Make Mine Neon Eagle!

NEV_logoWhen Jared Auner of Mondo Macabro posts about a new label devoted to Asian Cult cinema, MMC! takes gleeful notice!

With the announcement below, Auner and his partners Jesse Nelson and Brian Izzi of Cauldron Films launch Neon Eagle Video, a new home video boutique imprint dedicated to Asian cult cinema, and reveal their first release, the Taiwanese revenge-fest Kill Butterfly Kill. This inaugural edition will offer multiple cuts of the film and promises a stacked, double-Blu-ray, limited edition release. Needless to say, MMC! is intrigued by Kill Butterfly Kill’s cartoonish violence and its Pinky Violence meets Turksploitation sensibility (not to mention that cover image which appears to include appropriated Kamen Rider V3 masks!). NEV promises future releases including a title from Japan – just take MMC!’s money already!

NEW ASIAN-FOCUSED LABEL ‘NEON EAGLE VIDEO‘ MAKES DEBUT WITH DELUXE BLU-RAY EDITION OF THE TAIWANESE EXPLOITATION MOVIE ‘KILL BUTTERFLY KILL’

KILL BUTTERFLY KILL cover artCauldron Films’ Jesse Nelson and Brian Izzi, in collaboration with Mondo Macabro’s Jared Auner are proud to announce the formation of a new home video boutique imprint, Neon Eagle Video (NEV),that will focus on the trashier side of Asian cinema, highlighting exploitation, action, horror, and other ‘cult’ films that have been neglected in the High Definition era.

Each disc will be lovingly curated and produced by Jared Auner, with restoration, authoring, manufacturing, and distribution handled by Cauldron Films. Each release will be sold through the Cauldron Films site and DiabolikDVD.com.

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10 on the 10th – November 2022

Mildred Pierce PosterNoirvember is upon us and it can be seen amongst these last ten films that I’ve screened. Sam Fuller’s Underworld U.S.A. is a very late example of the form, a vicious and nasty riff on The Count of Monte Cristo with some bravura camera movement and a sweaty, cruel, and unrepentant performance by Cliff Robertson. Still, the most exceptional noir of these last ten films is undoubtedly Michael Curtiz’s double-dealing weepie, Mildred Pierce. A first time watch at MMC! HQ, Mildred Pierce proved to be an exceptional noir experience punctuated by the discovery of two of cinema’s most despicable villains. Both films are sure to make this year’s list of favourite discoveries.

  1. The Blank Generation (Amos Poe and Ivan Kál, 1976)
  2. Glorious (Rebekah McKendry, 2022)
  3. Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945)
  4. The Outside (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2022)
  5. L’Argent (Robert Bresson, 1983)
  6. Blood of the Dragon (Kao Pao-shu, 1971)
  7. Arabella: Black Angel (Stelvio Massi, 1989)
  8. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (Eric Appel, 2022)
  9. Underworld U.S.A. (Samuel Fuller, 1961)
  10. The Autopsy (David Prior, 2022)

A big shout-out to The Blank Generation which is an essential glimpse into the early CBGB-era punk and new wave scene, boasting rough but wonderful footage of Patti Smith, Television, Talking Heads, Blondie, and the Ramones. And as someone unfamiliar with Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, Angry Inch fans are going to need to see this proto-Hedwig act in the campy, confrontational flesh. Finally, these last ten films also bear the marks of MMC! working its way through Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Appearing on Netflix, this horror anthology series boasts a murderers’ row of filmmakers – Panos Cosmatos, Jennifer Kent, Ana Lily Amirpour, David Prior, Catherine Hardwicke, Vincenzo Natali, Guillermo Navarro, and Keith Thomas. I would be surprised if some of these entries didn’t make MMC!’s list of favourites for 2022.

The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival Returns!

2022FestPosterIt’s November and you know what that means – the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival! This latest iteration is bigger and better than ever, but don’t take my word for it. Check out this press release from Festival Director John Allison and the other good folks at the SFFF!

Saskatoon – November 3, 2022 ­– The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival, Saskatchewan’s largest feature film festival, returns for its 13th edition at the Broadway Theatre on November 18-26, and will bring the best in international independent cinema to Saskatoon.

“This year is our largest festival ever. We’re showing more than 50 feature length and short films over nine days at the Broadway Theatre,” said festival director and founder John Allison.

In addition to a wide variety of new films from around the world, this year’s festival will feature a Midnight Mayhem screening, a short film block which will be free to the public, a Drunken Cinema, a Cartoon Party and live and virtual Q&As with filmmakers throughout the week.

“Yes, the Cartoon Party is back,” adds Allison. “This year it is Halloween themed, so on Saturday morning November 26, you can put your Halloween costume back on and watch retro cartoons in the theatre. For the party crowd, we’re hosting THE LOST BOYS as a Drunken Cinema on Friday November 18. It’s an interactive drinking game played along with the movie. We’ve held those before, and they are a lot of fun. On Saturday, November 19 at 11 am, join us for the Saskatchewan theatrical premiere of COLD WIND BLOWING, a film shot in Southern Saskatchewan, and director/writer Dionne Copland and producer/editor/cinemaphotographer Louise Weard will be in attendance for a Q&A. And all of that is just in addition to the creative documentaries, dark comedies, horror films and sci-fi movies we have throughout the festival.”

