Doctor Steve Malone from the Environment Agency moves with his family to army barracks at which he has to spend the summer analyzing a toxic products dump. No sooner have they arrived than they realize that some of the soldiers are acting rather peculiarly. The members of the base seem to be suffering from hallucinations making them believe that their personalities have been taken over by some kind of beings. –San Sebastián Film Festival
Independent New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara became best-known for his low-budget, shockingly violent films that explore the roughest parts of the Big Apple and the darkest reaches of the human soul, with films such as China Girl (1987), his unique version of Romeo and Juliet, generating a devoted following. Ferrara was born in the Bronx, but spent most of his childhood in Peekskill, NY, where he met the two young men who would eventually become his primary screenwriter (Nicholas St. John) and occasional consultant (John McIntyre). As boys, they would play around with 8 mm cameras. In the mid-‘70s, the three reunited and founded Navaron Films, where they produced an adult film. In 1979, they released their most notorious film, Driller Killer, for which Ferrara starred, edited, and wrote the songs under the pseudonym Jimmie Laine. In this movie, a young man goes berserk and begins killing vagrants with a portable power drill. Ferrara continued making low-budget shockers until the late… read more
Abel Ferrara's vision is, as ever, decidedly bleak. Not only does he display the violence of humanity in the starkest possible terms, he absolutely refuses to give humans ontological priority over the invasive species of the title. Even within the belly of the beast at Warner Bros., Ferrara is (shockingly and refreshingly) unrelenting in his anti-humanism. Vulgar auteurism, par excellence.
After I wrote this I realized that "anti-humanism," at least how Althusser defines it, is the wrong word to use. So I am electing here to replace it with the term "Catholic humanism." The stark understandings of human evil and guilt remain, but in a immanent, materialist mode. The shadow of God haunts Ferrara's work, I believe, but God is not actually present.
Dear Abel, Happy birthday. I guess the respectable thing—the relevant thing—would have been to wait to until a milestone year, to wait until