The Eurocult Film Thread

craner

Beast of Burden
I think this deserves its own thread. Just from posting on the other film threads, I know there're a few aficionados around: Octopus?, Idlerich, Jim Clarke, to name some. Contemporary Hollywood is pretty dull and annoying and hateful, Bollywood has phenomenal looking actresses but the films aren't worth watching, arthouse and indie films are aesthetically and emotionally moribund as they always have been, and we all have DVDs now, and it seems that the most arresting and insane and sexy and stupid and entertaining and emotionally extreme and weirdly avant garde films were all made in the 60s, 70s and 80s in Europe (I mean, apart from Japan and Hong Kong, but someone else can start a thread about Samurai and Yakuza and Shaw Brothers flicks because I don't know enough about that stuff).

This is a thread for gialli and Poliziotteschi and spaghetti westerns. For the untouchable Mario Bava and the patchy but often brilliant Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci and Jess Franco. For zombie and cannibal and vampire films. Hammer Horror. Joe D'amato's disgusting, yet somehow noble, sexploiters. Other hacks who have their moments: Umberto Lenzi, Sergio Martino, Enzo G. Castellari, Bruno Mattei, Jean Rollin, Fernando de Leo etc. Off beat genius from Avati Pupi or Michel Soavi or Massimo Dallamano. Your favorite actors or actresses: Luigi Pistilli, Laura Gemser, Rosalba Neri, Mario Adorf, Edwige Fenech, Fabio Testi, Franco Nero, Ingrid Pitt, or whoever. Best soundtracks: Morricone, Nicolai, Goblin, etc. Reviews, lists, tips, stories, stupid comments.

There's enough material in this slice of culture, surely? Be proud of your good taste.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Also, if you like, bottom of the barrel stuff: Spanish horror, WIPs, Nazisploitation, Exorcist rip-offs.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Only just saw this thread, nice one. I agree that a lot of the stuff from this period is much more interesting than the equivalent from contemporary hollywood.

"Best soundtracks: Morricone, Nicolai, Goblin, etc. Reviews, lists, tips, stories, stupid comments."
Quite keen on a lot of the soundtracks but they are all so damn expensive (if like me you don't have a cd player and can only listen to vinyl). Which reminds me, does anyone know if the soundtrack to The Killer Nun ever came out ? I think it's Alessandroni and it's basically all variations on one track but I remember thinking it was wicked - and also hard to find.

"Bollywood has phenomenal looking actresses but the films aren't worth watching"
Hardly seen any bollywood films so I won't argue with you there - but I have got quite a few of the soundtracks and I love them. Often far more readily available than their European counterparts and tending to be really fucking far out. Also they shamelessly ripped off loads of western stuff - presumably assuming that the originators would never hear their versions and wouldn't care if they did - and then stuck loads of filthy moog over the top. There is a wicked bollywood version of Rock-It but I forget what film it's from.

"This is a thread for gialli and Poliziotteschi and spaghetti westerns"
Any more westerns like Django Kill? Guess not. Absolutely loved Django but I don't know much about westerns. The Great Silence or however you translate it is good actually. I thought that Silence was going to pull it out of the bag like Django does at the end, boy was I in for a surprise (unless you watch the alternative happy ending that was made for.... Brazil was it?).

"Also, if you like, bottom of the barrel stuff: Spanish horror, WIPs, Nazisploitation, Exorcist rip-offs."
Nazisploitation is a funny one - who dreamt up that genre? Having said that I thought that Salon Kitty was really quite good and I understand that's the most famous film that is considered to fit in that category. What else is there that's at all well known and is any of it any good at all? Oh I guess there is all that Ilse stuff come to think of it.
Speaking of Tinto Brass, his first films are supposed to be really odd stuff. I'd be quite keen to see those although not so bothered about his later erotica stuff.

"Thanks for opening this thread. Also anyone into eurocult/eurotrash should check out this alpha-giallo blog."
Looks fantastic.

