Friday, June 26, 2015

Junesploitation Day 26: Cannibals!

They have a never-ending hunger for human flesh!

56 comments:

  1. BLOOD DINER (1987, 84 min.) on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Blood+Diner) for the first time.

    Man, I got burned! Should have gone with my first instinct and watched Ridley Scott’s “Hannibal” instead. A Troma-esque low-budget 80’s horror flick that doesn’t take itself the least bit seriously, “Blood Diner” can at least be singled out for not shying away from its cannibalistic premise and going full hog with the human entrails bits. Granted, the patrons at Tutnam Café and Club Dread aren’t aware that brothers Michael and George (Rick Burks and Carl Crew) are using human remains for their dishes’ secret recipe, even when it occasionally makes a patron or two projectile-vomit uncontrollably. Nor do these accidental cannibal customers realize that the spirit of deceased Uncle Anwar (Drew Godderis, the male counterpart to “Sleepaway Camp’s” Aunt Martha) is secretly guiding his nephews’ culinary delights using his unearthed sentient brain and penis (with the brothers’ first victim’s eyes attached), all toward the goal of reviving an ancient Goddess made from the best human remains they’ve collected (including, apparently, James Woods' chest vagina from "Videodrome" but with teeth).

    You know what kind of movie you’re getting into early on when, right after a group of topless women exercising in a gym is machine-gunned and mutilated (which doesn’t come across as graphic as it reads), a newspaper headline proclaims ’Nude Aerobics Gets Bloody Workout.’ If that doesn’t do it then the small army of characters dressed up to look like Hitler (including an Aryan professional wrestler named, naturally, Jimmy Hitler) will probably do the trick. Since the victims of the cannibalistic brothers are women (except for a rival chef trying to steal the secret recipe, who only gets a few body parts cut off for his transgression) you could accuse “Blood Diner” of misogyny. But the acting is so bad and the tone so silly critics of movie violence would be better off letting the amateurish production be the primary means by which the movie alienates those who see it. An acquired taste (get it? Har, har!).

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  2. Ravenous (1999)

    Antonia Birds exercise in cannibalism is more interested in the mood than in the plot and works just fine.
    I love it´s strange and very dark humor but I´m sure it´s not everyone's cup of tea.

    I´m still amazed how she got the movie financed by a major studio (Fox) and how she got such a stellar cast (Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette and John Spencer) lined up for a dark and gory story like this.

    "It's lonely being a cannibal. Tough making friends."

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    1. It WAS being directed by some other director -- a famous Polish one, I believe, whose name escapes me -- and when he was sacked uncermoniously, Carlyle recommended Bird, who he'd worked with before.

      I think Ravenous is actually quite fantastic. Fun and dark and KNOWS its sense of humor. Pearce and Carlyle in particular are top notch.

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    2. Milcho Manchevski was the original director of "Ravenous," and he is Macedonian by birth. I should know, I took over Milcho's job at a NYC production company back in the mid-90's when he went off to direct "Before the Rain," the critically-acclaimed movie (on the Criterion Collection no less!) that eventually landed him the "Ravenous" gig.

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    3. Thank God I said I "believed" he was Polish, otherwise I'd feel stupid.
      I know I'm gonna forget that name the moment I leave this page, though.

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    4. The strange and quirky score for Ravenous is so outstanding it bumps it up a whole letter grade for me. This is an A+ movie. Love that score!

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    5. One more passenger on the Ravenous train, right here. Such a great, underrated movie. Saw it in the theater, praised it -- and defended it -- ever since.

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  3. Cannibal the Musical (1993)

    What a spadoinkled way to start the day. While sadly the Hannibal tv show doesnt count in this category (but you should watch that show if you aren't, its excellent) this was a good one for the cannibal day and by far definitely the cheeriest one you will see today. I like to imagine that Trey Parker and Matt Stone got jobs at Disneyland in the frontierland section of the park stole the costumes and filmed this movie. Some of the timing of the gags is a little off and the acting is uneven but the energy in this movie is infectious. Granted I've only seen a couple Troma movies but this is the kind of fun energy that seems to be missing from the ones I have seen. A bunch of college kids said "we are gonna make a musical!" then they got their fake beards and blue jeans on and did it by gum. Also bonus points for giving me a different version of the "do you wanna build a snowman" song.

    8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)

    "Hannibal Lecter is clicking his heels to this!"

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    1. I went this too! Not sure what you're saying about Frozen though... evil glare. I joke because I am insane.

