Movie Must-Watch Notes: Abuse of Power Comes as a TOTAL Surprise!

OK, first of all I have to tell you that I saw Tickled and I want you to go see it without knowing much about it. I went in knowing that it was a documentary about “competitive endurance tickling” and the filmmaker uncovers… something? a weird thing? the story is weirder than it sounds? So I assumed it would be a story about a subculture, maybe about how we build community or identity off of inexplicable and sometimes sad things.

NOPE. It starts out very, very funny, and the humor is enhanced by the fact that it’s filmed like a horror movie. Then, slowly but surely, the shadowy outlines of its central figure begin to emerge. It’s possible this is a story about toxic shame. It’s also, though, a story about abuse of power. I don’t want to say more than that but just… the atmosphere in the audience went from “lololol freak of the week” (which I disapprove of/identify with, but okay) to “take me home and hold me, tell me it’s not real.”

A painful story that remains in many ways mysterious all the way through. Like the human heart.

Okay, deep breath, on to other things. I’m doing the free trial of Amazon Prime so I watched some streaming stuff there.

In the Custody of Strangers: ’80s message flick about how it’s bad to jail juveniles with adults. I already agree but good grief the script of this film clunks like a broken-down Chevy. Great acting from Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (love his twitchiness) but you don’t have to act in terrible movies just because you’re Cat’lick you know.

No, there’s some powerful stuff here, especially the Rust Belt setting. (This might be the second movie I’ve ever seen with an unemployment-office scene, after Last Days of Disco.) But this subject deserves a better movie.

Rockula: A perfectly serviceable slab of cheese from 1990 (the year I call 1989B) about a schlemiel of a vampire trying to save his mortal lady friend. Opening credits are great, Toni Basil is phenomenal as the vampire’s hot-blooded mom and Thomas Dolby is great as Overgrown Draco Malfoy, this is fun. It doesn’t reach any heights of demented glory but it does have Bo Diddley. The sublime and ridiculous Yum-Yum liked it much more than I did but I did not dislike it nor regret its encroachment onto my viewscreen.

EDITED I forgot that this movie lets me use my “eye-boobs” tag! O FRABJOUS DAY.


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