Thursday, July 24, 2014

Used Cars (1980)

There are funny movies. And there is Used Cars.

Watching a comedy is always a big risk, as so few of the films advertised as laugh-riots are able to even induce a glimmer of giggles, and I have gotten so used to being disappointed, that I only really hope for a comedy having at least a couple of jokes that will make me laugh.

But nothing had prepared me for the all out laughaton that Used Cars delivered, with one golden line of comedy slapping the tail of the next one, in a two hour stream of hilariousness.

Strangely, this film was never a big hit, apparently being drowned out by the success of Caddyshack and Blues Brothers, which came out the same summer. Thus largely unknown, Used Cars is rarely found on anyone's list of top comedies, which makes it the perfect surprise all movie buffs dream of stumbling upon.

As I believe the best way to watch any movie is to know as little as possible about the plot beforehand, I will not reveal anything other than what is obvious in the title and poster. The fact that it was written and directed by the legendary Robert Zemeckis, should be enough of quality assurance on its own, but if not, then let me tell you that Used Cars is like the American equivalent to Monty Python at their very best.

DOWNLOAD (torrent)
NOTE: This release also includes an alternate commentary track with director Robert Zemeckis, writer Bob Gale and lead actor Kurt Russell. It's almost as funny as the movie itself, and should not be missed.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

At Close Range (1986)

It's difficult to explain why I love this movie. The true story of an up-to-no-good kid who will stop at nothing to win the respect of his devilishly brutal father, is certainly not a happy one, and by all means the film should probably make for an uncomfortable viewing experience. And yet... the melancholy lure of its sombre atmosphere, coupled with outstanding performances from Christopher Walken and Sean Penn, turns it into one of the most hauntingly beautiful crime films ever made.

DOWNLOAD (torrent)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pumpkinhead (1988)

Monster movies were a dime a dozen in the 80s, most of them utterly forgettable. However, every once in a while, there came a low budget monster flick that was far better than it had any right to be, especially considering it had a silly name like "Pumpkinhead". Instead of being the tongue in cheek comedy that the title would have you believe, the film surprises with delivering a straight up eery, atmospheric horror story.

Of course, featuring the legendary Lance Henriksen doesn't hurt, and considering the monster is yet another tall creature with a long skull and tail, it's hard not to draw parallels to Ridley Scott's Alien. However the story in Pumpkinhead is something more akin to Pet Sematary, with a nice twist of Swamp Thing.

A suprise hit in it's day, it's not without reason that the film spawned three sequels, though I must admit I have yet to see any of them, as I'm rather skeptical toward sequels. But please let me know in the comments below, if I'm missing out.

DOWNLOAD (torrent)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dancer in the Fark (sic!)

When I recently had to re-watch Dancer in the Dark as part of a seminar, I couldn’t bare to sit through it till the end. In my whole life of obsessive movie watching, I can count on less than ten fingers how many times I've stopped watching a movie before the credits, and usually I even make sure to check if there might not be an extra snippet after the names have rolled across the screen, but this time I just couldn't do it, and would rather claw out my own eyes than sit through even half the horrible movie.

I left the cinema, outraged at the blatant insult von Trier made to his audience, and even more furious that he thought he could actually get away with it. Wanting to find like-minded and read more about how terribly bad the film was, I checked the IMDB forums, as I always do after watching any film. What I found was a nothing but blind devotees, who failed to see that the film was von Trier telling them to Fuck off! Why? Let me tell you.

Common, let's cry again, like we did last summer...

In his career, Lars von Trier has basically made the same film over and over. There are some exceptions, sure, but Breaking the Waves, The Idiots, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Manderlay, Antichrist and Melancholia, all basically revolve around a woman in peril, who shows her strength through tremendous sacrifice.

There's nothing wrong with making variations on the same theme. In fact, I would argue that this is what has enabled von Trier to find his niche in experimentation. The man has given us some amazing adventures in filmmaking, and can proudly boast to have "pushed the boundaries yet again" on countless occasions.

You can leave your plot on

Instead of experimenting with technology and colossal budgets, von Trier has been the prophet of minimalism, constantly stripping away layers, and restraining himself. The Idiots might be the most famous example, where he went full-on hardcore low-fi, and created a masterpiece that was both hilarious and touching, without the comforts of make-up, tripods, camera filters, props or even a soundtrack. That he was one of the founding fathers of the Dogme '95 manifesto, a simple set of rules that created a whole genre and spawned more than 250 films, speaks for itself.

He took a both similar and different approach in Dogville, when he removed all film sets. While this might have been an attempt to join theater and cinema in holy matrimony, it also made the ingenious point of illustrating a town where everybody can see what happens behind residential walls, yet they all choose to look the other way.

In The Five Obstructions he wandered down yet more untrodden paths. We see him taking great pleasure in forcing his teacher to think inside ever smaller boxes, and force creativity from ever more constricted chains.

Always the one to find new ways of stripping away new layers of what is considered "professional" and "proper" filmmaking, I picture him jumping from foot to foot in anticipation, wondering: "Will the audience still buy it, if I take away THIS?"

