04
Aug
18

KEN HUTCHISON STICKS OUT IN GANDHI

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 12.50.23 PMACTOR: Ken Hutchison PROJECT: Gandhi YEAR: 1982 CHARACTER: Police Sergeant KNOWN FOR: Straw Dogs, Ladyhawke, The Wrath of God, Sweeney 2

INTRO: British actor but in this case director Richard Attenborough may just have known to cast one of England’s more sinister yet underrated and mostly unknown to mainstream audiences bad guy’s bad guy in his epic biopic of Mahatma Gandhi. If he didn’t, we realized it, and Ken Hutchison appears in an early scene when the famous peace activist from India was a lawyer, with hair. TRAITS: Hutchison, our favorite heavy in STRAW DOGS, plays a police sergeant with a villainous mustache in South Africa, making sure a protest against English rule forbidding Indians riding first class on trains, by burning “passes of our committee and their supporters,” doesn’t pan out, and slugs Ben Kingsley’s title character with a nightstick, several times but, ultimately, to no avail. Gandhi still manages to burn his pass albeit extremely beaten, as Hutchison’s character is on the wrong side of history and yet seems to savor every second. CLOSING: One can only imagine if Ken’s character, years later as a retired cop sitting in a tavern, watches Gandhi on television or before, while reading about his success, realizes, I Knew Him Then. In a roundabout way, that formidable Police Sergeant paved the way for the freedom of India.

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 12.48.29 PM

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13
May
18

EXPLAINING OUR SITE TITLE LARGE EARTH DISRUPTION

5Sue Lyon is mostly known for Stanley Kubrick’s LOLITA just as CITIZEN KANE brings Orson Welles to mind quicker than any of his other motion pictures, in which he either starred, directed, or both. The reason for either (rather random) example is perfection. One being the girl, the other being the picture itself: the first unhindered by time; the latter uncut by studio heads. So let’s now center primarily on Sue Lyon to describe what the name of this Cult Film Freak Character File extension site means…

LARGE EARTH DISRUPTION is an initially vague warning that means a whole lot in the low, low-budget science-fiction thriller THE END OF THE WORLD starring Sue Lyon along with the man she feared at the drive-in theater (Hammer’s FRANKENSTEIN) as she’s seated beside James Mason in the aforementioned Kubrick classic: Christopher Lee is, as usual, a formidable antagonist but in a more subtle way than usual since he takes form of a very mellow priest, holed up at a rural monastery in what looks like a small desert town also harboring unseen suburbs under the bright 1970’s sun…

It took Lyon’s fictional husband scientist played by Kirk Scott to drive there, together, on a curious whim from a reading on his computer monitor at work: LARGE EARTH DISRUPTION, digital font letters stacked greenish blue upon a black screen led by a pulsating square cursor, which is, basically, the beginning of the world’s end i.e. THE END OF THE WORLD. And there you have it.

13
May
18

MAXIMILLIAN SCHELL IN SAM PECKINPAH’S CROSS OF IRON

600px-CrossOfIron_-_MP40_5PROJECT: Cross of Iron YEAR: 1977 INTRO: At this point, after Sam Peckinpah had been established as a legendary director, on set he wasn’t even sure what characters would die on which day’s filming: but two main characters really sets this anti-war World War II drama apart from all others… other than being on the sympathetic side of the German soldier… including TALENT: Maximilian Schell KNOWN FOR: The Black Hole, Judgement at Nuremberg. CHARACTER: Captain Hauptmann Stransky , S.S., German Army…

TRAITS: There’s one in every war film. A man in charge who isn’t supposed to be. It’s impossible not to mention James Coburn’s character, Steiner, lower in rank but with more experience: butting heads with Schell’s Stransky; the latter who wants to be a great war veteran without doing the kind of work Steiner’s already suffered through to get to this point: his end where Stansky pretentiously begins. GOAL: To attain the Iron Cross, the most coveted metal in the German Army.  URGENCY: That’s the hook of Stransky’s storyline, actually… His need for the titular medal cuts into what he’ll do to achieve it: while others move forward, risking their lives behind enemy lines in Russia, he… while having a very private (and merely implied) fling with a handsome corporal… stays behind the scenes with the man in charge, James Mason, who has a much different past as a man at war.

