Thursday, July 19, 2018

Scream 4 is the greatest movie of all time

Scream 4. Probably the last one in the franchise. Scream popularized the whole "meta, self-aware, postmodern" horror genre. Basically every horror movie that came out there for a while was a total Scream clone. Basically came out and defined the genre. Literally did this in the flick even. Scream 2 came alone and did the same thing for sequels. Then with Scream 3 we sort of get that with trilogies but maybe not so convincingly. Now we get this one that attempts to do the same thing with reboots. And though it generally didn't get the best reviews, it totally works. All that negative ink is a bunch of bullshit because Scream 4 is the great movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: The franchise is showing its age, but Scream 4 is undeniably an improvement over its predecessor, with just enough meta humor and clever kills.

Pros: Wes Craven directed. His last picture. Great cast. Maybe the best of the franchise (though the first one had a pretty great one as well). Also some pretty ladies. Do a really good job of world building/character development. Though we've seen this same setup in this same time, it totally throws you for a loop with it's originality.

Cons: More brutal than the previous movies, which is quite the dubious achievement. The killers' motivations/whole murder plan is pretty bonkers.

Bad enchiladas 
You likely know the drill by this point. The gist is Sidney Prescott shows up somewhere, in this one her home town, Woodsboro, where the first movie took place, and the Ghostface killer(s) soon follow. This time it is 10 years later and the murders seem to revolve around Sid's cousin, Jill (played by it girl Emma Roberts from Scream Queens, among other things), much like they did with her back in the day. David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and Courteney Cox return as Dewey, Sid, and Gale Weathers, respectively. Gale and Dewey are married now. Women fawn over Dewey who is the sheriff now, god help us, who no longer has a limp or quite as much brain damage. Newcomers to the series include Roberts, Anthony Anderson, the lovely Alison Brie who will always be Annie from Community to me, Adam Brody, Rory Culkin, Marielle Jaffe, Erik Knudsen, Mary McDonnell, the also lovely Hayden Panettiere, Marley Shelton, Nico Tortorella, Aimee Teegarden and Britt Robertson. We also get cameos from Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin, a former Academy Award winner, as characters within the Stab universe. Kevin Williamson, who wrote the first two, returns as the writer and knocks it out of the park. I would argue that this is why 1, 2, and 4 are considered solid to classic and 3 is generally considered shit. It is also the final film from horror master Wes Craven who died in 2015.

Remember that chick?
Like all the other Scream movies, the opening is significant and does most of the world building. The opening of the actual movie are the openings for Stab 6 and Stab 7 which we sort of got in Scream 2 but in this one you think this is actually the opening of the movie we, the audience, is watching. But twice we are tricked with the movie within the movie withing the movie. It is a bit confusing when you try to explain it, I realize. Basically, here the Stab flicks like Scream are also in need of a soft reboot and sort of go off the deep end. We see the Stab movies have gotten stale and turn toward the uncertain. There we get just a bunch of nobodies in 6 doing the same old shit. Then big name actresses in just phoning it in in an unpredictable movie that is unpredictable because it has sort of gone stale. Hey, that is just what Scream 4 is! This explanation is all over the fucking place. You'll just have to watch it for this to make sense, I think. Anyway, we eventually get the real intro. It's Coach Taylor's daughter, Julie, from Friday Night Lights (the series) played by the actress Aimee Teegarden, and some other chick. Since this is a Scream movie, we know the semi-famous person at the beginning is going to die, horribly. And... she does (and so does the friend). First, the friend is stabbed in the stomach and arms half a dozen times before being thrown through a window and then finally hanged from a ceiling fan while Teegarden gets stabbed a shitload of times before being crushed by garage door like whatsherface in Scream and then is stabbed some more.

Alison Brie. Me-yow
Speaking of brutal deaths, this flick is full of them. Every single death is more gruesome than the most severe in the first three--probably the Drew Barrymore death. And they look fucking real, too. Some of the notables include Sid's assistant or whatever played by the lovely Alison Brie who is toyed with like the old cat and mouse thing before she is stabbed and thrown off a parking garage onto a van, the boyfriend, red herring guy who gets shot in the dick and head, and Emma Roberts's next door neighbor sort of friend, one Olivia Morris, who gets the shit stabbed out of her including a bunch of defensive wounds which they show Psycho style before she gets gutted. And a note on Psycho, that movie gets another nod with  Anthony Anderson's (from Blackish) character who is named Anthony Perkins after the actor who played Norman Bates. His death is also notable for being hilarious. For his demise, Ghostface runs up on him and stabs him in the forehead. He gets out of the car and takes some wild swings at GF that is nowhere near landing, falls to his knees and says "fuck Bruce Willis."

Dewey. Dumbfuck
The body count is a little higher in this one than the previous films. I don't think that it is a coincidence that Dewey is now the sheriff. So everyone is fucked, obviously. Some issues arise here with his incompetence, which is expected. First off, he is back with Gale/Courntey Cox who is back to looking fantastic. They are married and she has writer's block (she is the Stab author in this universe). But once the murders start back up, she is fucking in it, trying to get in as much of the action as possible. But Dewey fucking denies her, saying she isn't a cop and can't be on the scene or whatever. She says shit like "I wrote the book on this," which is a killer line, but she still gets denied. Part of this I'm sure has to do with Dewey's deputy who is a cute chick that wants to fuck that fucking hates Gale. But, you know, she legit isn't a cop and shit. That shit though doesn't fucking matter, apparently, since Dewey lets Sid lead the fucking investigation for some insane reason. It is fucking nuts. This guy is an elected official. Let that shit sink in.

A few scenes that stuck out... One, the whole Stabathon that the high school AV club hosts where Gale puts these hidden cameras all over the place. Before they have it, Gale and Sid are visiting these HS kids and they float the idea of the two of them showing up to the film fest. The two of them are like, "this is in extremely poor taste, so how about no and you not do this." The kids respond with, "lame, we doing it" and then Gale ends up coming incognito anyway. She is wearing a mask so it isn't a "hello, fellow students situation," but it is pretty close. It is like the first movie where they have the hidden cameras all over the place and they can see the killer coming after one of the main characters. In this one, they damn near get Gale (and Sid later in the movie) but of course they live on in the Screamverse. But the scene is memorably tense and drawn out with a bunch of that the-killer-is-behind-you goodness.

That shit leads to another scene that really stuck out as the main kids that are still alive, around six of them, go to the cheerleader one's house to finish the horrorfest. There, a Culkin boy, Rory, nearly makes nerd history, they say, when Hayden Panettiere, a pretty lady, comes onto him and encourages him to make a move. She is indeed a very attractive lady, and even though he is the killer, spoiler, or one of them at least, and is boning the other, spoiler (it's Emma Roberts), he still nearly does it. But he's cock blocked by the red herring, Roberts's ex Trevor, who is just sort of a dick. Plus, he's gone too far by this point. That whole shit also hearkens back to the first one as well but with some major twists that are bananas and are easily some of the best moments in the series. Their motivation, by the way, are fame and lulz, basically.

