Braindead

OK, so this blog doesn’t have anything in it except movie reviews. I like movies. And you can think I haven’t got anything else going on in my life, if you like.

Actually, whether I do or not, I will continue to take the time to watch Braindead at least once every ten years. It is the grossest most hilarious agonising and inimmitably kiwi movie I know. The pus and splatter just keep spurting from new directions. The kids are as earnest as the zombies are treacherous. The mother zombie goes off the scale when she stuffs Lionel back into her rotting womb so he has to hack his way out amidst gushes of gore.

You can see where Peter got his practice at prosthetics.

Subway

Perhaps Luc Besson actually called it “Metro”. Either way, it’s dated. Recognisable as having been stylish and kinda snappy, now it seems, though colourful, a bit loose and pointless – unless you like it that the main character, and some of his buddies, are just like that in contrast to the dulled-down drones populating the rest of the film’s world.

Purely by coincidence, it has Isabelle Adjani in it, as does Herzog’s Nosferatu.

Nosferatu

Continuing our Hertzog/Kinski tour, we watched their Nosferatu, but not before watching the one of ‘fore-grandfather’ FW Murnau.

Equally scary, sensuous and vastly bleak, the two are distinguished primarily by their thematic content. While Murnau’s references are mythological and timeless, Hertzog’s might be the intervening German experience. The inhuman horror of the vampire that Murnau protrays in an intensely phsyical and visual style is resolved in an almost optimistic ending. Kinski’s figure however is all too human and its horror too infectious for comfort to be felt at any stage.

Woyzcek

Manic deutsch duo Herzog and Kinski shot this in five days (in 1979) both knackered from just having finished shooting Nosferatu. Rumour has it that for the opening scene, Kinski instructed the actr playing the drill sergeant (?) not to both staging the kicking but to just go ahead and actually kick him. Is this method acting?

Either way, as in Fitzcarraldo, the fact of them making this movie casts their real-life selves as characters not unlike those they are portraying (ie mad bastards).

Redeeming them might be some sense that this film makes in the context of German theatre, film, expresssionism and culture. It isn’t much fun. It’s certainly not light. If you don’t think it’s packing a punch, you pretty soon realise that it is.

Must now watch: “Nosferatu: Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht” (Herzog & Kinski in 1979), “Nosferatu” (FW Murnau in 1922), “Metrolpolis” (Fritz Lang, expressionist), “the Cabinet of Dr Caligari” (also expressionist), Madame Dubary (ditto).