If, like me, your knowledge of New Zealand cinema is limited to Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi, then Housebound will both delight and surprise you. I went into Housebound with zero knowledge of the plot, but you should know that it’s essentially a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a red herring. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of movie it’s going to be, it turns into something else. Rather than being confusing, it makes the movie that much more fun to watch.
Even though it’s a movie that still feels fresh and influential, Beetlejuice came out almost a quarter of a century ago. It’s no secret that many of Tim Burton’s biggest fans feel like he hasn’t done anything in the last 20 years to rival it. Those people need to see Suburban Gothic immediately.
The cruelly and ironically titled Nothing Bad Can Happen is nothing less than a hard kick to the stomach. Katrin Gebbe’s debut isn’t a horror film, yet it still horrifies. Nothing Bad Can Happen stuns and unsettles the viewer like the also-incendiary debuts of Maury and Bustillo (À l’intérieur) or Du Welz (Calvaire), yet without the gore of the former and the surrealism of the latter.
A couple of years ago my friend Jay handed me a disc with one word on it: Found. He said he saw it at a horror convention and it was something I would love. I watched Found that night and he was right.
Full disclosure: I have no idea how to review the new, incredibly comprehensive, fully-remastered, nine-disc Monty Python box set, Monty Python’s Total Rubbish: The Complete Collection. I, like any good misfit worth her salt, went through a rather serious Monty Python phase while in high school, and spent every weekend watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus with my best pal Lori (and arguing over who was cuter, Michael Palin or Eric Idle. The answer was yes), imitating the sketches, knotting handkerchiefs for our heads, and being fully immersed in Pythonalia. I have no objectivity when it comes to Monty Python. I love them. Full on. I learned more about world history from Monty Python than I did in high school (of course, if it had been taught in funny voices, I might’ve paid more attention).
Although horror is often considered a masculine domain, there are many female horror fans who can quickly disprove that stereotype. One is photographer Ashlea Wessel, who is currently working on her short film debut, Ink. As a huge fan of monster movies, Ashlea always wanted to make her own movie; such cinematic ideals have frequently seeped into her photographs over the years.
It’s best not to know a whole lot about the plot going into Jim Mickle’s latest film Cold In July. If you haven’t read the Joe R. Lansdale novel upon which the movie is based (like me), try not to form any preconceived notions from the tag line or cover art and just go with it. If you’re about ten minutes in and thinking, “Damn, this is just a whole bunch of stalker-revenge movie clichés that aren’t really doing it for me,” keep watching. There’s no M. Night Shyamalan-style twist, just a lot of well-crafted narrative turns that will keep your attention even after the movie ends. It’s that good, and easily the best of Mickle’s last three films.
When I received Vinegar Syndrome’s recent release of Prisoner Of Paradise I asked myself, “Do I bring The Boozer Reviewer back?” Then I saw it was a big budget X-rated war epic, falling under the Nazisploitation subgenre. . . and it starred John Holmes. I knew then I needed to watch this without any alcohol.
Man, I wish I was intoxicated when I watched this.
StageFright was a classic when I originally saw it back in the ‘90s. At that time I knew it as Bloody Bird, but a little while later I acquired a VHS copy with the title StageFright: Aquarius. I imagine this was confusing for some in the days before the Internet. I think the distributors knew this so they made StageFright one word. Honestly, it doesn’t matter but I find it funny. It’s even funnier since Jerome Sable’s Stage Fright was released earlier this year.