Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shits on DVD! Part 1

It's 2 AM on Friday night (i'm posting this Saturday night tho). I'm waiting for approvals on 2 different projects before I can move forward, and I need to get up in a few hours to start on a different project, but as usual, I'm about as tired as a tasmanian devil on meth. So instead of sleeping, here's a list of 10 random movies, some new, some old, that you may or may not have seen or heard about, but you should. And if you've seen them, watch them again. They deserve that much:)

You remember when Napoleon Dynamite first came out and after your Vote For Pedro shirt was all stained from your shame-sweat and your mouth finally stopped uncontrollably muttering "GOSH, IDIOT," you actually had that moment where you stopped and were like, "Yah, that movie was OK, but now that I think about, it was super G-rated. What the fuck, who duped me into watching a G-rated movie and, even more, who hypnotized me into running around pretending I'm not allowed to cuss and that I need to practice my karate? Damn! If I was gonna be influenced that much by a movie, I wish that shit was DARK!"?
Then Nacho Libre came out right about then and did nothing to fulfill your fantasies, as that movie vacuumed a pile of dicks up off of the floor in record speed. HOWEVER, the magically imaginative husband/wife team of Jared & Jerusha Hess have finally accomplished what we wanted them to do in the first place. Gentlemen Broncos is, in the most general way possible, a dark Napoleon Dynamite. But it gets so much deeper than that, and so much more compelling and original. It's not just a cussing version of Napoleon. Actually, I still don't think there's even cussing in THIS on either, but its super fucked up nonetheless. Filled to the rim of the film canister with sci-fi, innocence, mormon values, snakes, deers with lasers, gay spacemen from the future, castration, vomit, plagiarism, indy filmmaking, more lasers, and superstar Jemaine Clement from FOTC. This shit's on DVD. Get it.

My favorite sci-fi flick hands down, back from the late 80's when movies didn't NEED good premises, but most of them had AWESOME ones anyway! I don't want to ruin any magic of this movie, but basically, it follows an intergalactic alien FBI agent who has been chasing an alien serial killer around the galaxy only to follow him to Earth, where the alien loves 80's metal, guns, fast cars, fast food, and vomiting itself into host humans of all types. You can rest assure that before I die I'm going to make something that is heavily inspired by this. I love it. Shits on DVD, go get it!

One of the best, and easily the most brutal, beautifully crafted movie the last 10 years. I recommend not researching ANYTHING about this if you haven't seen it, so I'm not even going to put a description or trailer or anything. Just note, it's a legitimate roller coaster ride through Hell. And it tests your patience, too. Consider a movie like Jacob's Ladder, or The Exorcist, Funny Games, Or even INSIDE, as a fucking slow Peter Pan Disney Ride through Hell in comparison. It's French. Watching the French audio with subtitles is recommended but really, there's not much dialog so if you hate subtitles, it doesn't really matter with this one. It's brilliant. Shits on DVD, watch it!

When documentaries are constructed in a way that the narrative plays out perfectly, and clearly defined heroes and super-villains rise out of the collection of quirky personalities rapidly firing awkwardness at the viewer, and you stand up and cry and cheer at the same time by the end of a DOCUMENTARY? That's powerful. That's like some Hoop Dreams shit, except this time, it's with DONKEY KONG! Editing is a magical thing, and this doc is edited perfectly so that you know who to root for, and you know who to hate. And trust me, you will hate a lot. A true underdog story as a science teacher in Oregon attempts to dethrone Video Game Legend Billy Mitchell from pedestal of Donkey Kong World Record Holder. I got to see this in a theater knowing little about it, and I was blown away. Shits on DVD. Get it!

Now, if you end up liking KING OF KONG (and if you DON'T, I will challenge you to the bloodiest spiked-pit dual possible), I suggest you dig up a separate documentary called CHASING GHOSTS. It's a perfect supplementary piece to K.O.K. because it chronicles the life of TWIN GALAXIES, which is the company that keeps track of all of the video game high-scores in the world. A lot of the same characters from KOK get more screen time here and you get to collapse into the world of pure coin-op nerd-dom. Shits never been released, but you can probably find it online somewhere.


Chasing Ghosts Trailer:

Fine, I know this movie "couldn't have been made if it weren't for the success of Friday the 13th" and that it's "heavily inspired by Friday" even that "Tom Savini even worked on this with leftover effects and gags from Friday", but you know what? Fuck that, cuz this shit has Jason Alexander with HAIR! And besides that, it's an all around better movie. This is my favorite 80's slasher by far, and it has nothing to do with the supernatural or anything, its strictly a revenge movie. An asshole alcoholic caretaker at a summer camp, named Cropsy is a dick to the kids. So they play a prank on him, but he's such a clumsy asshole he fucks up his own prank that gets pulled on him and ends up engulfed in flames and on his death bed for 5 years before he takes his horribly burned body back to the camp to kill people with his gardening shears. That's it. It's awesome. Fisher Stevens gets killed in it. Fuckin Ratner from Fast Times gets killed it it, and one of those Wienstein dudes wrote it back in like 1980. And the sillouhette of Cropsy holding the shears up in the air against the sun every time he kills in BROAD DAYLIGHT rivals even Leatherface's famous chainsaw dance. Shits on DVD. Get it. Now.


