Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cult Movies 2

1983, Dell Trade edition from later that year
Danny Peary
Cult Movies 2: Fifty More of the Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful
Original price $12.95, purchase price unknown
Very worn paperback

The problems with the first book continue, and in a way get worse.  Just like in my early 20s, I almost wanted to quit reading the book early on, because of thoroughly unpleasant movies in the B's, C's, and D's.  This time the issue is not just violence, as with Blood Feast and Daughters of Darkness, but rape, often by protagonists.  While I appreciate that Peary acknowledges feminist criticism, he's capable of writing of Basketcase (1982, the most recent of the movies in this book), "As for the film, despite the rape, it deserves to play on the Midnight circuit for, as Ievins hopes, 'ten years.'"  And it is Peary's choice to profile these movies, including ones he's not fond of, such as A Clockwork Orange.  In that and A Boy and His Dog, the post-apocalyptic antiheroes seek out women to rape.  Yes, these rapists are all presented as "bad" men but they're also presented as likable, and in the case of Don Johnson and Malcolm McDowell, handsome actors play them.

So even though I appreciate such favorites of mine as His Girl Friday, Some Like It Hot, and Willy Wonka being reviewed, as well as a few movies I sought out specifically because of this book (The First Nudie Musical, High School Confidential, Salt of the Earth), I have to average out my enjoyment and lack.  I must also note that the bias towards more recent films is even stronger than in the first book.  This time over half of the fifty are from 1971 on.

We'll see how I feel about Cult Movies 3 when we get up to 1988.

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