Indie Gems: Baskin

Not your average patrol night.

A group of Turkish police offers respond to a call for back up in a nearby town. When they arrive at the abandoned building, they find a black mass and a portal to Hell. 

For my horror themed Indie Gems this month, I started with a documentary that is an actual horror story, some camp, a home invasion flick, and figured I'd end the month with something truly gory. Like, uncomfortable gore. The last 20 minutes or so of this movie are hard to watch and I found myself actually looking away a few times.

This one is a slow burn. Half the movie happens before they get to the building where shit hits the fan. In fact, it's so good at building dread that I almost chickened out during it because I started to wonder if this was going to end up being like Martyrs. (I still find Martyrs to be the harder watch)

Admittedly, the story is pretty weak, but the cinematography is gorgeous. The movie is practically bathed in red and really sets the tone for all the terrible things to come. The score is hauntingly perfect. It's not an easy watch, but it's one I'm glad to have made it through. 

Grade: B-

Watched on: Netflix Instant

Memorable Quote:"I keep having that same dream." - Arda (Gorkem Kasal)

Thursday Movie Picks: Epidemic/Pandemic/Outbreaks

The final Halloween theme this month from Wandering Through the Shelves is about epidemics/outbreaks. Don't worry, I'm not going to do what I did last week and only pick Dawn of the Dead movies. 

1) 28 Days Later

Those damn animals activists. Trying to release infected chimps and inadvertently released the rage virus on civilization instead. This is definitely one of my all time favorite horror movies. The shot of Cillian Murphy walking in an abandoned London is hauntingly beautiful. 

2) Cabin Fever

Eli Roth knows horror, and Cabin Fever is the perfect combination of campiness and sickening gore. The campers in this film are exposed to a flesh eating virus that rapidly spreads between them.

3) Planet Terror

A bio tech experiment goes horribly wrong and everyone exposed to the gas turns into a zombie. This film was one half of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse feature, and in my opinion it's the far superior half.

DVD Review: The Neon Demon

Beauty is everything.

Jesse (Elle Fanning) is sixteen years old and has just moved to Los Angeles to become a model. She's befriended by a make up artist, Ruby (Jena Malone) immediately but finds that other models, particularly Sarah (Abbey Lee) and Gigi (Bella Heathcote) are jealous of her natural beauty. Then thing get weird.

I have a strange relationship when it comes to director Nicholas Winding Refn. Drive is an excellent movie and because of that I was immediately sold on his last feature, Only God Forgives which ended up being a pretentious mess. So where does The Neon Demon fall? In between, definitely. Neck and neck with Bronson

The film is gorgeous to look at, which Refn's films always are. He has a great use of color in his movies that always fits the narrative. He makes a few missteps with the length of some of his shots. Beautiful as they are, I found myself wanting to fast forward through a few. 15 minutes could've easily been shaved off the film just be shortening a few takes. But the story makes it worth while. 

Jena Malone is the stand out acting wise, as usual. Her character, who ends up doing some of the most fucked up things in the film could not be easy to play. Elle was great as the naive new girl in town, but as her character grew more cocky, I felt it didn't suit Elle very well. Abbey Lee is also good as a ferocious model. I loved her scenes. 

If you're in for some glittery, neon fucked upness, this film is for you. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Is that a compliment?" - Jesse (Elle Fanning)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Westworld, The Walking Dead, and Agents of SHIELD

The Walking Dead

After the worst ratings grab cliffhanger in TV history, TWD comes back and...makes you keep waiting for it. They don't want any of you to turn the channel.

Honestly, The Walking Dead doesn't trust their audience. There, I said it. I've been thinking it for a while, ever since show runner Scott Gimple went in cry baby mode last season saying critics "didn't get" what he was trying to do. They wanted so badly to have a "Red Wedding" episode with this premiere, but they don't trust us enough to feel the character's anguish, so they play with time to make sure their ratings stay high. Then they keep piling it on and on and on. They've completely missed what made Game of Thrones' The Rains of Castamere so well done. It was heartbreaking, surprising, and above all, still good TV. This wasn't. It's like they turned it into the Walking Torture Porn (which is hilariously something Andrew Lincoln said the show would never do) The actors weren't given much of an opportunity to look anything but sad. 

Glenn was one of my favorite characters and it sucks to lose him when she show treated him so badly. Glenn never got a bottle episode devoted completely to him (get ready for more of those this season) He never got to talk about the fall out of him killing a person for the first time. He should've been the one to encounter Jesus with Rick instead of Daryl. Glenn deserved better than getting reduced to a shock death so half the general audience could think "at least they didn't kill Daryl!" Abe was also a good character in his own right, and he's also getting the short end of the stick. Rick imagining everyone else getting hit with that back takes the impact away from what actually happened.

I think I'm too angry to feel genuine sadness right now. This was one of the few cases where most of the episode read exactly like the spoilers. (the only part that was better on screen were Sasha and Rosita's final conversation) It just wasn't good TV. It was overkill and manipulative in the worst way.

I'm only watching this show for Carol and Rick at this point. I hate being invested in characters on a show that's so wildly inconsistent. 


Lucky for me, Westworld continues to impress. 

