Afflicted

discs OPERATION PETTICOAT

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Operation Petticoat The USS Sea Tiger has seen better days as a Navy sub during World War II, but it hasn’t seen any action. Commander Sherman (Cary Grant) would like the chance to rectify that before the boat is sent to a watery grave, and with the help of a shifty junior officer (Tony Curtis) he sets out to give the Sea Tiger one last shot at glory. Who knew it would come with an assist from five Army nurses in need of a lift? This 1959 comedy classic has been on my list of shame for far too long so it was great to not only finally see it but also to discover just how fantastic it truly is. Grant is as charming as ever here playing a wonderful combination of suave and frazzled as he deals with one catastrophe after another, and the whole supporting cast reciprocates with energetic performances and top notch comic timing and delivery. It’s a subtler comedy than director Blake Edwards would go on to make, but it’s also one of his best. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

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Videodrome

Canada is a scary place. I know that may be hard to believe given its reputation south of the border, but it’s true. At least since the mid-1970s something about the Great White North has inspired its citizens to go forth and make horror films. Good ones at that. Derek Lee and Cliff Prowse’s Afflicted, one of our 13 Best Horror Films of 2013, is only the most recent to hit American theaters. It won’t be alone, either, as Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy continues to unsettle and confuse audiences in its third week. The glut of terrifying entertainment from Canada begs some sort of explanation. Obviously there’s more to the nation than the stereotype of the apologetic, self-effacing peacenik but the Maple Terror phenomenon is now large enough to merit some light-hearted analysis. Let’s start with Margaret Atwood. Back in 1972 she published a book of literary theory called “Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature.” Her idea was that the principle theme of Canadian culture is the battle with the wilderness, the fight to survive the snow and the cold. The protagonists in Canadian fiction are often in “victim positions,” a representation of a communally held fear of nature. Canadian literary criticism has mostly moved on from Atwood’s book, as has the writer herself, but there’s something very useful about this idea. No one is more victimized than the hero of a horror film. Is there something inherently Canadian about the genre, something that has inspired generations of filmmakers to terrorize their characters? Maybe! […]

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Derek Lee in AFFLICTED

Insert requisite opening paragraph bemoaning the never-ending onslaught of bland, repetitive, amateurish films released under the ubiquitous guise of “found footage horror,” discuss how they make the same mistakes again and again and reduce the experience to little more than 80 minutes of frustration and boredom, and question how many, if any, of these films are in this format for any reason other than budgetary. Be sure to mention recent bright spots like The Den and Lucky Bastard though as a lead-in for the surprisingly fun, creative, and affecting film Afflicted. Derek Lee and Clif Prowse are best friends, have been for years, and have the video evidence to prove it. Clif is an amateur documentarian who dabbled in martial arts films to take advantage of Derek’s ethnicity, but his latest project is one close to both of their hearts. The duo is taking a year long trip around the world, and they’re going to film the entire thing. They’ll actually be uploading footage to the web as the trip progresses so their family and friends can enjoy and comment. The trip is for fun, something both men have wanted to do for a long time, but it’s also something they feel they have to do. Derek was recently diagnosed with an AVM in his brain that could rupture at any moment. Just seven days into the trip though Derek is bitten by a randy bar chick in Paris, and suddenly the thought of dying from an aneurysm takes a backseat to […]

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2013review_horror

Boo. Now turn off the lights, pull your feet in under the covers, and keep reading for a look at our choices for the Best Horror Movies of 2013.

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