Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

Streaming on Hulu (and Plex) | imdb | trailer

The headline read “Hobo Stops Begging, Demands Change.” That, and the fact that all exploitation elements are cranked to 11, sums up this movie. I’ve been a Rutger Hauer fan since seeing Blade Runner is a kid. I think I’ve seen the majority of his films, and I have even read his autobiography. For many years I complained about the injustice of Hauer not getting a good lead role. Well in 2011 the stars aligned – Hobo with a Shotgun was announced. I was avidly following the pre-release promotion of the movie, and was not disappointed when I finally got to see the finished product. I think the low rating on imdb is because of the overall purposeful cheese factor, and the fact everything offensive is thrown in to the mix. Fuck ‘em if they don’t like this film. Yeah it ain’t Ingmar Bergman, but I give it a perfect score. RIP Mr. Hauer.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnet.

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I Saw the Devil (2010)

Streaming on Hulu and Kanopy | imdb | trailer

This is a very good South Korean horror / crime thriller from the director of the excellent A Bittersweet Life. Many folks love his film The Good the Bad the Weird too. The bad guy is the original Oldboy himself Choi Min-shik. Do I really need to say more? Nah.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

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On the Count of Three (2021)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Two friends are fed up with the world, enter into a suicide pact, and whacky hijinks ensue. Jerrod Carmichael directs and stars in this entertaining buddy / black comedy. His co-star is the excellent Christopher Abbot (Possessor, Catch-22). This movie is fast paced and as dark as can be, while remaining legitimately funny throughout. You have to be a bit of a creepy weirdo to appreciate On the Count of Three, but that’s what makes it Anomalous.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Christine (1983)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

It’s about damned time I recommended a John Carpenter film. His best work is so high profile I figured, why bother? Well Christine is a solid, lesser discussed, movie in his filmography that I enjoy, and just happened to have rewatched recently. You get that awesome JC golden-era cinematography, a very good synth score, plus a good cast, and top notch special effects that still look impressive nearly 40 years on. There’s just one catch here… I never read the original Stephen King book. I’ve read The Shining, The Stand, and the whole damn Dark Tower series, but not this one. So, if you’re a big fan of the book, maybe do some research first, or skip it. If you’ve never read the book, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. Oh, and some guy is doing a remake. Unless it’s more faithful to the book, a “reimagining” strikes me as a waste of time. You Hollywood people know that there’s a billion original horror movie scripts floating around right? Right?

Blu-ray is available from Sony Pictures.

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Benedetta (2021)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

If you would’ve told me back in my cult VHS tape trading days that Paul Verhoeven was going to make a Nunspoitation film in 2021, I would never have believed you. The first movie I saw in the genre was Joe D’Amato’s Images in a Convent. Benedetta is definitely better than that film, but it’s not nearly as good as Flavia the Heretic. My suggestion is to keep your expectations low, and indulge in your go-to psychoactive substance while you watch. Under those conditions, you will likely enjoy this sleazy big budget ride. Well, perhaps enjoy isn’t the right word. Let’s say you might agree with me that Verhoeven is still a crazy bastard, and still making admirably challenging films.

Coming soon on Blu-ray from IFC Films.

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Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time (2021)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

This is a very good documentary on one of the 20th Century’s most important and iconoclastic writers. It also deals with the struggle that Robert B. Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm) had in making the film over the course of decades. He co-directed this with Don Argott, the man that brought us Last Days Here and Art of the Steal (all of his films are worth seeing). There was a ton of stories and footage to fit in here, so the movie feels a tiny bit long. However it’s all very well edited together, and absolutely worth your time. If you’re a fan of Vonnegut’s work, you will be delighted. I have been for many years, and I learned a lot.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Riders of Justice (2020)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer 

This is a surprisingly good, big-budget, action comedy from Denmark. I actually laughed out loud a few times, AND things got pretty gory on occasion. The violence is more extreme than I would have expected from a Scandinavian blockbuster. I love Mads Mikkelsen, but he’s not always in good films. Luckily this turned out to be a perfect choice for him, and a very entertaining movie too.

Blu-ray available on Magnolia.

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Exorcist III (1990)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

The original Exorcist remains one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Sadly part II, The Heretic, was awful. However this film is surprisingly good. Part III was written and directed by the original Exorcist author (based on his book “Legion”), and is as dark as can be. George C. Scott is great here. He has a monologue about “what he believes,” which is unhinged genius. Fun fact: there was no actual exorcism in the original book or script, so they tacked one on. Luckily, it all works.

Available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

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In the Earth (2021)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer 

This is a divisive film. From what I can gather, fans may have found this a little too experimental, and critics a little too much like Ben Wheatley’s previous A Field in England. That said, if you want a straight-forward, fast paced horror film, or a totally new Wheatley masterpiece, skip this one. I loved this movie. I will admit that I am a bit biased to what’s on offer here. You already know I’m a fan of the director, as I’ve recommended almost every film he ever made. More than that, I am a sucker for dark psychedelic visuals, and a fan of experimental music (which is prominent in the second half of the film). Ben Wheatley does it again, but not for everyone.

Not available on Blu-ray.

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Memories of Murder (2003)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer 

Here’s a dark, beautiful, high quality murder thriller directed by Bong Joon Ho. I have avoided recommending it so far as I thought all the excitement over Parasite would have lead you to watch it already. What? You haven’t seen Memories of Murder yet? Well get on it. 

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion Collection.

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