Friday, November 2, 2012

What Would You Have Me Do?

Dear Faithful Reader,

As you have probably guessed - I have taken yet another hiatus from blogging or have quit entirely. Spurred by the Blogger format upgrade and my lack of interest in doing anything other than drinking alone in the dark - I decided to put Southern Train to Doomsday on hold for a while - if not completely cancel it.

The other truth of the matter has been - I haven't been watching enough movies to justify a movie blog - or with the movies that I've been watching I haven't been inspired to write anything about them. To date I've watched 124 films (been tracking them via Twitter) - some of them were films I've seen and written about prior - some I've watched multiple times. Since we're still using a calendar year that gives us 365 days most of the time - two movie reviews a week would be more my speed - but that's only if I felt whatever I watched was worth writing about. Plus, it's only if I was watching movies at regular intervals - but there had been a few months this year I watched maybe one or two movies.

Last thing I really want to do is write for the sake of writing - especially about something I really love. Half-hearted reviews - or reviews that concentrate so much on giving people a synopsis as filler - isn't really something I want to get into. I want to be able to tell the many angles that I think about films.

I've actually started a new blog to play with the new Blogger formatting - it's called 'Signal Jammer!' - and it covers a broader range of my tastes and has more entries about life in general. It's not updated with great frequency for many of the reasons why I haven't updated this blog - but I'm not limiting myself. With 'Signal Jammer!' I decided I didn't want to just blog for the sake of blogging - so I'm not going to do a post of pictures of pretty women - or something like my very popular Ewan McGregor post - and no more Monday Muzak - those were just fillers.

This post isn't an advertisement though for the new blog - it's more of a - "Hey, I've got a spare moment! Why don't I write something for Southern Train for the hell of it just to prove I'm not dead?" If you wanted to check out 'Signal Jammer!' you can - if you don't - that's cool too. On a personal note I really like the look of the new format as a reader - it's very slick.

Well, this beginning of the month end of the week boredom is taking a toll on my desire to finish this entry. Why is the end of the month so insane but the beginning of the month so dull? It's time for me to find an appropriate picture to post on this entry and figure out how to make one of those 'Signal Jammer!' references a link - and close the book on this. I'm not sure how much I'll update either blog - but I don't think I'm ready to call either dead.

Have a great Friday!

Your pal,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lorna the Exorcist [1974]

As Linda is turning 18 - her father is being harassed by a mysterious woman named Lorna who is demanding that he turn over his daughter to her.

This is an amazing hyper-sexual head trip - it's a glorious treat for Franco fans that this film was finally found and reconstructed and released with such care by Mondo Macabre. The print has been damaged by the porn distributor who purchased it and cut in hardcore sex into it - but enough of the original print survived for it to fixed back to its original form as scratchy at time as it appears - unfortunately the soundtrack seemed to have suffered more.

Even with the hardcore scenes removed - Franco's version is intense for how sexually explicit it was. His fascination with the female genitalia is in full force - not only with his usual zoom into that region - but the lingering of the shot - and the fact that the actors actually engage each other in that region. It indeed takes you out of the movie a bit - but it also is part of the head trip that was designed as part of the story. It's purposely hypnotizing and graphic but also misleading as it becomes horrifying with Franco introducing a quite possibly one of his most disturbing ideas when he has monsters creeping out of a woman's privates. That must have been conflicting and personal for Franco - making his favorite part of a woman's anatomy horrifying.

Lina Romay as Linda was outstanding - one of her best roles - right up there with the Countess from Female Vampire. She was youthful and energetic - and slowly became more disturbed - culminating with what seemed like a complete loss of restraint and giving herself over completely into the role. Pamela Stanford commanded your attention - with her slinky, smooth, cool and mysterious demeanor - as Lorna. I'm not sure how much her ridiculously wild eye make-up played a role in how strangely fascinating she was - but she carried an amazing intensity to the role.

Franco used a resort town in the south of Spain as the setting for this story - it was still in the midst of being constructed - which allowed him to cleverly pull of successful flashbacks. Also, considering how it was being made as a resort town the architecture was a bit more unique and pretty - it provided a very surreal background for this old world Faustian tale.

The direction was classic Franco - where there were plenty of lingering scenes - which hypnotize you and leave you unaware of exactly all that's going on. The film starts with an 8 minute sex scene - and it's so intense and lingering you are left wondering what's going on - and as it pulls you out - he switches it up quickly and throws a lot at you. I personally love that shit - it pushes the boundaries of what you should be expecting and keeps me more engaged to his films than most directors. His use of a pulsating repetitive music in his soundtrack was also put to great use making the atmosphere of the film more surreal and hypnotic.

Lorna the Exorcist is a must see for Franco fans - storming into my Top 5 list of his films - and I'm grateful that this print was finally reconstructed and released with such care. I think it's a perfect representation of Franco working in his wheelhouse of sexual horror using universal themes in the early 70's - it's quite brilliant and haunting.