Anyway, my friend sent me a load of dvds that fit this thread (The Bloodstained Butterly, What Have They Done To Your Daughters, Strip Nude For Your Killer etc) last week so if I watch them this weekend I'll have something to talk about.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
A number of directors I've never seen anything by but who sound interesting are Roland Lethem, Jose Benazeraf and Vincente Aranda. Bet you can tell me something about them Sub-Rosa. Roland Lethem may be more arty than falls within the scope of this thread but I would like to see The Crazed Sex of The Bloodthirsty Fairy (for starters).
Are you interested in Borowczyk at all? I thought La Bete was great and parts of Immoral Tales were fantastic (other parts weren't). I ordered his film Immoral Women (Les Heroines du Mal) a couple of weeks ago but it hasn't turned up yet, getting quite fed up with the post near me actually. Also he did an animated short film with Chris Marker called Les Astronautes which is quite interesting.
How about They Call Her One Eye (A Cruel Picture)? That's a great film I think, maybe has a different feel to the Euro cult things that you are talking about in this thread but it is European and shockingly sleazy. An absolutely grimey experience that is incredibly bleak, from the emptiness of the interiors - and what goes on in there - to the desolate landscape outside. The good guy wins in the end but what then?
 

sub-rosa

cannibal horses
Coincidentally, I was searching for a movie in my collection and found La Bete, put it aside to watch again. It's a great bestial fairy tale and surprisingly erotic too, although I couldn't stop laughing during that famous beast scene.
I watched the cut version of Thriller - en grym film and it worked really well for me without the inserted porn scenes. The movie could even be better without the extended slow motion, but nevertheless the slow motions gave an absurd inhuman feel to the movie. The cold architecture/décor is usually something that the majority of Scandinavian movies use but in this case the impact was stronger I think. Maybe because the revenge genre and bleak Scandinavian scenes are not homogenous. Have you seen other Christina Lindberg's movies too? They are not that bad.

Vincente Aranda is famous for bringing convoluted plots to Spanish cinema. But cross-narrative is not very original today, it is a stereotypical thing of Spanish directors I think. If they tell I fell is not a bad movie though.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"Coincidentally, I was searching for a movie in my collection and found La Bete, put it aside to watch again. It's a great bestial fairy tale and surprisingly erotic too, although I couldn't stop laughing during that famous beast scene."
I'm not surprised, it's really fucking funny.

"I watched the cut version of Thriller - en grym film and it worked really well for me without the inserted porn scenes. The movie could even be better without the extended slow motion, but nevertheless the slow motions gave an absurd inhuman feel to the movie. The cold architecture/décor is usually something that the majority of Scandinavian movies use but in this case the impact was stronger I think. Maybe because the revenge genre and bleak Scandinavian scenes are not homogenous. Have you seen other Christina Lindberg's movies too? They are not that bad."
Yeah, I'm not sure that the porn scenes add anything other than an extra layer of grimness but I guess that's the point. Forgot about the super-slow motion bits for some reason although I remember being quite annoyed by them at the time now you mention it. I'm not sure if they work to make the film more inhuman, I just found them a bit silly - probably made the film more unreal and thus distracted from the dehumanising that went on within the film.
Never seen her other films.

What about this Aranda one?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059172/
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"I ordered his film Immoral Women (Les Heroines du Mal) a couple of weeks ago but it hasn't turned up yet, getting quite fed up with the post near me actually"
Ha, turned up today. I can't face watching it right now though, I've just watched this rubbish

http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2004/11/22/anatomy_of_hell_2004_review.shtml

and this horrendous sleaze (which would be perfect for this thread if it was European)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075324/

and I just don't think I can take any more films that are about twisted sex for a long while.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Never heard it but I assume it's rubbish.... am I wrong? Do you have the seven, is it hard to come by?
I think Belter is probably my favourite name for a label.

"Immoral Women (Les Heroines du Mal)"
I watched this anyway, pretty boring really. Women having sex with animals is definitely a popular theme with Borowczyk.

