• Video Violence

    Video Violence

    ★★★

    Nothing like a VHS-shot horror movie about two guys that realize the tape rental store they work at has been co-opted by their sleepy town full of exhibisionist serial killers trading their own tapes through their shop. I wouldn't be shocked if somehow Michel Gondry saw this and quickly thought of Be Kind Rewind.

  • Final Flesh

    Final Flesh

    ★★

    The rare double-double-post-ironic premise that the joke is the writer contracted out four made-to-order fetish production houses to shoot his scripts, but then a consumer buys this because "it's from the co-creator of Wonder Showzen and Xavier Renegade Angel," and the final twist is that same rube is left watching that creator's preferred, paid-for fetishes be enacted on screen. Though the real MVPs are the production teams that don't flinch at the dialog or premises proving not every dude that scored an MTV2 deal is smarter than someone that learned how to read the room before them.

  • Monster SeaFood Wars

    Monster SeaFood Wars

    ★★★

    Minoru Kawasaki parodies Shin Godzilla and cooking shows the only way he can: giant rubber monster suits, a scientist creating a "vinegar cannon" to tenderize the giant monsters' meat and the final act introduction of a building-sized robot chef with salt-and-pepper-fueled jetpack. It's incredibly absurd but this is now "late" Kawasaki meaning he's learned to love shooting fast, cheap and put Lloyd Kaufman to shame with how to get the most bang out of the same rented locations.

  • Prey

    Prey

    ★★★

    It's fine but it couldn't stop me from thinking about the Defector piece showcasing the growing escalation of CG work in film when, during the credits, hundreds if not a thousand or so names fill the screen with vague job titles. Arms get chopped off, heads explode and there are two performance capture credits for the mountain lion and bear. But all of that is heavy CG that supercedes every interview saying this is "back to basics" of production. Near…

  • Emily the Criminal

    Emily the Criminal

    ★★★½

    "You keep saying internship. Does this job pay or not?"
    "Well, all of my assistants start out as interns. We'll re-evaluate in six months or so whether you earn it."

    Two of the best scenes in this involve the dreaded job interview where the person hiring has leverage and/or know how to yank the chain of someone like Emily (Aubrey Plaza), an art school dropout with prior felony charges, stuck toiling as a catering company's freelance delivery employee (one assumes…

  • Inu-oh

    Inu-oh

    ★★★½

    Perfectly fine if you abandon the epic tome this is based on and follow the endless debate about who should reign supreme in the public eye of recorded history. Only here with more dead spirits, lavish performances that echo arena rock and it becoming blisteringly fast so you’re never left time to ask about the how. If you do find yourself wanting more of this go look up Wagakki Band but purely for the aural esthetic. I’m no longer enough of a weeb to explain cultural differences or significances.

  • The Wild World of Batwoman

    The Wild World of Batwoman

    ★★★

    aka She Was a Hippy Vampire and clearly the MST3K version.

    Jerry Warren was the type of director that Mystery Science Theater 3000 thrives on through his own ability to just figure out reasons to have women in tight pants dancing and sitting around a rented living room.

  • The New York Centerfold Massacre

    The New York Centerfold Massacre

    Even Vinegar Syndrome die-hards would have trouble working their way through this VHS-shot genre oddity that preyed on mail order nerds back in the 80s. A slasher stalks a photoshoot where every actual person involved were desperate for the money and a semi-hot lunch. The only real appeal is if you're into New York sleaze and seeing desperate folks answering backpage ads.

  • Logan

    Logan

    ★★★

    In the end we will all be murdered by our CG avatars based on our frozen thoughts and opinions from 2000. Which based on my interests from the time mean an anime David Carr is going to kill me while something from the Dischord catalog plays an ironic cover.

  • Vengeance

    Vengeance

    ★★★

    The most  traumatic part was a friend used to live in the same building as John Mayer and he would bang on his door and scream “I know you can hear me it’s John Mayer motherfucker.”

  • Scenes from an Empty Church

    Scenes from an Empty Church

    ★★★

    Two priests (Kevin Corrigan, Thomas Jay Ryan) enter the opening months of the 2020 pandemic refusing to say any reference to it aside from "the disease" once it claims their senior pastor. Onur Tukel's always been great with capturing repetitive conversations and dialog (Ryan, after hearing the confession of a nurse, smugly asks if she too thinks something is pretentious before hearing her admit it keeps her sane and backtracks). Out of all the Pandemicinema it does its best capturing the multiple stages of fear into acceptance and inevitably everyone wearing chin diapers while pleading they're safe which, frankly, is the driest joke to appreciate now.

  • Love on a Leash

    Love on a Leash

    Boy howdy how does one even describe this.