7 WTF New Movies Nobody Told You About (Spring 2017)
Update: We still don't think these movies have gotten in front of enough eyeballs this year. Download the hell out of 'em for your holiday travels!
As usual, January was a rough time for movies. Luckily, 2017 is quickly making up for Hollywood's dumping month, as audiences were gloriously coldcocked with John Wick's gold-clenching fist, terrified by body-snatching honkeys in Get Out, witnessed multiple withered rage monsters in Logan and Kong, and grimaced while Dr. Cox went Battle Royale in The Belko Experiment.
And not to toot my own bodily extensions, but several of those aforementioned films have appeared in our ongoing series devoted to digging up the lesser-known and absolutely bonkers movies soon-to-be-showing at your local theater ... a series we will be continuing after this exact sentence you are currently reading.
The Bad Batch: Dystopian Cannibals And An All-Star Cast
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Hey, what if I told you that Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves were appearing in a movie together? And what if Giovanni Ribisi and Jason Momoa were also there? Also -- the film is about cannibals in the desert having neon raves. Would you accept this fever dream of a premise? Well, you don't have a choice -- because it's coming to your face this freaking summer.
It's called The Bad Batch, and the trailer promises a barren wasteland of only the top-shelf line of suave cultists and hobo marauders.
So Burning Man basically.
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) the film has been described as a combination of Mad Max and Texas Chainsaw Massacre -- and follows a character named Arlen as she becomes immediately captured by a cannibal gang, has a few limbs removed, and makes an escape while strapped to a skateboard. Per post-apocalyptic law, this automatically makes her a Furiosa-style badass.
No word if there are any sick ollies or kick-flips.
From there the film turns into a revenge plot and weird friendship between her and a walking-bicep named Miami Man. And since the character requires tough-guy long hair, some stupid tattoos, and the surname "man," there was really only one person to play him.
Who somehow looks less gritty than when playing Aquaman.
Also, somewhere in the mix Jim Carrey shows up looking like grandpa hobo in a completely non-verbal role ...
Jim Carrey just wore the clothes he'd worn to the set that day.
... Followed by a "Jim Jones-like spiritual leader" played by Keanu Reeves with a porn mustache. Because God is real and wants us to be happy.
He is "The One" after all.
Seriously, where did this wonderful fucking movie come from? It's both daunting and heavenly, like if a giant jack-in-the-box filled with Legos and cocaine suddenly appeared over the Earth.
It Comes At Night: Two Families Facing A Super-Vague Threat
Release Date: June 9, 2017
The most exciting thing about It Comes At Night is the fact that we know very little about it. The director has only done one other feature film that no one saw (but critics loved), and the trailer is as foreboding, vague, and jumbled as a Sean Spicer quote.
Didja watch it? You should have. But in case you're at work and/or unable to click because you're furiously two-hand masturbating while scrolling this article with your wiggling chin, here are some screenshots of what to expect:
Gloomy. Beyond the trailer -- what we do know is that the film features renowned Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones star Joel Edgerton, who is the father in a bunkered household "as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world." The synopsis goes on to say that as he learns "the evil stalking his family home may be only a prelude to horrors that come from within," what little order they have is tested "with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge."
That's all we know. And while an "unnatural threat" could mean pretty much anything from flying saucers to pre-marital hand-holding, my money's on it having something to do with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot from that teaser:
Probably not a good idea to blink while looking at this picture, either.
Yeah. Old Man McGooMouth sure seems like a key character to me.
If all that vagueness isn't enough to arouse your horror bone (it's the scapulae), consider that this film is coming from the studio A24 ... a newly founded company responsible for Under the Skin, The Rover, Ex Machina, Room, The Lobster, The Witch, Green Room, Moonlight, and a couple other awesome movies I'm about to mention. Because holy crap A24 is the dangerous cool kid in town. You know, the one with the leather vest and access to nitrous canisters. Hey, speaking of me speaking about how I'm going to keep speaking about this studio ...
Free Fire: One Big Goddamn Shootout
Release Date: April 21, 2017
A little over a year ago I told you about High-Rise, a film about Tom Hiddleston murdering rich folk in a tower. It was directed by Ben Wheatley, who is once again in the business of stylized violence set in some claustrophobic clusterfuck. His new film is called Free Fire and it takes place almost entirely in a single room ... which obviously means that Brie Larson is also there.
In a much more pleasant environment this time.
