Who’s ready for another edition of Bloody Streams?!?!?! Of course you are, we all love free stuff. As usual, I've tried to stretch my selections across multiple sub-genres. We've got some new and some old. Some classics and some that will most assuredly become classics. Sit back, grab a bag of popcorn, a cold beer, a fine companion and dive into this week’s BLOODY STREAMS!
You're Next (2011)
Although labeled with a release date of 2011 on IMDb, most audiences didn't get to see this little gem until last year. It was on my list of top ten films of the year (Horror or otherwise) and it’s really only gotten better upon repeated viewings. Directed by Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, VHS, VHS 2 and the soon-to-be-released The Guest) and starring a veritable who’s-who of modern horror masters that repeatedly show up in films together. Including, but not limited to AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, the amazingly talented Ti West, Simon Barrett, Amy Seimetz and our heroine is Sharni Vinson, an actress that I would love to see in more of these ventures. Set up as merely a home-invasion film that takes place during a family get together, You're Next has so much more to offer than just your everyday horror flick. It’s a smart, funny, nail-bitingly great time that I don't think could have been effectively pulled off without the aforementioned group at the helm. They're doing horror the way it should be and they're kicking major ass while doing it. So, if you haven't seen this one yet then…what are you waiting for? Click play already.
Stage Fright (2014)
Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sweeny Todd, Little Shop of Horrors, Repo! The Genetic Opera all were able to successfully blend the music genre with elements of horror. While this film doesn't rise to the level of most of those classics, it’s a great musical film and delivers a couple of pretty brutal scenes, primarily in the third act. The film takes place at a musical summer camp where the children are all too self-aware, but in that biting, social outcast sort of way. And it works. In the first big musical number, we're treated to a great line of dialogue that shows this perfectly: “I'm gay, I'm gay and yes in that way. I don’t get hard when I see TnA!” as well as a kid talking about being teased all school year for singing Sondheim snippets and later explaining that it was his dad who was teasing him. As the opening night arrives, though, it’s not all singing and dancing - it’s clear someone is out for murder. And speaking of Rocky Horror, ‘Bat out of Hell’ Meatloaf makes a triumphant return to both genres. Now, don't misunderstand me: if you hate musicals, don't watch this. However, if you can be open-minded and enjoy a good laugh then you'll be rewarded with a bright, fun, piece of work. Also, look out for a number of Easter eggs referencing other horror films from The Shining to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to The Burning to Hellraiser; it’s chock full of them.
Alien Abduction (2014)
“The following is actual leaked footage from the US Air Force.” I honestly thought for a second and hoped, dreamed, wished that no one in their right minds would actually believe that. I know, I know; people have been making these claims as early as the found footage subgenre has been in existence. It’s just frustrating. For anyone who’s making a found footage film - just go ahead and omit that line, please? Ok, thanks. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the movie. Set in North Carolina, the film revolves around a family camping trip and their collision with the infamous Brown Mountain Lights, the local legend attributed to alien abductions. It doesn't really get much more unoriginal than that. Now, for me, alien abduction films don’t get much better than 1993’s Fire in the Sky. It’s believable, scary, the performances are great and, because it was released in 1993, it doesn't attempt any of the awful tropes that this film does. You know the tropes I mean: shaky cameras, epileptic-inducing light shows, screaming, more screaming, running, interference with technology – all while never giving us a clear picture of anything that’s going on. If you just cherish any and all alien abduction stories then by all means, watch it. However, if you're just burnt out with the clichés that have been severely overused in the past ten years (The Fourth Kind, Dark Skies, Skinwalker Ranch…I’m looking at you) then you're not missing anything. Also, side note: these people are so unlikable. The dad’s a complete sociopath and the wife is severely annoying. No one can believe that in the middle of the woods that no one has any cell service or that driving around all day will deplete your gasoline level. Oh wait, we have service now…nope, lost it again. OK, I’m done; watch at your own risk.
Monster / Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Here’s the classic I was referring to. The official synopsis for this pure-80’s epic is: “In this creepy thriller, mutant fish monsters bring mayhem to a sleepy seaside community as they kidnap and mate with the town’s nubile teenage girls.” If that doesn’t stamp a big ol’ ‘CLASSIC’ on the cover then I don’t know what will. Part C.H.U.D. and part Swamp Thing, HftD would fit perfectly into any Up-All-Night horror marathon; clearly no one is giving this an Academy Award, but that’s fine by me and I think Elvira would fit in nicely seguing in and out of commercial breaks. Enjoy, kiddos! The YouTube version is understandably lower quality so I’d watch it via Netflix if you have the choice.
And FREE here...
Matt, Signing Out