CLOSURE: One of the all time great endings makes this patchwork masterpiece by Peckinpah stand out: As the heat of the enemy troops move in at a deadly level, Coburn grabs Schell, taking him from inside to outside to whos, “Where the Iron Crosses Grow.” And it takes a great actor like Schell to bring such a giant weakling to life: sure he’s supposed to be hated, but he carries his own worth in how he only knows what he wants, and wants only what he’s afraid to achieve.

10
May
18

DENNIS HOPPER IN BOB RAFELSON’S BLACK WIDOW

32203042_474430709652777_7796733967280898048_nPROJECT: Black Widow YEAR: 1987 INTRO: Debra Wingers as a FBI agent stuck in an office room with “green windows.” She takes on the wife of several dead or dying millionaires, including one played by our TALENT: Dennis Hopper KNOWN FOR: Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Rebel Without A Cause, Night Tide, Out of the Blue & Blue Velvet.

CHARACTER: Ben is a “Toymaker from Dallas,” says one of Winger’s fellow agents: Still, she’s the only to believe that Theresa Russell’s titular vixen is one person.

TRAITS: Ben is the second husband as the movie progresses and the first one actually shown. His sister is played by Diane Ladd, who has the same doubts as Winger, but she accepts a hefty payoff. GOAL: Hopper’s character has no goal: the goal belongs to his wife, and when he looks for another bottle to cap the night, she points him to a spiked one, cutting right to the next scene: the funeral.  URGENCY: That happens during the next sequence with last husband victim Nicol Williamson. Dennis Hopper’s but one in a body count. His best scene with Russell is in a futuristic looking room full of toys after a phone call (where he jokingly describes his hot wife as looking a little “scrag”) complaining about a strange robot spaceship toy with mysterious functionality. But there has to be a reason he’d to such a small role.

CLOSURE: Perhaps it’s his friendship with the man he turned from a Roger Corman throwaway b actor to an A list star after being cast in Hopper’s own EASY RIDER: Jack Nicholson has appeared in a number of Neo Film Noirs under the direction of FIVE EASY PIECES auteur Bob Rafelson (including KING OF MARVIN GARDENS and especially THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE remake), who’s most comfortable in this genre in which WIDOW is a prime example of. MEDIA: Cult Film Freak Review of Jack Nicholson & Bob Rafelson Noir Trilogy.

09
May
18

LEO ROSSI AS BUDD IN THE FIRST HALLOWEEN 2

ePROJECT: Halloween II YEAR: 1981 INTRO: The second in the original Halloween franchise, and the second to feature Michael Myers as the third would consist in a world where the iconic fictional character, not the killer, exists. TALENT: Leo Rossi KNOWN FOR: Either RELENTLESS or FAST GETAWAY.

CHARACTER: “Everything you ever says is either Hell or Shit or Damn,” says the pictured-above Ana Alicia as an uppity nurse: In fact Rossi’s character, who retorts in a glib tone, “Sorry, I guess I just fuck up all the time,” one of two ambulance driver’s that spend more time at the central hospital than on the streets of suburbia, is so obnoxious even his name is… obnoxious: Budd. TRAITS: He’s the Alpha of the two drivers, and what’s ironic is the Beta actually played a (cloned) character named Beta in THE LAST STARFIGHTER, Lance Guest, who falls for Jamie Lee Curtis’s sole-surviving the-night-before Laurie Strode while Rossi actually scores with Pamela Susan Shoop’s gorgeous Nurse Karen, who has one of the best bodies in horror film history. Who’s this about again? GOAL: Leo Rossi, who, after other good-enough performances in theatrical flicks such as ACCUSED and RELENTLESS, became a sort of Brando-of-Straight-to-VHS, meaning that he’s the best for the buck for superlow budget non-theatrical releases: His goal here is to do what he does, quite easily: Bang Nurse Karen… Not a feat since they’d obviously been dating.

URGENCY: Well he pretty much climaxes before he peaks: one of the many characters to be killed in a bodycount horror flick, during or after having sex: a list that includes Kevin Bacon in FRIDAY THE 13TH. CLOSURE: It seems Leo Rossi’s Budd, who shares a few extremely lame and contrived horny-guy rendition of, “Amazing Grace, come sit on my face: Don’t make me cry… I need your pie,” which is even bad even for him, exists merely to provide Laurie a good boyfriend in comparison. MEDIA: Cult Film Freak Review of H2.

