Category Archives: 30Hz Cinema

The 30Hz movie-related ramblings

An Introduction to CinemaShame

CinemaShame - Last Crusade Knight

Back in January, a Twitter acquaintance (#Bond_age_ regular @campbelldropout) and I were discussing an idea for a project that would encourage people to finally tackle those movies that they regret not having seen. He had come up with a list of 12 movies that he planned to watch in 2014. Ones that he’d always wanted to see, but for one reason or another just hadn’t. It was an idea I’d considered around in the past. I just hadn’t come up with a way to make the venture more community-oriented… until he showed me his list. After exchanging a few tweets we came up with the idea of CinemaShame, a support group for cinephiles with latent guilt. Here’s the blurb from the About page at cinemashame.wordpress.com:

Everyone’s got those movies that they regret not having seen. They tear at the very being of the movie fan, the movie aficionado, the cinephile. Should our friends find out, we’d be labeled frauds, outcasts.

Some movie watcher, you are.

How have you not seen [insert movie title here]?

Everyone’s heard these exclamations at one point or another, so much so that we probably clutch these secrets so close to our chest it hurts. No one will ever know. But we know. And it eats away at us every time we respond in  a Twitter thread or Facebook post with a vague, understated comment that suggests we’ve seen the film in question, without ever committing one slice of concrete knowledge.

Only the penitent movie watcher will pass, will rest easy at night, will finally, after all these years, watch The Deer Hunter without shame and without the judgment of self-righteous others.

Join the penitent men and women who are writing their confessionals in the form of 12-movie lists. Watch one per month and then submit a blog entry about the experience. Write about why you chose the movie, why it was important for you to finally watch it, write about your expectations and how that shaped your viewing.

The project immediately gained quite a bit of interest on Twitter, with 19 people now having submitted their own Statements of Shame — their list of 12 movies they plan to watch. So far it’s been a lot of fun, a virtual watercooler for classic movies. Even if you don’t have any desire to contribute, skim some of the posts on the website, maybe even chat up some of our contributors about their selections.

To describe some of my own impetus for starting the project, here’s the post I wrote to describe my own seeds of CinemaShame:

I meant to post an origin story (they’re all the rage after all) about the beginnings of CinemaShame but the whole project took off before I could toss this out there. Better late-ish than never. Sometime in high school (1995-ish) when I became obsessed with haunting video stores, my parents bought me a book called THE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY GUIDE TO THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE. It had just been published in 1994 and was the most up-to-date guide on movies I’d ever seen. The lists contained within were broken down by genre: Drama, Comedy, Action, Sci-Fi, Western, etc. It even contains an awesomely nostalgic time-capsule section on the best Laserdisc releases.

EW GUIDE TO THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE

Anyway, as I went through the book I marked the movies I’d seen and immediately set forth watching every movie counted off in the book. Suffice to say, twenty years later, dog-earned and falling apart at the binding, the book remains a constant around my TV. I’m still marking off movies I’m just seeing for the first time. A few months ago, I began wondering how I could encourage myself to tackle those films I hadn’t yet watched when the notion of crossing another movie off the list hadn’t yet compelled me. I’d tossed about the idea of live tweeting the movies but the rigors of #Bond_age_ made that impossible. Then when @campbelldropout offhand mentioned his 12-film list on Twitter, I had a EUREKA! moment and the ensuing conversation begat CinemaShame.

In compiling my list of 12, I consulted the EW Guide for a few picks. I looked at the movies I already owned for some others. Perhaps the best aspect of this book is that the lists aren’t routine regurgitation. They contain some surprise entries among the hard-and-fast staples. This might be the result of it being compiled pre-Internet and free from widespread public ridicule. Whatever the reason for it’s longevity, this book has guided my movie watching for as long as I can remember, and I feel like I owed it this fleeting moment of fame.

A sample page from the Sci-Fi/Horror section.
A sample page from the Sci-Fi/Horror section.

Here’s a sampling of how the book ranks the most listed films by our Penitent Moviewatchers:

Drama

Citizen Kane_post
No big shock. Kane takes the #1 spot in Drama.

Citizen Kane – #1 Drama
Gone With the Wind – #2 Drama
The Godfather / The Godfather: Part II – #3 Drama
Casablanca – #4 Drama
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – #11 Drama
Raging Bull – #22 Drama
It’s A Wonderful Life – #27 Drama
Taxi Driver – #35 Drama

Comedy, et al.

Maybe I love this book because it picked Airplane! as it's #1 Comedy.
Maybe I love this book because it picked Airplane! as it’s #1 Comedy. Nobody’s watching Airplane!, however. I do hope everyone’s seen it… ahem.

