For this month’s review I thought that I would take a cue from Russ and tell you all about some favorite Japanese cinema of mine. Stuff that you can actually share with younger siblings, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews because that’s who this series was geared towards when it was made. While films like Samurai’s Revenge; Throne of Blood; Samurai I, II, and III; Rashomon; and The Seven Samurai are good primers and introduction to the world of Japanese Samurai cinema, they can be a little heavy in tone and to violent for younger children. Also some other titles of the genre can be too Americanized and not really communicate historical Japanese culture. Zatoichi of course was designed as a kids series so it has all of that.
Last month, From the Projection Room revealed a new feature, in which Russ delves into his Criterion collection and brings us some reviews of truly fantastic films from around the world. While I love Mulholland Drive, Hunger, and Rashomon as much as the next cinephile, there are those amongst us, like myself, who grew up more on 976-Evil, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, and Fraternity Vacation. So with that in mind, allow me to present another new feature, the yin to Criterion’s yang if you will, for everyone who spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday night watching USA Up All Night.
What I love most about b (or c… or z) movies is not only that they’re just flat-out ridiculous fun, but they can serve as a great example of just grabbing a camera, some friends, and shooting a damn movie. No huge budget, not-so-special effects, no acting classes… just write a story (or not, who cares) and make it happen! Is it going to be good? I mean, no, but who’s counting? Case in point, the first movie that I’m going to tackle – The Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space. By all appearances, this movie looks to have had a budget of about $15, maybe $20 if they splurged for lunch from Wendy’s one day. The vast majority of the cast have no other acting credits to their names, and I’m sure most of them would prefer to not have this one tied to them.