Halloween is a time to look back, into graves and open mouths of demons, surrendering of the soul, and of the white patriarchy to the avenging rainbow warrior feminine. I too must look back, for like so many wanderers watching the credits of their lifetime movies looming like an approaching purple storm cloud on the horizon and unable to stop the car or even turn around as the yellow lines drag me relentlessly forward into their thresher consonants, I have known fear and felt that pang. I, Tiresius the groin-gashed grail junky present humble sampling of writings from Bright Lights and the earlier years of my own Acidemic that can perhaps incite you or your other to an orgy of castration and Kali-esque bloodletting!
Each title is a link to the article itself. I was kidding about the bloodletting, unless it's fake blood. For Halloween craves not to be pressed against the hot Texan window of blind justice.
An Unsawed Woman: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003 remake)
"... this is the slamming indictment of both feminism and the counterculture as reflected in the swinging free love hedonists of the 1970s. Erin is riding in a van full of dope-smoking wannabe non-conformists, but she is utterly unable to accept that in this part of Texas, right and wrong are just different ways to skin the same hippy. Even taking into consideration the amount of drugs in the car, Erin insists that they call the cops, and then insists that the sheriff do his job, drive on over, and relieve them of the responsibility of dealing with this hitchhiker's dead body. In other words, Erin is one of those free love liberals who see the cops as "pigs" until the situation gets out of hand, at which point their aid is not merely requested, but demanded. As Camille Paglia writes, "Liberalism sees law as tyrant father but demands it behaves as nurturant mother." (SP, 3, 2005)"What It Takes to Make a Softie" - Breaking Noir Tradition in The Leopard Man
"Now, in "real" space and time the leopard wouldn't have let her get so far from the trestle. Thus, the locked door of the mother is presented as outside of the realms of time and space. Her oblivious mother reacts toward the screaming and pounding as if her daughter has only just left and is obviously faking it because she's too lazy to walk across the street. Plus, she somehow knows that the child is still without the cornmeal!" (2005)
"As 16-year-old driving students we're all subjected to the ominous expectant dread conjured by the health class highway safety film, which often shows 'real life' grisly auto fatalities. From this, at least in pre-internet generations, comes the original Faces of Death locus of attraction-repulsion. Some of the scenes are allegedly real shots from accidents, but most are faked (and we've no way of knowing which is which), but-- as a way of scaring young viewers into sober vigilance--it becomes sacred. With Death Proof, Tarantino seems to recognize that this gory educational interlude is in fact a cinematic rite of passage. Once we survive the trauma of this public education-sanctioned gorefest, we're ready to move into symbolic adulthood--like the second carload of girl friends-out of the college-like stoner flirt world of the Texas Chili Parlor and into the real working world of film crews, i.e. the people behind the illusion. " (BL, 2008)
The devil on the other hand, is the lawyer working to keep you out of the prison of staleness that results naturally from one's fear of change; the devil offers a way that egoic indulgence can prosper. Depressed from being inside all day watching old movies? Don't go outside and get some air, son! No need for that. Here, nip some bourbon from your dad's liquor cabinet! Now you can watch more TV with your stale headache gone, long gone.
Note that for the Catholics in the film, any contact with the feminine is risky and traumatic: Karras abandons his own mother, leaving her to rot in Bellevue for the vague reason that he's "busy" (chilling in the dorms with his male buddies). And right there is the battle for good and evil boiled down to the basics: the banal made uncanny through proximity: the fear of going into your daughter's room to tuck her in at night-- with all the shady incestuous priestly pedophile implications that tug hither and yon--cranked to eleven. The biological father of Regan has left mom, and cannot even call his own daughter on her birthday, probably for fear of getting the peevish voice of mother. He doesn't want to face his wife just as Karras is loath to face his own mother and gradually that extends to Regan herself since his guilt over missing her birthday causes him to miss the next one too. Thus Regan's possession is a flinging open the doors to the dark animus of the anal command to enjoy, a lack created, in effect, by the father's fear of his own castration (or rather afraid of being forced to check under his elastic band of protection and realize that his phallus is already long gone). (Acidemic #7, 2008)
An Argento Family Reunion Special: Crying over Mother of TearsThe erotic charge of setting a romance in a past era lies with the straitjacket moral code: the only way a woman can keep her honor is by resisting both the man and her own desire. She indirectly invites the overpowering on herself as a means of sidestepping issues of her feminine integrity and honor, and the uncertainty of responsibility over one's actions. This is not weakness on her part, but an intrinsic understanding of what's truly erotic about societal loopholes; she has the strength to surrender and go limp... (2010)
"Exhibitionism, which must run deep in all artistically successful families, becomes its own obsessive double in the Argento world, especially once dad directs both mom, Daria Niccoldi, and daughter, Asia, together as he does here (and also did in the traumatizingly strange Stendahl Syndrome). The end of this film, which is basically watching gallons upon gallons of yucky ooze get poured onto Asia as she climbs to freedom, is something that, taken at an incestuous Elektra-complex meta-textual level, would be at home in Eraserhead." (2008)Naomi Watts: Cinema's Post-Modern Mother of Mirrors
...the impossibility of any sort of sexual interaction between Watts and her giant ape "son/lover/father" is an interesting mirror to our own position as viewers of the film who harbor an objective longing to "possess" Watts in whatever way we might possess an image. Our eternal misfortune as viewers stranded in an audience is that we're "wrong-sized" and "wrong-dimensioned" for the onscreen diegesis. If we were able to jump inside the movie of King Kong we would be as clumsy and destructive as Kong himself, crashing around the New York City sets, not knowing proper 1930s etiquette — bumping into the blue screen and knocking over the gaffer's coffee. Much as we desire Naomi, we can only try and protect her much as Kong does, and once the airplanes get him, so too do the house lights and ushers come to kick us out of the theater.BIRTH: Kidman out-Kubrick's herself with an even shorter leading man...
