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 Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom 
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

If I made a movie set in 1950s Germany and had a bunch of former Nazis hunting monsters that looked exactly like Jewish stereotypes, with huge noses, hoarding money, stealing children, poisoning Wells and manipulating society from the shadows, but I gave them throat flutes and had Adam Sandler say "these aren't really Jews" then slink off screen after one scene and didn't have a single other Jewish character, would you see how accusations of racism and anti-Semitism might be called for?

I'm not sure that's the movie I saw.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:43 pm
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ski petrol wrote:
I haven't seen Bone Tomahawk but I remember it came out shortly before Kurt Russell's appearance in The Hateful Eight. A rather good chat fest.
The Hateful Eight was a weird one for me; on the one hand, I didn't really like it, but on the other, even though it's critically the least-regarded entry in Tarantino's recent "historical" trilogy of movies, I actually though it was better than either Basterds or Django. I mean, it was still quite unfocused, self-indulgent, and disappointing through most of its basic storytelling choices (too much needless chatter, too many over-the-top, overly cariactured "characters"), but the final act of the film still managed to develop some legitimately interesting dynamic among the various players involved, to the point where I liked it just slightly so better than I thought I initially did. Again, still not a great film on the whole, but it was still a slight step in the right direction for Tarantino as far as I was concerned, so it gives me some slight hope for his future projects.

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Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:46 am
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Oh, Canada. You promote this movie as if it's an early John Candy vehicle, but yet, he's only in a handful of scenes during the last third as a rookie detective with few laughs. Instead, what we have is an Anthony Newley vehicle which *cough* naw, fuck that. Nobody asked for it. Nobody wants it. This is, I presume, why nobody remembers it after 43 years. Except 25 year old John Candy, because somebody had no idea about how to utilize his tremendous talents. Oh sure. Isaac Hayes. Who does have the film's only genuinely earned horselaugh when he inadvertantly creates life. But just to keep it all honest - that's a small diamond in the relative dross. Anthony Newley is dead now, for nearly 20 years. I hope that someone kicked him square in the balls when they had the chance, the sour-faced fuck.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:45 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
it's an early John Candy vehicle, but yet, he's only in a handful of scenes during the last third as a rookie detective with few laughs


This is always my go-to whenever I want to just barely see John Candy in a movie

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:25 pm
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Wooley wrote:
I'm not sure that's the movie I saw.

In what way did the frogs differentiate themselves from the "Savage" stereotype that was used to dehumanize and justify genocide of Native people?


Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:27 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:

This is always my go-to whenever I want to just barely see John Candy in a movie

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I feel confident that this is already a much better movie than Good Idea! even assuming that that's not Anthony Newley getting face-stabbed on the poster.

And incidentally, any good recommendations on choice Anthony Newley face-stabs would be much appreciated.


Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:37 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I feel confident that this is already a much better movie than Good Idea! even assuming that that's not Anthony Newley getting face-stabbed on the poster.

And incidentally, any good recommendations on choice Anthony Newley face-stabs would be much appreciated.


I saw it when I was five years old, and have absolutely no memory of it. I just remember wanting to see it because John Candy was in it and forcing my grandfather to stay up and watch it with me, which he must have loved doing, since the only movies that guy liked was Zulu and Battle of the Bulge. And anything where Leslie Nielson gets bonked on the head.


Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:06 am
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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CHOPPING OF WOOD, AND WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE ANY REASON TO BE FRIGHTENED


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MOVIE: The Amityville Horror
DIRECTOR: Stuart Rosenberg
SOMETHING I LIKED: The realization that maybe I too should have a movie made about me, documenting all of my scary adventures from one corner of my apartment to the next.

Just the facts ma’am. Or so one might expect the detective keeping vigil outside of the house in a rumpled raincoat to ask. He chews on his obligatory cigar and sips at his obligatory coffee that we will presume has gone cold. Nothing that the Lutz family does, whether it be George chopping firewood on his front lawn, or Cathy stalking her family priest to come and finally bless her new home, will slip past his sharp investigative powers. He’s on the case. Exactly what the case is, one can’t quite be sure. But he’s got his frumpy detective hat on, so he must mean business.

The Sgt. Gionfriddo subplot in The Amityville Horror will not ultimately go anywhere. His investigation is seemingly only based upon the fact that the detective thinks George looks an awful like the previous tenant of the home who murdered his family. Stakeout ensues, cigars get soggy, Styrofoam cups are emptied, then after a scene where he pointlessly shakes down a priest for absolutely no information, he will completely vanish from the movie after mumbling his final line: “Maybe I am only chasing shadows”. As if swallowed in one great gulp by the red herring that he has been chasing for about three abbreviated scenes, Gionfriddo and his hat will sink from sight, and we can get back to the important business of watching George chopping all that firewood.

