7 Awesome New Movies Nobody Told You About: December 2016
Overall, 2016 was pretty darn good when it came to movies. We got a couple of decent superhero films, some brilliant sci-fi and horror, and one great comedy (I'll let you figure out which). We also got some boss indie films as well, including Hardcore Henry, Green Room, and The Lobster. And while I can't take all the credit, it's worth noting that the last three films I mentioned were all predicted for greatness on this site in the past.
And now, as the year ends, it's time to get pumped for 2017 with yet another installment about the bat-turd insane cinema not getting nearly the hype it deserves ...
The Belko Experiment: Office Space Meets Battle Royale
James Gunn made a name for himself directing what was arguably the best Marvel film, as well as the best film in which Vin Diesel plays an adorably monosyllabic murder lurch (sorry, Iron Giant). But before Guardians Of The Galaxy, Gunn had a cult following for directing movies like Slither and Super, as well as co-writing the grotesquely amazing Tromeo And Juliet -- a film featuring Lemmy from Motorhead, monster-penis, and what can only be described as a Jiffy Pop c-section.
"Ew, gross. Kettle corn."
My point here is that, for all of you just tuning in, it might seem weird that Gunn also wrote The Belko Experiment, a film directed by Wolf Creek's Greg McLean about a mysteriously barricaded office building ...
... whose employees are suddenly tasked with slaughtering each other, lest their skulls explode from high-tech implants.
"I was going to do this anyway. YOU RE-FILL THE COFFEE POT WHEN YOU FINISH IT, CARL!"
No really, that's the gloriously bananas plot of this movie -- which begins when a mysterious voice on the company intercom announces that every employee must murder three of their co-workers, or else their unseen captors will off six. While they initially try to escape the building, efforts prove futile as groups break off on murder sprees while the voice's demands grow greater and bloodier. By the end of the trailer, the once-reluctant group is being told that 30 of them must be dead in two goddamn minutes -- something I can only imagine leads to a soaking and cathartic gore sacrifice.
Oh, also, Merle Dixon and Dr. Cox are two of the co-workers in question, so there's no way this movie won't be a charming nightmare.
A Jeff Goldblum away from your nana's erotic dream.
Best F(r)iends: The Cast Of The Room Are Back, For Some Reason
I met Tommy Wiseau at Comikaze a few years ago. He had three handlers and was signing basketballs for money. The man is a living riddle. Why we haven't made a significant effort to implant Bjork with his sperm is beyond me, for the genetic result would surely have unicorn blood and cure cancer. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Wiseau is known for starring in and directing The Room, one of the most endearingly terrible "movies" of recent history. The subsequent book about the film's production is currently being made into a film featured on a previous version of this article. And if that wasn't enough, Tommy also attempted to make an insane TV show banking off his ironic hipness ...
... which, despite being a six-episode garbage hole, was still submitted to the Emmys in an act of heartbreaking hope. And now it seems that, whether it be for fame or art or precious money, he's not done with us.
"Oh hai, crippling debt!"
This is Best F(r)iends, a film starring not only Wiseau, but also his Room co-star Greg Sestero. Directed by first-time anything Gary Fong, it's about a drifter who is randomly befriended by a creepy mortician -- a role that Wiseau was clearly born to play.
"This is much easier to do with the fake faces."
I'm not being mean by saying that; according to Sestero (who co-wrote the screenplay), the film is directly inspired by a road trip he took with Wiseau in 2003. And after watching the trailer, I can confidently say that it looks exactly like how that kind of endeavor would play out.
"After watching Best F(r)iends, your mind will find paradise." -- an actual fucking quote from Tommy Wiseau
The Red Turtle: A Silent Animated Film About Fucking A Turtle
My title isn't hyperbolic; this movie is about a man having sex with a turtle. Granted, it's not a turtle when he has sex with it, but how exactly does that detail make this any less strange? Let me start over. According to the film's beautifully animated trailer, the story of The Red Turtle starts when a man is stranded on an uninhabited island ...
He then builds a raft in an attempt to Cast Away home ...
... but ends up meeting a red turtle, which becomes somewhat responsible for demolishing his makeshift boat ...
Then, for some magical-ass reason, this same turtle transforms into a human lady and the two totally rail on each other's junk, producing some kind of abomination spawn.
This is how Teenage Organic Ninja Turtles are made.
It's beautiful yet primally unsettling, like an atomic blast or Natalie Dormer. And all of it thanks to Dutch director/animator Michael Dudok de Wit, who until now only had a series of short films and TV commercials to his name, which have no business being as breathtaking as they are.
A co-production of Studio Ghibli (the people you have to thank for Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle), the film is slated for a January U.S. release. Considering the teased dream sequences, crazy tsunami imagery, and how The A.V. Club described it as being "Part Robinson Crusoe, part All Is Lost, and part Heavy Metal," there's no way this won't be the ultimate "trip on mushrooms while taking your kids out" event.
If childless, take enough mushrooms to hallucinate that you have kids.
Replace: One Woman's Quest To Steal Your Skin
Not unlike the aforementioned Dudok de Wit, German writer/director Norbert Keil has very little to his credit so far -- all of them mostly being horror shorts shot with a vertigo-inducing camera technique. But this all stands to change with Replace, an upcoming feature film Keil co-wrote with the infamous Richard Stanley -- the forsaken screenwriter and would-be director of The Island Of Doctor Moreau. And much like that Brando flop, Replace is about a stark-white mummy person.
