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Eric Stanze films

 
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Dr Giggles
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Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 84

PostPosted: 07.16.2004 7:47 am    Post subject: Eric Stanze films Reply with quote

Has anyone seen any of his films.



I saw "Scrapbook" at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, an appetizer

for the Melbourne International Film F.



It was probably the most disturbing movie I've ever seen.



I've heard "Ice from the sun" is his best.



Anyone recommend it.
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Michael Scrutchin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 07.16.2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen most of Stanze's stuff. Savage Harvest (1994) is a fun, gory Evil Dead knockoff made when Stanze was still a teenager. Ice from the Sun (1999) is a unique, mesmerizing experience -- at once beautiful and repulsive, it's largely non-narrative, experimental, and, most of time, it works; it only falters when it tries to weave a narrative through all the images and sounds (wonderful, striking, horrifying), occasionally destroying the film's hypnotic spell. Then, of course, there's Scrapbook, which many consider Stanze's masterpiece; it's extremely disturbing and powerful, as you know. Unfortunately, that's the last "genuine" Stanze movie we have so far. He has since made a couple of ultra-cheap exploitation quickies for the Sub Rosa Extreme DVD label -- I Spit on Your Corpse, I Piss on Your Grave (2001) and China White Serpentine (2003), both of which are terrible. They're worthless, repugnant exercises in depravity (which is kinda Sub Rosa Extreme's raison d'?tre). He was simply a filmmaker-for-hire on those two gigs, though, and I'm hoping that soon he'll get back to making his own movies (see Stanze's production co. website, Wicked Pixel Cinema).



So, to sum things up, if Scrapbook impressed you, give Ice from the Sun a shot -- and maybe Savage Harvest, too.
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Dr Giggles
Camera Operator


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: 07.18.2004 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanx for the info and the recommendations.



The Evil Dead type flick sounds like a lot of fun.



It might be a little while before I see his next movie.



Lets just call it recovery time.



cheers.
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HoRRoRFaN
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Joined: 06 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 07.19.2004 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen everything except for his last two (I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is coming soon from Netflix -- I'm not expecting anything from it, as I've heard from most people that it is truly awful, but I'm still curious), and I haven't seen any of his short features. SCRAPBOOK is a great film, and its impact hasn't worn off, not even after watching AUGUST UNDERGROUND and its sequel.
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 07.20.2004 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may be allowed to commit a heresy, I must admit I was disappointed by Scrapbook. I admire the intention and commitment of all involved, and the courage of stars Emily Haack and Tommy Biondo to place themselves in truly unflattering situations. But, never once did I find myself convinced of the events. [SPOILERS]For instance, Biondo is a somewhat skinny guy, while Haack has some heft to her; the two must be close in weight, but Clara never puts up a fight against Leonard, who often comes at her without so much as a knife. (For that matter, why doesn't Biffle, who must twice outweigh Leonard, fight back either? And what the hell happens to him, anyway?) Also, with Haack's plethora of tattoos and earrings, the actress gives the impression of a much tougher personality than the character she portrays ever displays. Furthermore, the house is so shoddy and rundown, you get the impression that the actors and crew had to walk softly to keep the walls from collapsing. When Clara struggles endlessly in her escape attempt, you have to wonder why she doesn't just kick the loosely hanging door down. I also found the use of the scrapbook itself frustratingly cursory, rendering Clara's psychological maneuverings in the third act somewhat enigmatic. While some of the movie's moments made me cringe, the whole affair lacked resonance with me.



Ice from the Sun, on the other hand, I enjoyed, but my main criticism is exactly the opposite of Michael's; i.e., I wish there had been more story; the premise is cool, and I just wish it had been developed rather than used to drape a sort of phantasmagoric Friday the 13th plot. It?s way too long, too, but it still offers lots to recommend, especially if you're interested in microbudget filmmaking. And D.J. Vivona gives a truly inspire performance as the film's omnipotent villain.



