Everyone's holding parades over the upcoming Zoolander, Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Alien, and Tron sequels despite historically having no good reason to do so. But while these films are too far down the line to make any definite judgment on (besides that they are terrible ideas), we thought it might be fun to stop thinking about the future and (in our brand-new series) look at the crazy we have right in front of us. Specifically, the following aggressively awesome works of cinema that are hurdling at your face this very moment ...
#6. Roar: A Lost '80s Melanie Griffith Film That Resulted in 70 Goddamn Lion Attacks
As we've explored previously on the site, Noel Marshall was best known for producing The Exorcist, one of the most notoriously cursed productions ever. As if to outdo himself, his next project and directorial debut was called Roar -- a film about a loving family sharing a house with over 150 untrained jungle cats. In order to achieve this sophisticated effect, Marshall took his loving family and stuck them in a house with over 150 untrained jungle cats. The results looked exactly like this:
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing catnip."
Over the course of the 11 horrifying years it took to make this movie, over 70 crew and cast members were severely attacked -- including several who lost fingers and cinematographer (and later director of Speed) Jan de Bont actually getting scalped by one of the lions.
You have to admire his, "I don't care how this looks, I'm keeping the rest of it,
I don't give a fuck" level of stubbornness.
You can watch a lot of the highlights play out in this behind-the-scenes clip, which features a hilarious life-or-death struggle between a group of screeching John Carpenter characters and scores of indifferent feline beasts batting them around like giant housecats.
And now, to the betterment of all society, Roar is finally getting a limited theatrical release from Drafthouse Films, followed by Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD releases in the summer. Indeed, Roar is truly the zenith of jaunty 102-minute family comedies about people trying desperately to act and not get mauled into pulpy shambles.
#5. Raiders!: A Documentary About the Greatest Fan Film That Ever Was
Jeremy Coon Productions
While everyone's getting tumescent over the prospect of a Spielberg-directed Chris Pratt Indiana Jones film, two directors brought the 2015 SXSW audience a film with more charm than Star Lord's little finger. Raiders! chronicles the 30-year quest of 11-year-old kids who set out to make the ultimate Indiana Jones fan film: a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Here's the first 10 minutes, sans the sound (because copyright is a dick):
Imagine the work and ingenuity those little brains put into just that scene -- now imagine the entire rest of the film being done in the same sweded fashion ... all except for the infamous Flying Wing scene where Nazi Steve Austin eats propeller, which the friends never got around to doing because of a falling out.
At least until now ...
Jeremy Coon Productions
Another crew was making their Highlander fan film down the road.
So sure, gush all you want about another Spielberg/Lucas Indiana Jones adventure -- but our money's on the movie shot in a backyard of a couple of rowdy prepubescents being arguably the fourth best of the series. Perhaps the third best.
#4. The Void: Practical Effects Straight Out of Hell
Cave Painting Pictures
Ever since this series began, we've always shown a blatant hard-on for monster movies done with practical effects. While there may be some debate about whether or not CGI looks better than in-camera action, the advantage of doing things practical comes from the level of care that goes into a film before the camera even starts rolling. Like shooting on expensive 35mm film, there's a mandatory level of thoughtfulness and planning that every film should abide by, but that digital makes easy to ignore. Also, some things really do look better when it's not CGI. Face tentacles, for example.
The Void is about a police officer who rushes an injured stranger to a near-empty hospital filled with patients and employees slowly metamorphosing into terrifying inhuman abominations. From the trailer on their Indiegogo page (which you can donate to now!), it appears that these transformative shenanigans include but are not limited to ax murder, twisted doctors, and pyramid-worshiping cultists of some kind.
Cave Painting Pictures
"Eh, better you than those other white-robed assholes."
Half Manb, Half Org, All Hero.