Avengers: Endgame

Nothing can prepare you for the end.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.

Starring: Chris Evans • Scarlett Johansson • Robert Downey Jr • Mark Ruffalo • Chris Hemsworth

Bruce Willis had been in the Nakatomi Plaza vent for a very long time

“Whatever it takes.”

*No spoilers*

I didn’t have adequate words when I left the theater on Friday night and I’m not sure I’ve got them now, which is probably just as well as I am terrified about dropping an accidental clanger. I won’t go into any detail to avoid that but I do want to talk about how it made me feel.

Has anyone seen that news article about the young Chinese woman hospitalised because she couldn’t stop crying when she saw it? That about sums it up. I cried from the opening scene all the way through to the end credits. I know this isn’t a surprising reaction for a sap like me but it gives you an idea of my mental state.

So yeah, take tissues. I also took a flask of tea and had to deal with the five tween boys sitting beside me making cheeky comments at my expense. Totally worth it.

“Where’s the beard, dude?”

“We lost. All of us. We lost friends. We lost family. We lost a part of ourselves. This is the fight of our lives.” ~ Steve Rogers

So what’s the verdict then?

Endgame perfectly balances humour with the feels – it’s stressful, exciting, comfortingly familiar and surprising. It’s everything I expected and more – it’s all I needed and much more. Without question it is the perfect end to Phase Three, even if the film itself isn’t perfect.

There’s one thing I really didn’t enjoy and it was a cheap shot – a lame fatphobic joke repeated over and over and although I’m not going to spoil it, I want to mention it. That’s pretty much my only beef with EG – it is very long, it is very busy – but I liked all that and I’ll be doing it all again this week.

All that time over the last decade we’ve spent in the MCU with these characters, every adventure – the Endgame is finally here and I almost can’t believe I’ve seen it now.

It’s over-all joyous. Five stars though I’m tempted to remove one for the fat phobia.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

Frida

I thought we’d go out with a bang on our last movie because our Based on a True Story Month has had mixed results – and not one, but two appearances by my least favourite Franco brother.

I consider this movie to be the Queen of all biographies, a labour of love (in getting the film made) and a remarkable story rolled into one. With a powerhouse performance from one of the most enigmatic women in the world – playing one of the most fierce and fascinating women of all time.

Bring it on.

Prepare to be seduced.

Frida (2002)

A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.

Starring: Salma Hayek • Alfred Molina • Geoffrey Rush

Monobrow! Monobrow! Monobrow!

*Minor spoilers*

We meet Frida (Salma Hayek) just before the horrifying events of the accident that saw her seriously injured – and plaqued by constant pain for the rest of her life. She’s a rebel girl for sure – and the tram crash that results in her being impaled by a metal pole doesn’t stop her – but it does shape her future in good and bad ways.

While bedridden and in full-body plaster, Frida begins to doodle on her cast – her father brings her a canvas on which to transfer her artwork. She becomes pretty good I guess (spoiler: I fucking love her work) and remembering an encounter with artist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) just before the accident, Frida finds him to ask him what he thinks of her art.

Unsurprisingly, Diego is blown away by the artwork and by the woman herself – and the two quickly become comrades in art. Diego’s belief in her talent is what keeps her going. Romance and then marriage quickly follows the friendship, though Diego is honest about his shortcomings, telling Frida that he will never be able to stay monogamous. She demands loyalty, if not fidelity – and he agrees.

Ugh. This scene was so fricking HOT

Both our lovers take on other lovers. Frida being bisexual enjoys liasions with both men and women. At one point she has an affair with a woman also shagging Diego at the same time. The marriage is tempestuous and is tested further when the pair travel to NYC for a commission of Diego’s mural work. The mural, Man at the Crossroads, is destroyed when the Rockefeller Center’s patron, Nelson Rockefeller (Edward Norton) asks the artist to compromise his communist vision. At the same time Frida suffers a miscarriage and her mother passes away.

