Moviedrome Mondays: Dead Ringers (1988) and Rabid (1977)

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As with last week, this Moviedrome Monday entry consists of a double bill offering of two great films for the price of one. Only this time, the two featured films here are directed by the same person, who in this case, would be the legendary David Cronenberg. In addition, Dead Ringers and Rabid (this week’s titles) can also be labeled as just two of many classic examples of cinematic body horror, a sub-genre that Cronenberg popularized, If not invented (read here). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite David Cronenberg films (read here).

Dead Ringers (1988)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to master Canadian auteur David Cronenberg’s 1988 psychological body horror/drama/thriller Dead Ringers. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 31, 1992 (read here). Though I disagree with Cox regarding the acting in Cronenberg’s then previous films (deliriously wooden), on a whole, I absolutely agree with him about everything that is positive about both the aforementioned filmmaker and Dead Ringers itself. Last, but not least, Jeremy Irons dual performance as twin gynecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle (loosely based on the real life Stewart and Cyril Marcus) is a tour de force.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Dead Ringers


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


Rabid (1977)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to master Canadian auteur David Cronenberg’s 1977 body horror gem Rabid. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 1, 1992 (read here). While I do disagree with Cox regarding his thoughts on directors Dario Argento and Brian De Palma, I nod in agreement with all of the praise he lavishes on both Cronenberg and Rabid. Though I may not echo Cox’s sentiment of Rabid as Cronenberg’s best (he has surpassed himself numerous times since), it is undeniably every bit as masterful as his other films (body horror or otherwise).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Rabid. Cox’s introduction begins at the 4:05 mark on the video


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and F for Fake (1973)

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Series 5 of Moviedrome opens spectacularly with not one, but two great films in my opinion. It also happens to be (as you guessed) another double bill entry πŸ™‚

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Australian filmmaker George Miller’s widely acclaimed 1981 post-apocalyptic action masterpiece Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 24, 1992 (read here). For me, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior ranks alongside 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road (also directed by Miller) as my two favorites of the Mad Max franchise, which consists of four films altogether. Along with Fury Road, I also rank The Road Warrior as one of the two many greatest action films ever made (sequel or not). If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite George Miller films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


F for Fake (1973)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to legendary American filmmaker Orson Welles bold 1973 avant-garde masterwork F for Fake, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was May 24, 1992 (read here). On the surface, what makes F for Fake so innovative lies in how Welles cleverly marries form (the film essay format) with content (the theme of fakery). At the center, it comes from Welles playful delivery of this already inspired combination. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Orson Welles films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to what may be a 9-minute trailer for the film, though it reportedly contains no scenes from the film (read here).


Here is a youtube video link to another trailer, but I am not sure If it was one for the U.S. or another country


This youtube video link is for another trailer to it


Here is a youtube video link to a Ventura Club Society trailer.


Here is a youtube video link to documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville’s commentary for it from The Criterion Collection


Here is a youtube video link to film director/critic/historian Peter Bogdanovich’s commentary for it from The Criterion Collection

Here is a youtube video link to Bogdanovich’s longer version of that commentary

BTW, the then unfinished film Bogdanovich talks about in the link (The Other Side of the Wind) got completed and was released on the streaming service Netflix back in 2018. Here is a youtube video link to the trailer below

Last, but not least, If any of you readers are interested in learning more about the term film essay (or essay film), here is a link to a 2013 BFI (British Film Institute) article on it

https://www2.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/features/deep-focus/essay-film

Moviedrome Mondays: Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

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Once again, I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director/co-writer Paul Schrader’s 1985 experimental bio-pic Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was September 8, 1991 (read here). I agree with everything that Cox has said here. Though a certain number of other viewers may have implied this before, for myself, as a bio-pic, the film’s biggest flaw lies in it’s sanitization of the more controversial aspects that shaped Japanese writer Yukio Mishima’s life (personal or otherwise). Nevertheless, it is a good film with a unique music score by famed minimalist composer Philip Glass, an interesting approach to narrative regarding it’s subject and it’s visually dazzling use of color – just look at that amazing colour palette on display throughout.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Solaris (1972)

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Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introducing master Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 science-fiction classic Solaris, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was September 1, 1991 (read here). Once again, not much to add here except that it ranks as one of (If not) the greatest of Tarkovsky’s great films. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Andrei Tarkovsky films (read here).