The MVP of the flick has to be Emma Roberts. This flick elevated her to scream queen status and even got her a staring role in the television series Scream Queens which I found to be pretty solid as well American Horror Story. Her final girl status in the film is pretty mind bending. A unique take that turns what the expected upside-down. The shocking reveal at the end illustrates how far people will go to become reality stars, a pretty solid social critique of the Kim Kardashian/Paris Hilton model for fame as well as our collective obsession with serial killers and mass murderers. The performance is super solid and the character totally believable.

And that was the franchise. With that I guess I should rank them... IMO it goes ScreamScream 4, Scream 2, and Scream 3. Can't beat an instant classic in the original which completely changed horror for the next decade and saved the dying genre. Though it doesn't get the credit, Scream 4 popularized the soft reboot in ways that went beyond horror, much like the first one did with teen movies and meta, self-awareness in film. If you are going to do a soft reboot, don't just tell the same story and don't completely reimagine it either. Give the people the movie they liked but take it in unexpected places--with a mind blowing twist, basically. See Star Wars: Episode VIIMad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, and Terminator Genisys. All follow this model. Before that, it was all hard reboots like Halloween, Spiderman, and Star Trek which just shit on everything that came before and retold the same story. Next we've got Scream 2 which sort of defined the rules for sequels. A lot like the first one, it laid out the tropes and knocked them down to make for a super solid followup. Scream 3 tries to do that same shit with trilogies but is sort of all over the place and somewhat fails as the plot makes a little less sense and the shtick gets a little old. So yeah, 1, 4, 2, 3. In that order. Guess I should go back and do Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th as well, so look forward to that. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Jaws is the greatest movie of all time

Jaws. We're gonna need a bigger blog. Was just the 4th of July and this is the best 4th of July movie so watched that shit. What can you say? Steven Spielberg's first real movie. The movie that made everyone terrified of sharks, unjustly. Eventually made "Shark Week" possible. It tells a story as old as time. Man and beast are separated for 1,000s of years by a natural line. Man crosses that line. Man is eaten by beast. It's the same formula we get for slashers like Halloween and Friday the 13th and action movies like The Terminator. Hell, Alien marketed itself as Jaws in space. Unthinking, solely focused killing machines (not that that is how sharks really are). Easily the best creature feature of all time, it's also the best Fourth of July movie of all time. I watch it nearly every year around this time. Conservatively this was my 15thish viewing going back to when I was like one. Still love that shit. Greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.

Pros: Extremely engrossing. Pretty F-ing scary. Super tense, even after many viewings. Some unexpected humor. Great characters. Legitimately one of the greatest movies of all time. From the moment they get on the boat the movie is perfect.

Cons: Unjustly soured everyone on sharks. They can kill you, of course, but want nothing to do with you. Like more people are killed by falling coconuts every year than shark attacks.

Here's to swimming with bowlegged women. Gist, which you should really know at this point, is that the police chief of a small beach/island town, a shark expert, and an old fisherman hunt down and kill a man-eating great white shark on the fishing boat "Orca". The three main guys are Richard Dreyfuss who plays marine biologist Hooper, Roy Scheider playing Police Chief Brody, and Robert Shaw who played the salty old fisherman Quint. How none of them nor Spielberg got nominated for an Oscar is insane. Only other people really worth mentioning are Murray Hamilton as Larry Vaughn, Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife, Ellen. Hamilton is a great asshole while Gary is a perfect motherly type. She is totally great in this. The film is based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel of the same name. In the end this was a huge regret of his. He didn't realize there was no such thing as a rogue shark that develops a taste for human flesh. I mean, who among us would. Later saying, "No one appreciates how vulnerable they are to destruction." Yeah, sharks get a raw deal and will probably go extinct in my lifetime. That's a huge bummer. Anyway, this movie redefined the way movies are shown. They used to have movie play in like 12-18 theaters and then it would expand/move. This opened up in 400+ theaters so that basically everyone could drive to a theater and go see. Thus was born the summer blockbuster.

That's the one
Some shit that stuck out... Lot of ridiculous quotable lines. The first is from the Fourth of July scene just before the Kitner boy gets eaten and we get "the Jaws shot". Here, Brody is watching the ocean with dread, just knowing some shark shit is about to go down. He thinks he sees one but an old guy in a Speedo and an absurd strapped swimming cap pops up. False alarm. The guy climbs out of the ocean, walks over to Brody, says something to him about being too afraid to go in the water. Brody, without missing a beat, "that's one bad hat, Harry." A great and dumb line which you might have noticed after several shows and movies as it is the name of Bryan Singer's production company. You might know him as the director of The Usual Suspects or the X-Men films. Then again, you might know him as a grip in the film Street Trash which is the greatest movie of all time. This is an obvious homage to that absurd line. Anyway, also love the dipshit standing on the dock amongst the dipshits that roped in the tiger shark thinking it was the man-eater. Hooper is like, oh, look at that, you got a tiger shark. This fucking moron looks at him with his dumb, fat face and says, "uh what?"

Directed at Quint but the sentiment is the same
Basically everything that Mayor Vaughn, played by Murray Hamilton, is fucking crazy. He is convinced that there is no shark for the first 1/3 of the movie and is obsessed with keeping the beach open. He basically goes to extraordinary lengths to deny the thing killing everyone is a shark. Like when Hooper and Brody get liquored up (Hooper brings over a nice bottle that he says they should let breathe as Brody pours himself a pint glass of red that he pounds like a champion) and go out on the water and find that boat floating around with that guy's head in it, which was probably the only unnecessary scene in the movie, they go see Vaughn and are all, "yo, the shark is fucking out there still." Hooper is like, "there was a tooth that was 3-inches long! It was the shark that has killed all the people!" He is like, "a toof, huh, where is it?" Hooper is like, "well, I dropped it when I saw the head." And Vaughn is all, "well, there you go, who knows what it was. He doesn't have the toof!" Next thing you know he goes down to the beach and makes his lackeys and their families get in the ocean and swim around which gets some idiot in the lagoon killed with his leg sinking down to the bottom of the ocean. This is what happens when you vote a pro business, free market capitalist psychopath into office.

Quint, total maniac 
Speaking of people saying crazy things, I can't understand a damn word that comes out of Quint's mouth. What the hell is that accent? I'm pretty sure it's Maine. Hear basically, "mah ra, herda hrum, here's to swimming with bowlegged women, hro hrum." Also, he plays pretty fast and loose with everyone's lives. Most notably he blows up the engine chasing the shark at max speed despite everyone's pleas and smashes the radio like a mad man when they are totally fucked and Brody tries to call for help.