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  4. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1989) - First viewing

    A feminist college professor is sent to find a missing colleague from the vast unexplored Avocado Jungles of Southern California, where legend has it lives a tribe of cannibalistic "piranha women". With her are a bungling, chauvinistic jungle guide and an airheaded college girl.

    A comedy whose main (and pretty much only) aim is sending up both chauvinism and extreme feminism, which it does quite well. CWitAJoD features uneven performances (Shannon Tweed is pretty good as the lead but Bill Maher is no actor), a plot that borrows heavily from Heart of Darkness and jokes ranging from the hilarious to the groan-inducing.

    The funniest joke: the dean of the college is called dean Stockwell.

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  5. Cannibal Campout (1988) Dir. Tom Fisher and Jon McBride

    Another highly sought after VHS, no budget, shot on video gem from the late 80's. Four teens go camping and are tormented by some backwoods cannibals. This is the first cannibal movie I have seen where the backwoods villains have Jersey accents! It was fantastic! As I mentioned, there was zero budget for this one but the filmmakers seemed really proud of their practical effects which mainly consisted of cutting peoples stomachs open and pulling out "intestines" or a mask likened to the "Toxic Avenger" meets "Sloth" from "The Goonies". It might be boring in some parts to people but not really to me because I'm fascinated by the shot on video, no budget era of filmmaking that will never exist again unless intentionally. Awful acting, AWFUL dialogue, good practical effects, a dude running around with a motorcycle helmet and HEAVY accents. I loved it.

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  6. Kung Fu Cannibals (original title - Raw Force) (1982) (first time viewing)

    Martial arts students are a on a cruise ship to visit a place called Warrior's Island where a bunch of dead martial artists are buried. A gang of bad men (lead by someone with a really bad Hitler mustache) is also heading back and forth from the same island. They are taking girls there for the cannibal monks who say the flesh of the girls helps them raise the dead. Hence the army of zombie ninjas that everyone eventually runs into. On top of all this there are piranhas, explosions with high school level special effects, fighting, decapitations, impalements, really fake looking blood, bad dubbing that makes everyone sound like they're 12, terrible acting, and lots of boobs. This may be the most exploitation-y movie I've watched all month. It is absolutely terrible, but it was like a train wreck....I just couldn't look away. I was entertained and yet I'm still hesitant to recommend it.

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  7. Three … Extremes (2004, dir. Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park) (First Time Viewing): Where are the other two Extremes I was promised? I only counted one Extreme (the first segment: Dumplings, directed by Fruit Chan). The other two segments of this horror anthology were in no way “extreme”, in fact, they were quite tame. It’s all about the first segment. I found it to be a glorious grand-guignol gross-out. The other two segments were “extreme”..-ly forgettable. I recommend watching the first segment when you’re feeling spicy, then turning it off.

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    1. This movie made me pass out in the theater. No bullshit.

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    2. Haha, wow! Was it the Dumplings segment specifically? I probably would have been more horrified by it if this wasn't day 26 of watching exploitation movies.. I may be broken.

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    3. I am with Adam. The whole thing got under my dkin. Somehow watched Dumblings feature but do not remember seeing a lot of it haha.

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    4. @Matt - Yeah, it was Dumplings specifically when she was in the tub and anytime they were eating dumplings with that crunching sound.

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    5. I've been curious to see the feature version of Dumplings. But I must admit, I have been stalling.

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  8. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

    I've wanted to watch this movie for awhile. What the fuck is wrong with me?

    I just watched Troma and Cronenberg and thought "that was disturbing.". No, no, no...they do not compare to this movie. I have to admit, the way the shot it is pretty brilliant. The original found footage movie. If I was shown this and didn't know what it was about, I would have thought it was real. To me, it was the music that sells it. Every time there was an unspeakable act, this sort of hypnotic variation of notes totally disorients you. I don' t know...I don't think I could ever watch it again. Bravo, you crazy bastards.

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    1. You nailed it. Riz Ortolani's music, along with Deodato's direction and imitated-but-never-matched mise en scène, go a long way to legitimize "Cannibal Holocaust" as an influential and great horror movie experience. I can't listen to the movie's theme song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wqrA9IMnUM) without feeling messed-up and upset, but a good kind of upset. I can't in good conscience recommend "Cannibal Holocaust" to anyone I know, but anyone that perceives it to be the king of trashy Italian cannibal movies will be surprised when they discover a near-perfect genre gem.

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    2. I really want to see this but I am too scared off by the animal abuse / torture I've read about...

