September 5, 2017

Third Clue: September's Mystery Movie

Clue #3: This months movie was filmed as a standalone horror flick, but the distributors decided to change the title to infer it was a sequel to a better known, and totally unrelated, movie.

>>>THIS MONTH'S SHOW WILL BE AT DIFFERENT LOCATION!! Read on to find out more!<<<<

>>>>THE TRYLON IS IN THE MIDST OF A REMODEL SO OUR SHOW IS TEMPORARILY ON THE ROAD!!! Come check us out this month at the community room in the Carleton Artist Lofts! <<<<

Tape Freaks Presents: September's Mystery Movie at the Carleton Artist Lofts community room, Wednesday September 6th @ 7:00pm. Suggested donation $5

Back to School: Return to Horror High

Another guest writing spot by Izzi Xiques, this time as a joint effort with Colette, because this movie is SO flippin' confusing...

Return to Horror High right off the bat is misleading as it has absolutely nothing to do with the Horror High that came out over a decade before. But that's only where the confusion starts, I actually had to watch this film twice to try and decipher what the hell was going on.

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!!
As much as I can figure out, the plot is basically this: in a high school abandoned because of a murder spree in which the killer was never caught, a production company is shooting a film based on the murders, and as you'd expect the cast and crew start getting picked off by an unknown killer. Now, you might think "obviously the murderer is back”, but it’s not that simple. At least I don’t think it's that simple, because this movie is so confusing that I don’t even know if it’s simple or not. [Spoilers ahead, I think???] The story is told through a series of flashbacks within flashbacks, movies scenes within the film and dream sequences, and because of all these layers, you start to question what's flashbacks and what's present day. You'd think that would be pretty apparent, but it's not in ways you couldn't possibly imagine. 

The film opens with police investigating the death of an entire film crew. A detective and some officers are getting the gory story of what happened by questioning the lone survivor (the screenwriter) and we are pretty quickly thrown into a flashback. The flashback is mostly there to set-up who's who in the production crew. The film's producer keeps forcing the screenwriter to write in more sex and boobs, one of the actors is dropping from the production to take a better gig, the director is frustrated with everything, and actors and crew keep hanging out in inexplicably dark corners of the school far away from everyone else. Once the murders get going, it's hard for the crew to distinguish between the special effects and people who have been murdered. But it's not just the people in the film who are confused by what's "real" and what's part of the film production.

Things start getting really confusing for the audience when a scene (complete with full cinematic coverage and editing) suddenly ends when someone yells "cut". It turns out that scene was being shot by the film crew, and we were watching it play out as though it were the finished product. And, if that wasn't confusing enough, later on in the film an a different fully-cinematic scene turns out to have been a dream sequence! (There's a final element of confusion to this flashback salad, but it's a total spoiler. Let's just say that it leaves you wondering even deeper what's "real" and "fake", even though it was clearly intended to give the viewer a more concrete idea of what was what.)

The conclusion to this who-done-it horror doesn't give much clarification either, but let’s just say there is a javelin throw, a bunch of dead brides, a twist you couldn't see coming if you tried, and a teen pregnancy. There's also a tease for a sequel that never came. 

But even though this trashy 80’s slasher is actually the most complicated and confusing film I’ve ever seen, I highly recommend watching it. If not for any other reasons than it's peppered with awkward (and nonsensical) sex montages, features a young George Clooney and a Brady Bunch daughter all grown up, and was shot by pretty decent cinematographer (Roy H. Wagner). At least you can say all of those things make sense!

September 3, 2017

Back to School: Deadly Eyes

We wrote this up for our eco horror theme a few years ago (check out that post here), and although it's not really a movie about school, it's got one particular school element that stands out.

Breaks into his house so he'll discover her like this.
Dudes LOVE when you break into their homes... right?
One of this killer-rat movie's main characters is a teacher who's being pursued by one of his (very young) students. She's pretty relentless in her efforts to get him to date her but, he doesn't ever consider that as a possibility. And he doesn't just shut her down and move on with his dog-sized rat fighting day; he shuts her down and pursues a woman his own age. His reactions are so out of the ordinary, especially for that time period, that it's one of the few elements I can recall about this flick. (I mean, aside from the TERRIFYING effect of dachshunds wearing rat costumes.)

I don't know who was responsible for those decisions in this film, but I would LOVE to thank them in person. It's not everyday you get to see men behaving appropriately when it comes to minors (on screen or otherwise) but when I do see it in film, it makes an impression. Makes you wonder what kinds of impressions are being imprinted when the opposite is portrayed... *

But is this dude actually deserving of all that lady attention? Not particularly... but it's Canada, eh?

*JK, we totally know.

September 2, 2017

Second Clue: September's Mystery Movie

Clue #2: Most of the character names in this month's movie are references to well known genre directors.

>>>THIS MONTH'S SHOW WILL BE AT DIFFERENT LOCATION!! Read on to find out more!<<<<

>>>>THE TRYLON IS IN THE MIDST OF A REMODEL SO OUR SHOW IS TEMPORARILY ON THE ROAD!!! Come check us out this month at the community room in the Carleton Artist Lofts! <<<<

Tape Freaks Presents: September's Mystery Movie at the Carleton Artist Lofts community room, Wednesday September 6th @ 7:00pm. Suggested donation $5

September 1, 2017

Back to School: Swinging Cheerleaders

This one's probably furthest in tone from the movie we're screening, but we watched it recently and it's too weird not to fit into the theme!

