Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: Stone Cold (1991)

Amazon.com: ArtFuzz Stone Cold 27 x 40 Movie Poster - Style A: Posters &  Prints

Craig R. Baxley-directed Stone Cold (1991) is a really fun action B-movie surprise starring ’80s football star Brian Bosworth as Joe Huff, an undercover cop who helms a white supremacist/neo-Nazi biker gang helmed by Chains (Lance Henriksen) and Ice (William Forsythe). I think the goal here was to make him the next Sly or Schwarzenegger at a time when these macho guys were very bankable; unfortunately, Bosworth cannot act and lacks the charisma that made his contemporaries so iconic, but he’s still really cool in the role. Perhaps best of all, his character owns a pet Nile monitor lizard (definitely DO NOT feed it what Joe does lol), although his ’90s mullet is pretty dated and looks a bit skunky.

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The Rue Morgue Archives present an interview with Christopher Lee

I’ve made another video for Rue Morgue magazine – this time adapting an interview that they conducted with Christopher Lee in 2010, from their 100th issue!

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The Rue Morgue Archives present an interview with John Waters

I recently began editing videos for Rue Morgue Magazine’s YouTube channel! If you’re not familiar, Rue Morgue is a magazine dedicated to the horror genre in movies and culture, and the series I’m working on adapts articles from back issues into video essays. This is my first one: an interview with John Waters!

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A Helpful Guide to Oscar Categories

I was inspired to make this graphics while watching this year’s Oscar nominees. Maybe you’ll find it helpful!

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: Once Were Warriors

Once Were Warriors - Rotten Tomatoes

I recently asked a (white) kiwi friend of mine recently about his thoughts on Lee Tamahori’s riveting 1994 drama masterpiece Once Were Warriors (based on the book by Alan Duff and referring to the warrior nature of the Māori people), and he said it was “hard-wired to New Zealand DNA,” which was a fascinating response since, as a Canadian, I hadn’t heard much of it until now. It’s a brutal watch, and not one that you’ll soon forget, telling the story of a working-class urban Māori family who begin to fall apart after the patriarch Jake loses his job. Consequently, his behaviour spirals into domestic abuse (physical and verbal), alcoholism, and worse. Indeed, Jake is a pressure cooker of rage and fury, as we see not only in the beatdowns in his local dive bar, but also at home when his wife Beth resists him (violence as a means of asserting control). Jake also harbours a subconscious resentment of his wife’s status as a princess in the rural Māori community (she moved into town to be with her husband, which was the first mistake), and while it is easier to blame most of the atrocities on Jake’s toxicity, I think the real culprit is colonialism. It is colonialism that has displaced people from their land and forced them to restructure family hierarchies (the patriarchal figure is not a traditional one in Māori culture apparently).

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The Cameron COVID Conspiracy

PLEASE NOTE: This “conspiracy theory” is a joke. It’s not an actual conspiracy theory, I just made it up to be funny. Do not take this seriously. This isn’t misinformation, it’s humour.

It was recently confirmed that Avatar 2, after over a decade of development, production, and post-production, will finally be released on December 16, 2022. Naturally, with a movie so focused on 3D technology and whatever other immersive tricks James Cameron has up his sleeve, I expect that Avatar 2 will be an exclusive theatrical release. Which got me to thinking…it will probably be one of the first mega-blockbusters to be released when movie theatres finally open fully as COVID-19 becomes less and less severe and we’re allowed to attend screenings en masse. And that in turn got me to thinking…WHAT IF JAMES CAMERON CREATED COVID-19 TO BOOST AVATAR 2?? I mean, it only makes sense, right? How do you top the previous Avatar‘s record of being the top-grossing movie of all time, especially when, as so many people have pointed out, the first Avatar hasn’t really had a lasting impact on pop culture? Well, you do it by making it the first big theatrical release of the post-pandemic era, and in doing so, not only do you rake in massive amounts of money, but Avatar 2 becomes the movie that “saved the cinemas.” OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE. JAMES CAMERON DID COVID.

BUT NOT REALLY. Come on, I can’t believe I feel like I need to put disclaimers on either end of this ridiculous conspiracy theory that I made up. But we live in an age of misinformation and harmful conspiracy nonsense. So there it is: this is a joke!

