Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here on the IndyBlog.
Mark Hartley’s incredibly seminal 2008 documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild Untold Story of Ozploitation, about the ’70s/’80s Australian exploitation film scene, has been a boon to the pocketbook of many a genre fan. Numerous badly duped bootlegs have flown off convention tables at an alarming rate, with people anxious to see these lost treasures. Thankfully, Severin Films has firmly taken the reins, delivering top-notch, high-quality, uncut prints of classic Ozploitation flicks, including the John Lamond slasher classic Nightmares. While others compare it to Halloween, I see more of an Italian giallo influence, with a faceless killer stabbing the entire cast of a local theater production — with a shard of glass, no less. Is it the snarling, limping critic? The fresh-faced newcomer actor? The perfectionist director? Or the frigid actress who, as a child, witnessed her mom cheating on her dad, and then accidentally killed her? I’ll let you solve that one, Sherlock.
My car once broke down in the middle of an ice storm, with the doors frozen shut. I had to wait in the zero-degree temps all night, counting the snowflakes until a kindly snowplow came by to offer assistance. It was all right; I didn’t freeze to death, and actually slept like a rock for a few hours. Sure I was cold, but I wasn’t a crybaby about it. Also, I didn’t have a heaping helping of meth beforehand, like the two utterly unlikable protagonists of Frozen Kiss did. Young lovers Shelley and Ryan are a couple of true scumbags: Ryan left his wife and baby to be with Shelley, while Shelley’s boyfriend shot himself in the face when he found out about her infidelities. After a night of insane partying, this dynamically dumb duo finds themselves broken down and tripping balls. Their friends and family search for them, but every part of you hopes they don’t reach them in time. Every. Part.
Have you ever watched a Nazi propaganda film? They were masters of propaganda. In those films, the Jews were, of course, the cause of every single one of Germany’s ills, portrayed as money-grubbing hedonist slobs. The hardworking Aryans, meanwhile, were just doing their best to rid Germany of this menace, the Nazi solider leading the way as the highest ideal possible. Miral is this generation’s Der Ewige Jude, so in-your-face anti-Semitic that it, at times, feels like a parody of a propaganda film. Miral is, for all intents and purposes, a blatant hit piece on Israel, presenting the Palestinian people as pure, innocent, oppressed freedom fighters who are under the tyrannical thumb of the evil Jewish conspiracy. Jews are, like they were in Nazi films, presented as slovenly rapists and degenerates, violent thugs who take great pleasure in the destruction of Palestine and its people. Miral left me sad more than anything else.