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Horror Movie A Day: Quint on Lars Von Trier's EPIDEMIC (1987)
It’s pathetic at best.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [The regular A Movie A Day list has been frozen in order for me to do an all-horror line-up for October. I’ve pulled many horror titles from my regular “to see” stack and have ordered many more horror and thriller titles to make sure we have some good stuff. Like the regular AMAD column all the movies I’m covering are films I have never seen, but unlike the regular AMAD column I will not connect each film to the one before it. Instead I will pull a title at random every day and watch whatever the movie Gods determine for me.] I fucking knew it. I’m told I have to see some of Lars Von Trier’s more well known movies and I should have included THE KINGDOM on the list instead of this movie and I damn well should have listened. I hate Dogme filmmaking. Hate it. With a passion. Not using, you know, good mics and shooting on grainy black and white doesn’t make a movie feel more realistic. I’m sorry. It just makes it look cheap and half-assed. As an audience member I always find myself just assuming someone who shoots a film Dogme style is either scared, lazy or up their own assholes... sometimes all three. It’s hard to make a movie. It’s not so hard to take a 16mm camera and point it at shit without lighting it or worrying about recording the sound of the camera rolling. Dogme filmmaking should stay in high school and beginning college film programs. It’s an interesting experiment, just like pretending you’re a barnyard animal is an interesting acting exorcize, but it’s not what I want to fucking see in a movie. If you can’t tell by now, this movie pissed me right the fuck off… because it’s not a movie, it’s an experiment that should have stayed between Lars Von Trier and his friends and family, a long fuck-off home movie where he gathers all his friends to do something “different.” Lars Von Trier plays himself, a director who is working on a project with his writer called THE POLICEMAN AND THE WHORE, a nod to his earlier film THE ELEMENT OF CRIME, which followed a cop and prostitute, and… they don’t really say, but it’s implied that this 200-250 page script they’ve been working on for 2 years gets damaged somehow on the floppy and prints out only the first half of the title page before flaking out. Unfortunately, they have 5 days to rewrite the script before a producer comes to town to meet with them about it. They soon discover that they don’t remember anything about that story and that it was shit, so they decide to write a new script about plague-times called EPIDEMIC. From here on out, the writing of the movie, brainstorming of the story and research is intercut with a visual representation of the movie… which is a slightly better looking grainy black and white world where people are now speaking English instead of Danish. Most of the movie is trash… not trash in the campy sense, but trash in the useless and unwatchable sense, but there are a few scenes that are pretty good. One of them is in the real world as Lars and his writer plot out the movie by painting a timeline on the wall. Anybody who has written a story or screenplay will get a laugh and can relate to the brainstorming here. There’s another scene where they drive to Germany to meet Udo Kier and he’s great, as usual, telling a weird story about his dead mother, which leaves him in tears. We get a good 4 minutes of Udo, then he’s gone and the movie goes right back up its asshole again. One of the movie-within-the-movie scenes is pretty good, too, with a Black priest (who was a taxi driver in the first few minutes of the film) lets loose with something so crazy and politically incorrect that I couldn’t help but laugh… He’s this stoic guy, then pretty much says, “What the hell. All a nigga needs are loose shoes, tight pussies and a warm place to shit.” Yeah, right? What the hell was that and why was it in this movie? Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for it. It was a moment where I didn’t feel every second stretch itself like taffy, one of the few in the movie. Then the closing scene is great and if it was the centerpiece of the movie, a plot point instead of a crazy closing sequence, then EPIDEMIC could have been a really solid flick. Basically, the producer comes over and has dinner with Lars and his wife. They give him the new script… which is only 12 pages long and he’s like, “What the fuck is this?” and asks for the full story. They give it to him and tell him their plans for the end of the movie, something about the priest pulling himself out of a plague cave and praying and the producer isn’t pleased. That’s where the subhead comes from. So, they bring in a girl and have her hypnotized in front of the producer, putting her into the film “EPIDEMIC” and she really goes for it… describing her surroundings, growing more and more scared and then she starts freaking out, running around the room screaming. Suddenly, she starts breaking out in boils, which we learned about during the “research” part of the movie as being the first signs of the biggest plagues to hit Europe and she infects the rest of the people at the party. Then the credits. I love the idea of a girl bringing back a real life plague from a trance state in which she visits a fictional retelling of an epidemic, but that should have been the first part, not the last. Final Thoughts: I’m sure I’ll get a lot of interesting email from Lars Von Trier fans about this one. I fucking hated this movie, but I don’t hold it against Lars and I will seek out his more known work before I pass any real judgment on him as a filmmaker, but this movie isn’t a film. I’m sure I’ll be told over and over again about how I “didn’t get it,” but I think I did, I just didn’t like what I got. Who knows? Maybe this is the way the average person feels about BRAZIL and fans of this movie and this type of movie will think of me in the same way I think of people who can’t enjoy Terry Gilliam’s early work. All I can say is this movie did nothing for me and it felt like a Herculian task for me to finish the movie… and also, what in the hell was up with the title branded into the film for the entire running time? That I don’t get…

