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 Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30) 
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Post Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Corrie Class Trip is a project where we rotate the selection of a title for group watches on an appointed day/date to then discuss [previous iterations linked below]. We welcome all to participate and share their thoughts and feelings! The eighth viewing for Round 3 is scheduled for Friday March 30th. Please post about the film itself and your experience with it in this thread, and any off-topic posts about the series itself in the Class Trip Discussion Thread.

Thanks and enjoy!!!

xoxo,
your classmates

:heart: :heart: :heart:

Friday, March 30th, 2018


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This film should be available on Youtube


IMDB wrote:
Tony's father Sam, abducted by aliens three years earlier, returns to earth and seeks out his wife and son, but Rachel has since been living with Joe and the reunion is awkward. Joe doesn't trust Sam, and Rachel can't quite decide what her feelings are for her two men. Sam is not the same as when he left, and he begins affecting Tony in frightening ways.


Past Trips, Junior Year:

#1 - La maternelle (1933, Jean Benoît-Lévy & Marie Epstein, France) | wigwam
#2 - Time and Winds (2006, Reha Erdem, Turkey) | Oxnard Montalvo
#3 - Clean, Shaven (1993, Lodge Kerrigan, USA) | Popcorn Reviews
#4 - Diabeł (1972, Andrzej Żuławski, Poland) | Oxnard Montalvo
#5 - Black Friday (2004, Anurag Kashyap, India) | Rock
#6 - Schizopolis (1996, Steven Soderbergh, USA) | Slentert

Past Trips, Sophomore Year:

#1 - The Worthless (1982, Mika Kaurismäki, Finland) | snapper
#2 - Shopping for Fangs (1997, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin, USA) | takeshi
#3 - The Heart of the Wise Lives in the House of Sorrow (2009, Marin Malešević, Serbia) | Shieldmaiden
#4 - The Forbidden Quest (1993, Peter Delpeut, Netherlands) | kopello
#5 - São Bernardo (1972, Leon Hirszman, Brazil) | Bandy Greensacks
#6 - Evdokia (1971, Alexis Damianos, Greece) | Epistemophobia
#7 - The Ball at the Anjō House (1947, Kōzaburō Yoshimura, Japan) | snapper
#8 - Sérail (1976, Eduardo de Gregorio, France) | takeshi
#9 - Passport for a Corpse (1962, Mario Gariazzo, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#10 - Aksuat (1997, Serik Aprimov, Kazakhstan) | Shieldmaiden
#11 - Dangerously Excited (2011, Koo, South Korea) | wigwam
#12 - Himala (1982, Ishmael Bernal, Philippines) | snapper

Past Trips, Freshman Year:

#1 - Distant Journey (1949, Alfréd Radok, Czechoslovakia) | snapper
#2 - Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968, Susumu Hani, Japan) | Das
#3 - The Policewoman (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal) | charulata
#4 - Freeze, Die, Come to Life! (1989, Vitali Kanevsky, USSR) | Bandy Greensacks
#5 - The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974, Francesco Barilli, Italy) | Trip
#6 - Weddings and Babies (1958, Morris Engel, USA) | snapper
#7 - The Man with Three Coffins (1987, Lee Jang-ho, South Korea) | Notes from Underground
#8 - Malina (1991, Werner Schroeter, Germany) | Shieldmaiden
#9 - Bad Luck (1960, Andrzej Munk, Poland) | B-Side
#10 - The Girl with the Suitcase (1961, Valerio Zurlini, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#11 - The Engagement of Anna (1972, Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece) | BandyGreensacks
#12 - Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934. Yasujirō Shimazu, Japan) | snapper[/quote]


Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:32 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I couldn't get into this one. I think a lot of it has to do with the predictability as I saw most of the deaths coming from a mile away. In addition, I felt like some of the horror sequences (mainly the ones featuring toys trying to kill people) felt more cheesy than scary. This often led to an awkward blend of gore as some of the deaths were grotesque and others were cartoonish. However, I liked many of the interactions between Sam and his family as some of them had undertones of suspense. Also, it's always refreshing to see a movie which has the
bad guy win
. I can't say I cared that much for this movie though.

4/10

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Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:06 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I couldn't get into this one. I think a lot of it has to do with the predictability as I saw most of the deaths coming from a mile away.


