It’s podcast time and Scott @Celluloidical Ian @i_nesbot and myself @CinemaTronix got together one evening last week to talk about films and other trivial things like more chocolate bar talk.
When we do talk about films and when e do its all good…. till we offend everyone but hay.
In this episode we talk about The Fault in Our Stars, more Marvel films, The Guest, Good Morning Vietnam, Joan Rivers, Terminator sequels, Blue Ruin, Lets be Cops, Before I Go To Sleep, Wishmaster, Cronos and much more.
Please listen and enjoy and we won’t apologise but please take into account that Ian’s views are his own and not necessarily the views of The Bastnerds as a collective…. even tho he might be right.
Ah Creature Features, I live for those movies. There are so many awesome films involving animals which just won’t leave they have a thirst for blood. They have one purpose…to kill. It’s awesome to see how far we have come from films like ‘King Kong’ and ‘The Wolfman’. This sub genre of horror has pushed the boundaries far past any kind of sensible limit with films like ‘Dinoshark’ and ‘Camel Spiders’. It seems that these films are becoming more stranger, and more fans of this genre are coming out of the woodwork. A lot of fans are now stepping out from behind their computer screen and expressing their love for these films while others continue to mock them but watch the films anyway because it’s ‘ironic’…fucking hipsters. Anyways Creature Features are a genre I have had a soft spot for ever since I first saw ‘Jaws’, I was always intrigued by these animals which just want to finally let the humans get what they deserve, and these animals act with a nasty wrath which is just so enjoyable to watch on the big screen. A favourite of mine in this genre will always be ‘Piranha 2: The Spawning'(or also known as ‘Flying Killers’). While I did love Joe Dante’s original cinematic masterpiece, I can’t help but enjoy this a little more because of two reasons. Reason 1 – It stars Lance FUCKING Henriksen and secondly the piranhas freakin’ fly. I know this is a little far fetched right? But come on, what if they really could fly? Just picture it, humans would be extinct, so would every other animal, so then all the flying piranhas will be fighting to the death…there needs to be a movie about that…don’t steal my idea. But do I feel this film is good enough for you to watch? Well I shall try my best to convince you that it is!
This story is very simple but at times it does get a little lost in all the stupid sub plots in the film. But I can say the absurd deaths and cheesy lines totally make up for that. So essentially the plot is a scuba instructor, her boyfriend and her ex husband(who by the way is a total copy of Chief Brody from ‘Jaws’) who all decide to investigate mutant flying piranhas who’s lair just happen to be conveniently be in a sunken ship…yep and it just so happens to be near a holiday beach resort…I am not making this up. What I found so hilarious was the awkward three-way investigation, I mean how odd would you feel about investigating something you have no idea about with your ex wife and her new boyfriend? I think this film was getting pulled in two directions but I guess that is what happens when the original director leaves the project and the special effects director takes over…and who was this special effects director? James ‘AVATAR’ Cameron. Did he do a good job? Well all I can say is that this is my favourite of all the piranha films and by far more enjoyable than ‘Avatar’. But hey I have very low standards of what I think is awesome. Now the star performance definitely goes to Lance Henriksen who plays the police chief who is investigating with his ex wife and her current boyfriend. I think he brings some actual realism to the film, which I know is hard to believe since this film is just pure nonsense, but he works with what he’s got, I just feel sorry for him because they tried to make him an exact copy of Chief Brody, and hey he did a good job of that! As for the other actors…you don’t need to know who they are because let’s face it they were bad and you don’t need great actors when you have flying piranhas in the story.
[youtube width=”500″ height=”344″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scGjDZbEFn4[/youtube]I think you need to watch this film purely for the opening. I mean you have two divers, getting frisky in this sunken boat, and shit is getting very sexy(well as sexy as it can get underwater and a limited air supply) and then lurking out of the shadows our piranhas start to ambush our sexy divers, and BAM you have one of the greatest openings in Creature Feature history. The film definitely does have it’s moments that may make you jump, and the deaths are just wonderfully bad that they make up for the bad acting, terribly written screenplay and overall point of making this film. You can see one director wanted to make this a fun horror film, which just purely entertained, and then you can see another director wanted to make it dark, serious and something you should take seriously. But I cannot help but laugh at piranhas which fly, I mean I would love to have been in the boardroom when this idea was cooked up. Just seeing guys in suits trying to think of the next summer blockbuster which could beat the ‘Jaws’ box office record, and they come up with this. Great try guys!
