Extreme Cinema

photo credit: zimbio.com

Taboo, bizarre, depraved and shocking are a few of the popular words you’ll find when you delve into the world of prolific Japanese auteur Takashi Miike. His eccentric cinematic stylings are not for everyone, his work is divisive, but there’s no denying, the man is a true original. I don’t shy away from extreme cinema (except for that Human Centipede flick, that’s just fucking disgusting cinema) anyway, the first Takashi Miike movie I saw is based on a popular manga; the extremely violent and bizarre Ichi the Killer. When it comes to his aesthetic; the man is fearless, shameless and I don’t think he gives two shits about the word restrain, couple that with a dark sense of humor and you have one of those rare artists who is not afraid to go there; into the abyss, into the dark alleys, into the absurdities of life and then some. In honor of the release of his 100th movie, the ultraviolent Blade of the Immortal, here’s a short list of some of the flicks I’ve seen so far, (I haven’t seen them all) Warning; these films are not for the squeamish.

Audition: With the help of a friend, a widower mounts an audition for young girls in order to find a new wife. The girl he settles for is not what he bargained for. Creepy as hell but you’ll find a new use for piano wire.

Dead or Alive Trilogy: While on the same assignment, two contract killers find out that they were childhood friends. Strap on for a Yakuza-fest filled with bloodshed, mondo-bizarro antics of a manga-comes-alive fun ride.

Ichi the Killer: Sadomasochistic Yakuza enforcer Kakihara encounters a unique sexually-repress, psychotic killer by the name of Ichi in one of the most unique Yakuza flicks you will ever see. Nipples get sliced-off and so does a tongue.

13 Assassins: In order to kill an evil lord, a group of assassins get together for what can surely be a suicide mission. This is the director’s foray into ‘classic’ Japanese samurai genre cinema, albeit with the director’s distinctive warped aesthetic and blood everywhere!

Visitor Q: I’ve yet to see this one, however, I’ve been told that it makes little narrative sense (some call it Avant Garde) but, it’s chock full of taboo acts, like the one where a man has sex with a dead woman, she becomes wet down there and so he thinks that the woman has come back to life only to find out that the wetness is nothing else but feces. Yeah he goes there.

Gozu: Same as above, I’ve yet to see this one, and again, for what I’ve read it makes very little narrative sense, but it features a woman giving birth to a grown man. Yep, I don’t think anyone’s going to see that in a Disney movie anytime soon.

It goes without saying; Takashi Miike makes the type of cinema that’ll make you want to take a shower afterwards, so enjoy with caution.

Smell me later! wait, that came out wrong. Smell ya later!

Monthly Bullet Points



This one’s going to be somewhat-short and bittersweet (like the women I’m drawn to these days) because as stated on last month’s bullet points; my life ain’t that interesting. I’m just a humble cog in the machine. Read on.

*First off, I need to apologize to anyone who read my free short story Killing Crows, because it’s been brought to my attention that the piece has a bunch of typos, and grammatical errors. I’ve since taken it down from all vendor sites (all except Goodreads, I’m still trying to figure out how to do that on there—they don’t make it easy) Now, it would be easy to place the blame squarely on the editor, but no, this one’s on me since at the end of the day my name’s on the damn thing and I should’ve checked it till my eyes bled. When it comes to getting my work out there, I need to curb my tunnel vision, my enthusiasm. Readers that like my stuff are kind and forgiving; readers who I want to bring into the fold, not so much —lesson learned, maybe.

*I saw one of those great little movies that Hollyweird is deathly afraid of making these days, meaning there’s no bombastic soundtrack drowning out the actors dialogue, absurd explosions or CGI. This one’s about something that they rarely do. It’s was about a story, and its call Manhattan Night, based on a book call Manhattan Nocturne written by Colin Harrison.

Here’s the blurb from IMDB:

‘When a seductive stranger asks tabloid writer Porter Wren to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail – one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.’

