Guest Picks: Zach Clark

Vacation! directed by Zach Clark

Vacation! All he ever wanted: Warhol sleaze, French blood baths and unhinged characters acting out titillating scenarios.

It’s safe to say that filmmaker Zach Clark has a twisted sense of humor that tends towards the outrageous or just plain shocking. This is evident in his own productions as well as the movies he watches for pleasure, a potent mix of ’70s cult films, campy sexploitation throwbacks and deviant anarchic comedies.

We were thrilled to add Zach’s debaucherous, sun-soaked girly romp Vacation! (pictured above) to the Fandor library this past month, and to mark the occasion we asked him to recommend a few of his favorite films. Surveying his work, its easy to see how these titles have influenced him as a filmmaker.

1. Bad (1977) directed by Jed Johnson

Bad directed by Jed Johnson

“The tagline, “BAD is good, but it’s not nice” sums it all up. Morally reprehensible nastiness has never been this much fun. What on the surface initially seems like an attempt to cash-in on John Waters’ success, Bad is grittier and more complex, and its focus on (actual) women makes it stand-out in the Warhol-produced narrative canon. The female ensemble cast is incredible, with an especially heart-wrenching, hilarious turn from the legendary Susan Tyrell.”

2. Careful (1992) directed by Guy Maddin

Careful directed by Guy Maddin

“A lesson in style, color, and atmosphere. Also one of the great cinematic depictions of suppressed, secret desires. Maddin’s work has gotten more and more hysterical over the years, but he’s never been better than he was with this beautiful, terrifying, funny melodrama. An eternal testament to the power of kitsch.”

3. The Living Dead Girl (1982) directed by Jean Rollin

The Living Girl directed by Jean Rollin“Like the Ozu of French horror-sleaze, Jean Rollin made a career out of retelling the same stories with the same images. This one plays it relatively straightforward, lacking in some of the more outré surrealist elements he usually employs (no random clowns, for instance.) Instead, it emerges as a low-key zombie movie that’s as much about love and loss as it is about gore and nudity. Imagine Eric Rohmer and Lucio Fulci teaming up and you’ll get the idea.”

4. Mod Fuck Explosion (1994) directed by Jon Moritsugu

Mod Fuck Explosion directed by Jon Moritsugu

“One of the most aesthetically thrilling movies ever made and also one of the funniest. Beyond the postured performances, jarring soundtrack, and handmade sets, there’s a real sense of longing. Moritsugu captures the confusion and nihilism of teenagers in a way that’s never been equalled. Movies are either about punks, or they are punk. This one is wholly, unapologetically the latter.”

5. Score (1973) directed by Radley Metzger

Score directed by Radley Metzger

“Never forget that there are infinite number of narrative possibilities that can result from putting four characters in a house together.”

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