You Have to See This! Staying Alive (1983)

Streaming on Amazon Prime, Paramount Plus, and Hulu. 

“Staying Alive” has always been a notorious movie that always came with the legacy of being one of the worst movies ever made, and one of the worst sequels, barnone. It’s hard to achieve a feat as high as “Saturday Night Fever” which wasn’t just a movie about disco music, but was also a wonderful coming of age drama. With star John Travolta taking any role he could in the seventies and eighties, “Staying Alive” is that classic case of both being incapable of catching lightning in a bottle twice, and a studio not knowing what made their first film so great, in the first place.

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You Have to See This! Shredder Orpheus (1989)

Now Available at Vinegar Syndrome.

The best way to summarize “Shredder Orpheus” is if “Gleaming the Cube” and “Videodrome” had a torrid violent, sexual love affair while high on shrooms that projected new wave music videos in to their brains, all the while the pair ended their rendezvous with a round of skateboarding. Courtesy of Boom! Cult and AGFA, Robert McGinley’s VHS SOV genre film is simultaneously oddly entertaining but also incredibly mind numbing. It’s a dystopian tale that seems to be working toward some kind of coherency at times, but occasionally gives up in exchange of using the budget to showcase skateboarding. In lieu of story there are just aimless scenes of people skateboarding.

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You Have to See This! Selena (1997)

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Redbox

If you’re a tik tok addict as yours truly is, then you’ll have noticed the more entertaining memes of adult Latina women introducing their daughters (or younger female friends or family) to “Selena.” It’s a bittersweet series of memes that inspire big laughs and big frowns all around. Like everyone in the nineties, the young women quickly fall head over heels in love with Selena Quintanilla. And like every person in the nineties, the rug is pulled right under them when shockingly she dies a pointless, tragic death. The series is interesting as it serves only to illustrate how much of a spell Selena put on people around the world.

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You Have to See This! Shiva Baby (2020)

Streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max

It’s unreal that Emma Seligman is a newcomer director when watching “Shiva Baby.” She manages to build and introduce us to what is easily one of the most chaotic and absolutely uncomfortable movies I’ve ever seen. “Shiva Baby” is a master class in making its viewer absolutely uneasy and anxious as Seligman just revels in amping up the anxiety to every single bit of her narrative every minute. Seligman, despite making “Shiva Baby” her work of absolute love, is not one who ever lets her characters off the hook. Despite focusing the entirety of “Shiva Baby” on her central protagonist Danielle, Seligman has a great time making her squirm, panic, and just about heave in sheer horror as she twists the screws on her throughout “Shiva Baby.”

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You Have to See This! Becky (2020)

Streaming on: Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Redbox

When it comes to revenge pictures, there’s no beating the wrath of a female scorned. Even worse there’s no beating the wrath of female child scorned. The whole concept of a child unleashing their wrath is an underused trope in Hollywood and it’s a shame that there aren’t more of these pictures (There is “The Aggression Scale,” though). For what it’s worth we have Cary Murnion, and Jonathan Milott’s “Becky,” a considerably schlocky but vicious bit of revenge fare that I just love.

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You Have to See This! Wyrmwood: Apocalypse (2021)

Streaming On: Tubi, Vudu, Apple TV, Redbox

I for one got a huge kick out of Kiah Roache-Turner’s “Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead,” because while it was a huge departure from what I usually like in my zombie movies, he compensated with huge creativity and a great series of performances. In particular Bianca Bradey was a scene stealer as the zombie human hybrid Brooke. In “Apocalypse,” Kiah Roache-Turner and Tristan Roache-Turner shift the focus ever so slightly to a new series of characters. Sure they keep the integrity and novelty of “Road of the Dead” in tact, but this time we’re given a wider scope with a new series of villains and some bad ass zombie hybrids.

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You Have to See This! Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

“When they get to heaven they’ll be forgiven. God will forgive them and let them in. And I can’t live with that.”

I’ve been a fan of Paddy Considine’s since I saw him in his utterly frightening performance as a mentally imbalanced recluse in “A Room for Romeo Brass.” I also loved him in the schmaltzy albeit well-intentioned family drama in “In America,” and he flexes his keen ability to be both menacing and vulnerable with Shane Meadows’ “Dead Man’s Shoes”. Meadows’ revenge thriller is a very visceral revenge film that delves in the fall out from the breaking of a cardinal rule: Don’t ever fuck with a man’s family.

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You Have to See This! The Losers (2010)

Streaming On: HBO Max, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime Video

In 2010 movie fans were given two action movies about a group of ragtag military outcasts doing everything they could to prove their innocence and fight a domestic terrorist. There was the long awaited “A-Team” revival and “The Losers.” The latter was based on a comic series from Vertigo comics of the same name, and wouldn’t you know it? The “A-Team” movie ended up being one big rotten egg, while “The Losers” was everything the aforementioned film should have been and received zero fanfare. It’s a damn shame that a decade later, “The Losers” is so utterly unappreciated and overlooked, because—again—this is the type of movie “A-Team” should have been.

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