Film Recommendations

ZEIRAM (1991)

Premise: A female alien bounty hunter is in pursuit of a powerful creature named zeiram, to claim bounty. They both find their way to earth, and as our main character (Iria) and here super intelligent AI system BOB set up THE ZONE (an alternate dimension based around earth Iria plans to face Zeiram in), Iria adjusts to the life and language of earth and their surrounding area. Meanwhile two slacker electrical technicians investigate someone stealing electricity from the grid, and then subsequently get wrapped up into Iria's situation, eventually getting trapped inside THE ZONE.

My thoughts: I think this movie is really underrated, because I really don't see anyone ever talk about it. Honestly I think I just randomly came across it finding some random screenshot of the movie somewhere, and decided to go watch it because the set pieces looked really cool. And Oh YES, this movie is very cool.

The sets are really great, it goes from 80's japan to the really hightech BOB computer setup with all of it's buttons knobs and 90's CG madness and cables inside a dingy warehouse, to the liminal version of that very Japanese block inside of THE ZONE. The setup for BOB is just my absolute favorite, it's 90's Japanese personal computer aesthetic (like the FM-TOWNS etc) kicked up to 11. The UI for BOB feels like something out of Serial Experiments Lain, with spinning geometric shapes and scrolling text. I definitely love the banter that Iria and BOB have about earth and how quick it was to pick of the simple language. BOB complains about how simple the tech of the planet is that Iria gathered to make the teleporter to the ZONE, to which Ira threatens BOB with a virus, lmao.

The outfits and costumes are also amazing in my opinion, and definitely fit the characters personalities. Iria wears this bad ass cloak, which almost looks like something out of the Outlaw Star anime, while in contrast the two technicians (Teppei and Kamiya) are wearing these goofy multicolored jumpers and pants that I assume are their work outfits, their car matches as well. Zeiram is this kind of intimidating Ridley Scott esc character, with much discussing practical effect action. Zeiram is constantly followed by this foreboding evil choir, which definitely cements his character. Iria eventually switches out her outfit into a less bulky super sentai esc one, and then much super sentai fighting ensues.

There are a lot of very well framed scenes, and the music and sound effects maintains your classic 80's / 90's Japanese kitschy that I love so dear. It was a lot of fun to watch. I'm aware that there is a sequel, but have yet to see it as of writing this so i'm excited to see it.

Videodrome (1983)

Premise: The owner (Max Renn) of a sort of slimey local soft porn TV station is constantly looking for new and edgy content to host on his station. With the help of a video pirate Harlan, he tunes into a signal that he was not suppose to, and finds a sketchy low production show named "Videodrome", which depicts extreme physical and sexual violence. Max becomes enamored with this show, and tries to get into contact with the people that produce it so he can air it on his station, but finds that there is a lot more to this show than he initially thought.

My thoughts: I really liked this film, but I felt like it ended too quickly, and sure enough I notice that this move is only an hour long. I think it could have benefited from another 30 min to an hour, because where the story was going was really interesting to me. The symbolism in the movie is great, and invokes thoughts in me about the parts in Simulacra and Simulation that talk about the television climate at the time. I do wish they had clarified more of "Videodrome's political motivation" more and what it does to the body other than "tumors I guess". When the film ends it comes off as a bit haughty, and for not much reason, but anyways it was still a fun ride.

The practical effects a amazing, but I am always a big fan of practical effects, but damn are these really memorable, probably why David Cronenberg was know so well for it. I think the part where he hesitantly whips the television is my favorite. Funny enough the part that messed with me so much was the one where Max is piecing his gal pal's ears, which really fucking bothered me because of how real it looked, and I'm not one to be squeamish.

Long Live The New Flesh!