by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here on the IndyBlog.
Las Vegas’ Ron Atkins is one of the true last madmen of cinema, crafting artfully schizophrenic journeys into acid-drenched worlds of pure psychotic depravity, all filtered through the crushed neon dreams of Sin City. His 2005 giallo tribute Eyes of the Chameleon is probably his masterpiece, recently re-released by Troma. Sara (an extremely moving, real performance from Annie Teal) is a bartender stuck in a dead-end life. Chameleon chronicles her downward spiral into madness, where she alienates everyone around her as she tries to hold onto reality. Meanwhile, a serial killer with a horrific past — he was kept in a basement and molested by his uncle — is mutilating all her friends and loved ones. Despite a maddeningly obtuse ending that I’m probably too stupid to get, Eyes of the Chameleon is a real surprise, a thinking man’s slasher flick and a perfect gateway into the warped world of Atkins.
I’m always the first to make fun of those parents’ groups that try to get shows like Glee or Skins off the air. But after watching the abominable Burning Palms, I can see why they get so angry and form these groups. Burning Palms is not only the worst movie I’ve seen so far this year, it’s also the most brutally racist, homophobic and misogynistic movie I’ve seen in a long time. Written and directed by Christopher (Disturbia) Landon, this anthology movie about Los Angeles deviants (think Creepshow for perverts) attempts to be satirical, but Landon has no idea what satire is. The stories include a dad with an incestually close relationship with his willing daughter, a materialistic gay couple that adopts an African child illegally, unsupervised rich white brats who terrorize their Mexican maid and, in the most horrific tale, a rape victim who wants to start a loving relationship with her rapist. Pure garbage.