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Lighting a comically big cigar to overcompensate, Detective Gionfriddo hopes this will provide him with the sleuthing skills he now needs to figure out where he left his hat


For a movie famously touted as being based upon true events, Amityville Horrors director (Rosenberg) paradoxically almost seems to be approaching the truth of his own film as a skeptic. Like the fruitless snooping of Gionfriddo over nothing but shadows, Rosenberg seems to be looking for facts that just aren’t there and, as a result, has thrown up his hands and instead constructed a film not so much haunted by ghosts, but by the specters of a failing marriage, mid-life dissatisfaction and pained domesticity. Yes, walls will also bleed, but more importantly, so will pocketbooks.

As a result, the film will move towards its supernatural elements with the lethargy of a stepfather getting off the couch to tend to his step kids. While it may be compelled towards them out of a sense of obligation to the source material, it really doesn’t show any enthusiasm in committing to their maturation. Instead it will mope over the sort of details that slowly undermine a marriage, and then try to convince its audience to accept that these sometimes odd but almost always explicable events could be evidence of a haunting. They will have some problems with an insect infestation. Money goes missing. Kids get injured during horseplay. Their plumbing backs up. There are some issues with the insulation in the house, leaving George perpetually cold. And then, with all the menace of allergy season, a nosy neighbor arrives on the porch with a six pack and a lip covered in snot. He’s popped by uninvited to introduce himself. Who doesn’t relate to the horror of such a thing?

Normally this would be more the kind of foe suited for a sit-com family to fend off, but in Rosenberg’s film, an unscheduled visit from this under dressed schlub next door is presented as yet another notch on his horror cred belt. At least as long as we suspend enough disbelief to conclude that this is the manifestation of centuries old Indian spirits seeping up from beneath the house; finally returning to a physical form as a runny nosed alcoholic who wants to talk shop about the New York Jets. When he mysteriously disappears from the porch before he can even share one of his Miller Lites, the jury has come back conclusively that this is Devil business. At least one must assume according to the ominous music that suddenly accompanies the mans vanishing act.

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Behold the terror of disturbing an ancient Indian burial ground. Leave immediately, or next time he will have a hilarious catch phrase to call out as he bursts into your home uninvited.


Meanwhile, as such terrors as theses continue to mount, George can’t shake a flu and his hair is suddenly in want of serious brushing. He hasn’t been to work for weeks. His eyes have turned to an exhausted shade of red either meant to evoke menace or looming unemployment. Beginning the film as a bearded and burly lumberjack of a man, he has now dwindled down into a flannel wearing husk in baby boy briefs: a fragment of what he once was. And as the movie continues to chip at his ego, it becomes clear that the further he is scrubbed away, the more it seems that all that is washing off is his pretense of being a good husband and father. His tolerance for raising three children that are not his begins to fray, and he can’t keep up with the mortgage his wife had already reasonably warned him might be beyond their means. Not only is George not the man we thought he was, but he is not even the man he thought he was. And so off to that pile of lumber he skulks again, hoping to regain some of that lost virility by smashing the shit out of a bunch of wood.

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Chopping wood is sexy, Cathy repeats to herself over and over again, as she gazes out the window.


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Turning away in despair, the plodding thud of George's inadequacy can't help but reverberate in her soul


With Rosenberg occasionally garnishing his film with traditional horror elements, it becomes natural to draw a direct link between the murder house that George and his family have moved into, and his growing anti-social behavior. We have seen how its windows light up like eyes at night, and how it exudes such an evil presence that it drives both priests and nuns to such convulsions of overacting, they either barf at the side of the road, or scream themselves blind. These are admittedly highly suspicious activities for a house to be engaged in. But maybe this is all little more than some supernatural camouflage for George’s all too ordinary decent into becoming a distant and abusive prick. More of a pragmatist than his Catholic wife, George himself even seems resistant to her insistence that something is evil about the home they have moved into. And when the wife of a co-worker talks about her sensitivity in contacting the spirit world, he seems mainly irritated at the thought that she might be offering such services to him.

For George, nearly all of the evidence of this haunting has a pretty clear bottom line. It has simply meant he will have to call a plumber, arrange for an exterminator, over pay on his heating bills because of that goddamned draft and find a babysitter who at least doesn’t get herself locked in a closet. Before we reach the climax of the film, one of the only true reckonings George seems to have in regards to the possibility of something supernatural happening here, is a moment where he hacks open a wall in his basement to find a hidden chamber beneath the stairs. As he peers into this room he has just uncovered, a mysterious vision comes to him. Staring back at him from one of walls that have been painted an all so subtle shade of cut-jugular red, there will be a specter of a floating head: his own. Or at least close enough. So even as George is being presented with something that can be safely considered beyond natural explanations, the implication still remains that whoever it is that is haunting this home, looks an awful lot like him.

Such a dreary affair as a man growing to despair over the bland miseries of his day to day life though is hardly what one imagines The Amityville Horror’s audience has come to see. Much like the Lutz’s, many in the audience may relate all too well to being overwhelmed with bills, the struggle of maintaining a happy family veneer, the inconvenience of children walking in on their lovemaking. For many, this trip to the theater may be their monthly scheduled date night. Babysitters have been brought in to permit the occasion, and with the excessive two hour run time of the film, that leaves a lot of time for lots of American babysitters to find their own kinds of trouble with closets. So it would be understandable for many watching to be underwhelmed by a film promising horror to be presented with so much of what they have come to the theater to escape.