I won’t got through this scene by scene but when the pair return to Mexico, Diego fucks it all up by sleeping with Frida’s sister Cristina (Mía Maestro). Frida kicks him out and the pair are only reunited (not romantically) when Frida agrees to put up Russian politician Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush) and his wife, who have been granted political asylum in Mexico.

But when Frida and Trotsky start an affair of their own – he is forced back home and into the path of potential danger to protect his marriage. Diego takes this affair hard, claiming to be broken hearted and Frida travels to Paris. When Trotsky is inevitably murdered, Diego becomes chief suspect and Frida is incarcerated in his place.

“Salud, motherfuckers!”

The film takes us to the end of Frida’s life, without Diego and then with, as they remarry and see out the rest of her days together. This film is so beautiful, seamlessly melding some of Kahlo’s most stunning real life works into film scenes. There are little flights of artistic fancy, stop motion animation and illustration – and it’s truly stunning.

The performances are flawless, Hayek is particularly mesmerising and she’s the perfect actress to play Frida. Although I don’t know as much about the real Kahlo as I should, I think she nails the artist’s steely determination and her fire perfectly. Frida’s talent is seriously something else, her paintings channel all the pain and anguish of her life and makes it beautiful.

I think this film is wonderful. I would have loved more girl on girl action but that’s not a criticism per se. I’d say that about most films. Make every character gay – looking at you Captain Marvel and Valkyrie.

I also like how it examines the institution of marriage and the idea of monogamy. While Frida isn’t someone you’d expect to take the traditional route, her decision to marry Diego despite his honesty is seen as radical, maybe it was.

Painting what you know can be brutal, yo.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What does my love think of Frida? Would she paint it in a bathtub or destroy it on Edward Norton’s watch? Find out here.

I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Giallo

Last Thurday my fellow horror fiend Matt hosted Dario Night at his place. This consisted of a lot of snack food and a double bill of Dario Argento movies. Now this was an educational date, as my experience of the godfather of Italian Horror is shaky at best and consists of just three of his films – Phenomena, Two Evil Eyes (segment “The Black Cat”) and perhaps his best known work, Suspiria.

Now my opinion on 1977’s Suspiria is very mixed. On one hand I completely respect his/its vision, the premise and the aesthetic – on the other, I found it repellent, jarring and quite unpleasant. Though now I think this might have been exactly how I was supposed to feel. So to say I am an Argento fan is only partly true – but I knew I wanted to explore more and who better to show me than my horror partner-in-crime?

We watched two of Argento’s best known movies which I’ll go into below. But we began with an intro into Giallo and what that actually means. Again, I only had a vague idea of what it was and only from watching Berberian Sound Studio in which Toby Jones plays a sound engineer in an Italian film studio that produces Giallo movies.

Suspiria (1977)

I know, right? For a horror fan I have a lot to learn and you know what? I love that. I love and enjoy this genre – and yet can still learn so much from other horror lovers. There is still masses to explore, so many sub-genres, so many previously overlooked (by me) horror auteurs – I’ll never be done. Thank god!

For the uninitiated, Wiki says this about Giallo:

Giallo (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒallo]; plural gialli) is a 20th-century Italian genre of literature and film. Especially outside Italy, giallo refers specifically to a particular Italian thriller-horror genre that has mystery or detective elements and often contains slasher, crime fiction, psychological thriller, psychological horror, exploitation, sexploitation, and, less frequently, supernatural horror elements. In Italy, the term generally denotes thrillers, typically of the crime fiction, mystery, and horror subgenres, regardless of the country of origin.

Also, interesting:

The term giallo (“yellow”) derives from a series of crime-mystery pulp novels entitled Il Giallo Mondadori (Mondadori Yellow), published by Mondadori from 1929 and taking its name from the trademark yellow cover background. The series consisted almost exclusively of Italian translations of mystery novels by British and American writers. These included Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Edgar Wallace, Ed McBain, Rex Stout and Raymond Chandler.

More here.

