(Title via Dorothy Allison.)
Carriers: How long can you sustain pre-apocalyptic morals in a post-apocalyptic world? Carriers is a surprisingly heartfelt and effective plague tale. Its turning point isn’t all that well-thought-through (a kid will poop where you want them to if you wait long enough, I’m just saying), but the characters’ relationships work, the backstory comes out with surprising suspense and naturalness, and the sun-soaked setting makes the despair and violence more real. A horror film that’s also about how the only way to listen to your conscience, in some situations, is to accept martyrdom. The ending is dumb, lol voice-overs and heavyhanded flashbacks, no thanks.
I found out about this flick via the Deadly Doll, who acutely notes (in comments), “[T]he film took place right at the point where most people were deciding to fully take care of themselves.” You’re watching people undergoing moral vertigo, tilting on the precipice of their former selves. Maybe you’re watching the origin story of a different horror movie’s villain.
Dos Monjes (Two Monks): The plot of this I barely even remember–a monk meets another monk With a Secret, which relates to the first monk’s former life in the world and his love of a possibly-unfaithful woman–but this is a great-looking film, expressionist and spooky. I also loved the suspense of not knowing whether the monks were acting out of revenge or repentance. Super fun, part of AFI’s Spanish-language film fest.
La Otra (The Other): Remember that noir where Bette Davis played identical twins, one rich and one poor, and it should have been a diva extravaganza but it turns out La Bette has a hard time playing against the empty air? There’s a Mexican adaptation of the very same story, and it stars Dolores del Rio, and it is amazing. She has such a phenomenal Golden Age diva face, the lips and eyebrows rearing back in horror, every emotion a costume. Del Rio is stunning and the film glitters with noir sleaziness. A must-watch if this description even slightly intrigues you.
Eaten Alive: Phenomenal soundtrack, weird intense colors, “acting” kinda unrelated to what’s happening, and a bonkers plot–I covertly loved this degrading ’70s tale about a backwoods hotel owner and his feisty pet crocodile. From Tobe Hooper, and even less under his control than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but lovers of neon and mist will not want to miss this. Via Kindertrauma, where descriptions include “cheap and lovely like a plastic champagne flute,” “simple unleaded insanity,” “a murky, atonal alternate reality that I’d probably feel suicidal to find myself living in,” and “backyard Suspiria.” I found it on YouTube, where the ’70s never end.