Since I hated this movie so much, found it pretentious and little more than an arty fart film school exercise that shouldn’t have been shown outside of a classroom, I decided to feature a movie and its sequel that are balls-out fun from beginning to end, the exact opposite of the viewing experience I just had. If you've been reading AMAD this week, you know I'm counting down to Halloween with an additional spotlight shined on some of my favorite overlooked or underappreciated genre flicks. Today I got a two-fer for you:

I love Lamberto Bava (Mario’s son). His work as a director always entertains me and he can find some striking imagery to go along with his fun-first approach to films. While I love A BLADE IN THE DARK (aka HOUSE OF THE DARK STAIRWAY), my favorite of his early work (and any work, really) is the one-two punch of DEMONS and DEMONS 2. Both are solidly ‘80s movies and they play together like A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS plays with FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE or THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, but with pointy-teethed demon monsters instead of gunslingers. I mean, all of Leone’s movies feel in the same universe, but he has recurring actors playing different roles in different movies, so they’re not exactly sequels… but they are. DEMONS and DEMONS 2 work that way. DEMONS is set in a movie theater as a group of people watch a horror movie about a devil-possessed mask. Props from this movie are on display in the lobby and when one foolish cinema-goer puts the mask on, she is cut and infected, turning into a demon. What we have, basically, is the bulk of the movie taking place in one location, a movie theater, as the non-infected have to team up to fight the bitey horrors. Bava treats the demons like zombies in that respect. You get bit, you die. All sorts of characters are at work here… gang members, regular folk and, the best by far… a pimp and his whores. Bobby Rhodes plays the pimp and rocks so hard in this movie, turning in one of the genre’s most fun, funny and badass performances. In fact, if I had to fault the movie for anything its that they take Tony the Pimp out of the picture way too early. These aren’t plot-driven films. They focus, rather, on characters and scares. Lamberto Bava co-wrote both DEMONS and DEMONS 2 with the one and only maestro Dario Argento (as well as the less famous, but very worthy Franco Ferrini) and it shows.

The make-up effects and gore work in both films are fantastic, the demons iconic and scary as shit. Bava is also able to give them brightly-lit eyes in some long shots that really works and is creepy as hell. And the ending to the first DEMONS is epic… huge and unexpected. Both films are quality and they play perfectly as a double feature. DEMONS 2 is one of those rare sequels that is just as good if not better than the first. Instead of a movie theater DEMONS 2 takes place after the Demon infection spreads and focuses on one Apartment complex. Bobby Rhodes is back, but not as his pimp character. He’s a gym instructor named Hank. Also keep an eye out for a very, very young Asia Agento as a little girl trapped in the building. In many ways DEMONS 2 is scarier than the original, but both are impossibly high in the entertainment value department. They’re fun to watch, a great combination of dark humor, fun characters and creep-outs. If you haven’t seen either, then I can’t recommend them to you enough. If you’ve only seen the first, the sequel delivers a helluva follow-up. I know it took me a few years to actually get to it as horror sequels usually suck ass, but everybody returns behind the camera and they did it quick enough after the first that it still feels like the same world.