BTW, a shout-out to frequent visitor Steve (his youtube channel is here) that I just approved his comment under my blog entry regarding my favorite Billy Wilder films. I had just discovered the comment there today. The comment did not show up under my notification feed and I thought everything was fine. Little did I know, the notification for this showed up under my e-mail, but not on here – what’s up with that? Nevertheless, I feel bad that I replied to Steve’s comment so late and I just want to let him know that I will do better in the future to make sure his comments get approved on here right away and not days later. In the future, I will also make sure that I check my e-mail every single day so a mistake like this does not happen again. Once again Steve, I apologize If you got worried on whether your comment was ever going to get approved πŸ™‚ In closing, I just want to let Steve know that I just left a complimentary reply to his complimentary comment πŸ™‚

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


For those that prefer a subtitled trailer, here is a youtube video link to a special showing at the Austin Film Society back in 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBYJH6UAAfw

Moviedrome Mondays: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Robert Aldrich’s 1962 classic psychological horror/melodrama/thriller Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 25, 1991 (read here). Not much to add here except that Cox is absolutely spot on in his thoughts concerning Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. For me, it ranks as the quintessential film about sibling rivalry. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Aldrich films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The Moviedrome aspects of the video begins at the 0:55 mark and ends at the 5:08 mark of the video.


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


BTW, a shout-out to frequent visitor Steve (his youtube channel is here) for reminding me about this International Film Series podcast hosted by Alex Cox and Pablo Kjoiseth (click here for the link). Four of the episodes on there talked about Cox’s Moviedrome days. If it was not for Steve, I would have never discovered it and each episode makes for fantastic listening πŸ™‚

An Apology to Steve

To Steve: I would like to sincerely apologize to you for hurting your feelings in regards to those two Moviedrome videos you uploaded. Though it was unintentional on my part, I truly feel sorry for any pain I may have caused you. Please do not delete your videos because I love watching any Moviedrome youtube video regardless of quality. When I used the word lousy to describe them, I assumed you felt the same. Nevertheless, your hard work in getting those videos together was far from it. In fact, you deserve high praise from me and everybody else for your hard work. You are also right in your implications that when that rare Moviedrome video is uploaded, it offsets any shortcomings. Please re-upload your videos because I do love watching them regardless of quality. I did not intend to use the word lousy in extreme terms (personally, I do not think any thing about it is lousy). Nevertheless, words can hurt and people can look at what I say in a different light. Please do not delete your two Moviedrome videos because I really do love them. I am glad that you enjoyed looking at my Moviedrome Monday blog entries, please continue to do so. If not, I will not hold it against you, but I do want to let you know that I am truly sorry for any hurt I may have caused you.

To My Readers: The above apology letter was in regards to the blog entry regarding the Moviedrome Monday double bill entry of Hell’s Angels on Wheels and Rumble Fish (read here). When I linked to the youtube videos of Alex Cox introducing both films, I used the word lousy to describe the audio and quality of it. The word lousy to describe both videos have since been removed by me, but I think it may have played a significant role in Steve’s (the uploader of the videos) deletion of them. At the time, I assumed that he probably felt the same way – in other words, I was with him in thinking better this than nothing. Sadly, Steve mistook it as a harsh criticism and I feel responsible for his removal of the videos. Personally, I could care less about the audio and quality of the videos and like him (and hopefully you dear readers), I love any Moviedrome video regardless of audio and quality. Steve’s efforts took a lot of hard work and I sold him short. Of course that was not intended, but he mistook it as such. Right now, Steve feels hurt and I partly need the help of all of you readers. First off, as with Steve, I owe all of you dear readers a huge sincere apology and second, I do not want to hurt my relationship with him or any of you. I do not know If this idea will work, but I want all of you readers to try and encourage Steve to re-upload his Moviedrome youtube videos by leaving this reply in my comment box below. The letters are in bold.

Steve, we truly appreciate all your hard work in uploading whatever Moviedrome videos you can put together on youtube. Please do not delete them, all of us could care less about audio and quality. Your hard work always pays off.

Moviedrome Mondays: Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967) and Rumble Fish (1983)

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That’s right! This Moviedrome Monday entry happens to be another double bill πŸ™‚

Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s Moviedrome introduction to director Richard Rush’s 1967 biker flick Hell’s Angels on Wheels. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 18, 1991 (read here). Not much to really add here and while it is far from a classic, there is no denying that it is highly entertaining – I especially agree with Cox regarding the motorcycle sequences and it’s use of music. Along with Easy Rider from two years later, Hell’s Angels on Wheels is little more than a product of it’s time; nevertheless, both are still worth a watch. My only issue with Cox here is that he credits the late Laszlo Kovacs as cinematographer on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when it was actually photographed by the now also deceased Vilmos Zsigmond (read here and here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Hell’s Angels on Wheels and I would like to personally thank user giulio sacchi74 (a.k.a. Steve) for his valiant efforts in finding and uploading this link πŸ™‚