He understands the effectiveness of his simple methods, and seems to be on a mission to see how many superficial elements he can eliminate, and still have people falling for his tricks. He’s not even trying to hide it, and uses his obstructions as tools and the very fabric of his movies.

King Trier

Although some of his films are astounding achievements in movie making, no one is more aware of this than von Trier himself. His name is actually not Lars von Trier by the way, but simply Lars Trier. The von was a nickname given to him by his filmschool mates as a joke, on account of him having so high thoughts about himself. I guess he didn't get the joke, because he thought this to be an honor, and promptly went on calling himself just that, apparently feeling himself worthy of a royal title. More proof of his megalomaniac antics can be seen in the infamous Antichrist interview at Cannes 2010, where he solemnly proclaimed to be the greatest director in the world, without a hint of irony.

But who am I to say otherwise? Although some have claimed that his controversial media persona and effective use of his bad-boy-filmmaker status in interviews, is nothing but a clever campaign to provoke headlines more valuable than millions of dollars in advertising; I personally am a big fan of his films.

So what's so bad about Dancer then?

Well, in short: he took away too much. In Dancer in the Dark, von Trier used normal sets, and had both a tripod and added a soundtrack, but he took away something else: Character depth, clever dialogue, an intelligent plot, and actual acting.

Ripping away these essential fundaments of all storytelling, he built his film instead on banality and meta-sarcasm: With an ensemble of strictly one-dimensional characters, spewing out intentionally on-the-nose dialogue, without the slightest emotion, and a script consisting of nothing but predictable cliches.
I picture von Trier sitting in his chair laughing at an audience that still buys his cheap production: "Can't they see it's nothing but a badly shot, terribly lit melodrama without make-up? Don't they realize it's about as enticing as a low budget soap opera, helmed by Bjørk’s music?"
Some have argued that von Trier's intention was to mock the musical genre, hence the much quoted "In a musical nothing dreadful ever happens"-line, a rule he sets out to break with great gusto. But if so, it is done with the utmost contempt for both the genre and its audience.

It reminds me of the story of infamous musician Aphex Twin, who once brought an electric saw to a live gig, and started chipping away at the record player while the screeching sound blasted out across the speakers. It produced a horrible noise that was nothing less than cringe-worthy. But the audience devoured every shrill shriek, and dubbed the man a god for the sheer galls in daring to go through with it. When asked about it later, Aphex Twin called his fans "bloody wankers".

So, now what?

As any adult who once had a crazy hairstyle in their teens will tell you, breaking the rules is a young man's game. von Trier's whole venture into minimalism seemed to come to a full stop with Antichrist, where he went in the total opposite direction and made a pure eye-candy film. He took it even further in Melancholia, which featured elaborate CGI-scenes and even more excessively manicured cinematography. Nymphomaniac basically amounts to a long exorcize in masturbation, both literary, and as a metaphor for von Trier's showboating brand of filmmaking, where he uses exploitation as a marketing tool. It would seem the adult von Trier feels he has stripped away enough layers, and is now trying to find his way back home to a more commercial audience, paved with conformance, compliance and the most marketable concept ever imagined: pure sex.

While my initial thought were that this was because of monetary issues, as narrow experimentation might certainly gains much appraisal but rarely rakes in at the box office, this seemed like too simple an explanation.

So, could it actually be that his highness has run out of ways to limit himself?

While I'd be sad to see the interesting, challenging and provocative von Trier go (my favorite of his will always be Riget), still if this means he's through taunting his audience with shameless insults, I'm very excited to see what he will produce when he decides to get serious about movie making once again.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Feral (2012)

So the Oscars came and went, ans as always the most interesting films, were the ones given the least attention. I'm talking of course about the short movies, which not only packs a tighter entertainment punch than their feature brethren, but also gives a very interesting peak into the future, as the most promising up-and-coming filmmakers are spring-boarded into a Hollywood career. No filmmaker starts doing features, and 99.9% of all the directors and actors and DOPs and editors you idolize today, started out doings short movies.

Now even though this year's collection of shorts was very weak compared to previous Oscars, there was one exception. I'm not talking about the terrible Helium which was crowned best live action short, nor the cute Mr. Hublot which won the animated short category

My favorite of all the shorts in the 2014 Oscars, was without a doubt Feral. You can see the whole thing on vimeo, and even though it costs a dollar, I promise it's worth it.

The style is quite similar, and could almost be a deleted scene from what I consider to be one of the best animated features in the last 30 years, namely Fear(s) of the Dark.

WATCH ONLINE (costs 1 dollar)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mad Max Trillogy Infographic

Mad Max 4 is without a doubt the film I'm most anxious to see in 2014, and therefore I was thrilled when I received an e-mail from Tuppence Magazine, with the following infographic attatched. I don't know about you, but this puts a warm smile on my face.

