All posts by Pete Trbovich

WEIRD VIEW CREW: THE DEVIL’S RAIN (1975)

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Pete cosplays as a devil-worshiper for this review of ‘s strange occultist feature “The Devil’s Rain” (1975), with a bizarre cast including ; Mr. “Green Acres,” Eddie Albert; ; ; ; a very young John Travolta; and real-deal Satanists Anton and Diane LaVey.

(This movie was nominated for review by Heather. Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

CAPSULE: TRAINSPOTTING (1996)

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DIRECTED BY:

FEATURING: , , , Jonny Lee Miller, , Kelly Macdonald

PLOT: Renton, a heroin addict struggling to get his life under control, is just one of a collection of misfit 20-somethings puttering around Edinburgh, Scotland, in this stark and blackly-comedic examination of the underworld.

Still from Trainspotting (1996)

COMMENTS: A commonly requested movie in our reader request queue, Trainspotting holds the ranks of cult classic, box office smash (relative to its budget), and critical hit. Not only is the movie itself enshrined by fans, but the soundtrack—one of the biggest reasons why this is a cult film to begin with—was a worldwide multi-platinum seller. To make sure that I don’t go off on anymore tangents about the soundtrack (because I adore it, natch), here’s my coverage over at my music blog gig so I can focus here on the movie; later, I’ll climb on my soapbox about drug legalization/awareness/safety. When it comes to this movie’s themes, I find myself almost distressingly overqualified to discuss it.

I trust that after almost three decades almost everybody interested has seen (or at least heard about) the film, so I’ll just fill in some light non-spoily details. Trainspotting has a Pulp-Fiction-like structure, with several intersecting lives on various trajectories, some headed up and some headed down, verily, to the gutter or the grave. At the center of this busy rat’s nest of urban squalor is antihero Renton (McGregor), heroin addict trying to get his life on track. His mates are Sick Boy (Miller), a blond pimp, co-junkie, and charming sociopath; Spud (Bremner), a luckless underdog with the personality (and IQ) of a Labrador puppy; Begbie (Carlyle), a brawling psychopath with a hair-trigger temper that even scares his closest friends; and Tommy (McKidd), a squeaky-clean and very self-righteous jock. Renton is trying his best to straighten out and fly right. But first he has to overcome his addiction, and then the gravitational pull of urban poverty. Renton stands at the threshold of a bleak and joyless existence, wondering if his own future is worth salvaging.

When it comes to weird-movie credentials, everyone seems to remember the toilet where Renton dives after his precious suppositories—a shot of it is in every trailer. Some recall the dead baby crawling on the ceiling, turning his head Exorcist-style before falling down on Renton, just one of many hallucinations the addict experiences during extreme withdrawal. But let’s not forget the overdose scene, where Renton nods off so hard that he physically sinks into the carpet about six feet deep… and we’re stuck in that POV all the way to the hospital, when a shot brings him bolting out of his drug coma (and return to wide-screen). His dealer, Mother Superior (“jumped the gun”), stuffs Renton’s limp body into a cab, and the cab driver in turn dumps him on the street in front of the emergency room like a Continue reading CAPSULE: TRAINSPOTTING (1996)

WEIRD VIEW CREW: CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH (1989)

Is the almost-90s feminist satire Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (starring Bill Maher, Adrienne Barbeau and Shannon Tweed) weird? Cannibal Women inspires Pete Trbovich to offer four rules to tell whether the movie you’re watching is weird or not. (Hint: if it offers a “time of the month” joke, it’s probably not weird.)

(This movie was nominated for review by Brad. Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

WEIRD VIEW CREW: SPACE IS THE PLACE (1974)

In a new video-review feature we’re calling “Weird View Crew,” Pete Trbovich brings you a look at Space Is the Place. Mystical musician Sun Ra schemes to relocate the Black race to the planet Saturn in this low-budget Afrofuturist movie that’s part concert film, part blaxploitation joint, and all Sun Ra. Bottom line: for weird movie fans or avant garde jazz geeks, Space Is the Place for at least a one-time visit.