Friday, March 10, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - More Movies You Never Heard Of

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, we examine three under-the-radar films which more than likely escaped your notice.

Uzmaki is a 2000 horror film based on a manga (Japanese graphic novel) which was still being created while the movie was being made. Hence, the two stories ended up with different endings. The plot centers on a town's obsession with spirals, and the tendency of its inhabitants to turn into snails. The real horror? There is no French restaurant around to take advantage of the suddenly plentiful supply of king-sized escargot. 

Beware if you see this in a theater and one of the patrons leaves a slimy trail as he exits. 

The film was released as the lead picture of a double feature - which leaves us to wonder why the second half was left out of this Blood of the Vines article. Certainly, if you have never heard of Uzmaki, you can't be expected to know its second banana.

There can be no finer wine pairing for Uzmaki than The Holy Snail, a Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Don't get hypnotized by the lovely spiral contained in the picture of the snail on the label.

2018's Overwhelm the Sky is the creation of TFH guru Daniel Kremer. His story - updating an 18th-century novel - concerns a radio personality. Finally, one about me! Just kidding. My radio career wasn't all that exciting, and with movies like this one and Play Misty For Me, I'm glad it wasn't. 

Do you recall the old vaudeville bit in which a man complains to a doctor that he doesn't sleep at night, that he just walks around all night long? The doctor says, "Oh, you're a somnambulist." The man replies, "No, I'm a night watchman." It just goes to show that things are not always what they seem.

Overwhelm does just that, with a black-and-white dreamscape that has been lauded for its cinematic inventiveness. Our golden-throated radio guy stays up nights exploring the death of one of his friends. It's no substitute for a warm glass of milk before bedtime - or a stiff drink for that matter - and if you end up losing sleep over the film, Kremer will no doubt feel that he has done his job.

Some folks feel overwhelmed when trying to choose a wine. One survey says 23% of wine shoppers feel overwhelmed by the choices before them. South Africa's Easy Choice Winery tries to take the angst out of buying wine, with labels like "The One With the Berries" and "The One That Grows on You." Is it a real winery or just a kooky branding idea? I'm still looking for their actual website. There are plenty of articles available, though, on what a kooky branding idea it is. If we can simplify your wine pairing search with a Herzogovenian recco, here it is: Mjesečar, from Brkic Winery. It translates as "sleepwalker," and it's also the perfect gift for the night watchman in your life. The Žilavka grapes were aged in Bosnian oak barrels. Who said choosing a wine is hard?

A movie title like Don't Worry We'll Think of a Title throws up a ton of red flags, and offers a reason why you may have missed this one the first time around. The 1966 comedy stars Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie and Richard Deacon. To sweeten the deal, they throw in some uncredited cameos from the likes of Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Carl Reiner, Irene Ryan, Danny Thomas, Nick Adams, Cliff Arquette and Forrest Tucker. But wait! Order before midnight and get Moe Howard, not as a Stooge. Now we're talkin’.

Welll, not so fast. Amsterdam - the co-writer, by the way - plays an ordinary Joe, or actually an ordinary Charlie with the last name of Yuckapuck. That's a name only a Catskills comedy writer could love. The humor here gets better the more borscht you have under your belt. The script is maybe a little light on bald jokes aimed at Deacon's invisible hairline, or maybe it's just a little light all the way around.

For Don't Worry, let's uncork a bottle from the Catskills.  Tannerville's Hudson-Chatham Winery has a wine made from the hybrid Baco Noir grape.  Morey might have said, "didja hear the one about the vitis vinifera that got crossed with a vitis riparia?"  Okay, so maybe he would have thrown in a bald joke instead.  This juice is a far cry from the old berry wines of the mid-60s Catskills resort era.

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