The plot unfolds something like this: A squad of cheerleaders at a small college are holding tryouts for a new member! Unwittingly, they fill the position with an under cover campus reporter who's looking to write an expose on the damages cheerleading can have on society at large. But, as you'd probably guess, she's gonna have a change of heart before the end of the film and everyone will end up friends.

Plot twist: Our undercover reporter and the star football player uncover a plot by the football coach, the statistics professor, and the dean to rig an entire season of football so they can throw the last game and make out like bandits! 

Nudity and commentary: This movie is mostly just an excuse for boobs on screen, but there's some weird commentary and role juxtapositions thrown in for good measure. The star football player for instance is intelligent and emotionally well rounded (even though he's using and cheating on his cheerleader girlfriend). The dude hippy is a misogynist in feminist clothing, and is ultimately (and thankfully off camera) a rapist. The cheerleaders themselves are a diverse group: there's the gal who's trying to lose her virginity, the one who's got the aforementioned statistics professor in her side pocket, the undercover reporter, the daughter of the dean, and the one we only saw three times outside of the locker room. They operate in the team as individuals, they hold conflicting opinions, and each character has an arch of sorts (except the one we never saw), but the most surprising one was Lisa, the gal who was banging her professor.

Lisa: She ends up being the key to uncovering the gambling plot when her (totally married and WAY older) professor boyfriend brings her along one night while he picks up gambling-winnings at some local bars. This night on the town also tips off the professor's wife who pays Lisa an intense visit instructing her to find her own man. But, that threat isn't what makes Lisa leave her gross boyfriend. First Lisa goes to her friend to discuss her new problems (inadvertently tipping her friend off to the gambling ring) so she can work out what she should do. In the end Lisa does leave the professor, but on her own terms and without making her decision to leave him about him. She tells him that she needs to figure out who she is, and that she can't do that with him in her life. That character frankly has more agency than most modern (and fully clothed) female characters in comedy or romance flicks (not to mention a black women in an overwhelmingly white cast). Her character's arch was interesting and well rounded, and frankly took this weird little flick to a more watchable level.

Starts a titty movie, ends abruptly: This movie starts off a straight up titty movie, but about half way through, the nudity is completely dropped. And then it suddenly becomes this slapstick comedy where the star football player (I don't think they even mentioned what position he played) is kidnapped by mob goons because he won't throw the game. But the cheerleaders save the day! They rally the rest of the team to save the star player, bring him back to the game, have a pep-talk in the parking lot, and cut to a cheerleader jumping in the air –freeze frame– credits. No joke. It's so abrupt and unexpected it made a movie I might recommend, to a movie I would TOTALLY recommend.

This is from the opening credits, but the closing stills are recycled from the opening so, you get the idea!

"That lady!" moments with: Rosanne Katon (Motel Hell, St. Elsewhere, Full House, and Playboy Bunny), and Colleen Camp (Election, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Clue!).

The Director: Jack Hill was the reason we watched this movie, he wrote and directed Coffy and Foxy Brown!

Bonus fact: Swinging Cheerleaders makes an appearance in the Errol Morris documentary, The Thin Blue Line. The subject of the documentary's alibi includes having watched part of this movie at the drive-in the night of the murder.

August 30, 2017

Back to School: Suspiria

We've written up Suspiria before, it's really a striking movie to watch, but's it's also about one of the worst school experiences you could POSSIBLY have...

First night: Suzy Bannion flies from America to Germany, immediately takes a cab to the campus of her new dance school only to be left standing in the pouring rain and the dead of night pounding on the school's door while being refused to be let in. While attempting to enter the building, another student flees the school, nearly knocking Suzy to the ground, and runs straight into the woods. Defeated and confused, Suzy takes her cab back into town to find a hotel for the night.

Later that night: Pat (the fleeing student) has found refuge at another student's apartment in town; but unfortunately for her, it's no sanctuary. While trying to collect herself in the bathroom, Pat hears noises outside the window, and what happens next is one of the more cinematic (but still bloody) kills in the horror genre:

The school year only get's better from there: Suzy returns to the school the next morning only to discover what she witnessed the night before were the last moments of her classmate's life. Suzy eventually teams up with her dorm-mate to investigate the increasingly suspicious reactions from the school's staff, as the students disappear/turn up dead at an increasingly alarming rate. 

Recommended for: Anyone attending art college, studying abroad, or attending school in New England... 

August 29, 2017

First Clue: September's Mystery Movie

Clue #1: The theme for this month's movie is Back to School! This month we'll be covering those lovely films that take place in high school (and sometimes middle school) that get usually get things hilariously wrong.

>>>THIS MONTH'S SHOW WILL BE AT DIFFERENT LOCATION!! Read on to find out more!<<<<

>>>>THE TRYLON IS IN THE MIDST OF A REMODEL SO OUR SHOW IS TEMPORARILY ON THE ROAD!!! Come check us out this month at the community room in the Carleton Artist Lofts! <<<<

Tape Freaks Presents: September's Mystery Movie at the Carleton Artist Lofts community room, Wednesday September 6th @ 7:00pm. Suggested donation $5