(HBO MAX/Criterion/VOD) While film seems to be endlessly fragmenting when it comes to genre, some genres seem to have completely fallen off the map, such as the satirical sex farce, which is the closest genre I can think of for EATING RAOUL.

As the trailer below details, EATING RAOUL is a very conflicted picture that tries to have its cake and eat it too, and mostly succeeds because of its absurdity. It’s about a comically straight-laced couple, Paul & Mary, a.k.a. Mr. And Mrs. Bland, a wine snob (character actor and director of DEATH RACE 2000 Paul Bartel) and a nurse (the distinctive horror character actor Mary Woronov), both of whom retire at night in twin beds, the former hugging a plush wine bottle, the latter clutching a number of stuffed animals. They live in an apartment complex full of swingers, and their American Dream is to own their own restaurant. While they found the perfect spot for their restaurant, someone’s about to grab it unless they’re able to pony up the cash, and quick.

So, they come to the conclusion that most modern America comes to: let’s kill and rob the deviants, one-by-one. They choose to do so with the symbol of American domesticity: the frying pan. Eventually they enlist the help of Raoul (Robert Beltran), a ‘hot-blooded emotional, crazy Chicano’ (their words — not mine) who, while turning the bodies into dog food for extra cash, also woos Mrs. Bland.

No, it’s not a subtle film, but the script is whipsmart:

“Mary, I just killed a man.”

“He was a man, honey. Now he’s just a bag of garbage.”

It’s a crazy script, and a crazy film and, while I don’t think it completely succeeds, it’s extremely audacious and entertaining. Frankly, I’m growing tired of capitalist satire being couched in miserable horror films that barely elicit a laugh.


(fubo/VOD) Yes, this is a direct-to-DVD sequel to the classic Mary Harron adaptation. Yes, it has little-to-nothing to do with the American excess/toxic masculinity of original film. Yes, it features pre-BLACK SWAN Mila Kunis as well as an unlikely William Shatner playing a teacher that students swoon over. Yes, it’s cheap, trashy — 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, just so you know what you’re getting into — and tries to have its cake and eat it too by toeing the line between earnest satirical genre work and self-aware camp. That doesn’t mean that it is not a whole lot of fun, especially the last third of the film.


(Plex/Prime/tubi/VOD/Vudu) A thrilling, often very funny, horror tale about a teen girl discovering herself, despite her parents (including Traci Lords). Delightfully horrific and fucked up, features a small part with John Waters, and not nearly as campy as the casting may sound.

I’m pretty sure they had the rights to NINE INCH NAILS’ CLOSER for a split second and this is a fan-captured trailer but, even if it’s a fan-made trailer, it’s goddamn perfect — far better than any of the other trailers (NSFW):


(AMC+/hoopla/Hulu/Prime/Shudder/tubi) Combining Elvira’s vaudeville MC schtick with a John Waters-type of cultural/sexual norms disruption was goddamn inspired. Yes, the male gaze interrupts the film’s flow every two minutes, but the self-aware winks and Elvira’s personal agency (mostly) subverts it. (I wish there was a better trailer for the film than this one.)

Also highly recommended: THE ELVIRA SHOW, which never made it further than the pilot.

Feels like THE GARRY SHANDLING SHOW but with Elvira. What more could you want?

MADAME X (1966)

(VOD) Epic camp melodrama that never quite feels earnest enough, but is still a worthwhile display of a woman spiraling downwards, and the systems set in place that mean to put her in her place. (Also worth nothing: absinthe is a major plot point.)