Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Black Pit of Dr. M

Ah, off to CCS for day one of the new semester!

I'll try to post later this week -- for now, let me steer you to my current fave DVD new releases you likely didn't know existed, the
  • CasaNegra Entertainment Mexican horror classics series.
  • As a long-time devotee of these gems, previously relegated to late-night TV obscurity (in my teen years) and public-domain vhs and DVD limbo (save for Mike Vraney and Something Weird Video's brief stab at legally releasing 'em), I'm loving everything CasaNegra has thus far released.

    I've already viewed their debut offerings, Curse of the Crying Woman and The Witch's Mirror, which were revelations. This past week, I savored the one-two punch of The Black Pit of Dr. M -- previously seen only during my junior high school years in its dubbed format on a fuzzy, commercial-riddled late-night TV broadcast -- and (at last!) the crispest, loveliest print ever seen of The Brainiac, and in its original Mexican language (English subtitled, natch).

    Black Pit of Dr. M was a real treat, touching on greatness at times while evoking a genuinely uncanny atmosphere amid the ghostly visitations and now-expected Grand Guignol flourishes (a rampaging madwomen on the loose, acid-in-the-face deformation, malingering knives foreshadowing inevitable bloody stabbings, hanging, resurrection from the grave, torched madmen, etc.). At one point, the delirium approaches deliciously Jungian waters, with a heroine haunted by escalating encounters and intimacy with a man previously seen only in her dreams (as if she didn't have enough else haunting her in this opus), and a line of dialogue evocative of (no shit) Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon, linking "a key, a knife and a woman" as the iconic centerpieces of this gem -- and indeed, they are.

    But, hey, there's also the acid-scarred killer (who is eventually resurrected from the grave as a host for the displaced soul of an executed man) to cheer for, culminating in a pretty spectacular fiery finale (including a stunt more vivid than any I'd seen in any previous horror film of this vintage, anticipating the kind of fiery boogeyman-deaths characteristic of '80s slasher pix). I loved every ravishing, maddening second of it, and am aching for more.

    Amigo Tim Lucas has much more to say about Dr. M
  • on his August 28th Video Watchblog, so check it out.

  • Of course, I don't want to short-shrift The Brainiac, but there just isn't time this morning to rhapsodize as I must, as I will, about this most delirious of all MexiMonster epics. More later, but don't drag your feet -- get your mitts on these pix while you can! These films have a long history of surfacing and just as quickly disappearing, and no one has done them justice the way CasaNegra has.

    The Black Pit of President B

    Hey, thanks for the "non-political speech," President Bush. It was a real peach. 17 minutes of K-Tel retreads of your greatest hits.

    Our Prez Speaks: It's how long?

    You didn't talk about 9/11, really. You hardly mentioned Afghanistan or Osama Bin Laden -- oh, wait, you didn't mention them.

    Truth to tell, it's awfully hard to put an ounce of credibility into your claims that you'll "protect us," with New Orleans and much of Katrina's wake in four states still looking like it did last year at this time, with New Orleans still starving for electricity, water and medical aid (like, uh, Iraq), and Ground Zero still a hole in the ground. Your protection and rebuilding efforts speak for themselves.

    And as for the 21st Century Domino Theory you're huckstering, sorry, but it didn't wash in the '60s and '70s, and all you've done by taking the war to Baghdad is breed tens of thousands of new extremists who hate America. "Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone," you said last night. "They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad." You jeopardized the safety of America the second you declared war on a nation that was no threat to us, and what happens daily on the streets of Baghdad is a greater threat to us than anything that existed on the streets of Baghdad before you and yours began the "shock and awe" campaign of terror.

    You're still selling your goddamned war. You willfully fomented the Iraq War out of nothing -- well, nothing you'll 'fess up to, really.

    We've heard all your reasons, over and over and over again, and your no-choice options (stay or run). We heard all your justifications, including fantasies of "mushroom clouds," and still nothing holds water. IEDs and suicide bombers are the weapons of mass destruction we face; you arrogantly refuted "swatting at flies," and still the "flies" come daily. You've killed 10-times-over the number of Iraqi citizens -- innocent lives -- above and beyond the body count of innocent Americans killed on 9/11, and almost matched the 9/11 and US military body count (not counting, of course, the tens of thousands maimed, wounded and traumatized, or the contractor deaths; the uncounted blood toll of this war).

    You said, "We are in a war that will set the course for this new century and determine the destiny of millions across the world."

    9/11 did not start this war, however often you link the two.

    You started this war.

    What was it, really?

    Was it a pre-defined US/Middle East agenda of Messiahnic conquest, imagined & projected fears, hatred for a personal enemy-at-large who was previously an ally, to avenge Saddam's assassination attempt on your Mom and Pop?

    Maybe you'll share that one day with us.

    That would be nice to hear.

  • Instead of more of this.