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Locked in closets all across America, babysitters can't help but ponder the horrible possibility that this movie may go well over the more than adequate running time of 90 minutes.


But for some, those that maybe have bought into the ‘based on a true story’ hoopla, and maybe a little desperate to see such ordinary lives presented as something moderately extraordinary, the movie may find an audience more than willing to accept its molasses slow chills after all. It definitely allows for a better narrative in our lives when we can view the details of an unfulfilling existence as being something a little more exotic, even if it isn't really earned.To imagine the clogged toilet that is coughing up shit in your bathroom, as instead filling with a demonic sludge. Or that the eyes glimpsed outside of a darkened window, are not evidence of a stray cat, but are quite obviously those of an imaginary friend dreamt up by a daughter in consort with the dark side. And when George loses a wad of cash from the living room, it is not between the cushions of the couch he should be looking, but instead he should be screaming in an empty room at the unseen perpetrator of this other worldly prank to give it back. The Amityville Horror, in this way, may have almost stumbled upon an audience that will be eager to become complicit in forgiving the increasingly lousy actions of George, not only because maybe they are married to a George themselves, but its just so much more fun to view the whole yawning middle class of America as under the thumb of a perpetual haunting. Maybe they too will one day be able to abandon their lives behind them, and sign a book deal. It can happen to anyone!

Almost as a surrogate to this sort of audience member, Cathy Lutz herself seems equally eager to accept the ‘haunted husband’ version of this narrative. Plagued by a nightmare of George murdering her children, her response to these subconscious concerns of hers that bubble up in her sleep, will not be to find the original sin as something that has been laying dormant inside of her husband. Not at all. It is instead to seek out the help of the Catholic church in getting her home blessed. Because this is what is to blame here. If only she could just wrangle Father Rod Steiger away from his damp eyed, knuckle chewing soliloquy's on the horrors of house flies, and get around to dashing a little of that holy water at the threshold of their bedroom, maybe her husband would be free to return to normal. It is the ghosts, after all, that are keeping him from bed during those long cold sleepless night where he tirelessly feeds wood into his fireplace, unable to shake the chill of mediocrity that has seeped into his bones. It is the ghosts that caused him to slap her to the ground when she dared interfere with him tending to this fire. It is the ghosts, and not George’s personal shortcomings, which compel him to spend afternoons standing in the rain, chopping hilarious amounts of firewood as if it is the last lingering evidence of his diminished virility. It just has to be the ghosts, because then she can always choose to move away from the home and whatever haunts it, presumably also leaving behind whatever fondness George has for fondling that axe handle.

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You wouldn't have to worry so much about fending off that draft if you just put on some fucking pants, George


But it is a hopeless belief that she holds onto. Even as the film begins to become a little more outwardly gregarious with evidence of an actual haunting, setting off all of its supernatural Roman Candles at once during its climax, there is a moment which seems to speak louder than the blood dripping from the walls, or the visions of demon pigs in windows. George will go barreling into the home with his axe. From the look on his face this appears to be the moment when both the malice of the home and the malice in George’s heart have merged. The house creaks and teeters with the force of a thousand ghost story clichés as George beings to chop down the bathroom door his step children are hiding behind. Emerging from the shadows, Cathy jumps upon George’s back to stop him, but he quickly swats her to the floor. And then, as he stares down at her, axe in hand, what he sees is a clear tell towards what the true nature of George’s true demons are. Staring up at him is not the youthful Margot Kidder he has married, but instead, is Margot Kidder webbed in prosthetic make up. She is greyed, wrinkled, aged. This is a vision of what awaits George if he dares to maintain his vows of til death do you part to its more traditional end. And so this will be the moment, staring at this phantom, that George will bring the axe down.

Whether or not he misses is besides the point. Whether or not he comes to his senses once his wife regains her youthful flush, and can now act the proper hero by dragging his family out of from the home, can hardly be absolution for the horrors that likely still await this family. What should be frightening is not the house that is spitting hell fire behind them as George speeds down the road with his wife and kids and dog by his side. It is that he will be the one driving them away to safety as the tail lights disappear into the darkness.

If only Detective Gionfriddo hadn’t skulked off to be forever lost in those shadows he was chasing.


Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:27 am
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I haven't seen it in forever. Is there really that much wood-chopping?

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Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:46 pm
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Rock wrote:
I haven't seen it in forever. Is there really that much wood-chopping?


Maybe not as much wood chopping as you might find on Norwegian television, but James Brolin definitely loves his wood in this one. Cutting it, smelling it, burning it, staring lustily as it as it crackles and pops beneath the flames he created with his own two manly hands.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:25 am
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Another entertaining read. :up:
Hard to believe now, but I remember how traumatic this film was for certain adult relatives of mine upon its release. One uncle in particular was seeing pig heads left and right for the next year. It was a few years before I was allowed to see it, so imagine my disappointment...

