Movie night at Marty’s is a frequent escape I take from modern cinema’s obsession with faux professionalism. To clarify that; while the movies today are, for the most part, as equally awful and ridiculous as any period in American cinema, it’s become cheaper to make a good looking poster, trailer, soundtrack, and even film print. So while my enthusiasm often gets the better of me with movies that involve sharks, zombies, sasquachi, yakuza gangs, animal attacks, robots, underwater bases, artic research facilities, and jungle treks’s, I often find that the siren song of modern technology (3D graphics / green screen wizardry) has enabled the well-meaning directors of these films to produce awful, terrible junk. I mean it – many films made these days look so damned bad they’re unwatchable. If you had a chance to visit Blockbuster before they imploded, you know exactly what I mean; half of their inventory consists of poorly put together, technology driven knock-off versions of once popular films. I don’t care to look up the industry term for what this practice is called, but I’m sure Hollywood has put one together.
So. Since I like ‘good’ bad movies, I watch films at Marty’s on Thursday night’s. Marty is one of those rare folks that acts as a cultural filter. To put it in my own perspective; he’s passionate about the best of our creative American culture – that which is free of the damning label of ‘cultural relevance’, meaning the work itself does not fit clearly into the linear progress of the social, political, sexual or psychological evolution of our American Culture. Roughly that translates to ‘often violent, highly sexual, but extraordinarily well put together action or horror films from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s’. While the movies we watch hold an undeniable influence on cinema, and therefore a ghost-influence on the culture at large, they are largely unknown to the vast majority of movie-go’ers (which includes pretty much everyone). If they are eventually counted as ‘matterful’, it’s typically only after someone who DOES get counted in the chronology (like Quentin Tarantino) champions them as an influence in their own creative evolution.
So it’s with ears and eyes wide open that I watched the following two films tonight;
I’ll leave reviewing movies to Marty, but check them out sometime. John Daniels is kind of amazing. Incidentally, while I wrote this post I’ve been watching 1986′s Chopping Mall. The hair alone is worth the time.