The First Trio of Celluloid Delights of ‘16
Director; Wayne Kramer
Anchor Bay Films, Mimran Schur Pictures
Paul Walker stars as one such type (though he never sets foot in the place).
Down on his luck and higher than an orbiting satellite he collaborates with another, Kevin Rankin, in hopes that knocking off their meth dealer will satisfy their immediate lack of funds and a shortcut to their next 'trip'.
Matt Dillon plays a recently married man in quite the financial quandary. Upon placing his peepers on a specific object in the store his demeanor changes dramatically and he leaves his stunned bride in search of answers.
A stubborn Elvis impersonator, Brendan Fraser, with no place to go but up also finds his way into the establishment. He needs funds to be able to fuel up his (monster of a) Caddy in order to reach his next gig.
As if you haven't guessed it yet PSC is a collection of tales that weave together at some point within the feature. Each is interesting in its own way. Paul Walker proves his worth by playing an exquisite portrayal of a meth head, strange though that at one point he asks a strikingly sober question that has vexed many for several decades.
Matt Dillon steals the screen with his antics in chasing down the answer and conclusion of a question that burns at his very soul. In the 'wake' he runs into Elijah Wood, whom many remember as a lovable Hobbit nothing at all like his character within this feature.
Other characters grace the screen as each tale pans out with their own special brand of calamity and chaos. DJ Qualls is an innocuous thief whose criminal days may in fact be numbered and Norman Reedus (yes that one, Boondock Saints and The Walking Dead fame) has a visage that's never seen but a voice that sounds nothing but amused at all that surrounds it.
(Note of interest his image on the DVD's cover is lifted directly from the Boondock Saints DVD, you never actually see his face)
There's a mysterious cowboy character, The Man (Thomas Jane) with a huge shotgun, conversations about interracial pornography and so many naked ladies covered in their own filth parading around that I've lost count but not the image.
What else do you need...seriously? Whoops - nearly forgot the vertically challenged gent in the death metal fueled Monster truck.
But that's not it ladies and gentlemen surround all these scenarios in a small- Southern - town environment and you have nothing but an inferno fit to ignite.
Not intrigued enough yet, then I'll merely mention that the same director was also responsible for one of my all time favorite movies, also featuring Paul Walker (RIP), Running Scared. Suffice it to say this is also flooded with images, dark humor and explosive scenes that will stay with you for some time after. Pick it up, it'll make you laugh, cringe and say who the 'F' is that behind the mask?
Director; Teddy Chan
Beijing Silver Moon Productions, Emperor Motion Pictures
In regards to this film he plays a martial arts instructor recently imprisoned for accidently killing a man. Within no time whatsoever however he finds himself knee deep in an investigation to find the person responsible, actor Baoqiang Wang, for killing numerous persons all incidentally masters of their own disciplinary 'craft'.
More of a homage and celebration of the genre as a whole than merely just a film KFK showcases the various talents of many who have either graced or have been behind the lens in the martial arts genre within its celebrated and illustrious history. Notably the flexibility and eye opening talents of a plethora of genre icons as they each do battle as the film progresses nearing its climax a showdown featuring fifteen foot long bamboo poles, death defying stunt laden antics and face cracking kicks within rush hour traffic on a major highway (I am not shitting ya-!)
All in all this may well be 'the film to be beaten' in relation to jaw dropping gymnastics, limb flying showdowns, wicked nasty looking stunts and the utilization of the genre blanketing cast.
A great way to “toast” the genre.
Director; Brendon Bassham
I won't spoil this scene though I will state that it's a fantastic opening to the movie with effective dark humor that takes the viewer's expectations and flips them none too kindly on their backside.
The remainder of the movie plays out much the same way. Touching upon current tabloid headlines adding a sarcastic twist and amusing tone. Fear Town also takes time out to impart a tongue-in-cheek view upon a plethora of other subjects. Lesser known Holidays (such as St. Blevins day) and the pressures most females face on an everyday basis are only some of the topics covered by a thick shroud of amusement.
Two small groups of youths (most would deem them nerds though not in the good way) spend the length of the movie attempting to gain entry to a St. Blevin's Day bash regardless of the fact that they've been disinvited.
Add a maniac in a wielders helmet, suit and gloves (an obvious tip of the hat, albeit in jest, to numerous well dressed antagonists from several slasher features in the 80's), an escaped convict and a female on an epic quest to hook up with a mysterious blind date (not quite up to code with the current trend of abbreviating every-damn-thing) and you've got all the ingredients for what might well up being a horrendous hodge podge of a movie.