Bunch of scenes really stick with you. That opening where they basically waterboard and whiplash a naked woman around with a mechanical god only knows what is a truly great and horrifying way to open a movie. Doesn't waste much time getting fucking brutal. Really starts in the next scene when Brody and the idiot that was too wasted to take his pants off find the dead girl stand there looking at what is left of her with Brody holding her purse and clothes. It is a pretty nice and powerful touch. We later see her remains fit in a small tub which causes Hooper to just about upchuck throughout his examination. Another super fucking brutal scene is after the Kitner boy gets eaten and Ms. Kitner stands at the bloody shoreline looking for her dead kid. She is panicked and desperately looking around when she sees his inflatable floaty thing he was swimming around with wash up to shore, torn to shreds. The last just completely brutal scene comes when Quint slides down the boat straight into the shark's mouth and gets chewed up like chewing gum. The shark looks not super real but you don't really pay attention to that because Robert Shaw sells the fucking shit out of it. This is how you would act to getting turned into chum, for sure. And this movie is rated PG by the way. Nudity, an eaten kid, a dude that gets chomped to death for 20 or so seconds whilst screaming. Totes cool for the kiddos.

Also featuring debilitating grief

A few more of my fave are when Quint scrapes the chalkboard and says he'll find the shark for $3,000 but he'll kill him for $10,000. Bad fish. Chomps oxygen tanks like cigars. All that stuff. The whole time they are in the cabin of the boat where they compare scars and Quint talks about being on the USS Indianapolis. My favorite little line there is when Hooper opens his shirt to expose his hairy ass chest, this during the scar sharing, and asks if they know what that is. Brody is like, "a sweater?" Funny stuff. And more or less the whole last third of the movie when they are on the boat. Shit is tits. Super homoerotic too. Like when Brody takes Hooper's glasses just before he goes down in the cage and sticks them in his mouth to clean them or whatever. Pretty fucking weird/gross. I wouldn't do that for anyone, I don't think.

MVP of the flick, no surprise, is Spielberg, who is like uber famous after this film comes out and goes on to do some of the highest grossing movies of all time. Of course, Jaws, at the time its release, became the highest-grossing film of all time, keeping the title for one year until Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope came out. The franchise would beat itself out six years later with Episode VI - Return of the Jedi but Spielberg would take the title back with E.T. in 1983 which he would surpass with Jurassic Park in 1993 (FYI, currently, Avatar holds top grossing honors). I mean his movies are basically all beloved classics (with a few exceptions) including the four (or at least three) Raiders movies, Close Encounters of the Third KindSchindler's List (a total bummer of a movie), Saving Private RyanMunich (one of my personal faves), and like shit ton of other movies that people fucking love that make stupid bank. And none of this would be possible, probably, without Jaws. Arguable one of the greatest movies of all-time. No shit.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Scream 3 is the greatest movie of all time

Scream 3. End of a trilogy. The quote unquote shitty one. The one where Sid is off the grid. The one where they broke from screenwriter Kevin Williamson's (who wrote the first one and outlined the second) vision. The Hollywood one where they film the third Stab movie within the third Scream movie. The one in the Jay and Silent Bob universe (the duo sees Gale Weathers on the backlot and yell, "hey, it's Connie fucking Chung!"). Lots of in jokes like that here. This is an industry movie like Body Double or Theater of Blood or Sunset Boulevard.

Personally, it was the first movie in the franchise I wasn't stoked about. It was only a couple years since the previous one came out but it both felt like it had been too long and that we had just had a bunch of these come out. Probably the reviews didn't help. It's pretty cheesy and way out of left field. Plus the new big thing in horror in 2000, when this movie came out, were found footage films like The Blair Witch. The self-aware stuff had sort of lost its charm. But it is fun in the end. I really didn't hate it the first time I saw it, it was on network TV by that point, and it definitely aged better than I thought. It was more over-the-top than the other two and got pretty close to being hysterical at times (mostly with Parker Posey the actress playing an actress playing Gale and following her around and what not). But yeah, it's not terrible. In fact, greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: According to critics, Scream 3 has become what it originally spoofed. Despite some surprising twists, the movie seems to have lost its freshness and originality by falling back on the old horror formulas and cliches.

Pros: Decent humor. This is so over-the-top that you don't really need spoofs like Scary Movie. The story, while ludicrous, is still pretty interesting.  Pretty ladies. Always with the pretty ladies and these movies. OK way to wrap-up the series, though it was a little anticlimactic and not the real of it.

Cons: Some of the acting is pretty phoned in which I'm not going to dwell on too much. The shtick gets a little old the third time around. Gale's (Courtney Cox) haircut is atrocious. The plot hinges on some pretty confusing bullshit.

Gist of the movie is that three years after the college one, a killer dressed as Ghostface makes the rounds again, this time in Hollywood on a movie backlot, picking off actors from the third Stab movie in the order they die on film in an attempt to get Sidney to come out of hiding. With this being the "final" installment of a trilogy, "the rules" change yet again, brought to you via video by a dead Jamie Kennedy in one of the more bizarre moments of the franchise. Like the previous and preceding films, the installment was directed by horror maestro Wes Craven. David Arquette, Neve Campbell,  Courteney Cox, and Liev Schreiber reprise their roles as Dewey, Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Cotton Weary respectively. Newcomers include Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy from that one doctor show), Scott Foley whom you might remember as Jake Ballard in Scandal or from whoever he played in Felicity, Lance Henriksen from Aliens, Matt Keeslar (no idea), Jenny McCarthy (who popularized anti-vaccing), Emily Mortimer from Lars and the Real Girl, Parker Posey from the Christopher Guest movies, Deon Richmond (no idea), and Patrick Warburton who will always be Putty from Seinfeld. Legendary producer Roger Corman also has a cameo. As does Carrie Fisher. She plays a chick who looks exactly like Carrie Fisher. This was supposed to be the last of the franchise but then it was revived with Scream 4 in 2011, which is solid, and the show which debuted in 2015 and currently is in post-production on season three.

Anti-vaccer, dude

Some shit that stuck out includes Cotton Weary being this major late night talk show host with a car phone. No one gave a shit about him in Scream 2 and wouldn't give him the time of day unless Sid came along with him. Then he sort of gets some credit for saving the day and now he is like a regular old Howard Hughes/Jay Leno. He ends up the opening scene death, which keep getting weaker. It is sort of funny though since the killer has a fancy new voice changer that can make him sound like anyone. So when Ghostface attacks Cotton's old lady, played by Kelly Rutherford who was Dixie Cousins in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. which is like my favorite show of all time, he talks shit in Cotton's voice. They also talk about having Stab roleplay sex which is insane. She ends up attacking the real Cotton which opens up the killer for a pair of easy deaths.