Along with Larson, the trailer features a slew of devious-faced talents like Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, and Noah "I Cut Off Jaime Lannister's Hand" Taylor. And since it takes place in the '70s, the whole lot is more feathered and 'stached than an Eagles cover band.
And the ongoing gas crisis means a lot of bad attitudes.
When a gun deal goes bad, the gang ends up entangled in a ridiculous and surprisingly not-too-fatal shootout. As Variety puts it -- most of the gun violence is "treated with all the sanctity of a classic Tom And Jerry cartoon" as anything that isn't a torso or headshot is automatically a hilarious flesh wound. For the better part of the film's 90-minute runtime, the characters are happy to simply writhe on the floor shouting childish rage like a Mar-a-Lago quaalude orgy.
It's all fun and games until someone gets lit on fire.
This is all under the watchful eye of producer and muppet-brow Martin Scorsese -- who was obtained when director Wheatley learned that their agents' offices were a mere two doors away from each other. The movie was almost immediately picked up by A24 (of course) and has since garnered much critical praise from early screenings -- one of which featured a Q&A where the actors claimed they used "7,000 bullets" during production ... which is either referring to blank shells or the spree of violent bank robberies that funded the picture.
Kuso: The 'Grossest Movie Ever'
Release Date: This movie might never get a wide release.
If you've been keeping up with this series you might've already realized that not every film included is done so for cinematic majesty; sometimes it's just about rubbernecking a beautiful atrocity akin to a flaming circus float. Kuso is one such blazing affront to basic human decency, as it uses a combination of live action, puppetry, and animation to be the most creatively disgusting film since Meet The Feebles. Here are just a few visual tastes from the disjointed NSFW-ish trailer:
I didn't make a mistake. This is all from the same movie.
It's fine if none of that makes any sense; according to the people who sat through it at Sundance, Kuso is more like a grotesque Fantasia than a narrative piece. Directed by rapper and music producer Steven Ellison (aka Flying Lotus/Captain Murphy), some of the visual highlights include but aren't limited to:
1. An erect penis being skewered by a metal rod.
2. Aliens stealing and then eating a woman's fetus.
3. One man singing a cappella into George Clinton's butthole until a giant insect comes out.
4. Just to repeat that last one. A bug crawls out of George Clinton's spread buttcheeks.
5. Seriously. P-Funk godfather George Clinton is in this film. I can't stress that enough.
6. A woman covered in boils and green semen.
7. A boy growing a disembodied head in a large orifice with his own feces as fertilizer.
8. Remember when George Clinton was in PCU? What a weird dude.
Here's what that head thing looks like, because I'm certain you're begging to see it:
Cracked.com will never leave you hanging when weird head things are involved.
And did I mention that George Clinton is in this film? And he gets his butthole serenaded? I feel like I might have mentioned that but wanted to be sure.
He just wanted an environment where he wouldn't be the most offbeat character.
Along with Dr. Funkenstein, the film features Hannibal Buress, Tim Heidecker, and David Firth (creator of Salad Fingers) -- who also co-wrote it. And as I noted before -- this film went to Sundance, where it apparently caused a handful of walkouts and created more grimacing theatergoers than John Wilkes Booth. Here are some more screenshots, you fucks!
A Ghost Story: The Director Of Pete's Dragon Makes An Experimental Love Story About Ghost Casey Affleck Under A Bed Sheet
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Depending on your personal feelings over bahnie-punching lady-grabbers, A Ghost Story has several hurdles that casual viewers will need to traverse. On paper, it sounds almost like a practical joke -- as the story follows a young woman (Rooney Mara) whose lover is killed in a car accident mere feet from their home. And since this is called "A Ghost Story," our fallen hero naturally turns into your classic ghost. And I mean classic ... like a lazy Victorian parent on the morning of Halloween.
"Boo, or whatever."
That's right -- in the role he was born to play, the dead lover is Casey Affleck wearing a goddamn bed sheet like he's the star of a student film trying to justify its shoddy budget with "artistic boldness." Only A Ghost Story isn't a student film, but rather the work of David Lowery -- who you might know as the director of Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Pete's Goddamn Dragon. But all that intense weirdness aside, it's this final detail that should really shake your nads:
That's right. According to critics and audiences ... this movie is really good. Which is super-bizarre considering that reviews have described scenes where the lady protagonist "devours a pie in silence" for "four minutes," and Affleck's ghost spends "most of its time standing motionless and inscrutable in the corner of the room."
I can only assume that this sleeping scene is 20 minutes long.
And if it sounds like I'm just trying to put down this director's art because I'm secretly a Pete's Dragon purist or something ... keep in mind that I'm taking my perplexity cues from the goddamn director himself, and his own description of the film's weird tedium.
Who is he to imply that two seconds of skeletons isn't always terrifying?
All of this adds up to a film we absolutely have to go see, if only to figure out just what the hell is going on. And yes, I realize that's exactly what the film wants, and by succumbing to its weirdness we are technically letting it win. But if there's even a sliver of chance that the film features a sheet-covered Affleck half-heartedly yelling "fackin ... boo, kid" then I'm in.
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea: The Title Says It All
Release Date: April 14, 2017
With books I've never personally read like New School and Cosplayers, cartoonist Dash Shaw has certainly made a name for himself in the world of graphic novels, I assume. I'm not a fancy picture story kind of guy (the mixture of pictures and words makes me confused and angry), but his work does include a lot of bright primary colors and that delights me.
Red, blue, yellow! They're all here!
And it's this surreal artistic style that's being applied to Shaw's first animated feature, which stars an impressive array of talent and looks like if MTV's Liquid Television had creepy Rosemary's Baby sex with Adult Swim.
One of these pictures might be actual sex.
It's called My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea and stars Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, John Cameron Mitchell, Maya Rudolph, and Susan Sarandon as a mentor lunch lady. The plot is exactly what the title promises, as our sophomore hero (named after Shaw) learns his precarious cliffside California high school is not up to earthquake standards. Before he can do anything about it, the worst happens and the entire school slides into the Pacific, creating a Poseidon Adventure-esque survival tale where Dash struggles from floor-to-floor in an attempt to escape deadly fires, shark attacks, and a watery demise.
See, kids? High school isn't easy for anyone!
Having designated each floor of the school to be its own class grade, Dash's journey is designed to have the same social leveling up feeling as a video game. Only instead of some gold chest or princess, the reward here is not having your lungs filled with icy water in a drawn-out and terrifying sequence. So ... exactly like the Mario 64 water levels, actually.
The Evil Within: A Horror Film That Took So Long To Make The Director Died
Release Date: Right Goddamn Now!
In 2002, a millionaire oil heir named Andrew Getty decided to write and direct a horror film based on his own deeply disturbing childhood nightmares. Dumping his own money into the project, Getty began to transform his own mansion into a makeshift studio -- buying up tons of film equipment, crafting unique rigs, and creating his own animatronics ... including a puppet octopus designed to play the drums for a single scene.
"Eat shit, Ringo!"
Production took six years to complete, after which Andrew began obsessing over the film's edit -- converting his mansion into a post-production studio. It was this mansion that he would later be found dead in, having succumbed to a hemorrhaging ulcer caused by an ongoing methamphetamine addiction.
That was 2015. And now, several years later, Getty's nightmares have finally been released to the public in the form of a film called The Evil Within. And boy was it well worth the wait.
To be followed by the urine within (your pants).
Having seen it myself (it's available to stream this very moment), I can vouch for the film being exactly what you imagine the product of a meth-addicted nightmare-obsessed perfectionist millionaire would be. The film is about a mentally disabled boy whose dreams become hijacked by a Cronenbergian demon, and soon enough start bleeding into reality. The only way for them to stop? Human sacrifice. And trust me when I say that snuffing out the nightmares is well worth the meager price of murder.
Especially when ZzzQuil just won't do the trick.
It's like Nightmare On Elm Street, if Nightmare On Elm Street was fueled by drugs ... so it's exactly like Nightmare On Elm Street. For a lot of it, The Evil Within feels like a really well-shot b-movie thanks to the awkward dialogue and the sheer discomfort that comes with a less-than-ideal portrayal of a mentally disabled person. But it all pays off when it comes time for the bonkers-as-fuck ending, to which I'll give you just a taste:
If you're fucked up enough to know what's going on here, you deserve to be spoiled.
Yes that's a spider-person, and somehow not the most disturbing part of this film. Keep that in mind before you ever think about trying meth.
Is there a new crazy film you want to share with the world? Tell Dave about it on his Twitter.
Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers aliens: Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman: So simple, but so bad. Are there good versions of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that saw the light of day? Jack O'Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien, and Katie Willert of After Hours on our next live podcast to find an answer, as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakes. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!
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