Saturday, June 16, 2018

Double Review - "Disobedience" / "Vampire Clay"

One's a movie about Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz playing lesbians that hock loogies in each other's mouth for sexual gratification and the other's about demonically-possessed Play-Doh eating art students in rural Japan ... don't ever say we don't give you variety, folks.

By: Jimbo X

I'm not the first person to say this, but a good goddamn, is going to the movies EXPENSIVE these days.

You wonder why Hollywood revenue keeps dropping? Maybe it has something to do with the fact it takes $80 fuckin' dollars to go see a flick at the multiplex nowadays. Seriously, I took my woman to go see the newest Avengers movie and those fuckers charged us $50 dollars ... no shit, $50 U.S. dollars ... for a pair of movie tickets. And this wasn't even that big-ass, 3D, surround-sound, IMAX shit either, it was a regular two-dimensional screening on a normal-sized projector, with a tinny-ass audio system that kept making that weird scrubbing sound every two-to-three minutes. Then they had the audacity to charge us ANOTHER $20 for a large bucket of popcorn and some Snow Caps, and and additional $10 for two SMALL sodas with no refill privileges.

Granted, I've come to expect inflation with everything in this, post-Obama's America, but good lord, how did going to the movies become THIS expensive over the course of just five years? And furthermore, just how in the hell does Hollywood expect regular Americans to be able to afford to go to the movies more than a handful a' times a year if its going to cost $80 smackers a visit?

You see, Hollywood's just about thrown in the towel. They know the only thing people are going to spend money on is Disney-shit, superhero movies and the occasional "sociopolitically-charged" genre movie that finds a new-ish way to blame whitey for everything. You might get a little return on investment with shitty horror movies around Halloween and crappy biopics and family features around Christmas, but that's still not enough to cover their losses from the latest $80 million dollar box office turd starring Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy and whichever unfunny bitch El Lay has convinced itself honest, decent, hard-workin' people of the soil are willing to spend money on even though their entire shtick revolves around mocking Middle America's most cherished values and ideals.

It's not even cool to go the movies anymore. For that matter, people don't even talk about movies themselves that much anymore. It's all about Netflix and HBO and whatever bullshit they're binge-watching that week. Kids today already see movie theaters as passe, and we're probably only 20 years — if that long — away from cinemas having about as much economic import as video stores. This is Hollywood's last, desperate cash grab before getting completely replaced by the vastly superior, subscription-based, internet-driven movie-watching model. As a matter of fact, as soon as this capeshit/Star Wars bull crap falls out of fashion, the American movie industry is kaput. Outside of sperging out with a bunch of fanboy NEETS on opening night so you can look at Rocket Raccoon's ballsack on a 30-foot screen, there's practically no social utility for the modern movie theater. Why spend $80 for one night out when you can just spend $15 a month and get a literally unlimited amount of cinematic entertainment across ALL of your multimedia devices, wherever you are in the world? 

The writing isn't just on the wall, it's practically welded onto it with big, blinking neon letters. At no point in consumer history have Americans EVER chosen a more expensive, less mobile option over a less expensive, more mobile one. Never, ever, in history. The boombox got supplanted by the iPod, the CRT monitor got supplanted by the plasma screen tablet and the fact your city probably has 78 McDonald's and zero sit-down, family-style diners tells you everything you need to know about the American consumer's need (not want) for high-speed, low-cost delivery models. 

Hell, at this point CHINA's communist, godless movie industry will probably start raking in more moolah than Hollywood by 2022, 2023 at the absolute latest. The common folk don't have the time, nor the patience, nor the desire to shell out $100 for two and a half hours of "entertainment" and oil-slicked popcorn no more; and the industry's awe-inspiring hubris that "event movies" like Infinity War are going to safeguard it from going the way of one-hour photo and VCR repair diplomas is just going to make its inevitable downfall all the more enjoyable to watch from afar. 

And after emptying my wallet this last go at-it, all I can do is reiterate the nearly 30-year-old verbiage of that sage prophet, Chuck D. — burn, Hollywood burn, indeed.

...and saliva fetishism. Lots of it.

Speaking of wishful thinking, here's to hoping that Disobedience inspires an entire generation of filmgoers to consider spit-kissing a mainstream activity. Yep, thanks to director Sebastian Lelio, we might just be on the verge of saliva-swapping transforming from a niche weirdo porno perversion into a bona-fide, culturally accepted display of affection, considering the marquee moment of his new flick is when lesbo lovers Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams take turns hocking loogies in one another's mouths for sexual gratification. Sure, we've seen mainstream-ish directors trudge this territory before, like in The Neon Demon, but considering THAT movie featured spit-kissing between one living actor and a cadaver, well, let's just say Disobedience has a better chance of making ooky-mouth go legit than the oeuvre of Nicholas Winding Refn. I can see it now — lovelorn couples taking turns dripping goobers down each other's esophagi in amorous embraces at the airport. Middle schoolers getting written up for coughing phlegm into one another's mouths in-between classes. Hell, instead of the traditional wedding buss, mayhap we'll start seeing spouses slobbering sputum all over each other like porn stars now, and if it ever does, we'll probably have this movie right here to thank.