Oh, that chick
There is a surprise Randy explaining "the rules" scene which is strange considering he died in Scream 2. They needed someone to deliver it, I guess, and since it isn't all that serious of a movie, why not find a way to bring Jamie Kennedy back. The way this is so delicately done is they bring in Randy's never before mentioned sister--played by Heather Matarazzo who is this girl I've always mistaken for Thora Birch who played the girl that gets grilled on the stand by Keanu Reeves in The Devil's Advocate and had a bunch of other pretty dope little roles over the years (like DJ Tanner's girlfriend in Roseanne)--who has a video that her brother recorded just before he died in case the murders start up again after the events of the movie where he dies. Just roll with it. Even though it's dumb, I still love that rules shit. In this one, the end of a trilogy, we learn that: 1.) the killer will be superhuman so stabbing or shooting him won’t work and he must basically be cryogenically frozen, decapitated, or blown up; 2.) anyone, including the main character, can die;  and 3.) whatever you think you know about the past will come back and destroy you. Thems the rules for some of that sweet survivin'.

The killer ends up being this guy Rowan, spoiler, who is directing Stab 3 and turns out to be Sid's long lost brother that was born out of wedlock when Sid's murdered mother was an aspiring actress. Yeah, it's fucking weird and doesn't make a lot of sense and requires some serious dedication for a goof. It is fucking insane. So get this. He tracks down his biological mother (Sid's mom who died before the first one) who gave him up for adoption. She doesn't want to have anything to do with him. He stalks her. Finds out she is having an affair. Recruits people to kill her and toy with and then kill the rest of her family as well as a bunch of other kids. Hope that this becomes a book that is then turned into a movie franchise. Go to film school. Become a big shot director. Get old Hollywood stupid money. Agree to direct the third installment of that franchise. Kill everyone. That's it. What? I mean... What? But that is how it goes down. But he fails because he is an idiot. And then they shoot him, repeatedly, so as not to come back. Funny as fuck but not the most grounded in reality installment of the series.

Again, like Scream 2, not the easiest movie to pick a winner for. In the end I'm going with Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie as fake Gale Weathers. She hangs out with the real Gale and constantly talks shit about how her Gale is better and what her Gale would do in such and such situation. She does die in the end but not before bumbling around and being crazy for all but the last 10 minutes of the film. She was also apparently banging Brad Pitt which is some sort of mind fuck since this would have been in the Jenifer Aniston years and Courtney Cox was on Friends with her at that time and so forth. But yeah, her over-the-top performance stands out as the most absurdly ridiculous in film that is full of them.

Sweet Gale on Gale action

Another little detail that made this for me comes in the scene where the killer corners Sid on the set of Stab at the location of her fake house. Here, again, she has the opportunity to run out of the fake front door of her house but instead runs up the stairs just like she did in the first and just like she railed on would be survivor girls for doing in these types of flicks. Nice little attention to detail there on this deep cut.

Anyway, three of these films down with Scream 4 on deck. That one was genuinely really solid and I'm looking forward to writing about it. So look for that shit in the next few. Going to watch and write about something Independence Day related today though. Still deciding on what but I've ruled out Uncle Sam because it looks too shitty even for my tastes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the greatest movie of all time

Want a good cathartic cry? Jesus is there a movie for you, Won't You Be My Neighbor?. Collectively, this is what we need right now. A message of radical kindness. Good god you are going to cry. More than once. Tearing up now actually. Yep. That's happening. Greatest movie of all time... Oh, and fuck Fox News.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Won't You Be My Neighbor? takes a fittingly patient and honest look at the life and legacy of a television pioneer whose work has enriched generations.

Pros: This film is truly inspired and inspiring. Does a great job of tightly getting at what the saintly Fred Rogers was all about. We get to know him in a way that makes us care more for the man and, personally, inspires me to do better.

Cons: We find out he was a registered Republican which I am not sure I believe. I couldn't see him voting for Nixon (who supported cutting funding for PBS and the Vietnam War) or Reagan (recall a lot of episodes regarding King Friday's pursuit of an arms race during my childhood) and see Trump as the antithesis of everything Mister Rogers believes in. This is exactly the type of thinking that he makes want to reevaluate though... But I am more comfortable thinking of him as a swing voter. Fiscally conservative. Obviously socially liberal.

Gist here is that filmmaker Morgan Neville explores the legacy and life of beloved children's TV show host Fred Rogers, host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It goes into detail about his personal philosophies and how they shaped his show and the way he dealt with children. Mister Rogers is truly what he appeared to be and this movie does a great job of illustrating this. And it has truly inspired me to do more. I am what you would call a kind person who really gives a shit. This movie makes me want to be better. Care more. Be kinder. The film fantastically details the man' limitless compassion which is totally contagious. Great documentary and Mister Rogers obviously wins the movie.

Some of the stuff that stood out. First, can't ignore that time that Rogers, in response to proposed budget cuts, went to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications on behalf of PBS and talked about the need for the educational television that PBS provides. Talking to the chairman, Senator John O. Pastore, Rogers stressed that his show helped kids deal with their emotions positively which ultimately makes them well-adjusted adults as opposed to the more violent messages of some other shows. To illustrate his point he doesn't read his prepared statement, saying that he trusts that the chairman will read it, and instead recites lyrics to one of the songs from his show that is typical of one of his programs. Those lyrics were "What do you do with the mad that you feel? When you feel so mad you could bite... I can stop when I want to. Can stop when I wish. Can stop, stop, stop anytime... And know there’s something deep inside that helps us become what we can. For a girl can be someday a lady, and a boy can be someday a man." Pastore, who was sort of being an asshole up to that point, was really moved, saying "I think it's wonderful. Looks like you just earned the $20 million." It was extremely impressive and should be required viewing.

Something I wasn't exactly crazy about was that he urged actor Francois Clemmons, who played officer Clemmons and is homosexual, to stay in the closet and forbade him from frequenting gay bars. He thought this was more or less career suicide for Clemmons and saw it as potentially something that could tank the show. This was a black guy who, Christlike, Rogers shared a foot bath with on the show when black people and while people couldn't shit in the same can, and Rogers encouraged him to get married, which ended in obvious disaster. This all went down around 1970. Not exactly the most noble thing he ever did, convincing a guy who later became a surrogate son to ruin a woman's life, at least for a short time, by marrying her even though you're gay. That's not you just the way you are, if you know what I mean. One of many examples of a hero from a different time that did something that was pretty messed up. But Rogers eventually came around on the issue, and way before the general public, encouraging Clemmons to commit to a longterm relationship. And thank fuck. Of course he recognizes a mistake and completely corrects it.

