1,001 Movies – Week 21

“Blade Runner” to “The Blood on Satan’s Claw”


Blade Runner (1982) – Intense, difficult Ridley Scott adaptation of Philip K Dick’s Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep? Groundbreaking on release for it’s noir-ish conceits and influential design, these days most people tend to prefer Scott’s director’s cut which strips out Harrison’s Ford’s narrative voice-over and tightens a few loose ends. Great cast (Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos). Oscar-winning art design and effects. (KT)

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – The hype over this low-budget horror film turned a lot of people off, but it marked a change in Hollywood. There’s no blood, no knife-wielding maniacs, just three unknown actors with a handheld camera in the woods by an unseen menace. (GS)

Blazing Saddles (1974) – I saw this as a sneak preview double-featured with The Day of the Dolphin.  Yeah.  Mel Brooks never was or has been funnier. Plenty of sly dialogue and inspired performances (and lotsa characters named Johnson), this was at once a satire of the Old West and of Old Hollywood in general.  The only movie in my life that made me laugh so hard I quite literally was rolling on the floor.  But I was 11, and bean humor was the best. A memorable film, made more so by Mel himself coming down the aisle to make sure I was alright. Yeah!  (SB)

Blood Diamond (2006) – Powerful drama set in Sierra Leone’s bloody 1999 civil war, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a diamond smuggler who joins forces with a local fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) whose son has been kidnapped and forced to join the army. Brutally honest storytelling that packs a potent message. (GS)

The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1970) – An unexpectedly hard movie: Classy, morally ambiguous, sexually-charged and a very disturbing. Blood on Satan’s Claw is a film about cynicism and the crushing weight of authority on new found freedoms in the young. Everything, thereafter, both literally and metaphorically, becomes infected by rampant paranoia and superstition. The movie’s subsequent influence can still be witnessed, particularly in America where it is, rightly, regarded as an opaque masterpiece. A career highlight for many of those involved (particularly Linda Hyaden) Blood on Satan’s Claw helped to redraw the boundaries (and redefine the amount of dramatic license that could be taken with some previously taboo subjects) of the horror movie. It’s often compared to Witchfinder General but it’s actually a far more satisfying film. (KT)


 Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007) 

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