The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t a remake. Well, not exactly. It definitely isn’t a remake of the other movie titled The Wolf of Wall Street, from 1929, which stars George Bancroft as a man who gets rich in the copper trade and then loses it all through a misunderstanding with his partner, whom he believes is having an affair with his wife. That sounds like something Martin Scorsese would make, or something we’d want to watch after seeing the latest work by him. Unfortunately, the old film is almost entirely lost. Just a little bit of surviving montage material can be exclusively found on a DVD called Unseen Cinema. WoWS is also not a remake of Scorsese’s early short film It’s Not Just You, Murray!, which I posted yesterday and called a template for this new feature. The true story that WoWS is based on has been made into a movie before, though, and you can read about that and 11 other titles I recommend you check out after you’ve seen Scorsese’s latest. As always, the following list may contain SPOILERS for the plot of WoWS, as it is intended to be a discussion of the new movie’s plot points as well as similar precursors and earlier works from people involved.



Luis Bunuel once claimed that he kept rocks in his pockets during the first screening of Un Chien Andalou in case the crowd didn’t like what it saw. Whether or not that’s actually true, the audience reaction was never so bad that it came to violence. Apparently cutting open an eyeball wasn’t a real biggie in the 1920s. Of course, none of that changes how ridiculously hard that short film is to watch. It’s grotesque, nauseating, and a great starting point for decades of filmmakers continuing to make audiences freak the hell out. That grand tradition was continued with a second fainting at a screening of V/H/S and it’s a tradition we’d like to celebrate with 8 movies that caused some strong physical reactions.


Tod Browning Freaks

Editor’s Note: It’s with great honor that we welcome James F. Broderick, author of “Now a Terrifying Motion Picture!: Twenty-Five Classic Works of Horror Adapted From Book to Film,” and his essay excerpt from the book which details the strange history of Freaks. Can a movie be considered a “classic” horror film when it was panned by critics, reviled by audiences, and banned for decades from even being shown? When even the studio that produced it didn’t stand behind it, and the director’s career was ruined after the film’s release? When the stars of the film are not actors at all but rather members of a group of real-life circus freaks, including armless and legless people, as well as a bearded woman and “the pin-headed lady”? And when many critics and fans of the horror genre don’t even consider the film to be part of that category, classifying it instead as a sort of docu-drama? Okay, add to that the film was based on an obscure story by a long-forgotten writer and has been unavailable on tape or DVD for much of the past century, and you hardly have the makings of, well, a “classic.” And yet, that’s exactly what Freaks is – a masterpiece of horror, an unsettling and brutally candid story about the treachery and torment that can be a part of the human conditions – for some humans, anyway. The story of the film goes far beyond the actual “plot” of the movie, and involves a movie studio eager to cash in on the horror film “craze,” a celebrated director looking to make […]


Batman Returns - Penguin

Part of the appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films is that the basic conceit informing their aesthetic seems so natural. Batman is one of few major superheroes that isn’t actually a super-hero. Batman mythology, then, lends itself to a degree of plausibility more than, say, Superman or Spider-Man, so why not manifest a vision of Batman that embraces this particular aspect that distinguishes this character from most superhero mythologies? But realism has not been a characteristic that unifies Batman’s many representations in the moving image. Through the eyes of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, the Batman of tentpole studio filmmaking has occupied either a world of gothic architecture and shadowy noir, or one of schizophrenic camp. From 1989 to 1997, Batman was interpreted by visionary directors with potent aesthetic approaches, but approaches that did not necessarily aim to root the character within a landscape of exhaustive Nolanesque plausibility.



A few weeks ago I discussed the definition of raunch and touched on its evolution in film. The idea of raunch, generally considered anything vulgar or obscene, has gone from one of insult to one of achievement. Over the years directors have developed entire genres of innocent raunch comedy, while still retaining the ability to shock and offend. Meanwhile dramas and horror continue to “fancy” raunch for its ability to reach our darkest thoughts or turn our stomachs. Raunch isn’t something to shy away from, despite the dirty feeling you may get after viewing films like Pink Flamingos or Anatomy of Hell. If anything, it can be argued for that very reason you should watch crude films. Art should both stir discomfort and activate brain juices, and as much as some would like to dispute raunch as art, when done right it reflects current culture and the people watching.



Ever fantasized about Salma Hayek with a giant beard? Of course you haven’t (wink), but if you’re still curious about it, check out the new trailer for The Vampire’s Assistant.


Tod Browning's Freaks

Old Ass Movies wants to give you 70-year old nightmares. Just in time for Christmas!

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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