The final section of the movie, the one where everyone in the theater was audibly sobbing, was the bit about Jeff Erlanger. Oh, man. This kid. Ten-years-old. Wheelchair. Diminutive. Undergoing a life-threatening surgery that may kill him. Family asks him if he wants to do something special because this is going to be tough on the little guy. Meet Mister Rogers. So Rogers meets him. They hit it off. Chill several times. Eventually Rogers invites him onto the show. This is 1981. Erlanger shows Rogers how his wheelchair works and why he was in it. They segue into what they do to cheer themselves up when they are sad. Oh god. End up singing a song together. "It's You I Like." And I'm sobbing. And they talk about what Mister Rogers used to do when he was feeling blue--make up stories, read, play--and how we all have to figure out what cheers each of us up in our own way.  And Jeff asks him it helped. It did. Then Rogers says, "I'm not feeling blue right now though!" and he laughs. And Jeff says, "me neither." And it is just so touching. The movie ends with Rogers being greeted by Erlanger when he is inducted into the TV Hall of Fame back in 1999. Try to make it through that dry eyed. Check it out.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Scream 2 is the greatest movie of all time

Scream 2. The crazy-things-are-happening-to-Sid-at-college movie. This was the first movie I can remember where I was gleaning leaked info from the internet. A movie within the movie that was based on the events from the first movie. Hearing about this, though nothing new, really, did blow my little freshman mind with anticipation. Was incredibly stoked when it finally came out and I thought was a worthy followup to the most groundbreaking horror movie released in my lifetime (though Get Out might have surpassed the original Scream on that front). In some ways I liked it better than the first film, although it is really tough to beat. Like the way Sid is a damaged character, the way Randy explains the rules for sequels, the way it is established that "brothers don't last long" in horror movies, and so forth. For these reasons I'm gonna call it... Greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: As with the first film, Scream 2 is a gleeful takedown of scary movie conventions that manages to poke fun at terrible horror sequels without falling victim to the same fate.

Pros: Seems cliche now but it did for horror sequels what the original did for horror flicks. Mixes humor and murder pretty deftly. Decent amount of wit. The movie within the movie is great shit. Pretty ladies. Cox never looks better than she does in this movie. Just about as rewatchable as the first one. Great couple of kills (especially the cops).

Cons: More or less just more of the same (not that I consider this a bad thing). A little too cheesy, maybe.

Gist is a couple years following Sid getting attacked by her boyfriend and his partner-in-crime after they killed a half dozen or so people at her high school while dressed in the now famous Ghostface mask, a copycat killer now takes up murdering people at her college. Like the original, we get all the meta genre stuff, wit, and satire as we see how the whodunit unfolds. Also directed by Wes Craven, the movie stars all the survivors Scream in David Arquette as Dewey who is just as brain damaged in this one (see the scene when he almost gets killed at the end [his downfall is stepping in pizza that is on the floor, which is just completely insane]), Neve Campbell as Sidney, Courteney Cox (who looks great in this one) as Gale Weathers, Jamie Kennedy as movie geek Randy, and Liev Schreiber as wrongly accused Cotton Weary. Short-lived newcomers to the franchise include a murderers row of '90s college aged talent in Omar Epps, Rebecca Gayheart, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joshua Jackson, Jerry O'Connell, Timothy Olyphant,  Portia de Rossi (Lindsey from Arrested Development) who shows up out of nowhere to show us what a Blueth was like in college, and Jada Pinkett Smith. We also get some Laurie Metcalf (who plays Jackie in Roseanne) action as, spoiler, a news report who ends up being the mother of Billy Loomis, the murderer from the first one, who teams up with Olyphant for some sweet revenge.

The mean girls all stars 

First people of color in the franchise. Last less than a scene
Most memorable scenes from the flick include the opening, the Randy talking about movie scenes, and the dress rehearsal of the Greek tragedy "Agamemnon". The first is sort of the amuse bouche for the flick. After having no diversity in the original, here we get Epps and Jada at the "Stab" premiere which is the movie within the movie that details the events from the first flick. So right away we know that that is a thing and that people are into the story in that universe like audiences were into Scream at that same time. Which is all a little confusing. Plays within plays or movies or whatever have been around since the Renaissance dating back to before Shakespeare (although he more or less popularized it) and weren't even new to TV and movies like with "Itchy and Scratchy" in The Simpson, of course, but this movie within the movie about the first movie was pretty fucking nuts. Here we get Epps sticking his head up to a bathroom stall at the premier of "Stab" to listen to two people have sex when the killer sticks a knife through the stall door and into his head. Scary Movie sort of ruins this when they completely copy this scene with one of the Wayons bros getting a dildo to the brain instead of a knife. Jada, for her part, gets murdered in the theater with people cheering, thinking it was a part of the show or something. It is brutal. Being surrounded by all those people and no one taking your screams seriously.

As for the scene where Randy talks shit about them living in a sequel or whatever, keep in mind that while the thing that Scream does where everyone in every horror movie knows they are in a horror movie has been played to death, back in 1998 it was still new and hadn't really been done before the one came out in 1996. So, yeah, this was still defining the tropes and telling us what was to be expected in the age of self aware horror in regard to sequels. Like we saw in the previous film, Randy does this pretty much directly in two scenes. The first one he is in film theory class or something and him and Olyphant and Joshua Jackson are discussing the apparent lameness of most sequels. Randy holds the position that no sequel has ever outdone the original. People name various examples, none of which I give a shit about, where this was not the case. This is an ingenious little scene here and forces audience participation. Every time I see this movie, probably around four times at this point, I think of new examples that have popped up since my last viewing (this time Thor: Ragnarok came to mind, another previous one I thought of in the horror genre is Evil Dead II which I have to get around to soon). And we also get one of the killers talking movies, showing his hand a little bit. The second Randy-talks-movies scene is when him and Dewey are at a diner after the killings start up again. Here we get "the rules" which basically come down to more people will die in more gruesome ways. They all can't be winners, I guess. An honorable mention sort of related to horror movie rules would be when Gale's black camera man states that brothers don't live very long in horror flicks. A bit of situational irony there as he is saying this whilst bouncing out of town and thus ensuring his survival.

The last really memorable, and probably best, scene in the movie is the one where Sid is playing the role of Cassandra in the Aeschylus tragedy "Agamemnon" which is part of The Oresteia which is a trio of plays based around the Cassandra character at dress rehearsals. Early, Sid talks about how she wants to go on with the show despite all these murders. During the rehearsal, the chorus chases her about with fake daggers wearing cloaks and masks. Here we see Ghostface among the chorus, which may or may not have been real, slashing at her and weaving in and out with the other actors. It is all chaos and Sid freaks out. I like to think this wasn't Mickey, who was nearby and is later revealed as one of the killers, the experience is just too much.