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


Rumble Fish (1983)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 drama Rumble Fish. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was during the early midnight hours of August 19, 1991 (read here). Everything Cox says here about Rumble Fish is 100 percent spot-on and yes, it is far superior to The Outsiders – also directed by Coppola earlier in 83 (both came out the same year) and like this film, it too was adapted from an S.E. Hinton novel. In addition, Rumble Fish feels more personal to Coppola than The Outsiders. For example, it has been reported that the story’s central relationship between two brothers (Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke) reminded Coppola of the bonding he had with his older brother August, whom the film is dedicated to (read here and here). Along with composer/musician Stewart Copeland’s experimental score (read here and here), Rumble Fish is also notable for Stephen H. Burum’s unique black-and-white cinematography, which resembles what a b&w French New Wave film (read here and here) would look like lit with stylish touches relating to German Expressionism (read here, here and here) and Film Noir (read here). After one combines all of this together, Rumble Fish finishes up visually as an authentic piece of avant-garde cinematic art. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Francis Ford Coppola films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Rumble Fish. Once again, I would like to personally thank user giulio sacchi74 (a.k.a. Steve) for his valiant efforts in finding and uploading this link πŸ™‚

Also, here is a youtube video link to another version of the intro uploaded by Steve, in case any of you readers wanted a slightly higher quality version of it. Personally, I love the first version that Steve uploaded, but this one is every bit as great and is always welcome πŸ™‚

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mspYMzue9k

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kx_jtFN0H8

Moviedrome Mondays: Manhunter (1986)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Michael Mann’s 1986 Neo-Noir/psychological horror/mystery/thriller Manhunter. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 4, 1991 (read here). As much as I enjoy Cox’s commentaries (this one included), I must say that he is totally off the mark here. Granted, Jonathan Demme is the better director, The Silence of the Lambs does not rank among his finest work. As with that 1991 Oscar-winning hit, Manhunter was adapted from a Thomas Harris novel (Red Dragon) and also featured convicted serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lector (last name appears as “Lecktor” in this film) as one of it’s characters. Unlike Lambs though, there is actually more to Manhunter than meets the eye. On the surface, Manhunter plays out as little more than a standard police procedural, but at the center, it is director Mann’s visual style that intentionally powers the film. The highlights in this case would be cinematographer Dante Spinotti’s stylish use of color and an atmospheric rock soundtrack. Also, despite his limited screen time, I always felt that co-star Brian Cox’s turn as Dr. Hannibal Lector was superior to that of Anthony Hopkins. Whereas Hopkins portrayal bordered on camp, Cox’s Lector comes off as down-to-earth, which only makes his presence more unsettling.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Manhunter


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: The Music Lovers (1971)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of late visionary flamboyant British filmmaker Ken Russell’s 1971 bio-picΒ The Music Lovers. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 28, 1991 (read here). I agree with everything Cox says here; not only about the film – it is indeed a biggish budget British film with balls as he so eloquently states – but also about director Russell himself. Nevertheless, unlike Cox, I love Altered States and Gothic every bit as much as his 70’s work. I have talked about Russell quite a few times before (read here, here, here and here) and along with the recently departed Nicolas Roeg (who died back in 2018), Russell stood out as one of the two greatest transgressive filmmakers to emerge within the British cinema during the second half of the 20th century. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Ken Russell films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Music Lovers


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


Here is a youtube video link to director Bernard Rose’s (Candyman) Trailers From Hell commentary for it


Here is a youtube video link to British film critic Mark Kermode’s take on Ken Russell (he was a big fan). This was recorded in 2011 – shortly after Russell died.


Last, but not least, here is a link to Cox’s obituary for Russell (note you have to scroll all the way down to find it)

http://iainfisher.com/dis/index.php?topic=18817.0

Moviedrome Mondays: The Duellists (1977) and Cape Fear (1962)

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Once again, it turns out that this Moviedrome Monday blog entry will be another double bill.

The Duellists (1977)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of Ridley Scott’s 1977 directorial debut The Duellists – a period piece based on writer Joseph Conrad’s 1908 short story entitled The Duel: A Military Story. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 21, 1991 (read here).Β The Duellists production values – music score, scenery and sword-fighting sequences – stand out as the film’s strongest aspect. Everything else pales in comparison. Once again, it is neither a great, nor very good film, but a good one nonetheless.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Duellists


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


Cape Fear (1962)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction of director J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 classic psychological thriller Cape Fear. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 21, 1991 (read here). Unlike Cox (whose praise for the film is more reserved), I love this film. Regarding the film’s audacity (lead actor Robert Mitchum’s villain is openly depicted here as a sex offender), Cape Fear debatably resembles what an early 1960’s psychological thriller would look like helmed by Alfred Hitchcock as a spiritual companion piece (albeit one in name only) to the then similarly daringΒ PsychoΒ (also directed by him) from two years earlier in 1960. While all of the performances are strong, Mitchum is undoubtedly the standout as the creepy Max Cady and legendary music composer Bernard Herrmann’s delivers a memorably menacing score to complete the package. P.S. I also love director Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake staring Robert De Niro in the Cady role.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Cape Fear


Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer