Author Archives: Texas's Frisco Kid

April 27

Throwback Thursday: “It’s Alive” (1974)

The monstrosity of America in early 1970s? “It’s Alive” in Larry Cohen’s classic 1974 exploitation film!

March 10

Macon Blair’s Right At Home in His Netflix Directorial Debut

While the inevitable comparisons between Blair’s directorial debut and the Saulnier pictures in which he appears might find Blair’s film lacking, it’s really a case of ‘apples and oranges.’

February 05

An Inescapable World of “Trouble Every Day” (2001, dir. Claire Denis)

While TROUBLE EVERY DAY’s mix of sexuality and violence is meant to shock, its almost clinical detachment at other times alienates the viewer. The end result is to create an amoral world from which there is no way out — for both characters within the film and spectators in the audience.

January 23

SPLIT (2017) Just Might Leave You That Way

James McAvoy’s character is both the best and the worst thing about SPLIT, which was both written and directed by Shyamalan.

January 17

A HONEYMOON (2014) from Hell

An alien presence turns wives into husband-killing monsters in writer-director Leigh Janiak’s feature debut, the indie science-fiction horror film Honeymoon (2014). In their native urban environment (likely New York City), newlyweds Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) seem like an average (including their quirks) yuppie couple. When they go from city to country (crossing the border into Canada in the process), the ties that bind — along with the gender roles defined by contemporary heterosexual marriage — go out the window when an eerie light shines into it, focusing on new wife Bea.

January 10

The Rich, the Poor, and “Cheap Thrills” (2013)

Innocuously tragicomic at first, this indie film escalates first to the darkly comic and finally to the abjectly horrific.

January 05

Sh*t Pinhead Says: The Pervert’s Guide to the HELLRAISER Movies (Part 1)

To start off an intermittent series of Throwback Thursday posts on the Hellraiser movies, I’m going to focus today on the character of Pinhead as portrayed by actor Doug Bradley in the original¬†Hellraiser (1987, written and directed by Clive Barker). I chose the Hellraiser franchise (which includes nine releases so far) because it began in […]

January 02

Lunes Mundial: SCHERZO DIABOLICO (2015)

The implication of its title is that the movie SCHERZO DIABOLICO is a diabolical prank. But who is its devil and what is the joke?

December 29

Horror Features in 2016 and Beyond: YOUR Top Picks and LGB’s Course Correction

Rather than bore you with my personal choices, I’d rather take a look at what horror fans liked in the past year.

Golden Buddha, By epSos.de, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27942418 December 22

THE NEON DEMON (2016): Nicholas Winding Refn’s Golden Buddha

The metaphor of the Golden Buddha is a humorous bit of Hollywood lore. Lew Hunter passes it along in his classic Screenwriting 434 (Revised ed., 2004). In a nutshell, it teaches the lesson that every screenplay is, in essence, a pile of crap. It’s how the writer molds, crafts, and adorns that lump that matters. Artistry determines whether s/he can transform it into a thing of beauty like a golden statue of the Buddha.

Applied to The Neon Demon, Nicholas Winding Refn’s 2016 slow-burn horror-thriller, the Golden Buddha metaphor is apt. From the standpoint of form and style, it is a well-made film, beautiful to watch. In other words, Refn has applied the golden paint to his Buddha with skill. As a story, the movie is a rather thin and clich√©d tale. In other words, the statue’s gilding does not hide the material from which its maker has created it.