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    3. The Grindhouse Releasing Blu-ray that came out last year has an option to watch the movie without those scenes. Some argue the movie loses its power that way (we believe the effects later on because we've already seen stuff that's "real") but that's how I watch it when I watch it. I don't feel like I'm missing anything and the movie still works plenty.

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    4. The DVD and Blu-ray versions (in the US at least) have an option where you can watch the movie with the animal abuse scenes removed.

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    5. The giant turtle was the worst one.

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  9. SLAVE OF THE CANNIBAL GOD (1978)

    A woman travels into the jungles of New Guinea to find her missing husband, only to run afoul of a long-though-dead cannibal cult. There was once a time when “jungle adventure” was its own cinematic genre, and this is one of the last vestiges of that. The harsh, untamed wilderness is more the villain than the cannibals, who end up not being all that interesting. Ursula Andress remains stunningly beautiful almost twenty years after Dr. No, and young Stacey Keach does his best Indiana Jones/Alan Quartermain as the rugged explorer type. So, I guess I liked this one, even if it is a little too slow and serious for its own good.

    Accompanying short film: LEFTOVERS. A cannibal (or maybe zombie) learns the cops are on to him and attempts to make a run for it. If you like gore, this one has you covered in its grisly, grimy glory.

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  10. Hannibal Rising (2007)

    Hannibal (RIP, sniffle) is the only TV show I make sure not to miss every week. Lush, colorful, cinematic, and deliriously Grand Guignol, it's the best horror series I've ever seen on TV. This season they've incorporated elements of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Rising, one of the worst books I've ever read. As much as I loathe that book, the show uses those elements in a way that makes them work within the framework of the story they're telling. There is no such elegance here.

    Gaspard Ulliel (French for "only one facial expression") is Hannibal Lecter, and he's pretty terrible but the movie as a whole is much, much worse. Example of the depths of stupid to which this movie sinks: there's a hero shot of young Hannibal placing that infamous half-mask over the lower part of his face like he's the Phantom of the Goddamn Opera, music sting and all. The filmmakers don't seem to realize that it wasn't his costume, the authorities put that mask on him in Silence of the Lambs so that he couldn't bite anybody. That sort of nonsense runs rampant here. I should've just watched Ravenous again.

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    1. Everybody should just watch Ravenous again. All the time.

      I have never seen this. Do not plan to. A lot of movies -- as in, most -- I watch to make up my own mind about. But others, I figure...life is just too short. This flick counts.

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    2. I've never made any real effort in seeing Hannibal Rising. Having said that, I know someday I will. I'll see just about anything... once.

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  11. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

    I can sort of see why it has become a cult classic: the cheap and dirty lo-fi approach makes everything about the film feel unsafe, much like Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. It's a depraved and sadistic movie, there's no doubt about that (Craven seems determined to show us his ability to kill everyone and everything in the film), but I'm not entirely sure that necessarily makes it a successful horror movie. The "good guys" are a bunch of stupid, selfish tourists (looking for "movie stars in fancy cars"), so right from the beginning I wasn't on their side (except the dogs and maybe the baby, although it probably would have also grown up to be a stupid, selfish tourist). There's something worthwhile in the film's ability to create a sense of the complete lack of safety, but otherwise I found the film quite disappointing in light of its cult classic status. Occasionally impressive, but also occasionally shrill and annoying. I like the other Craven I've seen (as well as the original Texas Chain Saw, which seems to be a touchstone), but I think this one just isn't for me.

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    1. The Hills Have Eyes: The Death of Stupid, Selfish, Shrill and Annoying Tourists

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    2. The newer remake is quite good

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  12. The Man From Deep River (1972, dir. Umberto Lenzi)

    In my mind, a Cannibal movie is not just any movie that has a cannibal in it... the cannibals have to be jungle savages, and the movie must be Italian. I'm very happy to see both Brent and macmcentire went with authentic cannibal movies! MFDR has all the window dressing of a typical cannibal movie, but, amazingly, is not about cannibals! It's a beat for beat remake of A Man Called Horse, set in Southeast Asia. A white guy goes to part of the jungle he shouldn't have, gets captured by a hostile primitive tribe, but is slowly accepted by them and ends up marrying their chief's daughter. While it skimps on gut-munching, it overcompensates in the dead animal department; where Cannibal Holocaust has three or so major DA scenes, something seems to get killed every 10 minutes in this one. If an Italian cannibal movie's cred is directly correlated to the amorality of its filmmakers, then this one's got cred. With this genre, you really need to know what you're getting into; I did, and I loved it! Trailer.

