Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Elric Kane ""

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Elric Kane

Elric Kane is the owner of Jumpcut Café in Los Angeles and a Co-host on GeekNation's Killer POV podcast (a favorite of mine). Also, he's on Twitter here:
https://twitter.com/Elrickane 

Angst (1983, Dir. Gerald Kargl)
This film was an utter revelation. I was lucky enough to attend a screening at The Cinefamily where Gaspar Noe introduced the film as one of his biggest influences. They also added a prologue scene not commonly available on disc that Noe loved and I think really adds another depth to the characters mental state. This is the closest in film I’ve ever seen to the inner workings of a disturbed mind. The remarkable cinematography by Zbigniew Rybczynski follows the killer fluidly from impossible angels and is unrelenting in its focus on the killer. As the film ended I literally had to take a breath as the experience was like being underwater for two hours. The film was received very poorly on initial release which is a tragedy as it became the only film by the director. Import only but well worth the hunt.
Double feature with: Noe’s ‘I Stand Alone’
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Massacre Mafia Style aka The Executioner ( 1978, Dir. Duke Mitchell)
After the high of discovering ‘Gone with the Pope’ last year I searched out Mitchell’s previous film which I finally caught on TCM Underground. I was expecting something less polished then Pope, but this is an extraordinary gangster films with one of the great openings in cinema. Thankfully people won’t need to be patient as Grindhouse Releasing is putting it out in March on Blu Ray and trust me when I say this one is a blind buy. Seriously one of the most entertaining gangster films ever made.
Double feature with: Ferrara’s ‘The King of New York’

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White Lightning (1973, Dir. Joseph Sargent)
After this one I’m making ’15 the year of Burt. As a kid I enjoyed his 80’s work but never really dug into the films before that which made him a star. The character ‘Gator’ is probably my favorite of his performances, he nails the regional characteristics and straddles the line between anti-hero and asshole perfectly. Director Sargent deserves a lot of credit for crafting a film that feels so organically of it’s place and time.
Double feature with: Hellman’s ‘Cockfighter’

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The Kindred - (1987, Dir. Stephen Carpenter & Jeffrey Obrow)
I was familiar with the outrageous VHS cover of a creature in a baby bottle but had never bothered to watch it. This is my favorite “Fun” discovery of the year. It’s slimy, goofy has brilliant practical creature effects and an over the top Rod Steiger cameo. Of all the films I saw this year I felt this would be the most incredible to see with a crowd as the humor and WTF qualities would unify any audience. Get some friends together break out the Watermelon and enjoy this overlooked gem.
Double Feature with: Henenlotter’s ‘Basket Case’

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The Astrologer - (1975, Dir. Craig Denney)
The cult discovery of the year by the Alamo Drafthouse is the least predictable film I’ve ever seen. In short it’s Citizen Kane but made by and about an Astrologist. Brush up on your numerology before viewing for the ultimate trip.
Double Feature with: Aronofsky’s ‘Pi’


Angel Face - (1952, Otto Preminger)
Any new Mitchum is a blessing but new sordid Mitchum is like striking gold. Here he plays the fall guy to a scheming, vengeful Jean Simmons who is channeling ‘Leave her to Heaven’ in a great piece of casting. This is a great femme fatale film and deserves more attention as it plays with gender roles and noir conventions in surprising ways.
Double Feature with: Farrow’s ‘His Kind of Woman’

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Necronomicon: Book of the Dead - (1993, Dir. Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko Brian Yuzna )
On initial release I avoided this film due to it’s cover art and some post ‘ROTLD 3’ Yuzna fatigue. Recently when doing a best of Horror Anthologies episode of Killer POV I noticed this film getting some love on Letterboxd so gave it a shot. Lovecraft played by Jeffrey Combs frantically looking through the Necronimicon while its stories unfold is a fantastic set-up and one of the best anthology wrap arounds. All three directors make fun, gory practical effects driven segments but Brian Yuzna’s final story really goes full tilt bonkers and captures some of the glory of his ‘Society’. This is one of my favorite horror anthologies now and essential viewing for Lovecraft fans looking for a less serious adaptation of his work.
Double Feature with: Gordon’s ‘Dagon’

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On the Bridge - (1992, Frank Perry)
‘The Swimmer’ has been one of my favorite film for years, so it was with mixed emotions when the rest of the world caught up to it’s greatness this year due to the fantastic release from Grindhouse Releasing. Perry is a great director of difficult and damaged characters. Having caught up with all of his features I was always curious to see his final film, a documentary about his own battle with cancer. As you would expect it’s very sad but also fascinating to see him tackle it with an inquisitive mind and the same depth he brings to his fiction films. Sadly he lost the battle but the film remains an inspiring example of facing life head on with what you do best.
Double Feature with: Rubin’s ‘My Life’ (Most depressing double feature ever!)


The Monster of Piedras Blancas - (1959, Dir. Irvin Berwick)
I saw this as part of The Cinefamily all -nighter and while it’s not a classic monster movie its a great example of location shooting, minimalist shooting style and a fantastic creature design. A must see for Creature feature lovers.
Double Feature with: Sherwood’s ‘The Creature Walks Among Us’

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Road Games - (1981, Dir. Richard Franklin) Super playful Hitchcock-esque film that stretches the sparse Australian highways with Stacy Keach at his most charming as a trucker who’s white line fever pulls him into a dangerous cat and mouse game with a killer. The chemistry between Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis is electric and the film balances the humor and tension perfectly.
Double Feature with: Kotcheff’s ‘Wake in Fright’

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