We’re at the end of our horror-thon. I have one more entry, which I will watch and post before heading out to Harry’s Halloween party… as a reminder, here are the films left in the grab-bag: Check out the HMAD list here! Now’s the the time to pull the final HMAD! We close with:

We enter Halloween with a horror comedy. I’ve long heard of this film, but haven’t seen it until now. See you in a few hours for STUDENT BODIES! -Quint

Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
September 14th: Revenge of the Pink Panther
September 15th: Trail of the Pink Panther
September 16th: The Real Glory
September 17th: The Winning of Barbara Worth
September 18th: The Cowboy and the Lady
September 19th: Dakota
September 20th: Red River
September 21st: Terminal Station
September 22nd: The Search
September 23rd: Act of Violence
September 24th: Houdini
September 25th: Money From Home
September 26th: Papa’s Delicate Condition
September 27th: Dillinger
September 28th: Battle of the Bulge
September 29th: Daisy Kenyon
September 30th: Laura
October 1st: The Dunwich Horror
October 2nd: Experiment In Terror
October 3rd: The Devil’s Rain
October 4th: Race With The Devil
October 5th: Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom
October 6th: Bad Dreams
October 7th: The House Where Evil Dwells
October 8th: Memories of Murder
October 9th: The Hunger
October 10th: I Saw What You Did
October 11th: I Spit On Your Grave
October 12th: Naked You Die
October 13th: The Wraith
October 14th: Silent Night, Bloody Night
October 15th: I Bury The Living
October 16th: The Beast Must Die
October 17th: Hellgate
October 18th: He Knows You’re Alone
October 19th: The Thing From Another World
October 20th: The Fall of the House of Usher
October 21st: Audrey Rose
October 22nd: Who Slew Auntie Roo?
October 23rd: Wait Until Dark
October 24th: Dead & Buried
October 25th: A Bucket of Blood
October 26th: The Bloodstained Shadow
October 27th: I, Madman
October 28th: Return to Horror High
October 29th: Die, Monster, Die

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:08 a.m. CST


    by crazybubba

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:17 a.m. CST

    those demon flicks look good

    by crazybubba

    i know you said the first one is character driven, but how's the action? Is it just like a Romero zombie shoot em up or is there more to it than that?

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Von Trier is not for everyone. But damn, that's harsh.

    by V'Shael

    Personally, I think Dogville is one of Nicole Kidmans best ever performances. <p> It's difficult for someone so grounded in movies, I guess, to see something which amounts to a play, where all the scenery is replaced by the ability of the audience member to become a roving omnipresent point of view. This POV is taken for granted in movies, but not in plays. <p> It really is a different genre. <p> And yes, Kingdom is all kinds of awesome, but that's just my opinion. Yours will no doubt vary.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Love Demons 1...

    by Boba Fat

    But haven't seen 2 in a loooong time, 20 years?, and remember being unimpressed. I will give it another go, two decades later, on this strong recommendation and the death by sun-bed scene still sticks with me, but remember being more cheesy than scary. So, do the other Halloween titles go back into the AMAD list or do they disappear? I'm guessing it will be hard to link them all together, but was looking forward to a Mother Of Tears review and The House With Laughing Windows. Which I'm planning on watching tonight.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Student Bodies is the first horror comedy?

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    so Bride of Frankenstein, the Old Dark House, The Raven, Abott and Costello meet Frankenstein etc, etc don't count?