Sorry not to put the above in my own words but I think Wiki’s got this. So there you have it, a sub-genre of horror with very defined characteristics. Gialli are noted for their exploration of psychological themes such as madness, alienation, sexuality and paranoia. As the page says:

The protagonist is usually a witness to a gruesome crime but frequently finds their testimony subject to skepticism from authority figures, leading to a questioning of their own perception and authority.

And I think the above it one of the reasons I love Giallo so much. One of the most frustrating but also satisfying elements of horror is when the little woman is convinced of something, be it supernatural or whatever – and she’s not believed. Until she’s proven right! This isn’t exclusive to female characters as Argento proves but it’s often brushed off as hysteria, a stereotypical female trait.

You know what else I love? Amateur sleuthing – and I got it x 2 last night – and it was perfect. To the movies!

Deep Red (1975) or Profondo rosso (original title)

A jazz pianist and a wisecracking journalist are pulled into a complex web of mystery after the former witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic.

We begin with the hint of a brutal murder, the camera focused on the legs of a child standing next to a bloody murder weapon on Christmas Day. What’s that all about? In present day, we meet Englishman-in-Italy, Marc Daly (David Hemmings ). Marc is a jazz pianist by night and a would-be detective by day – ever since he witnesses a horrific murder and doesn’t get much sense or assistance from the cops.

Convinced something is not right about the crime scene (a missing painting that he swears down was there when he got there, gone when he left), Marc sets off on a mission of his own – to find out whodunit? Along for the ride is journalist Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi), a sassy broad with a tongue to match.

Battle of the Sasses

While Marc seems mostly impervious to Gianna’s charms, there is an undeniable chemistry between the odd couple – and I’m gutted there was never a spin-off detective show starring only them. However, during a battle of wits, Marc states that women are weaker gentler than men and Gianna beats him at arm wrestling – so he vows to go off and solve everything alone, while she can do the same. Which means we’re cheated of a true partnership and that’s my only criticism of this movie honestly.

There are murders aplenty, each one a feat of true imagination and seriously, although we get the Argento signature head through a window death – it’s the slaughter of one of the male characters halfway through the movie that will haunt my dreams for the rest of eternity. And when Marc explores an abandoned (and allegedly) haunted mansion – things get really good.

Will he find out who and why? I will say I spend an awful lot of time falling for every red herring put in my way and was convinced of who the killer was pretty early on – and was completely wrong. This experience was so much fun, I found it genuinely tense and stressful trying to work it all out – and I loved the way it looked. The framing of certain shots is flawless – and there’s a lot of claret flowing (blood) and copious POV shots, which I enjoy immensely.

Nope

I definitely recommend this and as an intro to Argento, if like me you’re no pro, I think you can do worse. Maybe don’t start with Suspiria.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Tenebrae (1982) or Tenebre (original title)

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Something interesting about Tenebrae: it was on the infamous video nasties list and banned from sale in the UK until 1999. Which is fair play when you consider how gory it is.

It’s also quite unsettling in terms of the male gaze but I understand from my teacher for the evening that this was a conscious clapback by Argento to his haters who accused him of the over-sexualisation of his female characters. Which he is so totally guilty of which is problematic for me. Maybe I’ll save that for another post.

Young and gorgeous ingenue type for Spring? Groundbreaking.

Anyway. Skeezy author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) visits Rome after the publication of his latest bestseller and finds himself being stalked by a killer. The killer is bumping off vicitims associated to the book and to Peter himself in wild and wonderful ways – and mostly beautiful (and near identical) women with questionable moral priorities (lesbians, adulterers, sex workers – you know the drill).

There’s an incredible scene with a dog that really stood out and had me screaming from my seat so I wanted to give snaps for that. Argento can build tension like a pro, there’s no denying it and I really do feel that his movies stand up in that respect. What dates them is the blatant sexism, in both movies each of the male leads have an awful lot to say about traditional gender roles – and that just wouldn’t wash today. You’d hope.

