Tuesday 22 Jul
 
 
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OKG Newsletter


Topic: nudity
raisinghell

‘The Devils’ made me do it

Read any good books lately? About movies, that is?

When I’m not watching movies, there are few things I like doing more than reading about them. Luckily, the weeks leading up to the holidays brought three brand-spanking-new ones to my desk for my reading and reviewing pleasure.


Should you forgo a few matinees and time from your Netflix Instant Queue to consume the words they hold within? You’ll know in a matter of minutes ...

Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils
Richard Crouse
ECW Press


The sign of a good “making of” book is if it’s compelling even if you’ve never seen the film whose production it documents. Such is the case with Richard Crouse’s Raising Hell, covering the shooting and subsequent public skewering of 1971’s The Devils.

While director Ken Russell (Altered States, Tommy, Lisztomania, Trapped Ashes) had his troubles with oft-blitzed leading man Oliver Reed, the real storm rolled in after the film was released. After all, would you expect a historical horror epic that combines Christianity with sexuality to be controversial? Of course!

With a mix of his own reporting and other sources, Canada-based film critic Crouse paints an intriguing portrait of the events both on-set and off. One actress quips, “Have you ever tried writhing sexually for 10 hours at a time? Try it one day. It’s not easy.” The real tumult arrived once word of its content — particularly a “rape of Christ” sequence — leaked; while branded with the X rating in England, it somehow scored an R in good ol’ America, yet that hardly resulted in big box office.

Today, Warner Bros. still hasn’t released The Devils in any post-VHS format, at least not uncensored. Other than locating a *cough* torrent *cough*, reading Crouse’s book may be the next best thing. While it’s not on the masterful level of Julie Salamon’s The Devil’s Candy, it is a fascinating read that peels back the veil on the Hollywood studio system and those mavericks who, God bless ’em, attempt to shake it up every once in a while.  

Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie
Rob Christopher
Huron Street Press


With tens of thousands of titles available at your fingertips at home, it’s easy to forget that your local libraries are a viable outlet for renting movies. (Hell, these days, they may boast a better selection than dying dog Blockbuster Video.) I think I’ve only rented one there, because back in 2004, my wife and I needed some instructional video to teach our kids about how that bump got in Mommy’s belly. Therefore, one free VHS rental later, animation narrated by Howie Mandel taught our kids about the birds and the bees, but all I remember is him referring to the orgasm as a “really big tickle.”

That’s a roundabout way of getting to Queue Tips, a fun paperback published by an imprint of the American Library Association and edited by Chicago critic Rob Christopher.

Sticking to no particular number, he and his guests tick off recommendations for unusual romances, disaster flicks, Nicolas Cage vehicles, Westerns that aren’t Westerns, unconventional Christmas films, half-good flops and more. Novelist Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart) offers his choices for “late-night spooky films,” while Saturday Night Live vet Julia Sweeney simply discusses random titles that were on her mind.

You can build up quite a “to see” list of your own, but even if you’ve seen a majority of the works referenced, the presentation is lively enough for rediscovery. I have one big complaint: It’s too damn short! Lists about movies can be a blast, and the 24 here are just that ... but 24 is not quite enough to satiate my addiction.

Contemporary Erotic Cinema
Douglas Keesey
Kamera Books


SEX! And now that I have your attention, you might want to read an entire book about it, or at least movies that deal directly with "it," and rather frankly at that.

California film/lit professor Douglas Keesey digs through decades upon decades of blue movies and smutty skinema for flick-by-flick examinations of more than 100 examples. Divided into specific fetishes themes like incest, gay, anal or Nazis, he discusses the acts and themes present — often in all their glory — in The Reader, Porky’s, Boogie Nights and even Team America: World Police.

It's certainly not for the prude, and the full-color photo section in the middle should be kept from young, prying eyes. Speaking of eyes, I sure got some strange looks as I read the book while waiting in line to vote in the presidential election. USA! USA!

While his mini-essays can verge on the pretentious, I cannot deny reading every page. I’m just not sure I learned anything beyond what movies I can go without seeing for life, as many entries end with having raised more questions than providing any answers. Often, he literally closes with a question, i.e. “We see them in their all, but do we really know them?” or “Is the man insufficient just because the woman enjoys her own sex?”

You be the judge, I guess. It’s certainly not taxing study. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Horror Films book review     
Lisztomania DVD review   
Phallic Frenzy: Ken Russell and His Films book review    
Samurai Films book review   
Trapped Ashes DVD review   

by Rod Lott 01.08.2013 1 year ago
at 05:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Wake in Fright

G'day, mate? Hardly!


Thriller

Rod Lott
From 1971, Wake in Fright is a lost film recently and literally rescued from near-oblivion. While I can’t say I was familiar with it before its Drafthouse Films re-release, I’m glad it was saved. To have lost a work this good would have been a blow.
 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Possession

This is why you shouldn’t go antiquing.


Horror

Rod Lott
Certainly I’m not the only one who confused The Possession and The Apparition when they played theaters late this summer. After all, the two horror films not only had soundalike titles and shared similar premises, but opened within seven days of one another.
 
Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Thompsons

More ‘True Blood,’ less ‘Twilight,’ thankfully.


Horror

Rod Lott
One need not have seen 2006’s The Hamiltons before seeing its new sequel, The Thompsons. Heck, one need not even have heard of it, as I suspect many haven't.
 
Friday, January 18, 2013

Cherry Tree Lane

‘Cherry’ bombs.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Pick a revenge movie. Any revenge movie.
 
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nature Calls

Scout’s honor: This movie should be funny.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Nature Calls finds writer/director Todd Rohal attempting to shoehorn the wonderfully, outlandishly absurd humor of his previous film, 2011's The Catechism Cataclysm, into a vehicle more mainstream. While it doesn't generate ill will, it does not work, try though the cast might.
 
Monday, January 28, 2013

Marathon, man!

When weekend weather chills the bones, you have our permission to hunker down and binge on these recent releases on DVD and Blu-ray.

 
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Femme Fatales: The Complete First Season

Babes, bullets and ... well, that about covers it.


Television series

Rod Lott
Femme Fatales is unlike any previous Skinemax Cinemax adult series in that the nudity, while plentiful, isn’t the reason for its being and, therefore, isn’t dreadfully boring like those others — yes, you, Emmanuelle in Space. If you harbor an equal love for pulp fiction and dangerous curves, the 13 episodes that make up the premiere season’s three-disc set should provide plenty of no-brain, all-bod entertainment.
 
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Black's Game

Love crime films? Play it!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Here's how I knew the Icelandic crime thriller Black’s Game was going to be great:
 
Friday, February 1, 2013

Kill for Me

Roomies, sheesh!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Rent’s a bitch. And that is why, six months after her best friend went missing, Amanda (Katie Cassidy, TV’s Arrow) finally gives in to getting another roommate, Hailey (Tracy Spiridakos, TV’s Revolution). The two college students turn out to have something in common, however: abusive men.
 
Friday, February 8, 2013
 
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