Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bad Movie Night (Part 3)

Earlier in the week, I was going to post a recap of the Oscars and the annual friendly competition between 'V' and myself to pick the most winners. But then a day passed. And then another. It's now what I would consider 'old news' as I'm sure you've all heard that "The King's Speech" was the big winner (deservedly so). GLOATING ALERT...I'll just say that my losing streak is finally over and I have finally out-scored the competition. 'V' usually beats me by one or two picks. However, this time I had an impressive 15 out of 18 correct. The categories I got wrong, you might ask? I had picked True Grit for cinematography, but "Inception" won. I figured Geoffrey Rush would be part of "The King's Speech" steam roll. Didn't happen. Christian Bale won his first Oscar for playing the trainer in "The Fighter".  I also assumed the lovely, and somewhat eccentric, Helena Bonham Carter would win for "The King's Speech". Nope. The Oscar went to the potty-mouthed Melissa Leo in "The Fighter".

Prof. Larry called for another Bad Movie NightTM with only 48 hours notice. We rallied together a skeleton crew of four brave souls and assembled in his basement for another nudie movie  cinematic experience. After 45 minutes to choose the 82 minute movie, we settled on on the 1976 stunner "Seven Women for Satan" (Les week-ends maléfiques du Comte Zaroff). This "banned in France" erotic Euro-horror was written, directed by, and starred Michel Lemoine.

The main character lives in a French chateau and his name is Count Zaroff (I think he is supposed to be the nephew of Zaroff, the guy who hunted men on a deserted island in the movie "The Most Dangerous Game" (1932). I suppose Lemoine intended his movie to be an homage to that movie. The saying, "with friends like that, who needs enemies" comes to mind. The Compte is aided by man-servant, philosophical/spiritual advisor, and body removal guy Karl (played by Swiss horror veteran Howard Vernon). Also in residence are the ghost of a woman that his ancestor murdered and a Great Dane called Ingmar. The fashionably-dressed ghost pops up on occasion to torment the Compte, spoiling Karl's attempts to make him a murderous fiend like his uncle.

Don't get  me wrong. The Compte murders several women in what appears to be a hallucinogenic rage. He chases them on horseback, in cars and on foot. He's a bad dude that seems to drift between periods of reality and erotic fantasy. Karl's main reason for being there is to provide us with lengthy back story...and, of course, to lure in the occasional hapless female victim into the chateau. I think the dog is there for comedic relief because she certainly isn't very scary. There is a priceless scene where the dog is sent chasing after a woman trying to escape wearing only a blue feather boa (the woman wears the boa, not the dog...). The dog jumps on her in what is meant as a vicious attack. It really looks like the dog is playing and the victim is trying to hold her in place by her collar. Perhaps they smeared the woman's assests with steak sauce to get the dog interested.

Some of the scenes are quite stylishly shot from peculiar angles and with a reasonably good soundtrack. That being said, there was one tune played to death each time the Compte chased after a woman. The story line was difficult to follow (most of what I note here I gleaned from people commenting about the movie at One zealot commented on a scene where one of the hapless victims is drugged and is dancing lewdly in front of a wooded carving of a black man. The totem, at one point, comes alive and its hands roam across the woman's...well, you get the picture. Anyway, the guy said, "...represents the dark unconscious mind of a white woman's unrestrained sexual drive."  Yeah. Right.

The most hilarious aspect of the film was that it was both subtitled AND dubbed in English. As a result, a lot of the dialogue didn't match the text written on the screen and, in fact, was completely different with comedic results. As per usual, I'm not going to recommend this film. Remember…it was Bad Movie NightTM, not Oscar Winners of the 20th Century Night. There was one memorable scene with a young couple asking to see the former 'torture chamber' in the dungeon (yeah, for real...they ASKED to see it). I won't spoil it with the details, but suffice it to say they come to a bad end. There was no swearing in the film and even the murder scenes were tame by today's standards. However, the film was over the top in its depictions of violence against women. They were the target throughout the movie. For the most part they are naked and defenseless. Be forewarned if you plan on renting this dud.


Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Think I might just pass this baby by. I have a suggestion for your next bad movie night. Mr. Sardonacus. It scared the bejesus out of me when I was kid - not so much now of course, but it's one of those 'classic' horror movies everbody's got to see just once. My favorite character was 'Igor' of course.

Have a great day.

P.S. did you notice? only one person used a written speach this year at the AA.s

Akasha Savage. said...

I've been to see The King's Speech twice, absoultely love it...and Helena Bonham Carter is who I aspire to be!!!!! :D

Danielle Ferries said...

I'm still smarting over Geoffrey Rush not winning. The injustice of it all. I almost threw something at the TV.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

I'm with you and Danielle - Geoffrey Rush totally deserved to win. His performance was what made the movie. Unfortunately, I really think his snooty demeanour in real life swayed voters against him. Same with our good friend Helena - she's SUCH a great actress but she's so quirky and has that Tim Burton thing going on that I think the Academy steers clear. I'm surprised Christian Bale won because he's not exactly Mr. Nice Guy.
Congratulations on unseating V, Alan! Not an easy task, fer sure! I myself did terrible this year. Perhaps the boring behaviour of the hosts just put me to sleep.
Btw, I love it when you write about Bad Movie Night. You paint such a picture!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Love bad, old movies they make me smile (even the supposed horrors).

Have a great weekend.

Lou Freshwater said...

Congrats on your big win. ;-)

Laurita said...

1976 - a good year. Not for movies, though, judging by your post. Sounds like an interesting night. For the record, I think bad movie night sounds like a ton-o-fun.

Congrats on your Oscar win. :)

Kat said...

Alan...I really worry about you sometimes, Chico....


Katey said...

The most hilarious aspect of the film was that it was both subtitled AND dubbed in English.
Dude, AWESOME. I love watching badly dubbed movies in languages I barely understand so I can mock that--this is even better. I want it!

I'd love to track you guys doing an MST3K of it :D

John Wiswell said...

IMDB is a minefield of irate opinions. You're brave to have even looked.

Sometimes I enjoy comparing subtitles to dub...

Alan W. Davidson said...

Wendy- Yeah, I'm glad that there weren't many 'grocery lists' of thank-yous at the awards. Thanks for the heads-up...Prof Larry is sure he can secure a copy of that for next Bad Movie night.

Akasha- Sounds like you are a Helena goupie. King's Speech was a fantastic movie.

Danielle- He was robbed, for sure. He's sure different looking without hair. Take comfort that he'll be on the big screen soon in the next "Pirates" movie.

Cathy- Your right that a lot of folks vote based on how popular they are in the public light. Glad you enjoy the bad movie night reviews. They are hard to write coz the subject matter is a bit shadey and I don't want to offend anybody (too much).

Gillian- Agreed. Those stinkers can be a lot of fun if you're in the right frame of mind.

Lou- Thanks. It's a rare occurance.

Laurita- You sound a bit biased towards that year...Yep, they're fun nights.

Kat- I worry about me too!

Katey- The film was very 'mock-worthy' and we were in fine form. Perhaps we should consider recording the next one and putting the audio on the internet...

John- Sure, you've got to take what you read with (cliche alert) a grain of salt.