Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - Jackson Stewart ""

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - Jackson Stewart

Jackson Stewart is a writer/director living in Los Angeles.  He created the web series 'The Cartridge Family' and wrote for the CW show Supernatural.  He recently finished a new short titled 'Sex Boss'.
He's on twitter @bossjacko.
1.  The Stranger's Gundown aka Django the Bastard (1969)
-An eerie entry into the 100+ unofficial Django films made in Italy during the 60s and 70s.  Anthony Steffan takes the Django role this time reimagined as the ghost of a vengeful Union soldier.  There's a terrific sequence where Django is hanged that's harrowing and director Sergio Garrone seems to be flirting with some supernatural horror elements throughout.  Check it out if you can find it.
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2.  Homebodies (1974)
-I caught this with an unsuspecting crowd on 16mm during Cinefamily's United States of Horror series back in October and was blown away.  The movie centers around a group of elderly folks who've been living in the same building for many, many decades.  A greedy real estate mogul sets to kick them out and destroy the building and our septuagenarian heroes will stop at nothing to keep their place.  It's a pitch black comedy and resonated with me for weeks after seeing it.  The tone is perfect and the film concludes with (no joke) a thrilling paddleboard chase.  It's a must.
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3.  After Dark, My Sweet (1990)
- This is oddly obscure despite being based off the seminal Jim Thompson novel of the same name.  Jason Patric stars as Kid Collie, a disgraced boxer recently having escaped a mental institution; through a series of events, he's roped into kidnapping a wealthy man's child and ends up snatching the wrong kid.  Needless to say, things don't go very well.  This film grabbed me from frame one with its taut visuals, career best performance from Jason Patric and grim tone (maybe the closest to match Thompson's novels).  It's a nasty movie and Bruce Dern crushes it as Uncle Bud, the sadistic brain behind the kidnapping.  Looks like it is available on Amazon Instant too.
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4.  Corky (1972)
- Robert Blake stars as Corky Curtiss, a childlike country boy who dreams of stock car racing glory.  He's an edgy character, unlikable in many scenes but the type we want to see succeed.  I can't quite say why, but the movie left a big impression on me and there's a pervasive ennui throughout it that leaves you thinking.  There's a suitably tragic ending and some great 1970s locations.  I had an extremely hard time finding a copy.
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5.  Road of Death (1973)
- Jack Birch (Thora's dad), stars as Frank a regular dude just enjoying a swim in the lake with his pal Joe Banana and gets beaten up by a gang of bikers who kidnap his girlfriend.  The movie is as low budget, sleazy and exploitive as it gets, with the bizarre insertion of Joe Banana's band, The Joe Banana Thing, forced into the middle of the movie.  Very flawed but I had a blast watching it and I think you will too.  Here's a link to the trailer (with some hilarious voiceover at the end) that should help sell you on the movie. 


Will Errickson said...

OMG I saw AFTER DARK when it came out after reading the novel! I remember liking 'em, but not sure. Shit that was a long time ago...

Morgan said...

The Joe Banana Thing is the coolest unknown band ever. I wish someone could track down Joe Banana and release a soundtrack album. The music in Road Of Death is hilarious. And it has Thora Birch's parents in it.