Director: Arturo Ripstein.
Starring: Claudio Brook, Rita Macedo, Diana Bracho, Arturo Beristáin, Gladys Bermejo, David Silva, María Rojo. Mexico. 1h 41m
After seeing the epic Dogtooth (2009) by the cult director Lanthimos, I was mystified by the circumstances, the basis of the story is a man raising his family in such isolation, their offbeat lifestyle seems so extraordinary to the eye of any outsider, the whys were never really answered the film just happens. But after a little digging i discovered that the film isn’t a remake but has a similar storyline to El castillo de la pureza, an excellent Mexican drama where a man isolates his family to protect them from “the evils of human beings”. While I thoroughly enjoy Dogtooth everytime I see it, there’s something deeper in this retro classic as it digs under the skin of the abnormal situation.
Gabriel Lima (Brook) and his gorgeous wife Beatriz (Macedo) have invented a brilliant homemade rat poison, their children all have roles in helping them manufacture this brilliant powder. Each day they get up and get to work, always in silence when working, then their father gets dressed in formal clothes and goes out to sell the rat poison to local shops and businesses, meanwhile the children have to exercise, learn and for a while they play.
Things start to breakdown, slowly at first, but as the movie builds pace it becomes a waves of crushing emotions for the disciplined and sexually driven father and more jail time for the children. Leaving their poor mother looking on at the madness. Continue reading El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)
Director: Gerald Kargl
Starring:Erwin Leder, Edith Rosset, Josefine Lakatha, Sylvia Rabenreither. Austria. 1h 15m
I am constantly looking for films about serial killers that aren’t total let downs and after years of searching it seems I missed the boat as one of the greatest and more accurately disturbing films was released when I was a toddler, but despite its age it really hasn’t lost any of it’s vivacity and manages to detail the gruesome slaughtering of one family by a repetitive mass murder Werner Kniesek. Continue reading Angst / Fear (1983)
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin GooSouth Korea. 2h 8m
This very daring South Korean movie is both alarming and fascinating, with what seems like an extremely simple premise, a young man; with marginal intelligence is accused of murdering a local girl. it’s an open and shut case, as an item with his name is found near the body and an eye witness places him at the scene of the crime. But his ever doting mother turns into a dynamic Miss Marple and tries to unravel the case and prove her some innocence. So here we have it he’s either innocent or guilty, sure either prove his Innocence or find evidence to prove his guilt, it can’t be any simpler than that?
If this film was made for the American audience, this would indeed be the narrative, and any deviation would result in an uproar, the audiences would be frenzied, but this is a South Korean movie and a film by Bong Joon-ho the creative genius behind Host (2006) and unusual creature feature about a toxic waste squid like beast that managed to terrorize a small community; dragging one young victim away causing her family members to tackle it for her return as the authorities would not help or listen to them. In a similar stance, Mother shows that blood ties are strong and the state cannot be trusted to get the job done. Continue reading Hangul / Mother (2009)
Day 6 – It Stains the Sands Red
Director: Colin Minihan
Starring: Brittany Allen, Juan Riedinger, Merwin Mondesir Canada. 1h 32m.
On days when I’m laid up with the flu I usually end up watching a terrible b movie while hallucinating on extreme flu remedies, it tends to make the film more enjoyable, that time I did this I watched Chemical Peel, this year I watched It Stains the Sands Red and I really enjoyed this offbeat zombie drama.
Molly, a powder sniffing pole dancer with a few daddy issues gets stranded in the desert while being hunted down by one lone unrelenting zombie. At first she enjoying keeping a few paces ahead of the foul smelling ghoul but soon she realises that the zombie doesn’t need to rest but strangely she forms a bond with it and the ordeal turns out to be therapy for the demons that have been chasing Molly all of her life. Continue reading It stains the sands red (2016)