Sunday, June 25, 2017

Junesploitation Day 25: Teenagers!

It's high school the way we remember it...although it never happened quite like this!

50 comments:

  1. TEENAGERS! CHRISTIAN SLATER 'FUCK ME GENTLY WITH A C̶H̶A̶I̶N̶S̶A̶W̶ MICROPHONE' SANDWICH:

    Michael Lehman's HEATHERS (1989, 103 min.) on Netflix Instant for the first time.

    If you've heard FTM's 'The Wolverine' podcast then you know how short-fused Patrick's is toward those of us that haven't seen this cult flick. The best complement I can give Michael Lehmann's dark high school comedy is that I need to see it a couple more times to understand how I feel about it. Christian Slater and Winona Ryder have great chemistry as a couple of outcast kids plotting to eliminate the popular girls in school (nicknamed 'Heathers'), but one of them gets more than he/she bargained for when the other party turns out be a bigger psycho than the `mean girls` they set out to elliminate.

    Even though it`s peppered with quotable diallogue I can`t help but hear a grown-up (screenwrier Daniel Walers) in every character`s voice, not the voices of young people. Nice to see Ryder`s "Beetlejuice" co-star Glenn Shadix stealing a few scenes as the priest presiding over the parade of killings-posing-as-suicides funerals in his church. I admire the balls "Heathers" shows through most of its running time (no way a movie like it could be made today), but it blinks at the very end and steers toward a "happy" ending that undermines its earlier bravado. Didn't really like the flick, but its inttriguing enough to merit repeat visits to see whatever it is that Patrick likes about it.


    Allan Moyle's PUMP UP THE VOLUME (1990, 103 min.) on DVD.

    Shy-by-day high school nerd Mark Hunter (Slater) becomes an anonymous Howard Stern-type teen shock jock at night with the low-powered radio equipment in the basement of his parents' Arizona home. A sensation among the students at Hubert Humphrey High (get it?) that he attends, 'Hard Harry' attracts the attention of a spunky girl named Nora (Samantha Mathis) determined to find the real voice behind the microphone. It's all fun and games until a young listener commits suicide, putting Mark in the cross-hairs of clueless teachers, worried parents and antagonized FCC suits.

    Writer/director Allan Moyle ("Empire Records") captures teen angst and isolation better than the "Heathers" filmmakers, but Christian Slater playing a role tailor-made for his screen persona keeps "Pump Up the Volume" interesting in the era of YouTube videos, podcasts and Instagram as kid-venting outlets. Annie Ross stands out among the adult characters as a stuck-up principal that runs her school like a tyrant. Bonus points for Moyle using Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" as Mark's opening theme for his radio show, along with a curated selection of tunes (from the likes of The Pixies, Primal Screen, Ice-T, Henry Rollins, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc.) that feel dated but appropriate for the movie's censorship-relevant plot. Recommended.

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  2. What a great double feature! I need to follow suit soon. Only thing that could make it a funner return to Slater's 80's/early 90's is Gleaming the Cube. Slater on a Skateboard tracking down his adopted brothers killer is gold (at least that's how I remember it).

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  3. Grandview , USA (1984) DIr. Randal Kleiser

    From the director of “Grease”, “The Blue Lagoon”, “Flight of the Navigator” and “Big Top Pee-Wee”. It’s decent, but really all over the place tonally and pretty much just cornball drama with little fun. Still, you really can’t beat the cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, M. Emmet Walsh, John and Joan Cusack (barely). Wow. Also, MTV Dream sequence and Swayze saying “you were just boffing in my bed, in my goddamn bed!”

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  4. Pretty Poison (1968)

    This movie was awesome! Anthony Perkins, just released from a mental institution (because he's not being typecast at all) and with a habit of telling and creating elaborate lies, convinces highschool student Tuesday Weld that he is a Spy and 'recruits' her. Though, really who is pulling who into their fantasy.

    I really loved the performances in this. Perkins is great as usual, he brings his usual likeable awkardness and vulnerability. Weld is great as this seemingly ditzy teenager. The power play between the two totally makes the movie.

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  5. Tokyo Tribe (2014)

    Picked this up because...
    (a) Sion Sono's follow-up effort after the deliciously insane "Why Don't You Play in Hell",
    (b) Dystopian Japanese street gangs,
    (c) Hip-hop/rap musical.

    You remember the opening gang bits of Baz Luhrmann's Romero + Juliet? Basically that, but with miniskirts and boobs. Also, features an antagonist who's main motivating factor is penis envy... cue the goofy end credits!

    Choice quote: “It ain’t dick size—it’s the size of a man’s heart that makes him great!"

