Sisters (1973)

Sisters (1973)
AKA Blood Sisters

Starring Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Lisle Wilson, Barnard Hughes, Mary Davenport, Dolph Sweet

Directed by Brian De Palma

Expectations: Moderate, but I’m very hopeful.

Well, if there was ever any doubt that Brian De Palma loves Hitchcock, you’d only have to watch Sisters to realize that he not only loves him, he wants to be him… or at least make movies like him. Unlike many people, I have hardly seen any of De Palma’s films, mostly because the ones I have seen didn’t do a lot for me. But as I see this year’s free-form Horrific October as an opportunity to scratch off a lot of movies that have been on my Watch List for years (among other things), the idea of watching one of De Palma’s most celebrated films sounded like a blow out of an idea. Har-dee-har, and no, I haven’t seen that one either.

Sisters is the kind of movie that even starting to discuss the plot will spoil too much. Let’s just say that a man and a woman meet, they go to her apartment, and things happen from there. Sisters isn’t specifically a horror film, it’s really more of a thriller, but it would be wrong to completely discount it from the genre. The Hitchcock influence is abundant and overflowing, but it’s all by way of a much trashier, exploitation-esque vibe. Sisters is definitely not an exploitation film, but Hitchcock would have never dealt with such lurid subject matter as the central story of Sisters does. Nor would he have shown violence this visceral and intense. The blood may not flow freely throughout Sisters, but when it does it makes you jump back and wince in pain.

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The Muppet Movie (1979)

Starring Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Charles Durning, Austin Pendleton

Directed by James Frawley

Expectations: High. Hopefully my loving memories of this, brought to the surface by watching the new one, will hold up.

After watching the recent Muppets revival film, I kept turning over my memories of watching the old gang throughout my youth. I could have been the main character in that film, full of nothing but love and admiration for my felt-skinned friends. The Muppets meant more to me than they probably should have, and this deep love of the characters made watching The Muppets something of a strange affair. As time went on afterwards I kept wondering if maybe I was misremembering the old trilogy of my youth, so as any good movie reviewin’ webmaster should, I decided that a series re-watch was in order. And as soon as The Muppet Movie began, I was greeted with that old feeling that I knew and loved. It wasn’t just a case of remembering wrong, the old ones clearly have the juice the newest film does not.

The Muppet Movie seeks to tell the origin story of how all our friends originally got together… or something like that. The film starts with the Muppets all gathered in a movie theater, waiting to watch The Muppet Movie. Kermit’s pint-sized nephew asks him, just as the film begins, if this is really how everyone got together. Kermit replies that it’s basically how it went down, signaling that while it’ll take us on an adventure, it’s not necessarily going to be one rooted in reality. This is a fantasy, or more accurately a dream, given to us through the eyes of a charming frog with a desire to make the world happy. Kermit’s big dreams inform the entire film, as well as teaching some great, moral lessons to children along the way.

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