THIS WEEK: Meryl Streep Gets The Death Penalty For Comatose Prostitution
Howdy folks! Don’t let the banner pic fool you, we’ve actually got some gems this week. Besides Meryl Streep’s surprising Oscar win, there’s the latest Werner Herzog doc, an artsy hooker film, Judd Nelson, Mexicans in devil costumes, and that giant killer rat movie we’ve all been waiting for.
The Iron Lady
Into The Abyss
The Darkest Hour
King Of Devil’s Island
The Witches Of Oz
The Terror Experiment
A Bird Of The Air
Rat Scratch Fever
No Body Found
For this week’s Netflix suggestions click here, otherwise keep reading for the DVD details.
Vince’s review damned this film with an ‘F’ grade, so what could possibly compel any FilmDrunk readers to see this? To be honest, the only thing I can think of is morbid curiosity or a desire to see every film that won a major Oscar. When Streep won Best Actress the Oscar nerds declared it a crime, saying she robbed the win from Viola Davis. I say the bigger crime is this winning Best Makeup. Either way, nobody will remember this movie for its ‘undeserved’ Oscar wins two years from now. Not because this movie is so forgettable, but because Oscar nerds find something to whine about every year.
Werner Herzog directs this documentary about two prisoners who are accomplices in a crime that put one on death row and left the other with life in prison. Vince was so conflicted in his feelings about this movie that he refrained from adding a final grade to his review, but he does say it is a fascinating film. All I can say is that I always look forward to Herzog films, and his documentaries in particular, so I’m really curious to see it. Sorry for the lack of snark on this one. If you insist on a laugh, click on the trailer and see the inappropriate link that pops up in the upper right corner.
Vince and Burnsy have both expressed their enthusiasm for this film, in which a young woman becomes a prostitute who takes drugs in order to remain comatose while her clients have their way with her. I should probably make a lazy but obvious joke about having sex with her must just be like having sex with my wife, but I won’t. Besides, it’s simply not true: my wife’s wide awake when we have sex. She’s just asleep before I’ve finished. WHACKITY SCHMACKITY DOO!
You might not remember this sci-fi/horror flick as it barely got any advertising. This is the one where that guy from Speed Racer and that girl from Juno who wasn’t Juno are in Russia or somewhere and alien electricity eats people or something. They use light bulbs as bait, I think. This looks like something that was made for the Syfy channel and they somehow accidentally got their first choices for the cast so they figured they had better release it to theaters.
Stellan Skarsgård stars in this Norwegian film about a juvenile detention community and the inmates’ resistance to their cruel and oppressive captors. If you couldn’t guess, this is supposed to be based on a true story. I’m sure this is just my xenophobia, but this looks especially scary and foreboding because nobody is speaking English. Plus, ‘Devil’s Island’? It’s as if they are trying to imply this place was hell on earth. Might as well have called it King Of Prison Rape Cove.
See if you can follow this: This movie was originally shot with a theatrical release in mind, then re-edited into a miniseries for cable, then re-re-edited, with some re-shot footage for a theatrical release after it aired on TV. The theatrical version (which is over an hour shorter than the TV version) is the director’s preferred cut. Needless to say, this DVD release is the longer TV edit (164 minutes) and no one involved likes this version. If that and the title hasn’t sold you on it already, I’ll point out it stars Sean Astin and Ethan Embry (as characters named Frick and Frack) and Christopher Lloyd as the Wizard of Oz. Simply awful.
As the box cover so helpfully explains, this is the ‘flipside of Lost In Translation’. You see, instead of Americans experiencing Japan, this is about some Japanese people experiencing America. There’s a moment in the trailer where an American guy says to the Japanese girl, “I don’t know what you’re saying, and I’m telling you how I feel and it’s like, you don’t even care.” That’s so true, isn’t it? We always mistake miscommunication for ambivalence. I guess what I’m saying is, that opening shot from Lost In Translation, where it’s just Scarlett Johansson’s ass, was pretty great.
