This latest trio of flicks in my Amazon Prime watchlist was a 1 out of 3 ain’t bad situation for me. I thought I was getting a horror comedy triple feature, but it didn’t quite work out that way.
DOCTOR SPINE (2015)
Darkly comic horror Doctor Spine might be a little drawn out (would you believe me if I said I would have preferred 90 minutes over 102 minutes?), but I have to admit this bizarre indie had enough of what I like to keep me watching and is my favorite of this bunch.
Crisply presented with a comic book art filter and featuring comic book panels in the tradition of Creepshow, Doctor Spine is drenched in 80s neon horror colors as it tells the story of a chiropractor who snaps and goes on a killing spree.
His troubles stem from childhood trauma involving his father, played by Joe Estevez, who is now the voice in his brain telling him what to do, and has a visitor in the form of Reggie Bannister, because horror cameos matter more than logic.
Also passing through as one of the doctor’s patients is Tiffany Shepis who, as usual, is relegated to a name recognition cameo. Is she ever going to actually star in a horror movie again?
Highlights include a funny Batman TV show style bar fight in which no one is safe, a heavy metal montage of women being abducted, tortured, and killed, body reveals, and a pointless Judy Tenuta cameo.
Most importantly, there’s a muscle man who believes he is Thor and steps in to battle Doctor Spine in the end.
Thor always wants to get naked, and thankfully, he gives us a happy ending by showing off his muscle ass.
DEVIL MUSIC (aka: 61: Highway to Hell) (2017)
When this film begins, title cards introduce us to the conspiracy theory that Dylan and Clapton are believed to have sold their souls to the devil, following in the footsteps of their blues idol. The title card isn’t even necessary, because minutes later, the manager of the fictional band this movie is about repeats the same exact details to them!
Unfortunately, that’s not the only unnecessary thing about this film. Naturally I was into the intriguing satanic concept as related to two actual legends of the rock n’ roll era, thinking this might be similar to The 27 Club, which I recently watched, but mostly everything about this film is unnecessary. And boring. The cast even seems bored acting in it.
After they’re convince to sell their souls to the devil for fame, the band goes on a road trip in an RV to meet the devil to make the deal at the same mythical crossroads as other musicians. That’s it. They head to a place referenced by Dylan and Clapton. No rituals, no sacrifices, no summoning demons. Just a road trip. Oh…and a dead skunk.
There is constant derogatory use of the word gay and pejorative references to being gay, the dudes only seem interested in meeting up with a bunch of underage teen girl (and they do), there’s fart and shit talk, and nothing is funny if it was meant to be (I’m not sure because everyone is too bored to try to make the lines funny).
Finally the band meets the devil. It’s Tobin Bell, looking less scary than he did in Saw. In fact, I thought the film was interrupted by a clip of Jason Mewes in the upcoming Jay and Bob sequel.
I can’t imagine how anyone convinced him to appear in this film. His monologue goes on and on, and he’s just as bored as everyone else.
Most important to note—this is not a horror movie or even a devil themed comedy.
WHAT has happened to British humor? It feels like every time I turn on a British horror comedy these days, I am absolutely bored by a movie that goes nowhere and delivers no laughs. For me personally, this one was even more agonizingly unfunny and unhorror than Eat Locals.
A drab dude mopes because he is shooting blanks and can’t have kids, so his friend invites him to some secret society of immortality.
He eventually learns the members are vampires, he wants in on their eternal gig, he tries to help them in their search for pure blood, and he accidentally puts those close to him in jeopardy.
There are approximately three sets of fangs, there’s no blood, and there was nothing that made me laugh. So much talking yet so few jokes.
I had to grab a screen of this cute dog that appears in the film for about 30 seconds because he was my favorite part.