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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1983) - William Asher

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker is an Exploitation Horror movie from 1983 and part of the Video Nasty catalog. You see, in England at the end of the seventies and into the early eighties there was this Video Nasty movement that banned certain movies from seeing the light of day. Since VHS was the only way to get your hands on one of these gems, they were being passed around like hotcakes. Illegal hotcakes. People actually spent time in prison. What a waste of time and money. 

These movies aren't all wonderful, some of them are downright horrible. That is the appeal here though, when your mom tells you that you can't have something you always want it more. You always want what you can't have. So true. 

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (or Night Warning) is a strange Oedipus journey that deals with obsession, anti-homosexual views, and gruesome murder. The movie has copious amounts of blood supplemented with a late 70's soap opera storyline. The movie is cheesy and offensive and at sometimes is a bit suspect.

The movie is about a boy that loses his parents to one of the funniest car wrecks ever put on celluloid. He is raised by his aunt who continuously tries to sleep with him. She kills a gay handyman and covers it up by claiming rape. Throw in a homophobic cop (That has secret homosexual fantasies himself), a head in a jar, a decomposing body, and an insanely intriguing killer aunt and you have one hell of a cheap ass ride. 

The movie deals with some pretty heavy issues, I suppose that’s why this is a exploitation film. There are anti-homosexual remarks at every turn. I guess it was a sign of the times. The movie also really jumps around from bizarre storyline to bizarre storyline.

The special effects are nothing to write home about, in fact there aren't really any amazing special effects. The movie mostly focus on shocking you with its storyline content. There are scenes that made me ask "What the hell! How did they put this to screen?" Of course this movie is full of holes, but no Video Nasty would be complete without them so who cares? 

"Phil Brody, remember him? The man who got wasted here? Well he was a fag, and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a fag to be raping your aunt, unless you're one. Are you a fag?" - Detective Joe Carlson (What the hell sense does that make?)

Director: William Asher
Country: USA
Style: Incestual Revenge Horror

Did ya know...
The movie is also known as Night Warning and On the Verge of a Nightmare. Jan De Bont worked as a cinematographer on this movie for a few scenes. Nominated for a Saturn Award for the Best Horror Movie of 1982 by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. 

Friday, April 01, 2011

When Harry Met Sally (1989) - Rob Reiner

Directed by Rob Reiner (Misery, This is Spinal Tap) and starring the knock-out, beautiful Meg Ryan (City of Angles) and the hilarious Billy Crystal. When Harry Met Sally is the greatest romantic comedy of all time. This movie has Billy Crystal in the one role that he was born to play; forget City Slickers, Analyze This/That, and Mr. Saturday Night. When Harry Met Sally gives Crystal all of the lines and hilarity that he was born to play. The dynamic between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal should go down in history as one of the best; there was no point in the movie in which I was not rooting for them to make it.

The movie is about this one thing... "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way". Harry (Crystal) says that in the beginning of the film and the entire movie follows this one thesis. Of course the movie follows the same romantic comedy dynamic that every romantic comedy does, this one however delivers on the goods. This is the greatest Woody Allen movie that had nothing to do with Woody Allen. 

The film hits almost every mark on the checklist of romcom troupes: scene with a taxi going over a bridge with the New York City skyline as the backdrop... Check. Winter skating at Rockefeller plaza... Check. Slow walks through central park with the leaves changing colors on all of the trees... Check. New York City shown in the way that I always envision it, Pre-Mayor Bloomberg... Check. The antagonistic beginnings of the titular character’s relationship eventually blooming into the ninth inning, bases loaded, out-of-the-park brand of love...Check Check.  This movie has it all. Why wouldn't I watch it. 
Deli Scene... there I referenced it. Oh and that Wagon Wheel table is awesome. 

"Yes. They had the days of the week on them, and I thought they were sort of funny. And then one day Sheldon says to me, "You never wear Sunday." It was all suspicious. Where was Sunday? Where had I left Sunday? And I told him, and he didn't believe me." - Sally (Best conversation in the movie)

Director: Rob Reiner
Country: USA
Style: Romantic Comedy

Did ya know...
Meg Ryan breaks character in the museum when Billy Crystal says to her "I would be proud to partake of your Pecan Pie." She looks off camera to director Rob Reiner who urges her to go with it. Rob Reiner makes a cameo off-camera yelling "Hey everybody! 10 seconds until New Year!" The orgasm scene was filmed at Katz's Deli, an actual restaurant on New York's E. Houston Street. The table at which the scene was filmed now has a plaque on it that reads, "Congratulations! You're sitting where Harry met Sally."