You seem to continually be hung up on the predictability of who dies in these sorts of films. Nearly all B films end up piggy backing on any number of lazy film tropes, and so you really shouldn't worry too much if you get ahead of certain elements of the plot. Of course you might know who will eventually be killed. These sorts of films telegraph this information. What is important is the other ways an obviously amateur film like this skirts around conventional plot arcs, or general sense.

If I can get some food in my belly, and sop up some of these Easter Friday pints I have sitting in my guts, maybe I will very briefly lay out what I think is fascinating about how this movie works. This doesn't mean it's a good movie. Because it isn't. But it's also not a bad movie, by any stretch, because it operates on its own deliciously perverted logic, regardless if we figure out who makes it to the end.

Unfortunately, I don't have any food in my house at the moment though, so sopping up these pints might not happen immediately. Unless I start eating stale buns, which I might do, if things get desperate.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:57 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I am willing.

I will commence contact as soon as the coffee and alcohol allow.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:44 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Jinnistan wrote:
I am willing.

I will commence contact as soon as the coffee and alcohol allow.


I am currently deep into Michael Hodges "Pulp" and am not coming out until it is finished. With the beer and wine and weed I may be way too discombobulated to do any live streaming of anything after it finishes. Unless there is more than us two who are willing. I am susceptible to peer pressure. Otherwise, I can do this Sunday night, since I will be somewhat rearranged by then.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:05 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

crumbsroom wrote:

I am currently deep into Michael Hodges "Pulp" and am not coming out until it is finished. With the beer and wine and weed I may be way too discombobulated to do any live streaming of anything after it finishes. Unless there is more than us two who are willing. I am susceptible to peer pressure. Otherwise, I can do this Sunday night, since I will be somewhat rearranged by then.

Nonsense. If Pulp provokes anything, it should be the inspiration to pithy and cynical barbs.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:38 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Also, beer and wine?

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Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:45 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

OK. Here's my link. I'm going in. Please calibrate the time of this post with the first second of video, ass I am prepared to hit play

now.



Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:04 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Wait, there's an Xtro 2? We should be watching that!!!


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:05 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

My god. They've exploded the classic 2001 match cut.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:08 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I wish Analise would talk to me :shifty:


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:11 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Guys, don't act like this shit-stirring montage isn't pretty good.

Guys? Ugh.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:14 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Haha. The "I Melt With You" guy just got his face melted.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:16 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I'm watching Xtro II


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:32 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Goddamn it.

I'm going to watch Xtro II as well.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:39 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

This shit better be in English.

Jan Mic-Drop Vincent.

Already an improvement.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:41 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

There's an Xtro 3!!! With Robert Culp!!!

Anyway, here's an English language clip that looks passable.




Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:44 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

"Hopefully not our final curtain."

Hopefully, as there's still 82 minutes left.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:51 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

crumbsroom wrote:

You seem to continually be hung up on the predictability of who dies in these sorts of films. Nearly all B films end up piggy backing on any number of lazy film tropes, and so you really shouldn't worry too much if you get ahead of certain elements of the plot. Of course you might know who will eventually be killed. These sorts of films telegraph this information. What is important is the other ways an obviously amateur film like this skirts around conventional plot arcs, or general sense.

Yeah, but how does the fact that B movies usually rely on lazy film tropes excuse them from those issues? Those issues are still present in the film and they should be considered if one notices them.

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Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Popcorn should be forced to watch the entire trilogy.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

At least Xtro 2 has a Hudson character.

That's because it's an Aliens rip-off. JMV is playing Ripley.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:10 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

And there goes the chest.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I think, but am not sure, that the German Tai Chi guy is supposed to be Bishop.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:16 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

The more I think about it, the more I think Uninvited is the superior Alien rip off. At least it has George Kennedy as Yaphet Kotto and The Tabby as John Hurt.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:20 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

pre-emptive apology for not watching this tonight. I woke up too late and have to be at work in about an hour.


Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Yeah, but how does the fact that B movies usually rely on lazy film tropes excuse them from those issues? Those issues are still present in the film and they should be considered if one notices them.


