This foursome delivers a whole range of humor and horror, and I liked them all for different reasons. 3 of them take place at cabins in the woods and, well, the doughnut flick is just dessert.
KILL ME NOW (2012)
Director Travis Long and writer Michael Swaim (also a star of Kill Me Now), smartly change up the approach to slasher comedies.
The setup is familiar—kids head to a cabin in the woods for a party weekend and are soon hunted down by a psycho…the driller killer!
We get plenty of shenanigans as the jerks in the group antagonize the two main guys they didn’t invite.
The cast delivers on the comedy, and what’s so refreshing is that the film doesn’t distract with any pointless horror icon cameos.
This is a cast of relatively fresh faces.
Um, I wouldn’t be sticking that out the window with a killer on the prowl.
At least, they were fresh faces when the film was made. It can be credited for featuring the likes of Saturday Night Live regulars Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney “before they were stars.”
But my favorite performance here is by the killer! Actor Brett Fancy is not your usual meanie in a mask. He’s a cool, calm, and collected serial killer whose patience is truly tested when he comes up against this group of goof-offs.
There lies the brilliance of the script. This isn’t a predictable spoof of slasher clichés. Instead, nothing goes as planned for the killer simply because the kids react in totally unexpected ways to their situation, as in, not at all the way they do in slashers.
There is no “final” anyone smart or capable enough to outwit the killer, which means the killer is always being bombarded by surprises and never prepared for what the kids might do next, thereby turning the slasher and slasher comedy formulas on their heads.
ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE (2014)
Little did I know when I recently blogged about the killer asshole short “Roid Rage” in the anthology Minutes Past Midnight that it was by the director of All the Devils Are Here, which has been on my “to see” list for a while.
Considering what a gross out situation “Roid Rage” is, I’m surprised at how straightforward this film is as a sort of zomcom with a touch of The Descent above ground.
A group of friends—complete with this hunk—comes to a cabin in the woods.
At the same time, a couple of convicts escapes a transport van after an accident.
As the zombies slowly begin to creep into the town, the cabiners and convicts eventually have to collude harder than Trussia to not only stop people who have turned zombie, but to stop freaky naked humanoids that come from the woods and surround the cabin.
All the Devils Are Here delivers an 80s style score, some early zombie attacks, awesome 80s gay club songs like “I can’t Get Enough” by Prime Time and “Shot in the Night” by Robert Parker, and great modern wave by Lesands.
However, it also takes a surprisingly long time to really get going. But once it finally does, it is my kind of fast-paced, comedy-monster-gore fun.
And actor Doo-Doo Brown, who plays one of the convicts, absolutely steals the show, delivering comedy like nobody’s business.
Actually, porn star dale DaBone also steals the show. He may have been a straight porn star, but he sure looks like a natural in this position.
And he even arches his back when surrounded by guys…
ATTACK OF THE KILLER DONUTS (2016)
If memory serves me correct, this is probably my favorite spoof since Killer Piñata.
Thanks to the title, you already know what you’re getting before watching. A mad scientist’s chemical accidentally gets into the fryer at a local doughnut shop where his nephew works. His nephew happens to be one of my horror hottie crushes, adorable and funny Justin Ray (Club Dead, Apocalypse LA, Crush the Skull).
Pretty soon, doughnuts are bouncing and rolling around town attacking people.
Meanwhile, anyone who munches on a one before it animates suffers a serious stomach problem…toxic green goop shooting out both ends! Ew!
What elevates this contribution to the inanimate-objects-come-to-life-to-kill genre is the cast. Everyone plays it totally straight despite the concept, delivering the comedy perfectly while battling doughnuts with gnashing teeth.
Justin Ray is joined by his best buddy and the cute girl who works at the shop with him, plus there are two cops pulled into the massacre, one of them being C. Thomas Howell. He’s been preparing for a role this terrifying since The Hitcher.
Goofy comedy abounds, but for me the scene that takes the cake—sorry, I mean, doughnuts–is when the lead characters arm themselves with kitchen utensils and manage not to burst out laughing as people off screen pelt them with a never-ending supply of doughnuts.
TONIGHT SHE COMES (2016)
I find many of the most entertaining indies these days are the ones in which the filmmaker tosses various horror inspirations in a blender to create a movie that spices up familiar flavor with a dash of WTFery.
They also happen to be the types of movies that lead less versed horror viewers to say uninformed shit like “this movie tried to be Friday the 13th but failed miserably.” For the record, kids staying at a cabin by a lake does not validate such an accusation in any way. Otherwise, Zombeavers are Jason wannabes.
Here, we’re introduced to some guys and girls on the way to a cabin in the woods. The quirkiness is made clear from the start—these are some odd and edgy characters, not your usual cookie cutters, from some nasty period talk between the girls to a dude who jerk offs at the drop of a….well…dead body.
Their weirdness heightens the weirdness going on around them. The friend they came to see isn’t there, so they can’t get in the cabin. There’s killer POV as someone watches them. There’s an awesome 80s style score. Things seem out of the ordinary (like a sudden odd scream in the woods), yet the kids just ignore it and go on having fun.
But then their missing friend appears…naked…bloody…and carrying a sharp object. The surreal and creepy tone definitely has you braced for the unexpected, but after a few minutes of the shit hitting the fan, the movie detours into a whole new level of wackiness.
New characters are introduced and the tone shifts into campy and wickedly tasteless territory as the kids delve into the occult to stop the supernatural madness.
Even with all the gore and gross outs, I will say this segment drastically slows down the pace the film had been building towards, so it takes some adjusting to get into the new groove. Once you do, it all clicks again and you can ride the film out to the end in this new “zone” it has entered.