Sasha Baron Cohen has remained one of the most scornful critics of the modern American political scene and has taken to destroying the status quo whenever possible. He’s been especially vicious in 2020 with his incredibly controversial “Who is America?” limited series, which he then follows up with the “Borat” sequel. This movie is not at all a cash grab, if fans were worried, it’s instead yet another case of Cohen pulling down the curtain in an America most of us doesn’t know exists. Or at least likes to pretend doesn’t exist.
Scott Glosserman’s horror masterpiece is a beautiful examination of the slasher sub-genre and its once simplistic genre elements takes a story, and provides a whole new twist to the axe wielding maniac. In the process, it presents us with dark humor that’s actually funny, great performances, and debuts from actors you’ll want to see more often after this. The humor in “Behind the Mask” is never smug of self-aware, and the movie never once breaks the fourth wall by making audiences aware that yes, they are watching a slasher film. Director Scott Glosserman breaks down the elements of the sub-genre forcing audiences to take a second look at the whole concept of the slasher film and the axe wielding maniac.
Scott Douglas Brown’s “Stadium Anthems” is a movie that is just fine when all is said and done. The direction and production values are very good, and most of the cast keeps the film afloat with their charisma. It’s an okay movie that ultimately feels like with a bit of alterations it could have been great. I am always a fan of mock documentaries about rock bands, and varying shades of egos, et al. It’s just that “Stadium Anthems” suffers from feeling like there are just too many ideas struggling to rise to the surface, and it drags it down big time.
As a slasher buff, I’m saddened that we’re in a current horror climate where other less deserving slasher films have gotten full fledged franchises while “Behind the Mask” is still just a one time gem. “The Rise of Leslie Vernon” is one of the best slasher films of the aughts that was perfecting the indie slasher sub-genre well before “Hatchet” came along. No slight to Adam Green, but I’d much rather have had three “Behind the Mask” films over four “Hatchet” films any day of the week. “Behind the Mask” is brilliant in not only creating a great slasher villain, but telling a sharp meta-story that dissects the sub-genre as a whole.
What makes David Brent the ultimate creation of Ricky Gervais is that we can all relate to him. We have all at one time in our lives been David Brent. All of us want to be liked, and accepted, and appreciated. We all want friends, and family, and some place to call home. We all have something we want to offer the world, and some kind of unfulfilled desire that we wish we could bring out for everyone to see. Ricky Gervais’ “Life on the Road” is a great sequel to the original BBC “The Office” but thankfully it’s not a movie you have to have seen the show to understand. While there are a ton of mentions of the original series, “Life on the Road” is about Gervais’ anti-hero, the man known as David Brent who has spent most of his life chasing the idea of being liked and accepted, but has no idea how to achieve it.
Justin Channell’s “Winners Tape All” is a very niche mock documentary about a pair of brothers that became low budget horror filmmakers who went on to direct schlock slashers like “Curse of Stabberman” and “Cannibal Swim Club.” It’s a difficult premise to explain, and sadly it’s not a movie that lends itself to a lot of laughs or even an interesting story. Director Channell and stars Zane Crosby and Josh Lively look like they had a great time making “Winners Tape All,” but even at an hour in length, their premise feels stretched pretty thin. It’s an interesting concept for Channell to evoke the video age and explore cheaply made horror movies that were filmed straight to video.
Shot documentary-style, Population Zero follows director Julian T. Pinder as he investigates a triple murder in a national park, a place without population, hence the title, and where some laws apply differently or not at all. Director Julian T. Pinder and co-director Adam Levins build a film about an interesting case as these three murders were never fully investigated or prosecuted.
I am proud to say that ever since Amanda Gusack sent Cinema Crazed her found footage film “In Memorium” back in 2006, we’ve been fans and have tried to spread the word about it to everyone who would listen. Amanda Gusack’s found footage horror film is a brutally eerie and creepy take on the sub-genre. I received an email from Ms. Gusack recently that “In Memorium” can now be rented on Amazon. If you’re a fan of “Paranormal Activity” when it was still a creepy ghost movie with an air of mystery and mystique to it before the sequels bogged it all down, “In Memorium” is right up your alley. It’s a creepy, well directed ghost tale and one I still boast about, and these are five reasons you should give it a shot.