October 2003, Issue #3


The Taxi Driver

Imagine Hitchcock's Psycho and told from the point of view of its title character, and you have a rough idea of Taxi Driver. This riveting 1976 film is at once a thriller, a psychological case study, an exploration of the eroticism of violence, a political commentary and a horror melodrama of seamy New York. It was also a turning point in the careers of all its principal creators. The Scorsese-DeNiro connection, perhaps one of the most important director-actor relationships of modern American cinema, would continue to bear fruit in such movies as Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino.

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Kill Bill

Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 1 is trash for connoisseurs. From his opening gambit (including a "Shaw-Scope" logo and gaudy '70s-vintage "Our Feature Presentation" title card) to his cliffhanger finale (a teasing lead-in to 2004's Vol. 2), Tarantino pays loving tribute to grindhouse cinema, specifically the Hong Kong action flicks and spaghetti Westerns that fill his fervent brain--and this frequently breathtaking movie--with enough cinematic references and cleverly pilfered soundtrack cues to send cinephiles running for their reference books.

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Halloween Holiday

Many Witches of the Old Ways, actually celebrate "two" Samhains or Halloweens (Yes, some older traditions DO use the term "halloween"!). The "Old" date for Samhain occurs when the sun has reached 15 degrees Scorpio. (As a side note, the Catholic Church has "borrowed" this same day to celebrate the holiday of "Martinmas".) So if you follow this Way, you can always celebrate the "party aspect" with your friends on one date and the "worship" part with your kin on the other.

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Dead and Buried

Potters Bluff is a small fishing town somewhere on the West Coast. It appears quite normal, quiet and serene and even attracts the occasional tourist. However, these tourists will soon learn that something is horribly wrong with the place, as the people of Potters Bluff brutally murder their visitors. Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) is desperate in finding the psychopath seemingly roaming the streets of his town as the bodies pile up. Mutilated, incinerated, eviscerated, it is hard to believe that someone capable of such atrocities should walk among his friends and neighbors. He tries to get to the bottom of this case but by doing so his whole world seems to collapse around him.

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Horror is one of mankind's greatest defenses. It's important for us all to focus on what frightens us and cope with it. If that fear is sublimated in films like CANNIBAL FEROX, then so be it. It's still a healthy release. Watching horror and gore does not make us do horrific things. It does not affect behavior. If that were the case I would already be a serial killer by now after the thousands of films I've watched. People who hide behind that argument are the intellectually and psychologically suspect ones. What they're really trying to do is squash art. They want to ban films that vent and talk about things we all hide beneath the surface - particularly the sort of inhibited and suppressed people the censors always are. These people are the really dangerous ones. None of us should forget that it was Hitler who forbade art because it was obscene and began burning books just before he began burning humans.

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For Lucio Fulci: A Symphony of Fear

This unique tribute album is dedicated not to a musician, but to a filmmaker. Its focus is Lucio Fulci, the auteur behind a series of outrageously gruesome horror films that have become cult favorites with horror fans around the world. Although critics continue to debate the artistic merit of Fulci's work, no one can deny that his films artfully used music to enhance their creepy atmosphere.

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28 Days Later

In the sci-fi thriller 28 Days Later, a psychological rage-inducing virus is unleashed, the type of vile horror-movie germ that infects its victims within 20 seconds and causes them to violently spew out contagious pathogens. The bug is set free when a group of animal activists free some infected chimps from a primate research facility in London. Twenty-eight days later, Jim (Cillian Murphy), a bike courier, wakes up from a coma and finds himself in the deserted intensive care unit of a hospital. He eventually stumbles on to the street and, from old newspaper clippings littering the streets of London, realizes the foggy metropolis has been evacuated.

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House of 1,000 Corpses

In the television commercial advertising as well as the radio and theatrical trailers for Rob Zombie’s “House Of 1000 Corpses” the narrator describes the film as being “A terrifying journey into hell.” When I first heard that while talking to friend on the telephone who just happened to be tuned into the same channel I was watching I said, “This is the most truthful advertising you’ll ever see for a movie” and then we both laughed because over the years we’ve seen a few commercial films that left us feeling like we were psychically assaulted. The resurrection of the Hollywood slasher film, like “Scream”, diluted the horror genre of the mid 1990s. Now I always felt and still do feel that the popularity of those films was due to the public’s desire to see the beautiful people get killed for a change after years of teenage and twenty something prime time soap operas that presented an unrealistic ideal that most people cannot possible achieve.

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Previously Viewed

Invaders From Mars

The original 1953 INVADERS FROM MARS is a cult classic, appreciated for both its influence on later similar films and the fact that it reads as hilariously corny by today standards. But this 1986 remake--in spite of a big budget, several very talented actors, and a deliberately campy script--is unlikely to inspire the same sort of loyalty, and it was universally condemned by critics and audiences alike when first released.

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100% Weird Double Feature

The Wild Word of Hercules and their Makers

Being an avid Bodybuilder and fan of classic euro films, I find the subject of Hercules very entertaining. I have followed the careers of both Reg Park and Steeve Reeves extensively and, I am currently conducting a study on the art of these films and am contrasting their likenesses and differences.

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From Rubbage to Rubbage

Savage Cinema is undergoing a constant transition. Each issue will have its own feel and touch. They will all be different and each be unique at the same time. We want to offer multimedia features in the near future. Emplement horror audio while visiting site in the backgrounds of each page. Include movie scripts and links to clips of each movie it reviews.

Article Coming Soon

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