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:36 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Another entertaining read. :up:
Hard to believe now, but I remember how traumatic this film was for certain adult relatives of mine upon its release. One uncle in particular was seeing pig heads left and right for the next year. It was a few years before I was allowed to see it, so imagine my disappointment...


Well, thanks. All that shit was born out of an attempt at doing a write up for the Witch, and in noticing certain parallels it shared with obsessive wood chopping by emasculated males, I suddenly found myself drawn back to this fascinatigly dull clunker, that I have watched way too many times over the course of my life.

It could only be a disappointment for anyone coming to it later in life, and especially outside of the media bubble it was born in. As for me personally, it affected me deeply since it was the first movie I ever remember seeing in the theater (my first was supposedly DePalma's The Fury, but I have no memory of this). My parents presumably had to sneak me in since I was well under age, but I assume that was preferable to listening to the tantrum I had been throwing back at the apartment to see this one specific movie which they kept daring to deny me. And so there I was, in the theater, looking up at this movie I had to see. And to this day I can remember two scenes vividly. The dream of George hacking at his step daughter with an axe. And the pig in the window. Of course my three year old memory has distorted them some so that they seemed much more horrifying than they really were, but it stuck. The movie was in me.

Rewatches all through childhood into teenage years still packed results. I until my late teens would have put it in my top 10 horror films. I thought it was brilliant. Than at some point, I was half way through my thirtieth or fortieth casual viewing, and it dawned on me that nothing really happens in the movie. Sure, there are little horror flourishes here and there. But when you stare at them straight, it doesn't really leave you with much to talk about. It is a series of misadventures in a house, that if told with some serious liberties, may seem to some to be the kind of ghost stories your kooky grandmother might tell you (I am just assuming everyone has a kooky grandmother)

But I still continued to watch it after this disappointing revelation. And I still enjoy it. And I don't think it is entirely nostalgia, but I also don't think it's because it is a particularly good movie. So the only response could be for me to suddenly have three pages of that intrude on my musings on The Witch, which I hilariously didn't even get around to mentioning.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:57 am
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I totally get it, Burnt Offerings is that movie for me. Made an impact on me at a young age, and I have to rewatch it every few years. At least twice I've watched it with friends who'd trusted me to pick a "scary movie". Then somewhere in the middle it hits me-- "oh yeah, not much happens. Sorry, friend." Somehow my brain is still convinced that it's a non-stop horror fest despite all evidence to the contrary.
Amityville is one that I've only seen 3 or 4 times, but it's another one that I've never been able to completely shake. It's only a matter of time before I try it again. "Maybe this time it'll be scarier."

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:32 am
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I didn't see Burnt Offerings until about ten years ago, but immediately cottoned to it. I think I recognized the kind of dreary, under baked melodramatic ghost story that Amityville was also born from.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:40 am
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Oliver Reed + Karen Black + Elderly Bette Davis = Quality Cinema

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:44 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Oliver Reed + Karen Black + Elderly Bette Davis = Quality Cinema


How dare you!

May Burgess Meredith haunt your nightmares forever.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:42 pm
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Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:45 pm
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I'm picturing a prequel to Rocky where Mick trains Paulie to drink. Also there are ghosts.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:03 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
Another entertaining read. :up:
Hard to believe now, but I remember how traumatic this film was for certain adult relatives of mine upon its release. One uncle in particular was seeing pig heads left and right for the next year. It was a few years before I was allowed to see it, so imagine my disappointment...

Hilarious. I wonder if that was a New Orleans thing. My family was appropriately blown away by it, even though, bizarrely, my mother and her mother (my Grandmother!) wen to see Jaws, Looking For Mr. Goodbar, and Friday the 13th together.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:16 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
I totally get it, Burnt Offerings is that movie for me. Made an impact on me at a young age, and I have to rewatch it every few years. At least twice I've watched it with friends who'd trusted me to pick a "scary movie". Then somewhere in the middle it hits me-- "oh yeah, not much happens. Sorry, friend." Somehow my brain is still convinced that it's a non-stop horror fest despite all evidence to the contrary.
Amityville is one that I've only seen 3 or 4 times, but it's another one that I've never been able to completely shake. It's only a matter of time before I try it again. "Maybe this time it'll be scarier."

Well, Burnt Offerings is just fucking boring.
I mean, whenever the hearse-driver is not on-screen, you may as well just take a nap.
But man, when I was a kid, that hearse-driver was burned (Burnt?) into my dreams.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:19 pm
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Rock wrote:
I'm picturing a prequel to Rocky where Mick trains Paulie to drink. Also there are ghosts.


When someone ends up stealing this idea from you, you're going to be so angry you didn't copyright it while you still could.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:20 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Hilarious. I wonder if that was a New Orleans thing. My family was appropriately blown away by it, even though, bizarrely, my mother and her mother (my Grandmother!) wen to see Jaws, Looking For Mr. Goodbar, and Friday the 13th together.

The uncle I mentioned was an electrician at the time, so he often found himself in the attics of strangers. One time he encountered a ceramic pig or something and practically had a heart attack. Funny story at the time, but now it's like "Seriously, dude? Get it together."