What I liked about Tenebrae was the super-sleuthing, as Neal and his apprentice/assistant Gianni piece together an image of what’s going on. As Neal’s own life is threatened in letters from ‘the killer’, his involvement ramps up – but nothing is as it seems. We also meet lovely Daria Nicolodi again, who plays Anne, Peter Neal’s lover and PA (?). She doesn’t get quite as juicy a part here as in Deep Red but she’s still a joy to behold.

Rzaor sharp wit

Throughout the movie we’re treated to abstract flashbacks/fantasy segments of a beautiful woman in red stilettos who may or may not be key to the whole plot. Plus there’s a side story involving Neal’s ex-fiance sexy Jane (Veronica Lario) and his agent Bullmer (Nancy’s dad in Nightmare on Elm Street John Saxon). Could this too have more to do with things than we think?

Well, there’s only one way to find out! Just be prepared to enjoy your movie with lashings of blood, boobs and big beautiful eyes.

⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I had a lot of fun with these movies and still have a considerable Argento catalog to work my way through. Perhaps I’ll share my journey with the group.

Have you seen any of these movies? What are your thoughts?

Greta

Everyone Needs a Friend.

Greta (2018)

A young woman befriends a lonely widow who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda toward her.

Starring: Isabelle Huppert • Chloë Grace Moretz • Maika Monroe 

*Minor spoilers*

Bags of fun

Huh. Knowing this is directed by The Crying Game’s Neil Jordan, you would naturally go in expecting a high quality thriller. What you actually get is an enjoyable, yet ultimately empty and forgettable movie with questionable central performances. Which I’m gutted to type, honestly because ever since I saw the trailer, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release date.

The premise alone is so intriguing. When nice girl Frances McCullen (Chloe Moretz) finds a handbag on the subway, there’s no question of what she will do. She returns it to its rightful owner, Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert). Greta invites her in for coffee and learning that she is widowed and missing her daughter, who lives in Paris, Frances takes pity on the woman – and a friendship is born.

Grieving for her own mother, who has passed away the previous year, Frances finds a natural connection with Greta. Frances’ BFF Erica (It Follows’ Maika Monroe) warns her that the whole scene is a little bit icky – and moreover, that Frances’ wholesome goodness will result in her being eaten alive by NYC. Frances doesn’t see it like that… until she discovers some new (and sinister) information about her new friend.

What on earth is Greta’s game and what does she want from Frances?

Chink chink motherfucker

Needless to say this is an intense stalker story that culminates in a nasty situation. But why? This is my issue with the story. We learn via a secondary source (played by Zawe Ashton), that things aren’t as they seem, particularly regarding the relationship between Greta and her daughter. There’s a vague hint at what G might be hiding but there’s no exploration of why she is what she is. And the climax is cool and all but it’s also shaky and predictable.

I was expecting so much more. I thought I’d be blown away by a motive I’d never even considered, with twists and turns I couldn’t imagine. Instead I got several shoddy false starts and a lot of head scratching time. That said, I still enjoyed myself – and while she’s not given that much to do, I liked Erica (when will MM get the consistently great roles she deserves?).

“I loved you in It Follows.”

About those central performances. I mean, c’mon! Huppert is a dream of an actress with a sting in her tail. Her turn in 2016’s Elle was wonderful – I expected more of the same, if not even more unhinged and delicious. Yet her Greta never really gets going in the way I hoped. It’s not a bad performance, it just doesn’t ever gain the momentum you’d expect. She is chic AF though, which is a given.

In turn, lovely Miss Moretz seems to phone her part in. I do find her acting hit or miss at times (even though I like her) but it’s as if she turned up to filming without really reading the script first. However, I can’t really blame the actresses for this, the film just doesn’t pack a punch and they can only do so much.

⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

Helter Skelter

I feel I should pre-fix this post with a little disclaimer about true crime enthusiasm. I love true crime, my podcast list is peppered with real life stories of murder and horror – I can’t get enough and I’m not entirely sure why.

