Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Crime Family


We've known each other many years, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel...for help. I can't remember the last time that you invited me to your blog for a guest post, even though I love all your reviews. But let's be frank here: you never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.

You: I didn't want to get into trouble.

I understand. You found paradise in the blogosphere, had a good readership, made good posts. The internet police protected you; and there were courts of law. And you didn't need a friend of me. But uh, now you come to me and you say -- "Don Delleone give me justice." -- But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Blogfather. Instead, you come into my blog on the day Wanderer hosts Thursday Movie Picks, and you uh...ask me to send you readers, for money.

You: I ask you for justice.

That is not justice; your blog is still alive.

You: Then former readers can suffer then, as I suffer. How much shall I pay you?

Blogging buddy...blogging buddy... What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? Had you come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your blog would be suffering this very day. And that by chance if an honest blogger such as yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

You: Be my friend...Blogfather?

Good. Some day, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But uh, until that day -- accept this justice as a gift on my host's movie picks day.


Obviously, this week's topic is crime families. And yes, I'm going in a completely different direction than the one I've just led you to believe we were traveling.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(1974)
You know the story. A bunch of teenagers on a trek, stop off at a shady location and start getting murdered by a family of inbreeds. This is the original (I think) and still the best of those sorts of movies. As far as I'm concerned, it's Tobe Hooper's masterpiece. (My Full Review)


Mother's Day
(2010)
A dimwitted trio of brothers rob a bank. One of them gets shot, so they go home, or the house they think is home. Of course, it's occupied by someone else who is having a little get together so a hostage situation erupts. To help get this whole thing under control, the boys call the real head of this little crime family, their mom. Rebecca De Mornay hams it up fantastically in this home invasion thriller/horror flick. (My Full Review)

Cold Fish
(2010)
This time, the family is a husband and wife duo who not only kill people together, they take great care to dispose of the bodies. We get to see much of the process in painstaking detail. Director, and master of the disturbing, Sion Sono, delivers a film that revels in its own gory, unflinching, insanity. (My Full Review)


20 comments:

  1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now that is a film. Mother's Day was awesome. Rebecca de Mornay giving one of the greatest performances of her career. Cold Fish is something I haven't seen but now I want to. I went for a somewhat more traditional approach to the genre but not going for the obvious.

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  2. I really need to see the newer version of Mother's Day. I didn't think a great deal of the original, but I've heard nothing but good about the remake.

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    1. The remake is a solid film with an excellent turn by De Mornay.

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  3. I haven't seen any of these. I do have a Sion Sono film I've been meaning to check out. Have you watched Love Exposure?

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  4. I never would've thought of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and now I'm mad I didn't pick it. I've had Cold Fish in my Netflix queue for ages, it's finally towards the top.

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    1. Cool. I'm very curious about your reaction to that one.

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  5. I haven't seen any of these but the intro is amazing! Well done!

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  6. I enjoyed your intro Blogfather but have not seen any of these. I've turned down multiple chances to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre in fact, it's just not my thing. I might have to check out Mother's Day though.

    I reached further back and I know you'll be delighted with my second pick at least.

    Bonnie & Clyde (1967)-Seminal, trend-setting drama of the criminal pair who terrorized the heartland during the depression with Clyde’s brother and his wife. Stylish and ultra-violent this made Warren Beatty a major player in Hollywood, a star of Faye Dunaway, moved Gene Hackman considerably up the ladder as Buck Barrow and won Estelle Parsons a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Buck’s screeching wife Blanche.

    White Heat (1949)-James Cagney stars as Cody Jarrett a psychotic gangster with a mother fixation in one of the best crime noirs of the 40’s. An utterly ruthless man who thinks nothing of gunning down an unarmed man he is prone to violent headaches, an incipient signal of total madness, that can only be soothed by sitting on Ma Jarrett’s (a chilling Margaret Wycherly) knee as she strokes his head. Sent to prison after being caught during their last job Cody is a targeted man both by the undercover agent (Edmund O’Brien) who has been planted to befriend him and one of his henchmen (Steven Cochran) and Cody’s grasping wife Verna (Virginia Mayo) who want to take over the gang. Breaking out he sets out to reassert his dominance during the robbery of a chemical plant payroll but things spiral out of control leading to a fiery climax. Classic Cagney.

    Ma Barker’s Killer Brood (1960)-Exploitation version of the Barker clan headed by the ruthlessly murderous Ma (Lurene Tuttle). Revisionist in the extreme showing the gang working with John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson though there’s no proof that they knew any of them in reality. Still it’s a trim little crime caper with Lurene Tuttle, who usually played sweet best friends and sensible mothers, having a grand old time tearing into the merciless and deranged mastermind. She rules her boys with an iron fist mocking any sign of weakness and not sparing the corporeal punishment to all if she thinks it necessary.

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    1. Well of course I love your second pick! I also love your first pick. That's a whopper of a movie. Haven't seen your last pick. As for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it is a visceral viewing, no doubt. The real trick it manages to pull is that you don't actually see nearly as much as you think you do. Yes, I'm trying to convince you to see it.

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  7. I should have guessed you would go the mafia route, but I did not expect such a fun Godfather-style opening! Love it, and love these picks!

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  8. Your opening is brilliant:) needless to day, I have not seen any of these

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  9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a great choice for this list. Cold Fish sounds insane. Might need to check that one out.

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  10. Great call on Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That's one creepy and disturbing family to end them all.

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