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The Reeler Blog

NYT Presents Horror on Parade

Accidentally or not, The Times wound up with a sort-of horror-themed weekend in its film section, with Jason Zinoman glimpsing past and present in the context of the Museum of the Moving Image's upcoming genre series and Michael Cieply reporting late Sunday on the pitiful opening-weekend turnout for Hostel: Part II. Between the two, Charles McGrath chipped in with a solid Memorial Day-in-the-life piece documenting a recent holiday weekend spent watching straight-to-DVD splatter flicks. The accompanying art is appropriately trashy and somewhat shockingly (for The Gray Lady, anyway) nipple-riffic:

Anyway, while the critical insights lean a little obviously toward dissatisfaction ("Poor head-substitution similarly mars an otherwise promising ceiling-fan decapitation in Dead and Deader"), McGrath offers an intuitive survey of the little things that make the difference between films suitable for theatrical release versus video limbo. And it's kind of funny:

Kane Hodder, who plays the title character in Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield, about a real-life killer who was the inspiration for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, would be more familiar to viewers if his greatest role hadn’t required him to wear a goalie mask: He was the last and the best of the Jasons in the Friday the 13th series. Here, in a movie that’s overly drawn out and predictable (if your mother tortures you every time you masturbate, what else are you going to be but a serial killer?), he too seems a little out of place. Maybe he should consider more nonspeaking roles.
Easy target, sure, but McGrath ends positively with a pimp job for John Gulager, the Project Greenlight winner whose man-versus-alien triumph Feast once again soars to the top of the pile. This is the film that should have gotten the push that went to that inbred Eli Roth. Alas.

Posted at June 11, 2007 7:22 AM

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