I haven't seen Savage Harvest, but the trailer I've seen for it make it look like a hoot.
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HoRRoRFaN
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PostPosted: 07.22.2004 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About your comments, I respect your opinion and that it didn't resonate well with you, but I for one was convinced by the events in the film throughout. And Emily Haack's character Clara does in fact fight back, such as the moment in which Clara tries to escape by knocking over the door, but after all of her constant attempts in trying to unlock it, she finds that there is another lock on the door. Her performance is amazing, she barely says a word throughout the entire movie. With all of her tattoes and so on, she may be a tough woman but this is the point that Stanze is making: like everyone that is meant to be a part of Leanord's scrapbook, they are completely dehumanized by Leanord, they simply cannot fight back psychically, which is exactly why Clara fights back mentally. The most interesting thing is that she has to sacrifice a lot of more torture through her plans, but her attempts aren't as successful -- with all of her attempts, her treatment is even more excruciating and painful. For an example, Clara's first entry in the scrapbook gets to Leanord so much, that he instantly rapes her. I remember once when I was discussing the movie before with someone that flat out hated it, they actually, believe it or not, critiqued it because Leanord's dick was as small as it is. That comment was very absurd and whoever dislikes the movie with this being one of the reasons, they are clearly missing the point because this is exactly what gets Clara in as much trouble. It is necessary to the themes of the movie, and another example is when we see Leanord lose all control as he sees it. When Clara seduces him, he realizes that he cannot allow this to happen and then he rapes her with a bottle, in a scene so disturbing not merely because of the violence that is occurring, but also because of the loss of hope displayed. She tries to get inside Leanord's head, and whenever she does, there is a price to pay. You can say that she should have fought back against Leanord, but none of us know what anyone would do in the situation Leanord's victims are put in, even Biffle (who is bludgeoned, by the way). After all of the brutality that Clara is put through, such as being badly beaten, mutilated, and raped incessantly, I believed all of her actions. The biggest problem that I have with the film is the ending, in which Clara gains the power back. The commentary track with Stanze, Haack, and producer Jeremy Wallace on the DVD is very fascinating.



I thought ICE FROM THE SUN was awesome just like SAVAGE HARVEST was, but I wanted more characterization, as I didn't care much for the characters. However, since the atmosphere kicked as much ass as it did with its surprisingly stunning visual scheme, I recommend checking it out if anyone hasn't seen it. Because of its budget, you gotta admit that this is an impressive accomplishment, even if you dislike the movie. And it's also very original.



While we are on the topic of Stanze, I watched I SPIT ON YOUR CORPSE last night and hated it. I wasn't expecting much especially after reading Michael's review, which is dead-on by the way. Emily Haack does go way out at the end in the broom handle scene, the biggest shock that the movie had to offer. Other than that, nothing disturbed me to be honest, as most of the movie was as predictable as it can get, not to mention its very tedious, as I was bored to tears through most of it. Stanze, who directed the movie due to French investors (the ones suggesting all of the exploitation mostly), stretched it out. You get twenty or maybe thirty minutes of the actual story and the rest is bullshit, jerk-off direction with its annoying wearisome dissolves in the cemetary. The only thing that I thought was cool was the mention of this being an unofficial sequel (of sorts) of Meir Zarchi's I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE when, in one of the interludes with Haack's character in extreme close-up explaining the story, she mentions that her mother is named Jennifer just like the character that and was brutally raped and exacted revenge. It isn't mentioned any further, but it is very possible with its connection. Other than that, nothing about the movie is worth of any recommendation; it's truly awful, without any redeeming quality. I was going to write a full review for it, but that won't be necessary. I think I said everything that needed to be said about it.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.22.2004 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, HorrorFan. I haven't listened to the Scrapbook commentary track yet; I'll give it a shot. I think I tend to be less forgiving of flaws in movies that present realistic torture and humiliation. Since they are, after all, unpleasant to watch in the extreme, little is left to "enjoy" if they lack any sort of insight or philosophy, or what have you. Scrapbook is more than just exploitation, and I don't think it's a terrible movie, but I just didn't gain any more insight about victims and victimizers than I already had going in, and I found Clara's extended imprisionment artificial, little more than story mechanics.
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HoRRoRFaN
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PostPosted: 07.22.2004 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, if you get a chance, the commentary will at least interest you and I think that the Behind the Scenes on the movie is just as interesting. The first time I checked out the footage of everybody on set, I was surprised by it especially when we get to see Emily Haack actually smile in between takes. Like I said before, I understand your perspective of the movie in every way. I didn't find anything in SCRAPBOOK (or films similar to it) enjoyable, and I'd be sickened by anyone saying that they enjoyed it. I am asked often why I watch these types of extreme horror, and it's not b/c I want to see these characters tortured on screen and that they are entertaining at all, but it's b/c I am curious by them. Exploitation is not what I'm interested in as much as I am interested in the many aspects of them, such as the themes, how far the filmmaker is willing to go, and how the depiction of survival is an important aspect, etc. That's why I respect any one's opinion if they dislike a movie like SCRAPBOOK b/c they aren't made for everyone. It's one of those movies where you are stunned or you are not. I hate whenever people make no strong comments about it whatsoever like when they make sick and stupid comments regarding the movie like as they "didn't find Emily Haack attractive," I can't really respect their opinion. But thanks for making strong comments, NightWatchman!
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.22.2004 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice discussing it with you, HF! There are films and filmmakers I don't especially enjoy, but do enjoy hearing positive, intellengent, and articulate commentary about, like Fulci, Argento, and, in a current thread, the movie Showgirls. In a perfect world we'd enjoy every movie ever made. I suppose I don't mind getting halfway to that world by enjoying movies I don't like by proxy.
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