Most of my knowledge and experience with “Horrors of Spider Island” (aka “Body in the Web,” aka “A Corpse Hung in the Web” aka “It’s Hot in Paradise”) begins and ends with “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It was lampooned in easily one of the funniest episodes of the series, and as it was nothing but goofy thinly veiled porn then, it’s goofy thinly veiled porn today. It’s somehow become something of a cult classic today, which is shocking considering the movie has almost nothing to offer. Even in its original uncensored form, the narrative is non-existent, and the movie is teeming with uncomfortable rapey overtones and very obvious lesbian overtones.
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.
I’m stunned that in a world where we have no shortage of entertainment about zombies, and the zombie apocalypse, that there has never really been a movie surrounding indigenous people. Zombie movies are almost always about fighting for land, dominance, and or resources, so it seems only natural that we’d have at least twenty by now featuring indigenous main characters. “Blood Quantum” is the first of its kind centering on indigenous characters, all of whom are facing a world where they’ve inherited the Earth, and have to figure out where they stand in it.
It pains me because I rarely ever go in to a film, let alone an indie film, wanting to dislike it; especially zombie movies. I’m a sucker for apocalyptic zombie movies, and the very good ones can affect me for days. I’m also a fan of sidestepping typical character molds with a focus on the relationships in the LGBTQ corner. “By Day’s End,” though, is not a good movie. “By Day’s End” tries to have its cake and eat it too by forcing a relationship drama within the mold of a pretty cookie cutter zombie movie, when all is said and done.
“The Reliant” is that movie you watch when you thought that 1984’s “Red Dawn” wasn’t jingoistic enough and well–just didn’t preach enough about the love for guns and God, dagnabit. What we get is post-apocalyptic clap trap where a group of wholesome, blonde, upper class, white kids and their guns survive an economic collapse as they are relentlessly hunted by evil, gun toting atheists. “The Reliant” is based on a book that is perfect fodder for Kevin Sorbo and his increasing library of movies that preach about Christianity, and the danger of not being Christian.
John Frankenheimer’s survival horror film came in the midst of horror films that often preached something about conservation or the risks of pollution which would inevitably spawn some kind of monster in nature. Films like “Piranha” and “Orca” were all common place, and “Prophecy” is one of the many of its ilk. While it’s not exactly a great movie, “Prophecy” is a good enough man vs nature horror film about pollution and the fall out from corporate greed and irresponsibility.
Johannes Roberts’ “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” is a real testament to the concept of the score and how a great score can often help enhance a movie going experience. A lot of times the score can even become its own character. “Uncaged” has a score that genuinely stinks with a droning blaring bass that sounds more like library music than anything else. And that’s when there is a score since inexplicably, only about twenty percent of the movie’s run time has an actual score. The rest is complete silence that punctuates this absolutely awful sequel.
If anything, Deon Taylor’s crime thriller is a perfectly fine if somewhat overlong and derivative thriller that skates by mainly because of its charismatic cast including Mike Colter, Tyrese Gibson and Frank Grillo, respectively. It’s a shame because in a world where we’re discussing body cams, police corruption, and inner city crime, “Black and Blue” has the golden opportunity to tackle the issue head on. Instead it hits it briefly and doesn’t do much with the topic, instead building a thriller that feels oddly derivative of Antoine Fuqua’s “Training Day.”