The cast, direction, cinematography, editing and story are solid. The stunning Yvonne Strahovski is a revelation on this (in more ways than one-wink, wink) however I think her role could have used more meat. If you get a chance, check it out. Of course this doesn’t mean that I don’t like a good actioner filled with explosions and CG up the wazzo. Which reminds me; I also saw The Brother’s Grimsby (beware; if you’ve never seen an elephant doing the dirty; you’re in luck, here you will), that Cohen bastard is one funny fuck, nasty but funny.

*George Zimmerman said he has sold the Kel-Tec PF9 9mm handgun he used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012 for $250,000. And my faith in humanity sinks lower than it already is. He claims the funds for the sale will go toward several ‘worthy causes’ such as: countering violence against law enforcement officers by the group Black Lives Matter and to fight Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s ‘anti-firearm rhetoric.’ I get it; he’s got to make a living, I mean who would hire this guy? Here’s an idea Georgie; you want to make some scratch? Why not sale your used confederate flag underwear online to lonely old hags? What a douche.

*I dislike politicos as much as I dislike bedbugs. There’s a book out here which cements my dislike, a 65-page manifesto called “The Confessions of Congressman X.” The supposedly veteran politician lays bare a rotten and corrupt Congress enslaved by lobbyists and interested only in re-elections. Here are a few tidbits from Congressman X:

“Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver,” he admits. “But what the hell? It makes them happy hearing it . . . My main job is to keep my job.”

He admits that more time is spent fundraising than reading bills and calls Washington a “sinkhole of leeches.” No shit, really? What tip you off buddy? There’s more…

“We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation. It’s about getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election,”

“Voters are incredibly ignorant. It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification. . .,”

“We are running a fucking casino” Like what bankers do? Here’s another morsel…

“America’s on an irreversible decline and no one in Washington seems to care . . . God help us.”

Most informed folks out there know this about them already, but I think it’s refreshing to see an insider come out and admit to it (even if he’s saying it anonymously). This however does not change my opinion about politicians in general. I still think they’re a bunch of self-serving sociopaths, a bag of dildos if you will. Perhaps there’s a well-meaning one in the bunch, how can we tell? You still need to go out and vote though.

I told you; short and bittersweet. Thanks for reading my rant.

Credit for the Congressman X tidbits goes to the New York Post.

Snowcalipse Post One

Snowcalipse came down hard and mercilessly over NYC, black ice will soon follow. Cabin fever is at an all-time high. In the coming weeks I will be posting reviews of some of the stuff I did while indoors for close to forty eight hours.


So far I’ve managed to keep my webpage politics free, because I hate politics. But yeah, Snowcalipse has nothing on the Oscars when it comes to whiteness, which brings me to the best movie I saw this year (In all fairness, I saw it on Saturday but the movie came out in 2015) the movie is a small indie flick call Tangerine.



Shot entirely with iPhone 5S smartphones, the film is a triumph of cinema’s capacity to capture the human condition using whatever means necessary. Don’t let the medium used to film this work turn you off, I didn’t even know it was shot that way until I started doing research for this post and I was very impress because the movie looks amazing. There are some dynamically shot scenes that left me wondering how they did it. Now I know, and so do you.

Here’s the gist of the film:

It takes place on Christmas Eve, and it follows Sin-Dee (played by Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (played by Mya Taylor) they’re searching for Sin-Dee’s pimp/boyfriend/fiancée. A pimp who broke Sin-Dee’s heart. They search for him through a landscape of lascivious pleasure seekers involved in all manners of sins of the flesh – all among the neon hued and piss stained sidewalks of Tinsel town.

Quote from the film:

Alexandra: “You didn’t have to Chris Brown the bitch.”

Unlike the Oscars, give this film a chance, because no matter who you are or where you stand politically, you’ll fall in love with these characters, characters that’ll move you, and make you laugh along the way. This film is to be celebrated, not only because it brings a bright shade of reality to transgender issues, but also because of the inventive nature it brings to the filmmaking medium.

A bittersweet humanistic story about friendship on the fringes of society.

Currently streaming on Netflix.