Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Serial Cinema.

Aunt Rose
2005, USA
James Tucker
DV (projected)

Exploitation films always make me happy. Not that they’re supposed to. Generally, they’re meant to either nauseate or titillate, and usually both, but the forced shock value and calculatedly amoral narratives always bring a smile to my face, once I’m done masturbating into my vomit. The shameless mix of violence and sex, often within the same scene, is so unabashed in these types of movies, one can’t help but smile at the mischievousness of the filmmakers, as if Dennis The Menace grew up into a serial killer with a video camera. However, as much as I enjoy the Candy Snatchers and Switchblade Sisters of the world, they do tend to lack some of the elements that most require to take films seriously, such as a cohesive script and performers who can deliver their lines and take their shirts off at the same time, as opposed to taking lengthy breaks to visibly read off screen crib notes between actions. Aunt Rose, while gleefully stepping into most of the pitfalls inherent to exploitation cinema, does manages to impress with the actors’ performances, particularly from star/writer Joshua Nelson, raising it significantly above other films in the same vein.

Yeah, it's cute until that dog ends up nailed to a tree. Then it's funny.

This does not, of course, make the film good. If Enrico Caruso sang a Good Charlotte song, I’d still try to firebomb the concert hall, and the fact that Aunt Rose is very well-acted won’t prevent me from addressing its other failings it hopes of making myself feel better by making the movie cry. My main quibble is with the script. At the film’s heart is a gripping and tense story of a home invasion, in which a group of hoodlums dressed like Pat Roberston’s impression of the punk rock community take a family hostage in their home while hiding out from the police. This is not an unfamiliar story, as it’s been seen in exploitation films of the 70s and 80s like Last House on the Left, but while it’s not fresh, it does have potential. But there’s a thread of the supernatural crudely woven through the first two thirds of the movie that takes over in the final act, moving the horror of the film away from the real and into the fantastic, thereby loosing its grip on the audience. Still, there’s a great deal of interest here for fans of the genre, and while it’s not recommended for everyone, those of you looking for a little foreplay before drowning a kitten or cutting the faces out of porno magazines will find something of interest here.

Favorite exploitation films, anyone?

10 Comments:

Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Favorite.....hm....Deep Inside Stacy Valentine counts right?

1:00 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

No. No cum-shots allowed. For the record, mine is probably either The Candy Snatchers or The Hills Have Eyes, though The Adult Adventures of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde is up there as well.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

No cumsho....what kind of a stupid rule is THAT?!

OK, mine is Night Of The Living Dead or maybe Blacula.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

I hear the remake of The Hills Have Eyes is due out in March (which means August my side, if the UPS guy doesn't get lost in the jungle) - I just can't imagine the movie without Michael Berryman though. Distressingly, 2 out of 3 of my (only) friends reckon Woody Harrelson is the replacement they'd most liked to have seen in the role, instead of this Michael Bailey Smith guy. They also tell me the trailer is t'rific, but I haven't been bothered to download it.

On that note, I'm really looking forward to The Wicker Man remake starring Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn...

Blood Feast. My fave exploitation movie is probably Blood Feast.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Yeah, Blood Feast is great, but I've since had an Egyptian meal like in the movie, and was sorely disappointed that it didn't contain "nubile young women", despite the redundancy. Incidentally, I once got Glenn Danzig to sign a Blood Feast T-Shirt which is now framed in my bedroom. I thought you might appreciate that.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Yes, I am impressed. Particularly as the only 'celebrity' I've ever had sign a T-shirt was Mr Lifto from the Jim Rose Circus.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

The other day a lady was in my office and she needed me to get something off of a high shelf. She as irritated that the world wasn't set up lower for her, so she says "I wonder what YOU'd do if YOU were a foot shorter!"
So I said "...I guess, hit the gym big time, grow some cool sideburns and form a Danzig tribute band."

She didnt get it.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Neither will anyone who reads this except for Broadzilla.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

I have no idea what either of you are talking about.

(Actually, Jerk - that was the funniest thing I've read on the internet THIS YEAR.)

9:24 AM  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

Does They Live count?

1:08 AM  

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