The biggest part of the episode was the Man in Black being revealed to have a "foundation" that helps people in the real world. I imagine he does something great to combat how shitty he acts in the park. We also got to meet a new character, Armistice who's a great addition

William and Dolores are cute together. It's a shame Logan keeps acting like a total twatwaffle. William telling him to "Stop trying to kill or fuck everything" was perfect.

Mauve is also getting to the bottom of some of her questions. Next week's preview looks to be intense in regards to that.

Can Dr. Ford get any creepier? I was surprised he told Theresa he knew she and Bernard were fucking. 

Agents of SHIELD

Unfortunately we're back to Daisy of SHIELD this week. I'll never stop being bitter that they try to force her into being the lead. She tricks Simmons into think she's found the dream apartment for her and Fitz (then pays for it with the money she's stolen) and forces Jemma to let her use SHIELD's computers to find other Inhumans.

Then they go to Inhuman Jason, who I still don't care about despite some okay comic relief last season. Turns out, he's working with the Watch Dogs and when he's just about to kill Daisy and Jemma, Mack, Coulson and Robbie (who they've had in containment most of the episode) show up and Robbie kick's Jason's ass...but brings him out alive. Boo. That scene looked amazing, at least.

Of course when Coulson and Mack see Daisy, their boners shoot through the roof. Then they tell her and Robbie they have to work with SHIELD now to stop the watch dogs.

Highlight of the ep: Something I was sure they were going to use to start a huge fight between Fitz and Simmons didn't work out that way, yay!

Other TV Ramblings:

The "Trump supporter on Black Jeopardy" sketch on SNL was hysterical. I had no idea Lady Gaga was apparently doing country music now, though. Wtf was that? I also caught some of the Rocky Horror Picture Show remake, and aside from the people playing Brad and Janet having good voices, I had to turn it off. They couldn't be raunchy enough on network TV and it just didn't have the same campy vibe the original had. The costumes were amazing though.

Rambling TV is a series where I ramble semi coherently about the things I watched on television. This week I raged typed everything after watching The Walking Dead. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

Indie Gems: Hush


Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a deaf author who lives a solitary life. She's trying to finish her next book in her secluded mountain home. One night, a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) shows up and starts terrorizing her in her home. 

We get to know enough of Maddie and her headspace before the man shows up to inevitably ruin everything. The film doesn't hold back on the creep factor. He cuts the power, so Maddie is literally in the dark and can't hear a thing. The atmosphere is astounding in that regard. There's so much quiet dread. 

I said this earlier when I reviewed the equally brilliant Don't Breathe, but I normally don't do home invasion movies. The buzz around this one was so strong that I started it without even seeing a trailer. Siegel (who co-wrote the film) is fantastic, and I've been a huge Gallagher fan since I watched him in the Newsroom. It's certainly a different type of role.

Scary and uncomfortable, I can't recommend this one enough.

Grade: A-

Watched on: Netflix Instant

Memorable Quote: "You've seen it now." - Man (John Gallagher Jr.)

Thursday Movie Picks: Sci Fi Horror

My four year old's new favorite phrase is "outta this world" and that's exactly what this week's Halloween theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is: science fiction horror. While I at least make an attempt to be creative each week, this time I'm going for the typical route. Remind me to watch Videodrome, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and to finish Eraserhead.

1) Alien

I'd wager this will end up on everyone's list. This is the ultimate sci fi horror film. It features one of the best female characters in cinema in the form of Ellen Ripley, and it has some very memorable and creepy moments.

2) Alien 3

This is a shock, right? You thought I'd for for Aliens. Nope. Alien 3, baby. I like this one, I know most seem to hate it. It probably helps that I've only seen the directors cut of it on blu ray. I never saw this in theaters because I was too busy being five. 

3) Alien vs Predator

I'm a sucker for these versus movies. Freddy vs Jason amused me too. My friend and I got in a huge debate while we were waiting for this movie to start over who should properly win in this fight (I voted Alien) Nobody gives a fuck about the humans in this movie, we're here for the monsters.

DVD Review: The Bronze

But I'm a star.

When Hope (Melissa Rauch) was 17, she suffered a career ending injury on the Olympic stage when she broke her ankle on the beam. She managed to pull herself through the bars routine and win the bronze medal. Since then, she still lives in her small town in Ohio where she's completely worshiped as a hero. But now she's lazy, rude, and refuses to get a job. When she finds out her former coach committed suicide and pledged to leave a hefty inheritance to her if she coaches her new prodigy, Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) Hope decides to slack her way through that as well. But when a former rival, Lance (Sebastian Stan) berates her for her poor job, she starts actually trying to get Maggie to the Olympics. 

I know this film kind of bombed at the box office, but I like vulgar comedies so I gave it a try. Unfortunately, it suffers from a protagonist so unlikable that she isn't funny. It was the same issue I had with Eastbound and Down only ten times worse. There's no redeeming quality to Hope and her jokes aren't funny enough to make up for it. It's a shame that actors like Gary Cole, Thomas Middltdich and Cecily Strong got roped into this as well.

Rauch wrote this film with her husband, yet her performance is very bland. Richardson as the adorable Maggie is the stand out alongside Middleditch. The only part of this film that manages to be surprising is an gymnastic routine sex scene between Rauch and Stan, she used a body double, but he didn't. So you get to see his glorious ass. The sad part is, that's the highlight.

Recommended: No

Grade: F

Memorable Quote: "Stop talking, I'm thinking." - Hope (Melissa Rauch)