Fear not though oh worrisome one as Brendon Bassham (also responsible for the quite brilliant and uber memorable low budget treat The Slashening) and the ensemble cast and crew manage to concoct a tale that effectively encompasses all these aspects, a gleeful nod to genre films of the 70's and 80's especially Sleepaway Camp and numerous scenes a-drip with over the top antics you might not expect. The overall vibe screams a bloody good time and an undeniable air of competence in filmmaking all within a budget I could throw down and still require the same again to purchase even the most affordable of new vehicle sans warranty.
Many of the character's obsession with “crushing pussy” is hilarious, many would even state that the whole idea behind St. Blevins is to do just that. Although the host does his best to give somewhat of a guided tour of the St Blevins tradition supplying details on loyalty the values of friendship, Jesuits driving Polish children in the ocean and wot not. Two participants within the partying group especially stand out, a pair of seemingly stereotypical jock bullies who deem it perfectly alright to pounce on an unconscious drunk in a darkened room only then to find out that it doesn't feel quite right and that karma has other ideas in store for them as they begin to contemplate on their recent actions perhaps a moment too late.
Despite all the humor there are also a collection of serious scenes.
One in particular had me rolling (damn near off the couch) within which two friends share a joint and reflect upon coin toss decisions that might well have the power to determine one's immediate life direction. All the while during this self awareness monologue a close friend is about a dozen feet behind enjoying a warm throat embrace from a masked man's tightening grip.
Another scene (ironically involving the same characters) includes a bow and arrow, a one in a million shot, an elongated look of shrieking horror and several moments of feigned exasperation followed by sweaty exertion and bloodshed.
Fear Town (USA) isn't however without its sequences of romance either not all include 'pussy crushing' as one might expect. Two of which stand out like Waldo in an industrial blender. One closer to the movie's final that I'll touch upon a little later and the other involving an act that only takes place after it's been so lovingly prompted and appreciated as something that's an honor to perform, or so this movie would have us believe. In my opinion the final result of this scene rivals that of any notable screen shot within any Jason movie (bring on the haters!).
I cannot bring these musings to a close without mentioning the impromptu sing-a-long. Not usually one to enjoy any features that break into tune and merriment I was quite taken aback to find myself cheering along to each character's version of FML and the depressing awkwardness the track finally dissolved into.
Whoops I nearly also forgot another spark of brilliance Fear Town USA boasts, a sequence in which the use of 3D glasses are required. This is another nod towards the 80's and a forgotten gimmick that pretty much died with Friday the 13th part 3 (duh), Jaws 3(D) and other assorted titles all of which I've somehow lost my trendy headgear for.
A glorious (there Feind I used it!) scene very close to the end ties up a lot of loose ends and gives new meaning to the term 'climax'. A scene that might disgust some, make others turn vomiting a copious technicolor vision of last night's dinner towards those sitting close by others may in fact enjoy it's deviancy tremendously, like myself.
Brilliantly shot, most probably improved to completion, full of hidden meanings, messages and some not quite so obvious life lessons Fear Town USA is a winner of a movie sure to titillate those that demand only the finest of bizarre treats that the Indy industry, full of unadulterated open minded creativity and no care for Hollywood advertisers, has to offer.
And this is the main reason the Indy film arena need to be supported...
Please Sir can I have some more?
A higher portion slanted by way of comedy than horror, though regardless an amazing offering (sporting an unbelievably meager ten thousand dollar budget) that deserves consideration for those that like their movies with more than a generous helping of double entendres, irony and silliness. Let's not forget buckets of blood, decapitations and an odd appearance by someone who may or may not in fact be the Devil himself though it's doubtful as another in the party appears to act more so the way one might assume the Devil to...dammit! You’re embarrassing me.
I'd swear you're the devil. That maniacal laugh and your eyes they just glowed with fire...
Nah it was merely a reflection and I just remembered somethig funny from a television show.
...Oh OK sorry. - Cult
I wonder if I had the ability to make the contents of my wishlist come to fruition could Dire Wit Films and Annum Film (directors Mark Cosgrove and Brendon Bassham) perhaps make a movie together..?
Perhaps it'll take more than just a mere bucket load of suggestions though I shall endeavor to try. The result unfathomable awesomeness, bad taste aplenty and brilliance of that I am assured!!
I have more than just my fingers crossed.
Ouch! On second thoughts I probably shouldn't have crossed that.