Schlock!: The Secret History of American Movies (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Schlock!: The Secret History of American Movies (2003)

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Critic Reviews for Schlock!: The Secret History of American Movies

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Ray Greene has put together a well-documented record of schlock films with mainly interviews of those responsible for its success.

Full Review… | December 24, 2003
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Audience Reviews for Schlock!: The Secret History of American Movies

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Times New Roman][color=darkorange][font=Arial][i]Irma la Douce[/i] (Billy Wilder, 1963)[/font][/color] [color=darkorange]A lesser Wilder piece about a cop who falls for a prostitute, it has its comic moments but drags at times; the morality of prostitution is a lot less problematic than a character who subjects herself to abuse so willingly. [/color] [color=darkorange][/color] [color=darkorange][/color][color=darkorange][font=Arial][i]Bus 174[/i] (José Padilha/Felipe Lacerda, 2002)[/font][/color] [color=darkorange]Gripping, upsetting documentary relating a hostage-taking aboard a Rio de Janeiro bus. Footage of the hostage drama is intercut with interviews and other archival information about the perpetrator, a young Brazilian man named Sandro do Nacimento who grew up as a street kid. The film indicts Brazil social and justice systems, and, without excusing his actions, paints do Nacimento’s descent as an inevitable product of Brazil’s failure to deal with corruption and the breakdown of human rights. [/color] [color=darkorange][font=Arial][i]Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies[/i] (Ray Greene, 2001)[/font][/color] [color=darkorange]Often amusing documentary about underground and exploitation cinema, from Roger Corman to Doris Wishman, focusing largely on the ’50s-’70s. Amiable and obviously fond (possibly to the detriment of insight) of its subject matter. [/color] [color=darkorange][font=Arial][i]At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul[/i] (José Mojica Marins, 1964) 8/10[/font][/color] [color=darkorange][font=Arial][i]This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse[/i] (José Mojica Marins, 1967) 8/10[/font][/color] [color=darkorange]This is some pretty fucked-up shit, especially when you consider that [i]At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul[/i] was basically Brazil's first horror film. What sets [i]At Midnight …[/i] (and its sequel) apart from schlock horror—in spite of its low-grade production and uneven performances—is the philosophy and personality of its lead antagonist.[/color] [color=darkorange][/color] [color=black][color=darkorange]Coffin Joe is an atheist surrounded by (as he sees it) ridiculous, credulous fools held down by their belief in an irrational, imaginary God. His philosophy is that only blood (through progeny) is immortal. He is openly scornful of Catholic ritual, insisting on eating meat on Friday and mocking a Catholic procession. When his wife fails to produce a son for him, he murders her. He has a cruel violent streak that he periodically unleashes on the townspeople, who seem incapable of or unwilling to stand up to his Satanic strength. He trolls the town for women in an orgy of rape and murder. Coffin Joe is one bad dude.[/color][/color] [color=black][color=darkorange][/color][/color] [color=black][color=darkorange][i]This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse[/i] is more of the same, only with better production—including a delightful color sequence set in Hell—and more focused obsessive violence from Coffin Joe in his search for the perfect mate, his Bride of Frankenstein, to provide him with a scion. Oh, he also loves children.[/color][/color] [color=black][color=darkorange][/color][/color] [color=darkorange]Both films (especially [i]At Midnight ...)[/i] are uneven and at times shoddy, but director Jose Marins has the passion of Ed Wood and some actual talent.[color=black][/color][/color] [/font][/color][/size]

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