But none of those were the truly best scene in the movie. That is hands down when Jerry O'Connel's character sings "I Think I Love You" by The Partridge Family at the top of his lungs to Sid in the school cafeteria. It was super sweet and totally impressive. Apparently the role was between O'Connell and some other guy and O'Connell nailing this scene is what got him the part. If he would have survived, he almost certainly would have won the movie. Check it out...

Best kill of the movie was the cop on the hood of the car. Here, Sid and her soon to be dead friend Hallie get picked up by the cops on Sid's protection detail. While they are stopped at a light, Hallie, who is pretty terrible, is like "uh, where we going?" The cops just say a bunch of stupid shit like "if we tell ya, we'd have to kill ya," and "don't ask; don't tell" which, you know, maybe pay attention instead of making the worst dad jokes of all time and shit. Of course Ghostface pops up here and stabs the driver in the throat. The other gets out, gets kicked in the face, and ends up on the hood with Ghostface driving like a wild man. He eventually rams it into a construction zone, plowing into a dumpster full of metal pipes. One of these ends up through the guys head in super gnarly death. The girls then have to climb over Ghostface, who is passed out from the wreck, to get out of the car. It's a pretty shit situation to be in.

It is tough to say who won this one but in the end I'm going with Gale. No longer hated, her and Sid end as sort of friends. She gets the scoop, kind of falls in love (again), survives getting shot, and kills a rival that isn't even on her level. Plus she is looking fierce in this installment. In 3 she has this weird bang thing going on that I'm not crazy about but here she is perfect looking. And is just totally a badass. Winner. This chick.

So that was Scream 2. I sort of like this watching and writing about an entire franchise and am probably going to do that with all the big ones. So, yeah, look forward to seeing some shit on 3 and 4 here before too long. Also some shit on Sleepaway Camp and Texas Chainsaw as well, assuming I get them done before the fall. Then I'll be doing the rest of the Halloween franchise.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Hereditary is the greatest movie of all time

Hereditary. Man, this sure goes to some unexpected places. This is a new movie and there will be massive spoilers so don't fucking give me any shit if you read on. It rarely happens but still. So, anyway, yeah, weird. Was one of four people in the theater. The other three, a little family consisting of middle-aged couple and a high school (ish) daughter, were like, "uh, well, what did you think of that? Really something, huh?" Yeah, that sentiment, I'd say that pretty much summed it up.  I can totally see why critics love it and audiences hate it. So if you liked that movie The Witch that came out a couple of years ago and that everyone is comparing this to, you'll probably like this in that it was a lot of "what the hell is happening" followed by an "oh my god it's over." Yeah, they are both very much those critics A-, audience D movies, if you know what I mean. An extremely disturbing ending will do that for you. So, if you liked that other movie or movies that have endings that are super fucked, then I've got something for you over here... Hereditary is the greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Hereditary uses its classic setup as the framework for a harrowing, uncommonly unsettling horror film whose cold touch lingers long beyond the closing credits.

Pros: Ending is super out there. Toni Collette is a hell of an actress. Does a pretty good job of insane. A lot of detail to make the reveal believable (much like Get Out). A slow burn that builds to insanity.

Cons: Not all of it holds up under any sort of scrutiny. Little too over-the-top.

Here we go. Movie opens with the death of grandma Ellen. Her daughter, Annie played by Toni Collette, and the grieving family begin having strange occurrences having to do with their shared ancestry that becomes increasingly horrible as per use in the horror genre. Early on we lose one of the two children when son Peter, played by Alex Wolff from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, gets baked at a party and his little sister Charlie, played by Milly Shapiro, eats a piece of nut cake despite her nut allergy and the brother decapitates her in a freak accident while driving her to the hospital (I'll get into this later). From there we get seances and possession and hauntings and crazy people and all that fun stuff. It is a pretty standard horror movie you've seen 100 times for the first three-fourths of the movie. Then shit gets cray. This is a motherfucker of a beast of a domestic breakdown flick. It is writer/director Ari Aster's first feature film. It also stars Gabriel Byrne as the dad and Ann Dowd as the creepy-ass "friend" Joanie.

While Hereditary is most compared to The Witch, I thought it more in tune with the mumblegore film (movies with naturalistic acting and often improvised dialogue, low-budget film production, and a focus on the personal relationships)--which, to be clear, this film is not--is House of the Devil. That film, set in the '80s during the "satanic panic", was directed by one Ti West who is a genius, and deals with a broke college girl that babysits for a strange couple in an old house. When she gets there, the home owner informs her that it is not their child that she will be watching but his ailing mom. As the story goes on, she starts uncovering weirder and weirder happenings revolving around a cult bent on ushering in the antichrist. Like that film, this is a slow burn that gets more fucked as shit goes down, ultimately building into one hell of a crazy ass conclusion.

Joanie. Huge bitch
The breakout star of this flick is 100% Toni Collette who is just incredible. She was totally unhinged and insane with grief. Two scenes that really did it for me were the one where Joanie is trying to tell her about how she conjured up the spirits of her dead son/grandson. There is this crazy desperation to the scene with Joanie pawing at her and her resisting the whole thing as nonsense. It is obviously too much for her and she doesn't know how to handle it. She then turns around and does this same shit to her family much to her husband and son's annoyances. The next scene that really shows off her chops comes at the end when she is just fucking devastated. She is completely leveled in a truly horrible way. It is uncomfortable as fuck to watch but is an undeniably great performance. 

This is a flick that requires a lot of attention, likely a second viewing. So basically the whole movie revolves around this body snatching, demon worshiping cult that has maybe already put the demon's consciousness in the girl (it is somewhat unclear if the demon has fully manifested in the girl as it prefers male hosts). Everyone in this world seems to be in on it and everything that goes down was all according to plan (no matter how outlandish). Regardless of if Charlie was always possessed or not, the demon needs a male host. The grandmother tried this once before as Annie, the mom, explains her brother committed suicide because he believed that their mother was trying to put people inside of him. We see that she was basically always willing to sacrifice her family for this cause and even went so far as to Hand-that-Rocks-the-Cradling her granddaughter (i.e. breastfeeding her). With me so far? Probably not. I too was lost.

As this was not a super clean movie, there were so many things that confused me. So my questions are why did Gabriel Byrne catch fire instead of the mom? Who possessed the mom when she cut her own head off? Was this like an Oedipus type of fucked situation that caused instant insanity? Why did the demon baby need to be a boy exactly? Is the boy like in the sunken place forever? Or will splashing with water wake him up as it did when Annie was possessed. Also, why go about possessing the daughter in the first place? Why not perform the ritual on the boy when he is like a toddler or something. The movie definitely requires multiple viewings but I'll be damned if I ever watch that shit again.