It goes like this: A young lady named Kira (Rebecca Forsythe) gets a terrible affliction which causes her skin to mummify and crust off ...
... and so, stumbling closer to death's disgusting door, she chooses instead to replace her skin with someone else's. How she goes about this isn't exactly outlined in the official synopsis, but the trailer appears to give us a few, uh, visual hints:
"There's more than one way to skin a Cat(herine)."
The film also stars Barbara Crampton, who's best-known for being a super-good sport while making Re-Animator. Along with being a relentless procession of body horror, there's at least some solace that can be taken in Replace's promise of at least one steamy sex scene to balance out the Last Crusade rapid-aging and harrowing skin theft.
"This isn't what I meant by 'I can't wait to be inside you,' but OK ..."
And hey, speaking of horrified boners ...
Red: Cate Blanchett In An Experimental Short About Spider Sex
While a renowned artist with a tremendous body of work, there's really nothing you need to know about Del Kathryn Barton that can't be said with this portrait of Hugo Weaving holding a beautiful kitty cat:
Do you honestly need any more proof of genius than that? So while Red might be a short film currently exhibited in a single art gallery in Australia, the fact that it's about Cate Blanchett mimicking the mating rituals of a venomous redback spider really should be worth that plane ticket. If you're still not convinced to dump your life savings on a 15-minute arthouse movie, here are some key shots from the trailer:
A Jeff Goldblum away from David Cronenberg's erotic dream.
Shit looks like Patrick Bateman's murder-justifying nightmares. And it's all shot using human reenactors intercut with macro photography. And if you're wondering how Blanchett managed to fit the time between shooting that new Ocean's Eight and second live-action Jungle Book no one could possibly want, it turns out that she nailed her portrayal of the man-devouring fuck-arachnid in one take like the goddamn pro she is.
The narrative, as explained by the director, follows a "brave little male after copulating with the monumental female gently somersaults into her mouth, offering himself as a meal postcoital." The result is a surrealist expression of female empowerment and sexuality -- like if a Men's Rights forum had a baby with DeviantArt.
You do NOT want to know what those scissors are for.
Kedi: A Super-Chill Documentary About Istanbul Street Cats
I'm not sure if you realize this, but people on the internet sure enjoy looking at cats. It stands to reason that since everyone loves two-minute clips of cats being adorable dickheads, they will also love a two-hour "clip" of it. That's exactly what Kedi appears to be in its trailer, which highlights the beautiful setting of Istanbul, second only to the hordes of feral cats apparently roaming the streets since the Ottoman Empire. That's right -- turns out Istanbul is freaking lousy with street cats, which are spoiled and beloved to a point of devoutness.
Kedi's got it all. Cats fighting like assholes ...
... cats scratching at doors like assholes ...
... and of course, cats sitting conceitedly with their squinty eyes like assholes.
Then going off to lick their assholes.
Are you seeing all these goddamn cats? Kedi got so many shitty-faced felines flopping around that you'll fuck a duck.
But once you get over how many freaking cats are in this film, it should probably be noted that Kedi is more than a beautifully shot I Can Has Cheezburger submission. It takes a serious dive into the bizarre and emotional relationship Istanbul has with the thousands of technically stray cats roaming independently from home to home. Still, according to one review, while the film does include many interviews with people praising the cat population, it's mostly nothing but footage of cats. Tiny cats staring like churlish gargoyles ...
... and adult cats getting to some kind of cat bullshit that cats get into ...
"I don't even like oranges. Fuck your business."
Just ... just tons of cats. Jumping precariously through life with blank demon eyes. So in a way, this film can serve as a warning to the rest of the non-conquered world with its dystopic imagery of an all-seeing but adorable feline overlord. It's like Nineteen Eighty-Four, if Big Brother shit in little boxes of sand.
Get Out: Jordan Peele's Horror Film About Rich White People
I don't usually toss out wild rumors in the hope of destroying strangers' personal relationships, but back in April, it was revealed the Jordan Peele had eloped with then-fiancee Chelsea Peretti. A mere few months later, we got the first trailer for Get Out -- a horror movie directed by Peele about a man visiting his white girlfriend's parents for the first time ... only to discover himself at the chilling center of some kind of hypnotist cult exclusively brainwashing black people.
A Clockwork Black
And so we're all clear, this is the "Peele" in "Key and Peele" who wrote and directed this film, and according to his own mouth, it has very little comedy in it. And pushing aside the fact that Jordan Peele clearly uncovered a racist conspiracy which Peretti's family is the heart of, if Green Room taught us anything, it's that bigotry is amazingly terrifying as motivation for horror antagonists. It's unwavering and as deep-seated as Leatherface's lust for hippy chunks. But to make matters worse, no part of the bizarre trailer appears to be satirical in any way, but rather a kaleidoscope of surreal and disturbing imagery hinting at some unfathomable layer of madness we've only broken the surface of.
Guys, this could be that legit amazing horror film that kicks off the year the way It Follows and The Witch did. So get ready to dress as white people for next year's Halloween -- which shouldn't be hard for a significant portion of you reading this.
If you or someone you love know of a tremendously weird but unhyped film coming up, do tell Dave on his Twitter.
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