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  6. Idle Hands (1999)

    A stoner Devon Sawa and killer hand. And yes, it can be pretty dopy at times. Actually I was surprised by how close to the teen comedy this horror comedy is. Boy likes Jessica Alba, misunderstandings ensue all with the climax set a dance, complete with 90s band. In this case Offspring, though what happens to the lead singer is pretty funny.

    Though in saying that, this little goof ball did grow on me, even it is incrediably patchy. Most of my laughs for me come from Seth Green and Elden Henson, and one joke from them after particular messy kill.

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  7. Where the Boys Are (1960)

    Maybe on the older end of the teenage spectrum as the 4 main women in this movie are Freshmen in college. As a coming-of-age story it fits with other teen movies though, and while some aspects of it are slightly dated, overall it still feels fairly relevant to today's youth. Despite being mostly a comedy about a group of women who go to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break (a destination that this movie would help popularize) the movie takes on serious note towards the end when one of the girls is raped and then non-fatally hit by a car while she's crossing the street in a daze. I'd normally avoid spoiling a major plot point in a movie but I do think that anyone who intends on watching it as a comedy should know the extent to which it also tackles serious subject matter. Overall it's a good movie that maybe isn't laugh-out-loud as a comedy but is thought provoking in regards to how the sexual attitudes of youth were changing back than and also in regards to how things have and haven't changed in the almost 60 years following.

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    1. Where The Boys Are is certainly an unexpected and interesting choice. It is always great to see the history of cinema being appreciated.

      It is a great cinematic time capsule of sexual mores. I cannot think of a Hollywood film before Where The Boys Are that tackles the topic of premarital sex in such a candid manner. The conflict between the desires of the young women and the values they were raised with is central to the story. That is not to say that there is no morality going on in the film. The fate of the woman who is the most willing give in to her desires could be interpreted as a moral judgment, or maybe it is just the film following the rules of the production code. That tonal shift in the story definitely comes as a surprise.

      The film has one my favorite comedic actresses, Paula Prentiss. She is also great in The World of Henry Orient and What's New, Pussycat?.

      A Casual Listener

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    2. Paula Prentiss felt very natural in this role, especially considering it's her first acting credit. Of all the leads, her character felt the most real.

      And yeah, it didn't go unnoticed by me that the one character who ended up having premarital sex essentially gets punished for it. Overall I don't think that point the movie was trying to make because nothing proceeding it seems to be an attempt to paint things that black and white but you're right that there could have been various outside reasons for it.

      Also, we're a friendly bunch here and it's always nice to add more voices to the conversation so I hope you consider sticking around with a non-anonymous account even if only to post casually.

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  8. Weird Science (1985)

    This was the John Hughe's I grew up with with. While 9 year old me will always love this movie, it's a djinni/Mary Poppins style movie with much bigger hair. I still giggled every time Bill Paxton was on screen, just his expression when he sees his grandparents in the pantry is just the best. But then some of it made me kinda uncomfortable, especially with Kelly LeBrock kissing Ilan Mitchell-Smith.
    And most importantly what did they do to Frankenstein!?!

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  9. North Shore (1987)

    Rick Kane a Arizonan wave tank surfer goes to Oahu to learn how to surf real waves. He does this while contemplating whether or not to go to art school (therefore a teenager). He learns how to surf to the back drop of some wonderful montages. Also finds himself learning the local culture and about one special local lady (Nia Peeples…so hot). The use of pidgin english is way off point and wonderful at the same time. It’s great. In Riske style random thoughts.

    Miss those Jams (board shorts), owned them.

    Remember when all these pro surfer cameos were guys I thought had it all figured out. They didn’t, but could really surf!

    This fucking soundtrack is my preteen happy place.

    Nia Peeples is so FUCKING HOT!

    Get pidgin so wrong and so right at the same time.

    Buss his stick he shred so hard!

    You so haole you don’t even know you haole!

    Shakka shakka bruddah da kine…movies!

    Oh yeah, Nia Peuples is SO FUCKING HOT!



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    1. Nia is really what made this movie for me when I watched it based on your recommendation. She really is amazing.

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    2. On that note, I must remind all those that care about the aquatic horror gem DeepStar Six. Scuba tanks, crustacean monster and most importantly a Nia shower scene.

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    3. Forgot about that, googling now. :P

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  10. Cruel Intentions (1999)

    I don't think this movie has aged well, especially how it deals with sex and sexuality. And it can way over the top dramatic. But I still kind of love it.

