Awesome cover, dude! #7:  Found Footage Festival Volume 4

Perhaps it’s my affinity for annual The Found Footage Fest..maybe it’s the resemblance to a well worn comic book, or it could be that it’s a sentient garbage can puking a water fall of green slime, VHS tapes, and comedic hosts, but something about this cover just really sang to me. Artwork by Johnny Ryan.

Bonus on the back!

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Tis’ the season for the best of the best of the worst movies! It’s my three month mission to bring you the Best Worst Movie(s) Ever of the Summer!

BWMEotS #4:  Skyscraper

In light of the recent Lifetime production based on her life, I’d like to remind everyone about that one time where they gave the actual living Anna Nicole Smith a whole action movie to destroy.  Yeah, that happened…once. 

She seemed delightful to work with:



BMEotD #02: 

Three O'Clock High is one of my favorite unsung classics of the 80’s. I think of it as the anti-Ferris Bueller.  There aren’t many comedies that capture this much tension and dread (Scorsese's After Hours comes close.)  Look out for cameos by Phillip Baker Hall, Jeffery Tambor, Yeardley Smith, and Mitch Pileggi.



BMEotD #155: Maniac (2012)

Why did I put off seeing this!? Maybe because it’s a remake of a horror movie and that always primes my eyes for rolling, plus I haven’t seen the original. But it combines so much of what I love into one movie.  Though it is set in modern times it’s thematically an early 80’s thriller, channeling Abel Ferrera’s Driller Killer or Ms. 45,  rather than the normal campy slashers of the time.  I also caught a whiff of…Cruising BUT IN A GOOD WAY if you can imaging that.  Lots of grimy dark alleys, neon lights, and a bombastic synthesizer score round that 80’s feeling out masterfully.  

This is a movie set in the New York …within Los Angeles. I was seriously like halfway through it when I realized it was L.A. Was this purposeful, or just me? I have no idea, but I liked getting the rug pulled out from under me like that.

I should probably mention the movie is in first person, shot through the eyes of our titular maniac.  I guess that worked. Tricky mirror tricks, reminding us we are inside Elijah Wood are impressive at first then get a little tiresome. In one scene we inexplicably ditch the format and that’s mildly jarring.

But the gore is state of the art realistic, some of the best I’ve seen and worth watching for that aspect alone.  Wood is mesmerizingly creepers, I always thought his part of Sin City stood way out as the best scenes in the film.  But good work all around, would make a nice double feature with Drive or House of the Devil if you’re into that sort of thing.



BMEotD #73: Take Shelter

“How do you know if you’re going crazy?” asks Take Shelter in one of, if not THE most frightening film I have ever seen. I suspect seeing the late late showing at Seattle’s own supposedly haunted Harvard Exit theater may have contributed to my fear, but this film shook me on a primordial level. How can your own mind confront, comprehend, and accept the reality that it is doing those very things incorrectly?  To me that’s scarier than any hill mutant, axe wielding maniac, or little devil girl. Michael Shannon(!!!) is Curtis, a blue collar midwestern father, married to Samantha (Jessica Chastain, who we find in the midst of a breakout streak of “troubled housewife” roles).  Out of the blue Curtis begins to have nightmares. Terrifying, apocalyptic, no-good nightmares; the increasing frequency and intensity of which compels him to do two things: A: Explore the possibility that he might be losing his mind. His mother is an institutionalized schizophrenic, so he’s well aware that this option is on the table. And B: just in case these nightmares are actual premonitions, Curtis takes the role of a doomsday prepper and feverishly begins construction on a backyard bomb shelter (à la Richard Dreyfuss’ Devil’s Tower replicating performance in Close Encounters). This results in alienation from the community and strained relations with his family.  Take Shelter puts you in an odd position as you continually find yourself rooting for Curtis’ visions to come true, even though the apocalypse is most likely uh… more unhealthy for the world than one man going banana-nut cheerios.