Friday Night Flix: Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi

wb1Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

Notice how I didn’t put the English translation of this week’s movie up there in the title? I usually include the translation because I am not (generally) a pretentious purist snob. I didn’t this time because that perfectly reasonable if straightforward title Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi translates to The Witches of Zugarramurdi. But what did they call it when they ported it over to the U.S.? Witching and Bitching (Netflix). I smell a rant coming on.

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It’s perhaps fitting that whoever bought the U.S. rights to this thing chose that title. The movie is built on disturbingly pervasive misogyny, which of course the word bitch is as well. You may not think of it this way, but bitch is about one micron less offensive than the dreaded N word. (Perhaps that one micron accounts for why I can bring myself to type one and not the other.)

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But the truth remains: bitch is to woman (a traditionally oppressed, marginalized and victimized subset of humanity) as the N word is to black people. By using it we are denigrating whatever we’re talking about – a nasty person, too much complaining, a victim of prison rape – by comparing it to women. To our mothers, wives, daughters and sisters. How horrible is that? That we do not think of it as terribly offensive on the larger spectrum of curse words just shows how far we have to go before gender equality is anywhere close to real. So stop saying bitch, okay?

And the movie? It’s okay. It’s got some funny parts (see, e.g., gold painted Jesus leaning out of a car window blasting a shotgun at the cops) and some cool atmosphere. It’s well shot and acted, even if it skews a tad goofier than I’d like. It’s biggest sin (other than the fact that ALL the male characters’ wives and mothers are painted as hideous shrews) is that it fails to explore the relatable side of its cannibalistic witch cult.

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See when our bandits flee to this witch village (for the real life Zugarramundi is the Spainish equivalent of our own Salem) the witches don’t attack them outright. There’s some vague prophecy aspect (the kid is the Chosen One or some such) but the ladies are overall pretty nice until these chump thieves piss them off. They get some comeuppance I guess so maybe that’s part of the message? Who knows.

Added bonus: Next Friday is Halloween! Holy poop!

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Trailer Park: Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron

Keep it up nerds and Marvel’s going to take their ball & go home.  Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron trailer leaks early (it was supposed to debut during Agents of SHIELD next week), so of course Marvel pulls it down.  But, surprise, surprise, they go all Good Guy Gary and toss up the official version.  Thanks Marvel!

Hulkbuster armor looks rad as fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge.

Friday Night Flix: The Believers

Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

The Believers (Netflix) is not a move about Justin Bieber. It is an 80s horror/procedural thing starring Martin Sheen(!) as an I guess hearthrobby psychologist working with the NYPD. It’s a total product of its time what with the novelty of “Santaria” and “voodoo” and whatnot. It’s immensely fun.

If you haven’t seen it, definitely check this one out. Sheen is terrific even though the material is sorely dated. From the opening scene you know you’re not in a modern movie, the editing alone makes it feel totally goofy even though the events being depicted are totally tragic and horrifying.

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If you’re wondering if Sheen just so happens to have a Santaria practitioner as a maid, the answer is yes. This movie follows the religious horror playbook page by page and it is awesome.

Added bonus: Casual child abuse! At one point Sheen’s kid throws a fit and runs into traffic. How does President Bartlett explain the severity of the kid’s bonehead maneuver? He tans his hide in the middle of the street. It was a simpler time.

New York Comic Con 2014 part 2: Non-Cosplay Edition

Adam & I didn’t just take pictures of cosplayers (see part 1 aka All Cosplay, All The Time); no, we took pictures of damn near everything else too. Toys! Video games! Cool things made out of Lego plastic stacking blocks! Secret flasks hidden inside old NES cartridges! And more comics that I didn’t feel like buying than you could shake a stick at. Photo tour commences…now.
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So much more after the jump!  Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2014 Part 1: Cosplay Edition

Adam & I both blew off work this past Thursday, which to you squares was just another day to while away but for us in the know it was the First Day of New York Comic Con 2014! Here are the cosplayers that caught our eyes on Day 1:
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So much more after the jump!!  Continue reading

Trailer Park: Powers

Here we are, fresh from New York Comic Con 2014: The first trailer from Brian Michael Bendis’/Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers series, only on AMC HBO FX Playstation Network? Hmm.  Well, ok.  Let’s have a look.

Well.  Umm.  Huh.  You know..huh.

I love Powers.  I credit it with getting me back into reading comics in the early 2000’s. I think Bendis and Oeming crafted something interesting that had a lot of influence.  That being said…I’m not so sure about this. I’m not really buying Sharlto Copley (yes, real name) as Walker either.  Look, I’ll still watch the thing. But I will do so from my ivory tower perched atop my very highest horse.

With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Ninety-Four: Flamethrowers, Construction Equipment, Samurai Swords and Disco vs. Snakes…Guess Who Wins…!

Stop. Stop your life and go to YouTube. Turn off “The Walking Dead”, “House of Cards”, “Big Bang Theory”, “Outlander”, “True Blood”…just shut it all down and go to YouTube. I have something you need to see:

Your expectations, whatever they may be, are going to be Blue Oyster Cult-face melted. This movie is the Mad Max of Snakebite Cinema. Plotline: A mass of snakes attack the partygoers at a new apartment building. Sounds B-Movie, right? Like Dean Cain and Kari Wuhrer should be right in the thick of the monster, right? No way, brother. This movie’s different. WAYYYYY different.

Up there’s your protagonist. He’s introduced in the film via a magic box that reveals his entire body covered in venomous slitherers, including a fanged friend that our temporary hero has concealed in this throat.

Jeezus H. Crackers.

A closer look at the guru. He’s mildly humorous, a guy I call a “Stakeout” hybrid: looks like Richard Dreyfuss, and a dub like a root beer-garglin’ Emilio Estevez. Anywho, he has a slobberknocker with a big bad boa constrictor and disappears from the movie, squinty-eyed and coarse of frame, real Clint Eastwood-like.

What splatters this flick in the goriest smears of unique is its wanton, jaw-dropping, scream-inducing brutality. You know that statement that plays in the credits of animal movies, like “The Adventures of Milo and Otis” and “Free Willy” – No animals were harmed during the making of this movie. Wellllllll, this is NOT one o’ those family-friendly crowdpleasers. This movie utilizes thousands of snakes and not a SINGLE snake stunt serpent.

Those snakes being crushed by construction equipment – real.
Those snakes being hacked to pieces by shovels and picks – real.
Those snakes being charbroiled by flamethrowers – real.

You are also treated to a loonnngggg sequence of a pack of mongooses being unleashed on the snakes. This sequence is lengthy beyond merely moving along the plot. This movie had been kept in the archives, the swamplands of the archives, for many years until a grindhouse devotee found an uncut product and nailed it to YT. It’s the stuff of parties. Invite your friends and drink yourselves to a stupor, doin’ shots whenever a snake loses a head or writhes & whirls after being severed in two pieces. We’re all doomed beyond a Happy Meal, anyway, so indulge this crap and never again squash a garter snake.

Hey, Peter…GRINDHOUSE.

Oh, f*ck off, yah baah-stid.