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    1. I love the 90's and this is very 90's! Always think of this and Wild Things in the same thought. Gellar, Witherspoon, Blair, Jackson, Thomas and Phillippe?? This is the incarnate of the 90's! My only drawback was I couldn't think of Gellar as a sexpot, mainly due to Buffy. Someday the 90's will get reevaluated by people whom equate this to their informative movie going years. Cycle of life. AKA a Bromley for the 90's. I'm sure PB just threw up a bit and then did everything he could to help them out.

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    3. This movie, is so very very 90s and it was a big deal for me when it came out. I like Geller in this, she feels odd for the part (mainly because of the Buffy love), very cool and cold.
      And I want to watch Wild Things again.

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    4. Just mentioning SMG this many times requires me to watch some Buffy. I think the episode Hush will make an appearance sometime today. BTVS is really the best.

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    5. Isn't Cruel Intentions based on the French novel Dangerous Liaisons?

      A Casual Listener

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  11. The Craft (1996)

    I didn't mean to make this a teen marathon but after Cruel Intentions it suggested this, and what is a girl to do. But it was nice to revisit movies I use to watch when I was younger.

    I went to see this 3 times at the theatre. It was also a popular sleep over movie with friends. Watching it now I still really dug it. Even though I have not seen this movie for years, it felt familar I loved Fairuza when she goes large, and you I love the fact I get to have another movie with Neve and Skeet.

    I was that teenager who wore a plaid skirt and knee high socks.

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  12. Teenagers from Outer Space (1959, dir. Tom Graeff)

    A spaceship arrives on Earth with plans to colonize and use the planet as a breeding ground for Gargons, their primary food source (which look an awful lot like giant lobsters). When the youngest of the crew rebels and falls in love with an Earth girl, another crewmember pursues him armed with a raygun that strips people of their flesh, leaving only a skeleton behind.

    A clunky and completely humorless microbudget movie, but 50's scifi is always kinda charming. Throughout the whole movie, I was marveling at the most wooden acting I've ever seen (which is saying something). Then I read that they recorded the dialogue beforehand and had the actors miming to it on set. Why the hell would they do that!?

    Another public domain film, so it's available on both archive.org and YouTube.

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    1. Bonus: Batman S1E15: The Joker Goes to School (1966, dir. Murray Golden)
      Bonus: Batman S1E16: He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul (1966, dir. Murray Golden)

      The Joker has recruited teenage delinquents to do his bidding, so Robin has to go undercover to learn what he's plotting. The 60's show is fun in small portions, but the teenagers feel like they're written by a 42-year-old guy (which, coincidentally, they were).

      One of the criminals looked vaguely familiar. Turns out it was Chris Kattan's father.

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    2. Even better, it's one of "Mystery Science Theater 3000's" most well-regarded and funniest episodes. If you don't mind too many dated pop culture references, Mikko, this one is worth a rewatch with the running commentary by Joel, Crow and T. Servo. :-)

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    3. From the little I've seen, I'm not a big MST3k fan, but maybe I'll take a look. Thanks for the link.

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  13. Night of the Comet (1984)

    Leave it to teenagers to find the silver lining in the apocalypse. This is a terrific movie, because while it's funny and exciting, it doesn't forget to give us characters we actually care about. Reggie and Sam are entirely believable as sisters, and Robert Beltran's Hector reminds me of how he was so badly used in "that Star Trek series that shall not be named." The final scene is gold: "Thanks! I have 23 of them."

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  15. Detention (2011)
    It's a high school movie, wait... it's a slasher film. Also a comedy, oh and sci-fi. It's fantasy and a romanctic comedy, and it's a horror movie.
    It's Detention. It's all of the above.
    It's so odd, and funny, and interesting.
    People seem to love it or hate it.
    I fall into the first category.

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    1. Also decided to watch Detention today. I love the infectious energy of it. Also makes me very nostalgic for the 90s. Mmm-bop for the win.

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  16. Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

    This is the first of the Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach party movies that I've ever seen, but it's definitely got me wanting to see more. It's just pure fun and earnest charm that doesn't have anything on its mind but entertaining the audience, and it throws just about everything at the wall that it can in order to do that. I have a lot of respect for that.

    This is where I'd normally talk about the plot, but the plot is secondary (at best), it's really just a thin thread on which to hang a big heap of wholesome shenanigans. I don't know what this says about me, but as much as I enjoyed the charming silliness of it all my favorite part of the movie was when Don Rickles got to drop the character he was playing and just be Don Rickles, insulting the other cast members while emceeing a show. I could have used a bit more of him (and Paul Lynde, who's surprisingly funny here), but then I've always been partial to his lovable grump schtick.

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    1. Another fun 1960s beach movie is RIDE THE WILD SURF. It features a great cast, including the singer Fabian, a very cute Barbara Eden, and the actor who later played the pimp in FOXY BROWN.