Mad Max infographic

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mysterious Two updated from VHS-rip to DVD-Rip

I was thrilled to discover that the astoundingly awesome and under-appreciated Mysterious Two was released on dvd some time ago. Naturally I had to buy it, and although the quality is not quite the crisp level I was hoping for, it is still better than the old vhs rip I made.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Costa Botes retaliation

Hello film fans

I've been getting a bunch of mail asking me why the site was unavailable for a while. What happened was that I got contacted by Costa Botes, the co-director behind the movie Forgotten Silver, asking me to remove his movie from the site. While I originally took the movie down, the man continued to harass me, putting down all film fans and filmmakers alike, coming with ever more outrageous statements like calling the director of TPB:AFK a “shitty little lying sack of shit” and wanting to shut down the whole bitcoin currency because he thought it might somehow stop piracy. It got to the point where he became outright psychopathic, and he finally put our whole conversation online on his site here, obviously proud of his hatred. Then he even got a friend to come to my site to harass me too (though it was probably just him posting as an anonymous). Anyway, I decided it might be good to put this site on pause for a while.

This long and sad story has a silver lining though, because the last thing I did before putting my site on pause, was to encourage everyone to share his films as much as possible. And what do you know, someone has done just that, and collected all of his films in a neat package.

To help fight this maniac director, and take a stand against like-minded copyright extremists, all you have to do is download and share this package. And you'll actually be rewarded handsomely for it too, because including the aforementioned Forgotten Silver, you'll also get three behind the scenes documentaries to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A big thank you to the person who made this available, and all the support from you film fans out there.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Game (2013)

This is a first for this blog. Instead of the usual download link, I will post an embedded stream so that you can watch the movie directly. The feedback I get from you, the reader of this fine blog, will determine if this is something I will continue with in the future, or if I should stick to the old ways of merely posting download links, so please leave a comment bellow.

Whatever the outcome will be, I highly recommend you take the time to check out this brilliant short, as it is the most ingenious little film I have seen since Spider.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Red Rock West (1993)

Neo-western is an elusive genre. Many have tried to modernize the ruggedness of men with rifles riding into prairie sunsets, but few have achieved the sexy noir-like charm of Red Rock West.

Starring Nicholas Cage from the time when he still had some integrity, Dennis Hopper while he was at his most insane and outrageous, and the dreamy Lara Flynn Boyle as the alluring femme fatale.

Tubleweed scatter in fear, as a lonesome road bring their journeys to a crash course in a one-horse town not big enough for the three of them, and the only thing sure to survive, is the catchy soundtrack.

DOWNLOAD (torrent)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Le samouraï (1967)

Being cool, for dummies:

1. A cool man doesn't need to say he's cool.
2. He don't have to speak at all.
3. Whether it's about love or murder; he never admits a thing.
4. But always makes sure his hat sits properly on his head.
5. He buys newspapers to look inconspicuous.
6. Changes subway trains at the last moment, to lose possible tails.
7. Makes sure to be seen at certain places, to secure alibis.
8. He remembers that charm can be a powerful weapon.
9. But never trusts a woman.
10. Last, but not least, he makes sure to see this film, or risks being double-crossed.

DOWNLOAD (torrent)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Free IndieFlix subscriptions

Quality Cult Cinema has been approached by companies who would like to advertise here before, and I've always politely declined. However, when I was recently contacted by a new streaming service that specialize in showing independent movies that would otherwise be lost on the hard-drives of innumerable talented filmmakers from all over the world, I jumped to the occasion.

IndieFlix is a community of independent filmmakers and fans. It helps filmmakers translate artistic vision into commercial success, and gives film lovers access to high quality independent films not otherwise available. IndieFlix’s mission is to champion filmmakers, rethink traditional approaches to distribution, and celebrate the artistry and impact of independent film. Through it is a membership-based streaming service, they will not require anyone to enter their credit card number or otherwise obligate themselves to continue after their free trial period is up.

Now, with HBO, Netflix and several others out there fighting for your hard earned dollars, why would you be interested in yet another streaming service for movies? Well, Indieflix is different because it:
  • Enables you to watch thousands of independently made films.
  • Sort on many categories including genre, length, most-viewed, film festival, country or mood.
  • See stars (like Rebel Wilson) before she was famous
  • Watch on any device
  • Choose films that match your mood, or the time you have available to watch (some movies are as short at 5 minutes-perfect for standing in a line)
  • Indieflix has a unique Royalty payment system called RPM Royalty Pool Minutes (TM) to share the money made through subscriptions with the filmmakers themselves. Every minute you watch could help fund the next Steven Spielberg.
In other words: Just what the film industry needs!

The people at IndieFlix have been nice enough to donate a bunch of two-month subscriptions to the readers of Quality Cult Cinema. To get your very own subscription, all you have to do is find a film here on Quality Cult Cinema that no one has commented on before, and make a comment telling me what you think about it. Also post your e-mail (or send a private e-mail to contact[at]cultcinema[dot]net telling me which movie you commented on) so that I can give you the subscription info privatly. That's it!

The subscriptions will be limited to one subscription per reader, and handed out on a first come, first served basis.

I'm obligated to say I'm also getting a free subscription for myself, as compensation for making this post, but to be honest, this is such a great service that I would gladly have advertised for free.