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:05 pm
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Rewatched three movies I really loved upon initial viewings, and second viewings have only reaffirmed how spot on I was. Just restating some well worn facts.

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About as great as a low budget monster film can possibly get. Great creature design, imaginative, shocking, funny and even at times unsettling. Couldn't be more enthusiastic about it.

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I've brought this one up about a dozen times, but have only finally got around to re watching it. Was worried it wouldn't live up to the first experience but was happy to find that it was even better on second view. A slow burn that begins as little more than an off beat drama about a cultish family fleeing into a swampy woodland, and slowly amps up into some lysergic otherwordly nightmare. I'm not even sure what to compare this film to. It exists apart from any other horror film I can think of. Deserves to be thought of as a 80's horror film that is possibly only bettered by a small handful of others from the decade. Possession, Shining, Videodrome, Evil Dead II, Return of the Living Dead are the company it keeps.

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Not to be placed alongside of the previous two movies, this is by any estimation a piece of junk, but it is an endlessly incomprehensible, hilarious mess of a film that manages to never allow its stupidity to over stay its welcome. As inept as it is though, it really feels like it is trying to be something. The makers of this seem to have had hopes that it would live in the same rarefied are as a Sam Raimi film and falls flat on its face. Black-belt level bad movie making.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:31 am
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I need to track down these Deadly Sperm.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:22 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I need to track down these Deadly Sperm.


Yes! Do that.

I'm actually surprised you haven't come across it by now.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:27 am
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I'm curious if you know anything about this one.

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An early Ozploitation film from 1972, listed as "the first Australian horror movie of the renaissance". (I love imagining the word 'renaissance' with a thick Aussie accent.) Directed by Terry Bourke, apparently an important but unsung force in Aussie independent film. And only 50 minutes, because for some reason they thought this could be broadcast on TV (it wasn't, for immediately clear reasons).

The film is mostly a stylistic exercise, but an interesting one. I've seen no indication that Tobe Hooper saw this film, but there are a number of striking precedents to Texas Chain Saw Massacre here - the claustrophobia of rustic decay, using animal flesh to create a rotting ambience, zoom and tracking shots to disorient the sense of space rather than focus it. The plot is fodder - a woman has a car wreck and wanders into a decrepit house and a bumpkin assaults her. Again, the worth of the viewing is entirely on its crude but effective technical merits.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:07 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I'm curious if you know anything about this one.

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An early Ozploitation film from 1972, listed as "the first Australian horror movie of the renaissance". (I love imagining the word 'renaissance' with a thick Aussie accent.) Directed by Terry Bourke, apparently an important but unsung force in Aussie independent film. And only 50 minutes, because for some reason they thought this could be broadcast on TV (it wasn't, for immediately clear reasons).

The film is mostly a stylistic exercise, but an interesting one. I've seen no indication that Tobe Hooper saw this film, but there are a number of striking precedents to Texas Chain Saw Massacre here - the claustrophobia of rustic decay, using animal flesh to create a rotting ambience, zoom and tracking shots to disorient the sense of space rather than focus it. The plot is fodder - a woman has a car wreck and wanders into a decrepit house and a bumpkin assaults her. Again, the worth of the viewing is entirely on its crude but effective technical merits.


No, but definitely interested. TCM precedent and Australia sounds like a good enough start.


Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:29 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
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You wouldn't have to worry so much about fending off that draft if you just put on some fucking pants, George


I wasn't going to comment on the Looms initially (low hanging fruit), but I think it's wise to keep in mind that this is the man, the very satchel, which incubated Josh Brolin. Maybe there's method to this restrictive, smothering madness.


Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:50 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I wasn't going to comment on the Looms initially (low hanging fruit), but I think it's wise to keep in mind that this is the man, the very satchel, which incubated Josh Brolin. Maybe there's method to this restrictive, smothering madness.


I can only assume there is a consensus amongst everyone that Josh Brolin is great. Right?


Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:31 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

I can only assume there is a consensus amongst everyone that Josh Brolin is great. Right?
Sure, the multiple charges for drunken assault and that time he was arrested on charges of domestic abuse against Diane Lane are totally awesome, dude! *guitar riff*

At best, he's a reformed creep.

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Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:56 am
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BL wrote:
At best, he's a reformed creep.

I was making more of an observation on testosterone pungency. In fact, all of these character flaws are well known side effects from this pungency - aggression and ribald misadventure. Josh may not be a good man. But he's a pungent man, with a pungent voice. And this is clearly the intended macho voodoo that James "Gibb" Brolin is brewing in that ball bag.

Also, hell of a box office this year.


Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:13 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I was making more of an observation on testosterone pungency. In fact, all of these character flaws are well known side effects from this pungency - aggression and ribald misadventure. Josh may not be a good man. But he's a pungent man, with a pungent voice. And this is clearly the intended macho voodoo that James "Gibb" Brolin is brewing in that ball bag.

Also, hell of a box office this year.
Sure, sure. But please read crumbsroom's post, which is what I was replying to. Either that's a sarcastic invitation to the kind of reply I made or, and this would be much worse, an unambiguous endorsement of Josh Brolin's character. Let's all acknowledge that James Brolin's ballsack has more than a few things to answer for.