This year’s festival truly has an international flair with films from Norway, Argentina, Italy, Spain, France, Peru, Mexico, Philippines, USA and Canada. For information on the full film lineup and festival passes, visit www.skfilmfest.com.

For more information contact John Allison, Festival Director, at 306-280-2868 or john@skfilmfest.com.

2022 Festival Lineup

A short film precedes each feature film.

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10 on the 10th – October 2022

Flux GourmetThis October at MMC!, we are focused on horror cinema with a dash of baseball films. It’s no secret that MMC! loves the films of Peter Strickland and his latest, Flux Gourmet, is by far the favourite amongst these last ten films we’ve screened and it rests near the top of our favourite films of 2022. Flux Gourmet takes Strickland’s dread heavy, ASMR experiments into even more bizarre territory, telling the story of a “collective of musical caterers” who take their experimental electronic sounds to a “sonic culinary institute” with dysfunctional results. The film picks up some of Strickland’s more unusual tropes – food trauma and audio tapes, human toilets and control obsessives, ornate dresses and loquacious dialogue – and adds some new ones – resentful terrapin abuse and anxious gastric distress – to create something that both summarizes his work and pushes it into nuttier and messier extremes. While certainly not for everyone, it was definitely for MMC!

  1. Werewolf by Night (Michael Giacchino, 2022)
  2. Tower of London (Roger Corman, 1962)
  3. Red Peony Gambler: Here to Kill You (Tai Katô, 1971)
  4. The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (Reginald Harkema, 2022)
  5. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (John Badham, 1976)
  6. Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998)
  7. WNUF Halloween Special (Chris LaMartina, 2013)
  8. The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly (John Holmquist, 1998)
  9. Master of the World (William Witney, 1961)
  10. Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings was an unexpected favourite, telling the charismatic story of a barnstorming Negro League baseball team, while The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks documentary often played like a fawning clip reel. Thankfully, we love the Kids and so we loved that fawning and we loved those clips. Comedy Punks is a great primer for the troupe and contains some genuinely beautiful moments, most particularly when Bruce McCulloch starts listing how they’ll all die. The same praise cannot be given for the Halloween entry into The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, which should be reserved for Rugrats completionists and this current generation of McDonalds fans who grew up without Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, or the Hamburglar and need to know.

10 on the 10th – September 2022

Welcome to the Dollhouse PosterIt’s early September and so MMC! has made “Back to School” something of a theme for its recent screenings. Standing atop the pack is Todd Solondz’s indie-darling, Welcome to the Dollhouse. To be honest, this was a first time screening as Solondz’s awkward, ugly, feel-bad, morally-difficult vibe is a hard one to want to seek out and this story of a socially-humiliated junior high school student seemed potentially a bridge too far. Thankfully, I was completely wrong. Solondz and his lead actor, Heather Matarazzo, create something that is as hilarious as it is horrific. Channeling a bit of John Waters’ tacky-take on suburban living, Welcome to the Dollhouse manages to evoke genuine emotion and insight out of the dialed-up cruelty of teenager life. The film has made an appearance on the Criterion Channel. Perhaps it should get the MMC! treatment …

  1. Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz, 1995)
  2. Leadbelly (Gordon Parks, 1976)
  3. Weird Science (John Hughes, 1985)
  4. Red Peony Gambler: Oryu’s Return (Tai Katô, 1970)
  5. Our Hospitality (Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone, 1923)
  6. Flatliners (Joel Shumacher, 1990)
  7. School in the Crosshairs (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1981)
  8. Sixteen Candles (John Hughes, 1984)
  9. The Ballad of Narayama (Keisuke Kinoshita, 1958)
  10. A Man Vanishes (Shôhei Imamura, 1967)

Shout-outs to the over-determined set-designs of Flatliners and The Ballad of Narayama, the problematic but still entertaining work John Hughes, the meme-generating climactic conflict of School in the Crosshairs, and hilarious train-rides of Our Hospitality!

Under the Bridges (Helmut Kautner, 1946)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Under the Bridges.

criterion logoPuttering up and down the Havel River, bargemen Hendrik and Willi (Carl Raddatz and Gustav Knuth) dream of meeting a decent woman, getting married, and living a “solid life.” While traveling to Berlin, they meet forlorn Anna (Hannelore Schroth) on Potsdam’s Glienicker Bridge and mistake her for a potential suicide. The pair provide her with refuge on their barge as it heads for Berlin and each takes a fancy to the young woman, but she is too guarded to reciprocate and their friendship strains under the tension of their humble romantic rivalry. Stylishly representing working class lives in a poetic realist style, Helmut Käutner’s Under the Bridges is a heart-winning drama that imagined German life and love free from the traumas of World War II and stands as an underappreciated masterpiece of German cinema.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary by German film scholar Robert Reimer
  • Who Is Helmut Käutner?, Marcel Neudeck’s 2008 portrait of the director
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Philip Kemp

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