Thursday, November 22, 2018

Five Families to Avoid Having Dinner With

The Von Geisler Family

Frontier(s) (2007)

Von Geisler is the family patriarch and Nazi member who owns a family Inn and farm near the French border. His daughters seduce some young men who are fleeing a bank robbery and they are soon held captive along with a female friend who is sought as a possible spouse for his son Karl. When she is deemed unsuitable they learn of the families other dark secrets when they are introduced to the meek young girl Eva who looks after the rejected members of the family.

The Parker Family

We Are What We Are (2013)

A small traditional family that owns a large tract of land that has been passed down through the previous generations, the Parkers are respected by the local community who give them their privacy. Yet one of the most cherished family traditions is kept a tight secret and it is in the hands of the daughters Iris and Rose to decide if they will carry on the duties of preparing the special feast after the unexpected death of their mother.  

The Odets Family

Wrong Turn 2 (2007)

The Odets Family is a clan of inbred cannibal mutants who live in the remote mountains of West Virginia. The family ancestors worked in the paper mill until it was closed after years of dumping chemicals in the water supply. The local animal population was wiped out so the family turned to kidnap and murdering travelers to cut up for meals. The Odets suffer from severe birth defects but also possess a strong resistance to pain and can survive attacks that would kill most others. 

The Jupiter Clan

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

The Jupiter Clan are a family made up of a father, his three sons and a daughter who prey on travelers who get stuck in the desert. The family of mutants was descended from miners who were caught in the proximity of nuclear bomb tests with the radiation scarring them and leaving them to turn to cannibalism to survive. 

The Sawyer Family 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Sawyer family is a collection of cannibals who live in an old house in a remote Texas town, Drayton Sawyer operates a gas station and BBQ restaurant that serves as a cover to lure travelers who are kidnapped, tied up and left to Leatherface to cut up with his chainsaw. The family also includes the crazy twin brothers Nubbins, Choptop (TCM 2) and Grandpa who despite looking dead is very much alive and enjoys the taste of human blood.  

--Bonus Round--

Farmer Vincent Smith

Motel Hell (1980)

Farmer Vincent has built a reputation with his smoked meats and fritters. He is proud to tell people that he uses all natural ingredients and no preservatives, yet Farmer Vincent has some secrets and one does not want to wander into his motel unless they want to be a part of the menu. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Her identity was stolen, yet the thief is someone all too familiar

Cam (2018)
Dir- Daniel Goldhaber

The perils of the internet and new media are the subjects of this 2018 horror film by first time director Daniel Goldhaber. Madeline Brewer stars as Alice who works as a camgirl under the alias Lola. When introduced we see her performing in front of a webcam and hosting a broadcast where she interacts with fans who reward her for her performance. It is shown that her attempt to reach higher levels are being thwarted by a rival so she knows she has to get creative and do something more risque. After she participates in a show with another camgirl she finds her account has been hacked and she is no longer able to access her profile. Alice is then shocked to discover that someone who looks like herself is performing on her webcast as Lola and pushing the limits beyond her own comfort level. What happens after will test her resolve as she faces the consequences and aftermath of her doubles actions. Cam was written by Isa Mazzei who worked as a camgirl and used her experience to create the role of Alice and Lola. In this role you see the life of a sex worker as most would never expect, its a job and one that requires planning, preparation and most importantly the desire to share intimacy with strangers who share no physical contact with her. Cam is a feminist horror film with a protagonist who knows her family will not approve of what she does but it gives her the freedom to own a home, live her life as she chooses and when that freedom is threatened she will fight back to regain her identity even if its made up. Cam is unlike most other horror films being released as it does incorporate the all too real-life risks and dangers that social media can bring about while telling a compelling story of a woman who fights back to protect herself. As a male viewer, I was reminded of how women are often objectified and victimized even by those who are sworn to protect them, and how we all must open our eyes to understand how our lack of awareness often makes it tougher for women to feel safe or treated equally.  In this respect, the movie Cam is one of the more important films of our age and will reach out to all viewers of all genders.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Overlord aka JJ Abrams makes a Castle Wolfenstein movie

Overlord (2018)
Dir- Julius Avery

World War 2 movies have been quite popular for many years with improved special effects adding to the realism along with better narratives thanks to the success of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. Taking elements of Band of Brothers the JJ Abrams Bad Robot-produced movie Overlord starts off with some pretty intense battle scenes as a platoon of paratroopers prepares for a mission prior to the D-Day Invasion. This group is tasked with the destruction of some communication towers in a small French village that is occupied by Nazi's. Plans go haywire as the plane is hit and many of the men are lost leaving a small band of soldiers led by a Sgt who is the explosives expert and a fresh private who has not seen action. Once inside the village, they meet a young woman who hides them in her home and then reveals that the castle they intend to attack has something sinister going on inside. Overlord was produced in a secretive manner and there was speculation the movie was going to be a part of the Cloverfield universe. Instead, the movie becomes what could have been a great Castle Wolfenstein movie that never got made. The action scenes are intense and rival most war movies, the film also has excellent creature effects and is quite gory even for a war movie. The latter half of the film treads into territory that is already quite familiar but the standout performance of Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell keep the film exciting and entertaining. I watched the film back in September 2018 during Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas and the movie was well received by critics and was one of the standout films of note along with Halloween and Suspiria.