Obviously I’m a massive horror fan but I feel that actual true life horror goes against why I love those movies so much. There’s comfort in letting myself be scared but also knowing that it’s all fantasy. Stories like this reinforce that there really are monsters out there – and that’s terrifying in a whole new way. It’s probably the psychology of what makes a monster that gets me – and this true account of the Manson murders is no exception. How on Earth could one man be responsible for such horrific carnage when he wasn’t even present on the nights of the murders?

Well, Helter Skelter takes us inside the media circus and tries to answer some of those questions. I just want it to be clear that I don’t believe Manson deserves any of the adoration he’s always received. There’s a mystique to him obviously but he was a horrible, evil manipulator and he doesn’t deserve to be revered as a rock star. See also: Ted Bundy.

It’s taken me almost two months to the day to finish this massive tome, more for the fact that the content is as brutal as you can imagine. It goes in deep on the Sharon Tate murders, adding details I had never read before. I thought I knew most of what there was to know about that particular crime but I didn’t, it’s awful and senseless – and not for the faint-hearted.

But that’s not why this book took me so long. It’s just so court-roomy. Author Vincent Buliosi was a high-profile American attorney and best-selling author – and the chief prosecutor in the Manson trial. He basically took that fucker and the other accused Family members down to China Town, securing the death penalty for all of them (until it was abolished in the state of California).

Sugar and spice these girls are not

I won’t rehash it all here, if you’re interested then the chances are you’ll read this on your own or already have. The detail is fascinating as is the trial, it just isn’t the fluffiest of reads and not one I was eager to devour every night. What gripped me most were the stories of the Manson girls, all young and many of them damaged in their own ways. I can’t even comprehend the nature of their relationship with master manipulator Charles Manson, who thought of himself as the second coming of Jesus. Something they also believed.

There are a lot of surprises in this book – one of the highlights is the speculation as to how many murders The Family actually committed. Some of members claim there are upward of 40 clocked up, however in most cases there’s no proof and sometimes, not even a body.

I definitely recommend this but it is heavy and not the easiest read.

Book details:

Helter Skelter
Publisher: Cornerstone
ISBN-10: 0099975009
ISBN-13: 978-0099975007
Bought secondhand paperback for myself

What are you reading?

I Am Michael

Yes or No_

Two James Franco movies in a row? What the hell is going on in the world? Well, I guess it serves me right for messing up Jillian’s first choice and only being able to find a non-subtitled copy, rendering it useless. This was Plan B.

I must admit I was attracted to the story and to Zachary Quinto‘s involvement – and this has been on my list for a little while, so I wasn’t that upset. Welcome to another post in April’s Based on a True Story category.

One man. Two lives.

I Am Michael (2015)

Based on the fascinating true-life story of Michael Glatze, a gay activist who becomes a Christian pastor after identifying as a heterosexual.

Starring: James Franco • Zachary Quinto • Emma Roberts

*Minor spoilers*

Michael (Franco) is in a happy, long term relationship with Bennett (Quinto). The pair live and work in San Francisco where Michael is a gay rights activist and editor of XY Magazine. Life is tough but good as the socially conscious pair explore the LGBT+ scene, sexual liberation and the challenges of being gay in the early noughties. They also get a dog together which is probably the most important milestone in this entire film, right?

You can do way better, Zach

All is well until Michael has a health scare, believing he is afflicted with the same heart condition that claimed his father’s life when he was just 13 (Michael, not his dad). His mother passed away six years later, when he was 19. Despite the doctors insistence that it is just a panic attack (later it is revealed that he has Celiac’s disease), it sends ripples of panic through Michael and he starts to question everything.

Unfortch, most of that is how his homosexuality can possibly live alongside his newfound religious beliefs – which it turns out, it can’t. So Michael explores several different faiths, including Mormonism and Buddhism, all the while renouncing cock, his friends and the gay lifestyle. This is a stinger for Bennett and their mutual friends who don’t understand Michael’s need to pursue his “true self”. And nobody can blame them for that.