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  13. We Are Going To Eat You (1980, Tsui Hark)

    Hark's trademark dreamy, evocative camera work and pretty seriously awesome action (when it happens) can't really overcome an obnoxiously structured narrative and some really bad humor. The plot has a teeter-tottering back and forth, in which it seems like the finale is about to occur and the heroes are going to escape this dreaded cannibal island, only to be pulled back in and have to mount another escape attempt. Many of the jokes are crass and unpleasant, but none more so than a recurring "gag" in which a male prostitute in drag attempts to sexually assault the main characters. Gross.

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  14. Eaten Alive 1980 aka doomed to Die

    Lenzi's film just one year before Ferox, lots of Lenzi being watched today :)

    A strange kinda Jones town movie, Beautiful Janet Agren goes looking for her sister who has fallen in with a cult in New Guinea in an area surrounded by Cannibals,
    As you would expect there's lots Sex, Nudity, Gore and tough to watch real animal scenes and of course J and B whiskey all in the jungle with a strange opening scene in Niaggra falls and then NY and a shot in the middle for no reason where Janet is naked and painted gold? This also strangely has cuts from other films edited in it, scenes from Sacrifice, Jungle holocaust and The Mountain of the Cannibal god and Last Cannibal world, its not really enjoyable viewing but as a movie "It's Fine" its mot a movie I dream of needing a Bluray for but as a Cannibal movie it does its job well with a gritty style of filming that adds to the effect, the Bad acting, dubbing and Animal scenes are the biggest negatives, but the story, filming style, Gore and shock value all work well, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would

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  15. Blood Diner (1987)
    I would have thought that a movie that seems to combine elements from almost every day of Junesploitation would be pretty cool. Unfortunately its not. Two brothers go around killing people at the request of their dead uncle's brain in a jar so that they can preforms a cannibalistic ritual that awakens a god from Jupiter. The "funny" catch is that they operate a popular vegetarian diner, and the secret ingredient in their food that people love is... people. This movie tries to be as weird as possible and dumb as possible. If most of these scenes were in separate movies they might work, but together its a mess. There is this weird buddy cop drama that they try to shove into the mix that just gets annoying. But by all means check it out. The premise is so crazy that someone has to like it. If only it was as good as the plot sounds.

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  16. Ravenous (1999)

    Had to check out the cannibal western. This movie felt like a script that sprang out of a metaphor and the plot was then built around it, if that makes sense. Rather than writing a story which had themes and symbolic meanings, it was like the writer said "I wanna make a movie where cannibalism is symbolic of this thing," and then built a story around that. Not that it's a bad thing. The movie works pretty well juggling several different tones. It's enjoyable and has a pretty engaging mystical component to its flesh-gobbling.

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  17. Soylent Green (1973)

    The Monsanto movie. I'd never seen this before today, though I knew of the twist (sorry if you didn't know, but by nature of being on this page it gets spoiled). Even so, I enjoyed it. The dystopian, overcrowded, polluted future depicted is satisfyingly awful to see depicted. Plus I liked Charleton Heston playing a true anti-hero. For much of the movie his character is a cynical asshole police detective who steals from crime scenes, sleeps with prostitutes, and even beats up a woman at one point. However, by the end even this guy is shaken to his core at what a broken down society has forced him to become. This one's a classic that deserves to be seen just to say you've done it.

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  18. Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978, dir. Sergio Martino)

    Mac McEntire beat me to the punch on this one! For most of its running time, this seems like the Italian cannibal movie that's safe for mainstream consumption -- it has movie stars in it and is pretty tame, focusing more on how living (and making a movie) in the jungle is hell. Then there are a few surprises and the last act goes NUTS, featuring very little cannibalism but most of the other things we've come to expect in these movies (nudity, rape, brutal violence and graphic castration). Not up to the standards of Cannibal Holocaust, but redeems itself with that last 30 minutes.

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  19. Cannibal The Musical: Hahaha yes! I remember this was a popular one last year and saw it come up a few times again this year so was looking forward to seeing it. A really wacky spirit that makes this jolly good fun.

    Hannibal: I have been trying to get myself to watch this for ages. What stopped me was the fact I have seen Silence of the Lambs so many times I can identify it with two words of infamous dialogue as it is just one of my favourite fucking movies evet. This movie will never be able to come close to it in my eyes so I felt I wasn't able to give it a fair shot. So I tried, I really did. But I just wish it wasn't the character Clarice. It would be so much easier for me to do so.

