Part of what made the Looney Tunes and Warner Bros. dynasty so great beyond its characters, was its limitless ability to mock and satirize Hollywood. At a time where Hollywood was adored and enamored by so many, Warner Bros. actually did a great job of taking the piss out of people like Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. In 1993, Fox Studios and Warner brought back the formula that they’d abandoned for decades with “The Animaniacs.” While the show was primarily a series filled with segments primarily aimed toward children, some of the segments brought back a lot of the classic Warner Bros. traditions, including satirizing modern Hollywood.
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.
I guess you could classify “Scare Package” as a horror movie, and yes even a horror comedy. But if my arm were twisted I’d be more comfortable just classifying it as a comedy. “Scare Package” is that movie that has a great time breaking down horror tropes and satirizing the clichés we’ve seen in various horror movies, but never actually includes any kind of scary content. Every single segment in this anthology is played with a tongue in cheek, and it’s a shame since a movie with this concept has a chance to re-imagine horror tropes.
Director Rudy De Luca amassed a career working with and writing for Mel Brooks, so it’s likely intentional that “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like an attempted companion piece to “Young Frankenstein.” It seems to aspire to do so more times than the viewer would like. “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like a pseudo or spiritual sequel to “Young Frankenstein” which is a good element in some instances and works to its detriment in other instances.
Some indie films are like inside jokes that you almost have to have some knowledge about to get. I get “Lake Michigan Monster.” I do. It has the best of intentions, it’s a home grown bare bones budgeted action monster movie, and it pays tribute to Michigan the best that it can. But in the end I was happier that “Lake Michigan Monster” was barely eighty minutes in length than I was watching the movie altogether.
It’s more budgetary double feature Blu-Rays for movie collectors that want to own two somewhat—uh—okay comedies, but don’t want to spend money on them. If you’re a fan of either film, they’re basically only available on this double bill Blu-Ray for now, sans the features. So sadly there’s no audio commentary with Jon Lovitz and Tia Carrere going over the finer nuances of “High School High.” In either case, if you’re also a nineties completist, it’s definitely a double bill worth owning.
I’m all for movies that call out the inherent stupidity of romance comedies, and how we can often lose sight of reality if we spend too much time lost in fantasy and Hollywood manufactured clichés. “Isn’t It Romantic” is a confused comedy though, that can ironically be identified as a romantic comedy, even though it purports to be a movie that tears the whole illusion of Hollywood romantic comedies down all around us. It never seems to know if it’s endorsing the idea of romantic comedies, or still spoofing them. The results are a mediocre, flat, albeit occasionally charming film.
For this week’s edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” we have a look at pitch for toys involving Italian Turtles, a horror tale about a pale lady, and a comedic spoof of an eighties Christmas horror classic.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.