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Fowler’s Flix 05.15.19: The Dark Side of Docs

MPI Media Group
Jonathan Frid is the immortal Barnabas Collins, star of the Dan Curtis-created "Dark Shadows."
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While many critics might use documentaries to help the viewer explore and navigate things outside their immediate purview of the physical world, sometimes I want to use them to help people explore worlds they usually never knew even existed or that they could even be a part of, from the dark side of life here on Earth to farthest reaches of the mind. Here’s a definitely moderated selection of the darker side of documentaries I received recently…

A little lighter viewing to start things out with, in the 1960s, a television writer by the name of Dan Curtis did the unthinkable and brought classic horror to the living rooms every afternoon through the looking glass of the cult show Dark Shadows.

In Master of Dark Shadows: The Gothic World of Dan Curtis (MPI Media Group), we meet the fascinating man behind the scenes that also created The Night Stalker, Trilogy of Terror and my father’s personal favorite, The Winds of War.

In the 1970s world of the highest fashion, anything goes and anything went in the world of decadent artist Antonio Lopez. SexFashion&Disco (Film Movement) is an absolute dead-drop into this world of excess, between bisexual orgies, cocaine-fueled all-nighters and jetsetting across the globe with Jerry Hall and Grace Jones. Of course, there’s no happy ending to this tale, but the story of getting there is pretty fun.

These days, it seems that bands can’t get by on their music anymore—they now need a tried and true branding effort to label them, get their logos out there on just about every available product and become more of a famous mark; if the music’s good, well, bonus I guess. The heartbreaking documentary Band vs. Brand (MVD Visual) goes into this whole music-world fracas, telling music-makers what it takes these days not to be a good band, but an enduring name.

While the guns were blazing and the bombs were dropping during World War II, the film Nazi Junkies (Film Movement) launches into well-researched and well thought-out theories that Hitler and his band of followers were top-notch drug-users, tripping all kinds of ball with rotting limbs and minds to boot.

Exposing the hidden history of hardcore drugs in the Third Reich, even if it’s not true, to Hell with them—they’re Nazis.

Finally, here’s two chilling titles that deserve whatever airtime on your television that you can give them: first up, Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia (Waterfront) is about a surreal-artist that uses human blood to create his paintings with and, apparently, heal with; secondly, the most profound Target: St. Louis (IndiePix) has, who else, the United States Army testing various enemy threats against the mostly African-American population of North St. Louis to devastating but, per usual, redacted effect.

Next week: Film Rise…film set.

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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