David Cronenberg’s Shivers

David Cronenberg's ShiversBeen digging deep into the Cronenberg back catalog and rediscovered Shivers, a film that could pretty much only be made by Cronenberg and only in the sexed up 70s.

A crazy doc develops a sexually transmitted parasite with the hopes that it will kickstart a free love ongoing orgy. The only problem is that it turns people into sex crazed maniacs hell bent on spreading their parasitic passengers with willing, or unwilling, partners. Of course it’s not long before the things start to spread through a remote and exclusive luxury apartment building and plump old ladies start jumping delivery men moaning “I’m hungry! I’m hungry for love!!”

Shivers is akin to many other 70s films exploring identity and the individual and generalized fears of the loss of self. If you’ve seen films like the Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Romero’s zombie films orĀ The Crazies, you’ll instantly recognize the existential angst pervasive in 70s sci-fi.

It’s a poster child for sick and twisted, but if you’re a Cronenberg fan and haven’t seen it, it’s a fascinating look at themes and visuals he would continue exploring in future films. But I will warn you up front, it is a really messed up, disturbing film.

Agent Carter

Just finished watching Agent Carter season 2. Hands down my favorite comic inspired show. Great female lead. Great pacing. A fun plot. But part of what I love about it is that Haley Atwell has a pretty normal woman’s body, rather than the increasingly impossible dimensions most tv and movie actresses are forced to conform to. She’s also a delightful actress, but it’s refreshing to see a female body type that isn’t an emaciated twig in a lead role.

Arn: the Knight Templar leaving Netflix

If you see it in the recommended for you list on Netflix, chances are you will just keep scrolling past Arn: The Knight Templar. The imagery and description make it sound like another cheesy hack and slash flick. But, despite poor ratings on RT and other aggregators, it’s a surprisingly good movie. It tells the tale of a man sent to join the Knights Templar as a punishment for a forbidden love. The characters are compelling, the settings impressive, and the story frequently surprising. It is a tragedy, in the classical sense, and a very good period film. It gets pulled from Netflix on March 9. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it highly.

Ahsoka and Revenge of the Sith

Been re-watching the prequel movies. I actually quite like Revenge of the Sith. Definitely the best of the three movies. Although now I have to wonder what Anakin might have done with Ahsoka…she get the Youngling treatment? I really enjoyed Clone Wars, but watching Anakin is so creepy.

TNT’s Legends

I really, really wanted to like Legends. Even made it all the way through season one. I guess I was hoping it wouldn’t be as obvious as it seemed because Sean Bean is so much fun to watch. But…it was. And the season wrapped up with a predictable “twist.” Do yourself a favor and watch old Mission Impossible episodes instead.

Lee Majors is The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy
There was a lot of bad tv in the 80s, but there was some good stuff too, and The Fall Guy may well be one of the best, if for no other reason than the theme song is the best tv show theme song in history. If you don’t believe me, go listen to it right now!

The premise, a movie stunt man who sidelines as a bounty hunter, gave the writers a huge toy box to play with, incorporating stunt footage from dozens of other shows and films, guest stars who play themselves, and a hero, Colt Seavers, who gets to apply all kinds of Hollywood magic to catching the bad guy. Season 1 just showed up on Hulu and I’ve already started my binge watching.

If you do decide to jump in, I’d recommend starting midway through the first season after the cast started to get their legs. Heather Thomas and Douglas Barr round out the cast, and really come into their own as the show progresses. I have to admit, part of the fun of watching is seeing all the guest stars who are so young (compared to now.)

Rutger Hauer in Split Second

This weekend’s so-bad-it’s-good film is this gem from 1992, Split Second, starring Rutger Hauer. Set in the far future of 2008 this film manages to incorporate nearly every trope of 80s and 90s cop films, plus some. Hauer plays a “crazy” cop with a bunch of weird habits whose methods are questionable, but always get results. His boss is perpetually angry and on the verge of throwing Hauer off the force, but he will keep him on for know if he takes a new partner. The partner is, of course, the other half of an odd couple. Geeky. Intelligent. And by the book with not a lot of street smarts. Hauer is after a supernatural serial killer who rips out his victims’ hearts and eats them, and, of course, killed Hauer’s old partner. If that wasn’t all cliche enough, Hauer has a thing going with his partner’s widow, played by Kim Cattrall. And the film is set in a dystopian future for no particular reason. And the villain is supernatural. And the title of the film has absolutely nothing to do with the film.

Despite the color by numbers set up, this indie sci-fi movie has some good moments. Hauer is fun to watch and carries the film. The dialog is often hilarious. And the cast of 80s go-to character actors is impressive. For bad movie watching, it’s hard to go wrong with Split Second.