January 10th, 2005

Draconis Blackthorne, shadowgram, Dracomet

Pact with The Devil

Based on Oscar Wilde's classic "The Picture of Dorian Gray", this film "deals" with a common stage hand named 'Lewis' {Ethan Erickson} who makes a pact with The Devil in exchange for wealth and fame, and ultimately, to fund his passion for photography, which merely became an erstwhile segueway to his self-imposed damnation. Immediately, upon dabbing a mirror with his blood one stormy night, he begins experiencing an increase in the quality of life, as all his desires and indulgences are met. A rather mysterious man with the unlikely name of "Henry" {Michael Mc Dowell}, detects potential in him, thereby granting his favor by making him a super-model, to which he takes advantage of a marvellous lifestyle of carnal delights, and all he has to do is essentially "strike a pose", while remaining youthful and handsome forever, while his hidden portrait assumes old age - but wouldn't you know it, he eventually dissappears and becomes an ingrate. At one point, he becomes essentially a "kept man" in the manse of a European couple wherein he becomes the surrogate lover of a gorgeous brunette while her husband watches on - that relationship eventually leads to a lethal extreme. The prodigal eventually returns to the source of his fortune, and not being able to handle fortune and fame, eventually commits suicide and reverts to his so-called "true form", reminiscient of Nosferatu. So The Prince of Darkness goes back to the drawing board and seeks out another hopeful who may appreciate the gift so graciosly conferred.

What I primarily enjoyed about this film is that it did not rely heavily upon the typical exaggerrated aesthetics of the mythos, but kept the storyline subtle enough to lend an air of pseudo-believability in a contemporary world.

Rating: 3/5.

  • Current Music
Draconis Blackthorne, shadowgram, Dracomet

Welcome To Planet Earth

A delighful "black humor" film about a very stereotypically American wholesome family unit of tourists who just happen to be... aliens. They land on a rooftop in a ghetto and meet "Joseph" {Christopher M. Brown} with the hopes of renting a couple of rooms from him. At first, he is puzzled as to why such a "white bread" trio would wish to stay there, but all doubts are erased when he meets their buxom blonde nubile daughter "Daphne" {Anastasia Sakelaris; as they decide to use the salacious angle, which usually works more often than not}. They obviously derived their unrealistic personalities from television, to essentially "do as the natives do" when in a strange land, or in this case, planet. In the spirit of adventure, the parents go forth for some slum sight-seeing, and in their outings, come across various thugs and cretins who seek to victimize them, but are met with a bloody surprise at each occasion, which makes for some memorably hilarious scenes.

Eventually, they become carried away in the sport of hoodlum-slaying; and in one particularly humorous encounter, "Rhonda" {Shanna Reed; aptly described as 'Betty Crocker'} poses like she is passed out in an alley way, when a group of neo-nazi punks {seems like this is a multi-cultural cesspool} decide to gang rape her, when "Charlie" {George Wendt} appears to attempt to dissuade them from taking advantage of his wife {done very tongue-in-cheek}, they do not heed his advice, and proceed to pummel him - so as one mounts her, he gets trapped in her leg-vice, and eventually, all are dispatched - yet the most hilarious sequence occurs when one is quite literally beaten to death with his own dismembered leg, after which it is time for some picture-taking, so she merrily performs a three-legged can-can.

Yet Daphne also unexpectedly becomes involved in the bloodshed, when while out on a date with Joseph, is cornered in the bathroom by his former acquaintance, to which he is justifiably eviscerated.

Eventually, all this interstellar tourist-play incites the attention of the Police, who because of his former criminality, persue and incarcerate Joseph; yet is freed by Daphne after incapacitating the entire station by first stripping naked, then immobilizing them with a blue paralysis ray which emminates from her purse. Two officers in particular discover the scene, and the chase is on. They rejoin with her parents who had previously acquired an automobile by first hitch-hiking for fun, then slitting the worthless hoodrat's throat; evading the squad car, but eventually run out of gas {damn those human technicalities!} near a crack den run by another former criminal acquaintance of Joseph's, and after being again under-estimated, effectively 'clean house', but not before being attacked first. And that is the modus-operandi with each and every occasion - the prevailing attitude is essentially "give Me a reason" - they ask the scumbags to stop, and when they proceed, they are destroyed.

Unfortunately, Charlie and Rhonda end up in prison due to Daphne's last-minute subterfuge, yet they still manage to provide entertainment for themselves among the resident inmates.

These alien characters employ a gleeful vigilanteism which is both darkly hysterical and refreshing. It is not surprising that this film remains underrated, for it proves to be far too disturbing to the herd, as it employs imaginative overkills with a cheerful sense of humor, committed by projected charicatures of exagerrated herd idealizations, circa Eisenhower.

Rating: 5/5.

  • Current Music
    King Diamond: Fatal Portrait