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March 16, 2011


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London's Electric Cinema during its repertory days was indeed a sight for cinephile's eyes.


I thought you sort of liked HOSTEL.

Glenn Kenny

Oh, I like the HOSTEL pictures fine, Bill. My point, and I think I've made it before, is that they are simulations of the things they're referencing. Commodified reprehensible, as opposed to genuinely reprehensible, as are such treats as "Night Train Murders" and "To Be Twenty." With the Coffin Joe pictures, there's the genuinely reprehensible dimension combined with some actual social commentary and/or observation, which makes them "actually" radical in the way that Veloso implies. I see that by lumping both the HOSTEL pictures and the SAW movies under the same "meretricious gunk" rubric I'm making more of an umbrella value judgment than I actually intended. Let's just say that in my philosophy "meretricious gunk" isn't ALWAYS a pejorative. I understand this is complicated by the fact that I dislike the SAW films.

Also, I'm just getting over a nasty cold bug and my head is still at least partially filled with cotton balls, he said, giving up.


No, I get where you're coming from now, even having not seen NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS or TO BE TWENTY (but having seen others that would at least fall somewhere in their particular specialized form of entertainment). I think the HOSTEL movies ran into problems with certain people specifically because they're not anywhere near as fucked up as audiences had been led to believe, and plus Roth's after-the-fact claims of political significance don't make them radical or more interesting (less so, for me, if I bought into it while actually watching the films). But I like them. The first one in particular. SAW can eat it, though.

Unkle Rusty

I stumbled on This Midnight I will Possess Your Corpse late one night on IFC when they were running all of Coffin Joe's films. I had no idea what I was watching, but I was genuinely surprised and disturbed by it (and that happens so seldom any more). It was artful, yet trashy, silly, but somehow starkly realistic (the drug use in the film--or was the drug use in Awakening of the Beast?--was as nasty as anything I have seen). I became temporarily obsessed (or possessed, perhaps?) by Senor Mojica Marins.

I think you have hit on something with this Genuinely Reprehensible idea, Mr. Kinney (I would probably put I Spit on Your Grave in this category as well, and have just queued up Night Train Murders for a look).

Unkle Rusty

Meant to write This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse (got it smooshed together with At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul).

Jeff McMahon

The second Hostel has some actual, non-post-facto social commentary in it. You can argue that it's disingenuous, but Roth is absolutely a better, more aware filmmaker than anyone who's made any of the Saw movies.

I find very few horror movies Genuinely Reprehensible, but quite a few action movies, like 300 or Black Hawk Down. I thought Night Train Murders was nothing special, but that might be because the Italians were better at aestheticizing their schlock than the Americans of the same era.

Paul Duane

All of Coffin Joe's oeuvre is reprehensible, some bits in a more interesting way than other bits. It's necessary to consider the ultra-Catholic, religious underpinnings of Brazil at the time (I only discovered this by watching the films with Brazilians who found the blasphemy as shocking as the gore) to understand quite how peculiar and disturbing Marins' creative quest was. Watch the documentary on his career that comes with the Coffin Joe box set and try to remain undisturbed, particularly when his star wanes and bestiality porn becomes part of the picture.

Jeff McMahon

You make 'reprehensible' sound like a bad thing.

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