Four Movies that Aren't as Bad as They Look
The title is straightforward. This is a list of movies that will probably exceed your expectations. However, a couple of these choices may be polarizing so I will guarantee each of these movies will, at least, be more interesting than they look. And I consider memorable movies to be good. So, lets get into it.
1. The Midnight Meat Train
Clive Barker’s stories are twisted, gruesome, over the top etc. and this movie perfectly captures them. In fact, It’s one of the best Clive Barker adaptations out there. At this point, it’s gaining a small cult following but there are still a lot of people who don't know about ‘The Midnight Meat Train’ due to it’s initial release. Apparently, this movie was supposed to have a wide theatrical release, but the studio pulled it to put out something else. So it went straight to video aside from a very few screenings. Personally, I have vivid memories of seeing this movie’s title and cover everywhere for the past thirteen years. It was in every Wal-Mart dollar bin. It was one of those movies at Blockbuster that you’d pass over in the horror section without thinking about. The cover has the look of all those 2000s era ‘Saw’ ripoffs so, aside from the crazy title, I never thought of it. But, recently, I decided to give it a try and it completely surprised me. Bradley Cooper plays a New York photographer who wanders the streets at night with his camera. One night, he sees a butcher walking into the subway and follows him. From there, we descend into a face-melting gorefest that never lets up. But it’s not all sleaze; it actually has a well written and engaging narrative that keeps you guessing. Some horror fans like violence; some like more psychological stuff. I think this movie can appeal to both of them. If you like horror be sure to check it out.
2. Between Worlds
Nicolas Cage was in way too many throwaway VOD movies over the past decade. And, yes, I’ve seen pretty much all of them so I can tell you there are some worth mentioning. I know the joke is that Cage is unhinged in every role but ‘Between Worlds’ is a case where the film itself is weirder than he is. He plays it pretty straightforward as a trucker who meets a woman and stays with her when his vehicle breaks down. She has a daughter in a coma and she also has psychic abilities to talk to dead people, so Cage helps her go into the spirit world to bring her daughter back. But it soon becomes apparent that she accidentally brought back the spirit of someone else and it’s living in her daughter. And then, well, things get weird. The director of this movie is obviously inspired by David Lynch. She even got his go-to composer to make the soundtrack. So, yes, the style is similar to Lynch but, make no mistake, ‘Between Worlds’ is it’s own thing. The plot material delves into more low-brow places than an actual Lynch film, which is not bad to see. Whatever you do, don’t write this one off as run of the mill VOD movie.
3. The Exorcist Three
Now this one just sounds awful from the title. ‘The Exorcist’ wasn’t even open to sequels in the first place, and the second movie should kill all hope for the franchise. But this third installment changes things up a bit. It’s actually an adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s other book ‘Legion’ which is about a detective (played by George C. Scott) who investigates murders that have sacrilegious themes. Several directors were attached to the project but Blatty ended up doing it himself. And the final product is a slow-burning psychological movie that can be genuinely unsettling at times. It’s marketing as the third Exorcist movie seems to be a business move although I guess, technically, this is a spin-off of the first one. It stands alone as it’s own story though. So don’t let the title fool you. Go watch it and show your friends who will be impressed with your film knowledge. There’s also a dream sequence that has Fabio and a young Samuel L. Jackson in it. So that’s interesting.
Some may not agree with this pick, but I think ‘Postal’ deserves to be on the list. First of all, it looks absolutely terrible. Uwe Boll doesn't have the best reputation as a director and his other video game adaptions are his worst work. But the difference between ‘Postal’ and those other movies is that he’s actually trying to be creative here. I don’t know anything about the game this movie is based on but apparently it has a “politically incorrect" since of humor. Boll took that and ran with it, making a comedy that doesn’t flinch at abrasive content. It’s about a down on his luck guy whose uncle is a fraudulent cult leader. He decides to team up with his uncle in a scheme to rob an amusement park, but the Taliban has the same idea and they end up fighting terrorists. It doesn’t matter what the plot is. This movie is on the list for one simple reason: it’s funny, and it entertains way more than you’d expect. It came out five years after 9/11 which makes all the terrorist humor that much more bold. Hell, some of it could even still push people’s buttons today. But Uwe Boll does whatever he wants in his movies and that’s part of why people talk about him. This movie won me over from the first scene. It begins with two terrorists in the cockpit of a plane they’re about to crash into a building. Then they start arguing over how many virgins they get in paradise and decide to call Bin Laden to confirm the number. He tells them it’s been changed to twenty and so they decide it isn’t worth it and divert course to the Bahamas. Humor is subjective so maybe you don’t find this movie funny. But I do. And that’s why it’s on the list.