14 October 2013

October 14th

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) directed by Ruggero Deodato
Despite Cannibal Holocaust's enormous infamy, I think Deodato's earlier Last Cannibal World is the better film.  World felt rawer and more real.  Holocaust feels manufactured.  It might be due to their stories.  World is about a man captured by savages and fighting to escape.  It's intimate and simple.  We identify with his suffering and cheer when he escapes.  Holocaust clunkily tells two tales, one of an anthropologist searching for a lost documentary team, then another using the footage that lost team shot.

The first never feels particularly dangerous.  The anthropologist and his team never feel out of control among the natives in the jungle.  Its purpose seems to be to give us a tour of the aftermath of the documentary team's adventures in the jungle and raise a little mystery over the circumstances of their deaths.  It's goes on too long for what it is -- it's 45 minutes before the team returns to New York with the film -- and could've been chopped down a bit.

The second is filled with a strange amount of finger-wagging at the audience.  When the film is screened, we quickly learn that the young documentarians are a group of sociopaths, who think nothing of burning natives alive in order to create a story for their documentary.  After each scene of extreme violence -- either committed by or against the filmmakers -- the film cuts back to the anthropologist in the screening room with a sad look on his face.  "Hey, you in the audience, you're sick for watching this," Deodato seems to be saying.  Hey, I ain't the one who made it...

Suffice it to say, Cannibal Holocaust did not live up to its large reputation.

Watched: DVD from Grindhouse Releasing.

American Horror Story 2.03: "Asylum: Nor'easter" (2012) directed by Michael Uppendahl
So far, I'm liking the all-over-the-place goofiness of the show.  This episode features Sister Jude getting drunk, a possessed nun running around causing mischief, a short glimpse of a huge alien, a better glimpse of the monsters the doctor keeps feeding, and unnecessary amputation.  I feel like the showrunners discovered that they were incapable of making a serious horror show -- like the early episodes of season 1 were -- and are playing to their strengths now.  Still, something like this will easily fall apart into disappointment once they begin explaining things.

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