I Can See You (9/10)

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Doug, Richards, and Kimble are three scruffy young men trying to start a new ad agency in NYC. Doug’s girlfriend, Sonia, has scored them a gig with her employer, big-time cleaning product manufacturer Clara Clean, whose products may or may not be involved in ecological damage and de-forestation. Suffering from a lack of clarity in both their artistic vision and their stock photos, the three men decide that camping in the woods to get back to nature is just the ticket, so they head out of town, Sonia in tow, to the countryside where Richards grew up. Once there, Richards attempts to take some photos of nature’s grandeur, but the photos are marred by mysterious wisps of smoke, which seem to be invisible to the naked eye. That night, some old friends of Richards are invited to the camp for a barbecue, and he hooks up with his old flame, Summer Day. The next day, Doug and Summer disappear after a swim, which leads Richards to fear the worst. When Doug shows up that night without Summer and with a bad case of the crazies, things really go bonkers.

So, this movie is about as good as mini-micro-budget filmmaking can get, which, turns out, is pretty goddamn good. This thing starts out weird, and gets to be positively batshit crazy by the end. Nevertheless, it is consistently compelling, and features some genuinely creepy and jarring visuals and editing. The acting is better than one might expect at this price-point (including a great performance from indie guru and producer Larry Fessenden in a small but pivotal role), and the lack of production value really only adds to the lo-fi nuthouse vibe. The whole thing is reminiscent of something you might find in the “weird part of YouTube”, but holds up surprisingly well as a feature-length film. I really don’t want to say anything more about it, so just go watch it.

Electra Love 2000 (5/10)

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Watching Troma’s “Electra Love 2000”. I think I have uncovered a forgotten masterpiece of campy crap.

What the hell is happening?

Holy shit this is dumb.

I’m still not sure if this is good dumb or bad dumb.

I’m leaning toward bad dumb.

If we could get some titties up in here my opinion might shift.

And now it’s a musical.

Wait, is that Kim Greist?

No, it’s not.

“Dope-addicted street-stroller.” That’s a new one.

Wait, is this based on Hamlet?

I think this is based on Hamlet.

Or maybe Hamlet is based on Electra. Either way, it seems similar.

Ho’s got hooked up with a new, scrupulous pimp.

This is getting very Shakespearean.

Definitely good dumb. Maybe not even dumb at all. Still no titties though.

Pimp Shakespeare: “Life is a hell for me. I don’t even have sex any more. Do you know who washes dishes every night around here? I do. And you call me scum.”

Ho: “If you leave us, baby, the one dry candle in our dark lives will dematerialize into the infinity of non-being.” Whoa. Deep.

Ho: “We hate men, and men hate us. That’s why we get along so well.” Oh hey, titties!

Ho, with titties out: “I knew this guy once, and he believed in the concept of enemies. And he was going to be married. And then one night he listened to the president speak on television. ‘The Enemy is Evil. The Enemy commits atrocities against his peaceful neighbor. We must rush to the aid of the peaceful neighbor. Defend peace, defend freedom, defend your God, your home, your kitty cats, your trash cans.’ And he believed him. And now he’s dead, and his fiancee is a whore. That’s the joke.” Nice titties.

Ho: “Revenge for the past isn’t good.”

Boom mike.

“The promises you make as a child are the ones you must keep.”

“Vengeance is a fire that burns inside her.”

“This is a matter for doing, not for thinking.”

This is definitely a masterpiece of something.

“How can an idiot like you beat a genius like me?”

“Divide, and conquer.”

“When we find we’ve been going in the wrong direction, we must stop, and reverse ourselves.”

Oh, weird erotic poetry!

“Between the opening of of mother’s birth and the closing casket of death. And those that do not see me, do not know the happiness they have missed.”

“I sometimes think that all of us are artists that never were.”

“Political economy is an exciting field for many.”

“Oh, ménage à cinq!”

“Are you such a civilized man, your soul can’t be touched?”

“You would be surprised at the number of things that seem wicked from the outside, but are actually quite nice from within.”

Boom mike.

“I’ve always tried to seek being from nothingness.”

Fuck, I’m out of wine.

“That is my curse. I have found too much truth. People talk a lot about truth, but they won’t pay a penny for it. Lies, they’ll pay millions for.”

“In plain English, why don’t you have the guts to murder the man that killed your father.”

“I’m a free man and I determine the meaning of this game, and it means nothing to me.”

“Cops don’t protect you, Insurance agents don’t protect you. Your deodorant doesn’t protect you. And your magic charms really don’t protect you.”

“The gods destroyed us long ago.”

“She has no tricks, she is as simple and clear as the water.”

“Fuck fate, we’re free!”

“Those of us who declare ourselves free, we’re just fools.”

I wish I had more wine.

“The men from the hunger charity are still waiting.”

“Send them in, and send in the lunch.”

“I’m as busy as a call girl on Valentine’s Day.”

There seems to be a lot of crosstalk on the audio track.

“Let me tell you, it is heaven and hell, it is sublime and terrible.”

Golf club scissors fight!

“A toast to justice! For one day, she was not blind.”

“The fighting has ended, but the echoes of bombs keep screaming inside my head.”

“Because you’re beautiful even the lies that fly out of your mouth sound pretty, like the truth. But I know better.”

Well that was different.

Demon Kiss (3/10)

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Yeah, I’m pretty sure that some porn actors and actresses were sitting around with nothing to do and decided to make a horror movie, and this was the result. Not very good, but lots of nudity. Which, of course, is better than a not-very-good horror movie with no nudity.

Slink (5/10)

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Creepy dude runs a tanning salon and kills his young female customers. His creepy wife then makes handbags out of them. I think some other stuff was going on too, but I wasn’t really paying that much attention. The 5/10 rating is for the copious nudity, not for the plot or production values.

Darkside Witches (5/10)

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So, this movie opens with some witches being burned at the stake, in a historical fashion. Then, there’s a hardcore sex scene, complete with a squicky demon blowie unhappy ending. Then a bunch of boring stuff with priests and some science chick trying to get to the bottom of the demon attacks. And bad dubbing. And more attacks from penis-chomping lesbian demon witches out for revenge. And tons of nudity. This one kind of has it all! Except for, you know, a budget.

Best line: “Welcome to slavery, you cocksucking sinners!”

American Poltergeist (3/10)

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A bunch of college kids, including some short-shorts-wearing co-eds, rent a fancy lake house for the semester. The owner of the house is a creepy blonde woman with a flat affect who speaks in terse sentences that tend to exclude articles.

One of the bubble-headed co-eds apparently has a connection to the house, and is having nightmares about a woman committing suicide and people getting chopped up in the basement. She hits the internets to try to get the scoop on the house and why it’s mojoing her. Turns out, her family name is Borden, and some very bad things happened in the house a long time ago. But please, don’t axe her about it!

This movie has the acting and production values of your average porno. Unfortunately, they forgot to include the sex and nudity. This must be some sort of made for basic cable type of thing. It was almost bad enough to be funny, but it couldn’t quite get there. Oh, one thing: I was browsing IMDb reviews and there was one positive one that pointed out that this movie passes the Bechdel Test. I guess if that sort of thing is more important to you than acting, writing, directing, and photography, this is the movie for you!