Thursday, March 26, 2015

Animal (2014)

So there we were, cozy on the couch, 8:30 on a week night. I turned to my Husband and said "We can still fit in a movie!"

This was a race against time because, like a robot, I completely shut down at 10:15 PM.

While quickly scanning the latest movies in Netflix, Mike shouted out - "That one! We just need to pick something - so pick that one!"

To my great surprise, the non-horror movie fan picked Animal.



To my greater surprise, I was all, "Meh." I figured this would be another terrible film about idiot teens camping in the woods and then they are all (but one) dead.

AND IT IS

BUT

It's also awesome.

First of all, these teens are smarter than your average slasher flick. They might even be 20. Also, there are a few new twists in character development that made me think, "Wait - what? Why Hasn't This Been Done Before!? 'Bout damn time."

And then there is the monster - the animal. 

It is scary, it is fast, it is new, it is gruesome, it is loud, and it is up in your grill all the time. This movie is not at all shy about showing you what everyone is up against. I believe that made this a super fast-paced gore fest.

That all said! I did complain a little about some of the decisions the characters made (but honestly, what teen slasher flick doesn't have this?) Thinking about it later though, I suspected this writing was on purpose. There are some frustrating moments but they are played just right that it very well may force you to sit on the edge of your seat, even if you are not already. I tip my hat to you writers. Well played. 

There is a healthy dose of campy moments, but also at least 12 full cans of whoop ass, perhaps even an extra 40 ouncer for the last few scenes. 

This is a great film for a large group of people. This is, of course, also a fun one for just two of you - on a late weekend evening or early weeknight. Not for the young ones though - this monster is sure to give the little ones some nightmares. Or, if someone does not dig honestly frightening monster movies, this might not be a good one. Pumpkinhead fans might just love it.

Recommended pairing. Really really cheep beer (Bud Lite) or really really fancy beer (something brewed by a monk would be good). Maybe even gigantic protein shakes - if you're into that thing for some reason. Food: trail mix, fancy energy bars, or sandwiches. Turn off the lights, if possible watch in a cabin. If not, put some plants in your house.

Strap on for a wicked ride.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

1997 was a magical year.

I ran away from home. I graduated my South Dakota high school (with awards even), and with the love and support from my wonderful family, moved to Seattle.

Soon afterwards I got a job at movie theater. It was a fun job, but it didn't pay much and all I really did at the time was see a bunch of movies. Everyday, like, several movies.

One day I decided to see Alien: Resurrection (without having seen any of the first three movies).


I went with a co-worker and we were the only ones in the very very large theater that afternoon. The theater was located in what was then known as a rather cheep, ramshackle neighborhood. Full of a bunch of deserted, crumbling buildings, empty streets, and a whole bunch of party houses.

Amazon has since taken over and the place is unrecognizable from what it was. Tons of little shops, expensive restaurants, high-rise condos. It even has it's own SLUT (Seattle Lake Union Transit) running through the streets! 

But I'm getting off track here. 

The point I'm getting to is that I Did Not Remember One Thing About This Movie. Nothing. Zip. What I did remember, however, is that my co-worker introduced me to chocolate and popcorn that fateful movie watching day. My life has never been the same since.

I think I don't remember the film because my face was completely covered in piles of chocolate and popcorn kernels.

I had completely forgotten this memory until my Husband was bit by a dog the other day. Sympathy was given to him in the form of a free tetanus shot and a big bar of almond salted chocolate. 

That bar of chocolate was sitting on the coffee table last night, we were sitting on the couch wondering if we should go to bed or watch a midnight movie. My Husband said, "Well, what about Alien: Resurrection?" And the memories came flooding back (all except what the movie was actually about). "Yes!" I cried, "It will be exactly like watching it for the first time!" We tore into the bar of chocolate and pushed play on the DVD player.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have no idea why this movie did not get more recognition. It was a fast, fun, furious spaceship ride! It was gross, totally unsettling, scary, and the aliens were super bad ass. There were the typical Alien series hammy jokes, total jerks, and a few nice guys. There were also whole new levels of "... no man, No, that is Messed Up!" 

Although I can understand why some hard core Alien fans may find this one not as good, I personally felt it followed the theme fantastically and brought new levels of horror to the series. 

I really really enjoyed this film. I also really enjoyed that bar of chocolate, even if it was sans popcorn. 

Suggested pairing: watch on a late, warm night with all the lights out and in PJs. Throw Alien expectations to the windowsill. Watch in a small group or, for best results, alone. Have lots of chocolate and popcorn handy.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Driller Killer (1979)

OR TITLED

How my dream about being a reindeer who spied on people lead me to D.A Metrov's Anatomy of a Werewolf which lead directly to the cult classic film The Driller Killer.



TRUE STORY

Okay, so here was my dream last night. Short version. I was in a children's theater - I accidentally walked on stage when I didn't think there was a play going - only to realize that I walked on stage right on queue to perform my part as the sneaky reindeer who spied on people. What? Yeah.

In the dream, later, I saw an actress who had a battered, tattered, beat-up copy of a book in her pocket titled "Anatomy of a Werewolf by Anonymous". It was light purplish - I got the distinct impression that it was a self published book from the 1970's.

Woke up.

On the bus ride to my office job I decided to see if this book actually existed. AND IT DOES. In the book the anonymous actor, artist, director, etc., character apparently talks about his experience during the 1970's  in the artist world. The actor, artist, director, etc., author (D.A. Metrov) also had several hands behind the cult classic film The Driller Killer.

SAY WHAT

Yeah.

After this dream I knew what had to be done. I had to watch The Driller Killer.

This movie is a nightmare in many forms.

The film quality is bad, the writing so-so, the actors terrible (OR not really acting....drunk? High? Completely and Totally Wasted?). But the story line is mighty interesting.

In all, an up-and-coming but struggling star artist finds himself in the nightmare world of the New York art, music, drug scene of 1979 with a handy electric drill in his hands, And there you have it. Artist looses his mind (drugs, drugged girls, money, New York?) and well, decides to solves things with this mighty durable electric drill.

This movie is dream-like, actually. More nightmare, but still dream-like. There is no one to like, no one to sympathize with, and you kinda want to slow-mo punch everyone in the face (but you miss or don't have the strength).

Or is that just me?

ANYWAY

This movie is a cult classic because it's a shit show. A shit show with a dark, dirty, and horribly misspent youth cast. If you've ever wondered why someone would say "Youth is wasted on the young" then see this film. I was born when this film came out - currently I'm sipping a fancy beer on the couch, lounging in my PJs, having recently discussed the quality of a shepherds pie, now watching this film with scorn and admiration. What does that say about me, my dream, this film?

I Have No Idea. Open to suggestions.

My husband is tolerant of this film because I was so adamant about watching it. He's a good, patient man. I don't think he's going to let this one down though.

Watch this film with friends - preferably wasted friends. Overdub the dialog with your own commentary. But also appreciate the commentary!  Best served with PBR, little to no food, and electrical cords that lead to nowhere. Watch with an open mind and a lot of patience.

I have no idea where this inspirational dream came from. I wish I had better answers as to why it spawned my watching such a strange film. Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, I just have no idea. Bless it all the same.

But here - here it is. See for yourself. In all it's glory - courtesy of the Internet Archive. I present: The Driller Killer