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    @ Quint

    by max404

    "tight pussy, loose shoes, and a warm place to shit.” ----> that's a line (and hilarious song) from Kentucky Fried Movie, Quint. Furthermore this movie isn't Dogme since von Trier started the whole Dogme thing years after completing this movie. Having said all that.... yes, it isn't very good & you should have watched "the Kingdom", "the Element of crime" or "Europa" instead

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Melvert have big problem...


    5 letter word for stuff like... 5 letter word for stuff like... <P>Horse head bookend dude sorta looks and sounds like Russell Crowe but creepy like. Love the lacquer job on the finished horse head. Movie is fucking dumb as hell, but funny. A meowing piss farting dog. Fixing a broken piece of chicken with a rubber band. Gum on stairs. Galoshes, Death by eggplant, paper clip, horse head book end. Jizz running out of the talking end of a phone. The blind leading the crippled. warning captions posted for unlocked doors. fuck theres even a scene were sign language interpreter hands pop up in the right hand corner of the scene. Fuck... If that doesn't scream 1980's (no closed caption back then kids). The film just doesn't fucking stop. The humor of the breather- as my dad puts it is a little bit Jewish for some taste. Fuck it, I love this movie. It's just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, but in a good way. Fuck theres even a scene that riffs on the PBS bloodhound gang "Whos the Killer"..

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Dogme 95

    by Jonasu-san

    Meaning the Dogma-movement started in 95, eight years after Epidemic. Epidemic is just a part of Von Triers Europe Trilogy. Epidemic is just Von Trier being, Von Trier. Don't like it? That's fine, but don't call it a Dogme when it isn't.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:55 a.m. CST

    When did the spelling change from "Dogma" to "Dogme"?

    by tonagan

    I hate being out of the loop.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:56 a.m. CST


    by charteredstreets

    How can a movie from 1987 be part of the Dogme ('95) movement? And yes 'Dogme' is the Danish spelling. And yes, they're mostly crap.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Student Bodies


    is the first film to parody the Slasher Genre. Not the first Horror Comedy.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST

    The Dogme95 film movement

    by evolvingsensblty

    started in...1995! Not sure what the point of your Dogme rant was. Epidemic is not a Dogme film. Period. You also seem to have some misconceptions about the Dogme movement.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:08 a.m. CST


    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    It may well be but on the box it says 'The World's First Horror Comedy', which is clearly bollocks.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:14 a.m. CST

    No need to go to town on Dogme

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    I'm a Lars Von Trier sceptic, but he didn't make more than one Dogme film before moving on. It was just an idea they had, I don't think it's any coincidence that the movement came out after the birth of the cgi blockbuster. It was really about provoking thought and bringing some balance to filmmaking. The originators of the movement were certainly less irritating than the proponents of so called Mumblecore.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Dogville easily the silliest film ever made..

    by quantize

    ludicrous and annoyingly earnest.. he virtually apologizes for the film in the extras.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:22 a.m. CST


    by godwillforgivethem

    Been a long time since i've seen it, but didn't it end with a helicopter falling the roof of the cinema so people could escape or something? What the fuck was that all about?

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:23 a.m. CST

    hmm sorry

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    my earlier comment was aimed at DRACULA_WANTS_THE_AMULET not evolvingsesblty

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Student Bodies Wuz teh 1st Dogma moobie!!!

