Aftershock

You guys, it’s really hard to review the movies when I actually like them. I’m trying here. Luckily most of the movies are so awful we needn’t worry about such problems, but unfortunately I really enjoyed Aftershock.

Sigh.

THANKS, NETFLIX.

Anyway, Aftershock is a natural disaster film set and filmed in Chile, based on an actual 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country in 2010, and since it’s Chile, they were able to film plenty of scenes in locations that were still royally fucked from the quake. So, if you want to save on your scenic budget, I highly recommend filming in a country with plenty of places that can’t afford to rebuild. (Oh hai, FEMA.)

The film starts out with three rich douchebags bouncing around the nightclubs of Chile looking for some SWEET PUSSY, DAWG. They meet up with three hot chicks, because it’s not a good horror movie unless everybody has an equal chance of getting laid, and then they spend about half an hour of film time doing rich douchebag things on their rich douchebag spring break.

Then there’s an earthquake.

(And at this point I should mention that Eli Roth is both acting and writing for Aftershock, so get ready for the violence and gore to be cranked up to eleven.)

What’s great about this movie is that you get to watch these six totally shallow and shitty people have their minds traumatically blown by seeing the cute bartender get crushed to death by the liquor shelf, their best friend almost IMMEDIATELY lose an arm, and by realising that all of a sudden their money and social sway is completely meaningless. Everything they have been taught their whole lives about how to survive is completely ripped out from under them as they watch their world get just raped and pillaged to shit by people who have spent their lives learning how to be douchey in a totally different way. It’s genuinely scary to see the characters’ terror at what may as well be the end of the world, and it makes them so identifiable because, Christ, if I were faced with that kind of destruction, I’d do the same damn thing. (Except I’d also likely die within about four minutes, because if I so much as lost my glasses in the rubble, that would be it for me.) (Though maybe I could have just crawled around the nightclub and drank up all the murderbooze tainted with bartender blood and become a super human from consuming her energy. These kids didn’t think of THAT.)

I found Aftershock to be a complete surprise after the setup of what I assumed would just be a shitty SyFy-style disaster film, and it was genuinely traumatising. Plus I got to put my Spanish minor to use and feel good about not having to look at the subtitulos to understand when people were saying “Oh hey, sexy, just checking your tag. Just what I thought, MADE IN HEAVEN” and when they were saying “OH SHITTING FUCK SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME STUFF MY INTESTINES BACK INTO MY BLEEDING STOMACH CAVITY JESUS CHRIST PLEASE GOD FUCK SHIT FUCKING GOD FUCK.” So if you also speak a little Spanish and have an interest in viewing the complete and utter destruction of both a Chilean city and the collective psyche of a group of privileged twenty-somethings, then this movie is for you.

Which is why I’m giving it……FOUR HORRORS.

And if you don’t have any interest in that and you’re just worried that I’ll never review another total piece of shit, don’t you worry, because Netflix loves you and wants you to be happy and is giving us the miracle of All Cheerleaders Must Die next.

And lo, Netflix said unto them that their backs were gotten, and that thine brothers would come before the hoes.
And lo, Netflix said unto them that their backs were gotten, and that thine brothers would come before the hoes.
Aftershock

Act of Vengeance

Hooooo boy.

You know how sometimes you think we’ve made great strides against systemic racism since the 70s, what with our black president and our integrated schools, and then the police go around and kill every black person they see and you’re like “oh wait, nevermind, we’re still not that great at this.” Act of Vengeance is like that, except with rape.

Act of Vengeance, filmed in 1974, starts out with a guy in a hockey mask and a jumpsuit (BEFORE Friday 13th or Halloween, by the way) beating and raping a woman while forcing her to sing Jingle Bells. I’m….guessing that was probably intended to be all dark and twisted and fucked up, but it just kind of feels like he’s not really taking this whole rape thing very seriously.

Which, as it turns out, is totally fine, because neither do the cops.

Yes, get ready for a horrifically depressing scene of a distraught woman going to the police station to report a brutal and violent rape and then being told to calm her pretty head and think about how maybe she was encouraging it because of course that’s what the cops said. But this was filmed a solid forty years ago, so OF COURSE everyone used to be callous, sexist supporters of an insidious rape culture. NOT LIKE TODAY. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh sweet jesus.

And of course this particular rape victim finds out that several other women were ALSO raped by the man they’ve decided to call Jingle Bells instead of Hockeymask Rapey McEvilfuckunt, which is what I may have leaned towards because I feel it captures his essence a little better, but fine, Jingle Bells it is. And of course all these other women have had zero luck going through any sort of law enforcement channels because ughhhhhhh fuck everything.