A British soldier returns from combat to the U.K. and wreaks havoc at the behest of Brian Cox. At a few points in the trailer, it implies that he kills young kids. It’s OK, though, because it was all inter-cut with shots of guns and drugs, like he’s cleaning up the streets. I don’t know if this looks good or bad, but I’ll definitely be turning on the subtitles if I watch it. I can barely understand “street” language as it is, let alone when spoken with British accents.
It’s not just a sh*tty zombie movie. It’s not just a sh*tty zombie movie crossed with a Towering Inferno-esque disaster flick. It’s a sh*tty zombie movie crossed with a Towering Inferno-esque disaster flick starring Jason London, C. Thomas Howell, and Judd Nelson. They could be the Three Musketeers of straight to DVD tripe. In fact, I think they might actually be in production on that for real; they could get Christopher Lloyd to play Cardinal Richelieu, it would be sublime in its terribleness.
A guy in an orange jumpsuit and a quirky brunette try to return a parrot to its owner. Along the way, they discover…love? The real meaning of life? F*ck if I know. The trailer has lines like, “Being lost is only temporary.” No it isn’t. People go missing all the time, and when they do turn up they are already dead or spent 17 years as a sex slave in some dude’s basement where they were less than 50 yards from their parents’ home the whole time, but nobody could hear their screams, and now they are screwed up for life. Even when being lost is temporary, it’s always better than the condition in which you are found. I guess this is a twee romantic comedy, but who cares anymore?
Remember that movie, Dead Calm, where Billy Zane terrorizes Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill on a boat? This looks almost exactly like that, just with more Aussies. What is it with Australians and movies about getting terrorized on boats? Is it a psychological throwback to Australia’s days as a penal colony, like they were brainwashed to associate any attempt to leave the mainland with immanent doom? Obviously, I don’t know for sure, but you won’t catch me going for a pleasant yachting excursion with anyone from down under, I can tell you that.
Now for some weirdness from Mexico. This action comedy (?) revolves around a nativity play and the violent conflicts that come up when the dude who wants to play the devil doesn’t get his way. I won’t pretend to know if nativity plays are a big thing in Mexican culture, but I’m guessing this movie is a little bit removed from reality. Although, to be fair, my Midwestern upbringing does tell me that all the irrational yelling and violence is true of any authentic Mexican experience, so maybe this movie’s on target. It might even be a documentary for all I can tell.
You remember this one? Vince wrote about it over a year ago. Why do some dopey low-budget genre flicks look like sh*t while others look like fun? I wish I could say, but I don’t know. The heart wants what the heart wants. I’m guessing it lies in the balance between sincerity and camp. Too much of the former and the filmmakers look delusional, too much of the latter and they look like they don’t care. For this film, the live rats running around on miniature sets conveys just the right amount of self-aware charm. Plus, as Vince pointed out, there’s a dead baby.
This Canadian/Italian co-production is the latest in the haunted mental hospital sub-genre. The twist (spoiler alert!) is that this hospital was an addiction treatment facility, but once the addictions were removed (what the f*ck?), they lived on as mutant children. Why children? Because, as Vince has pointed out, all crappy horror flicks have to be about either haunted houses or possessed children. This film employs both. I’m sure it’s a delightfully chilling thrill ride.
By my count, this DVD synopsis is the 139th one I’ve written since starting this feature in February. That means I’ve watched the trailers for close to 300 movies, trying to decide if they are worth sharing. At least 100 of these trailers are for awful looking torture porn flicks. You have no idea how many of these movies come out each week. I didn’t expect this one to catch my eye, but what can I say, the trailer went against expectations, and while I doubt the movie’s any good, the trailer was a breath of fresh air. Take a gander.
This horror flick/stoner comedy won’t be funny. It also won’t be scary. The official synopsis claims it is a “refreshingly ironic take on the classic ‘cabin in the woods’ scenario.” First off, I don’t think it is refreshing for a straight-to-DVD horror comedy to be ironic, at least not to self-identify as ironic. This abortion comes from ‘Camp Motion Pictures’ and you just know that everyone who works for that outfit is a chode. Unless they mean ‘Camp’ as in a youth wilderness retreat. If that’s the case, then I assume they are all aspiring pedophiles.