    by evolvingsensblty

    wuz 2!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST

    No, this isn't a Dogma 95 movie...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...but of course this just means that nobody has signed that weird manifesto by then. So just because Lars von Trier didn'T have a name for that lazy ass filmmaking (And yes, I 100% agree with you!), doesn't mean it sucks as much.<br> The funny thing is that this kind of filmmaking made it really much easier to make a movie. You don't have to care if your audience likes it or if it looks amateurish. All you have to say is" No, it's art! Probably just too smart for you!" It even already moved into the mainstream! Look at BSG! Camers is always shaking and we even get out-of-focus close ups of actors, while they are talking! Not too long ago I was working in a small advertising agency. Most of the time I was cutting the commercials that we shot, but from time to time, I had to take over the camera. Well, my problem is that I have a very weak back and because of this had problems to to keep the camera steady (even if it just was a XL-1). One day my boss seriously yelled at me after he saw what I shot, because it looked like...well...BSG! (Without the focus problems). He said I ruined it and he will lose lots of money and don't want to explain the customer why he have to re-shoot it! Okay, in the end it wasn't THAT bad, because after the commercial was cut together, the customer liked it. (Like I said: A small agency, which means small customers. And if you tell these people that "it looks like a professional comemrcial", they believe it.) And even if my boss was an asshole anyway, he was right about this! It looks amateurish! I appreciate the idea of Dogma, because even I thought from time to time stuff like: "Why does a movie need music?", but it's just unnecessary. They could have tried it once or twice, end then let it die!<br> Happy Halloween, by the way!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    Yes it did, and also managed to chop a few Demons heads off in the process. It's fucking crazy,but that's why I love Italian Horror cinema.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST

    isn't Dogme...

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    ...just a politicized form of Cinema Verite, which has been around a very long time. And what's with this narrow-minded definition of 'cinematic'? I'm guessing guessing Quint doesn't much care for Blair Witch or Cloverfield or REC or any number of other deliberately unaestheticsized films.(is that a word? it should be). Just because something's made to look artless doesn't mean there's no artistry involved.

  • But calling it the First Horror Comedy is Just Inaccurate!! Does Anyone Remember Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein??? or The Munsters?!?!?!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Infairness to Student Bodies

    by Ines5

    It is still A Better Comedy than Any of The Scary Movie Film!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:09 a.m. CST


    by RodneyOz

    ... your comment that just because the manifesto hadn't been signed yet doesn't mean that it can't be a Dogme movie is fine and correct as far as it goes... except the movie under discussion has very few similarities with Dogme movies beyond a certain familial resemblance that's more due to having the same director than being part of the same movement. It's obvious Quint hated the movie - which is fine, it's my least favourite of von Trier's earlier films - but it is NOT Dogme. It's like lumping cinema verite in with the French New Wave. Sure, they have a few similarities, and there's some genetic connections that are interesting, but anyone who watched Pierrot le Fou or Jules and Jim or Hiroshima Mon Amour and said "See, this is why I hate cinema verite" would be barking up the wrong tree. Wouldn't change the fact that they hated the movies, but they'd still be wrong on the classification. Quint hated it - not going to argue the toss on that one - but correcting his misconception isn't about trying to change his opinion on the quality or lack thereof of the film. On the other hand, agree 100% with the critique of the shakycam aesthetic you made. Get a damn tripod for heaven's sake! Or rent a Steady Cam for a couple of days!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    I fucking love Demons

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    I could write pages about what I love about that movie. I'm glad you brought it to life so other people could see it. <p> I'm not going to say it's a "good" movie, but it totally belongs in the pantheon of Fun Italian Horror from the 70's and 80's. <p> I'll have to watch Demons 2 again, but I never got the impression that part 2 actually took place after the "Demon" apocalypse in the first one. I thought it just went "meta" in the fact that instead of watching a movie in a theatre, there was something coming through the tv, and the movie on tv was actually taking place after the events in the first Demons.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST


    by Quint

    I'm fully aware of when Dogme was coined, but if you look at this film with its seemingly all natural lighting, sound recorded in the room with no looping later, giving it that echoey amateurish quality, and minimalist production value I don't see how "different" it is. Just because it wasn't named yet doesn't mean that's not the style. But I don't pretend to be a professor of film styles, so I'm sure there's something in the mis en scene or film stock or something that makes me wrong in calling it dogme, so I apologize for the generalization, but you have to cut me a little slack. It's not like I called it a cinemascope IB Technicolor film that I hated. Trier did start the Dogme movement and this film epitomizes what I hate about the movement, so that's why I lumped them all together.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Demoni 1 rules.