With her hair cut Rosemary's Baby short, her legs spindly thin, it's as if she's Rosemary the Sequel, with that film's Satanic promises of wealth fulfilled, and she still trapped in the mundane patriarchal conspiracy of conception and birth. Sean represents more than a reincarnated little bastard-- he's her inner child reduced to a zombie. He's the ghost of her true nature, and she hardly recognizes him at first, but when she finally does it makes her giddy. (Acidemic 2004)Great Acid movies: MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
Consider the Satanic initiation of Hazel Court in the film: desperate to regain Prospero's favor after the arrival of lovely Jane Asher, Court undergoes a solo ceremony where she is "stabbed" by a series of shamanic figures from throughout the ages: there's an Egyptian, Japanese, Russian, all waving their scythes and knives over her prostrate immobile heaving buxom figure and distorted through sheet metal reflection and green tinting. With it's thumping Les Baxter score (which John Williams ripped off for JAWS), this scene should be familiar to anyone whose ever dropped hardcore psychedelics (or had a really bad fever) and had to undergo similar life/death blurring at the hands of "the threshold dwellers." (Acidemic, 2009)
Acid's Greatest Horror #1 - ANTICHRIST (2010)
May I venture to take a page from the book of Camille Paglia and suggest that if someone is afraid to look head on into the wild devouring Dionysian oceanic dissolution represented by pure unleashed feminine sexual drive, then it is they who are the misogynists, not Von Trier, and not Sam Peckinpah or Roman Polanski or Hitchcock or D.W. Griffith--directors who at least have the cajones to wade into the murky swamp of the chthonic? At least their films are more fearless and honest than the films of the countless directors who rather than wade at all, just scoop out a handful of muck from off the bank and then parade it around on a stick back in safe old dry land, or they just hide it in tight spandex and shoot it out of a wet t-shirt canon, then wait to film it after the threat has been "subdued", i.e. objectified, crashed, burned at the stake, and/or mangled. Is there a difference between silicone and sawdust when it comes to Norman's mommy's smothering breasts? Ding dong the witch is dead and she got a nose job! But when the witch melts back into water it's no more a death than the Medusa losing a snake of her hair. Norman knows this all too well; he must kill and display his trophies over and over again; the hair keeps growing long after the body has withered to bone and parchment skin. Death not ends it, only castration... Ancient, old Teiresius with his bitch-tits, wandering off into the Led Zeppelin wasteland night.." (Acidemic, 2009)A Moon, Cat Women, and Thou...
"I like that there's no exterior footage in CAT WOMEN, no daytime shots, mismatched day-for-night driving scenes, no sense of grass or natural light. On the dark side of the moon life is one long semi-sleep in a cavernous beatnik jazz club. It's soothing to my Swedish blood to imagine a world where the sun never comes up and the planet is populated only by cat girls who, for all their guile, are so much more sympathetic than the clods of astronaut turf-clawers like the gullible, brain-dead Sonny Tufts or the suspicious, reptilian Victor Jory who never doubts his own moral rightness as he punches out women right and left (he'd be a great candidate for Summers' Isle)--or the nakedly greedy and self-serving Walt (Douglas Fowley), and the blank-as-candy Doug (William Phillips), who somehow earns the love of Lambda, ah sweet Lambda (Susan Morrow)."
There it is -- Kali, aloft!!! Ride, hippy! Ride! Happy Halloween!!