Ray marries a lonely woman and steals the money, Martha posses`s as his sister. Problem is when Ray said death do us part ....he meant it. Black comedy at its best. Its also a favorite of Rob Zombie who introduced the film for TCM:Underground. Look for a very young Doris Roberts as "Bunny"
I went into this movie thinking, OK its going to be a trashy little fun film with extra cheese. By the end I realized its actually disturbing nasty little film. Arch Hall Jr. steals the show as the titular sadist and woah hes great and maybe has one of the best crazy eyes ever filmed. This film is brutal, gritty and well acted. I think every cult cinema person should see this. It rants up there with Faster Pussycat Kill Kill.
Remember the time when Dario Argento was making really well crafted horror/murder mystery`s (gallios) Well folks this is his very first feature film and it packs a huge punch. The twists and turns this movie takes you on will keep you hanging on this roller coaster ride with moments of great pulse pounding suspense. Lets have a lot more this and a lot less Giant preying mantises in a horrible Dracula film.....
I`ve been a Sam Fuller fan for some time now but only recently (last few years) discovered this little gem. Its about a reporter who goes in a mental institute to discover the identity of a killer inside its walls. This film is very edgy for the time it was made and remains powerful to this day. Its the rain scene though that I recall having a huge effect on me.
This like a few other films on this list has a black comedy streak but for the most part is a serious film. Fans of AHS:Asylum may find the plot similar, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there inspiration was partly this film.
By Frank Henenlotter this weird wild and highly entertaining film introduces us to Elymer a lovable brain munching parasite that is voiced by none other then Zacherley the cool ghoul!.I cant say enough good things about this film, its horror black comedy and gross out effects that will rot your brain and you`ll love every second of it.
Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov are pure brilliant in this black comedy. Desperate to open a restaurant the pair kills swingers for the money. Quirky off beat and funny as hell actors Bartal and Woronov have great chemistry together and really shine in there roles. Look for a gut busting cameo by Ed Begley Jr as a hippie. Filled with whips chains wine and murder this is sure to please even the most jaded of cinema swingers.
Fun fact: The couple reprise there role in CHOPPING MALL.
OK Class is over ...You have your home work...Do watch your step out of the dungeon you might just get a whipping from Doris the Dominatrixs!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Its evil in chrome and it cant be stopped.
The film opens with a quote from Anton La Vey`s Satanic Bible which should give you a pretty good idea where this film is gonna take you.
So if your looking for a great movie to go with "DUEL" The Car is certainly a great mean machine that could give Christian a run for her money. Now get out of here CAT POOOOH!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Film Class from Hell:Underrated Horror/Cult Cinema Part 1 What dirty little treasures you should be watching!
80s cheese fest that is loads of fun. Killer robots in this throw back to Corman with lots of insider jokes for film buffs to enjoy. See my interview with its film maker Jim W in last months archives.
Daughters of Darkness
A film that is both sexy, well shot and all together hypnotic. Its a very different kind of vampire film and is one of my personal favorites. I never understood what people meant by a film being dream like until seeing it.
Bare Behind Bars
Its like the took the recipe for a typical Women in prison movie and throw in a tab of acid. Campy loads of sex (at times hardcore) and of course violence yet it goes from crazy to just plain wtf?? A treat for sleaze fans. See full review in archives.
Dead End Drive In
In the future where does the poor and the criminal scum go..Why to a drive in of course, only once you enter you don't leave. Wildly entertaining, imaginative and loads of rip roaring action, this weird little flick from down under is worth checking out.
Female Prisoner 701
Another W.I.P movie set this time in Japan. Its been loving referenced in Kill Bill and rightly so. Its a stylish weird and violent piece of celluloid hell that is a lot of fun. See full review in archives.
The Pit, wow this is just pure bat shit crazy movie. Its a story of a boy, a "pit" of monsters and a evil teddy bear that we assume only his owner can hear. Its one of those movies that has to be experienced. See full review in archives.
The apple is a Rocky Horror minus the brilliance in song writing and director, however its campy and surreal enough to justify a look at. I heard it once described as a alternative future where Nirvana never came about and the music world was totally different. So go on take a bite!
This black comedy could be easily dismissed as another Empire cheese fest but lurking within is actually a smart social horror film with mind blowing insane visuals from SCREAMING MAD GEORGE. But its the orgy scene that you will have a hard time forgetting about. See my interview with director Brian Yuzna in the archives.
The first of three in the trilogy, follows a rebel police officer who has a giant penis and his way of interrogating female suspects why raping them of course. But mid way through the sex,naturally the love it sooo much they will say anything he wants to know in order for him to keep going. Wildly un. P.C and could never ever been remade this is another one you just got to see to believe. The dvd set is fairly cheap and not hard to find and well worth it.
Well cinema friends that its for now, that should give you plenty to rent/stream. Look for more coming soon!