Saturday, October 31, 2020

13 Rats of Halloween #13

Where else could my "13 Rats of Halloween" series of posts for this here Plague Year of the Rat ultimately take me besides right to the infernal king of the scuttling befanged beasts himself, the nightmare turned flesh Nosferatu. Twas always eventual! Whether it's Klaus Kinski for Herzog or...
... Max Schreck for Murnau, the scariest of all the vampires has always been associated with rats. It's been ages since I actually sat down and read Bram Stoker's book of Dracula (which of course Nosferatu ripped off and almost got erased out of existence because of) so perhaps one of you more literate types can remind me if rats play much of a factor in the original text? I assume so, I just don't feel like googling it. I do know that Stephen King, when he wrote Salem's Lot...

... he removed a truly disgusting sounding scene from its earliest draft where a character is eaten alive by rats. King's (and Tobe Hooper's) Mr. Barlow of course being a direct descendant of the horrifying Nosferatu lineage of vampire.

Of course as classic as Murnau's plague scenes are I think the best plague sequence belongs to Herzog -- I consider the fancy people eating their fancy final meal together at that table in the public square that's literally swarming with pestilence to be one of the singular images of Horror Cinema. And you can tell I'm being very serious, because I busted out the word "cinema"! That means I mean it! Art! Hey... did you ever notice if you rearrange the letters in "Art" you get "Rat"? Just sayin...

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Sleep For Chance To Durrr

So... how is everybody doing? If you answered, "Not great, Bob!" then you, me, simpatico, my friend. I have officially reached the point in pre-election panic-mindedness where every single thought I have makes it about five inches in front of my face before it goes splat, a bug on the windshield. Focus is unavailable for comment. I can't write shit. I can't think shit. All I have in me is a wild-eyeing of the clock and a deep need to take enough pills to make me sleep until Wednesday at the soonest. 

That's not possible -- I decided I'll vote on Tuesday like an old-fashioned rube -- so instead my plans consist of turning off as much of the world as I can for the next sixty-ish hours and burying myself in horror movies. Tonight through the time you see me back here on-blog Monday morning, that is where I am gonna be. Holding my breath and throwing my phone in the toilet. 

I feel as if this Halloween week has been more of a bust than I'd intended -- although I have been having fun with my "13 Rats of Halloween" series, and there is one more final post in that set for tomorrow! -- but considering the world... I hope you'll forgive me. Okay, that's more than enough self-pity and drear for any damn body! I will shut up now, I will shut up after I say one more thing -- Vote. Vote please. Vote like the world matters. Vote for decency, the future, the children, whatever the fuck it takes. Just vote. And then we dance.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen Twelve Times

Well I wish we were watching the Candyman remake right now too, but we aren't, Blanche. We aren't. So we'll make due with these nice photos of its star Yahya for the new issue of W Magazine -- you can read whatever the hell they talked about over here. Or you can just hit the jump for the photos alone and be lazy like me...

13 Rats of Halloween #12

I am never sure which I love more -- the person-shaped rat-pile that Gary Oldman turns into in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula, or...

... Cary Elwes' slow-motion shock-n-stache reaction 
to said rat-pile. I'm gonna call it a toss-up. 

(But only because I already wrote up this movie's mustaches last year.) God I do adore this movie so. And thankfully we've indoctrinated another member into our cult -- our pal Michael Cusumano wrote up a splendid piece at The Film Experience just yesterday, admitting he'd somehow never seen this movie until now, and how very very empty his life had been without it. I added the "empty" part but come on! Obviously!

Also, a happy one-day-belated birthday to our gal Winona Ryder! I love that Coppola shows one of the rats nipping at her toes in this moment -- do recall that thirty seconds earlier she'd been banging the hell out of that pile-of-rats. Sexually speaking. Makes one wonder which part of Dracula that rat nipping at her heel comprises. 

Anyway like all good re-tellings of the Dracula story there are rats all over Coppola's film -- and, spoiler alert, more on this tomorrow with our final entry in this year's "13 Rats of Halloween countdown! -- but this is really their moment to shine. Out of all the on-screen forms that Drac takes in this version -- green mist, erect werewolf, John Lennon -- the pile-o-rats has always been my favorite. It just has that certain je ne se quoi you're looking for. I think it's the dramatic unfolding of its arms, all like, "Here I am, bitches! Come'n get me!" that really seals the deal.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

I don't know when we'll get to see this here in the U.S. but the great Belgian star and MNPP Icon Jérémie Renier has a new movie coming out overseas that looks interesting, and not just -- just -- because he flashes his baguette once again, as seen down below. It's called Slalom and it's about a teenage skiing star who gets groomed, inappropriately, by her coach, played by Renier. It played Cannes and the reviews I read were good, so I hope the film makes its way over here. For now though we'll, uhh, make due with the NSFW gif I have for you after the jump...

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Cult of DaKeough

Let's end the day with some gloriously, deliriously happy-making news -- two of my favorite young actors, and the two who have most proven as of late that nepotism (as long as we're not talking politics) doesn't absolutely always have to be a bad word, have gone and made a project for themselves to star in together! First off I actually had no idea that Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough even knew each other -- when I went to find a photograph for this news I expected to have to photoshop something up but there they were, as seen above, chumming it up like my new favorite couple -- apparently they've been best friends since they were 15 and Dakota was Riley's bridesmaid at her 2015 wedding (a pertinent aside: Kristen Stewart's apparently a close pal too). I love, love, love it. 