So naturally, the women snap together and create what they call the Rape Squad (these guys were really not so good at the nicknames) to track down and beat up rapists until they can find Jingle Bells. I….just…..when you hear “THE RAPE SQUAD IS GOING AFTER JINGLE BELLS!”….who do you assume is the bad guy? What even was the 70s, you guys.

The rest of the movie is just ragingly violent girl power in polyester flare legs until the final boss fight against Jingle Bells. Now, normally I’m what you would call “anti-murder” but it’s really hard to not root for a team of rape victims hunting down their shitty, shitty rapist to beat his head in. Will the ladies succumb to their weak lady brains and lady muscles and lose the fight against their strong, masculine opponent who has strong man brains and man muscles? Or has Jingle Bells JINGLED HIS LAST BELL? More importantly, will the victor get off without murder charges because the victim was just dressed really murderably that day and really, anyone probably would have gotten the impression that they really wanted to be murdered?

Now, in terms of the movie being actually GOOD……eh. It takes on some pretty compelling subject matter, but then there’s the Christmas carols, and the acting, and the costumes, and just dear shitting christ it’s so relentlessly 70s. (Except for the cultural attitude of the white males in power towards rape victims, which was truly ahead of its time. HURRAY.) I would only really recommend it if you super love giant lapels and feeling depressed about rape culture in 2015. Though really, the weird juxtaposition of those two IS kinda worth it, if you also like feeling vaguely confused.

….TWO AND A HALF HORRORS.

Trying to make jokes about rape is hard. Here's a kitten in some marshmallows.
Trying to make jokes about rape is hard. Here’s a kitten in some marshmallows.
Act of Vengeance

Absentia

And I’m not talking about my behavior regarding this blog.

>.>

<.<

…anyway.

Absentia is a film you should very much regret not watching before Netflix took it off instant watch. It also pops up on every 10 Greatest Lovecraftian Horror Films buzzfeed-type list on the internet, if that tells you anything. It is a STUNNING indie horror film, as I am about to avoid telling you in favor of writing a bunch of dick jokes and then giving this movie some number of horrors. (More like some number of DICKS, amirite?)

Absentia is about a woman whose husband has gone MYSTERIOUSLY MISSING, as significant others tend to do in horror movies. Then her drug-addicted sister moves in, and while they struggle to deal with each other, the missing husband MYSTERIOUSLY APPEARS as significant others in horror movies only do when something is kinda fucked up. Drug-addicted sister seems to have a feeling that something’s up, but non-drug-addicted sister is like WHATEVER YOU’RE ON ALL THE DRUGS YO BACK TO PRISON-REHAB FOR YOU. But she doesn’t send her back to prison-rehab because #sistas4lyfe and also because her husband is finally back and goddammit why can’t anything just be normal for once.

And then.

Shit.

Happens.

I can’t even really tell you what goes on in this movie because that would ruin it for you. The whole film is on point, from the acting to the pacing to the cinematography. The story is what all the best horror stories are, simple, intimate, and truly unnerving. And it really cements what I’ve always thought about missing persons cases, which is that, if they come back, WHY ARE YOU STILL INTERACTING WITH THEM THEY ARE PROBABLY SOME SORT OF DEMON OR ALIEN OR SERIAL KILLER OR SOMETHING. If you love it, let it go, if it comes back, IT IS LIKELY EVIL OR FUCKED UP IN SOME OTHER WAY OR MAYBE IT’S NOT EVEN THE SAME PERSON DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT??? Have any of you seen the documentary The Imposter? Because you should, because it’s great, and because also it’s about a Spanish con artist who convinces an American family whose young son went missing that he is that son all grown up and looking kinda different and also fluent in Spanish for some reason and they believed him because they were so desperate and even though this was a documentary please imagine if it were a horror movie because WHAT IF HE WAS ALIENS.

I’m just saying. Absentia is a phenomenal horror film and also a warning to all those who have had loved ones missing long enough for them to have been replaced by a soul-sucking killbeast who takes the body of a missing person and then eats you when he gets back because it’s basically either that, or they went through something truly horrific and will never be the same again, or maybe they just wanted to get the fuck away from you and maybe you should leave them alone. Maybe you’re horrible. Do people go missing from you often? Maybe you’re the problem. That’s another thing to consider.

…FIVE HORRORS!!!!

Look, it's a DICKTATER. I did promise.
Look, it’s a DICKTATER.
I did promise.
Absentia