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Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:22 am
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I guess if I just Googled Josh Brolin's personal life before I posted, this could have been avoided.


Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:38 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
I guess if I just Googled Josh Brolin's personal life before I posted, this could have been avoided.


How often must we all relearn this simple lesson?


Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:28 pm
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Have you ever fantasized about a stripper dancing to CCR's "Run Through the Jungle" circa 1971? Then this is your movie.
It's a documentary centered around a Roller Derby team, with some derby footage interspersed with lots of slice-of-life moments. What kind of moments? One member of the team applies for a $300 loan in order to buy his friend's motorcycle, and we get to watch the ENTIRE loan application in real time. "Name...date of birth...". One (possibly stoned) guy browses a Playboy magazine while his sister-in-law chastises him for stealing her raisins. There's no narration and no explanation of the rules of Roller Derby, so if you're like me you'll have no idea if our team is winning or losing. This probably sounds incredibly dull and I would not recommend it to 90% of the people I know, but I will say that I couldn't stop watching it.

(I'm posting this here because it's the feature-length debut of Robert "Carny" Kaylor.)

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Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:15 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Image

Have you ever fantasized about a stripper dancing to CCR's "Run Through the Jungle" circa 1971? Then this is your movie.
It's a documentary centered around a Roller Derby team, with some derby footage interspersed with lots of slice-of-life moments. What kind of moments? One member of the team applies for a $300 loan in order to buy his friend's motorcycle, and we get to watch the ENTIRE loan application in real time. "Name...date of birth...". One (possibly stoned) guy browses a Playboy magazine while his sister-in-law chastises him for stealing her raisins. There's no narration and no explanation of the rules of Roller Derby, so if you're like me you'll have no idea if our team is winning or losing. This probably sounds incredibly dull and I would not recommend it to 90% of the people I know, but I will say that I couldn't stop watching it.

(I'm posting this here because it's the feature-length debut of Robert "Carny" Kaylor.)


Yes, it's great. I'm a big fan.

Had no idea this was Kaylor's.


Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:54 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Yes, it's great. I'm a big fan.

Had no idea this was Kaylor's.

It won me over during the raisin argument because just as I was thinking "Dang this dude's got some sweet posters on his wall", the camera suddenly began panning said posters in loving detail. That's when I knew "yeah, this movie gets me."
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Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:23 am
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Never forget!

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Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:04 am
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Rock wrote:
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Never forget!

Holy shit, haven't seen this in more than half my life. A good bit more, actually.


Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:51 am
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Rock wrote:
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Never forget!

TOO SOON!!!


Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:30 am
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STARLINER TOWERS: MODERN LIVING, HOSPITABLE STAFF AND ABSOLUTELY NO CHIMPANZEES


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Movie: Shivers
Director: David Cronenberg
Something I Liked: Even while slumming, Cronenberg refuses to pretend he still isn't smarter than you.

If there is one thing to take away from David Cronenberg’s “Shivers”, it’s that when a lover opens their mouth to reveal a turd shaped parasite swirling between their teeth as if mid flush, this is no laughing matter. It’s science. A philosophical debate of the place of man in the modern world. A treatise on sexual liberation. Or maybe it’s a condemnation of sex itself. But do not laugh. Laughter might just force Cronenberg to double down, stroke his chin a little, and get the parasite itself to lecture you on the symbiotic relationship between technology and human evolution. In short, take this shit seriously.

On its face, Shivers should be the sort of b-movie creature feature one might expect to be played as camp: Rubbery, fecally formed beasts that invade the bodies of middle class drips and transform them into kings of orgy fucking. It’s the sort of preposterous scheme that should require an origin story that involves a bug eyed mad scientist frothing over with free love manifestos. Maybe a mysterious suitcase full of exotic dildos left abandoned in a lobby. A protagonist in a Sonny Bono wig who frets over losing his virginity or even an amiable chimpanzee in rollerskates who becomes the first infected. And how about some interludes with Go-Go dancers to shimmy home the point that a frivolous time is about to be had by all. It would also benefit the film to employ a few stylistic tactics to enhance the cinematic other-worldliness such a story deserves to exist within. Snap zooms into O faces. Parasite POV shots as they navigate the toilet drains of the apartment complex. And just enough Dutch angles to force a few peeks up the towel wrapped loins of all these geriatric swingers hanging out around the sauna. While we are at it, let’s just rename this concoction Sex Slug Pool Party, because this is not remotely what Cronenberg has in mind with Shivers. Instead, he will direct this monstrosity absolutely stone faced, as if he will unnerve simply through the suggestion that something so preposterous could have serious implications. He isn’t necessarily wrong.

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Usually relying on his tremendous intellect and wit at wooing the ladies, Nicholas is beginning to feel this was not the most charming thing to have ever come from his mouth


For all of its nudity and wanton displays of sexuality, Shivers will mostly be played as a deliberately introverted, even shy film. Shots are frequently static, blocking is undynamic, action is minimal. The movie feels as if it doesn’t want to call too much attention to itself, that it is nothing special, as if trying to show the audience it is not nearly the sort of pervert it will soon be proven to be.