Michael’s Frosted Tips Anonymous group was brutal at times

When Michael travels to Wyoming to attend a Christian bible camp, he meets Rebekah (Emma Roberts), a nice Christian girl also trying to figure out life (I hear you, gurl) – and they fall in love. Which is handy as Michael’s just about to become the pastor of his own church. How will Rebekah take the news of Michael’s fruity past?

Well, this film is fine but it’s pretty lack lustre if I’m honest. There’s nothing wrong with the performances but it’s very introspective and boring at times. I mean, the story is astonishing – and even though I am against it in so many ways – it is a true account of one man’s journey so I have to accept that.

I do have sympathy for anyone struggling with finding themselves and if Michael lived the life he truly wanted to then you can’t really argue with that. I just find it awful in one of the final scenes when he speaks to Bennett and refers to his former choices as ‘abnormal’.

Some of the secondary characters are pretty good, I have a lot of time for third wheel Tyler (Charlie Carver) who’s just adorable. But this is quite forgettable and it didn’t command my full attention either – so I haven’t hit you with a lot of detail because I was pottering around for a lot of it.

“I’m a hetero, CIS white guy now so you will listen to my bullshit…”

James Franco for the record irritates me so fucking much. He’s just so skeezy and I hope he doesn’t pop up in too many of our future films. Maybe we should ban him.

⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What does wifey thing of our Plan B movie? Would she advocate for it like a boss or renounce it soon as look at it? Find out here, obvs where Jill gives a way more detailed take on the whole situation.

8 Years

It doesn’t seem possible but this time, eight years ago I was getting ready to begin my new life with a comedy name. I wasn’t nervous, not about the impending nuptials or about committing my life to one person – I was more anxious about my guests not throttling each other.

Now I’ve been married to my greatest mate for eight years and it feels massive – not an achievement in the traditional sense but something to be proud of

Marriage isn’t and shouldn’t be for everyone – there’s no reason it should be the only end game for a person when there are so many cool things to see and do in life. Obviously it’s also fine if it is. For me it was never on my list, along with motherhood but it just works.

So here’s to eight years with the kindest person I’ve ever known. The one person who sees all of me, the good and the very bad, who’s always there to tell me we’ll deal with anything and everything together.

He is my fool and the strong hand when I need it – and most of all he makes me feel at peace, with myself and with the life we have. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Here’s to eighty more.

Mrs C. Bass, over and out xoxo

Easter Horror Movies – I Watch Them So You Don’t Have To

To celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, I thought I would do something extra special on the blog.

So, while you’ve been munching chocolate for breakfast, I have been exploring a small selection of crappy Easter horror movies (and munching chocolate for breakfast). Apparently the Easter horror sub-genre is really a thing and while it was hard to get hold of a lot of them, I did my best.

*Minor spoilers*

1.-eastershortbunnyjesus
JESUS Christ

Holidays (Segment: “Easter”) (2016)

HOLIDAYS is an anthology feature film that puts a uniquely dark and original spin on some of the most iconic and beloved holidays of all time by challenging our folklore, traditions and assumptions.

Nicholas McCarthy‘s segment “Easter” is a nightmarish short, playing on childhood fears and things that go bump in the night. I almost didn’t want to feature the above image because it is pure nightmare fuel and the story itself, while super simple, isn’t much fluffier.

A young girl gets freaked out on the night before Easter when her mum tells her about an impending visit from The Easter Bunny. Worried she might accidentally disturb him in the night, mum tries to explain the bunny’s connection to JC as his holiday mascot. When she does wake up and meets the bunny for herself, she soon realises he is nothing like his wholesome description.

Let me assure you that the image of the resurrected Jesus/Easter Bunny hybrid of this story will not leave you quickly. He’s grotesque in every way, popping baby chicks out of the holes in his post-crucifixion palms. He’s not evil per se, just otherworldly and he’s not about to let the girl off now she’s the first child to ever see him IRL.

For a short film I think this packs a pretty decent (and macabre) punch.