"It's alright, bra. She'll shake it off. She's a rock."
I was able to answer one glaring plot hole through a bit of research which I guess makes it not a plot hole, technically. This was from the scene where the girl, who was maybe a demon already, ate a piece of cake with nuts in it and her brother takes her to the hospital but gets into an accident and decapitates her instead (he drives home and goes to bed in shock after this takes place by the way, leaving her head on the side of the road). The issue was if the cult was just like hoping the little girl would die or if they forced that to happen in some way.  Apparently when the decapitated head shot pans up, that one Paimon symbol that everyone wheres is on the pole. The shock of that scene was fucking terrible and insane. It sort of makes you sick to your stomach. Holy fuck, man. That is basically the holy movie. Great but not one to watch more than once.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Freddy vs. Jason is the greatest movie of all time

It has taken me a year to get here but I'm finally there. All of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies. The end of two franchises. That is 19 total films. Most of them considered terrible. Personally, I was kinda surprised at how watchable they were. The Jason movies especially which I remembered as just being complete trash. They were, I guess, from a critical standpoint. But what can you say? They gave the people what they want. Gnarly kills, hot chick gratuitous nudity, and just enough plot to keep it interesting. Plus we get to hear Robert Englund say "bitch" a million times. After all that, finally getting around to Freddy vs. Jason. The two heavy weights of horror going at. Greatest movie of all time right there.

For people my age or a little older, late 30s/40s, this was over a decade coming and a super big deal. I remember before this came out I was at a party with some kid who was in a focus group for the flick. This was early summer 2003. He regaled like 30 people at this soiree with the entire plot of the movie and everyone was enthralled. It was one of the strangest communal experiences I've ever had; but this sort of shows you how guys and girls, at least the breed I hung out with, were losing their minds with anticipation for this movie... And then it came out and most people were disappointed. Other than some nitpicks, those people are wrong (though I doubt I'll ever watch it again, twice was definitely enough). This is definitely the best way these two franchises could have ended. 

Pros: Way over-the-top. Satisfying ending for both franchises. Definitely a pleaser for hardcore fans. 

Cons: The homophobia doesn't age well. Most the teens are annoying. The plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense. 

Lot of that
Gist here is Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund, per use) and Jason Voorhees get it on and kill teens between their battle scenes. That's it, pretty much. Ignoring Jason X and New Nightmare, both characters start out in hell following the events of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare and Jason Goes to Hell. There is a surprising amount of Jason and Freddy flying around in the flick. The movie was directed by Ronny Yu whose previous work included Bride of Chucky and a bunch of shit I've never seen. The teens include Monica Keena, Chris Marquette, Jason Ritter, and Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child. All of these "kids" are people you sort of recognize but have no idea where from. Lot of frosted tips among them. Playing Jason in this one is Ken Kirzinger which pissed the hell out of Kane Hodder, who played Jason in the previous four films and pushed hard to make this film happen. Kirzinger is fucking enormous and apparently why they went with him over Hodder who New Line, the studio, dissed for being too short. Shit is cold blooded. But Kirzinger actually appeared in Friday 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan as a cook that gets tooled on and a as double for Jason in various scenes. 

Lets get into it. So both characters, who are in hell, get their own little intros. For Freddy, we get the standard toying with and murdering a child (thankfully off screen). While this is happening an angry mob is forming outside of his house while he gloats and looks at newspaper articles he has in his boiler room about going free on a technicality. Unacceptable to the mob, they break in and torch him. So yeah, it starts like basically every other movie in the franchise. As for Jason, we first see a chick at Crystal Lake get naked, go for a swim, see Jason, run, and die. Freddy shows up as Jason's mother around here, telling him to go kill on Elm Street which like breaks him out of hell, I guess. We later find that Freddy has to build his strength up to kill in the dream world by having Jason kill in the real world or something. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense so it is best not to dwell on how we get anywhere in this movie. 

Some shit of note here. Parents on Elm Street just fucking love drugging their kids to get them to sleep. Every one of these Freddy movies has a kid that won't sleep because you know Freddy is kill his/her friends and that kid's parents slip sleeping pills in their soup or whatever. In every damn movie! This is no exception as the survivor girl's dad does this to her, nearly getting her killed even though this guy has clearly had run ins with the dream killer. 

The nadir of the flick comes near the end when Destiny's Child tries to piss Freddy off and have him come at her, leading him away from the survivor chick. She does this by first questioning his manhood/penis size and then calling him a "faggot". This is 2003. They should have fucking known better. This was truly appalling when I saw this in the theater and people gasped at how inappropriate it was even 15 years ago and it has only aged worse since then.

I'd rather die than hate...

Anywho, favorite scene is definitely where Freddy and Jason attend a rave which ends in carnage. The teens attend said rave after several of their buds were killed like the day before. No time to mourn; party on, I guess. One of the chicks, who's asshole boyfriend was the first one to die, shows up and gets wasted. She gets fucked up and passes out which brings Freddy around. While this stuff is going down, some other asshole shows up and sexually assaults her. Right before Freddy kills her in the dream world though, Jason shows up and murders her and her #MeToo. From there Jason goes to said kegger where like hundreds of 30 year old high school students have gathered. When Jason goes to get a beer or something, some idiot stops him and is like "this ain't a Halloween party! Why don't you find yourself a pig to fuck," and Jason twists his head around. The dude's buddy then sets Jason on fire which just pisses him off. Now you have a flaming, irate Jason just murdering the shit out of everyone. Even Freddy is like we have to get this guy under control. It's great.

Jason Voorhees. Not a guy that pays for keg beer

This is indeed something that happens
That eventually leads to this Jason Mewes type stoner character to getting possessed by Freddy as his plan is to find a way to knock Jason out in the real world since the dude doesn't really sleep and then finish him off in the dream world. The way he goes about this is when the stoner passes out after a little horribly timed "joint break" during a hospital breakout, don't ask, and shows up as a ridiculous looking CGI, Alice in Wonderland style caterpillar. Stoned, Freddy climbs down the guys throat and controls him in the real world. When his friends are like, lets get out of here, he drops a very Freddy line with "let me handle this, bitch!" Oh that Freddy Kruger and the word "bitch". He fucking loves it. Anyway, he ends up tranquing Jason and then coming at him where he has the advantage which doesn't work. Long story short, the survivor girl eventually goes to the dream world and pulls Freddy into the real world where the two killers have their final showdown. Did I mention this movie was confusing?

There is no inappropriate time to spark a doob
Seems like a good time to bring up the best line and summary of the movie. It comes when they are going over some insane strategy to killer off the two immortal murderers and someone ask how any of this makes sense. The Jason Mewes dude then, in very Jason Mewes fashion, screams, "you don't get it, do you, nothing makes sense!" Watch the movie and you'll see. 

