October is “The Month of Crawly, Creepy, and Bestial” at Film Space.
At Film Space Saturday, October 10: Videodrome (1983) by David Cronenberg – 89 mins – Canada, Horror/ Mystery/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller. Generally favorable reviews: 72 out of 100. This is probably the unrated version, so watch out – anything goes.
A sleazy lowlife cable TV operator discovers a snuff broadcast called "Videodrome." But it is more than a TV show – it's an experiment that uses regular TV transmissions to permanently alter the viewer's perceptions by giving them brain damage. Caught in the middle of the forces that created "Videodrome" and the forces that want to control it, his body itself turns into the ultimate weapon to fight this global conspiracy.
Rotten Tomatoes: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today. Max Renn runs an unauthorized cable channel in Toronto that caters to viewers demanding increasingly violent and pornographic material. One night, in search of new programming fodder, he stumbles across a scrambled satellite transmission emanating from unknown regions -- a startlingly graphic broadcast that routinely depicts the brutal torture and murder of women. Excited by his find, Renn attempts to track the show to its origins, but he continually encounters resistance, including a warning from one of his programming suppliers that the broadcasts are not dramatizations but depictions of actual murders. Undaunted, Renn finally traces the show to Pittsburgh, where he encounters the transmissions of a Messianic madman known as Brian O'Blivion. Although O'Blivion is dead, his daughter continues to spread his twisted gospel by broadcasting old videotapes of his sermons, encouraging people to embrace the barbarous new TV world as reality. Eventually Renn finds the man who is controlling all the hallucinatory video violence. But by then, Max has begun his own descent into madness, an insanity culminating in physical manifestations of the exploitative sleaze he has profited from over the years.
At Film Space Saturday, October 17: Teeth (1972) by Mitchell Lichtenstein – 94 mins – US Comedy/ Horror – Directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein (son of Pop artist Roy), with Jess Weixler and John Hensley. High school student Dawn works hard at suppressing her budding sexuality by being the local chastity group's most active participant. A stranger to her own body, innocent Dawn discovers she has a toothed vagina when she becomes the object of violence. As she struggles to comprehend her anatomical uniqueness, Dawn experiences both the pitfalls and the power of being a living example of the vagina dentata myth. More enjoyable than I thought it would be, it is still pretty sick and unpleasant, and with an uncomfortable number of appendages eventually littering the ground. Mixed or average reviews: 57/64 out of 100.
Variety: "Teeth" bites off more than it can chew. A game, disarming lead performance from Jess Weixler, who won a jury acting prize at Sundance, goes some way toward making palatable this mish-mash. All the same, it will be few guys' notion of an ideal date movie.
At Film Space Saturday, October 24: “Multiple Personality Detective Psycho - Kazuhiko Amamiya Returns”/ "Tajuu jinkaku tantei saiko - Amamiya Kazuhiko no kikan" / 多重人格探偵サイコ(2000) by Takashi Miike – 6-part TV miniseries, each episode 54 mins; they will be showing episodes 3 and 4 – Japan, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller. Extraordinarily bloody and sick, probably blur-censored in the Japanese manner.
Yes Asia: Based on Otsuka Eiji's best-selling manga, the 2002 suspense mini-series MPD Psycho, or Multiple Personality Detective Psycho, follows a detective with multiple personality disorder who is called out of retirement to investigate a serial murder case. Hosaka Naoki takes on the challenging protagonist role who fluctuates between his identities as normal everyday family man Kobayashi Yosuke and cool-as-ice criminologist Amamiya Kazuhiko. But he may have a third and darker personality connected to the very case he's investigating. Directed by world-renowned filmmaker Miike Takashi.