🐣🐣🐣🐣 out of 🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣

Hop it

Cottontail (2017)

A notorious Serial Killer known as ‘Cottontail’ faces a slew of personal issues as he falls in love with the girl of his dreams, all the while trying to put together his ultimate ‘Easter Egg Hunt’.

This plays like a high school media studies project but isn’t a terrible premise. Cottontail the notorious serial killer wears his ‘skin suit’ 364 days of the year but for one day – Easter Sunday – he gets to be who he really is: a very bad bunny.

CT swears down that nothing has happened in his life to turn him into a psychotic mass murderer but there are red flags. While he works on his physical fitness for the big day and gathers together a like-minded group for his Easter ‘game’ – he laments a broken heart and his feeling of guilt towards his family.

He’s surprisingly sensitive is our antagonist and when he falls for moll Carmela, a similarly beautiful monster – he realises he’ll do anything for love. Which is all kinds of cute if you can overlook all the horrific murder, obviously.

This is… not good. But it’s kind of fun and the earnest narration by our bunny is quite endearing. The masks are cool too.

🐣🐣 out of 🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣

Only the very best FX for this blog post

The Beaster Bunny! (2014) – also known as: Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell

A giant bloodthirsty Easter bunny starts viciously killing the local townsfolk. When the Mayor refuses to act and the attacks grow more gruesome, the town finds its very survival in the hands of a wannabe actress and a crazy dog-catcher.

This is an absolute travesty but it has a certain charm. I mean, I’m a sucker for crazed giant animals stomping humans like ants, especially obnoxious ones. Meanwhile, the film’s director seems to be a sucker for boobs – since almost all his female victims either lose and/or are stripped of their clothing before their respective death scenes.

This gives it a seedy feel which I can’t even be bothered to rage at. Anyway, it’s all pastiche right? Needless to say there are a lot of lame jokes and observations (young people are obsessed with social media!) peppered throughout, some truly atrocious but enthusiastic acting and the worst FX I’ve ever seen.

Want to know an Easter secret? I paid £3.49 on Amazon Prime for this monstrosity – and I couldn’t even finish it. So I don’t know why there’s a giant Easter bunny terrorising this town or how it ends. I suspect I’ll live with my decision though.

🐣 out of 🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣

Hello boys

Critters 2: The Main Course (1988)

Eggs of the small, furry alien carnivores are left behind on Earth and, after hatching, again set their appetites on the town of Grover’s Bend.

The sequel to 1986’s Critters has a tenuous link to Easter but fuck it, it made the list anyway. After the events of the first film, a couple of Grover’s Bend locals unwittingly discover a nest of eggs left behind by our alien buddies. Keen to turn this find into a profit, they sell them to an antiques store in town where they’re sold as Easter eggs to a nice old lady. What could possibly go wrong?

Thankfully, there are a gang of space bounty hunters on the case to clear Earth of the Critters – but until they arrive, lots of high jinx and murder ensue. Exactly what you need to celebrate your favourite chocolate based holiday.

Well, this has an unfair advantage perhaps in the sense that it holds cult status and production values of more than $5 (looking at the last two movies in this list) – so it’s better all round. And it’s also nice to see the Critters again honestly. Sure, they’re no Mogwai and pals but they are a slice of kitschy horror history.

🐣🐣🐣 out of 🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣

Uh, wrong blog post, guys…

If you’re interested in exploring this niche pocket of horror movies, then I have a list of titles for you. I think I’ll line some up for next year:

  1. Easter Casket (2013)
  2. Easter Sunday (2014)
  3. The Night Before Easter (2014)
  4. Serial Rabbit (2005)
  5. Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! (2006)
  6. Easter Bunny Bloodbath (2010)
  7. Peter Rottentail (2004)
  8. Kottontail (2007)
  9. Bunnyman (2007)
  10. Night of the Lepus (1972)

Happy Easter All!

Little

She woke up like This.

Little (2019)

A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.

Starring: Regina Hall • Issa Rae • Marsai Martin

*Minor spoilers*

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Blessed image

A modern day, female-centric Big? You got me. This is a fun concept and it stars Insecure’s creator Issa Rae – what else do I need?

