Aug 13 2012
It awes me to think that, a mere nine months ago, this article concept was the very idea that got me the job at Unreality. As a matter of fact, that article is right here. I have since done a second part to the article right here, highlighting some more horror films that I felt were seen by far too few people. Hell, I continue to do this series over at my own site, with a third part of the article being right here.
For those keeping score, which even I can barely do anymore, that means , with this list, we are up to part 4. That means, by the time THIS list is finished, I will have recommended atleast 20 horror films to you. So now I ask you, have you guys actually watched any of these, and what do you think? Some messed up stuff, huh? Well, get ready for the most extreme list yet.
I have no idea how to talk about Cold Fish. No idea how to prepare you for this movie. Maybe it will help if I tell you who the director is? Sion Sono, director of the acclaimed cult film, Suicide Club. That alone should indicate just how messed up this ride becomes. But even if I tell you about it, nothing will prepare you. It is one of THOSE movies. You know the kind, they are so utterly violent and troubling, that you don’t know if it’s OK to like it or not.
That is exactly the kind of movie Cold Fish is. And I think that is exactly why I liked it. I starts slow, but by the end, you feel like you were just hit with a sock filled with pennies.
If you are anything like me, which you have proven to be over time, this trailer makes you NEED to see this movie, just to try and grasp what’s going on.
I always dance around plot points for films in articles like this, because I went at most of these movies blind, and not knowing what was in store made the experience that much more amazing, but I will give you a quick plot outline. No spoilers, though, so fret not.
Even you hentai fans are going to want to keep your pants on for this flick, don’t let this pic fool you.
Cold Fish is about a girl who steals from a man, and that man then employs the girl who steals from him at his fish store, so she can learn the error of her ways. The film focuses on the man’s relationship with the Father of the young girl he hired, and how….nope.
Not telling you anything else. It’s all too insane.
I will tell you this, though. The movie takes so many twists and turns, you would have to be a psychic to see them coming. And it is BRUTAL at times, so be prepared to wince and look away in disgust from time to time. Also, quite glad I didn’t find out this was based on a true story until after I saw it. Loosely based, but still.
Forget I just told you that last part.
Pontypool is a zombie movie that is not a zombie movie. Pontypool seems more like a play than a film, with a cast of two-four people. It all takes place in one location, and there are next to NO “action” scenes or gore. And every single one of those reasons is why I took so long to watch it. I wasn’t even remotely interested, but enough people told me I needed to say it and I listened, and boy am I glad I did.
I won’t tell you that this movie is available for free on Youtube, because I think you should buy it and support awesome horror, as oppose to stealing it and making the genre go obsolete.
Pontypool is the story of a plague that hits, and we hear about it all from inside a radio station. The premise may sound weak and one-note, but they squeeze every ounce of tension and dread out of this scenario, without having to hand it to you. You HEAR what is going on, and in some ways, it makes it way more intense. Maybe it is because I co-host a radio show for six months out of the year, Maybe it is because the performances are amazing.
Or maybe I love it because Pontypool is one of the most amazing takes on the “zombie” genre that I have seen since 28 Days Later.
And please don’t comment about how it is not a zombie movie, I know. I have a forthcoming list called “The seven best zombie movies that don’t have zombies in them” so I get it. Either way, Pontypool is undeniably amazing.
Zombies, or Limp Bizkit concert, who knows? And is there a difference, really?
To all three of you who actually go over and check out my site, I have talked about this film a few times over there, but never over here, and more people NEED to see this movie. So sorry if you feel like you are being punished for being a fan. I’ll hug you next time I see you to make up for it, OK?
Lake Mungo is honestly like no other “horror” movie I have ever seen. It moves at a very slow pace, and you really aren’t sure what kind of movie you are watching. Even when it it ends, you will be thinking the same thing. But don’t let that turn you off, in this case, it works to the movies benefit.
The pacing and cinematography is quite different than what you are used to, and offers a nice alternative to the shaky, fast-paced films we’re all used to.
Lake Mungo is about a family dealing with the tragic loss of their daughter, as well as the strange things that have cropped up around them since her untimely death. It is done as a documentary (I know I am supposed to say mockumentary, but I hate that word) but gone is all the shaky cam, WHAT-WAS-THAT style of film making associated with faux documentaries, replaced with a film that feels paced and shot very much like a real documentary.
Which makes it even more unsettling at times.
This movie feels like it evolves into three different films by the end, but that is why it works.
At times I wondered, what am I watching? Is this a ghost story? Is this a tragedy? A psychological thriller? And even when the movie ended, and everything was explained, a lot about the film still felt like a mystery to me. But only in a way that it should.
If the first on the list is visceral, Lake Mungo is the cerebral alternative.
Crap, pretty sure I haven’t spoken in depth about my love of Stake Land yet and I have no idea why. Steak Land is the place in my dreams where everything is made out of meat. Where I bound around on meatball clouds and flutter down into fields made strip steak. Oh wait, wrong Steak Land.
Yes, YES! It’s just like that! You understand me like few others, beef!
Stake Land was a real return to form for vampire movies, in my opinion, very much feeling like an old Romero movie that had sex with a grindhouse movie. It didn’t have the biggest budget, and it didn’t have the best actors (though it did have Top Gun’s Kelly McGillis as a f*cking nun, for the win) but what it did have is something horror films haven’t had for a long time. It had a love for the material, and a real passion that lit a fire behind the movie and made the whole flick work far better than it should have.
The movie looks grimy and dirty, and that adds to the feeling that this is a world on its knees.
So what is Stake Land? Think Zombieland, minus the funny. Replace Woody Harrelson with a guy who looks and acts like badass, 1980′s era Tom Savini, and fill the world with feral, insane, blood hungry vampires, and you have a pretty good idea.
And as low as the budget was, the vampires themselves were creepy, looking more like the creatures from The Descent than the sparkly ones people are used to now.
And I think the fact that this movie was a direct kick-in-the-dick to all the pussy-fied vampires that have infested the mainstream as a result of Twilight just made me love the movie even more. The other thing, some people could see Cold Fish and be disgusted and hate it, and some people could see Lake Mungo and be bored by it, but everyone I know who has seen the movie Stake Land likes it.
Check it out for yourself and see what you think.
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