I’ll admit I went in to Mark Pavia’s “Fender Bender” expecting almost nothing and was shocked at how effective it was in the end. It’s a solid stalk and chase slasher film mixing “Death Proof” and “The Hitcher” and director Pavia delivers a strong genre entry suitable for a lazy Friday night and some beers. “Fender Bender” centers on young Hilary, a girl living in New Mexico with her parents who just got her license. After a terrible break up with her cheating boyfriend, she accidentally runs in to another driver causing a minor fender bender. The stranger in question is a very forward and charming man who is very generous and friendly to Hilary after exchanging information.
Haunted attractions are big business in the US around Halloween time, each one trying to outdo the other. In the countryside, a new one called “Land of Illusion” decides to use local killers and their stories to up their scare factor. Little do they know, the six maniacs escaped the asylum housing them and find their way to the fun house and bloody, bloody mayhem ensues.
I think one of the main reasons why “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has become such a classic, even thirty years later, is that Ferris Bueller is that character we wish we could be. Many of us have always dreamed of ignoring life’s responsibilities and obligations if only for one day, and Ferris has the guts to act on his desire. This is a guy who is working hard against becoming just another doting workaday suburbanite like his parents. And somewhere down the road, he might even become his best friend Cameron, a guy ruled by his fear and insecurity.
I wish Hollywood would stop trying to turn the legend of the Aokigahara Forest in to a horror movie. While the story of the forest itself is sad, and often times very creepy, it just doesn’t translate in to a good horror movie. Not in the slightest. One of the worst examples yet is Jason Zada’s “The Forest,” an absolutely lack luster and painfully dull mystery starring Natalie Dormer. Dormer, who is typically a great performer with a strong on-screen presence isn’t given much to do but run around and react to scary sights in the forest. And she plays twins!
Adapted from the novel that made bored housewives across the world dream of being tortured by the most boring man in the world, “Fifty Shades of Grey” lives up to its reputation. It’s cheap, misogynist, Z grade exploitation masquerading as the romance of a woman trying to tame the ultimate man, who by all accounts should be alone left to his own demented fantasies. It began its life as fan fiction and reads like the cheap fantasies of a bored sexually repressed woman. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is about boring people doing stupid things to one another, and cardboard characters trying to create some sense of tension and conflict that never amounts to anything interesting. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the film that essentially romanticizes abuse and misogyny as something that’s admirable in a man and can potentially be snuffed out with the right woman by his side.
Todd Strauss-Schulson‘s “The Final Girls” is probably the best coming of age film of the year. Hiding beneath the veneer of a slasher horror comedy beats a touching and heartbreaking dramedy about letting go, and accepting that sometimes nature has to take its course. Taissa Farmiga is wonderful as young Max, the daughter of Amanda, a once popular actress who has unfortunately been typecast for her role as Nancy in a famous slasher movie named “Camp Bloodbath.” Max keeps the hope in her mom alive, despite Amanda completely losing faith in herself, and in the hope of becoming a popular actress once again. Tragically the pair gets in to a horrible car crash killing Amanda and leaving Max orphaned. Three years later, Max is still clinging to memories, and is convinced by friend Duncan to attend a double screening of mom Amanda’s “Camp Bloodbath” movies, in hopes of indulging hardcore fans of the movie series.
After her mother’s death, Max has difficulty re-adjusting to life without her. As she grieves, she’s invited to a screening of 80s slasher Camp Bloodbath in which her mother starred. Against what might be her better judgment, she decides to go with her friends. Once there, an incident pushes the group into the film itself, Last Action Hero style, where they face off with its masked baddie Billy Murphy and try to save themselves, the cast, and Max’s mother.
I fondly remember renting “Meet Rockula and Frankenstone” quite often from our local videos store when I was a kid, and thankfully the movie genuinely holds up. Like all great comedy series, the Flintstones have had their share of crossovers, and this time they have the misfortune of meeting Dracula and Frankenstone. Or their stone age counterparts, as it were. While it’s not raucously funny as when Abbot and Costello met them, it’s a darn good short movie with the Flintstones doing what they do best.