Home Page

About Page




VHS A to O

VHS P to Z






Contact Page

Guest Book Page

Catalog Page


These pictures are from well known and forgoten movies - check for links!

Dog Day Afternoon

Sonny wanted money for his wife's sex change operation so he and Sal robbed a bank - in Brooklyn; on the hottest day of the year.  Fifteen minutes into it they realized it wasn't going smoothly when they get a call from the captain of the N.Y.P.D.   This movie is based on the actual events of a '73 robbery.  It's one of the highlights of '70s film-making.

The Honeymoon Killers
Martha (Shirley Stoler) meets Raymond (Tony Lo Bianco) through a "lonely hearts" club.  They fall in love and hatch a plot to jilt other lonely ladies out of their savings - before they kill them.  This is another cult classic true-crime movie based on actual happenings.  Dark - Funny - Horrible - Ain't they cute? 



Haxen is considered one of the first documentaries.  Originally released in 1922 its subject is "Witchcraft through the ages".  Re-discovered and Re-released in '68 with a narration by William S. Burroughs and an improvisational jazz score.


This documentary follows the trial and tribulations of Mark Borchardt as he tries to complete a low budget horror film he started years before.  He hopes that profits from the sale of "COVEN" (also contained on the disk) will finance the movie he is really trying to make.  Mark is estranged from his girlfriend, lives with his parents and works at a local cemetery and delivering papers in his jalopy.  His drive is real even if we are left to wonder about his talent.  This movie is very funny and poignant without being condescending towards its subjects - a danger with documentaries of this kind.  I don't know anyone who hasn't liked this movie - It's one of my favorites.


Todd Solondz makes comedies some people won't laugh at.  At times they're so brutal the people who do laugh at them have trouble finding the humor.  To say they are "dark comedies" would be like saying: "Gazing at the sun may cause slight discomfort."  Laughing at Solondz is like slowing down at a traffic accident.  You know its wrong - but you can't help it.  Mel Brooks once defined the difference between comedy and tragedy like this:  "Tragedy is when I get a paper-cut on my finger.  It hurts.  I'm going to be watching this paper-cut, making sure it doesn't get infected; making sure I don't bump it on something.  Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die!"  In Solondz's movies comedy is when the person who gets the paper-cut walks into the open sewer while watching the finger.

            Happiness is a prime example of  Solondz's ability to push the envelope.  Among fans of this movie, the one thing that is mentioned most often is the fact that there is not a single likable character.  The movie centers around Joy a lackluster do-nothing who has recently moved back in to her parents' house.  When she dumps a would-be boyfriend he kills himself.  Her sister Helen is an angsty writer searching for authenticity in her pampered jet set life.  She throws herself on the bed saying "If only I had been raped when I twelve - then I would be authentic!"  Her slovenly neighbor has a crush on her. He's Dilbert by day but spends nights swilling booze and making obscene phone calls.  His shrink is married to their other sister Trish, a suburban housewife blissfully unaware that her husband is a pederast buying Tigerbeat on the sly.  To this cast of characters add divorcing grandparents, conniving E.S.L. students and little leaguers questioning their sexuality. 

            Solondz's movies are not for everyone.  I once tried to watch Happiness with a group of people who spent the first ten minutes talking over it.  Once it grabbed their attention, which it can't help but do, they were so unnerved by it they left the room. 

"I didn't like that movie!" one of them exclaimed from the other room, as if she'd actually watched the whole thing.  I'm a big fan of movies that push buttons and clear rooms - maybe that's why I like this one so much.  It's like looking in a fun-house mirror, the grotesque image you see is still just a reflection of yourself.  Solondz's movies are fun-house mirrors turned on society and some people can't handle the reflection.                             



CITY OF LOST CHILDREN  This is another amazing movie from the same people who made Delicatessen and more recently Amelie.  It is so wild it would be really hard to describe without giving to much away - but here goes:  A circus strong man and street urchin girl team up to rescue 'little brother' from a cadre of genetic mutants and clones who, with an army of cyborg - like - Cyclopes kidnap children in effort to steal their dreams.  Visually astounding.  I won't say any more...see it yourself. 

