For tonight’s matinee, we showcase three films exploiting what might be called Architectural Horror, which is a term I just made up right now and immediately decided to copyright so please don’t use it or I will have to talk to the lawyers.
If memory serves, I was about 6 or 7 when I first saw George Romero’s The Night of the Living Dead. It’s one of those film-viewing experiences that left an indelible imprint: I distinctly remember that feeling of sympathetic helplessness, the emerging sense that this was not going to end well, along with the viscera and brutality, the total bleakness of the film’s climax.
Although their SNL shorts and music videos are generally cherished by comedy and/or cannabis enthusiasts, the Lonely Island boys haven’t had the best of luck on the big screen. Hot Rod raced through both theaters and the public consciousness, raking in all of $14M at the box office; a few years later, the Jorma Taccone-helmed MacGruber failed to recoup its budget, outpaced, as Matt Singer once pointed out, by Furry Vengeance, “starring Brendan Fraser as a real-estate developer at war with a raccoon.” It would’ve been hard for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping to fall any lower on the scale of profitability than that cult-favorite MacGyer parody.
The opening sequence of L’Atalante depicts a wedding procession through a provincial village. The natural environment is austere, and so are the spectators’ clothes and demeanor, more suited to a funeral than a wedding — all of which make the bride’s ornate gown, pale face, and blonde hair that much more otherworldly and out of place.