Movie of the Week: God Told Me To (1977)

If you're over the age of 30 and you haven't yet seen Larry Cohen's God Told Me To, then there is something wrong with you. I'm disappointed. Broaden your horizons. 

Cohen's filmography speaks for itself: It's Alive is a great horror movie. Bone is a great piece of absurd social commentary. Black Caesar may be the greatest film of the Blaxploitation genre. The Stuff is a great satire. Q: The Winged Serpent is a great monster movie. But God Told Me To can only be described as "Cohenesque", as it defies all film genres. Maybe it starts as a routine police procedural, but soon takes many outrageous turns from there. Essential.


This Is Odorama

Polyester (1981) remains my favorite John Waters film. Previous to this, his movies were a belligerent assault on the American Middle Class. Extremely funny and often witty, but an assault nonetheless. But Polyester is more of a satire, referencing the melodramatic style of the mid-century Douglas Sirk movies and adding pitch-black humor. And of course there's the William Castle-inspired Odorama gimmick.

I saw this in a revival theater in '89, where they supplied the largely gay male audience with the original 1981 Odorama cards. They'd been found in a warehouse somewhere. I took mine home and tucked it next to my VHS cassette copy, but somehow lost it in later years. That's okay, the smells remain in memory. But the cards have been remade for DVD, and even a cable broadcast, so you can easily find one on ebay. I recommend you do so, wait a few days for it to arrive in the mail, THEN click 'play' below.

(I'm embedding the free youtube movie because that's what I do, but it looks awful. Just pay the $1.99 to stream the official hi-def widescreen print already.)

Bonus Documentary: A 30-minute chronicle of the Pink Flamingos phenomenon, produced by the AMC network, way back before they just showed The Walking Dead and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.

Horror Featurette: Dreamhouse (1984)

This is the middle segment of a three-part British anthology feature entitled Screamtime. The first and third stories are terrible, as are the wraparound segments (shot in New York City, probably in the course of an afternoon, and probably by the U.S. distributor to make it more VHS-friendly). But this story is both concise and super-scary, better than anything I've yet seen from boring British shorts of the era like Tales of the Unexpected or Hammer's House of Horror.

Start at 32:00.