Oh boy did I watch some bad movies at the weekend. We piled over to my brother Sean's house, ate custard doughnuts and got down to it.
We started off with a good film -John Carpenter's Christine- but the night went downhill after that. It's asking a lot of an audience to find a car scary, but with taut pacing, convincing performances and a classic Carpenter score, the B-Movie auteur pulls it off. There's
some real badass punk types who call lead-nerd Cunningham 'cuntface' and smash his glasses. Then they get expelled so they smash his car. Bad move; the car is Christine, and Christine is an evil car, and they all get run over. Christine's radio only plays '50's music, she drives herself, fixes herself and gets jealous when her owner touches girls. Ultimately, this makes Cunningham evil too, and he loses it and his friends have to kill him. But Christine won't die, because she isn't alive. Because she's a car, right? The film ends with the line 'I hate rock'n'roll'. Superb.
This is when it all kind of fell apart. We put on Andrea Bianchi's Burial Ground aka Nights of Terror aka Zombi 3. All Bianachi's other films were porno, and it shows. The scariest thing in it is is the child who is clearly played by a freakish adult midget. Italians wander around moaning with bits of clay on their faces. Some guts get eaten at one point.
After that we watched the incredible Story of Ricky, a kung fu film with insane amounts of gore. Ricky is in prison for killing a smack dealer. The prison is a privatised hell hole. Ricky rises to the top and takes control, beating the corrupt, capitalist wardens and destroying their opium harvest. Ricky has super-human strength, and when he punches people in the head, they explode. You're not allowed to watch it here because it will make you kill people, despite being probably the silliest film ever made.
Next up was a Hammer House of Horror episode called the House that Bled to Death, which Duncan Fleming brought round. For the most part it's dismal early 80's British fare, just before Hammer Studios finally realised they hadn't made a good film in years and called it a day. Everything has that depressing, suburban, Likely Lads vibe, where everyone is a total loser and has bloody awful wallpaper. This episode has a classic scene where lots of kids get sprayed with blood at a birthday party. The scene builds beautifully, with a sense of impending doom, and there really is something upsetting about kids having fun eating jelly and ice-cream,
and then getting drenched in blood from a burst water main. The film ends with one of those expected Tales of the Unexpected conceits which nullifies the first half of the film.
Then, despite my pleas, we watched Street Trash, a meandering bunch of crap with an awful comedy-rape scene where a very fat man attacks a woman while silly trombone music plays, indicating his fatness. Due to the presence of goofy circus music, it isn't rape, apparently. The only good part in the film is when someone melts after drinking out of date hooch. This doesn't happen frequently enough, and can't make up for the casual mysogyny of the previous scene. This is where the BBFC really mystifies me. They aren't prepared to pass I Spit On Your Grave, which whilst being a problematic and flawed film, does nothing if not depict rape as a truly horrifying ordeal, yet they are happy to allow us to watch something which completely trivialises it. Given their sensibly passing Irreversible uncut, i'm once again unable to comprehend their logic.