      A Casual Listener

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  17. Freeway (1996)

    This is what it's all about. Red riding hood retelling that pits juvenile delinquent Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon at her best) against wolf in therapists clothing, Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland). The coolest thing about this movie might be its pure exploitation heart shining through at a time when the Tarantino wannabes were making boring prestige crime thrillers. Just about every line is hilarious and/or heartbreaking and so quotable. It gets major extra points for morphing into a girls-in-prison flick for the second act. That's where Brittany Murphy shows up in a great early role. Speaking of the cast, Amanda Plummer, Bokeem Woodbine, Dan Hedaya!, Brooke Shields are all extremely well cast and do a great job finding the weird tone of this movie. Director Matthew Bright followed this up with the almost as good and maybe stranger Modern Vampires. His last feature was Tiptoes (2003) so I guess people with money are allergic to him now. Bummer. I'd love to see a late career comeback from this guy.

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    1. I heard Rebecca from shockwaves talking about it. I need to see this movie

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  18. Teen Wolf Too (1987 dir. Christopher Leitch)
    Pitiful carbon-copy of the original, relying entirely on "hey, remember when this happened in the first movie?" callback gags, and not bothering to have any personality of its own. It feels like an even more dumbed down version of a high-concept '60s Disney comedy ala The Strongest Man in the World; that's reeeaallly dumb. It has the tiniest bit of charm borne out of just how awful it is (there are three music montage segments in a row,) but it's still a painful experience. Teen Witch is better.

    High School U.S.A. (1983 dir. Rod Amateau)
    And as if to prove how truly terrible Teen Wolf Too was, here is maybe the funniest high school based movie I can remember watching, especially impressive considering it was made for tv. Chaybee discovered this maybe two Junesploitations ago, and sang its praises high. I picked up the dvd, but never managed to sit down and watch it until just now. The cast is AMAZING: Michael J. Fox, Nancy McKeon, Todd Bridges, Crystal Bernard, Anthony Edwards, etc, etc, etc. I don't even want to list them all and ruin the surprises for somebody who might watch it. I will say that Crispin Glover is here, as a pretty major character, and if you like Crispin, you're gonna love this movie. He's hilarious; it may be my favorite performance of his. In fact, the whole movie is hilarious, and intentionally so, it would seem. This doesn't feel like a dumb movie, just a fun one. (It also has a robot in it.)

    Delinquent Daughters (1944 dir. Albert Herman)
    Old-school 'educational' exploitation, and pretty boring and earnestly moralistic. The kids in this aren't up against coke or reefer, they're up against boredom, causing them to drink and do hold-ups; they rob a candy store(!), a gas station, a deli, etc. A high school girl commits suicide (a newspaper headline blames it on "wild partying") and an irritating cop played by Joe Devlin hounds her friends tirelessly until he convinces them and they're parents to come over to the town Judge's house for a good dressing down. There's a conniving local nightclub owner taking advantage of the teens' talent toward criminality; the cop and the judge lock him up and take his place, working the bar as soda jerks for the dancing kids! (In a charming bit of non sequitur, the judge even wears a chef's hat.) One of the girls, Teala Loring, looks so much like Rita Hayworth that I was shocked it wasn't her.

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    1. Teenage Bride (1975 dir. Gary Troy)
      Boring as fuck softcore sleaze from Harry Novak. There's probably more plot in your average Brazzers clip. The sex scenes go on forever; like, the length they would be if this was a hardcore flick. Since it's not, you really get a lot of time to wonder why you're bothering to watch. It's likely to see Sharon Kelly, who looks fucking awesome. She really was basically the reheaded version of Marilyn Monroe. To add insult, there aren't any teenagers in this movie. It's about a guy trying to prove his wife is cheating on him with his brother. They got married when she was a teenager, and thus the title, but she's probably 30 or so by the point we catch up with her. A big snooze.

      Cutting Class (1989, dir. Rospo Pallenberg)
      I guess this late in the slasher game, they wanted to try new stuff; so, as a slasher, this is pretty goddamn weak, but it's also a better teen drama than many slashers would attempt to be. It's also interested in radically subverting some slasher cliches, in ways I'd prefer not to spoil here, but doesn't do enough to really make itself stand out. I was surprised how large Brad Pitt's role was; he's practically the second biggest character, after Jill Schoelen's who's a lot less fleshed out than he is. (We get all kinds of motivating background for Brad's character, but I don't remember Jill's absent mother even being mentioned.) Roddy McDowall is doing something interesting in the background, but I don't think it gets taken anywhere. And I was disappointed to discover that Eli Roth's Thanksgiving basically lifted it's famous trampoline gag straight out of this movie. Not good, but not terrible.

