X (2022)

Director Ti West has always been a master of building up his films and then diving in to a massive explosion. It can still be seen with his first film “The Roost,” his bang up cult gem “House of the Devil,” and he continues that tradition with “X.” Much of “X” was shrouded in mystery upon its release, and while it’s definitely wearing its obvious influences on its sleeve, make no mistake: everything you see here, everything that unfolds, all of it is definitely from Ti West.

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“Beavis and Butt-Head Do America” is the Zenith of the 90’s Most Notorious Duo’s Popularity

I was lucky enough to live through three generations of animated characters that not only drove adults crazy, but caused unnecessary havoc in schools and church for me. First there was Bart Simpson, who I remember listening to my teacher lecture us about him being a bad influence. In the late nineties we met a foursome of foul mouthed boys from “South Park” that also sparked immense hysteria and controversy. In between though there were two products of the 1990’s. They were the slacking, burnt out rocker, bare minimum, anti-establishment pair of losers who did nothing but watch TV and try to get laid.

They were known as “Beavis and Butt Head.”

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Viva (2007)

Will screen on August 27th at the Los Feliz 3 theater in Los Angeles, California as part of the American Cinematheque’s new ETHERIA screening series. More information about the screening can be found on the American Cinematheque’s official website.

Your mileage with “Viva” may vary depending on how much you’re willing to play along with the film’s very subtle satire. About twenty minutes in to the movie is when I finally caught on to the gag, as “Viva” is as much a satire of sixties sexual dynamics as it is a tribute to the aesthetic of the sixties and seventies. “Viva” is a film in the tradition of Andy Warhol, and Russ Meyer, and exploitation gems like “Maid in Sweden” and “Score” where people open up (literally and figuratively) to sex and sexual exploration.

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Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020)

Danny Wolf’s newest documentary is notable mostly for being a movie that’s produced by Jim McBride. McBride is famous, of course, for being “Mr. Skin,” the founder of one of the biggest, and first, websites about nudity in film. Aptly titled “Skin,” the documentary about the history of nudity in Hollywood and filmmaking and how it shook the landscape of pop culture, wants to desperately be taken as a bold mix of educational and entertainment, but beyond fleeting insight and fascinating looks at pre-code film, it’s mostly just another nudie reel.

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Rest in Power: Julie Strain (1961-2021); Five Great Movies from the Model and “Queen of the B Movies”

Sadly, yet another cult icon has left us. Julie Strain, on January 10th, the one and only Heavy Metal model died at the young age of 58 after complications from Dementia. Strain went in to star in a hundred movies, and was well known by pop culture fans. With her tall stature, and incredibly sexy good looks, not to mention her enthusiasm for pop culture, Strain was well known for her charisma, bright smile, and affable sense of humor.

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To Your Last Death (2020)

Director Jason Axinn’s animated gore fest is “Funny Games,” meets “Saw” meets Twilight Zone’s “The Masks” wrapped up in one sick sadistic mutant. It’s gory, and vicious and mean spirited and occasionally baffling, but damned if I didn’t have a good time with it. There’s just something about watching the wealthy tear each other apart that hits a nerve, and “To Your Last Death” is a movie that has fun with its own concept. Not only does Jason Axinn break the conventional narrative, but he uses it as a means of bringing the ugliest sides out of his characters.

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Five More Gems Still Not on DVD, Blu-Ray, or 4K UHD

While Studios are once again repackaging John Hughes movies in to yet another compilation Blu-Ray, and re-releasing “Grease” for the umpteenth time, there are still a laundry list of movies that have only ever been released on VHS and Laserdisc. Continuing from the last list, here are five more movies that deserve a Deluxe Physical release for collectors.

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BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasocism (1995)

It’s incredibly how only twenty five years ago, the idea of the sub-culture of S&M and fetishes like bondage and roleplaying were still so hush and barely spoken of. In modern society we’ve somewhat turned a corner and managed to embrace kink and sexuality a lot more, but the people we get to meet in “BloodSisters” are clearly individuals that have been suppressed by a society that just doesn’t understand them.

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