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The Queen of Hollywood Blvd (2018) - Movie Review

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The Queen of Hollywood Boulevard

5 beers

David Lynch. Russ Meyer. Roger Corman. Orson Welles. The influences of the directors who helped inspire the somewhat tortured (and tragic) reign of The Queen of Hollywood Blvd are spotted throughout the elegance of Orson Oblowitz's tale of blood and neon. This flick, thanks to the eye of Director of Photography Luke Hanlein, is stamped with authentic vibes: every frame, every performance, every edit.  It all signals an aesthetic that speaks volumes about who and what it is. 

This is the world of Jack Hill by way of Don Siegel and it is so very damn beautiful in its supremacy.  Uncanny in the film’s rollout, there is a harshness to the nighttime neon and lovely ladies that Queen Mary (Rosemary Hochschild) rules over and that toughness threatens to burst through the lens thanks to a detailed-heavy production. 

"Oblowitz has created a very real world in which the performances feel distant and cool and calculated.  They are also poetic.  This is a gritty story.  Make no mistake, some of you might be offended by its content"


The tacky fake wood paneling in the dingy office should have been her first clue that the meeting wasn’t going to go well.  I mean having a big ol’ cigar put out on the back of your hand doesn’t sound ideal.  Neither does the situation that Mary, who has stumbled her way into her calling as a nightclub owner after a failed career in Hollywood, finds herself in when her spoiled fully-grown gets his ass kidnapped and held for ransom.  Give up the strip club or else his gold-plated grill gets it! 

Mary isn’t having any of it, though.  And so begins her descent into the other side of the walk of fame.

It seems to me, with the arrival of Mandy and now The Queen of Hollywood Blvd, that there is a changing of the guards currently happening in Hollywood.  Thank Goddess!  People want choices and Hollywood, permanently stuck in sequel and remake mode, isn’t giving them much of a choice anymore.  Thankfully, there are many outlets for originality when it comes to film and filmmakers.The Queen of Hollywood Blvd is yet another brilliant offering from the blood-soaked floor of this movement.

Writer/director Orson Oblowitz’s film – about an aging strip club owner’s final night as owner and operator of the best gentlemen’s club in Hollywood – is not your typical B-movie.  The engine here purrs.  There is a lot of intelligence put into its filming and its nods to other filmmakers.  The film knows its history, too.  Just watch and see if you aren’t lulled into his charms, too.  From the set designs to the characters, this film rises to the top rather impressively.

With an introspective use of slow motion effects and some twisted camera angles, Oblowitz flexes knowhow and craftsmanship and defies whatever limitations there normally would be with independent films.  From the creation of the characters and the buckets of blood poured out onto the street, The Queen of Hollywood Blvd is the arthouse crime story/strip club revenge flick you didn’t know you were waiting for.

It is also a tour de force of acting from Hochschild.  She is simply amazing in a role that is usually left for males to handle.  Here, she both terrifies (with a gun in one hand and a cane in the other) and brings a warmth to the character that few could ever muster.  Your heart goes out to her as she begs, fights, and kills for the safe return of her grownup son.  There is also a certain level of rear and respect there, too.  The Queen of Hollywood Boulevard

Co-starring Michael Parks, Ana Mulvoy-Ten, Ella Thomas, Jon Sklaroff, and Rico SimoniniThe Queen of Hollywood Blvd isn’t afraid to get its hands (or yours) dirty.  Like Panos Cosmatos’s Mandy, there are many levels to what, on the surface, is indeed a simple story of fated revenge. Oblowitz; however, goes deeper.

With this movie, Oblowitz has created a very real world in which the performances feel distant and cool and calculated.  They are also poetic.  This is a gritty story.  Make no mistake, some of you might be offended by its content.  But it is also a simple story recounting the attempt made by one strip club owner to get her life back in order.  And it is her birthday.  Of all days to give her what she wants, that’s the one.  But tonight, she has to fight her way through.

The Queen of Hollywood Blvd will be in L.A theaters this week.  It will continue its reign On Demand later in the month.  All hail exploitation cinema!

The Queen of Hollywood

MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Orson Oblowitz
Writer:
Orson Oblowitz
Cast:
Rosemary Hochschild, Ana Mulvoy Ten, Roger Guenveur Smith
Genre
: Crime | Drama
Tagline:
A nightmare in the city of dreams.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You'll have to pry the keys to this club from my cold, dead hands."
Theatrical Distributor:
Dark Star Pictures
Official Site: www.facebook.com/queenofhollywoodblvd
Release Date:
September 1, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: On her 60th birthday, the proud owner of a Los Angeles strip club, finds herself in hot water over a twenty-five year old debt to the mob, leading her on a downward spiral of violence and revenge through the underbelly of Los Angeles.

The Queen of Hollywood Boulevard

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The Queen of Hollywood

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