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Short Reviews

While I usually spend a few days with a single film for the "reviews" for this site, watching and rewatching, making notes, editing (etc…), I thought I might change it up this week. So below are some quick thoughts on shit that I have checked out for the first time within the last few days. This includes some relatively more mainstream media, recent random finds, and my usual weird fare. Unlike my other reviews, I have only watched these things once. As these are mostly knee -jerk reactions, all are subject to me completely changing my mind on a second viewing, absolute misunderstanding on my part, or a full "review" at a future date.

Midsommar (2019)

promotional picture via imdb.com
A beautiful, finely detailed piece that has just enough unnecessary spinning camera tricks to effectively utilize the style choice. I fell in love with the pacing, and the bits of gore kept their impact with some unexpected comedy. In all honesty, it was one of the best mainstream theatre experiences I have had in months (not actually saying much). Those up on their 70s classics (or at least Shirley Jackson’s written work), will find no surprises in the plot, aside from the variety of execution. Fortunately, the whole thing works on several levels without a defined twist.

It Came! (1993)

What initially starts out with an inebriated Richard Jenkins look-alike describing drinking game rules, goes on to be a trashy SOV ode to something like Zapped! (1982) mixed with a crude version of Shocker (1989) and an action film that Troma would have picked up from a third party in the middle of the 90s. I wasn't mad.
(IMBD - Source Toxic Filth)

Stranger Things - Season 3 (2019)

I don't want to say anything negative, so I'll just instead say, it would have been a more fitting "homage" to the third movie in an 80s genre series, if they would have cut the budget in half and maybe switched an actor in the main cast and played it off like it was the same person or killed someone off-screen in-between seasons.
(IMDB - WIKI - Source Netflix)

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

How come no one told me they remade Flatliners in 2008? I guess I remember hearing something about it, possibly scoffing and then just ignoring it, so maybe it's my bad. Anyway, time (and the three dollar DVD bucket at Walmart) has a way of changing perspectives, so we made our way to each other sooner or later. Surprisingly, unlike the official remake, which plopped out nine years following as one of the many soulless poster children for unnecessary remixes, this rip off has some angry (and angsty) kick to it. It didn't blow me away, and the jump -scare stuff falls flat, but it has a few solid performances and some spirited context on top of the b-movie format that I can get behind. Also, and not to hark on this, it really makes that 2017 Flatliners feel all the more worthless.
(IMDB - WIKI - Amazon)

VigasioSexploitation Vol.2 (2011)

As far as I can tell, the film follows a large breasted woman who is gifted a magic mustache from a skull mask-wearing wizard. She then suits up in some leather and goes out to fuck some shit up and get laid while mad scientists and possibly sinister aliens work together on a race of superhuman extraterrestrial hybrids (I think). I won't ruin anything else (fucking titty guns!! Okay nothing else). It was like Jess Franco adapted a hypersexual anime with someone more basic (and a little more generic) controlling the camera. I was both entertained and thoroughly confused, which is one of my favorite states of being. It wasn't the most awkward chubby of the month, but it was up there.
(IMDB - Source Toxic Filth)

Digital Religious Artifact 

FOUND FOOTAGE "...the big three..."

Meditation seems like something I could use in my life. I have known people fully practiced in the art and have seen the benefits. It's pretty basic stuff. The idea is to clear your mind, find a center of some kind, get extra relaxed, and reap the benefits of the more composed. I could do with a “centering” and some composure. Unfortunately, I have trouble with the "clearing" part, I think I'm chronically cluttered. I have tried a few techniques, including some guided practice. Can someone be immune to this kind of thing? I try to give in to a simpler state of thought, but as soon as my mind can declutter, it's conjuring monsters, boobs, killer robots or all three with explosions and narration by Jonathan Frakes. However, today, I am proud to report that I may have come close while engulfed in the following clip.
Listening to an elderly man's aimless commentary while he pans around documenting his yard in analog seems to do the trick.
 What are his motives for making this 8MM time capsule? Who is this footage for? 
In that beautiful alien moment, I care not, those things don't matter-- it simply needed to happen. Accompanied by a loved one with symphonic chaos, the nameless geriatric makes sure to capture every detail for some forever mysterious posterity. The grainy, pointless tour is, for whatever reason, a calming blanket on my soul and brings me to a place of almost spooky stillness. Thanks, man with Sanyo VISION 8 Camcorder from the past, for your guidance in my path to Nirvana.
(Source: Magnetic Catacombs Youtube)

New full review coming next week. In the meantime, if there are any Digital Religious Artifacts you think I need to see, send them my way by way of email (contact@videoreligion.net), social media, or the comment section below--along with your own reviews, love letters cut from stolen magazines and or critical animosity written in crayon, etc.


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