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The most surreal slasher film ever made
This is a homemade 80's slasher film that appears to have cost about 14 bucks to make and looks like it was shot on a VHS camcorder (I'm not kidding). It was shown at a theater in L.A. recently as part of a homemade horror video festival and I still can't get it out of my mind. The film begins with an abused child being locked in a closet while his mother has a drunken fling with a character referred to in the credits as the "Lover". Before the affair can commence a giant masked maniac armed with a sledgehammer beats them to a bloody pulp. A title card (old ass 80's camcorder text) tells us it's 10 years later and we are introduced to seven potential victims as they go for a weekend retreat in the home of the previous murders where they are systematically stalked and killed by the same sledge wielding madman. OK, I know it all sounds very derivative and there are much better, more professional cheap ass slashers out there, but this movie is "special" in a lot of ways. First off, the low production value and it's cheap, home video quality cinematography actually enhance the film a lot. That combined with a simple, yet effective, bass heavy synthesizer score, an amateur cast made up of muscle bound jocks and big hair bimbos, and a freakishly tall killer who wears a clear plastic mask and is genuinely creepy looking make this movie transcend into a weird kinda art piece. It's like if Pinter made a slasher movie at a friends house one weekend for beer money on his home video camera. There is also an unexplained paranormal bit where the killer can physically change back into the small child from the beginning so I assume the kid is the killer and he's a shape shifter. Huh!? This effect is handled with an old fashioned dissolve. There is a completely inappropriate food fight that is extended for so long it becomes almost disturbing on a sociological level. The killer is SO big he barely clears the hallway's ceiling as he chases a victim and he holds his sledgehammer in one hand the way most normal people hold a regular hammer. Freaky. This whole films visual style is unnerving and escalates it into something much more than what was probably intended. David Lynch meets The Slumber Party Massacre. If you can get a bootleg dub somewhere, get high and drunk with as many friends you can find and toss it on the old VCR. The 80's never seemed stranger.

The Movie Orgy

A time capsule of baby boomer nostalgia
I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles Ca. for a very rare screening of The Movie Orgy on April 22nd 2008. It was shown on the last night of the Joe Dante festival, Dante's Inferno, two weeks of films programmed by the famed director. In 1968 Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison, then college students, spliced this massive collection of film and television bits together and toured college campuses with The Movie Orgy. It was a four and a half hour bombardment of imagery from television, movies, old serials, news programs, musical performances, etc., to form a pop culture explosion of pre-1968 baby boomer nostalgia. It was a lot of fun, truly the most entertaining cinematic experience I ever had. For someone like me that was born around the time this film was playing the college circuit, it was a chance to watch the influences and yearnings of an entire generation before me splayed out in a bouillabaisse of cinematic insanity. I loved it.

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