Well, it’s officially hot as can be in Georgia. Summer is here. The devil really does visit here on vacation whilst he’s looking for souls to steal. So, what better time to stay inside and enjoy some horror films! Or at least spend some time outside during the day and soak up some vitamin D so that you’re healthy if you’re ever involved in a home-invasion situation while you’re enjoying one of the films below. So, sit back, relax and take a nice, refreshing dip in this week’s Bloody Streams!!!!
Big Bad Wolves (2013)
I was seriously excited when this movie arrived on Netflix a couple of weeks back. It never arrived in the theaters of my small town and I just decided to forego the 9.99 iTunes rental price in the hopes that one day it would arrive at Best Buy or Netflix. I’m glad that I waited. Not because it was a bad movie, on the contrary it’s quite good. I think the real reason I’m glad that I waited because I chose to actually sit down and watch it instead of watching it whilst being distracted (an easy thing to do when you stay so busy). It’s hard to enjoy subtitled films anyways without giving them your full attention, but sitting in solitary, in the middle of the night, with the lights off and a beer in my hand – I most assuredly enjoyed it more. As you may have guessed by the title that references Little Red Riding Hood and the bad men / wolves who are out to get her, the film deals with a man who has been accused of kidnapping a young girl, abusing her, cutting her head off and then dropping the body – sans head – in an abandoned field. When he’s released after the brutal “interrogation” ends up on YouTube, the police officer involved in said interrogation and the victim’s father set out to find where the accused buried the head. I found out after watching this that it’s a Jewish custom to never bury a body in a different way that it came into the earth like. Which means that if the head is out there and recoverable, they’ll do whatever they can to help the person spend eternity in more peace. To go into further detail would be spoiling some great cinema. Just know that the torture scenes are pretty graphic and the dynamic between all of the men is often comical. Which is a dichotomy that I really enjoy in modern horror and I hope that the directors, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Who also teamed for 2010’s Rabies), further build this skill; they seem to have an eye for seeing horror lying just beneath the surface of everyone and I’m interested in seeing where their careers are headed.
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
Hobo with a Shotgun is quite a remarkable feat. It takes the exploitation of Troma, the blood and guts of the best horror films, the lawlessness of Mad Max, the atrocities and torture of the best video nasties, and Rutger Hauer and puts them in a giant blender and spits out this event! That’s really the only way to describe this movie: as an event. You press Play, sit there and simply cannot believe your eyes and the further you get into it – the more surprised you become. Plot-wise, as you can imagine, the film is pretty thin, but the other elements make up for it tenfold. Rutger is the titular hobo who arrives in town after bumming a ride in a local train car. Once he arrives and notices all of the downright dirty things that are going on, he decides to take the law in his own hands. And boy does he. I've always liked Rutger; The Hitcher, Blade Runner,Surviving the Game and Sin City are just a few of the movies that were elevated by his presence. And he doesn't disappoint here. Looking like a grizzled veteran straight out of a Vietnam POW camp, he provides the somewhat level-headedness and lunacy that makes this character’s actions truly believable. It’s seriously bad ass.
Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions (1995)
It’s hard to believe that as much notoriety as Clive Barker’s name holds, he’s only directed three feature-length films; this, Hellraiser and Nightbreed. (His wiki page suggests he’ll helm a Hellraiser reboot of some sorts, nothing is official, as of yet. His name gets much of its respect because he’s created some of the best and most well-known horror creatures in recent history (Pinhead, the Cenobites, all of the amazing Nightbreed characters, and various others). In my opinion, Lord of Illusions is no different. The film follows D’Amour (Scott Bakula) as he investigates the mysterious death of an illusionist during a very public magic show. The film deals with the occult, magicians in general and their validity in the “real world”, life and death trickery, Stockholm Syndrome; so many great elements. The film oozes Noir of the 1940’s and 50’s; a cinematic staple that isn’t often married with the horror genre. While Barker has gone on record as saying that the theatrical cut is not the film he intended the mass audience too see – and has subsequently gone on to release a very good director’s cut featuring even crazier scenes – I still enjoy the version featured here and I think you will too.
Eyes without a Face (1960)
I’m taking the deviance way back with this gem. I love this movie. I always have. It has always freaked me the hell out. The film (Directed by Georges Franju), about a father trying to reconstruct his daughter’s face after a car accident (by using flesh from freshly deceased young ladies that resemble his daughter), was considered controversial for its surgery scenes and all-around unsettling nature of the plot. John Carpenter even cited the film as the reason he chose the blank white face for Michael Myers, because it legitimately freaked him out. That alone merits an inclusion here. While it’s obviously been likened to 1988’s Faceless and, sadly, 1997’s Face-Off, I think the film is most like Almadovar’s The Skin I Live In from 2011. Both films are frightening without the viewer ever really knowing why and that is horror at its most cerebral.
True Blood Season 7 (2014)
Also, in the next few weeks, True Blood’s final season will be starting. If you keep up with the show but don’t have HBO and don’t want to have to keep off of social media for the next two months because of all those idiots who like to spoil things, then stay on top of ch131.com and you should be able to catch the shows the day after they air. Film Deviant does not support or condone such practices, so watch at your own risk!!!
His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2009)
And last but certainly not least...what better way to commemorate one of the most Deviant holidays of the year (Friday the 13th) than by celebrating the legend that breathed fear into youngsters everywhere. Hosted by the master of effects, and a pretty bad ass actor as well, Tom Savini, this film lies securely in the middle of the docs from last weeks bloody streams. It's a lot better than the Romero Dead doc, but - at a run time of 90 minutes - it definitely doesn't even come close to the detail and depth that the Nightmare on Elm Street doc reveled in. That's ok, though. Most of the cast is here, the stories are cool and there are some fun / cheesy segues that Tom has to grimace through. So, if you've seen all of the movies a hundred times and you want to celebrate this franchise in a bit of a different way then definitely give this one a go. And don't forget, Ki-Ki-Ki-ma-ma-ma!!!
Matt, Signing Out