Sure it doesn’t have any real surprises but it does also have Regina Hill as ‘big’ Jordan Sanders running around being a complete bitch. It’s horrible obviously but also comedy gold.

When she pisses off the wrong person, Jordan finds herself cut down to size. Literally. Waking up the morning after as her pre-teen self, she is forced to bring reluctant assistant April Williams (Rae) in on the tee – that she’s half the woman she was the day before (in stature anyway).

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“One Venti cup of steaming bitch juice. STAT.”

Through a comedy of errors, Jordan finds herself back in school and April running Jordan’s high-flying company, which is at risk of going under if they can’t impress their biggest client with a new product. What japes!

Well, you can already guess how this will pan out but sometimes there is comfort in that and I did find it funny. Little is written and directed by Tina Gordon, a WOC and you can tell. While she hasn’t done masses yet, I am looking forward to seeing more from her.

Meanwhile, Issa Rae is a dream to watch on the screen, and both her and Hall are actresses I want to see way more in film and TV. Hall’s mega bitch Jordan is deliciously bad, having formed this persona after high school to ensure she never gets bullied again.

Bag ladies but in like, the best way

Special shout out to the true star of the film, little Jordan Sanders (Marsai Martin) who knocks her part out of the ballpark. She’s all sass and rocks her scenes, particularly in the classroom (her flirt-fest with her highly reluctant teacher – played by Justin Hartley – is a scream). And she’s never better than when she’s sticking up for her underdog new friends – who are also totally adorable.

This is a film about black girl magic, female friendship – and opening yourself up to the best things in life, like well, magic and female friendship.

And I appreciate it for that.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

Mid90s

Fall. Get back up.

Mid90s (2018)

Follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 1990s-era Los Angeles who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

Starring: Sunny Suljic • Katherine Waterston • Lucas Hedges

*Minor spoilers*

Mid90s-movie

You literally take the hardest hits out of anybody I’d ever seen in my life. You know you don’t have to do that, right? ~ Ray

Oh slow burning indie movies, how I love thee. Jonah Hill‘s directorial debut is beautiful and sweet there’s no denying it. However, I don’t know how long I will think about it now I’ve seen it.

Stevie (Sunny Suljic) comes from a single-parent home with a bully for a big brother. His mother Dabney (Katherine Waterston) is still young and gorgeous (having had her first child at 18) – and is dipping into the dating pool again. I would tell you more about her but apart from a couple of minor scenes, we know very little of her.

It is suggested that she’s had ‘a past’ that has included a revolving door of suitors – and this might be why older son Ian (Lucas Hedges) is so tormented (read: such a dick).

Stevie is yearning for something clearly, for when he stumbles across a group of skateboarders outside a local skate shop, he wants in – and makes it his mission to join them. Which is no mean feat when you’re just a kid.

Summer-summer-summertime…

Eventually he makes it into the crew and the new friends become the centre of his new world. The gang are: Ray, Fuckshit, Fourth Grade and Ruben – and they are all dealing with their own issues. Stevie rubs Reuben up the wrong way by quickly becoming the new golden boy – and this leads to an inevitable showdown between them.

The gang in general might not be as solid as they once were. Leader of the group Ray (played by the really fucking good Na-kel Smith) is drifting away from his BFF Fuckshit (Olan Prenatt), determined to leave the hood for something better. Can their friendship survive when Fuckshit is determined to just keep partying? Meanwhile, Dabney isn’t very pleased about her son’s behaviour now he’s part of something she can’t control – can she put a stop to it before it goes too far?

A mood

All in all, this is a lovely debut. There is a sex scene involving Stevie and an older girl which made me feel really icky though – so I am very glad it stopped where it did. Honestly, I get that this happens but he’s a literal child and I do not want to see him sexualised!

The female characters aren’t given much to do either. In fact the only women we actually see are Dabney and the skate groupies on the sidelines. That’s not great, Mr Hill. Come to my room and let’s discuss this further.

⭐⭐⭐½ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?