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

Nicolas Gessner’s 1976 film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane has finally come to Shudder, enchanting and entertaining fresh audiences with yet another strong early performance from Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen. Foster plays Rynn Jacobs, a remarkably intelligent child who lives on the edge of town in a huge house with (apparently) her parents, although they remain unseen, creating ambiguity as to whether they are actually there or not. The story is based on a book by Laird Koenig’s 1974 novel of the same name (keen to check it out), and the film brought Shirley Jackson’s novels to mind, particularly We Have Always Lived in the Castle, particularly the invasive threat of the townsfolk (from nosy landladies to pedophiles) as well as the ambiguous agenda of the protagonist (Merricat and Rynn). As with most of her early roles, including Taxi Driver, it’s a challenging one and also controversial, but Foster really nails it. Martin Sheen is at his utmost depraved here as Frank Hallet, a pedophile with an unhealthy interest in Rynn who not only continues to frequent the house with increased malice with every visit (and the hamster scene is also truly unforgivable), but is also the son of the unpleasant landlady Cora. The landlady might also discover more than she bargained for when she tries to investigate the whereabouts of Rynn’s curiously absent parents.

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: The Clovehitch Killer

The Clovehitch Killer, DVD | Buy online at The Nile

Duncan Skiles’ 2018 “killer thriller” The Clovehitch Killer is a real pearl on Netflix, a fantastic find that was recommended via one of Stephen King’s Tweets (he also gave it a glowing review). It’s based on the crimes of the BTK Killer (Dennis Rader), a serial killer who would break into homes and then bind and torture and kill (hence the name) whole families. He disappeared into the guise of dedicated suburban family father for decades before being uncovered. While the serial killer tropes and stories have been seemingly milked to death, this film takes the frightening idea of the potential serial killer father and asks the question, “What if your father was in fact a serial killer?,” and I think it ultimately succeeds in breathing new life into the serial killer story and offering fresh perspectives and questions. And there are plot twists and red herrings galore, particularly how the serial killer manipulates everyone around him, and the audience is also manipulated by their psychopathy and total lack of empathy (we also believe the lies and question our own intentions and antics).

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE - Officially Licensed Horror T-Shirt –  Fright-Rags

I finally got around to watching the classic 1982 The Slumber Party Massacre, and it was worth the wait. I think it’s my new favourite slasher movie! The film had a strange production, and because of it, it’s delightfully subversive in terms of gender and expectation (most of the women are independent and pretty resourceful, and most of the guys in it are kind of losers and pretty useless when it comes down to it). Apparently Rita Mae Brown (feminist author of Rubyfruit Jungle) wrote the original screenplay as a parody of the slasher film genre, but then the studio wanted to play it straight, so they added the usual sex, nudity, and gore. The end result is a lot of fun to see, and also quite refreshing for a slasher movie. It’s also directed by a female director (Amy Holden Jones, who co-wrote 1992’s Beethoven), so it’s great to have a female perspective, even though the female nudity is quite surprising considering. One of my favourite characters was the sexy telephone repair person, but unfortunately she gets killed minutes/seconds after being introduced. Still pretty cool to have more women in trades though!

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: A Royal Affair

Amazon.de: A Royal Affair (2012) 11 x 17 Movie Poster - Style F by MG  Posters

Nikolaj Arcel’s 2012 Danish film A Royal Affair (En kongelig affære) is an absolute delight and a visual feast for the senses. I recently watched Thomas Vinterberg’s latest film Another Round (Druk), which also stars my favourite actor Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, The Hunt, Valhalla Rising, Casino Royale, At Eternity’s Gate, Arctic), and it was also excellent, and not just an essential rumination on alcoholism, masculinity, maintaining and balancing adulthood, and more, but also a powerful affirmation of life, especially in light of the death of Vinterberg’s daughter, who died days into the shoot (and you can feel her presence in a beautiful way as you watch the film). Watching Another Round inspired me to dig through more of Mads’ (actually pronounced “Mass” rather than “Mads”) Danish filmography, especially since there are so many buried treasures. He’s also great in The Hunt, Pusher 1 and 2, and Adam’s Apples (but such a good person should not have to suffer as he does), among others. I had a hard time getting into Flickering Lights or Men and Chickens because I didn’t appreciate or understand the humour as much as I wanted to, and I look forward to seeing him in The Green Butchers and After the Wedding (any other Mads recommendations are welcome too!). A Royal Affair is indeed a buried treasure among others.

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