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  • The Patriot

    The Patriot

    Astonishing, historically challenged, 100% undistilled Mel. A man whose psychopathic tendencies lay compressed and dormant until the right moment springs up to unleash his true hunger for savagery. Under axe and musket alike, flesh and bone and blood will tear, fragment and spray -- and I haven't even gotten to talking about Mel's character in the movie, yet!!! Superlative (appropriately humid) production and Mel's depiction of Mel is as sensitive and nuanced as ever. Ironic title, indeed! Nothing whatsoever to do…

  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

    The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

    Roger Corman followed his hallucinatory essay on a disillusioned American Dream eating it's post-WW2 young in the AIP drive-in monster hit, THE WILD ANGELS (1966) with this 20th Century Fox produced augmentation of the same themes. Little kids afraid to grow up -- replacing tricycles with Harleys in ANGELS, toy guns and tuff-turf childhood playground for the violent adult battleground of prohibition Chicago of the 1920's in MASSACRE. Corman's sense of the widescreen environment and geometries (featuring some audacious hand-held…

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  • The Green Berets

    The Green Berets

    John Wayne and Ray Kellogg's full-force pro-Vietnam War propaganda epic also contains a fiery, eye-wideningly savage group dummy-death!

    Full analysis and deconstruction: www.destructibleman.com/2010/06/green-berets-john-wayneray-kellogg-1968.html

  • A Life in the Balance

    A Life in the Balance

    A 74 minute pot-boiler rocketed into seriously transcendent cinematic territory by some extraordinary (and way off-beat) Mexican location shooting, sound design, cinematography. The ensemble cast often perversely attaching themselves onto the dark rhythm of the thing, creating a life and energy entirely symbiotic with the exterior creative elements. Sure, the dialog leans on the bleeding heart, the resolution on the snappy, happy tie-up -- but nearly everything before that displaces the viewer in a world of poverty, desperation, mental illness,…