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Tag Archives: Scream Queen

American Mary 02 Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Julia Maxwell, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holiday, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Paul Anthony

American Mary: a broke-but-talented medical student accidentally stumbles across the world of extreme body modification, which helps pay the bills, and then some. This opens up with a sexy woman (yes)… in sexy lingerie (YES)… stitching up a raw chicken (oh…). The directors picked their target market (body mod goths) and just threw as much of the weirdness that comes with the territory into the movie: there’s a ton of bizarre faces and characters, leathers, latex, and awful techno metal – like a budget Matrix Soundtrack. It ends up feeling a bit like weirdness for wierdness’ sake – a bunch of ‘that would be cool/gross’ scenes stapled together: part rape revenge, part Saw, part Hostel, part Audition… The story also runs out of ground fairly quickly, after Mary’s career change it fumbles along ’til the fairly lame ending. Mary herself is a strange character: not really good or bad, just a bit ridiculous: would have been better and creepier to play it straight. Generally, it’s bad B-movie acting all round, which matches the sloppy dubbing and editing. If there’s one thing done well here, it’s the SFX, which are gut-wrenchingly slick – and provide the silver (or crimson) lining. With films like this and Dead Hooker in a Trunk the Soska Sisters seem to be doing a low-rent Tom Six thing.

Score: 3/10

American Mary 03 Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Julia Maxwell, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holiday, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Paul Anthony American Mary 01 Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Julia Maxwell, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holiday, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Paul Anthony

Blow Out: a sound effects artist records a car accident, but finds himself in danger as he tries to blow the top on a cover-up. This film is nothing short of a directorial masterclass: the visuals are filthy rich, with dozens of brilliantly filmed & striking scenes. De Palma is truly a master of ‘the shot’ as he effortlessly throws in a barrage of intricate, flashy, techniques: 360 spinning, dolly shots, split-screens, dual-focus, playing with depth of field & perspective… he has technical flare and style to burn here. Travolta matches this with an intense portrayal of an investigative man-on-the-edge. The music and sound effects are great, until the end when a cheesy score dominates the picture. The plot is good, and backstory perfectly stitched through the movie, My favourite aspect is the horror movie tropes being poked fun at through the sub-plot, particularly at the start: the opening film-in-a-film scene, and his previous movies named ‘Bloodbath’, ‘Bloodbath 2’, ‘Bad day at Blood Beach’, ‘Bordello of Blood’… Blow Out is a rare example of directorial technique, story, action, and acting being massaged together perfectly to create something powerful, dramatic and iconic – it’s enviable how good this movie is. I can’t wait to re-visit this already.

Score: 9/10