Thirty Hertz Rumble

A bl-g about movies, music and nostalgia by James David Patrick

Tag: hoop-tober4

spider mondo macabro blu-ray

Spider (aka Zirneklis): 31 Days of Horror

#24. Spider aka Zirneklis (1991)

 

spider 1991Nature of Shame:
Unwatched Mondo Macabro Blu

Hoop-tober Challenge Checklist:
Decade: 1990’s
Country of origin: Latvia

I blindly support every Mondo Macabro release. I don’t love all of them, but this niche label has been consistently releasing some of the most unique and interesting films from around the globe. They’ve largely specialized in what one might call Euro-trash, but that belittles the aspirations of films in their catalog like Symptoms, Alucarda and the psycho-sexual Latvian thriller Spider. That said, there’s also plenty of Jess Franco.

spider mondo macabro blu-ray

The Story

A young and inexperienced teenager, Vita, ventures to the studio of Albert, a shady and potentially unhinged artist, to sit for a portrait of the Virgin Mary. She’s been coerced into this position by her Catholic school priest who wants to champion the great artist, but fails to acknowledge his face-value corruptive potential. If a guy looks like a lunatic and talks like a lunatic…

She arrives at the studio where nude models pose for a variety of lascivious religious-themed tableaus, apparently in perpetuity. He’s an important artist. He can’t be rushed.

spider aka zirneklis

When Vita expresses some hesitation about exposing her sexuality to this unsettling stranger, he confronts her and states that she will never escape him until his work has been completed. Then her visions begin and the film takes a greasy thumb and blurs the line between exploitation and art.

One particularly unsettling sequence has her being assaulted by a massive, revolting oozing arachnid — I hesitate to use the term “raped” because that paints the scene with coarsely broad strokes. As the film serves as a metaphor for female sexual awakening — the monstrous, looming specter of male penetration — this scene in particular represents Vita’s confrontation with fear, confusion and latent desire.

As Vita’s libido increases so do the frequency and severity of the visions. As she continues her path of sexual discovery she must confront the “evil forces” tied to her burgeoning womanhood and exorcise the hold the artist has over her.

Final Spider Thoughts:

This unsettling meditation on teenage sexual awakening requires a little patience until the metaphor clicks into place and the film takes decided steps to embrace the poetry beyond the exploitation.

The church’s supporting role in this film as the enabler of corruption and the source of Vita’s shame provides essential context to her journey from innocence. It’s this component in particular that delivers Vasili Mass’ Spider (his only directorial credit) from assignation into the realm of exploitation. What we have instead is a rough gem that ventures deeply (and often disturbingly) into the realm of Freudian pyscho-sexuality.

 

30Hz Movie Rating:

 

Availability:  

spider blu-ray

This little Latvian thriller arrives courtesy of the good people at Mondo Macabro who do yeomen’s work keeping us stocked with wonderful and quirky slices of the world’s wildest cinema.

Buy Mondo Macabro’s Spider (aka Zirneklis) Blu-ray on Amazon.

 

 

 

2017 @CinemaShame / Hooptober Shame Statement
31+ Days of Horror. 33 Horror Movies. 33 Reviews.

#1. Caltiki The Immortal Monster (1959) / #2. The Devil Doll (1936) / #3. The Velvet Vampire (1971) / #4. Mill of the Stone Women (1960) / #5. The Initiation (1984) / #6. Poltergeist (1982) / #7. Night of the Lepus (1972) / #8. The Black Cat (1934) / #9. The Raven (1935) / #10. Friday the 13th (1980) / #11. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) / #12. Body Snatcher (1945) / #13. Dismembered (1962) / #14. From Hell It Came (1957) / #15. Symptoms (1974) / #16. Eating Raoul (1982) / #17. Spellcaster (1988) / #18. The Old Dark House (1932) / #19. House (1985) / #20. House II: The Second Story / #21. Christine (1983) / #22. Suspiria (1977) / #23. The Invisible Man (1933) / #24. Spider aka Zirneklis (1991) / #25. The Wife Killer (1976) / #26. Cannibal! The Musical (1993) / #27. The Wicker Man (1973) / #28. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) / #29. Night Creatures (1962) / #30. Nosferatu (1922) / #31. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare / #32. Day of the Dead (1985) / #33. Psycho II (1983) / #34. The Green Butchers (2003)

