Posts Tagged ‘Eraserhead’

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

Posted 31 Oct 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, USA / Germany, 2009

Directed by Werner Herzog

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, as the title suggests, is an extremely odd film. Completing a triptych of unconventional horror films by directors not known for making this type of film, I have decided to make Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done the subject of my final entry in my self-imposed Halloween Movie Month experiment. It’s an odd choice on which to go out, but that is fitting, as My Son is an extremely odd film, even for Herzog. To be honest, it’s kind of surprising that it’s taken me this long to see and write about the film, since it is the result of a dream collaboration between to of the weirdest filmmakers alive: co-writer/director Herzog and producer David Lynch. It is definitely not a horror movie in any traditional sense, though Herzog describes it on his official website as “a horror film without the blood, chainsaws and gore, but with a strange, anonymous fear creeping up in you.” Personally, I didn’t find it particularly frightening at all, but it is a rather fascinating portrait of increasing madness centered around a typically intense performance by the wild-eyed and always captivating Michael Shannon. Read More

John Carpenter’s The Thing

Posted 07 Oct 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

John Carpenter’s The Thing, USA, 1982

Directed by John Carpenter

John Carpenter's The Thing is perhaps the scariest film of the 1980s. Continuing with my Month Of Halloween Movies (MOHM? Think of it more as a modified yoga chant and less as me crying out for my Mommy), it’s time now to revisit one of my perennial favorites, one that first traumatized me as an impressionable seven-or-eight-year-old when I saw it on a dubbed VHS tape, which is probably the best way to be introduced to any horror film from the 1970s or ’80s. John Carpenter’s vastly different, and I would argue superior, updating of the Howard Hawks produced, Christian Nyby directed classic The Thing from Another World (1951) is undoubtedly one of the nastiest, darkest horror films ever to make it to mainstream movie screens, a spiritual descendant of Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and a predecessor of David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986). Don’t get me wrong – the original is absolutely one of the very best of the 1950s UFO-paranoia movies, with only Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) really equaling or exceeding it. It’s just that Carpenter’s relentlessly dark vision and the supremely grotesque special effects created by Rob Bottin easily trump even the best of the ’50s for sheer terror and awesomeness. Also, Kurt Russell’s iconic turn as the anti-hero of the story, R.J. MacReady, is one of the quintessential performances of ’80s machismo. Let’s look at the three main things that make this movie so great, beginning with Russell. Read More