I've often wondered why I like bad movies. Not even bad movies, but bad horror movies, which are set apart on the bad-movie scale. Why do I enjoy watching people be torn apart in the most violent, gore-filled way? What makes a bloody decapitation or a close-up on a knife slicing the skin so much fun to watch? I abhor violence in real life but show me a man getting hacked to death on the big or little screen and I'm in my happy place.
I don't have a good answer for that. Part of it is an appreciation of practical effects. Horror movies, like pretty much all movies, have moved towards more CGI of late but the best ones still use real, physical objects to tell their disgusting stories. I can appreciate the craftsmanship in that. The ability to create lifelike violence is an interesting art.
There is also the "bad movie becomes good movie" effect. There is something fun about watching a film whose plot makes no sense, whose actors couldn't act their way out of a paper sack in the rain, whose directing is slipshod at best. Horror movies often fall into this category because fans are willing to accept bad productions as long as their some good old-fashined blood and guts. It's fun to yell at the screen when characters make horrible decisions. It's a special kind of treat to be both horrified at a bit of gore and to be able to laugh at how ridiculous it all is.
I'm not alone in this. Loads of folks enjoy these types of films. The good folks over at Vinegar Syndrome love them enough to consistently put out really nice Blu-ray versions of them on a regular basis. This week they are putting out a little film entitled The Corpse Grinders. Its about a high-end cat-food company that gets into a bit of financial trouble. The only way to solve the crisis is to grind up dead bodies and serve that up as kibble (because, of course, human corpses are cheaper than chicken and lamb scraps!). Once the little fur balls get a taste for human flesh, that's all they want, and they're willing to scratch your eyeballs out to get some more.
That is a terrible-sounding film. It's ridiculous on a storytelling level. I can't wait to see it.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
War for the Planet of the Apes: I’ve not been particularly excited about this new trilogy of Apes movies since they were first announced. Just about the time this one hit theaters, I finally got around to watching both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Neither my wife or I were that impressed and we both agreed we’d had enough of Apes for awhile. We’re still not ready to give this one a shot, but I’m sure many of you reading this will be excited to see it hitting Blu-ray.
Personal Shopper (Criterion Collection): Kristen Stewart stars as a personal shopper to a rich celebrity. She spends her time hopping about Europe buying whatever expensive thing the celebrity wants and mourning the death of her twin brother. She’s also a spiritualist so she’s expecting her brother to appear as a ghost at some point, or something. It won awards at Cannes, but has very mixed reviews elsewhere.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Seventh Season: I think my lack of interest in these TV zombies is pretty well documented so I’ll just let this one sit here.
Annabelle: Creation: First, there was The Conjuring a really good horror film sort-of based on the real life paranormal exploits of The Warrens (if we’re not counting the old Amityville Horror films which was based on one of the Warrens' exploits). That film spawned two sequels (The Conjuring Parts II and III) then there was Annabelle, a spin-off film about a doll that was first introduced in The Conjuring. Now we have Annabelle: Creation a prequel to the spin-off. There are rumors of other spin-offs from characters introduced in some of the sequels. That’s quite a franchise. I’ve seen The Conjuring and at this point that’s pretty much all I want to see, but for fans this is quite a feast.
The Old Dark House: Cohen Media Group has restored this very early haunted house movie from elements that were originally thought lost.