Anyway! Cross-eyed star-fucking aside our new fave BFFs Riley & Dakota are going to star together in a limited series called Cult Following, based on a memoir by Bexy Cameron that's set to be released in July of next year, which tells the story of... well I'm feeling lazy, I'll let Deadline explain it for us:

"Based on the book written by Cameron, the story follows her as she recounts her upbringing in the notorious cult Children of God. After emancipating herself at the age of 16 and building a life away from the cult, as an adult Cameron (Johnson) embarks on a road trip with a close friend (Keough) to investigate and document contemporary cults existing in America today. Two young women set out on the ‘adventure’ of a lifetime and Cameron’s emphatic, raw and at times incredibly funny experience on the road runs parallel to her examining and processing the psychology and trauma of her own childhood being raised in a cult. It’s a journey of meltdowns, meth cooks, monks, Jesus freaks, soap-making Armageddonists, surveillance vans, ex-Apple employees and finally, Cameron’s confrontation of her parents and ultimately herself."

Harry Shum Jr. One Time

Thursday's Ways Not To Die

As long as I'm hitting up Animated Rats in my "13 Rats of Halloween" series -- yesterday I did a post about Templeton the Paul Lynde Rat in Charlotte's Web -- I might as well hit up my maybe favorite of all Animated Movie Rats (and yes I include you, Ratatouille), the one called "Rat" and voiced by the always best-in-show Willem Dafoe in Wes Anderson's stop-motion masterpiece Fantastic Mr. Fox.

"Y'all are trespassing now. Illegally."

I love everything about Rat. I love his little finger snaps and athletic swings through the cider jars, I love that he calls Meryl Streep's character "the town tart" and "pretty as a mink stole" -- I love his little red-and-white striped sweater and that he seems genuinely dangerous in the way that Wes Anderson movies always surprise you they can be, to even out all the whimsy. I would give anything for a spin-off movie about Rat's younger days... or even just an action figure. Did they make any FMF figures? Oh to own Rat would rule!

Hit the jump for links to all the Previous Ways Not To Die

Creepy Kid To College Jock

Ty Simpkins, the little boy from Little Children, the Insidious movies, and Jurassic World, is now a handsome nineteen-year-old young man, I have just discovered via his Instagram. I hadn't been keeping up with him but we'll be reintroduced to him shortly because he's going to be the star of the fifth Insidious movie, which has just been announced. And not just that -- the film will mark the directorial debut of his repeat pretend daddy, Patrick Wilson!

The fifth film will have Ty's character Dalton Lambert -- who found himself pulled into a vegetative state by evil forces thanks to a telepathy-type link to the dark world (which I refuse to refer to as "The Further" -- you cannot make me!) in the first movie -- going off to college, and dealing with... you know, bad shit or whatever. The fifth film will supposedly mark the return of the rest of the Lambert clan, who mostly sat our films 3 and 4 as they focused on the psychic played by Lin Shaye -- besides directing Patrick Wilson be reprising his role as Papa Lambert; no word on Rose Byrne as Mama yet but hopefully she'll show! Rose Byrne makes everything better. In summation... here's a little more of Ty letting his inner jock out on his Instagram...

Mads & Hammer

Man oh man -- or is that Mads oh Mads, hardy har -- it has been too long since I've had the opportunity to post a photo of that blessed face right there. I guess the last time I thought about Mads was right before (and I mean right before) the plague shut everything down -- the last movie experience I had with a big audience was back in March when MoMA screened Casino Royale with Daniel Craig there in person (see photos from that here) and of course thinking about that movie makes me think about Daniel and Mads' sinister sexual chemistry

And speaking of Mads having "sinister sexual chemistry" with every man he stars opposite let's hope that's the case, big-time, with his next project, announced today (thx Mac), called The Billion Dollar Spy and which will have him calling none other than Armie Hammer's name! Before I could even type out that full sentence I'd opened another tab to check what Mads' height was -- always a concern when starring opposite 6'5" Armie -- and he should be okay at six feet. Here's the story, which is based on a true one:

"Brad Reid (Hammer) is a fresh arrival at the Moscow station of the CIA when he’s approached by Soviet engineer Adolf Tolkachev (Mikkelsen). Ignoring the advice from his bosses that Tolkachev is an obvious KGB ‘dangle’, Reid develops a bond and unique friendship with the Russian, who seemingly only wants to help his family escape the corruption within the Soviet Union. Reid’s faith in Tolkachev is rewarded when he hands over a treasure trove of military secrets, obtained using classic Cold War spy craft. It earns Tolkachev the nickname ‘The Billion Dollar Spy’ and alters the balance of power between East and West. But their success in evading the KGB comes at great personal cost to both men, and their marriages to wives Tina and Natasha, all struggling with the daily paranoia of being caught. Then one day a shocking betrayal puts them all in grave danger…”

The film is being directed by Belle director Amma Asante, who I will take this opportunity to point out is a black woman -- I only bring this up because I was googling something earlier and that wretched old Buzzfeed article that shit on Armie (as an embodiment of "talentless White Male Privilege") trotted itself past me and I got annoyed all over again, while this news here today points once again to Armie working more often than not with underrepresented voices. He seems like one of the good guys, y'all. I know he's got a gigantic bullseye on him because of all his born privilege, and he's admittedly been a bit... high-strung this past year... but who hasn't? Good god I've been half-deranged for months. All the best people are doing it!

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?