2017 had so many good films that just one list or even two were not enough. This list is all about fun. Movies that are fun to watch and have something to offer that may not be the top top best of the year but damn close. These are films you want to watch with friends, even one for the kids. Watch these at home in PJs or with a drink (hot cocoa is the drink of choice for one of those films of course).
Mayhem is one of those films that live up to their title. Here the mayhem and insanity is push up as much as it can without going overboard too much, creating a relatable story with insane elements that entertains and is funny as hell, kind of like going through the seven circles of hell, or eight floors of corporate hell, to come out victorious and laughing. Horror-comedy is a tough subgenre that often does not work, but Mayhem hits that ball out of the park and doesn’t give up until the end credits roll. Considering Lynch’s other work, this one is another successful, crowd-pleasing horror/comedy/action film that is fun and exciting to watch. It may even make you feel like leaving your corporate drone job in a spectacular way (which neither Cinema Crazed nor director Joe Lynch endorse).
68 Kill is a horror-comedy-action thrill ride, one that goes for insane and then amps up the volume on that way past 11. The performances sell the insanity and the violence just keeps the viewer glued to the action. It’s a film that’s hard to describe without giving too much away and may very well be better watched knowing as little as possible about it. Director Trent Haaga has managed what many others don’t in making the audience care about a story in which 99% of characters are unlikable assholes who do crazy things for dumb reasons. The anchor character and performance being that of Matthew Gray Gubler without whom the film would have failed miserably. His presence paired with Haaga’s work make this one a must see.
Welcome to Willits
Welcome to Willits is a fun, crazy, batshit film about drugs, things that go bump in the night, and whether they are real or not. It’s effective and keeps the viewer thoroughly entertained throughout. It’s got funny bits and gross bits, it’s got just about everything and the kitchen sink, even Dolph Lundgren indirectly in a way that totally works.
Don’t Kill It
Don’t Kill It is one of those films some will be weary of being that Lundgren’s previous horror films were not exactly great, from the monster movie Legendary to the shark film Shark Lake, but it’s worth checking out as it’s fun, filled with mayhem, and has decent performances. For fans of the director, this is the Mike Mendez they know and love, back to his crazy cinematic mayhem reminiscent of The Convent in some ways and Big Ass Spider in others. This film is for fans of enjoyable horror films who do not need to be scared shitless all the time to enjoy a film and who appreciate a bit of humor with their blood and guts.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Yes a kid’s film. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a fun and funny movie; it has touching parts and a good message. While it does have potty humor, it’s not annoying or ridiculously childish that adults can’t appreciate the film and some of the humor. The voice cast will appeal more to the adults than the kids, but the look of the film and how it develops should appeal to most people who love fun, imaginative animated films.
Not My Day
Not My Day is one of those action-comedies that works. It’s a heist film and a buddy movie and so much more. The acting is on point throughout and adds to the buddy angle but also the human-side of things, giving the characters humanity and reality. The action itself is shot in a way that the viewer can see everything going on and really get into it, making it effective and enjoyable. Not My Day is an entertaining action, road movie, heist film, comedy that should be seen.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter 1
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable is a great film with fantastic special effects. It’s quite a ride and greatly enjoyable, especially with a crowd that really gets into it. It’s definitely a Miike film, but also a rather accessible one where many people who may not know his work or like his usual genres might very well become fans after seeing it. The fact that the full title includes “Chapter 1” seems to indicate that there is more to come and that is a great thing as this one is entertaining, fun, and completely insane.
Night of the Virgin
Night of the Virgin is one gross-out of a film with a decent story and characters that are all desperate for one thing or another, bringing them all into one apartment for a maelstrom of insanity. Considering last year’s The Greasy Strangler and Antibirth, Night of the Virgin looks to be in good company for what could very well be the birth (or re-birth) of Bizarro Cinema if that is even a thing. It’s nuts but in a good way. Once one scene made this reviewer go “that was unnecessary” while the rest of the WTF proceedings felt almost logical in the film’s own world.
Tragedy Girls is one of those definitely self-aware horror-comedies that runs on dark humor and blood. The kills are fun, the high school setting works, the characters are interesting and not particularly annoying for teenagers (especially to an older viewer like this reviewer), and the film is entertaining. Tragedy Girls brings new life in the slasher sub-genre by spinning it on its head like Scream did and like Scream Queens wishes it had.
Game of Death
Game of Death has a title everyone who loves movies knows which seems like an odd move, but it works in terms of the game in the film which is of death. The film itself is entertaining and has more gore than most recent horror films that claimed to be gory. It’s not particularly scary or deep, but the deaths are entertaining and the idea of kill to avoid death is something that is interesting and could be explored in a thousand different ways. Game of Death is one of those films that would be a great choice for a party film, it’s a fun film perfect to watch as a group.