Dr. Strangelove – #11 Comedy

Enter the Dragon – #27 Action

The Wild Bunch – #9 Western
Rio Bravo – #12 Western

North By Northwest – #10 Mystery/Suspense

Psycho – #1 Sci-Fi/Horror
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – #4 Sci-Fi/Horror
2001 – #10 Sci-Fi/Horror
Blade Runner – #50 Sci-Fi/Horror
Dracula (1931) – #51 Sci-Fi/Horror

Singin’ in the Rain – #3 Musical

…the only thing I really don’t like is the way the book handles the “foreign” category… just an arbitrary grouping of everything that’s not in English…

The 400 Blows – #48 Foreign
Rashomon – #61 Foreign
La Dolce Vita – #71 Foreign
Breathless – #75 Foreign

The Apartment – #51 Laserdisc (Ha!)

New and 30Hz Recommended Netflix Streaming Movies

As of January 1st, Netflix booted a bunch of old classics from the streaming roster. The Great Train Robbery, The Long Goodbye, A Shot in the Dark. Old ones out. New ones in. I’ve surveyed the list of newcomers and can happily report that there’s plenty of new goodness to keep you entertained.

30Hz Recommended Netflix Streaming

Here’s my list (the great, the good and the curious) to add to your queue, the new, recommended Netflix Streaming movies. Continue reading New and 30Hz Recommended Netflix Streaming Movies

The End is Silence: The Masque of the Red Death

The following is an entry in @NitrateDiva’s Vincent Price blog-a-thon. The Masque of the Red Death has long been one of my favorite flicks and I jumped at the chance to commit some of my love to paper, or in this case bl-g. This was my first viewing of the film in many years and my first evar! in high-def. Horror fans must pick up the new Vincent Price Blu-ray Collection from Shout!/Scream! Factory. You’ve never seen these movies look anywhere near this good. Especially Masque‘s gaudy colors and set design. But enough of all that… some newly formed (old) thoughts about Masque of the Red Death starring Vincent Price. I would have loved to dissect the film in far more detail, but the Patrick family Halloween festivities have seriously taken a toll on my psyche. (He said as the two children lay waste to the entire house while he desperately tries to finish this bl-g.)

The End is Silence: The Masque of the Red Death

30Hz Horror - Masque of the Red Death

Though Vincent Price made scores of movies of without Roger Corman, it is for his seven collaborations with Roger Corman on the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations that he is probably most recognized by modern audiences. Before he became the King of the Grand Guignol or the Merchant of Menace (choose your own nom de guerre), Vincent Price acted in a wide variety of films from noir to comedy. It seemed, however, from our point of view that Price was always destined to be the face of horror. His on screen presence, the intensity in his eyes… his low-pitched, rasping voice. Before his first successful starring role in Corman’s House of Usher (1960) – 22 years after his debut, Price had been predominantly a character actor with a few minor starring roles mixed in. This is a notion that’s difficult to reconcile with our conception of the legendary actor. Continue reading The End is Silence: The Masque of the Red Death

31 Days of Horror by Kerry Fristoe

Regular #Bond_age_ contributor and fanatical movie fiend Kerry Fristoe has volunteered to further contribute to  30Hz 31 Days of Horror. Follow her on Twitter at @echidnabot and chat her up about movies.

31 Days of Horror at 30Hz

Follow the 31 Days of Horror watchers on Twitter with the #31DaysOfHorror hashtag.

1. The Dunwich Horror (1970)

30Hz Horror - The Dunwich Horror

Set in the mythical Miskatonic Valley like many of H.P. Lovecraft’s tales, The Dunwich Horror revolves around Dean Stockwell in a role even creepier than the one he plays in Blue Velvet. Stockwell’s Wilbur Whately lives in Dunwich, Massachusetts with his raving grandfather Sam Jaffe, and where the natives, who often speak with southern accents, avoid them.

Anyway, Wilbur Whately wants Ed Begley’s Necronomicon so he can summon some of his buddies from a parallel universe to come and play with him and Sandra Dee. Sandra digs hanging with Wilbur because he adds copious amounts of hallucinogens to her tea which make her woozy and dream she’s watching a revival of Hair.

I won’t spoil it for you but the trippy lighting and creature effects and projections onto canvas gave the film a distinctive look and the breathy heartbeat sounds added to the spookiness factor.

Along with the cast I’ve mentioned, Lloyd Bochner, 70’s staple, and Talia (billed as Coppola) Shire also appear in small character roles.

I haven’t read the original Lovecraft story but I know many of them take place in a fictionalized version of Wilbraham, Massachusetts (the real home of Friendly Ice Cream) which sits about 160 miles inland so the ocean puzzled me a bit but no matter.

It was a fun 60s, 70s, witch hunt, hippie, parallel universe, Satanic ritual, acid flick.

Yog-Sothoth! Continue reading 31 Days of Horror by Kerry Fristoe

The Shriek of the Devil Bat

For my #31DaysOfHorror movie for today I watched Bela Lugosi in THE DEVIL BAT. The shriek of the Devil Bat so moved me, I was compelled to isolate the shriek and create my very own Devil Bat ring tone for the Halloween season. Yes. This is called procrasternation.

Here’s the full movie, available on YouTube. It’s fun purely because of the Devil Bat effects. Its a rubber bat on a wire. SPOILER ALERT!

And here’s the Devil Bat ring tone:

Devil Bat Ring Tone