Director Ryan Nicholson’s slasher throwback is thankfully a horror film that, while imperfect, has managed to appreciate in value since its release in 2008. While we may be well past the age of the eighties revival in horror cinema, “Gutterballs” is a nice look at the fad done well and with some semblance of substance over style. It’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely midnight movie fodder that should be appreciated with its cinematic contemporaries. Frankly I’m surprised slasher BBK’s signature look never caught on with the horror community, but I digress.
A teenage girl goes to her family’s lake house with her father so he can tell her some important news. In the meantime, a group of violence convicts escapes and heads to the same lake house. The clash between the family and the convicts pushes Becky to take things in her own inexperienced hands.
After many, many years in limbo, “Creepshow” is finally revived by Shudder/AMC Networks for a modern generation bringing the love child of George Romero, Tom Savini, and Stephen King back for more terror. Premiering exclusively on the Shudder streaming service (then later on AMC), “Creepshow” is led by legendary Gregory Nicotero, doing everything to pay tribute to the EC Comics and the 1982 horror masterpiece. With six episodes featuring stories by Joe Hill (NOS4A2), Joe Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep), Josh Malerman (Bird Box), and Paul Dini et al., “Creepshow” is a great companion to the original pair of classic anthology films.
Harley Quinn has been one of the most popular DC Comics anti-heroes of the last twenty years, and for good reason. She went from an abused spouse who served her partner thanks to years of mental abuse, gas lighting and Stockholm Syndrome, to someone who cast off the shadow of the Joker to carve out her own niche. Harley Quinn should be an easy adaptation but DC and Warner haven’t quite mastered it yet. After stealing the show in “Suicide Squad,” she steals the show again in “Birds of Prey” but still never quite comes out unscathed thanks to what is an imperfect and brutally flawed, albeit balls to the wall entertaining action movie.
Once artist Snoop Dogg became a gangster rap icon, he inevitably branched out in the early aughts in to bigger pastures. Before he became a family friendly talk show host, he was someone who promoted the image of the pimp, and then became an open advocate for cannabis. In between those hazy days in his late career, Snoop Dogg (or someone in his PR team) decided that they should try to re-condition him in to a horror character. The inevitable product was “Bones” an utterly tepid, dull horror vanity vehicle from the man that gave us “Demon Knight.”
Director Jeff Wadlow’s (“Truth or Dare”) big screen adaptation “Fantasy Island” is a mess of a genre picture that easily one of the most tonally confused movies I’ve seen in years. Its prologue sets it up as a horror movie, then it becomes a goofy comedy about wish fulfillment, then it’s a character study about a son reconnecting with his father, the next minute it’s a torture revenge thriller, and the next it’s a movie about looking back at what could have been. None of it is remotely creepy, none of it is remotely spooky, and to top it all off, it’s all so painfully boring from beginning to end.
In 1981, every single studio in the world were looking for their own horror movie success story. Slasher movies were cheaply made, garnered a lot of money, and was often used as a means of getting a tax break or two. Canada entered the arena of holiday oriented cheaply made slasher films with “My Bloody Valentine.” Although it’s often ignored when spoken in the same breath as “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th,” it’s easily one of the best, most unnerving slashers ever made, and one that even garners a brutally underrated remake, to boot.
This year we were once again lucky enough to cover the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival, and though we came on a bit late, we were able to catch a shorts film block from the festival as well as some features! This year the shorts block was solid, and I took on the #MeToo shorts block. This list of short films covers the topics of sexual assault, rape, toxic masculinity the like.
The gallery of genre entries was great once again and I loved the substance these directors brought to film.