So, realistically, I don't have the time to write extensively about every movie I see. However, I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on a few things I've watched recently (for the first time, or just my latest viewing of it) that struck me as interesting or pleased me in some way.  Here it is, another installment of "Blurbs."

Clive Barker's HELLRAISER (1987)
The first (and still best) entry into the ongoing exploits of the demonic Cenobites.  HELLRAISER follows Kirsty Cotton, whose dead uncle Frank has come back from eternal torment and attempts to take her father's identity, as well as his wife.  It's a horrific story of love across dimensions and the pleasures derived from painful experience (physically and emotionally.)  Doug Bradley has spent two decades portraying Pinhead, the leader of the Cenobites who exposes those who solve the Lament Configuration puzzle box to the pleasures of the flesh.  Still chilling and completely uncompromising, Clive Barker's HELLRAISER is a true masterwork of the macabre.

A real shitfest from Roland Emmerich, which I find myself compulsively drawn to despite my dislike for it.  There's something compelling I just can't explain - like passing a car accident and absolutely having to slow down and look.  No one turns in a performance that's even remotely convincing, despite Matthew Broderick's best attempts.  But, the special effects are convincing enough for the time, and when the giant lizard finally makes it onscren, there are moments that are almost worth all the crap leading up to and surrounding them.  Watch at your own risk, or, like me, for much-too-frequent morbid curiosity.

I recently picked this up for $16 bucks from the Criterion Collection, having seen it some years back during my initial Herzog obsession.  A brilliant portrait of the uncompromising German director's four year attempt to film FITZCARRALDO.  The centerpiece: pulling a 350-ton steamship over a mountain without using models or special effects just for authenticity's sake.  This is probably the best "making of" doc ever made, and as valid an exploration into the obsessive needs of a burdened genius as any of the films Herzog himself was making at this time.

I love H.P. Lovecraft, but this film adaptation sucks.  I actually fell asleep a bit myself, and there's really only about 30 seconds of squid-monster badassery - and even that sucks.  Stuart Gordon is still the only competent adaptor of Lovecraft, I guess.  Check out his DAGON and RE-ANIMATOR films, or even his MASTERS OF HORROR episode "Dreams in the Witch House."

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