Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2017 - MrParka ""

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Film Discoveries of 2017 - MrParka

MrParka is an amateur film critic that has been reviewing films on YouTube and various blog sites for nearly a decade. Originally specializing in horror and cult titles, he has recently branched out to all genres.
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In life I go through phases, one of the only constant loves I had was film and, like in life, my film genres and actors I watch go into phases. This list as, you can tell, has some reoccurring themes and reoccurring film legends. Leaving horror a bit to the sidelines, I have dived into some classics. Hopefully these aren’t a little too obvious for everyone, I enjoyed discovering them immensely and I hope my love shows.

Dillinger (1973)
When the American people are in times of great desperation they need a hero. Sometimes it’s a fictional one like Captain America, other times its real life criminals like John Dillinger. Screen writing legend John Milius directs this semi non fictional account of the life of the infamous criminal. Acting legend Warren Oates portrays the 30’s style Robin Hood anti-authoritarian gangster with the perfect amount of stupidity and class. The man who opposes Dillinger is Melvin Purvis, played by western legend Ben Johnson. Milius manages to intertwine the lives of other famous gangsters, taking some liberties along the way while creating a great story about media sensationalism and violence with consequences. A wonderful supporting cast of familiar character actors and future stars, along with wonderful direction by Milius, overcome its modest budget and make “Dillinger” live in infamy.
Best way to see it – Arrow Video Blu-Ray
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Ninth Configuration (1980)
What would happen if “One Flew Over the Cuckcoo’s Nest” met spiritualism and the Vietnam War? Litter an abandoned castle, doubling as an insane asylum, with a slew of wonderful actors and the result is a mind bending, tear jerking, gut busting, and magically one of a kind film. The “Ninth Configuration” starts off like Voltarie's Candide; bitter, funny, and absurd, but soon becomes a darker beast. As the story unfolds, the humor is drained from the movie and the questions that were once intensely and comically asked by Scott Wilson’s character to Stacy Keach’s about God become a focal point with a depressing yet enlightening conclusion.
Best way to see it – Hen’s Tooth Blu-Ray
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Devil’s Honey (1986)
Lucio Fulci, director of such gorefests as “Zombie,” “The Beyond,” and “New York Ripper,” was much more versatile than most people would know. Directing superbly made Gialli like 'Don’t Torture a Duckling' and 'A Lizard in a Women’s Skin' and dipping into other genres as well, including crime, western, and comedy. It would come not as a shock to find out he directed an erotic thriller, but to apply that “not as a shock” phrase to this film would be incorrect. “The Devil’s Honey” would shock anyone, no matter what man, woman, animal, or alien directed it. Sitting in between the maestro’s filmography, between his gore classics and his TV not so classics, it’s no wonder it went unnoticed. A young girl seeks out revenge against a distracted, sex demented doctor who she blames for the death of her sexually abusive boyfriend. Shades of grey indeed, it only gets weirder and more perverse as a once reluctant girl becomes the aggressor toward the doctor and, what does he do? Embraces it, even if it might cost him his life. The film is a repulsive and complex look into the sexual transgressions of two twisted individuals.
Best way to see it – Severin Blu-Ray
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Drum (1976)
Slave films are not something I have ever seen or really known much about, but when you read the cast list in “Drum” you’d have to be thick to pass on it. It’s exploitation at its sleaziest, cruelest, and entertaining; featuring violent uprisings, inappropriate comedy, and a slew of nudity that makes you question if you should be watching it. Surely Tarantino must have seen this and had some fondness towards the film, comparing it to works such as “Django Unchained”. It’s not good for your intellect, but its titillating nudity, cathartic revenge element, and outstanding performances make it well worth the watch.
Best way to see it – Scorpion/Kino Blu-Ray
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Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
One of only two movies I watched twice in the same month this year and the final movie of three featuring Warren Oates on this list. Benny is a loser, a piano player with a prostitute girlfriend living in Mexico when a pair of well-dressed thugs asks him the whereabouts of a local named Alfredo Garcia. There is a 10,000 dollar reward for the man, alive or dead. This is the set up, what follows is an unrelenting, violent, nihilistic story about a man trying to provide in a significant way for him and his girl. A perfect film for Sam Peckinpah to direct, a film featuring the fragility of masculinity, trying to make it your own way, and about justice. As Sam puts it, “we must have some form of law, so when it’s broken I have a tendency to stand up and be counted and fight.” That is exactly what Benny does, although the reason for his attempt at getting the head of Alfredo Garcia was partially monetary, it becomes something much more personal.
Best way to see it – Twilight Time or Arrow Video Blu-Ray
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The Devil’s Rain (1975)
Ernest Borgnine as a devil worshipping goat man cult leader, need I say more? I didn’t think so. The term “pure bat shit” was solely created for films like this. Inept nightmare logic at its best, “The Devil’’s Rain” doesn’t bother with plot points or a coherent story line. We need a flashback? It's okay, this character has ESP, no time to waste! Get to the melting! I want to see those wax dummies melt in “The Devil’s Rain”.
Best way to see it – Severin Blu-Ray
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New Kids (1985)
At times “New Kids” feels like an inspirational 80’s teen film, even going as far as having an exercise montage, but what it turns into is something quite different. Featuring some truly monstrous teen villains and ending in an incredibly violent showdown in a rundown amusement park, it’s a surprise people don’t bring this one up as much.
Where to see it – Spanish Blu-Ray import
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Endgame (1983)
Coming out of the big Post-Apocalyptic craze of Italian cinema, “Endgame” is something only the Italians could have managed. “Endgame” is a precursor to “The Running Man” while simultaneously being a rip-off of “Escape from New York “and “Mad Max.” Unfolding like an RPG video game, you are introduced to a ragtag team of characters, all of which have special talents to help carry out a mission into a forbidden zone. On the way, the team runs into villainous monks, mutants, and a crazed George Eastman who wants to finish the endgame he started with the hero. Nonstop action and unceremonious deaths follow. It’s better than what you would expect from the director of “Antropophagus.”
Where to see it – Amazon Streaming
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