You can consider them all you want, just as you can consider bad acting, incomprehensible scripts, inelegant editing or characters behaving illogically as faults as well. But watching a B film for the soundness of its plotting, or being clever enough with its narrative to surprise you with kills, seems to be raising it to expectations not many are going to achieve. If I was to ever going to use my surprise at who gets killed in a film as any kind of criteria, I'd be seriously disappointed in nearly every film I watch. And this would include films that aim considerably higher than Xtro. When you watch enough films, most plot points can be found being telegraphed well in advance. Not many scripts are ingenious enough to entirely subvert their use of narrative to legitimately shock their viewers with something completely unexpected. So it becomes less about surprising an audience with some major event, and more about the unqiue way they reveal the coming death of a character, even if it is expected well in advance. What elements does the director or script highlight or accent. What elements are underplayed. I look at most narrative arcs like a traditional blues song that, while you may be aware how the entire song will play out the moment the introductory riff begins, it is about the sounds and textures and tones or how that blues riff moves throughout the song that thrills. Not the fact that it has no unexpected twists or turns built into it.

Xtro, when reduced to its finest components, has a fairly traditional plot arc. Father is abducted, eventually returning because he wants to bring his family with him. It's drama is also fairly traditional in that it centers around how this father will reintegrate with the wife and son after he has been away so long and they have moved on. What becomes interesting in the film for me, then, isn't a relatively safe narrative arc. It are the strange little accents that dress it up. When the father returns, he has mutated into some horrible beast in order to adapt to the climate of his new extra terrestrial home. To readjust to Earth, he needs to become reborn through an adult woman. His child is shown to have some kind of psychic link with his father, which causes his bed to fill with blood one night when his father is hit by a car. The child, after initially being reluctant to his fathers return, is eventually indoctrinated by him after his father sucks on his shoulder and begins the process of turning the boy into an alien as well. Then a couple of subplots of the boy using his new found powers to enact revenge on neighbours by turning his toys against neighbours he doesn't like. It also has multiple striking images, such as the scene of father and son and their seemingly decomposing bodies standing leaving earth in a firey light.

Ultimately its the mystery of where the father has come from and why he was taken in the first place (left unexplained), the strange bond that is built between the father in son of the course of the movie, and the peculiarity of some of the kills (regardless if we know who dies, it's unlikely we are going to guess how they will die) that makes it all a surprisingly effective movie for me, even if it isn't a necessarily good movie

7.5/10


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:54 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Jinnistan wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I think Uninvited is the superior Alien rip off. At least it has George Kennedy as Yaphet Kotto and The Tabby as John Hurt.


Now that I have returned from my coma, Xtro is better than Uninvited by a stretch. But it definitely couldn't have hurt it to include George Kennedy and a couple of cats (and let's not forget a bumbling Clu Gallagher)


Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:56 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I see what you mean. You're probably right that I shouldn't be too concerned with predictable character deaths since complete surprises are rare to come across in cinema. However, I'm still sticking with my other criticisms with the movie, and I still don't consider myself to be a fan of it.

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Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:17 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Since you guys are stiffs, a real friend stopped by, I set the Xtro nonsense aside and we watched the last Lomochenko fight instead.

Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux - 9/10

The two most exciting southpaws in featherweight finally got it on in December, promising to be the real fight of the year (because, heh, Mayweather/McGregor was strictly for the disposable income suckers). Loma, as many boxing fans know, is also the most exciting boxer, period, in the ring today, but Rigo, who was undefeated, looked to be the most prime contender. Again, both southpaws, and both quick and agile and excellent technicians.

But Loma is a goddamn beast. Footwork to make Kevin Bacon cry. He seems to have opened a pandora's box of pivoting possibilities, except no one has even dared to try to follow him down this revolutionary style yet. So, for the moment, he owns it, and executes it flawlessly. This fight, ultimately, didn't prove to be quite as exciting as his bout against Jason Sosa earlier in the year, but consistently Loma has a knack for making his opponents, all top-shelf boxers of considerable talent, look like virtual amateurs by comparison. This frustration is usually a factor in their eventual collapse. They simply can't keep up, and would have little idea for how to. Loma, no hyperbole, is an athlete on the level of a Tyson or a Jordon. He's a gamechanger, purely in terms of his foot-strategy, and it will be a while before the implications of his innovations begin to fully influence the sport in general. What's certain is that it will, and boxing will not be the same. Unfortunately, due to his stature (5' 7", 130 lbs), Loma is limited in ascending past the lightweight division, and therefore will probably not gain the noteriety of the more popular middle and heavyweights. However, those fighters are surely paying attention, and the Loma pivot will become something we see inscribed into the standard boxing textbook.