    by rost

    Demoni 2 does not come close to the badassness of Demoni 1; still fun though.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Do you like Eggplant?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Yes, Student Bodies was the the original. As far as Epidemic, I think I'll stick with the original Andromeda Strain. Good work again Quint.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Demons are cool, Von Trier.....

    by Jarek

    I really liked Von Trier's DEAR WENDY, a great underrated flick. Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark are both depressing as hell and effective because of it. Demons - now there's a horror series!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Fuck The Captions on the Box Art for the SB DVD


    It should say before there was Scary Movie, and The Worlds First Slasher Comedy.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    "All a N***** needs..."

    by Crabtree

    Here's the origin of that demented monologue: Earl Butz was the Secretary of Agriculture under Nixon and Ford. According to Wikipedia: "News outlets revealed a racist remark he made in front of entertainer Pat Boone and former White House counsel John Dean while aboard a commercial flight to California following the Republican National Convention. Time magazine (October 1976) reported: "Butz started by telling a dirty joke involving intercourse between a dog and a skunk. When the conversation turned to politics, Boone, a right-wing Republican, asked Butz why the party of Lincoln was not able to attract more blacks. The Secretary responded with a line so obscene and insulting to blacks that it forced him out of the Cabinet last week and jolted the whole Ford campaign. Butz said that 'the only thing the coloreds are looking for in life are tight pussy, loose shoes and a warm place to shit.'"" This is what the KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE and EPIDEMIC were referencing - but it's use is a lot more unexpected (and bizarre) in EPIDEMIC.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Student Bodies

    by Ghostwood

    Quint, sorry you're ending this with Student Bodies. In my opinion, it's not a very good film by any stretch of the imagination, let alone one to watch for Halloween. But I guess when you make the rules, you have to abide by the rules. Just wash it down quickly and throw in an old favorite. Quickly.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST

    has Demons 2 aged well?

    by Bouncy X

    i only saw it once back in the 80s...we rented it cuz it looked neat and even back then i remember finding it terribly boring and cheap. i think we didnt even finish it, i wanna say its because i had high taste even as an 11yr old but i liked Elm Street so. lol

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST



    Lars Von Trier is a fucking dud. I've had chronic diarrhea more interesting than his films, and yes that includes the shit with Bjork dancing like a fucking idiot. <p> But Quint my lad-- I like how you seem to be getting a little angrier in these reviews. Thats good. Let it fly. This sites got too many nice guys. Its time to funnel some love from THE DICK BLOOD!!

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I love Breaking the Waves, Dogville, and Manderlay.

    by a goonie

    I love those three movies. I hated Dogme filmmaking for a while, too, but I came to love Lars von Trier when I saw the above-mentioned movies, because it was the story that pulled me in. I wasn't a big fan of Dancer in the Dark because, while the musical numbers were intriguing, it felt as though von Trier was dragging Bjork's character through the mud and beating her down just for the hell of it. The drama wasn't compelling because I didn't believe it. But Breaking the Waves was incredible. So I do recommend those flicks, Quint, if you're ever interested in giving von Trier's work another look.<br><br>That said, I haven't seen either of these Demons flicks! They look and sound fucking awesome!!! Can't wait! Keep up the good work, Quint. This ongoing column continues to impress.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Love von Trier and the "Demons" movies

    by Drunken Rage

    "Demons" is a terrific little movie; wish the whole thing took place in the theater, but.... And, yes, I'm one of those who prefers von Trier to Gilliam. Not sure I'd like "Epidemic" but know I hated "Brazil."

