A Day Without A Mexican

This is a 2004 mockumentary about what happens when all Mexicans suddenly disappear from California.

It is quite low budget, and on the whole quite tedious as it constantly reminds us just how important the Mexican community is to California. There are one or two slightly amusing jokes, but I was just waiting for the whole thing to finish.

It is a pity this was not made after the Orange One was elected president last year, the writers could have had a field day.

I can’t think of much else to say really, except to give it a miss.

Date watched: February 24th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2018: 18

I Spit on Your Grave

Searching on Netflix for a horror I came across this, and chose it merely because of the title, it sounded nasty.

Nasty is a good word for this film actually, as the original 1978 film was branded a video nasty, and this 2010 remake sounds as though it was equally as bad.

The story is about a young woman from Manhattan who rents a cabin in the woods and sets about writing a book, staying there alone of course. She is raped by four local men, and then sets about getting nasty revenge on each of them, killing them in quite horrific ways. The rape scene was quite hard to watch, the actress was very brave to do it, and I imagine it was almost as difficult for the male actors. It went on for way too long (as it did in the original), and it just went a bit too far I thought. The subsequent torture and killings of the men was also pretty horrific stuff, equally as hard to watch.

So I can’t recommend watching this, it is just pure torture and killing with no real justification for any of it. Basically, it is one of those “you hurt me (or someone I know)… I kill you” storylines, like Taken or John Wick. I will say though that the acting and cinematography were both very good.

There have been two sequels since.

Date watched: November 24th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2017: 133

Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution

For my next film on Mubi I chose this 2011 drama from the Philippines.

I found on the interwebs that this was first going to be a one minute short dedicated to two film critics who were murdered in the Philippines. What it became though was a one minute short stretched out to 80 minutes. It was kind of dull.

The opening scene which lasted 12 minutes was of a prostitute on a city street just waiting. There was no dialogue and the camera was fixed in one position for most of it. The rest of the film was similar, just a shot of something mundane happening, little dialogue, and background sounds (on two occasions they seemed to forget to turn the microphone on). It was filmed quite nicely though in black and white.

The story was about a time traveller from the late 19th century during the fight for independence from Spain, and is checking out modern day Manila and looking rather depressed about what she see’s (it was not explained at all that the woman was a time traveller, I read that somewhere beforehand). There was also the story about the prostitute, three criminals, and a musician playing guitar, and supposedly all three stories were intertwined. The film was split into three parts, and seemed not to be in chronological order. Maybe the director watched Pulp Fiction the night before.

I guess serious art house critics would say this is a brilliant film and use big words such as isolationism, gasconading, and sesquipedalian in their reviews. I would just say this is kinda boring, but it has some nice shots, and gave me plenty of time to ponder how I was going to write this review.

Date watched: February 9th
Score: 2/10
Film count 2017: 32


The Strange Hostel of Naked Pleasures

I felt like something different, so chose this from my “Watch later” list on YouTube.

This is a 1976 Brazilian horror film that is not really horror, but just plain bizarre mostly.

The story involves a hostel that a mysterious guy in a bowler hat (played by the director) runs, and he seems to have some kind of power over his guests. During a stormy night he allows some guests to stay at his hostel, while turning others away for no apparent reason. Actually, I will copy the description from Wikipedia, it does a better job of explaining the plot;

The film opens with a surreal sequence of dancing women, monkey-like figures fearing lightning, and native Brazilian drummers. An old man begins chanting over a closed coffin. The coffin opens and a man rises. He appears with a top hat, cape, and long fingernails.

In an isolated inn called “Hospedaria dos Prazeres” (Hostel of Pleasures), the mysterious proprietor advertises for employees to serve his guests while they stay the night of a tempestuous storm. As the storm gathers and night falls, various people begin to show up. The proprietor (Marins) allows some to stay while informing others that there are no vacancies, to their obvious displeasure because of the severity of the storm. A wealthy patron who is turned away vows to get the police. The guest book is already filled with the names of the permitted guests before they arrive; they include a group of drunken and promiscuous bohemian motorcyclists, an adulterous couple, a suicidal man, an amorous couple, a group of thieves who just finished a robbery, and some gambling businessmen preparing a deal to bankrupt a competitor. The number of guests is twelve.

As the night passes, the guests continue with their assorted activities. In the early morning, they all notice that their watches all display midnight and wonder how time has stopped. When they question the proprietor, they are all presented with gruesome scenes of their dead bodies, revealing that their deaths occurred prior to midnight in the storm. The motorcyclists are shown as dead and mutilated victims of a massive drunk-driving accident. The thieves are shown shot dead by police after the robbery. The corrupt businessmen are charred victims of arson. The proprietor informs them that the clocks all turning to midnight was part of their eternal torment, as the absence of time is one of the key aspects of their punishment. The proprietor then warns the guest not to anger him, as it would unleash his dark side (the Coffin Joe-esque figure scene at the start of the film).

The scene switches to daytime, and the wealthy man returns to the site of the hostel with the police. Rather than the hostel, there is a cemetery with a funeral in progress. Laughing off the incident as confusion, the man and police leave. The coffin is the same from which the hostel proprietor rises at the beginning of the film. The movie itself ends with the proprietor walking in the graveyard. He ultimately turns to the camera as the image shifts quickly to a skull wearing the same hat as the proprietor. As blood flows from the empty eye sockets, the film ends.

Crudely made stuff here, with random sounds thrown in, random images, and random acting. Some scenes were just repeated over and over, and a lot of it didn’t make any sense at all. It didn’t help that I was getting sleepy while watching it. One or two beers may have helped.

Not worth watching really, just watch anything David Lynch instead.

Date watched: December 22nd
Score: 2/10
Film count 2016: 199