diabolique2

 

By Trylon volunteer Dave Berglund

There is a sense in which Diabolique feels built for modern audiences. It is a film that has aged well in many respects – its verisimilitude is high, its performances are understated, and its suspense is taut. There is not an ounce of Hollywood camp here, though it would not feel out of place with the film’s many times implausible plotting. Thematically, it is perhaps more relevant in our contemporary western social context than when it first screened. The film benefits greatly from an increased awareness and vigilance about gender inequalities.

 

Indeed, the film’s exposition feels as if it has such a modern audience in mind, giving us oppressed women supporting one another in the pursuit of justice against the horrid man who has jointly abused them. It does not matter that the means by which they seek justice is murderous – what matters is that this guy is going to get what is coming to him. These are not femme fatales seeking to ruin a good man, but damaged women teaming up to right the world.

 

Which makes the whole film, including its sucker-punch conclusion, a wrenching experience. Audiences today applaud Hollywood’s promiscuous teenagers being slashed by inhuman villains, but here, we desire a clean getaway and identify with the film’s schemers. Well, maybe we don’t want a wholly clean getaway, but one that preserves justice in any case. What we are given, however, is a Job-like study in existential confusion – why can’t justice ever win?

 

Which, in the end, is what makes this film special. It sticks with you, as it dangles a prize just out of reach and leaves you grasping. It is a rather nasty trick, really, but you have to give credit where it is due. This is a smart piece of filmmaking which thrives equally on our instincts for survival and justice, and builds complex structures to give us neither. This is not a film of cheap thrills, but one that evokes deep desire and plays it like a fiddle. It is a film that doesn’t allow you to dismiss or forget it, but equally leaves you speechless. Like only the best thrillers can do, it evokes a simple, “Whoa,” and nothing more. — Dave Berglund

 

Diabolique screens Monday and Tuesday, October 20 and 21 at 7:00 and 9:15 at the Trylon.  You can purchase advance tickets here.

 

 

army-of-darkness

 

Review by Trylon volunteer Caty Rent

 

If you haven’t seen Evil Dead or Evil Dead 2 yet, you can still enjoy this zany third installment of the Sam Raimi series. Army of Darkness does a pretty quick and efficient job of explaining what has already happened to the protagonist, Ash Williams. Bruce Campbell masters this role of the one-armed, sarcastic, S-Mart store clerk that finds himself in unsavory situations.

 

Ash is pulled through a time vortex to 1300 A.D. where he is taken prisoner by Lord Arthur’s men. It is assumed that he is with Henry the Red, the sworn enemy of Arthur. Our hero is thrown into a pit and is able to escape with the aid of his chainsaw hand.

 

It is discovered that the only way Ash can travel back to his own time if if he goes on a quest for the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (the book of the dead) because he is prophesied as The Promised One. With his shotgun and new title, the townspeople look up to him. He becomes fond of a young woman named Shelia.

 

In typical Raimi form, there are gruesome creatures and epic skeletal deaths. The filming is on par with the feel of the movie. Crossbow arrow cam is pretty sweet. There are quick cuts, weird angles, shaky screen, and a lot of zooming in. Of course there’s high-pitched screaming and endless amounts of old fashioned slapstick humor. Definitely worth watching on the big screen!  – Caty Rent

 

Army of Darkness screens Friday and Saturday, October 17 and 18 at 7:00, 8:45 and 10:30, and Sunday, October 19 at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:30 at the Trylon.  Get your tickets here!

 

 

miller

Journalist Kerri Miller likes to put people on the hot seat, but the tables will turn on Wednesday — she’ll be defending a secret movie at 7:00 at the Trylon, and you’re invited. After the show you can demand answers to all your movie-related question and she’ll have to answer.

Miller joined MPR News in June 2004 as host of Midmorning (now The Daily Circuit) and Talking Volumes. Before that she was an award-winning television reporter for KARE 11. She has been a radio and television news reporter since 1981.

There are very few subjects that don’t interest her, but listeners to The Daily Circuit know a few of her passions: travel, books, dogs and the news biz.  This will be her first Defenders appearance, and half of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Animal Humane Society of Woodbury.  You can order advance tickets here.

repulsion1

 

With this masterful study of a woman’s descent into agoraphobic lunacy, Roman Polanski solidified himself as a  daring and relentless horror stylist. A uniquely claustrophobic film that will test the nerves of even the most seasoned horror buffs.

 

An absolute knockout of a movie…Prepare yourself to be demolished when you go to see it—and go you must, because it’s one of those films everybody will soon be buzzing about…..To miss it would be worse than missing Psycho, if you’ve a taste for this sort of thing.

For it is more than just a tale of mounting horrors that moves its heroine—a beautiful, sex-repressed French girl living in London—from a state of mental woe into a stage of dithering madness and then to the dark extremity of murdering a brace of fellows who happen into the lonely apartment in which she is hidden….

Within the maelstrom of violence and horror in this film, Mr. Polanski has achieved a haunting concept of the pain and pathos of the mentally deranged. He has delivered undoubtedly one of the best films of the year. –Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

 

Repulsion screens at the Trylon Monday and Tuesday, October 13 and 14 at 7:00 and 9:00.  Advance tickets can be purchased here.

 

tuckeranddale

By Trylon volunteer Colette Ricci

 

Start talking about the sprawling rural deserts of Texas and it won’t be long before someone mentions The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For many, Texas Chainsaw introduced the idea of fearing rural southerners, and very well might be the crown jewel of the demented-rural-American horror movie genre. The ideas that sub-genre convey have seeped so heavily into our lexicon, you’d be hard pressed to find a city dweller that believes there’s anything to fear in the rolling countryside besides the people who live there.

 

Thankfully, Tucker and Dale vs Evil gives us a different take on rural-horror. Tucker and Dale have a rich friendship, they encourage each other, they react emotionally appropriate in horrific situations, they discuss those emotions as they emerge, they have mundane fears of rejection and being misunderstood. Almost every rural-American stereotype and trope is smashed through Tucker and Dale in creatively hilarious or gory ways. (I mean, this is a horror movie. People run themselves through with fallen tree branches, are burned alive, and are brained by nails through boards.) But the abundant humor is not at the expense of hapless country folk nor is the horror inflicted by a country hillbilly gone mad; most of the movies action revolves around people’s perceptions of one another and what can happen if you make all your judgements at face value.

As an openminded-liberal-country gal, I thoroughly appreciate this break from the chainsaw wielding, cannibalistic, tooth missing murderous representations of my southern brethren. I just wish it would catch on…

 

Colette Ricci hasn’t had a cigarette in six years, but every time she watches someone in a film light up, she inhales with them.

 

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil screens Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11 at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, October 12 at 5:00 and 7:00 at the Trylon. You can purchase advance tickets here.