Larry Cohen

The Worst

Why Watch? Walking off the metro in a daze, Ryan (Britt Lower) leaves her bag with her cell in it and adds the cherry to a shit sundae of a night. Fortunately, an off-duty MTA worker named Nick (the excellent Dean Winters) is there with a solution that will only cost her $200, and they’re off to get her stuff back. This short shines on all levels. Writer/director Larry Cohen manages to fit rounded characters into a high concept flick that’s shot with precision and delivers a comedic bit of action (complete with buddy cop-style banter) alongside sugar-coated drama. It’s an excellent snapshot of a low point that any of us could find ourselves in brought to life by smart filmmaking and strong, dynamic performances.


Hell Up In Harlem

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we take our Coffy black…and with six spoonfuls of Häagen-Dazs. You have just stumbled Across 110th Street and Hit! the internet’s most Boss bad movie column like a Hammer, and there’s No Way Back. Every Friday (Foster), we Drum up another Jive Turkey, becoming Mr Mean as we Savage! and Slaughter the movie right In Your Face. But then, as if we were a Thing with Two Heads we lay aside all our Hangups to tell you why we think the film is actually Super Fly. Then, for The Final Comedown, we’ll offer a Big Time delicious themed snack food item for you to cram down your food Shaft. This week’s big score: Hell Up in Harlem Alas it is time once again to bid farewell to Blaxploitation History Month, and this third incarnation in which we’ve focused on the best of the best worst blaxploitation sequels. We may not have broken any new ground or radically advanced the medium of irreverent film journalism, but some how, against all odds, we managed to undeniably not get sued. So please enjoy this chicken we just counted well before it hatched.


ds_maniac cop

You have the right to remain silent… forever! It should surprise no one that Larry Cohen came up with the tag line above before a single word of his script for Maniac Cop was written. It’s beyond perfect, and it sums up the attitude behind the film pretty damn well. Director William Lustig had been best known for his Joe Spinell slasher, Maniac, so Cohen worked his magic and scripted this film with a similar sounding title but a more blackly comic tone. The result is a genre “classic” that spawned two sequels of varying quality and remains an entertaining slice of horror cinema. Arrow Video in the UK released Maniac Cop to Blu-ray last month, and we gave it a test drive below.



Horror director Larry Cohen has a number of memorable movies under his belt. He’s the guy responsible for cult movies like Black Caesar, It’s Alive, and the other, other werewolf movie from 1981 Full Moon High. But it’s his 1976 film God Told Me To, a movie about a series of murders committed by people who say they are following the instructions of God, that looks like it’s up for a remake. Who is trying to get their hands on the rights to a movie that deals with murder and religion like that? It’s best to let the story play out in the same words it did in a recent issue of Film Comment: “The 70-year-old Cohen mentioned that he had just come from a meeting with an interesting young Frenchman who was seeking the rights to remake God Told Me To. ‘What’s his name?’ inquired the staffer. ‘I don’t remember, but he gave me some DVDs of his films.’ The director rummaged in a bag and produced copies of Irreversible and Enter the Void.” That’s right, not only did a 70-year-old man not realize he was talking to Gaspar Noé, he now has been given copies of both Irreversible and Enter the Void, which he will watch with seemingly having no idea what to expect out of them. This story makes me smile. I hope that Cohen still has a strong love for the grotesque living inside of him.


Phonebooth Movie

“Isn’t it funny? You hear a phone ring and it could be anybody. But ringing phone has to be answered, doesn’t it?” I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t agree at this point that Joel Schumacher has lost his edge. But before falling of the face of the earth with films like The Phantom of the Opera and The Number 23, he delivered what would be his last great film: The 2003 morality thriller Phone Booth. Stu Shepard is a publicist working in New York City, and he’s everything except a decent human being. From his wife, to his “girlfriend” and his personal assistant, Stu takes advantage of everyone and everything at his disposal. Little did he know how everything was going to change once he picked up the phone today.

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published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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