I had high low-expectations for these three, but it turns out even that was too much for them to live up to….
THE LAST SHOWING (2014)
I guess you could say The Last Showing is a psychological thriller more than a horror. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it suspenseful or compelling. Robert Englund plays a crazy movie theater projectionist that decides to make his own movie. So he traps a couple in the theater after closing and manipulates them into certain actions while filming it, editing the footage together to make the girlfriend think the boyfriend is a psycho killer. If only the movie was as fun as it sounds.
The Last Showing comes across as a big venting session about the state of modern cinema, complete with plenty of meta moments. The couple goes to see a midnight screening of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, and the chick comments that it’s no Elm Street, after which they have a conversation about the purpose of watching horror movies at all. Englund describes the importance of things like aspect ratio to a film’s presentation, and his manager responds that kids don’t care about stuff like that anymore since everything is digital. Englund criticizes torture porn just as the couple is in the theater laughing at a gruesome scene from The Hills Have Eyes. Englund references the tragic helicopter accident that occurred during Twilight Zone: The Movie.
Get it? Someone really misses the way things used to be in the horror genre right around the time Englund was working with Craven on A Nightmare on Elm Street. I w0uld say if you miss the way horror films used to be, make one just as good instead of simply channeling all your frustration with today’s horror into dialogue. The Last Showing doesn’t reach any impressive levels of tension, fear, or even blood (because there’s only one death…by gun), and doesn’t give us that glimmer of devilish joy in Englund’s eyes, for he seems to just be going through the motions.
SNOW SHARK (2011)
If a shark movie with an absurd plot doesn’t originate on SyFy, you know it has to be bad. Snow Shark is worse than that, and I’m hugely disappointed. I like high-quality shit shark movies.
Honestly, there’s no quality anything to be found here. The film comes across as if some hacks with a camera went into a small, wintry town and said to all the locals, “We want to make a killer shark movie in your forest. If you let us, you all get a lead role in the film.”
Prepare for bad CGI blood, a cheesy cartoon-like fin skimming through snowy ground, an occasional puppet-like shark model, cutaways from various screaming white trash victims to imply the shark got them.
Finally, a street Santa gets devoured for some actual body-in-shark-mouth action. There’s also a really cute dude playing a cop.
And finally, what look like genuine rednecks head into the woods to make a mockery of classic shark movie final battles.
Potpourri uses the contemporary technique of repeatedly referencing within the movie what a bad movie it is (using clips of a dude who’s supposed to be watching the movie), as if being self-deprecating somehow elevates the quality of the film.
Some college kids decide to get together to do drugs for a paper on how drugs affect you. Then each begins having hallucinations, which sort of makes up an “anthology” of stories. But they’re not all horror. One dude gets sent to medieval times to rescue a princess in the woods (he looks good tied up to a tree shirtless).
One chick gets trapped in a mini-musical in a library, complete with a singing book. One chick mistakes a cop for Santa and ends up in jail overnight, where she briefly turns into animation. Finally, their little gathering is interrupted by zombies. Conveniently, one guy seems to be able to travel into the drug-induced delusions of the others, so he goes to get some of the medieval guys to help take down the zombies.
As brief as it is, the zombie sequence near the end of Potpourri is low budget zombie movie fun, but that doesn’t make everything that comes before it worth the wait. However, I’m not really allowed to complain about what a mess of mixed genres the film is because it readily admits to that flaw, automatically negating my negativity. Foiled.