Watchin’ Stuff #57

 

Seen the first one before, but never got around to the sequels. Actually watched all four movies, but I’m not going to bother doing separate entries for each of them because frankly they’re all basically the same movie. People wander into Victor Crowley’s part of the swamp, he chops most of them up, the last one alive kills him, the end. The humor can be dangerously close to cringey at times and the effects in the sequels take a step down after the original, but as basic and dumb as they are they’re still enjoyable enough for completely mindless slasher movies.


I don’t think this was anywhere near as bad as everyone’s making it out to be. It’s not amazing, but it’s a decent enough ghost movie that looks great and actually has a pretty steady stream of ghost appearances throughout it, unlike many other time-wasters in the ghost movie genre. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s rated R, despite the fact that there isn’t anything all that graphic in it and it seems more like a PG-13 film? Or…maybe people are just sour about that bit in the end that shamelessly rips off Demon Knight? That was pretty bad, but not so much that it spoiled the whole rest of the movie for me. It could have been better, especially considering how great director Corin Hardy’s previous movie The Hallow was, but it was at least decent.


This movie is actually a lot like The Nun…if The Nun was a generic zero budget found footage film where the characters are all horribly unlikable and almost nothing happens. The plots are vaguely similar though. That’s about all there is to say about it. Boring waste of time.


There are bad movies like The Devil’s Doorway that are so cheap and boring that they’re simply yawn-inducing and utterly forgettable and then there’s bad movies like An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn that are such disgusting wastes of a decent budget and a competent cast that it’s almost offensive. This is an utterly baffling film, not in the sense that the plot is confusing, but in the sense that the cast was directed to act in such a painfully awkward and unfunny manner. It’s like the director told the whole cast to just do a bad impression of Napoleon Dynamite the whole time. It kind of reminds me of The Killing of a Sacred Deer where everyone was intentionally acting like monotone robots, except here it’s supposed to be funny. There isn’t a single laugh in sight though, just a lot of forced, intentional awkwardness and completely random character actions that take the place of any kind of competent writing.

Example: there’s a stereotypical Indian convenience store owner/clerk, but his twist is he makes this sudden bird-like screech after he talks for no reason whatsoever! That’s it. That’s the joke. GET IT?

This is the worst kind of hipster pseudo-art-film trash. Awkwardness doesn’t automatically equal comedy.


Now we’re back to the former type of bad movie. This was a more recent film by the director of the delightful Plankton/Creatures From The Abyss, but he must have fallen on hard times or something (really, REALLY hard times considering how low budget his earlier work already was). This is one of the most badly made movies I’ve ever seen. The bad acting and nonsensical plot are to be expected in a low budget Italian horror film, but the production values are exceptionally bad with music that literally sounds like a child on a Casio from Radio Shack, backgrounds that were blatantly badly made photoshops, and effects that make Instagram filters look high-tech.

In the beginning of the movie this horrible ineptness is kind of funny, but it loses its charm pretty quickly once you see that the plot barely ever advances. There’s a whoooole lot of boring filler which leaves your attention free to notice even more clearly just how shoddy everything on screen is. It’s just embarrassing how badly made it all is. There are a few scenes later on that are directly lifted from John Carpenter’s The Thing too for some reason. I don’t know what they were thinking with this movie. Just absolute garbage.


Interesting obscure old crime drama where Mickey Rourke is an IRA guy who accidentally blows up a bus full of kids, goes on the run from everyone, then a priest witnesses him assassinating someone and so Mickey Rourke ends up sort of reluctantly befriending the priest and then dating his blind niece. It’s odd and a little slow at times, but overall it ended up being a pretty worthwhile story.


Ugh. I imagine that this probably worked a lot better in its original manga form, but as a movie it just comes off as cheesy and horribly paced. The action is so goofily unrealistic and everything that happens is so painfully overdramatic, yet it’s all played in a dead serious manner. Couldn’t even make it half way through this nonsense.


Another movie from the French dude who did Martyrs, and yet another movie that gives up its main twist halfway through because it just kind of forgot that it still had a whole half a movie left. Once the mystery is given away the movie just treads water for 45 minutes and you’d think with all that time to kill they’d have been able to focus more on getting their point across instead of the muddled, limp-wristed conclusion they ended up with. Hard to get into any of that without giving the whole thing away, but let’s just say this is a movie that relies entirely on you falsely believing that it’s a horror movie and then turns into a bunch of “deep”, divisive social commentary that its not willing to actually pick a side on. Bleh.


Supposedly a critically acclaimed Italian mob movie, but it’s not quite what I expected. Ok, it goes for a more realistic take on the criminal underworld where the people involved are dirty, poor, and horribly unpleasant, but it maybe takes that a little to far, as I couldn’t seem to care about a single character and kind of just wanted them all to shut up. It also has no central narrative and just jumps around to a bunch of different unrelated groups of characters, doesn’t introduce or explain any of them, and some of the segments just seem entirely pointless. It was all a bit too unpleasant and boring for me. Oh well.


Now this was a fun one. A silly, cheap space prison rescue movie with a pretty generic plot that we’ve all seen in dozens of action movies already, but what really sold me on this one was the dialogue. Guy Pearce plays this total asshole hero who’s pretty much just constantly insulting everyone and I just really liked his lines. The rest of the cast is pretty enjoyable too and all their well-written banter carries this otherwise unremarkable action film.


One more from the horror shit pile (which has gotten so big and bad that I’m not even bothering to post all the many awful things I’m pulling out of it lately), but I actually found a good one this time. Crawlspace tells the tale of a crazy son of Nazi war criminals who has become a landlord at his own custom-built condo full of secret tunnels and death traps. He just kind of creepily spies on everyone and messes with their heads until he decides its time to kill them off in horrible ways, most of which we don’t actually get to see, but Klaus Kinski’s completely bizarre performance makes it a fun watch anyway.

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