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    1. You mean if Julianne Moore was a different character instead of Clarice Sterling you'd like the movie more? Interesting, but then Lecter wouldn't have the backstory relationship with Clarice from "Lambs" that led him to do that last thing he does in "Hannibal." It's a cash grab movie by all involved, but somehow Scott makes it seem like a much classier and artsy project that it would be without his stylistic touched. You know, like "Red Dragon."

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    2. Yes I just don't want another Clarice on screen. I can rewatch Silence for Clarice! But I got out Red dragon too so I haven't got to it yet.

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  20. The Day (2011)

    A small but entertaining post-apocalypse movie.

    A group of survivors come across a too good to be true situation, and then are besieged by a group of cannibals. The reasons behind the apocalypse aren't revealed and that makes it interesting. This also makes the story focused on the moment, the day if you will.
    The look, feel, and overall premise of The Day aren't original in the post-apocalypse genre. It's all been done before but that doesn't mean this wasn't enjoyable.
    It is shot well, solidly acted, and contains bloody, and sometimes brutal, violence.

    Overall it's an enjoyable, small, indie apocalypse movie.
    Just don't go in expecting The Road and you will have a good time.

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    1. Yeah, that one is ok.

      Interestingly it´s written by Luke Passmore, who after this movie became a writer on several episodes of "The walking dead". I like the series but it also makes me very angry at times because of the sometimes uncomprehensible group dynamics and the often confounding decisions of several characters. And this movie shows the same problems.

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    2. Then that's why Passmore was hired then. ;-)

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  21. Dahmer (2002)
    A movie about a cannibal that doesn't actually mention cannibalism. And I'm fine with that.
    I went into this one with extreme trepidation, thinking it would be Snuffsploitation. However, it's surprisingly tame in the gore department, more a character study of a monster than a litany of his deeds. This is the first time I've ever seen Jeremy Renner give a performance that wasn't just a variation on 'cocky,' and he is really, really good. The movie relies on some visual tropes a little too much (a drinking game could be built around how many times he disappears ominously from the frame) but there are scenes that are genuinely chilling. I feel like I need a shower after watching this, but like most serial killer movies, I think that may be what the filmmakers set out to do.

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  22. Eaten Alive (1980)
    I'll agree with most of what Dennis said. I still have yet to see Cannibal Ferox. It's probably going to be a blind buy for me.

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    1. I guess this is as good a place as any to say how much I'm anticipating Eli Roth's The Green Inferno in September. As well as Knock Knock, his ode to the film Death Game.

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  23. Doomsday (2008)

    Watching Doomsday is like going to a Beatles tribute concert and instead of hearing talented musicians put a fresh spin on your old favourites, they put on a "Best of" CD and lipsynch to it. Music you like is going into your ears yet you're kinda bored and disappointed.

    Doomsday has lots of familiar stuff I love, but it's all so rote it feels like a highlight reel of genre conventions instead of a movie. Which is okay to watch, but not something you can really love. A more immediate problem is the score - I never really noticed it before but it's mostly pretty awful. Makes it feel like a cheaper movie than it is.

    On the plus-side the over-the-top, practical gore effects are pretty good and like, the big bad guy's name is Sol so that's pretty cool...bah, it's okay, but ultimately forgettable.

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  25. We Are What We Are (2013)

    Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be religious fanatics that practice cannibalism.

    I dig that this movie takes the "weird cannibal family" concept and does some interesting things with by making it a kind of commentary on religious indoctrination. A couple of my favorite moments:
    --Daddy Dearest killiing Not Zachery Ty Bryan while he and his daughter are having sex. I knew that character had to die but it was pretty unexpected in the moment and just showed how ridiculously over the top Daddy Dearest was.
    --Annoying Son biting the neighbor/babysitter like some kind of jerk. Her reaction was very "WTF?!" and perfect.

    The ending - where the daughters go HAM on Daddy Dearest...well, like an actual piece of ham...is bananas. I almost felt bad laughing and cheering on the girls but then I realized I didn't feel bad at all.

    Michael Parks, even playing a non-showy character, is still VERY Michael Parks in delivery.

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  26. Parents (1989)

    I'd never heard of this movie, didn't know it existed until I found myself looking up lists of "cannibal" movies on google in preparation for Junesploitation.
    Wow. Think I've discovered a gem here. Directed by Bob Balaban (Mr Dalrymple to the Seinfeld fans) and starring Randy Quaid (Huh?) this is a genuinely disturbing, sometimes darkly funny movie. Sometimes the tone seems a little off...but then again shouldn't the tone be a bit askew when the plot is about a young boy slowly discovering his parents might not source their meat from the local butcher??
    What this movie.

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