Friday, October 18, 2013

Masters Of Horror! (Ken Russell)

Ken Russell is another one who's no longer with us.
He died in 2011 at age 84.

We need more like him.
He's my hero, and he should be yours too.

As I've done these, and other reviews, and just in watching film in my whole lifetime, I've seen this repeating pattern, of artists being rebellious edge-pushers in their 20's and early to mid 30's....then they make all their fuckin' money, and simmer down, and their work gets soft, and compromising, and they seek critical approval, and they "make one for their kids", and all that horseshit, and water down, and sell out, like it's "what you're supposed to do".

Not Ken Russell.
He was pissing people off into his 80's.
What a breath of fresh air.

George Carlin too.
He got MORE edgy as he got older.

Lloyd Kaufman is still giving the system the finger at 67.

Age is just another excuse for cowards.
As if they need more refuge.
Nope, don't buy it kids, don't buy the "too old", bit of bullshit.
Not with proof to the contrary in your face.

Aaanyway, on to Ken Russel's career.
The whole thing is huge, so, I had to get selective.
Mostly, I just had to leave out TV, and shorts.

Women In Love (1969)

One of the first studio films to feature male nudity.
Yep, just know, you're gonna see Oliver Reed's schlong.
I'm sure it'll ruin your life, and make you an opiate addict.
Banned in Turkey.

The Devils (1971)

It got X ratings in the US and UK, it's been banned in many countries, and even in 2011, it got taken down from iTunes with no explanation.

It's got nudity, sex, and, worst of fucks with religion.
By telling the fucking truth.
And we can't have that.

It got butchered down for an R rating, and a lot of footage was lost, and some was found, but you'll never get to see the full-on director's version.
But, even the restored version still pisses people off.

(Grumpy Cat) good!

Tommy (1975)

Best scene in any movie ever.
Throw away all other musicals, all you need is that clip.

Tch, coulda sworn I did that one here.
Guess not.

Lisztomania (1975)

Came out the same year as "Tommy", and also starred Roger Daltry, and as you can see from the poster, claims to "out-Tommy Tommy".

About Franz Liszt, the 19th century composer, considered by many to be the first rock star, because his music made fans go crazy the same way The Beatles did in the 60's.

This condition was called "Lisztomania", and if bewildered WWII-generation parents had cracked the right history books, they would have had a name for what was going on.

*Skims the cliffnotes* ooh, it portrays Wagner as the proto-Nazi, and plagiarist he was, I gotta see this!
*Onto the viewing list it goes*

Altered States (1980)

This is the one I looked up Ken Russell for, for him to end up in this list.
Glad I did.

I could have SWORN this was a Cronenberg.

Anyway, William Hurt experiments with sensory deprivation, and increasingly powerful hallucinogens, in order to access some kind of genetic race memory, to unlock the origins of consciousness.
...or something.
He gets more than he bargained for, and hi-jinks ensue.

Cool movie, even though the hippie-dippie woo is bullshit.
If tripping truly unlocked a higher plane of consciousness, the boomers wouldn't have become yuppie sellouts in the 70's and 80's, and then the bitter uptight old fucks most of them are now.

Although, in its way, the film kind of addresses all of that.

Hence why it's one of my favorite films.

Crimes Of Passion (1984)

Starring Kathleen Turner, and music composed by Rick Wakeman.

Released to controversy, and negative reviews.

Oh, but "Basic Instinct", comes along, and they lick it off the floor like dogs.

Is there ever a fucking MINUTE where the Hollywood/ratings/critic establishment aren't being hypocrites?
I more and more buy Lloyd Kaufman's conspiracy theories about the conglomerate cartels.

Gothic (1986)

See here.

Lair Of The White Worm (1988)

See here.

Whore (1991)

A pseudo-documentary following the life of a hooker.

Looking back on it, a bit on the heavy handed, melodramatic, preachy side, but it still has way more edge and balls than anything coming out from studios today.

This one got negative reviews for being so gritty, and truthful, and just a year before, the same critics were ass-kissing on "Pretty Woman", for glamorizing, and fairy-tale-ing, and Disney-ing up prostitution.

So, despite the pretensions, we now know what their morality really is.
And these are the dirtbags our big time mainstream directors care about pleasing.
Think about that.

The Fall Of The Louse Of Usher (2002)

Horror, rock music, orgies, over-the-top acting, and pissy bitchy critics.

All the Russell trademarks. (:-D

Trapped Ashes (2006)

A horror anthology also featuring Sean S. Cunningham (of 'Friday The 13th', fame), and Joe Dante.

Russell's entry features killer boobies.
Nuff said.

A Kitten For Hitler (2007)

A short film.
Russell tried to think of the most offensive thing he could, to see if a film would ever deserve to be censored.
I don't think it does, and I think it's hilarious.

Watch it here.

The production value is clunky, sure, but think about what I said in the intro, he made that at 78.

Age is no excuse to become lame.

*Cough* Speilberg! *cough* Crystal Skull! *cough*

Up next, Larry Cohen.

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