The movie starts off with this rabbi talking about the differences between beasts and humans before dropping dead on the floor of the synagogue. Then we cut to Rachel Weisz (who looks like a middle age Lordes, know that I think about it) taking pictures of old dudes covered in tattoos. Then she goes to a bar and lets some random guy shag her in the bathroom, then she ice skates for a bit looking all disappointed in herself. So — not that you really needed me to tell you this — yes, this is indeed one of those pretentious, "arthouse"-type movies. Then she goes to a house party hosted by another rabbi and she drinks tea and smokes in the kitchen and she busts this one dude's balls by making fun of the woman he married and then Rachel McAdams shows up in a brown wig and dressed like a 19-year-old bible college student. Then Weisz goes downstairs and listens to some Jew-singing, then Addams lets Weiss spend the night at her place and she starts kvetching about whether or not she loved the old dead rabbi as much as everybody else did. Then she starts asking McAdams if she and her yarmulke-sporting husband are happy being married and they say "of course" so you KNOW they're having some major relationship difficulties going on. Then Weisz goes to her old rabbi's grave and we find out the dead dude is actually her father, which is a surprise to me because I didn't know rabbis were allowed to have sex with anything but 12-year-old boys.

Then McAdams resumes teaching singing classes at an all-girl school while Weiss goes out and buys some apple strudel. Then McAdams goes home and takes her wig off and shows us her buttcheeks and her tit-tays for about two seconds and then she and her husband do the nasty. Then they go to dinner and talk about feminism for a bit and how women "erase their own histories" by taking their husbands' last names  and Weisz said she wants to sell her dad's old house and all the old Jews are agog and she criticizes them for forcing her into "institutional obligation" or some other shit and apparently, all this fierce independent womanhood makes McAdams a bit moist in her panties so she just sits there staring lovingly at her throughout the rest of the dinner.

Then Weisz gets a haircut and another old Jew man yells at her for not being there when her father died. Then McAdams runs into an old friend that has like 16 kids at a grocery store and she runs into McAdams again and they decide to go back to their place and Weisz turns on the radio until she finds a station playing The Cure and then they just walk around the house for a bit talking about reading the Torah and then all of a sudden McAdams starts squeezing on Weisz's boobies and then they start kissing on the lips and McAdams starts to freak out a little and then they stop smooching and Weisz starts to leave the house but then she goes down stairs and they start making out again and yes, you probably will get a boner at this point.

They go for a walk afterwards and Weisz starts smoking and they say they've never done anything lesbian before and then McAdams starts smoking, too, and they both confess that they have fantasies about doing it with other women. Then they go into a tunnel and make out some more but some people show up so McAdams has to vamoose. Then McAdams goes home and yanks her wig off and takes a shower and you can kinda' see her breasts through the opaque glass but not really. Then her husband barges in the bathroom and you get a shot of her yamboosas, but only from the reflection in the mirror. But hey — as far as I'm concerned, that still counts.

Then McAdams goes back to school and she's giving a lecture to her students about blood sacrifices or something like that and McAdams' husband starts going through the protocols to become a rabbi himself. Then McAdams tells Weisz she just can't do the whole clam-digging thing and Weisz says she's leaving town then they go to a subway (the kind with trains, not hoagies) and wind up in a dark alleyway somewhere in London so they can snog some more. Then they get a hotel room and McAdams starts kissing on Weisz's boobies and goes down on her and they take turns fingering each other while museum elevator music plays and then we arrive at the moment of truth — the scene where they FINALLY start playing ooky-mouth with each other. And yeah, call me kinky, but watching Evelyn Carnahan from The Mummy turn Regina George's mouth into a saliva receptacle is pretty dadgum hot, if I may say so myself.

Anyhoo, they get done munching each other's fish tacos and they smoke cigarettes indoor and Weisz asks McAdams if she can take her picture and then her rabbi husband comes home and tries to get frisky with her because they always do it on a Friday (apparently, it's some sort of Hebrew thing, I think) but this time around she rebuffs his advances, goes to the bathroom sink and starts blowing chunks. Then McAdams tells her husband she kissed Weisz and then he starts shaking her and shoots her a mean look and walks out the door, all stoic-looking and stuff even though you just KNOW he be mad as hell right now.

