If there ever was a film that basically requires you to be under the influence, it’s Panos Cosmatos’ 2018 mind-bending revenge fantasy. The story is divided into two halves. The first half is the hallucinatory setup, the second half is the gory payoff. In other words, start with dropping acid then finish it off with a bottle of Tequila. Also, if you choose to watch Panos’ previous film Beyond the Black Rainbow on top of Mandy as some sort of sick, demented double feature… Don’t. If you do, you might find yourself shivering in your bed shortly after, with skin as white as Casper the friendly ghost.
The Collider headline at the top of this poster is not an overstatement. The Raid 2 is one of the top three greatest action movies ever made. I was one of the few people who wasn’t crazy about 2011’s The Raid: Redemption. The fight choreography was spectacular but I need more for a full-length feature. However, in 2014 I waited in line for literally 3 1/2 hours to see a pre-screening of The Raid 2. When I finally entered the theater, I was forced to stand for the whole showing. Be in mind, the film is 3 hours, yet I never once got tired of standing nor did I leave to go to the bathroom. From the opening scene all the way to the final frame, IT DOES. NOT. STOP.
Remember the reality series Project Greenlight? Feast was the script that went into production for the show’s third (and most successful) season in 2005. The plot is almost too simple. Random folks trapped in a bar in the middle of nowhere. Bloodthirsty monsters besiege the place and try to get in. The end. What makes the film work is John Gulager’s razor-sharp direction and the clever characters and dialogue penned by genre veterans Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. Feast is the ultimate cut above the rest experience that is practically required by law to be viewed in a communal setting. The sequels, not so much.
We all have pet peeves but some of us handle them better than others. Some kick and scream, some tolerate it, and others smash a person’s brains in with a leg of lamb. John Waters’ cult classic was released at a fascinating time in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino burst into the mainstream, the indie movement was exploding, Waters was transitioning into more “audience-friendly” fare. It was a wonderful time to be a filmmaker. Serial Mom is a satirical snapshot of the mid-’90s and is impossible to forget once you’ve watched it. It’s Friday the 13th meets Leave it to Beaver. How’s that for a high concept?
Whoever rated this film PG was definitely high during the decision-making. Little Monsters starts off sweet and family-friendly enough. Little Fred Savage and his friends hanging out, childhood angst, school crushes. Once we meet Howie Mandel’s character Maurice who lives under Savage’s bed, the film takes on a different tone. Once we enter the underground world full of other monsters, it becomes a horror. To this day I have always perceived Little Monsters as a kid's film for psychopaths. Scribes Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott came from Monty Python fame so something tells me they knew exactly what they were doing here.
Society is probably more relevant today than it’s ever been. The tagline, “The rich have always fed off the poor” says it all. Director Brian Yuzna has always been a far more cerebral filmmaker than how he’s been critiqued by the general public. He’s more fascinated by injecting a bold statement into your guts than just making surface-level nonsense. Society for the first 3/4 of its runtime tonally feels like Blue Velvet. Strange interactions with quirky characters. Small town mysteries. A tightrope between laughter and cringe. It’s not exactly the fastest pace film but if you can reach the final half-hour, believe me, the setup is worth the payoff.