A French Mad Scientist movie to close out October. A plastic surgeon tries to steal the faces of young women to transplant onto his daughter, but his experiments break free of his control. Elegant and grisly in equal measure.
This vortex of torment will whirl for all eternity.
A student and everyone he cares about are pulled down through eight realms of hell to answer for his sins, each level more gruesome than the last. Horror pioneer Nobuo Nakagawa created lakes of blood, wheels of fire, and fields of severed heads: a landscape of terrors spread out across a soundstage. It may be sixty years old, but his combination of graphic torture with unnervingly spare moments of reflection kept me off-balance and left me squirming.
The sooner a person returns to dust, the sooner that person will be
liberated, transformed, enlightened, reincarnated.
A Czech man looking to drum up more traffic to his crematorium cozies up to the burgeoning Nazi movement, in a movie that’s one part pioneering horror film and one part blackest of black satires. Rudolf Hrušínský slithers along his character’s transformation from mere greedy businessman to unhinged zealot, dragging us queasily into the genesis of an unspeakably evil idea.
15 months and 65 movies ago, I picked a Kiarostami film to kick this off, so I thought I’d try another, and it completely blew my mind. A man drives around Tehran trying to pay someone to give him a proper burial after he ends his life, but the people he coaxes into his car are wary of committing a crime against God. These arguments are enthralling in their simplicity, but every frame tips the scales in favor of the ephemeral beauty of life.
The Bri-terion Collection
I’m loving the Criterion Channel streaming service, so every week I’m going to share my favorite new find.