08
May
18

DRUNKEN RAMBLING ON SUSAN TYRRELL IN FAT CITY

fatcity03FAT CITY centers on the lives of small-town boxers in Texas, and Stacy Keach is trying to cut the drinking habit and get back into the ring. He gets a job picking fruit, befriends a young hopeful Jeff Bridges, and things seem to be going alright, until he enters a bar for a drink or two, and mostly thanks to Susan Tyrrell, he sidesteps his comeback and becomes a full blown barfly…

But he’s nothing compared to Tyrrell, who, sitting at the end of the bar with her soft-spoken black boyfriend, shouts at all the men in the bar and is downright scary. Years ago, in my inexperienced youth… before I knew women like this actually existed in every corner bar in America… I had though her performance was way over-the-top. But the more I rewatch, the more I realize how important her screeching drunken wretch character is, and how she brings the film to a level of cosmic awesomeness: doing what no other actress can pull off. Lending a completely satisfied lush-till-the-end persona to an ultra realistic nerve-wrenching level, Susan allows Keach to climb his way out of the bottle. It would take a very special person to show the light to a man who can drink anyone under the table, that is, he’d have to meet his match, per say, and that’s where I believe no other actress, without Susan’s masculine strength and mongoose-of-steel determination, could do. In other words, being a film about boxing, the real challenge for the main character is out of the ring, into the barroom, and back out again. Whether her character, for Keach, represents the end of a road, or the beginning of a new one… He realizes it’s a path he couldn’t muster, no matter how tough and experienced he may be. ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ON APRIL 6th, 2010 FROM A NOW DEFUNCT MOVIE BLOG

03
May
18

MARK HAMILL AS LUKE SKYWALKER IN THE LAST JEDI

Luke-Skywalker-Last-Jedi-trading-card-Topps

PROJECT: The Last Jedi YEAR: 2018 INTRO: The second STAR WARS movie in the new trilogy after Disney bought the franchise from George Lucas. TALENT: Mark Hamill KNOWN FOR: STAR WARS and for us, CORVETTE SUMMER.

CHARACTER: Luke Skywalker POSITION:  At this point, everyone knows who Skywalker is, and that’s the intention: he is to THE LAST JEDI what Han Solo was to the first new-franchise picture, THE FORCE AWAKENS: although first-billed the old-timers are third to fourth hat to the new characters that are good, especially Daisy Ridley as Rey, the new heroine who thinks she could be, guess what? TRAITS: It seemed that Mark’s Luke would be the new Obi Wan, training the new central character Jedi the ropes, but writer/director Rian Johnson decided to make Luke a dry and caustic curmudgeon who, living in a remote tropical island, wants nothing to do with The Force or this new star war against his nephew/Darth Vader’s grandson. GOAL: The problem is that Luke doesn’t have any goal. Rey tries to talk him into it. The audience, meanwhile, wants Luke to be Luke but he stands firm to be a vegetable, even while giving her one quick lesson in lotus meditation. It’s obvious The Force is based on Buddhism but it’s a bit too obvious here, for the first time in the franchise. They might as well have had a pot-bellied statue of Yoda.

URGENCY: That’s the 11th hour when Luke does save the day, and it makes up for his idyllic spite, and Hamill turns in a good performance albeit mostly a one-dimensional grouch. CLOSURE: Since Han Solo died in AWAKENS it was predictable that Hamill would kick it here. That’s until Carrie Fisher died in real life. But they just had to let the epicenter of the entire franchise go. Now all vets will be missing, including Chewbecca, played by a new actor who has thinner shoulders and is five inches shorter than Peter Mayhew. Fans notices. Well, this one did (and with SOLO coming, does). MEDIA: Cult Film Freak Review of THE LAST JEDI.




Characters Studied in Film

Cult Film Freak presents Large Earth Disruption, founded by Jim Mullen Tate to cover not only characters in classic films but their motivation, meaning, urgency, pros, cons action, results, and purpose in each motion picture that they're either a positive or negative part of.

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