As far as who comes out on top, Jason definitely wins the movie. The final fight, which is insane, sort of ends with Jason ripping off Freddy's arm for like the fifth time in the movie. From there there is a massive explosion set up by the kids and we get more Freddy and Jason flying through the air. This time like 100 feet into the lake. You think it's over if you've never seen a horror movie when Freddy busts out of the lake and comes at the surviving teens with Jason's machete in his remaining arm. But wait, Jason comes out of the water with Freddy's severed arm and stabs him with it, which is a nice touch. The survivor girl then finishes him off with a "welcome to my world, bitch," and chops his head off with the machete. In the final scene we see Jason crawling out of the water with Freddy's severed head in his hand. Freddy gives a suggestive wink but he is obviously in a pretty bad way. So Jason is free to skull fuck him or whatever before whatever goes down in Jason X. And that is the end of both fucking franchises. Thank fuck both of them and thank fuck that it's over. Jesus shit Christ.

The last we see of olde Robert England as Freddy

Friday, June 22, 2018

Street Trash is the greatest movie of all time

Holy shit. Street Trash is fucking bananas. This is genuinely an insane, next level melting horror flick that everyone needs to check. It's basically homeless people melting and exploding with bum shenanigans mixed in. Didn't realize melting movies were a popular sub genre of horror until I was doing research for this crazy flick. This is not for the faint of heart. It is disgusting, offensive, and brutal. There is also a lot of uncomfortable homeless nudity. If you are into that, or can at least stomach it, then you are in luck because this is the greatest movie of all time. 

Pros: Super funny (especially the scene with the homeless shoplifter). Great gore. Beats along pretty well. The plot, while ludicrous, is pretty fucking interesting. 

Cons: Truly disgusting. Way too many naked homeless people. A pretty gruesome rape/murder. 

The only chick that isn't disgusting
Ok. Here. We. Go. Gist is the owner of a Brooklyn liquor store discovers some prohibition era hooch in the wall of his store and decides to sell it to the homeless for $1. Unbeknownst to him, the contaminated bum wine melts all who drink it into blue/green/purple puddles of slime with some of them exploding and so forth. The issue is the result of some sort of government conspiracy like how the CIA created AIDS to kill off black people. They sort of abandon this story line for long periods of time. Instead, the movie explorers the hobo lifestyle as well as bum hierarchy as up and coming bums do battle with a feudal bum king type that seems to be more or less above the law. It's super Peter Jackson esque. The movie was directed by James M. Muro in his only feature film which is an outrage considering how good this was. I can't (but sort of can) believe that no one gave him another shot at directing a feature film. This is where director Bryan Singer (of The Usual Suspects and various X-Men movie fame) got his start and Muro has worked on several of his projects, mostly as camera man or director of photography, over the years. The movie stars Mike Lackey, R. L. Ryan, James Lorinz, and  Vic Noto, none of whom I've ever seen. Fun fact about this flick, when the cast and crew arrived to the premiere, instead of renting a limo, they rented a garbage truck that took them to the red carpet which is hilarious and appropriate. 

Some sexy melting action

Several dope scenes here but I am sticking my with the most memorable that doesn't involve a horrific rape/murder. In this one, this bum accidentally pees on the bum king and the bum king cuts the guy's dick off. From there he throws it to the other homeless people who then play keep away with it, tossing and punting it like a football. He eventually gets it back and seems to be on his way to getting it reattached which I'm sure his insurance will likely cover.

The offensive hooch
Something that cracked me up though were the various scenes between this idiot restaurant doorman and the owner who is some sort of mob boss. It was the owner's girl that was raped and murdered a few scenes before. The police bring these guys in and are sort of getting statements from them at the same time when the idiot doorman is like "I have all this dirt on the owner" and starts talking hella shit. The cop is like, "uh, what are you doing, bro?" and he is like, "can't I get some witness protection?" The cop is like, "no, and you should probably stop talking." So this shit is awkward and now he has a mob boss talking about how he is going to murder the shit out of him and what not. All of their scenes are pretty great and just one of the several side plots that go on and are affected by the tainted hooch. 

The breakout star of this film is the shoplifting bum who is just too much and seems to live by a sort of hobo code (more on that later). The scene where he really steals the show and yuks it up is when he pops in the grocery store and just starts shoving an insane amount of food down his pants. The whole scene is one of the most absurd things I've ever seen. Eventually he draws the attention of an old white lady who is beyond shocked which prompts a "whatchoo staring at bitch?" much to her indignation. She states that she is going to tell on him and he yells loudly to no one "wrinkly honky mother fucker thinks this is junior high" which is always funny. Then the manager, another black dude that he thinks is a "brother", asks him what he is doing with so much chicken in his pants. He tries to play dumb but he has an insane amount of chicken sticking out of cuff of his pants. He then produces a receipt for dog food and gets outraged and bums out when the guy is like, "let's get security to figure this out." He then starts spouting crazy homeless person stuff about reporting him to his superior before putting a paper bag on his head and bursting out of a window. I feel I have seen stuff go down like this IRL but then it is more sad than hilarious, which this was. Totally worth checking out so here you go. 

Some of the melting scenes are really something. My personal faves were when a fat guy rapist/necrophiliac drinks it and explodes, the main bad guy's disgusting homeless chick (the bad guy is like a murdering,psycho, bearded, Vietnam vet, king of bums type by the by) drinks the hooch and her tits fall off, and the one where the main bad guy's snitch henchman steals it and gets his comeuppance. In the last one the protagonist bum, who has figured out that the hooch kills, walks around with the bottle on display, knowing that the dickhead would steal it. So the guy attacks him and takes it. But the shoplifting bum from earlier sees it go down and takes it back as it is against the hobo code, if you will. So he gives it back and the guy is like, uh, thanks, and basically coaxes the guy into trying again, which he does, and fucking dies.   

"I always knew it would end this way."
If you make it to the end, I assume the rape and bum fights are going to turn off a lot of people, the death at the end was one of the most awesome and unexpected of all time. The bumtagonist is trying to save this cute homeless chick from the king bum guy who is completely losing his shit and shoots an air tank air tank at him by knocking off the air valve off of the end. I sort of expected it to hit him and knock him out or something as it would in most movies now. But no. It hits him square in the chest and knocks his head off. He sort of explodes out of nowhere and the upper part of his chest at the shoulders and head just go flying off. It is sort of weird but looks awesome and real. Still barely holding on, the guy looks up the girl's skirt he was going to kill as she steps over his decapitated head. It is funny as fuck and a totally insane way to end this fucking crazy ass flick.