Do you want to watch this? Would these feed your appetite like half naked divers feed piranhas? If so, definitely give this a viewing. Best way to watch it? Get a few of your friends together for a movie night, gets either a lot of liquor, or Cherry Coke, get super drunk or hyperactive and then turn it on. You will laugh, cringe, be slightly confused, laugh some more and shake your head in amazement that you actually sat down and watched all 94 minutes. If you are a genuine lover of just pure crap films like me, then you won’t be disappointed. Don’t go in thinking you are going to get a visual treat with a beautiful score, and some very ‘artsy’ deaths, because you won’t. If anything this Creature Feature has a hint of the Exploitation genre chucked in for good measure, and it totally works. This definitely is an acquired taste if you watch this sober and have low standards like me. So if I was hyperactive on Cherry Coke i’d give this a 4 out of 5, if I was having a normal kinda day I would give this…oh who am I kidding it would still be 4.
So Top 5 is back, an extension of the Inglorious Bastnerds Podcast where Chris talks to different verity of friends from the land of the web.
This time his brain struggles to work as he’s only just waking up at a ridiculously early hour. A good job that his guest Britney Rivera is there to make sense of it all.
Brittany is a New Yorker living in California working as runner in TV production and live shows. She’s a fellow film fantic and we talk about her Top 5 favourite films.
Her choices include a Disney Classic, a Spielberg blockbuster, one of my favourites , the most popular film that i’ve come across doing this Top 5 podcasts and coincidentally…two of Hollywoods greatness and recent losses.
You can follow Brittany on twitter @kindamoviesnob and you can check out her blog here
Alright Halloween is coming up and it would be pointless for me not to review a horror film…but what should I pick? Should I pick something left of field that no one would expect or maybe even heard of? Do I pick something to appeal to the generic masses of horror fans or do I pick something which possesses everything I personally love about horror? You know what I’m going to choose…’Halloween’…alright I’m not. I mean I could write a review on that amazing film which scared me straight as a kid and kept me a virgin for a long time in fear that Myers was going to kill me for such sordid acts…but lets face it, I am not predictable, and generic and also everyone is probably writing a review on that film. I have decided to discuss a personal favourite of mine from the Giallo genre from 1982 entitled, ‘Pieces’. For my readers who are not entirely sure what Giallo is, here is a little explanation. Giallo is a sub genre of horror which conveys very graphic and violent killings accompanied by a wonderfully orchestrated musical score and a lot of soft focus camera work. The Giallo genre definitely has more of a murder/suspense vibe about it opposed to the typical slasher movies, and the story lines are definitely more unique and better thought out with some great character development. The films are a lot of the time recorded in the Italian language and then dubbed over. This sub genre is definitely one of the most creative but alas forgotten or unheard of to the masses, but now this genre is scoring new fans as well as rekindling the old flame between former lovers of the genre.
Okay so how many horror films have been made which focus on people getting murdered on a college campus? Plenty! And let’s face it, not many of them are any good, most if not are just a lame excuse to get some drunken chicks tits out and watch the moronic bitch die. Whereas sure this very simple plot but what is different from trash like that and ‘Pieces’ is that not every girl dies the same way, the circumstances are all very different…each victim loses a certain part of her body, whether it’s her arm, torso or even her pretty head. Is this just senseless violence? Or is there some actual motive behind what the killer is doing? Of course there is motive! But I am not going to divulge that information because while it wouldn’t be a huge spoiler since it’s shown at the beginning of the film it would just be nice for you first time viewers of this film to have the same reaction as I did. But what I can tell you is that this killer stalks his prey something wicked and while the film does have occasionally campy moments, I couldn’t help but tense up every time there was a lead up to seeing these poor victims just get hacked into it. It definitely does have an easy narrative to follow, and I found it easy to pick who the killer is, so there really wasn’t any twist, but either way I was satisfied with how it ended.