 

sub-rosa

cannibal horses
Nazisploitation is a funny one
Did any one mention nunexploitation too?;)

I watched this anyway, pretty boring really. Women having sex with animals is definitely a popular theme with Borowczyk.
Isn't it the one with the bunny story? You are right, boring but I liked it esp. the episode about the bunny.

IdleRich said:
I haven't seen this one but it looks promising. What do you think? Any idea what is the Arthurian reference in the title?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"Isn't it the one with the bunny story? You are right, boring but I liked it esp. the episode about the bunny."
Yeah, the bunny one was the best by far. It looked gorgeous and had a pretty cool story line. The other two stories weren't so good though and so with 2/3 of the film not hitting the spot I couldn't really recommend the whole thing. I'm not sure that Borowczyk is so good when his film is set in the present day (as in the last segment) and the first segment was badly let down by Raphael's hair (among other things).

"I haven't seen this one but it looks promising. What do you think? Any idea what is the Arthurian reference in the title?"
I was wondering about the title - isn't there another film with the same name (directed by Herzog maybe)?

"Did any one mention nunexploitation too?"
The thing for me is that I can understand there being one or two films about nuns or nazis but how can there be enough to warrant naming an entire genre? School of The Holy Beast seems to be the acme here I guess.
 

Octopus?

New member
The thing for me is that I can understand there being one or two films about nuns or nazis but how can there be enough to warrant naming an entire genre? School of The Holy Beast seems to be the acme here I guess.
Get thee to "Alucarda", stat!
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Nunsploitation is a lame genre, though ultimately more redeemable than Nazisploitation. It's ultimate source is, I guess, Ken Russell's The Devils, which I hate. I prefer to think of it as the inevitable outcome of the Catholicism that heavily underpins all the Italian exploiters, from Bava to Leone to Fulci and back and beyond.

School of the Holy Beast is obviously the greatest example extant, because it rampantly busts the Italian conventions. Being made by a Japanese genre-melting visionary, and roping in a supremely weird incest/Hiroshima sub-plot, obviously helps the whole enterprise speed along. It is, actually, an incredible film. I was lucky enough to see it fully restored at NFT 1 a couple of years ago.

I used to own a nice battered Redemption VHS of The Other Hell, a vaguely enjoyable and batty Goblin-propelled flick with lashings of Argento/Bava-style animal and doll imagery. It remains the only competent and bearable Bruno Mattei film I've ever seen.

Killer Nun was dour and wasted an interesting cast, but is redeemed by that definitive title, as perfect and to the point as Cannibal Holocaust or Profondo Russo or The Gestapo's Last Orgy.

Joe D'amato's Images in a Convent has some silly and inspired moments (the Bacchus statue, the enormous wooden phallus!), and Paola Senatore is terrific in it, but the hardcore sleaze is just gross and tedious, although the demented exorcism of the entire convent at the end touches greatness. It's a good DVD to own, though, because it has an incredible hour long documentary about D'amato's career which is a truly priceless cultural document, if only for D'amato's frank, witty, despairing contributions and the backstage period footage. It's certainly A LOT better than most of his actual films.

I also like Monica Zanchi in the ever-so twisted Sister Emanuelle, possibly my favorite entry in the franchise, despite the lack of exotic locations.

Convent of Sinners and others I have yet to see, and I'm not that thrilled by the prospect.


 
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craner

Beast of Burden
Any more westerns like Django Kill? Guess not. Absolutely loved Django but I don't know much about westerns. The Great Silence or however you translate it is good actually. I thought that Silence was going to pull it out of the bag like Django does at the end, boy was I in for a surprise (unless you watch the alternative happy ending that was made for.... Brazil was it?).

The Great Silence is my favorite western of all time, even beating Leone and John Ford. I love that film, and not just because it contains Klaus Kinski's greatest ever performance.

I posted this a while back, some good tips there. Also, Fulci's Massacre Time is amazing: Franco Nero and George Hilton involved in a shoot-out that inspired John Woo.
 
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