Okay, I fully recognize that this movie sounds absolutely ridiculous – and trust me, it is – but please don’t write this one off just because of the title! Zombeavers is exactly what you expect it to be, but it’s self aware enough to be in on its own joke in the best way. The writing, acting, and effects are all way better than you’d expect, but my favorite part of this ridiculous horror comedy is the song during the end credits.
31 Nights of Horror IV, Night 13: Tremors 5: Bloodline
Three sentences review:
Tremors 5: Bloodline is on Netflix right now, but it would be way more appropriate as a SyFy channel event. The re-cap at the beginning is a treat for fans of Tremors, and it’s got everything you want in the 5th movie of a franchise: international setting, awesomely terrible jokes, explosions, aging B list actor (Jamie Kennedy), worm guts, and of course, Burt – everyone’s second favorite co-star of Reba McEntire. It reminded me of Starship Troopers and Jaws 2 – beyond campy, but I loved it and strongly believe there need to be way more more monster movies, dangit.
There are so many marriages between harmony and chaos within Kill list, both literally depicted in the marriage of Jay and Shel, and figuratively represented in the majority of the film’s imagery. There’s also a ton of “image crafting” going on with the characters, and I think that’s done purposely to lead up to the film’s sobering conclusion; nothing is ever as it seems. Kill List is a fascinating, complex film about an unraveling marriage, two hitmen with moral compasses, and dark rituals, which is the best explanation I can give without spoilers to describe its interesting genre identity disorder.
The rumors are true – It Follows makes a very strong case for abstinence only education. Also true: It Follows is a refreshing premise for horror, the music, acting and cinematography are superb, there are very scary moments, and I really loved that you can never really tell if the movie is set in 1982 or 2014 (seashell compact iphone?!?). I definitely recommend It Follows, but I agree with Quentin Tarantino that the movie breaks too many of its own rules; the powers and constraints of the supernatural villain should’ve been more consistent.
31 Nights of Horror IV, Night 7: Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Three sentences review:
In 2009 I obsessed over Dead Snow – a campy Norwegian splatter-comedy about a group of friends on a ski trip who are terrorized when they accidentally summon an army of Nazi zombies. And fortunately for me, the sequel is fantastic and somehow even nuttier than the first one. This time, Colonel Herzog and his battallion of German undead face-off against sole survivor Martin, a trio of geeky, wannabe zombie hunters, and, naturally, the platoon of Russian P.O.W. zombies they control.
2001 Maniacs is so many wonderful and awful things: a remake of 1964’s Two Thousand Maniacs!, a great horror to watch during spring break, and it stars Robert Englund, so you know I’m a fan. The familiar plot follows a bunch of good looking college students and tourists who stray off the main road and end up in a backwards southern town hell bent on turning people into the main course for their Centennial Jubilee. A satisfying amount of cheesiness and god-awful acting is nicely balanced with humor, entertaining death scenes, and just the right amount of gore.
Hype has ruined many movies for me: Shutter Island, The Strangers, Atonement (oddly), and last winter’s horror darling, The Babadook. I thought the acting was amazing (especially the little boy!) and I appreciate the underlying story, but I anticipated the film for way too long before it was released and read one too may “this is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen” reviews to truly enjoy the movie for what it actually means. I really do understand why people like this movie, and intend to give it another watch, but to me, The Babadook will forever be the way I change the lyrics to Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt”.
Memorable Quote: In case none of y’all have figured this out, this game isn’t about helping each other. It’s about eliminating the rest of you.
Three sentences review:
Would you rather stab your sick, elderly neighbor with a kitchen knife (in this case – June Squibb) or would you choose to stab yourself instead? This is just a sample of the horrific choices offered by multi-millionaire Shepard Lambrick (played by Jeffrey Combs, Re-Animator) to his desperate-for-money dinner party guests for his own amusement. Brittany Snow (who is no stranger to the horror genre) gives a strong performance in this surprisingly entertaining flick as a twenty something who vows to do anything necessary to save her sick little brother.
If you’re ready to make the transition from casual horror fan to overzealous genre junkie then it’s time to introduce you to the wacky world of Troma Entertainment. It is mandatory that you begin your tubular Troma journey with their 1984 hallmark film, The Toxic Avenger, which is akin to stumbling upon that weird part of YouTube at 4 am. There are only two possible outcomes to watching The Toxic Avenger: laughing until it hurts or never trusting any of my recommendations again.
All Hitchcock films are scavenger hunts of symbolism and macguffins, but The Birds is the Gospel of effectively using sound in horror. Bernard Hermann was hired as the composer but he didn’t write any music for the film, rather Hitchcock asked him to focus on incorporating noises and strategic silence that make the birds more menacing and the scenario more dire. Alfred Hitchcock’s films are idolized, but the director himself was a bit of a Norman Bates who had various phobias (eggs, policemen, his mother, etc.) and creepily obsessed over the blonde leads in his films, including Tippi Hedren from The Birds.