Opening the film with a coolly narrated slide show that details all of the modern virtues of moving into Starliner Towers (the building complex which will be ground zero for the eventual infestation) we will be introduced to the heated swimming pool, the ample parking offered for both residents and guests, the onsite dentist and doctors offices. It is the conveniences that matter here. And so how considerate that an early scene of a girl being chased down, strangled, stripped and cut open doesn’t make too much of a fuss while the building goes about its early morning rituals. Teeth are brushed. Breakfasts are eaten. A new couple arrives to be shown an available apartment. Cordialities are exchanged. This depiction of brutal violence being performed in one of the rooms is presented with such an affectless and dispassionate manner, it almost feels as if Cronenberg is hoping to make the act appear lethargic enough to blend in with all of the other sleepy eyed activities happening around it. Of course he can’t get away with this, it is a scene that is impossible to unsee, but it is the attempt on the directors part that is important. It begs the question, what else can we try to pretend isn’t there. Would the man who is staring blankly at himself into a mirror even bother to turn off his Waterpik if he knew what was happening next door? As he begins to absent mindedly poke at the strange bulges in his belly, the answer seems to be he has other concerns on his mind. Squishy sexy concerns. So probably not.

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Paul Hampton stands resolutely unimpressed by this disemboweling. As a result audiences feel silly for having any emotions at all


AS the movie continues, Cronenberg will only further try to treat sexual perversion as a natural, if not mundane state. When it is revealed that the girl who was shown murdered at the beginning of the film was only twelve years old, the news is treated by the two characters talking with such a shrugging non-chalance it hardly affects the appreciation of the pickles they are sucking on. There seems to be a tacit understanding that the sexual abuse of a child is a topic not worth delving too deeply into. There is no shock, no outrage, no emotion. She is simply an understandable casualty. Whether this is a result of shame or complicity, the response will nevertheless be to change the topic of this conversation and instead investigate whether or not there is anymore packets of mustard hiding in that paper bag their lunch came in. Paul Hampton’s sandwich was short changed. Those damn beasts down at the delicatessen really know how to spoil an afternoon.

This will leave it up to the sexual predators that begin to exponentially populate the Starliner to bring some articulation to what is not being acknowledged in the sterile conversations and bland demeanors of the uninfected. For Cronenberg, this is what sex looks like when it is pulled up from the sunken depths inside of them into the daylight. On one hand, it has the patchouli stink of that hippy Utopian ideal of free love rising to its most frenzied extreme. Maybe not for all tastes, but one that could be argued as being healthy, liberating, natural. But along with the reveal of all of the tenants sexual picadillo’s made visible and inhibitions made irrelevant, there also comes with that all of the deviancy that clings to the hull of their freed love like barnacles. Hitching a ride into the hallways of the Starliner will be cases of incest, pedophilia, rape. The sort of things one might find less appetizing to contemplate than the quality of a pickle. They are mighty find pickles after all. Just a shame about the mustard situation. It could have been a perfect lunch.

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Hoping to quickly recede from this photobomb, Paul Hampton finally comes upon something that shakes him to the core.


Much of the discomfort (re: horror) in watching Shivers, will be Cronenberg’s eerie silence in regards to moralizing any one particular sexual act over another. Just as he slipped the murder of a girl into the morning routines of the tenants, or the discovery of that girls age into the middle of an informal lunch, the level of indecency committed by those infected will range wildly. We will see evidence of nude children on leashes and women being tackled by horny mobs in hallways, but also pleasantly tipsy men in Speedos giving out invites to join the party. All of these acts will be presented as the same thing, simply behavior from which our uninfected protagonists need to escape. Even something as gentle as a delicate kiss shared between two friends is shown as an act that needs to be recoiled from. Cronenberg seems to be setting up competing arguments that while there is something troubling about modern man’s gradual shift away from sexual liberation, he also makes sure to force down our throat (quite literally) the caveat that sex itself may be the enemy if we give it too long of a leash. Should we continue to keep a suppressive check on our natural desires? Should we be fearful of that these desires may lead us to a moral decay and an eventual de evolution of societal norms? Or should we just join the party, take off our clothes, jump in the pool and try not to think of anything anymore.

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In attempting to rescue his wife, this old man can't help but appear to be acting in a singularly indecent way, even for Shivers. Pleased by the ambiguity of the image, David Cronenberg shrugs. His work is done here.


Ending the film with the entirety of the Starliner infected and each of its tenants paired off like satiated invitees of a key party, we will watch as they begin to file out from the underground garage, contentedly smiling as they drive out into the city to spread their swinging gospel to the unenlightened. Who are we to argue with these peacefully blank faces that stare out at us from behind their windshields. These now blissfully happy wives and husbands. Boyfriends and girlfriends. Fathers and daughters. Adults and children. What exactly was so frightening about those fake ass shit monsters anyway?


Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:57 am
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Hmmm... much to chew on here. Been maybe 4 years since I've seen this, but I think I remember most of it.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:34 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Much of the discomfort (re: horror) in watching Shivers, will be Cronenberg’s eerie silence in regards to moralizing any one particular sexual act over another. Just as he slipped the murder of a girl into the morning routines of the tenants, or the discovery of that girls age into the middle of an informal lunch, the level of indecency committed by those infected will range wildly. We will see evidence of nude children on leashes and women being tackled by horny mobs in hallways, but also pleasantly tipsy men in Speedos giving out invites to join the party. All of these acts will be presented as the same thing, simply behavior from which our uninfected protagonists need to escape.


See, I actually had a very different reaction to the presentation of these acts. It seemed somehow significant to me that both of the "non-violent" sexual acts (the kiss and the men in the hallway) were homosexual in nature. As if their gayness is what makes them dangerous and puts them in the same category as the other "deviant" sexual acts taking place. I can't remember any similarly placid/passive acts that are straight in nature. The only explicitly or implicitly homosexual acts are the ones instigated by the parasites, and I found that kind of problematic. That it's never made clear whether the sexual acts are repressed desires from the victims or simply the product of the parasites is the writer/director's choice, but for me it creates an issue in terms of how I relate to what I'm seeing.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:06 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
In short, take this shit seriously.

This was the only direction that Cronenberg gave to Paul Hampton.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:08 am
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Crumbsroom word me good

Yeah, I think that sterility is why I'd take Shivers over anything he did until at least Scanners, when he tightened his craft significantly. Also, Lynn Lowry is pretty fly, but that goes without saying.

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Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:12 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
This was the only direction that Cronenberg gave to Paul Hampton.


That, and "when you punch her in the face, no hesitation."


Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:14 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

That, and "when you punch her in the face, no hesitation."

Hampton's not playing games here, Takoma. He doesn't want to do take after take, punch after punch. Bam. Got it, Boss? Good. Next scene.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:21 am
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Rock wrote:
Crumbsroom word me good

Yeah, I think that sterility is why I'd take Shivers over anything he did until at least Scanners, when he tightened his craft significantly. Also, Lynn Lowry is pretty fly, but that goes without saying.

Scanners is maybe his only film that I've seen that I think is genuinely poor. I know why we all always thought it was awesome, but when I've rewatched it, it has not held up in almost any way other than those moments. It is not helped, or maybe the poor qualities are accentuated, by arguably the worst actor I've ever seen on a screen, Stephen Lack. I can't think of a performance that bad off the top of my head.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:03 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

See, I actually had a very different reaction to the presentation of these acts. It seemed somehow significant to me that both of the "non-violent" sexual acts (the kiss and the men in the hallway) were homosexual in nature. As if their gayness is what makes them dangerous and puts them in the same category as the other "deviant" sexual acts taking place. I can't remember any similarly placid/passive acts that are straight in nature. The only explicitly or implicitly homosexual acts are the ones instigated by the parasites, and I found that kind of problematic. That it's never made clear whether the sexual acts are repressed desires from the victims or simply the product of the parasites is the writer/director's choice, but for me it creates an issue in terms of how I relate to what I'm seeing.


Considering the time, it's possible that Cronenberg is playing somewhat on fears regarding homosexuality, but it is more about how he presents these 'taboo's' to the audience that I think is important. They lack the aggression or violence implicit in the other scenes, such as the outright assaults, degradation and violence that we see committed upon children and relatives, yet are still recoiled from equally by those characters who are frightened of infection. Sure, arguments could be made about the homophobia that may be baked in here, but Cronenberg doesn't show much interest in making their behaviour actually appear harmful apart from the threat of infection (the two men jovially invite them to join and make no attempt to shake the door down; the kiss with Barbara Steele comes across more as an earnest plea for connection than an urge to hurt Janine, and these two in fact end up paired together at the end, looking entirely content). The fear the characters feel in the film remains more about the possible contamination of sexuality freed, than specifically being about any one particular 'deviant' act.

As for placid straight act in the film, well, there aren't really any placid sex acts in the film at all. Sexuality is almost completely denied on screen by those who are uninfected (Hampton won't even look up at his undressing girlfriend while he is on the phone) and so all sex acts are relegated to those who are infected. This makes it so that all sex is a threat, whether it be straight aggression (of which there is definitely a few instances), homosexual or any other kind of more harmful act. Only those who get turned on by the parasites seem to have no concerns in regards to the moralizing of their sexuality, and they are all engaged in a complete orgy or homosexual and heterosexual acts all mixed together in the hallways, almost indistinguishable from each other. It becomes irrelevant what they are doing specifically. All that the characters know is that all of it is to be avoided and hidden from.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:06 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Scanners is maybe his only film that I've seen that I think is genuinely poor. I know why we all always thought it was awesome, but when I've rewatched it, it has not held up in almost any way other than those moments. It is not helped, or maybe the poor qualities are accentuated, by arguably the worst actor I've ever seen on a screen, Stephen Lack. I can't think of a performance that bad off the top of my head.


I still like it, but it's one of his weakest.


Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:06 pm
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