christine 1983

Christine: 31 Days of Horror

#21. Christine (1983)

christine poster

Nature of Shame:
Unseen Carpenter

Hoop-tober Challenge Checklist:
Decade: 1980’s
Carpenter

Midnight just chimed. Halloween has arrived. It’s high time I start phoning in some more of these #Hooptober reviews. Every year, the final handful of movies get half-assed treatments; I see no reason to dispense with tradition.

Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way. No. I hadn’t seen Christine. Now I have. I’d throw it in the proper Cinema Shame category, but I’d never really had the drive to see it.

Get it? Drive? Good. I knew you were bright readers.

christine 1983

The Story

Awkward and unpopular teenager Arnie Cunningham happens upon a car rotting away in the backyard of some old coot. He proclaims it to be the car of his dreams. After a bit of haggling, Archie walks away with a unique fixer-upper opportunity. Arnie gets a cool new car, the hot girl and a side of vehicular homicide.

John Carpenter spins Christine into a fun, no-nonsense kind of thriller. Nothing especially deep or innovative within the rampaging car genre. What he does, however, is imbue that “57 Fury” with an on-screen personality that eclipses the other characters in the film.

Carpenter has always dealt lovingly with his films’ music — and here he uses 1950’s rock and roll to embellish this pile of metal and bolts into something with a bit of soul.

christine 1983

Christine dwells on notions of friendship, taking a look at enablers and those that watch on, powerless to rescue someone from their self-destructive behavior. Arnie’s former best friend Dennis finds himself bed-ridden throughout Arnie’s transformation. Meanwhile, it’s Christine that fuels his fire and grows jealous of his woman. When Dennis finally emerges from the hospital, Arnie’s a shell of himself. In order to save his friend, Dennis must destroy the car.

One could look at the film from the perspective of depression — Arnie’s growing isolation and blindness to the legitimate source of his pain. Anyone who suggests Christine as the source of the trouble, gets pushed out; they do not support his false perception.

christine 1983

Final Christine Thoughts:

Christine looks great. John Carpenter films usually do. The Master of Horror fetishizes that hard body so that the viewer may also taste the gear-head affection. It’s essential that the audience see the car as an animate being with wants and jealousies of its own.

I’ve never read Stephen King’s book, but what makes Christine effective cinema looks, smells and talks like Carpenter.

 

30Hz Movie Rating:

Availability:  

christine blu-ray

Once a Twilight Time rarity on Blu-ray, Christine is now widely available for all to own at a bargain-basement back catalog price.

amazon-buy-button

 

 

2017 @CinemaShame / Hooptober Shame Statement
31+ Days of Horror. 33 Horror Movies. 33 Reviews.

#1. Caltiki The Immortal Monster (1959) / #2. The Devil Doll (1936) / #3. The Velvet Vampire (1971) / #4. Mill of the Stone Women (1960) / #5. The Initiation (1984) / #6. Poltergeist (1982) / #7. Night of the Lepus (1972) / #8. The Black Cat (1934) / #9. The Raven (1935) / #10. Friday the 13th (1980) / #11. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) / #12. Body Snatcher (1945) / #13. Dismembered (1962) / #14. From Hell It Came (1957) / #15. Symptoms (1974) / #16. Eating Raoul (1982) / #17. Spellcaster (1988) / #18. The Old Dark House (1932) / #19. House (1985) / #20. House II: The Second Story / #21. Christine (1983) / #22. Suspiria (1977) / #23. The Invisible Man (1933) / #24. Spider aka Zirneklis (1991) / #25. The Wife Killer (1976) / #26. Cannibal! The Musical (1993) / #27. The Wicker Man (1973) / #28. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) / #29. Night Creatures (1962) / #30. Nosferatu (1922) / #31. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare / #32. Day of the Dead (1985)

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Pin It on Pinterest