Category Archives: nazis

Titanic, The Evil Version

Titanic ~ This is not the Titanic you think it is, in fact, this is not any of the Titanics you might think it is. It’s not from 1997, 1953, or even 1915. I had never heard of this 1943 version until very recently, and it is a sad and very intriguing monument to the power of propaganda. This is the Nazi version.

This Titanic was made by the German film industry, controlled by the Nazis, in the midst of World War II. At a time when Germany was at war with Great Britain, this dramatic propaganda film showed the story of the Titanic sinking, not strictly because of an iceberg, but because of the greed and folly of the British ship’s owners.

In this Titanic, the upper class British passengers are all rich, careless, and decadent, with the Germans poor and heroic, in fact, the only German crew member is our hero. The skewed almost-Bizarro World version of history has to be seen to be believed.

This subtitled anti-British piece of work was never actually released as Nazi officials thought the scenes of chaos inboard the ship might panic German citizens who were under attack during wartime. For years it was thought lost, but occasionally shows up on TCM. Worth watching as a curiosity.

Advertisements

Progressive/Offensive

Disfigured ~ This quirky independent film takes a look at perspective when an anorexic woman who sees herself as fat tries to join a fat acceptance group. A friendship develops between her and one of the group’s founders that makes everyone learn a bit about themselves in the end. Disfigured is an important film about body image written and directed by Glenn Gers, and it’s highly recommended. I really liked this film.

Blubberella ~ On the opposite end of the spectrum is this mess. Just when I thought Uwe Boll could not sink lower, could not possibly make worse movies than he already made, comes … this. Lindsey Hollister, who should know better, plays a World War II superhero in the shade of Blade who kills Nazis because they are depleting her supply of men on JDate.

This is just horrible, and despite being labeled a comedy, there are no laughs. It is offensive, and offensive to everyone, from overweight people obviously to every possible minority, including Holocaust victims. There’s even blackface in it. Hollister and Ron Howard’s brother’s Clint have made the bottom of my hate list for being in this piece of crap. At least Uwe Boll plays Hitler here, a role so suited to his filmmaking abilities.

As good as Disfigured is, Blubberella is bad. This is a major contender for worst film ever made.

Marathon Man

Marathon Man ~ This is actually, just by weird coincidence, my second John Schlesinger and Dustin Hoffman movie this week. Like Midnight Cowboy, Marathon Man is an interesting time capsule that maybe doesn’t hold up as well. Midnight Cowboy still holds its own as representative of its era while Marathon Man comes off lacking its initial impact and in fact feeling dated. It’s the 1970s, but it’s not as timeless and is showing its creaks and groans.

Based on the book by William Goldman, who also wrote the screenplay, this tale of runaway Nazi dentists, smuggled diamonds, and the slacker graduate student caught in the middle just isn’t as hard hitting as it was in 1976. Roy Scheider, the king of the seventies, has little to do, while Hoffman does a bad naive Benjamin Braddock imitation throughout, and William DeVane’s best bit is when he recites the plot aloud in super speed. Scheider is wasted because the screen feels so empty when he’s not there, and it similarly feels that that is the only times the direction appears skilled and careful.

The grueling scenes of torture between Hoffman and Laurence Olivier, what the film is remembered chiefly for these days, are all that still stand up. These scenes are horrifying. I often have conversations with folks who won’t watch horror but do watch things like this. I don’t get it, I really don’t. Olivier as a Nazi scares the crap outta me, yet I laugh at Freddy Krueger. And the Nazis were/are real. It’s the real monsters that scare me. The scariest movie I ever saw was The Incident, about two hoods terrorizing a subway car full of innocents. No boogieman there. I just don’t get it.

Marathon Man is a good thriller for its time, just don’t see it before a dentist appointment.

Bookmark and Share

The Better Bloodrayne

I don’t really know all that much about BloodRayne. What I know, other than two terrible movies, and one fantastic fan film starring Vera Vanguard, a review of which can be found here.

Recently I downloaded BloodRayne: Betrayal. I was thinking it would be cool. After all, what’s not cool about a hot chick killing Nazis and vampires, really, it sounds like the perfect game. The problem is, this game is really nothing like that at all. It’s not even as cool as previous BloodRayne games I’ve learned. Older versions of the game were actually similar to Tomb Raider in style, this one is a sidescroller (see, I’m learning the lingo), like Rolling Thunder or Bionic Commando. To me, the novice, this seems like a step backward in evolution. I definitely prefer Lara Croft to this weak 2D anime.

Like many games, I was unable to get very far. The game keeps it simple, half-human half-vampire BloodRayne is recruited by good vampires to fight bad vampires, but apparently not simple enough for me. This game would have been marked for deletion along with the others among The Rejected, had Crystal and Jeff not taken a liking to it.

Jeff, in his usual manner, got on the game and started kicking its ass. He was cruising across this side scroll whupping vampire butt left and right, though mostly right. The vampires good and bad were blowing up like Pookas and Fygars in Dig Dug. Have I mentioned how awesome Jeff is? Well, actually he might not be that great of a gamer, but he can sure make me look bad, not a hard feat.

As far as BloodRayne goes, I think I’m going to stick with Vera Vanguard. Like Jeff, she’s much cooler than this game.

Dead Snow – Sneak Peek

Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow was a hit at Sundance. And come on now, how can you go wrong with Nazi zombies? Sam Raimi would be sooo proud…

Again, this is another trailer not for the kiddies…

Dead Snow opens on June 19th in limited release. More details can be found here: www.deadsnow.com.

.

Bunnies and Book Burning

“If I can’t have you, no one can.”

How many times have we heard that sentence in those thrillers where some borderline psychotic can’t have the person they love, who has refused to return that love? It’s usually followed by some psychotic behavior. It’s an example of extortion, and it doesn’t just relate to love. It could also involve terrorism.

“If you don’t believe as we believe, we’ll kill thousands of innocent people.”

A bit extreme, but it’s in the same ball park. And then we have the case of Taffey Anderson, an Oregon parent who wants to burn books. Just like the Nazis did.

The book in question is “The Book of Bunny Suicides” by cartoonist (and television writer) Andy Riley. Incorrectly referred to as a graphic novel by the media (but when do they get anything right, or check their facts for that matter), it’s a cartoon book of black humor about bunnies who want to end their lives. It’s really no more harmful than anything by Gary Larson or Gahan Wilson, just tasteless is all, and depending on your sense of humor – hilarious. I think it’s hilarious. But again, humor is like taste, everyone’s is different.


Taffey Anderson doesn’t have a sense of humor when it comes to the book however. She contends that “This book has absolutely no curriculum value to anybody.” That point might be arguable. The book was purchased by her son’s high school library as part of a program to encourage reluctant readers. But of course, this is America, and I’m sure there are many folks who don’t want people to read. It makes them smarter, and a smart citizen is a smart voter… but that’s a whole ‘nother bag o’ rats.

I would say personally that the curriculum value of “The Book of Bunny Suicides” is quite clear. It’s about censorship and protecting the First Amendment.

Keep burning those books, Taffey. I’m sure Adolf Hitler would be proud.