There are movies that have big budgets and a lot of marketing oomph: your Captain America, your Godzilla. Then, however, there are the littler movies, the horror flicks, the goofy ideas, the ones that may take off but will more likely find their true calling on HBO at 3PM on a rainy Saturday. Here, for this preview, is where we'll be looking... the B-movies of 2014.
Arrives: January 10th
Will It Be Any Good?: Well, it'll probably be entertaining.
We've already talked about Hercules: The Legend Begins, which is not the Hercules movie coming out this summer, but rather Lionsgate burning off all the movies it has to contractually release after buying Summit to reboot Twilight two years from now. It promises to be highly, highly entertaining. Good, though, not so much.
Arrives: January 17th
Will It Be Any Good?: Signs point to no.
In Hollywood's relentless drive to recycle every tired horror movie concept as a found footage movie, here's Devil's Due, yet another rip-off of Rosemary's Baby. If you feel like there's already been a parody of this movie, you're actually halfway right: the Reno 911 crew ripped the hell out of this trope last year with the intentionally funny Hell Baby.
Arrives: January 24th
Will It Be Any Good?: It might be, actually.
I, Frankenstein stars Aaron Eckhart as Wolveri-er, Frankenstein. The attention-getting aspect of this is that it's written and directed by Stuart Beattie, an experienced Hollywood screenwriter often called in to make bad scripts tolerable and OK scripts great, and who also wrote Collateral. So this might actually be a solid movie, even if it does look like a campfest from the trailer.
Arrives: February 14th
Will It Be Any Good?: We're 50-50 on it.
Yes, Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, so there are a lot of big-budget movies jockeying for your attention, including one from the guy who wrote Batman And Robin and Robocop. Vampire Academy is obviously squarely aimed at teenage girls with no date that night. On the other hand, the trailer seems mildly amusing and it also features a nutshot in the trailer. It's hard to argue with a movie that features a nutshot in the trailer.
Arrives: February 28th
Will It Be Any Good?: We're going with no on this one.
In Welcome To Yesterday, a bunch of teenagers find a time machine, and needless to say that goes terribly wrong. Did we mention it's also a found footage movie? And a fairly blatant ripoff of the SF classic Primer?
Arrives: March 28th
Will It Be Any Good?: It involves a Wayans, what do you think?
Oh, great, in addition to a found footage horror movie, we now have A Haunted House 2, a follow-up to a parody of found footage horror movies. Starring a Wayans. This has never ended well.
Arrives: April 18th
Will It Be Any Good?: All signs point to yes.
Let's get this out of the way: Yes, Oculus stars Katee Sackhoff. But it's also been getting good reviews as a smart twist on a horror trope, and Relativity saw something they liked.
Arrives: April 25th
Will It Be Any Good?: There is no fart noise we can blow that's loud enough to reflect our opinion.
Earth To Echo is shooting for being a found footage version of E.T., but instead it's probably going to be a found footage version of Mac and Me. If you own a preteen, you will probably be forced to see this movie. Sorry. Get something good out of them for it.
Arrives: April 25th
Will It Be Any Good?: Maaaaaaybe.
On the one hand, Hammer and Lionsgate are trying really hard to make The Quiet Ones seem like "The Conjuring, bros, only English!" On the other hand, it's from the team that made The Woman In Black, which was a solid horror film, and it's not another #$#@ing found footage movie. So that's two marks in its favor.
Arrives: June 20th
Will It Be Any Good?: Nope.
The Purge made something like thirty times its tiny $3 million budget, so Purge 2: Purge Harder was inevitable. But Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey largely made that movie worth watching, and neither of them are coming back. On the other hand, it hits in a weekend where your viewing options are Jersey Boys and Think Like A Man Too, so expect Purge 3: The Purgening in 2015.
And the streak is broken! There isn't a found footage movie out this month! Yet!
Arrives: July 2nd
Will It Be Any Good?: Uh... possibly? See below.
Deliver Us From Evil is a movie about a New York cop chasing down a rumor of demonic possession. OK, fairly generic, so why are we mentioning it? Because it's got the weirdest cast this year: Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, and Joel McHale. And it's directed by Scott Derrickson, who has shown with Sinister that he can anchor a movie with good performances. Still, we'll be going to see this because, come on, that cast.
Arrives: August 29th
Will It Be Any Good?: It's an unknown quantity.
The biggest name tied to this movie is Robert Ben Garant, who you might remember from every movie ever since he and Thomas Lennon are hugely popular script doctors. The director edited most of the Saw movies, and a trailer has yet to be posted. So we're hesitant to make a call, one way or the other.
Arrives: September 2nd
Will It Be Any Good?: No chance.
"Tributes" to the crappy gore movies of the '70s are usually tiresome; they're either so enthralled with the idea that these movies were actually good (they weren't) that they repeat the same mistakes or they spend so much time trying to be tongue-in-cheek about the idiotic content they wind up trying to hide behind being a "tribute" to justify bad filmmaking. Roth might pull it off, but The Green Inferno has been done for a year and isn't coming out for another nine months. That's a very bad sign.
Arrives: October 17th
Will It Be Any Good?: There's no trailer yet (the above is just a collection of set photos), but it's a killer concept.
Essentially, Dracula Untold wants to mix the Dracula legend with the actual history of Vlad The Impaler. That's not a bad idea, but it seems like it could easily go off the rails.
Needless to say, as movies are announced or release dates shift, we'll cover and mock it here. How about you? Any B-movies you're excited for?