There's some more Jew-singing (I'm sure there's a technical name for it, but I'm too lazy to look it up) and McAdams' husband just stands there looking like he swallowed a turd the whole time so he goes home and pours himself a stiff drink and by the time he, his wife and Weisz have dinner he's already three sheets to the wind and you kept expecting him to freak out, but he never does and Weisz hops in a cab and gets the heck out of (proverbial) Dodge. Then McAdams socks a toboggan over her head, hops on a bus, goes to a pharmacy, buys a whole bunch of drugs and starts praying up against her closet (get it?) like it was the Wailing Wall. Then Weisz and McAdams' husband (I think they might be siblings, you'll have to double-check Wikipedia on your own time) check out the dead rabbi's cleaned out house and he tells her he wish his wife never met her and then McAdams tells her she's pregnant and gives a speech about fearing her child will grow up in an oppressive Jewish millieu that will deprive her (of course she assumes her child is going to be female) of personal liberty and that she's leaving him and her husband, because he's the world's biggest cuck, just walks out the door like it ain't no thang. Then everybody goes to the formal wake or whatever the Jew-equivalent of a Christian wake is and they all try to avoid making eye contact and Weisz asks McAdams to come to New York with her and McAdams' husband is announced as the new rabbi and he tries to give a speech but his nerves are so jangled he can't read his notes and then he starts going on a rant about what "choice" and "freedom" really means and I think it's supposed to parallel what the dead rabbi was saying about men and women and beasts at the very beginning of the movie and of course the whole diatribe is a big "fuck you" to his wife and then he looks her dead in the eyes and screams "YOU ARE FREE!"  Then all three of them have a group hug outside and McAdams' husband tells Weisz "shalom" and he's not even mad she had an affair with his wife no more and she gets in a cab and McAdams chases after her to give her one last smooch and tells her she will make a great mother and Weisz starts crying and she visits her daddy's grave so she can take a picture of it and yep, that's how the movie ends.

We've got one dead body. Four breasts. Two exposed female buttocks. Multiple lesbian liplocks. Gratuitous Torah reading. Gratuitous kvetching. And the thing more or less responsible for this movie existing in the first place ... some serious spit-swapping fu (expect mono cases to spike coast-to-coast once this thing starts making the rounds on HBO.)

Starring Rachel Weisz as the free-spirited photog that likes to smoke indoors and take pictures of everything; Rachel McAdams as the wig-wearing closeted lesbo that feels iffy about the Jewish patriarchy; Alessandro Nivola as the cucked rabbi who's totally cool with his wife getting her tuna taco licked by another woman; and Nicholas Woodeson as the rabbi who says a bunch of stuff about man and beasts at the beginning of the move then promptly keels over.

Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (yep, another Catholic screenplay writer, obviously) and Sebastian Lelio, who also directed all this shit.

Call me crazy, but I kind of enjoyed it. It's not a great movie by any stretch, but the acting is pretty good and there's a lot of good atmosphere building up to the grand finale where the rabbi-in-training finally confronts his philandering spouse about all of that snatch-diving she's been doing on the down-low ... although the ending, obviously, is the text-book definition of anticlimactic. I give it a decent two and a half tofu dogs out of four. Jimbo says check it out, but wait until it starts playing on Showtime so you can whack your weasel to it.

Actually, that's one of the better special effects in the movie.

Speaking of shameless, disgusting things, that brings us to our second feature of the week, the new Japaheeno horror-comedy Vampire Clay, which might just be the first zombie movie ever made about the standards being too darned high in Tokyo's art academies.

The movie starts off with this middle-aged hag unearthing a bag of modeling clay in her backyard, and since this is a horror movie, of course it ain't no regular kind of modeling clay ... but we'll get back to that in just a minute. First, we've got to meet all the students at this one countryside art college, which I'm pretty sure is the Japanese equivalent of going to DeVry. Then the new girl in school unties the bag of mystery clay  and starts making facsimiles of starfruit with it and then she thinks she sees it breathing when she spritzes it with water and then their teacher comes in and tells them to not be so goddamned conventional with their designs, which considering they are Japanese, after all, is kinda' like trying to teach a fish to ride a unicycle.

So the students (like Suspiria, they're all predominantly female) get kind of subversively catty with each other and then the clay grows penis-like tendrils and starts stealing their razor blades. Then one of the girls pokes herself on a discarded razor and bleeds all over a ceramic ashtray in the making and this old one dude shows up and just stares at the bike rack and he sees somebody dug a hole in the backyard and he has flashbacks of a giant hot dog monster eating everybody and then he starts running to the hills like a madman. Then the clay escapes at night and starts lurching around the place looking like a sentient dog turd and eating all the school's pet gerbils. 

