I always write this opening paragraph after I see what films I’ll choose and see if there’s a running theme. Well, this week it looks like I’ve chosen ALL foreign movies. Not all have subtitles, but all were made out of the continental United States. But, we all love foreign here, I know. So, sit back and enjoy some Deviance!
Another Netflix/YouTube release available the SAME week it arrives on DVD! Keep it up, guys, keep it up. In the vein of War of the Worlds, Battle: Los Angeles, etc.; Grabbers uses a known alien advent and puts a really funny spin on it. An unsuspecting Irish town gets invaded by an alien race and they realize that the aliens won't take your body if you're drunk! The concept is so simple and hilarious that I can’t believe it hasn't been done yet. Of course the aliens don't want tainted human bodies. But how in the hell can they defeat the aliens if they’re trashed the whole time? Well, grab a 40 and something to munch on and find out. Just don’t drink too much; you'll want to remember what to do if this ever happens to you.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
“The Most Controversial Movie Ever Made” arrives this week on Hulu and we’we've also included a link to watch it free on YouTube! Without this movie, it'd be hard to gauge what todays horror would look like. We probably wouldn't have The Blair Witch Project, the Saw and Hostel series (The director even made a cool cameo in Hostel Part II), A Serbian Film; the list goes on and on. If you don’t know, the film follows a group of college kids that go into the South American jungle looking to interact with the locals and, well, the title pretty much gives the rest away. One of the first “Found Footage” films, definitely the first I ever saw; the film caused the director to be arrested because everyone thought the footage was real. He ended up going to trial and had to recreate the scenes in question to prove that he hadn't really murdered all of these people. How crazy is that? Probably the best ‘stamp of approval’ for a film like this. So, if you haven't seen this yet, do so – for nostalgia, at least. And, if you have seen it, take this time to re-watch it in a decent transfer. Warning – while it does feel a bit dated and you've probably seen way worse, this film is pretty shocking and features the killing of real animals.
This is probably the strangest film ever to be nominated for an Oscar – I think. I know that’s a wild accusation, but some crazy shit happens in this movie. I was reminded of it when I recently read an article titled, “15 of the Most Dysfunctional Families Caught on Film”. That’s an understatement for this clan. Don't get me wrong this doesn't come close to The Texas Chainsaw family or the Fireflys, but when you watch, you'll know why it was on the list. One scene in particular featuring duct tape, a VHS tape and a severe beating comes to mind. Apart from its oddities, it’s a really good movie. Shot beautifully, the acting is great and there’s even some really enchanting music. Once again, behind the white picket fences (or a white cement wall in this case) of the people living around us can hide some very messed up activity. Enjoy on one of three links below.
Battle Royale (2000)
With all of the incessant talk of the upcoming Hunger Games movie, I thought it’d be a good idea to verse anyone who isn't in the know about the film that had to be a huge inspiration on the YA franchise. In the not so distant future, yearly, the government forces a group of teenagers to an island where they are each given a different weapon and the last person alive is the winner. While the film was a major success, it was also very controversial, as you can imagine. These kids don’t just fall over and die easily. They shoot, stab, blow-up, burn, dismember and perform all other kinds of atrocities on each other in order to survive. The film spawned a sequel and – also like Hunger Games – follows the survivor as he/she leads a rebellion against the government. So do yourself a favor and watch one of the best Japanese films of all time and a bloody tour-de-force.
The Netflix version below is the theatrical cut and is still really good, but The Director’s Cut listed underneath is eight minutes longer and features some great flashbacks that help to bind some of the more emotional aspects together, as well as a lot more blood added digitally after the fact. Enjoy!
Matt, Signing Out