Poor Rigo. Simply overwhelmed and mostly embarrassed, he never got control of the dynamic force that Loma was putting down. It would have been a clear decision had he stayed in the fight, but there is no shame in taking a towel after the sixth round. There simply was nowhere to go but down. I dare say that there is no boxer currently in his field that could do much better.



Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I thought is was okay. like, it is clearly not a shoddy production compared to a lot of B-movies. some nice gruesome bits and family drama. I don't mind mean-spiritedness but maybe it just wasn't as artfully done (or artless in an artful way, if that makes sense) for my palete. maybe I need to watch even more schlockier schlock to cultivate a taste for secretly good schlock.

change my mind, crumbs


Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:58 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

At its best, Xtro works like a malevolent answer to Close Encounters or E.T. and frames its horror through the impact it has on the family unit. It works reasonably well in this regard thanks to being better acted and produced than a lot of other exploitation movies, with the actors bringing a bit more weight to their roles and the effects being credibly disgusting. (That birth scene, uh...yeah.) Unfortunately, the kills that move away from the gross-out style of the early effects sequences don't work at all for me, as they feel out of place compared to everything around them and are frankly kind of dumb in their conception. (Ooh, a midget clown. How terrifying.) As far as cash-ins from this era go, it's definitely better than Pod People, although some of those kill scenes bear unfortunate similarities to the Trumpy magic power scenes from that movie.

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Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:59 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I thought is was okay. like, it is clearly not a shoddy production compared to a lot of B-movies. some nice gruesome bits and family drama. I don't mind mean-spiritedness but maybe it just wasn't as artfully done (or artless in an artful way, if that makes sense) for my palete. maybe I need to watch even more schlockier schlock to cultivate a taste for secretly good schlock.

change my mind, crumbs


There is hardly any shame in not being ecstatic about Xtro. It is a considerably better constructed movie than one should expect from the poster, and the surprise of it was that to me what was most interesting about it was not it's ineptness or silliness, but that the drama of the father/son dynamic held up even beneath the weight of scenes with diarrhea like alien births of grown men. It's trashiness and its honesty were good companions. I actually was engaged enough with the story that I wanted to know where it would end up going. Ultimately, I don't know if the family drama necessarily paid off, as I at one point suspected it might, and it strangeness did get bogged down in flaccid goof off diversions like midget clown friends (as Rock has pointed out), but it was a more than decent curiosity (good enough that I will eventually check out those sequels). Nothing more. It wouldn't be a terribly good example of B movie schlock.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:56 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

crumbsroom wrote:
It's trashiness and its honesty were good companions.

This is the essential key to quality shlock cinema, in my estimate. The inimitable quality is sincerity, and people from Ed Wood Jr to Neil Breen have it in spades. It's rather obvious looking at the intentional shlock of most of the recent post-Grindhouse films, trying eagerly to capture the spirit of the good bad movie, to see the vacuum of this essential ingredient. Earnest failure is always more compelling than cynical farce.

crumbsroom wrote:
(good enough that I will eventually check out those sequels).

Spoiler: they suck.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:14 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I think those letterboxd reviews really raised my expectations.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

One aspect of the movie I haven't seen discussed here: This is all a giant metaphor for child molestation, right? I mean, we're talking about a movie where an adult man chases an open-shirted boy through an alleyway, then passes along "our little secret" by giving him a giant space hickey.

Anyway, I suppose I'm a little more enthusiastic about the shift to goofy, cartoonish kills in the second half of the movie. It's certainly not scary, but I think A) it's appropriately childish given the material involving a psychic kid and B) it keeps the proceedings from devolving into a rote gore-fest; the movie keeps shifting gears deep into the third act. and I appreciate that.

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Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:41 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

BL wrote:
One aspect of the movie I haven't seen discussed here: This is all a giant metaphor for child molestation, right? I mean, we're talking about a movie where an adult man chases an open-shirted boy through an alleyway, then passes along "our little secret" by giving him a giant space hickey.

Anyway, I suppose I'm a little more enthusiastic about the shift to goofy, cartoonish kills in the second half of the movie. It's certainly not scary, but I think A) it's appropriately childish given the material involving a psychic kid and B) it keeps the proceedings from devolving into a rote gore-fest; the movie keeps shifting gears deep into the third act. and I appreciate that.