As Crazy As He Wants To Be!

Interviews with Charlie - aka - the devil - aka - Jesus Christ - aka - a toad in the road - aka - the fifth Beatle - WOW!   This is a very interesting documentary with lots of unedited interviews with the man himself espousing on everything from the shadow world of prison to the infamous murders of '70.  He's nuts - but not as nuts as you'd think, or "they" want you to think!


Did travelers from distant galaxies come light years out of their way to become the architects of our modern civilization?  Do they still visit?  When they were here - did they build Pyramids and scrape huge unexplained lines into the dirt of the Nazca Plains?  Do the want to harm us? Teach us? Sell us overpriced novelty items?  What, if and, is their agenda? And...Oh ya...are they real?   You be the judge.


If the film SLACKER were a lost sock, then WAKING LIFE would be its mate.  These films, both directed by Richard Linklatter are perfect bookends for each other.  Made more than ten years apart (Slacker '91 was R.L.'s 1st film) they both maintain a stream-of-conscious mode without careening wildly out of control.  They are funny, and deep - but not pretentious.  Many of the characters in Slacker, (or the people who played characters; or themselves), return in Waking Life, sometimes picking up right where they left of.  Waking Life is roboscoped animation, a process where by first live action is filmed (digital video in this case) then the footage is used as a template for the animators.  Waking life takes place in vignettes and the picture as a whole represents the efforts of many animators.  It's meditations on life and the nature of reality are superb.  Some thought is required for this film - so if you don't all 'dem fancy words - you might be S.O.L. on this one. 


Ray Harryhausen is one of the fathers of modern special effects - although the effects he uses most (stop action animation) are now considered quite antiquated.  Ray was inspired as a child by King Kong and began experimenting with 8mm movies in a garage workshop he built.  Eventually he got a job with George Pal (War of the Worlds) working on Puppatoons - elaborate shorts featuring puppets without strings, filmed one frame at a time for simulated motion.  From there Ray went on to do the special effects that carried many movies into history such as 20 Million Miles To Earth, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and of course the SINBAD movies.  The Sinbad movies contain examples of Ray's best work including the famous "Skeleton Battle" (pictured right) which took literally months to film.  Stop action is very very labor intensive and it can take a whole day of work just to capture five seconds of footage.  The DVDs of Ray's movies all contain short documentaries on Ray and his work and are worth checking out.  All his movies are fun even if they seem dated.  They still manage to capture the imagination of even the youngest C.G.I. spoon feed kids.


Werner Hertzog made a movie about a Fitzcaraldo, a man with a dream of being a rubber baron on the Amazon and building an opera house in the jungle.  To accomplish this goal, Fitzy had to get a boat, a big boat, over a mountain - which he did.  To make the movie, Hertzog had to get a boat, a big boat, over a mountain - and he did (sort of).  This is Les Blanks fascinating movie about a fascinating movie and the madman at its helm.

Laughing with/at LaVey

Satanis is a rarely seen documentary about The Church of Satan and its founder Anton LaVey.  These aren't heavy metal teenyboppers killing cats in the basement and ruining their needles by dragging some Black Sabbath record backwards.  These are sane upstanding citizens rationally explaining what Satanism is to them - it's not what you may think it is either.  The documentary is good - and it has a lot of tid-bits about LaVey most people don't know.  Great 60s footage in San Francisco.  The DVD also contains a lot of extras including another exploitation doc (a la the mondo stuff) of a "real black mass" in England - plus some shorts.  Very Entertaining!

R.I.P. - A Portrait of Joe Coleman

This (to the left here) is an example of Joe Coleman's art.  He's the curator of his own "Odditorium" - performs autopsies in his spare time - is a painter of detailed works often requiring him to wear magnifying glass headgear - and as a performance artist was once charged with "Operation of an Infernal Machine" (a law not used since the late 1700s in New England). 


 - nuff said -