April 12, 2004

Gettin' It On

Having recently watched and enjoyed The 39 Steps, I decided it was time for more British Hitchcock this week with The Lady Vanishes. It was an excellent choice. The mystery at the heart of the movie seems almost secondary to the droll cast of characters thrown together on a train in a remote corner of Europe, and Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave charm as they try to put the pieces together. I have not seen the 1979 remake, but it comes as little surprise that Angela Lansbury was cast in the part of Miss Froy, a role that Dame May Whitty carries off to dotty perfection in the original.

I am slightly more embarrassed about my other DVD pick for the week, the Andy Warhol-produced and Paul Morrissey-directed Blood for Dracula. Extremely campy and with sex scenes aplenty, the movie is more lingeringly creepy than outright scary. I can't decide who I disliked more, Udo Kier's visibly unhealthy Count Dracula or Joe Dallesandro's Mario, an Italian servant with an inexplicable New York accent who spouts Marxist manifestos at every available opportunity. It's worth seeing just for its sheer randomness.

Saturday night the wind was blowing wisps of fog off the Bay that looked like smoke, and it was so damn cold in the Mission that I was happy to duck inside the new Hold Fast gallery to check out their tattoo stencil show Gettin' It On. The pieces are pulled from the personal collections of local tattooing greats C.W. Eldridge and Don Ed Hardy, and the men were on hand to give a walk-through lecture to the packed room. My favorites were Sailor Jerry's gorgeous dames, though Hardy had done an awesome skull and crossbones armband complete with a broken heart that had me drooling. I walked out of there fully convinced I would finally get the Margaret Kilgallen tree I've been thinking about for a while, or some classic swallows and nautical stars, or "heartbroken"...Check back in with me in a year.


The Lady Vanishes
Blood for Dracula

Posted by nightfall at April 12, 2004 09:08 PM