Friday, October 30, 2015
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 153
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996, dir. Robert Rodriguez) You might as well close out Scary Movie Month with a bang, so this week I'm recommending one I'm sure you've all seen: From Dusk Till Dawn. I used to be of the opinion that the first pre-vampire half was the more successful section of this movie, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I've been thinking about this movie a lot the past few weeks since Patrick and I discussed '90s practical effects on the Tales from the Crypt podcast, and (along with Demon Knight and Wishmaster), I'd include From Dusk Till Dawn in that pantheon of the last breath of wonderful '90s practical effects.
Zombeavers (2014, dir. Jordan Rubin) Okay F-Heads, truth be told I’ve been sitting on this one. Not because I think it's a great movie, but because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to recommend it. It’s not good; in fact, it’s not even in the same realm as what we know as a “good” movie, but I had fun with it. Going into it I was worried it was going to be in the same realm as Sharknado, where they are intentionally setting out to make a bad movie, but I didn’t get that vibe. What I think I enjoyed is that Jordan Rubin seems to have set out to make a serious movie about a ridiculous premise. It’s a bunch of teenagers in a cabin with Zombie Beavers. Done. It’s not very scary, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be a “love letter” to bad horror, I think it’s just a movie enjoying being completely absurd. The cast does a fine enough job, the directing is competent, and I enjoyed myself watching it. It’s moderately gory and entertained me enough for being a movie that I’m pretty sure was written while the writers were really, really, high.
Wolfcop (2014, dir. Lowell Dean) This comedy/horror film works for these last two days of Scary Movie Month, but it also works for the comedown that follows in the early days of November. Before long, there will be Christmas stuff on the shelves of every store and you won't be able to leave your house without hearing carols and seasonal favorites. This is a prime time to enjoy some movies that blur the line between horror and fun. This is when I usually put on Ghostbusters, and I think it's a pretty good time for a movie about a cop who happens to be a werewolf, too.
Pontypool (2008, dir. Bruce McDonald)I first saw this at a Massacre 24 Hour Movie Marathon and liked it quite a bit. It was screened early in the morning, so I knew it was good because it kept me awake (And isn’t that the ultimate movie compliment, my friends? “It kept me awake,” –JB, F This Movie!) There’s not much new here, but I like what the filmmakers do with existing tropes of the genre. I was also impressed by the lead performance of Stephen McHattie as the laid-back DJ. Pontypool is an efficient little engine of unease, and (like giant Japanese hornets or a good straight razor) it gets the job done.
Let Us Prey (2014, dir. Brian O'Malley) I hate to say it, but the silver lining to #ScaryMovieMonth ending this weekend is that I'll no longer be forced to find horror movies to recommend on Netflix streaming. Their choices (at least the ones that haven't been recommended by someone else before or stupidly by me during the non-October months) have been a bummer. I'm left having to suggest this movie, which I only sort of liked. This Irish effort, about a police station that goes to Hell when a mysterious stranger is locked up, is very well-directed by first-timer Brian O'Malley: well photographed, reasonably claustrophobic and featuring a couple standout moments of excellent gore. It's also overly familiar. If nothing else, it's worth watching for the fact that it stars Pollyanna McIntosh, and any movie with Pollyanna McIntosh is automatically better than that same movie without her. Plus it's got Liam Cunningham! You the man, man! I love you Davos! Wooooo!!