In Recognition Of: The Closet (Video)

In recognition Of: National Coming Out Day

I haven’t done enough promoting of indie and short films on this site yet or at least not as much as I would’ve liked to this point. In an effort to rectify this and in recognition of National Coming Out Day I am posting a short film (a little over three minutes) below.

It’s not only one of the most beautifully edited and constructed shorts I’ve ever seen but one of the most effective and evocative statements against homophobia and a reflection of social change.

Without much further ado I present you The Closet.

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61 Days of Halloween- Masters of Horror: Pick Me Up

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Masters of Horror: Pick Me Up

Michael Moriarty in Pick Me Up (Starz Productions)

In this series of films I have already chronicled both films in the Masters of Horror series and Larry Cohen, in The Stuff. However, this film is a little different for both parties which is part of the point of starting this series was to find, or reveal, works in the horror genre that are worth profiling.

What separates this film is that it truly does focus on the antagonist more than the protagonist and what’s more is it concerns itself with a cruel twist of fate in which there are two psychopaths covering the same area.

While this film does have Cohen’s typical blend of humor the production values are way up from their usual standard and furthermore it does get pretty darn creepy more than once as this unique scenario is allowed to be investigated almost to its fullest. Aiding in that journey is the fact that the screenplay has been adapted by the author of the short story David J. Schow.

The film is further elevated by the fact that it features yet another brilliant performance by Michael Moriarty, a Cohen regular, who always seems to be a completely different character.

What makes it compelling is not only do you realize early on that these two characters are on a collision course but when they meet you even wonder if they are working in tandem. When you find they are not it still remains interesting as you hear the differing philosophies behind their psychoses. Yet even with all that there is a twist in store that catches you, which is all the more surprising.

Of all those in the series I’ve seen this is the one I’d put at the top of the list for the conventional horror fan to see first. If you’re familiar with Argento obviously see Jenifer but this is likely the most accessible and successful title to date.

9/10

61 Days of Halloween- Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Originally referred to as Garfield in Disguise, this special has sort of gotten lost in the shuffle. While one cannot argue that it holds the same kind of distinction as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown it does fit the mold better as a traditional Halloween tale. If you’re like me the appeal of the strip has in large part dwindled over the years but this like many of his specials does stand the test of time.

It too is about the day in its essential form: trick-or-treating, ghost stories and getting a good scare and it hits all these points on the head.

While I am not inherently afraid of clowns I too would be scared out of my wits if Binky the Clown screamed me to life on any given morning.

What I had literally forgotten about is that there are songs in this short and also that aside from that the score is rather effective. So not only do you have the pleasure of listening to the voice of Lorenzo Music but you have toe-tappers as well.

What’s best is that even though the tale is a little primitive it does, in fact, provide scares. The Old Man’s ghost story is fireside storytelling at its best and the animation of said ghosts is rather impressionistic which is nice to see.

Ultimately, it’s a very well-rounded adventure that is worth getting on DVD since it’s not an annual TV staple.

10/10