What I think is awesome about ‘Pieces’ is the fact that it definitely has ‘sleaze’ written all over it. And with that added sleaze-factor it does make you feel a little dirty at times, but that isn’t a bad thing. That means it had really awesome exploitation elements thrown in. Joe D’Amato helped write the screenplay, and you can just see his stamp written all over this film. D’Amato is known for his writing and directing of films in the horror genre as well as erotic films and some soft core porn. So with credentials like that it’s not hard to imagine why this film has the sleaze-factor and it’s fucking great! I think about how many people are against films from the Giallo genre as well as the horror genre from the 70’s and 80’s, it’s insane how many people opposed the perversion, and exploiting the nature of women in these films. Now this may sound very ‘serial killer’ of me, but I will say it, women look so much more better when murdered on screen than a man. They can portray real horror, they can portray the vulnerability and when you see them fighting for their life, you believe they are fighting for it. But when you see horror films today where a girl is in a white t-shirt, running through sprinklers and tripping over an invisible log and they get hacked up, no one says shit. I think because when you see horror films now, the killing is just so unbelievable and I guess it isn’t as ‘real’. This film isn’t the most violent horror I have seen, but I think having that suspense element in the film really adds to the brutality of the killings. I do believe that ‘Pieces’ is an underrated gem, but the many people I know who have seen this film absolutely LOVE it. It is an ambitious film, no question but it know’s what it is. I mean it will never be as higher valued as something like ‘Suspiria’, but ‘Pieces’ still puts it’s own stamp on the Giallo genre, and makes everything work for it. I only saw this film last year, and I was so surprised that this film had passed me by for so long. I will not lie though the acting, isn’t the best shall we say, it at times is very over the top or so subtle you are just wishing they would emote just a little. But trust me there are far worst horror films out there with a tonne more worse acting.
‘Pieces’ will always be a favourite of mine because it really does stand on it’s own two feet, and doesn’t try to be like every other Giallo film. While it definitely does have some artistic merit, this film doesn’t try to be something that it isn’t, it works with the resources that it has, and puts it all to good use. That is why I love Giallo so much, while there is definitely a hierarchy on the genre, each of those films have something to offer. And ‘Pieces’ definitely has the suspense element wrapped up nicely as well as the Exploitation genre influence and the overall creativity of the killings. If you want a fun film, that is violent, suspenseful, at times sleazy with a hint of shit acting for good measure, then check this film out. If I could rate this out of 5 I would give it a 5. Sure there are things wrong with it, but I believe with some films things go wrong for the right reasons.
Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch’s directorial debut is a pleasant surprise that has come out of left field in more ways than one. Funded in part by Kickstarter and turned down by all major funding bodies until Barry Mendel, producer of the likes of Bridesmaids and Serenity, came on board to make Murdoch’s vision a reality. God Help the Girl has a wonderfully lo-fi, messy look that stays the right side of charming and is like nothing else you will see this year. Perhaps the film’s closest spiritual cousin is Begin Again (2014), that other ramshackle tale of down at heel people finding purpose again through music.
Emily Browning plays Eve, a teenager with an eating disorder who has hit rock bottom self-esteem wise until a chance meeting with James (Olly Alexander) leads to an unlikely alliance in which they decide to form a band, along with singer Cassie (Hannah Murray). What follows are a series of escapades as the three newfound friends find purpose through their music, working towards that all important first gig. God Help the Girl is a musical in the loosest sense; the cast regularly breaks out into Belle and Sebastian’s whimsical ditties, which may charm or irritate depending on your take on that kind of music. Sometimes, the songs feel shoehorned into the film without making much sense in the overall narrative, however this disconnect only adds to the rough edges that add to the film’s charm. If you thought Begin Again had a low-budget feel, this looks like it was made for about a tenner.
