Risen From The Grave To Rent Casino. Again.
Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
I’m not entirely sure what the big deal with this movie is. It made a big splash at horror film festivals around the world last year, and has been granted a North American theatrical release, something that’s pretty rare for a foreign film unless it contains lesbians or looks like a Superbowl ad. As far as I can tell, it’s a fairly standard horror/comedy hybrid, made all the more hilarious because it’s Australian, so everybody says their lines like they’re asking a question after huffing a helium balloon. A horror film that’s half Night of the Living Dead, half X-Files, and all crap, Undead feels like a mix between The Evil Dead and early Peter Jackson movies, but what was fresh and exciting in the 80s has long since past its expiration date and is beginning to smell like curdled buttermilk. Bad Taste, Meet The Feebles, and to a lesser extent Dead-Alive were not without their charm, with inventive, low-budget splatstick appeal, like gore films made by one of the Garbage Pail kids, but that trail has already been blazed, and clearly Peter Jackson has been devouring all pretenders to his indy-horror throne.
Oh, and incidentally, knowing all about Jackson’s pre-Lord of the Rings work does not make you cool. What it makes you is the horror movie equivalent of those guys who come into video stores with their dates acting like they’re the Village Voice film department just because they’re renting Pi. Like Aronofsky, the early Jackson films are among the worst kept secrets in the independent film world. It’s like going into Chapters and bragging to the cute salesclerk that you owned a hardback of Angels & Insects months before The DaVinci Code came out. She’s smiling politely, but all she really wants is to beat you to death with a Tom Clancy novel and drag your corpse to the enormous bonfire where bookstore owners ritualistically burn copies of The Celestine Prophecy and effigies of Stephen King. And you’ll deserve it, too, jackass, because you’re probably proud that you saw Mallrats in theatres. Here’s a tip: If you’ve heard of it, it’s not independent, and it’s probably not any good. For once, try watching something you’ve never heard of, or just save yourself the embarrassment and go rent Scarface for the eight-hundredth time. In fact, for your renting pleasure, here are the top six films you’re not cool for having seen.
1) Pi. Let it go. Yes, I know it’s cut like a crystal meth binge, and it’s in black and white, but all that means is Aronofsky didn’t have the money to shoot anything interesting, so they had to edit the rough cut with a paper shredder to make it snappy.
2) The Boondock Saints. Oh. My. Christ. This movie is terrible. It’s got guns, the Irish, and slow motion! Throw in some religious overtones and you’ve got every House of Pain wannabe and his cross-eyed girlfriend stumbling over each other to rap the movie’s praises. It's like The Matrix banged Pulp Fiction and they had a retarded baby. Face it, it’s stupid. If it blew your mind, don’t admit that in public.
3) Donnie Darko. When in doubt, confuse. And what’s more confusing that Patrick Swayze acting again? Bunny suits and that water alien from The Abyss, that’s what.
4) Snatch. Did you like Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels? So did everyone else. So much so that Guy Ritchie decided to make the movie over again, only this time without a script.
5) Doom Generation. Rose McGowan’s breasts seemed like a good reason to see this movie, but then I realized that your average porn flick would have a higher tit-per-minute ratio, and much less pretentious dialogue. My hatred of this movie is not lessened by the fact that director Greg Araki’s Mysterious Skin was probably the best movie I’ve seen all year.
6) Mysterious Skin. An evil, shocking, and antagonistic film. Think Happiness but with significantly more fisting. If you like this movie, you’re either deliberately contrary, crazy into kiddie porn, or a bitter film blogger. Or, all of the above.
See you at the video store. I’ll be the one renting Scarface.