If Tommy Wiseau spent his 6 million dollar budget on making a time machine instead of "THE ROOM", then used the time machine to go back into the 80's to be inspired by the wave of sci-fi movies being shit out after Star Wars came out, and then MADE a sci-fi movie with his 20 dollars he had left over, that product would be close to Spacehunter. Aspects of it are amazingly bad, including some dialogue and "space slang" that is downright cringing to have to listen to when it's melting out of Molly Ringwald's dumpy mouth. But surprisingly, some of the sets, though they were built from cardboard, wood glue and piles of latexy scraps left over from Cher & Joan Rivers' plastic surgery in the 80's, are AWESOME. And who doesn't like Michael Ironside as a demonic cancer-ridden robot alien villain? I saw this at the Metro 4 in Antioch in the early 80's in 3-D! That was the closest I got to seeing all angles of the Sixteen Candles chick back then so I loved this movie. I love a lot about this movie, but it seems like the Internet unanimously hates it. There's not even a trailer online for it so all I can show you is a watermarked lobby card from fucking Germany. Whatever. Shits on DVD. Find it!

8 & 9. [REC] & [REC]2:
[REC] is essentially what George Romero's Diary of the Dead SHOULD have been instead of the fucking phantom menace that it WAS. If you saw the american remake of [REC], which was called Quarantine, you saw almost the same movie as the original (Spanish) version but missed out on some rad story points that they changed in Quarantine for no apparent reason at all. Additionally, these kind of low-budget handheld shot movies work so much better as foreign films with unknown actors speaking unknown (to us uncultured fuckers) languages. That disconnect allows us to get pulled into the scenario. The moment that Dexter's sister pops up in the American version (Quarantine) and whines like she does in Dexter, it takes you out of the danger because you DO realize its only a movie. Anyway, REC 1 is awesome, its just footage of a local reporter getting trapped in an apartment that is being taken over by zombie-like people infected by some kind of sickess from within the building. Simple, but SUPER effective.
Now, [REC]2, on the other hand, does something that I have NEVER seen done effectively in a sequel (well, aside from Lord Of The Rings), especially not in a sequel that wasn't planned from the start. [REC]2 manages to start at the exact frame that part 1 left off at, but somehow, although the TONE of the movie and the execution of the filmmaking is similar to the first one, they take the story and the film itself in a COMPLETELY different direction SEAMLESSLY. Within 15 minutes the whole mythology of the first one is turned on its head and its a whole new universe, while at the same time, taking place in the EXACT location as the first one. It's crazy. Without spoiling anything, what I like about the approach to REC 2, is that, when watching REC 1, its a self contained story and it's pretty obvious that they didn't KNOW that they would be able to make a sequel. So there were not really any unanswered questions. Yet, as soon as REC 2 starts, it incorporates all of these elements from REC 1 that you didn't even know were even there because they didn't play a major role in part 1, but they do in part 2, which, in turn, makes part 1 even STRONGER after seeing part 2. It's a fantasy of mine to imagine just how "LOST" would have turned out if some more imaginative writers like these tackled it with this approach instead of just vainly going off on tangents and let other writers worry about it later. Anyway, this ranting makes little sense and I'm not gonna go back and re-read this because all i see when glancing back is 1's and 2's and fucking brackets.

REC 1: Shits on DVD. Get this instead of Quarantine, because if you watch Quarantine, the plot points that they changed wont make sense in REC 2. And watch it in SPANISH! Don't be afraid to read, dummy!
REC 2: Shits NOT on DVD in the states. I got a Spanish import copy overseas, but it's coming out to American theaters i think soon. You can probably order it online or something tho. Get this shit. It's the Godfather 2 & Terminator 2 of Zombie movies.

[REC] 1 Trailer:

[REC] 2 Trailer:

This movie gets canned like fuck online. People hate it. But guess what, people with opinions that differ from mine are stupid. This movie has been my consistent friend-guage-meter for years. Watching this in front of people, and WITH people, and going the route of "pretending" it's a serious horror movie, is one of the most uncomfortable experiences that I somehow love to put myself in. Most of my friends are ok with this film as is, and the few that aren't are still my friends, I just don't talk to them ever and blocked them from my phone 'n shit. I really don't know why this movie gets such an asswhipping on the interwebs. I mean, I understand the folks who are used to seeing Old Dogs and Harry Potter and the occasional Apatow movie and Japanese PG-13 horror redux hate this thing, but actual horror movie fans? C'mon guys. Get your replica Romero huge glasses out and take a look at this thing for what it is. Here's a rundown of what madness to expect from this movie, which was written & directed by Gabe Bartolos (who did all of the practical effects on all of Frank Henenlotter's movies) and who shot it mostly illegally guerilla style on desert roads. DIY WINS! Check out just some of the things in this ridiculous movie: Bikers with Alzheimer's, a killer with a giant iron jaw and a superhero outfit, overacting rivaling THE ROOM, an albino plate-throwing WILLOW(!), romance, kidnapping, giant brains, overalls, a headless bodybuilder, angry organs, vomit, and an overall discomfort that you can't help but feel while watching it:) Shits on DVD MAYBE, might be out of print cuz of all the hate. Cop it if you can!


Now go be productive and watch movies!<3