Sunday, February 15, 2009

A few thoughts and CARNIVAL OF SOULS (63)

Here's a few thoughts:

1. Is there a shittier duo of holidays than Valentine's Day quickly followed by President's Day. Almost anyone who's been anywhere near me this week has probably heard my tirade about V-Day but here's a quick synopsis: Valentine's Day blows. Why? Because it's a no-win situation for anyone. If you're in a relationship you're automatically stressed because you're forced, for whatever reason, to create some sort of big event to show your loved one you care. Shouldn't you be showing said "loved one" you care every single day? On the other hand if you're not involved in a relationship, you're bludgeoned, repeatedly with the constant reminder that you my sad sack friend are without a special someone. Hope you aren't wallowing in depression and loneliness come February 14th, as it's pretty much sadness in a can, and lord knows what chemicals you'll be ingesting to, well "make yourself happy". I like the idea of having another reason to show the person you love how much you love, I don't like the fact that it's a plastic holiday created by a card company to make a bigger profit in the post-holiday season.

2. Oh, and even better, two days later it's fucking President's Day. Woooooooo! Go America lets celebrate a bunch of old dead white people who owned slaves and had rotten wooden teeth. Seriously, we have a holiday that celebrates politicians? What's next Lawyer Day? Thanks, but no thanks, celebrating corruption just isn't my bag.

3. I was at a concert on Friday night (a concert where I was so sick that I actually fell asleep standing up) and Henry Rollins was standing right next to me. Don't know who Henry Rollins is? Shame on you. One of the more influential musicians around. For those of you who do know the man, he's got to be 50 or so and he still looks like he could break the head off a lion. Sure, his fist pump seemed a little forced, and his man boobs poked out from his shirt a bit, but still, Henry fucking Rollins. Awesome!

And those are my thoughts.

B-movies can be described, in a more academic sense thusly:

(a) a genre film with minimal artistic ambitions or (b) a lively, energetic film uninhibited by the constraints imposed on more expensive projects and unburdened by the conventions of putatively "serious" independent film

In layman terms, b-movies are genre films (horror, sci-fi, westerns, etc.) shot on cheapskate budgets and usually unrestricted by the normal levels of quality you expect from your typical film. B-movies = shitty films that usually included monsters or cowboy hats. Yes, many of them are influential, but after you've waded through the river of academic shit, at the end of the day you're going to find low budget films that exist for well, fun.

So sure, the first half of Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls (63), the half I've watched, is good-natured cheesy fun. Sure, Harvey and his screenwriter John Clifford have put together a pretty stunning array of images, but in the end it's a high-end horror film. Girl survives terrible crash, girl drives to Utah to become organ player, girl starts seeing creepy maybe-dead people. That is honestly the entire plot. Yes, there's some side characters thrown in to round out the small town feel, but in general this is a movie about a woman who has visions after escaping a near-death experience. There's shoddy make-up, enjoyably bad dialogue, and a pervy male character that very well could be Christopher Walken's dirtier cousin - everything you want from your classic B-movie.

It's a fun film to watch, but in the long journey that will be the Criterion Quest I'm marking this one as a lesser oddity. A film I'm not unexcited to sit through, but not a masterpiece by any means.

Tuesday: Finishing off Carnival of Souls (63)


griffdog said...

I love the movie ads for B movies.
They are a work of art in themselves.

Mark said...

I've been away for a while and missed your blog, so I just read a bunch of posts in a row to get caught up. You are strange.


PS You should've mention "creature features" in your explanation of b-movies.