Saturday, February 19, 2011


The Unseen, 1980 (*****)
don't miss out on meeting 'Junior' waiting in the basement for you in this criminally underrated classic early 80s sleaze by High Rise director Danny Steinmann, never will you see mentally retarded done better; the only slight weakness for me is comedic thesp Sydney Lassick whose cheeseball horror-comedy performance seems incongruent with the otherwise darker mood of the film

Maniac, 1980 (***)
more creepy is less creepy: Joe Spinell overplays his role as the serial killer protagonist and never really convinces; that said, Tom Savini's effects and, in particular, the scene design of the maniac's small apartment are fantastic

Cruising, 1980 (*****)
William Friedkin's Cruising is not really such a rarity, indeed it stars Al Pacino, but it always surprises me to learn how few people have seen it; a cop goes undercover in the New York gay scene to investigate a serial killer preying on homosexuals, and what begins in sleazeball giallo territory ends in pure, yet oddly satisfying, enigma; top soundtrack too, a pertinent reminder that 70s/80s underground gay club music was far more eclectic than extended Donna Summer and Patrick Hernandez mixes and other stereotyping revisionism would credit it

Savage Streets, 1984 (*****)
incredibly enjoyable rape revenge sleaze masterpiece with Linda Blair and scream queen Linnea Quigley plus a perfect mid-80s rockin' AOR soundtrack to match

Silent Night, Deadly Night, 1984 (**)
the makers' ambitions were far greater than their budget or abilities, the acting is so bad (particularly the lead), the sets so cheap, and the script is so dull, that all the nice sleaze and gore moments ultimately fall rather flat; that said, the initial scenes with Billy in the convent school are superb

Crimes Of Passion, 1984 (****)
it's the captivating performance from the god that is Anthony Perkins that makes this (often overlooked) Ken Russell film so watchable; AP plays Rev. Shayne, a man riven with internal conflicts and demons, a man who becomes obsessed with China Blue, a part-time hooker



Sypha said...

William, regarding the Colin Wilson short story I mentioned a few days ago (entitled "The Return of the Lloigor"), it's part of an anthology called "Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos." This is it on Amazon:

Andy Capper said...

Linnea Quiqley at the same time as being 13. No wonder I'm so fucked up.

Yusef Sayed said...

William, great to see some praise given to Cruising - totally undervalued in my view too. The mix up with the Handkerchief Code always amuses me, as well as Al Pacino's moves (see Scarface for further awful dancefloor workouts).

Also, Jack Nitzsche scored the film which will always get my attention.

First time commentator, but just want to express my appreciation for the site too, which I have read regularly for over a year and has led me to all manner of fascinating culture.

Oh, and Whitehouse are a constant source of mind-fuck-expansion. Look forward to your latest sound works very much.

William Bennett said...

thank you so much, Yusef - so funny (and true) your comments re. Pacino and Cruising :-) now, if only Skatt Bros' 'Walk The Night' had been included too...