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  19. The New Kids (1985) (First Time Viewing):

    This was a weird movie. It had the feel of an after-school special, about siblings who have to move to a new school after their parents are killed, and run afoul of some bullies. But it also is a hard R with tons of graphic violence. So while I don't think it was necessarily that GOOD, it certainly was interesting and entertaining. Worth seeing for James Spader at his creepiest as the heavy, and a young Lori Loughlin.

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  20. Broken (2012)

    It's kind of a coming of age story about a girl who's neighbors start ruining each other's lives, particularly one family of teen girls who accuse innocent men of rape.

    It started off great and looking like someone really knew what they were doing. It was so beautifully shot that I went back to watch several scenes again. But at the 3/4th mark it started to get cliche and totally fall apart. Too bad because some characters were really interesting, particularly that family of girls. There is such an awesome solo dance scene by that littlest girl, and I love Cillian Murphy in this.

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  21. SECRET ADMIRER (1985)
    An anonymous love letter gets passed around among some teens, as well as their parents and teachers, with everyone assuming it was written for them. This one is more concerned with teen heartache than it is with jokes. That normally wouldn’t be bad in a typical romance, but this is a mistaken identity comedy, which means it should be more fast-paced and high-energy than it is.

    GIRLFRIEND FROM HELL (1989)
    A mousy nerdgirl is possessed by a demon for supernatural sexy shenanigans. This is basically another Weird Science, but with the absolute smallest of small budgets. There’s not much to recommend here, except for a fun performance from Dana Ashbrook, more or less his audition for Bobby Briggs.

    PORKY’S 3: PORKY’S REVENGE (1985)
    After the second movie made some small attempt at character growth and social satire, this third one is clearly designed as a throwback to the first. Once again, I’m left with the thought that these horndog teens are actually the villains, ruining the lines of everyone they meet. Also, now that I’ve seen all three, it’s possible I’m not a fan of this franchise.

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  22. Dazed and Confused (2003)

    My copy of this Criterion DVD was previously owned by an honest-to-goodness F This Movie contributor (not sure who) - I won it in a draw after the very first F This Movie Fest back before the site went anti-Canadian and declared us contest "ineligible" (cough*dog-whistle*cough) - this was the first time I finally got around to watching it - it's a lot of fun! Light on story but heavy on capturing a feeling and though it's set 20 years before my own High School Glory Days, it definitely brought me back to those teenage summer nights when everything seemed so fun and simple and beer was exciting.

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  23. Dentention (2012)

    This movie is WILD. It's a high school teen movie that is also a whole bunch of other CRAZY movies all in one. Slasher, sci-fi, aliens. Everything you need is here. And Dane Cook is funny! Always a plus. It all worked for me and I really had a great time with it.

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  24. Tag (2015) on Canadian Netflix, Japanese movie

    Mulling it over. It's kind of a mystery story. Most of the movie is populated with only schoolgirls in uniforms. And there is gore, but just a bit. No men in this movie at all. It's a mystery story, dreamy at times, other times becoming grounded in reality, but quickly yanked back into dreamy.

    I really liked it. The first 5-6 minutes are definitely worth watching because it's like "oh, its this kind of movie". But then it is, but something different at the same time.

    I really liked it.

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    1. HOLY FUCK!!!! This is on Netflix??! This is a fucking fantastic movie. Sion Sono is one of the best, most interesting, smartest, and most prolific directors in the world. This was one of my ten favorite movies of 2015.

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    2. Yeah, on Canadian Netflix. I thought it would be a movie about Japanese schoolgirls running around killing each other, playing "tag", but it's not.

      I liked how it's a sea of "schoolgirls" and women suddenly in their underwear, and how the movie completely subverts this at the same time. It avoids being sleazy with nary a breast or bum to be found, which is fitting.

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    3. I mean, "just a bit", feels like kind of an understatement when it comes to the gore. I just watched the first 10 minutes and even if there isn't ANY more gore, it averages out to more than "just a bit". :) One of the most disturbing horror set-pieces I've seen in a while! Thanks for bringing this to my attention - very interested to watch the rest!

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    4. It's a very good movie. Did you listen to the Sucker Punch episode? This movie is everything Patrick was claiming SP was. I've never seen SP, so can't compare the 2, but I really enjoyed this.

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  25. The Last Picture Show (1971):

    I've read so much about this movie that it never felt like one I actually had to watch, but it felt good to check it off the list.

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  26. Cabin Fever (2002)
    Catching up after being gone over the weekend. I'll save my words and just say that I really didn't like it.

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