Then the students kvetch about not being good enough to get into a real art school and their teacher has flashbacks to her husband cheating on her and then — conveniently enough — an earthquake strikes. Then they bicker and argue over the role of "individuality" in modern art some more and then this one girl sneaks into the art room after hours and one of the clay sculptures comes alive and starts eating her hand. Then it barfs out the gerbil it ate later and it sprouts tendrils and jumps in her mouth and she has to poke the possessed clay head with a fork but when she goes to text for help her OWN fingers turn into taffy and next thing you know her hands are melding together into a big old wad of intestinal bubble gum and then one of her arms falls off and then the other arm turns into a Play-Doh whale and eats her entire upper torso.

Then the girl everybody thought got ate by Play-Doh shows up out of the woods and she razor blades another student while she's grabbing a smoke so she can eat her blood, then her face falls off and she starts shoving her big cancer-squid clay hands inside her gizzards. Then she shows up a couple of minutes later looking all normal and stuff, but right before she can attack her teacher with a box cutter the only male student there accidentally bumps it out of her hands. Then she does something truly evil — she eats one of her fellow students' rice lunches without their permission. Then she grabs a butcher knife and cuts his face with it then a set of Kermit the Frog lips pop out of her head and start eating him. Then he's possessed with Play-Doh fever and he's running around waving a butcher knife around like Michael Myers and he ends up hacking off his own hand and then more clay tendrils start chasing after another girl, then he replaces his arm with a triangular ruler and the girl shoves it through his left cheek and then he starts trying to headbutt her like Bam Bam Bigelow and that's when the teacher shows up to shove a lunchbox through his face and knock his head clean off his shoulders. Then the crazy old man from the beginning of the mouth shows up with a portable heater and dries his ass up before stomping him into a million billion pieces.

Then we get the back story on the titular vampire clay. Apparently some autistic sculptor sold his soul to the devil so he could meet the requirements of a big restaurant order or something like that. But apparently he lived on top a toxic waste dump so he had super cancer, so he decided to start making sculptures with his own blood and the restaurant guy Jews him out of his royalties so they get into a kung fu fight and the sculptor keels over and I think his soul entered the sculpture's body or something. Oh, and that restaurant guy is the crazy old man, because apparently, even shitty Japanese movies nowadays need some sort of midway-point plot twist.

Then the surviving two girls, their teacher and the old dude start rounding up all the stray pieces of clay they can find, then one of the zombies shows up with a Mr. Potato Head doll growing out of the left side of her face and she throws a scalpel at them so the old dude has no choice but to blowtorch her. Then there's an earthquake and a bag of dried clay gets ripped open and the old dude breathes in the dust and he gives him autistic sculptor zombie flu, too and he starts coughing up blood and a giant frog-retard sculpture starts growing out of his chest and turns into a herky-jerky stop-motion midget that's ready to eat everybody left in the cast.  Which means you know EXACTLY what to expect in the grand finale:  two girls, one claymation monster, one VERY unreliable homemade blowtorch and a whole hell of a lot of things getting stabbed over and over again ... only for the final 15 minutes of the movie to consist of the sole surviving art student consoling her teacher for not getting into the good arts academy when she was younger and them burying the zombie clay in one of them suicide forests Japan's all famous for.

And yes, there is a sequel hook, of course — so next year, be on the lookout for the follow-up, Vampire Mixed Media.  

We've got seven dead bodies. No breasts. Six zombies. One dead gerbil. Multiple claymation rape attempts. Arms roll. Hands roll. Face slashing. Head stomping. Bloody face picking. Gratuitous slow-motion effect, for no discernible reason whatsoever. Gratuitous business partner battering. Box cutter fu. Fork fu. Plastic ruler fu. Blowtorch fu. And the thing more or less responsible for this movie existing in the first place ... some heavy duty ceramics fu.

Starring Ena Fujita as the final girl ... or, at least, the final girl who isn't in the clutches of menopause; Asuka Kurosawa as the art school teacher who has to protect her students from zombies using plastic compasses; Kanji Tsuda as the unscrupulous restaurateur who still feels guilty about turning his business partner into a  piece of sentient sculpting clay 20 years later; and Kanji Tsuda as the creator of the titular vampire clay, who probably won't become the next big horror genre icon, no matter how bad the makers of the movie tried.

Written and directed by first time feature film director and special effects maestro Soichi Umezawa, who has to be given a little bit of credit for trying to merge The Thing with Heathers for about 45 yen and almost being halfway successful at it, to boot.

It might be a little too wacky for hardcore horror fans and a little too gross for the normies, and while it's far from being a brilliant, subversive, Gozu or Visitor Q type arthouse J-horror flick, it's still pretty enjoyable for what it is. I give it an OK two and a half tofu dogs out of four. Jimbo says check it out, but only if you've got way too much time to kill one rainy afternoon.


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