Friday Night Flix: We Are What We Are

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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.

Fact: It is totally impossible to run a cannibalistic cult without a dungeon or cavernous basement of some sort. You cannot get away with kidnapping and slowly butchering folk with just a shed or a carport, oh no. You need something subterranean, preferably made of ill-fitted stone patched together with crumbling mortar. The type of moldy walls just begging to be fitting with heavy wooden doors and rusty chains. Realtors should be required to alert the authorities when a prospective buyer insists on a property with an extensive catacomb system beneath it.

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We Are What We Are (Netflix) is a remake of a foreign film, which I have not seen. I know, I know. FOR SHAME. My guess is it’s something like La Casa Muda and The Silent House. The remake is pretty much a copy of the original movie, just in English. Regardless, what I can say is this remake is beautifully filmed, packed with classy actors and heavy on gloomy mood.

I’m not sure if everyone who watches We Are What We Are will buy into the premise. It’s a tough sell, the idea that generations of a family can grow up as murderous cannibals without anyone opting out or calling the cops on crazy, people-eating pa. But it’s stylish and well paced so I went along for the ride, which is not without some basis in plausibility. And holy shit was it disturbing. Killing and eating people is macabre. This movie takes it to a whole new level by making the kids kill dinner. Jeeeezus.

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If there’s anything I didn’t like, it’s that it relies on the tired cliche of inbred redneck Christians who justify a horrific lifestyle with twisted dogma. I watch a lot of horror movies. I’ve had more than enough stories about oppressive fathers and abused daughters connected by hideous religious rituals.

Added bonus: A neighbor asks you to babysit. The cute kid holds your hand, maneuvering your thumb into his mouth. A little weird, but whatever, he’s got a fever. Then he bites the shit outta your thumb, explaining “I’m hungry.”

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Timm’s “Batman: Strange Days” – 75th Anniversary Short

Thank You Based Timm! In time for Batman’s 75th Anniversary, Bruce Timm drops an animated short reminiscent of that most important of Batman animated efforts.

A brand new short from producer Bruce Timm featuring a lost tale from Batman’s past, the Dark Knight tracks a strange giant to the mysterious lair of Dr. Hugo Strange.

A highly anticipated part of my weekday from ’92 – ’95,  Batman: The Animated Series is easily grouped with that generally triumphant period in animation, where networks were willing to take a chance on new and interesting efforts. For people weaned on Hanna-Barbara and then the Disney afternoon, shows like the original John K. run on Ren & Stimpy, the initial two seasons of Animaniacs and (dark horse alert!) Rocco’s Modern Life were pretty eye-opening in terms of what animation could be.  I’m not saying that B:TAS was responsible, I’m just saying it’ was part of the vanguard of shows that changed animation (for awhile, at least) for the better.

While we’re on the subject, can we settle, once and for all, a heated argument I had once with a friend of mine (ed.note: way to hold on to grudges)? Was the opening of Batman: TAS computer animated or not?