Thursday, March 4, 2010

LOLITA KILLER!! X-Cross (2007)

There are times when the movie you are watching may be just OK, but then someone walks on in a costume so awesome your jaw just drops.

Since I am one of those undiscerning gourmands when it comes to J-horror (I blame Takashi Miike for this, though it isn't his fault that some of his countrymen don't make films as awesome as he does), I have waded through a lot of black-haired ghosts and terrified girls in sailor suits.

What IS it with the sailor suit/school uniform thing? Every female aged 15-35 in every Japanese horror film I have ever seen seems to wear their school uniform 24-7. I went to a uniform-mandatory school, and lemme tell ya, we couldn't WAIT to get out of those things once we left the school gate. It was considered so incredibly uncool for anyone to appear in a non-school setting in their uniform.

Different cultures, different strokes. Let's move on.

OK, so X-Cross has this wacky non-linear storyline with the diverging points of view of two cute girls; one of whom is kinda slutty and the other sweet and innocent .

The latter broke up with her boyfriend, so the two friends go to a mysterious village to soak in the hot springs. Turns out the village is inhabited by a bloodthirsty cult with a fetish for chopping off young women's legs.

And then the awesome walks on screen.

Deranged side-plot killer in full-on Sweet Lolita getup. Rocking an eyepatch. Wielding enormous sewing scissors as a weapon. OH HELL YES.

She also changes costume, because, you know, sometimes in between stalking your intended victim, you can suddenly decide that Elegant GOTH Lolita is really the way to go.

As soon as the Lolita Killer showed up, I lost interest in whatever the plot of the movie was. I mean, bloodthirsty cults really cannot hold a candle to scissor-slinging deranged Japanese girls in 50 yards of pink and white eyelet, bows, ruffles, knee socks, and platform Mary Janes with little roses on the straps.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Glam World of 1978: Eyes Of Laura Mars

Greetings, fellow Fashion Victims! After extended wanderings, I have returned to regale you with more horror film costumery.

I was recently on tour doing costumes for a ballet company. During late nights in some of the duller towns and hotels, I indulged myself with play-on-demand movies. One of them was this golden oldie slasher-thriller from 1978.

Man, I loved Eyes of Laura Mars when I was an impressionable young teen. I thought it was super creepy and exciting. Photographer who portrays scenes of fashion and violence can suddenly see through eyes of slasher killer who is systematically stalking her and taking out all of her closest pals. AWESOME.

Now, in my dotage, I just find it sort of hilariously campy, although it is quite a slab of fashion history. Seriously, the outfits in this thing veer wildly from fabulous to horrifying and back to fab again.

One thing you can say about Faye Dunaway, she does have the amazing ability to flare her eyes like she's trying to hypnotize prey.

Also, great legs. And her split skirt ensemble is not only practical, it shows that feature off to incredible advantage.

I do NOT have great legs, nor have I ever, but damn I wanted a few split skirts after I saw this movie. 'Course, I also heartily embraced the Flashdance fashion trend, so that about sums it up for my clothing sense during that time.

I also love very much how Dunaway's character can go from ultraglam... Valium-soaked frump.

Plus she has one of the kinkiest bedrooms ever.

Her fashion models are no slouch either. Here's the famed "car crash" photo shoot, filmed in Columbus Circle:

You just can't go wrong with fur and lingerie, can you? And check out that crimp job on the center model.

Anyway, Laura's closest associate is this guy, the poor man's less comedic Gene Wilder. His hair is more feathered than Farrah Fawcett's.

His character's name is Donald, which makes for several utterly marvelous scenes in which a terminally freaked-out Dunaway races down hallways in her knee-high suede boots, calling "DOOOOOOOOOONAAAAAAAAALD!!!" in a voice like a foghorn.

Imagine a Tallulah Bankhead-style drag queen saying "Hello daaaaaahling" and you will get an impression of how Dunaway's voice sounds. It's like she's taken several hits of Nyquil after smoking for about a year.

Her love interest, by the way, is Tommy Lee Jones.

Anyone who has seen Jones' work AFTER he did this film will have a wonderful time seeing him emote in turtlenecks, mega-flared trousers, and rockstar hair.

Oh yeah, there's also Brad Dourif as everyone's favorite scuzzball. He's Laura's driver, and if you can't figure that out from the plot, he is wearing a hat that will remind you.

You know, originally this was supposed to be a Barbra Streisand vehicle, but she backed out because the subject matter was "too kinky." Guess she didn't like Laura's bedroom either.

She did do the theme song, though.

Don't get me wrong, I still love Eyes of Laura Mars. It's just that while watching it, I couldn't decide if it was all wonderfully glam and marvy, or whether I should be laughing myself sick at the high melodrama of it all.

Ultimately, I did both.