The leads are all perfect in their roles, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray capturing the naiveté and pomposity of youth, and Emily Browning is wonderful in a difficult role as Eve, her character suffering from the outset with an eating disorder and slowly finding healing and purpose once more. It is a credit to Browning’s performance and Murdoch’s sensitive, yet unsentimental writing of such an issue that it does not overwhelm the film’s tone, acting more as a dramatic counterweight to the whimsy.
God Help the Girl is sweet, charming, funny, sometimes clunky and irritating, but ultimately winning. It’s a film, which has heart and soul, and wears it proudly on its tweed-jacketed sleeve.
I often get free passes to films, usually I have some awareness of what the film is or who is starring in it. Last night I went to see The Guest with zero knowledge of the plot, cast or director, hadn’t seen a trailer or any press for it beyond a few poster on the side of red double deckers.
Just before the film started, someone came out to introduce it, as so often happens with previews, and described the film as “Drive crossed with Terminator, and some Halloween thrown in”. Now, crazy as it sounds, that is exactly what The Guest felt like even though it shares very little plot wise with any of those films. But in terms of tone, it hits all three, a bizarre hybrid of different genres. If I had to pick, it’s a violent thriller, but so much more than that.
This is going to be a tricky review, as to reveal too much about the plot would utterly ruin your enjoyment of the film itself, it is implied at several points that the film will go in one direction and you know which characters you should be rooting for, only to have your head spun in completely the other direction more than once, and the whole film is flipped around so fast it gives the audience whiplash.
The titular ‘Guest’ is played by Dan Stevens, who, I’m told was once on a little show called Downton Abbey, which I have not seen. He plays a soldier, David, who rocks up at the home of another soldier he served with, that died. He seems charming, perhaps a little quiet and overly, unsettlingly polite, but nice enough as he becomes part of these people’s lives. He claims to be there simply to fulfil the dying wish of his friend, just to check on the family.
However it is obvious fairly early on that something is very wrong. Once David has started beating up bullies, using all of his army skills, smashing heads off walls, you do get the impression this film has a lot in common with Drive. A stoic anti-hero type who ends up helping others, usually with a lot of violence. There’s also a Drive-esque soundtrack and a similarity in cinematography in places.
This manages to be an action film, a thriller and a definitely a horror film before the credits roll. It is also wickedly funny in places. I’m not sure I have ever seen anything quite like it, and that might be what I enjoyed the most, the film does go a little of the proverbial rails towards the end with a few plot points that didn’t really need to be revealed and could have been left as mystery. But there’s one crucial point where everything changes for David and the other characters, which drew gasps from the audience, because you just don’t think it will play out the way it does.
It is excellently directed by Adam Wingard, who keeps the whole film incredibly tense, on a knife edge, and I will absolutely go back and have a look at his earlier work after this. For me, the standout was Dan Stevens, with a difficult character to play, someone who is largely emotionless but we can clearly see the damage beneath, able to be charming and deeply scary at the same time. I suspect he might end up having a pretty decent Hollywood career ahead of him if this is anything to go by.
The Guest probably isn’t for everyone, the tone and genre does, deliberately, jump around but it keeps things interesting all the way through. If you want something a little different, this is well worth checking out.
The Guest opens in the UK on September 5th, and September 17th in the US.
Thanks for joining us yet again for the Inglorious Bastnerds Podcast. It’s a short one, running just under an hour.
It maybe short but’s very sweet. Anyway In this episode of the podcast featuring myself Chris Byrne @CinemaTronix and my faithful sidekick Scott Allden @Celluloidical and making his third appearance Mr Baz Film @Baz_Film
This week we talk about continuity errors, I get angry over Woody Allan, how we all react to films differently and more…
Please check out Baz’s radio show tomorrow on the 4th September 2014 here http://banburylive.com where he’ll be talking about favourite films from the 80’s so maker sure you check that out.
Please follow us on twitter and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes