I'm back from my latest unfortunate hiatus. Can everybody please agree to stop dying for awhile?!? As always, thanks to everyone who has called or visited or sent texts or brought us meat during the crazy bummer that has been the last two months. I don't think Late Summer 2014 can ever possibly be dethroned as the King of Shitty Summers, but light is finally hazily visible at the end of the sadness tunnel and we're just going to hold each other close and blast toward it Rocketeer-style. But seriously, to any of our close personal friends that check in from time to time on this ridiculous endeavor of mine, thank you for all of the support you've shown for my wife and our family. We couldn't do it without you guys.
Most of you, I think, just drift onto this here blog accidental-like, so please do not read the preceding paragraph. It is not for you. Don't misunderstand: I love everyone who reads Giant Electric Penguin, from the bots advertising Viagra to the angry Hemlock Grove fans who think I'm an idiot. If this is your first time to the blog--or the one-thousandth time!--I'm glad you're here. Welcome. Now please open your hymnal to page 301.
I thought I'd bring back an old feature that, like so many others, I let fade away because of, um, let's just call it laziness. However, I'm ready to bring it back because, quite frankly, I've been watching a lot of movies lately--thank you Netflix on my iPhone--and they've all been pretty good. So, here we go:
Welcome to Last 3 Movies, GEP's
new returning feature in which I reflect on the last three movies I watched. That's basically it. Enjoy.
Title: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)
Why did I watch this?: My friend Gabe--who wrote this book that you should totally buy and read right after you finish reading this dumb thing, and Gabe, if you are by any chance seeing this, I plan to purchase and read your book in the coming weeks--recommended it to me an embarrassingly long time ago, and as I am wont to do, I filed said recommendation in the swampy part of my brain where recommendations from friends go to drown and die, and I forgot about it.
The viewing experience: I want to like "horror comedies," because it seems like a genre that would be right up my alley or in my wheelhouse or, as my wife says, "up [my] cornhole." Unfortunately, I'm not particularly a fan of comedy mixed in with my horror. I'm the same way about sex. Now this doesn't mean I enjoy relentlessly dark and demoralizing horror (or sex), I don't, I just don't need a bunch of silly chocolate mixed in with my serious peanut butter. That doesn't mean I dislike all "horror comedy," heavens no! Evil Dead 2 is one of the finest horror comedies ever made, and Dead Alive, An American Werewolf in London, Slither (which I saw at the $1 theater with Gabe...ah, memories), Re-Animator and Gremlins are films I love.
You can just go ahead and add Tucker & Dale to that list if you don't mind. It's clever, genuinely funny and gloriously gory, and the leads, Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, are fantastic!
Advice to Hollywood: I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I can't say it no more: Put. Tyler. Labine. In. Everything.
Point of Interest: Tucker & Dale features a better wood chipper moment than Fargo. Yeah. I said it.
Behind the Scenes at GEP: Above when I decided to include the titles of a few horror-comedies that I genuinely enjoy, my mind went utterly blank after Dead Alive, so, I turned to Wikipedia for assistance, typing "list of horror comedies" into the search bar. Here are a few of the films listed that I had never heard of but must see ASAP: Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967); I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990); Killer Condom (1997); Hey, Stop Stabbing Me! (2003); SARS Wars (2004); Netherbeast Incorporated (2007); and of course Zombie Ass (2011).
Title: God Bless America (2011)
Why did I watch this?: I am a fan of director Bobcat Goldthwait's 2009 film, World's Greatest Dad, starring Robin Williams in probably my favorite performance of his, and I hadn't processed Williams' death yet and I'd never seen this and, I don't know, something about Robin Williams, who, by the way, is not in this, though his name is mentioned in conjunction with Sasquatch.
Fact, Neither Fun, Truthful or About the Film God Bless America: Following the tragic death of Robin Williams, I actually moved up on the official Hairiest Man on the Planet list. I'm now at #2, just behind the aforementioned Sasquatch. I'm kind of a big deal.
The viewing experience: My guess is that when Goldthwait sat down to write the script for God Bless America, he set up a solid base of soap boxes on which to place his writing desk, then using a stack of three soap boxes instead of a chair, commenced writing.
That being said, I enjoyed God Bless America on some levels. Goldthwait, via Joel Murray as Frank, is not wrong: most, if not all, of the young ladies who appeared on Mtv's My Super Sweet Sixteen deserve our nation's unending scorn; people who talk or use their cell phones in a movie theater deserve nothing good in their lives; and people who can't simply be kind and courteous to their fellow man are complete wastes of space, air and precious, precious resources. But he's preaching to the choir, and, hey, sometimes, as a choir member, I appreciate that, but I guess I'd rather just listen to Bobcat talk about this stuff in his next stand-up special.
Title: John Dies at the End (2013)
Why did I watch this?: I've been meaning to watch this for a long time.
The viewing experience: It was awesome. I mean, I wish I could say more. This movie is right up my cornhole, I mean, right there in the creamy center of my warm, supple cornhole. And, I guess, it's kind of a horror-comedy, so, maybe I'm a little more into them than I thought. Oh, well. It wouldn't be me if I wasn't constantly contradicting myself.
Short Plot Synopsis: Ho, boy! This is gonna be tough. I can do this, I can do this. Let's see what the synopsis wizards over at Netflix came up with:
"Promising a trip that transcends time and space, a drug called Soy Sauce is sweeping the landscape -- and quietly robbing users of their humanity."
Hmmm. I mean, I guess. You should probably just watch it. I'll say this, I'm 100% in if Coscarelli wants to make countless sequels with these two characters. They are a delight. Oh, maybe a TV series!
Recommendation: I watched a movie right before deciding to bring Last 3 Movies back called Odd Thomas that I liked a lot. It kind of reminds me of a more mainstream version John Dies at the End mixed with a dash of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and a sprinkle of Constantine. Also worth checking out.