Larry Cohen’s first film is a strange mix of tension, black comedy, racial commentary, and surrealism. It’s surprisingly artier than his later, more genre-friendly work, and features a fantastic performance from Yaphet Kotto. Challenging, fierce, and funny, maybe the best film Cohen ever made — definitely worth checking out!
This derivative cheesefest from Stephen Sommers is probably everything Vern hates not just because of the director, but I love the thing, it’s a fun monster b-movie with great production and humor, a cast of recognizable toughs and the type of ridiculous that makes the cheese so damn delicious!
Okay, sure, it’s a strange suggestion. Vern’s reviewed a couple of Terry Gilliam’s flicks, so it’s not like there’s a huge demand to add to the voluminous writing about this one. But at the same time Vern likes to draw attention to things outside the genres he covers more exhaustively, and with new readers popping up this excellent comedy adventure could always enjoy the exposure to new viewers. And you could argue a number of hoary cliches get skewered and pimped here in ways that would reverberate in subsequent filmmaker’s works. So yes, there is more to mine and celebrate here!
He’ll never do this, but that would be fun. From his career peak of fame and success (PURPLE RAIN) to his fascinating car wreck hubris (UNDER THE CHERRY MOON) to a great capture of his artistic/performance peak (SIGN O THE TIMES) to just bad bad bad bad what the fuck bad (GRAFFITI BRIDGE).