From the Quirky Queue of PCG
FROM PCG’S QUIRKY QUEUE:
Here’s a capsulized look at some of my recent film viewings:
THE BAY: Another variation on the found footage genre, the central conceit being that it is composed of various snippets of news broadcasts and amateur video footage, not unlike The Fourth Kind or District 9. Decent performances and editing make it a stand out.
LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA: 80s era Shaw Brothers period kung fu epic is a good showcase not only of the titular weapons, but the amazing athletic prowess of stars Liu Chia Liang, Hsiao Ho, (Alexander) Fu Sheng. There’s even a small but action packed appearance by Gordon Liu. Mixed in with the kung fu are some fireworks-enhanced Taoist magic sequences, including a hilarious and mind-blowing “voodoo” doll fight.
SLA$HERS: A clever enough concept; it plays as an episode of Japan’s hottest game show, whose premise is that a small group of willing participants must survive in a complex patrolled by three deranged murderers. They form alliances, have cat fights and talk to the camera just like, say, Survivor, only there’s no question this is fake so it’s much more entertaining. But we’ve all seen how stagey acting fails on video, and that’s exactly what happens here. Ultimately, I can only recommend it to a very limited audience who might like to see how beautifully some of the gore effects are executed without a camera cut.
KILL!: Black and white samurai drama from 1969 that will likely be too dated for most viewers, but notable for its beautiful photography and disciplined performances.
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW: Supremely bizarre, often slow but mesmerizing head-trip sci-fi horror set in the eighties at a new age “self-actualizing” center, a vast complex that serves as a house of horrors for one mute young would-be escapee. If you don’t like stepping out of the comfort zone of traditional narrative, skip it. Otherwise, you’ll definitely want to re-watch this one a couple of times.
THE PACT: Recalling both A STIR OF ECHOES, and PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS with frequent homages to HALLOWEEN, it has its moments.
nWo: THE REVOLUTION: WWE produced documentary about the edgiest era of pro-wrestling, this mostly tries to make the whole ridiculous nWo era seem like good times, even though it essentially killed WCW, which was WWE’s biggest competitor at one time.
THE GREY: Liam Neeson plays a tortured soul who seems ready to end it all, until nature calls his bluff in the form of a plane crash that lands him in an arctic wilderness dangerously close to a wolfpack’s den. Don’t be surprised if this one veers far from your expectations.
KILL ‘EM ALL: SAW meets BANGKOK KNOCKOUT when a small band of international assassins finds themselves locked in a warehouse and forced to fight each other and an endless army of baddies on the way to a showdown with Gordon Liu. You could do worse if you’re looking for simplistic action.
THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS: What I expected to be a slasher flick was actually an unusual psych horror thriller with some nice twists. Look for a sock puppet that steals the show in a truly unnerving manner. Look for the legendary Alice Cooper in an on-the-nose cameo.
I’d love to hear your take on these!