I think there is pretty clearly an under current of something unpleasant between the father and son that is clearly more than him being an alien. I was initially going to comment a little more on this element, but I ultimately never found the time. I wasn't specifically thinking of it being a metaphor for child molestation, as much as it playing with elements of that in order to make the audience immediately uncomfortable.

Following that theme of abuse though, the childish nature of how the boy enacts revenge does feel as if the secret power the father has shared with him in his weirdly sexual way, is something that he isn't quite at an age to fully understand, and so uses it in an almost innocent way that seems disconnected from the violence he causes. And, partially because of this, I do like the solider scene. I think it's actually done pretty well, considering how ludicrous it all is. Which is another reason I like this film, because it is frequently willing to be ludicrous amongst its legitimate efforts at being straight faced unpleasant. The little person in the top hat though is so tonally off that, while I can appreciate it from that gonzo perspective, that part never seemed to work much for me.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:21 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

now I'm wondering if I was looking for the movie to hammer that theme much harder. but then it would be more of a 'serious' movie and not enjoyable on a B-schlocky level.

I'm not even sure if was even thinking about child molestation as I was watching that or if I was just, 'eh, more weird stuff.... face rape, birthing shit, neck made of bubble gum, psychic link between son and Not-Dad, eggs, more face-rape....'


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I'm not even sure if was even thinking about child molestation as I was watching that or if I was just, 'eh, more weird stuff.... face rape, birthing shit, neck made of bubble gum, psychic link between son and Not-Dad, eggs, more face-rape....'

This was my experience as well. And that the psychic link existed before the father's return probably made it harder for me to see whatever molestation metaphor the movie might have been pushing.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:34 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Finally got to this one Monday night, and I kind of think it's legitimately good. Maybe it's just a case of "wow I was expecting this to be worse", but honestly I wouldn't describe this as schlock, except for maybe its reliance on slimy effects. I certainly didn't expect the family drama to be the most interesting element. In terms of "scary" bits there were some nice moments like the four-legged thing on the side of the road and an ugly head that showed up late in the film. The acting wasn't terrible. I can't say that I'm itching to watch Xtro 2, but I can see myself revisiting this one someday.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:11 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

crumbsroom wrote:

I think there is pretty clearly an under current of something unpleasant between the father and son that is clearly more than him being an alien. I was initially going to comment a little more on this element, but I ultimately never found the time. I wasn't specifically thinking of it being a metaphor for child molestation, as much as it playing with elements of that in order to make the audience immediately uncomfortable.

Following that theme of abuse though, the childish nature of how the boy enacts revenge does feel as if the secret power the father has shared with him in his weirdly sexual way, is something that he isn't quite at an age to fully understand, and so uses it in an almost innocent way that seems disconnected from the violence he causes. And, partially because of this, I do like the solider scene. I think it's actually done pretty well, considering how ludicrous it all is. Which is another reason I like this film, because it is frequently willing to be ludicrous amongst its legitimate efforts at being straight faced unpleasant. The little person in the top hat though is so tonally off that, while I can appreciate it from that gonzo perspective, that part never seemed to work much for me.
The only reason I say "molestation" rather than just generalized abuse is because of that alley scene. You've got a guy sucking on a young boy's shoulder blade until it basically becomes a phallus in his mouth. It's pretty overtly sexual. I also see the stuff about a psychic link as something akin to a child predator's grooming; they have this special bond that nobody else could understand, so don't tell Mommy. The dad has literally gotten into his son's head in a way that's upsetting and inappropriate.

But other than that, I do see the movie the way you're framing it in the second paragraph. To me, the movie is structured around the kid's trauma. The first half is about him experiencing all this awful stuff -- Dad's disappearance, the bloody sheets, the alleyway suck job -- then the second half is him acting out a power fantasy as a way of processing all this. He lashes out at the old lady for killing his snake, even though it was really the dad's fault that it got out. He punishes the nanny and her boyfriend for ignoring him while they fuck, even though it was the dad's prolonged absence that really traumatized him. You can read it as the kid basically displacing all his anger about what's going on with his father onto more innocent targets because they can't hurt him back the way his dad has. Yeah, it's enacted in a childish fashion...because he's a child. But I think it also gives a bit of variety to the violence. Once you've got a grown man bursting out of a woman's vagina, it's going to be hard to top the gore factor, so I was happy that the movie shifted gears in that respect. But yeah, the little person is a bit much.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:08 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I love the discussion you guys have been having on the movie's themes. I felt like the family drama was one of the film's strengths, but I didn't realize the extra layers it has. I'm going to definitely re-watch this movie in the future, because I feel like I might enjoy it a bit more after hearing all of your interpretations.

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Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:02 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I would be curious if the filmmakers have said anything about what they were going for..... I still think any molestation stuff is just another ick ingredient thrown into an ick stew to make it ickier.

buuuuut portraying something like that can benefit from foregoing any pretensions towards good taste i.e. the benefits of B-movie schlock


Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:55 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I would be curious if the filmmakers have said anything about what they were going for..... I still think any molestation stuff is just another ick ingredient thrown into an ick stew to make it ickier.

buuuuut portraying something like that can benefit from foregoing any pretensions towards good taste i.e. the benefits of B-movie schlock


Yes, there are definitely benefits to be working in what some would call 'B movie schlock'. When artists are freed from the shackles of 'good taste' or 'professionalism' or any sort of expectations of success, they generally create much more interesting work. At least more so than those artists who simply want to be accepted or understood. Of course, I think that the best works in art are made by those who are clear masters of their craft (Tarkovsky, Picasso, Dylan, Coltrane, Kubrick, Joyce), with very clear things they want to say. But their is a really limited pool of artists who are so good they can bend the expectations of their medium to their will, and so once I've exhausted them, it is to the slum merchants and weirdo's I turn for true expression. Those who have little to lose, and may fumble a bit with their message, and may take some ill advised turns. But these limitations and errors are where their personal style lays, and it is much more likely to allow signs of an individual voice to shine through than those who have unfortunately been schooled enough to file off all of the rough ends.

Regardless of whether Xtro was simply doubling down on the ick factor with the molestation angle, or they really had a message, or if it is simply us reading too much into it, is only semi-relevant to me. Whatever the reasons, it still manages to turn a simple alien coming to earth tale, into something that can get under the skin and seem to have a greater real life resonance. It also creates an unpleasant and unspoken tension in the more domestic scenes, which ends up being the the binding agent that brings the moments of homelife drama and alien gore together into something that almost feels whole (sort of like how Zulawski's Possession manages to infect its scenes of a martial dysfunction with the nightmare that is hiding in the tenenment building, Xtro just isn't nearly as succesful). These allusions to child abuse also makes one of the final images in the film, the father and the son he is basically abducting holding hands as they seem to be decomposing beneath some extraterrestrial light, an added emotional heft.

What I'm saying is, B-Movie schlock has much more to offer than to be laughed at or to create disposable thrills. These are both fine and dandy, but if there wasn't more there to chew on, I probably wouldn't be wasting so much time watching this shit.


Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:03 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

When are we going to start the next thread?

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Tue May 01, 2018 10:04 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I'm gonna be away from my computer for the rest of the week but if no one else steps up, I could choose a movie for the 12th.


Tue May 01, 2018 10:53 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I hosted the previous thread, so I'll let you or someone else go next.

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Tue May 01, 2018 11:01 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

I watched this! I agree with everyone that the quality of the production and acting was a surprise. And it was the family drama that kept me hooked.

A couple smart things others said:

Rock wrote:
At its best, Xtro works like a malevolent answer to Close Encounters or E.T. and frames its horror through the impact it has on the family unit.
Love this.

crumbsroom wrote:
Following that theme of abuse though, the childish nature of how the boy enacts revenge does feel as if the secret power the father has shared with him in his weirdly sexual way, is something that he isn't quite at an age to fully understand, and so uses it in an almost innocent way that seems disconnected from the violence he causes.
I thought the garishly lit toy-revenge was at least as horrifying as (and more distressing than) the sci-fi monsters. And I think you explain why here. It's both the damage and the avoidance strategy.

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Fri May 11, 2018 8:07 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #8: Xtro (Fri 03/30)

Shieldmaiden wrote:
I watched this! I agree with everyone that the quality of the production and acting was a surprise. And it was the family drama that kept me hooked.

A couple smart things others said:

Love this.

I thought the garishly lit toy-revenge was at least as horrifying as (and more distressing than) the sci-fi monsters. And I think you explain why here. It's both the damage and the avoidance strategy.


Xtro needs as much love as possible, so it thanks you for this post.


Thu May 17, 2018 1:45 pm
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