Sunday, 20 November 2011

A Horror Night In With Friends

Having the post-Halloween lulls? Missing the macabre and madness that seemed to be in abundance in the run up to October 31st? Wish you could engage in more of the eerie and dark side before Christmas comes full tilt? Well, I have a very simple and very effective solution: MOVIE NIGHT!!!


Recently, for my birthday, some friends and I set out on a quest for slightly cheesy, but wholey over-the-top films, and by gum, we have a nice threesome for you.


3. I AM OMEGA


This is easily the big turkey of the night, and a great way to ease people in, because it really doesn't matter if you pay attention to the dialogue or not (even if you chose to listen to it, there are loooooong quiet sections). This is very famous for being an I Am Legend ripoff made by crap-mongers The Asylum (famous for other knock-offs like Transmorphers and Snakes on a Train), with the focus being on making a cheap film quickly. 


I'm sure it's just a coincidence...


I feel sorry that someone involved with this might have actually thought they were involved with a serious production. Instead, we have a laughable film where the 'last man on earth' can't seem to help but constantly put himself in dangerous situations, drive a convertible where monster attacks seem constant (I guess he might be going through a midlife crisis), our hero can't believe someone is getting in touch with him by video-call online (oh ye, the internet works), then he runs out of the room at the sight of a woman, some dodgy folk have trouble with the impenetrable fortress that is a chain link fence, one of said men is killed but can't inconvenience his friend, so readily picks himself up when he needs to be moved. We get to view all of this through some bizarre graduated filter, and everything is set in the (conveniently cheap) hills. Of course, we get the obligatory bad CG effects. 


This is pretty much how I imagine The Asylum.


This flick is so bad, it really is good. People will walk in and out and get settled in for the night to it. It is so bad, it even makes it impossible for the lead actor to maintain one race. He appears white, Hispanic, Asian, you name it. This makes NO SENSE. That's why you have to love it. Try not waste your money on it. I got it as part of an 8 films for $5 pack (when I was in America). I think the cheese factor was worth the 62c.


2. EVIL BONG

Another disasterpiece from the 8 films for $5 pack, this is directed by famous schlock-meister Charles Band. No, really, he's famous... He directed Puppetmaster and produced... er... well, a load of shite really, but his name seems to sell films, so let's roll with it.


Who would have thought 8 films for $5 would be poor quality?


A complex film, Evil Bong is set around a group of young men who purchase a cursed bong that sucks in their souls and kills them one by one. Oh, did I say complex? I meant simple. Like monkey simple. Like rock simple. 


That may be insulting to rocks.


The film is 80 mins, which is about 60 mins too long (I'd make the 80 mins too long joke, but it would making a rocking 20 minute film). For that, we have the situation of a nerd type moving in with stoners in their one roomed apartment. 'Hilarity' ensues, including someone who can only afford to live in an apartment where he sleeps in the same room as all the other tenants buying a bong believed to be cursed off the internet (seriously, cheap films seem to think the internet is the magic answer to every plot hole). It arrives, and everyone who uses it has their soul sucked in to a strip club where characters from other Charles Band films appear for no reason, then the people are killed by a woman wearing odd bras. Oh, and Tommy Chong shows up. Yup, that's normal. 


The film is soooo long and boring in places, especially with lame character establishing sections, an odd marijuana leaf transition and some bizarre rant the granddad of one of the guys goes on. But when it hits gold, it hits gold. Included is some 'cameos' from other actors (Bill Mosely being the only one I recognised), Roland from Sabrina The Teenage Witch showing up, the Gingerdead Man, Chong (cuz he can't help but be amusing), and a masturbating doll. That last one will be the one to get ya.


I typed 'evil bong masturbating doll' into Google Image Search. 
I got what I deserved.


That said, the film is so sluggish, it does take the tone of the party down. It's easy to make fun of I Am Omega for being serious, but this knows it's rubbish. There are honest to God only 2 sets, scenes are definitely stretched to get the film to its 80 min run time, the cameos serve no purpose and are confusing (unlike normal cameos, these ones just don't make sense). Some people had actually nodded off watching this film, definitely not what you want. The weird moments do make up for it somewhat, as does the fact you can say you watched a film called Evil Bong. The odd thing though, even though the film was generally unpleasant, there is a trailer for Evil Bong 2 during the end credits, and we all wanted to watch it.


Charles Band, I hate you.


1. BRAINDEAD


This film should need little to no introduction, and yes, it IS the Peter Jackson splatterfest. Whereas the other films were more 'so bad it's good' territory, this film is just good. 


A tongue-in-cheek zombie film about a mummy's boy, whose mummy becomes a zombie after being bitten by a rat monkey (the results of rats raping monkeys, of course), the son has to try control the insanity that occurs after she becomes a stiff. 



Famous for being one of the bloodiest films ever, I have seen this a lot of times, but was shocked at all the gags I missed or forgot about. I recently wrote about Peter Jackson and Bad Taste, which was solely brought on by how much affection this film returned him for me. Well shot, clever, and relentless, this is a group film. Some scenes that never did it for me along (such as the graveyard kung-foo scene... wait, how did that never appeal to me!?) just work fantastically with a group. People weren't able to speak up and insert their on witticisms into the film, because it did it all itself really. It actually drew people in to it and not a single person was disappointed.


What's funnier than a baby in a blender? 
Stop me if you've heard this one.


People talk about Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, but you have to know, before Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was there and done that, and this film is the living testament to how clever and hilarious he can be.


This is the finalé, the piece-de-resistance, the cherry on top. Whatever Evil Bong took away from the movie night, Braindead more than made up for. Not only is this a recommendation, this is an obligation I am putting on all zombie fans; watch this movie!!!


The beginning of the lawnmower sequence, or the greatest splatter
scene you will ever see.


On a small side note, this film has yet to see a decent DVD/Blu-Ray release. Synapse Films is 100% NOT releasing a special edition for the foreseeable future (fuck me, I actually contacted someone for an article!? What am I, some sort of writer?). Rumour has it Jackson might get on it when he returns from Middle Earth, but most people aren't holding their breath. There must be a wealth of stories to the film. Hopefully some day we can reveal in them. For anyone in a position to make that happen, consider this me going HINT HINT.