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST

    This is a favorite of mine

    by StarWarsRedux

    Probably the best film about writing this side of "Naked Lunch". Honestly. Love this movie to death. We all fall down.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by Matthew Martinez

    I remember I rented this one night because I'd read so many comments of high praise from horror fans about it. I watched it with a couple friends, and let me just say that they probably would have stoned me to death had I not also picked out Black Christmas (the original, not the shitty, shitty remake) for that evening's viewing. I don't know if I'm just overthinking it, but I couldn't get over how illogical and... well, stupid it was. Okay, so there's this movie that has some sort of curse upon it. My question is, did a group of demons actually go out and shoot this thing? Did they hire a union crew, or did they use other demons? Are the actors in the film demon worshippers, or did they not know beforehand that they were making a cursed movie? Or are we supposed to believe that this movie was somehow just magicked into existence? Honestly, I think the whole movie-reflects-what's-happening-in-reality thing had a lot of potential, but it never really felt like it was fully explored. I'd like to see someone like Charlie Kaufman write a remake of this,--not that I think he would--because I'm sure he'd be able to really explore the concept in a better fashion. My other question is why the demons decided to use implements (i.e., knives, ropes-as-garrottes, etc.) to kill people when they already had huge claws and teeth. Sorry, I'm just not a fan of Demons. Between this and Devilfish, I think it's safe to say that he didn't inherit his father's talent.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Wasn't The Mother Of Tears

    by skimn

    on your list for this month? It was definately entertaining, with crazy cultists and boobage, but the ending scene/shot was huhhh???

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    I felt like they were laughing at me in that last shot for sitting through he film! I hope Quint gets round to it at some point I's be interested in his views

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Mother of Tears

    by subtlety

    to me, that one was a near miss. It has a great apocalyptic buildup, but then the end... it all ends so easily, and so inexplicably. I don't mind Argento's disinterest in plot as long as he can create that nightmare atmosphere, but the climax, to me, really fails to do that. Its just kind of small and over quickly and easily (plus, we never get any indication that she uses her "power" whatever that may be) SPOILER******* and the end, where they both laugh, was just awful and out of place. I really, REALLY wish he had stuck with the color and style of Suspiria and Infero for the final one in the trilogy, because it looks and feels completely different and even unrelated. I would argue that the stylized world he created for Suspiria and Infero would have bumped this into a classic, instead of a just not-as-bad-as-I-feared. It actually has a pretty good plot, unlike Inferno, but lacks the overt, impressionistic style to quite convert that into a masterpiece. Still, has some dynamite bits to it, especially the monkey, which makes a killer antagonist (better, in fact, than the nude and awkward third mother herself).

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Mother Of Tears is a joke.

    by JimCurry

    Doesn't work as a horror movie at all, but it's a HELLUVA comedy. One of the most ridiculous, idiotic movies I've seen in a long time...

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST

    "Talking during Horse-head bookends?"

    by JimCurry

    - Student Bodies

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST

    dogme movement

    by Kuffs

    The dogme film movement isn't about "realism"; in fact it's quite the opposite. The movement draws attention to the artificial techniques cinema uses to replicate reality (i.e. sync sound, multiple audio tracks, invisible editing, etc..). By refusing such norms, the dogme movement seeks to present cinema in its pure form- as a machine of artifice.

  • Oct. 31, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    dogma is code for lazy

    by Adelai Niska

    Movies are supposed to be visual, to consider aesthetics. When you remove "the crutches" that directors use to tell stories, you also remove anything that could possibly indicate whether the director has talent or not. I'd rather have Michael Bay using every technology at his disposal to big a big, stupid visual feast than have some lazy-ass filming in his garage with shit sound and bad lighting in his "intelligent" movie.

  • Nov. 1, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Dogme movies don't suck

    by djscott95

    Paul Greengrass and Recent Ridley Scott movies do. But seriously, its cool if you don't like Dogme movies Quint - I personally don't like multi-million dollar films that can't mix in a tripod, or a shot that lasts over 2.2 seconds. And I really can't stand films that have titles that don't mean anything, like Quantum of Solace. So you go easy on Dogme (and watch Julien Donkey-Boy if you haven't seen it), and I'll leave jittery action films alone too.

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Demons 1 is better than Demons 2...

    by The_Crimson_King

    Demons 2 is still fun, but it's not as good as 1 and both movies are surprisingly scary