I went a little off the beaten path with my latest selection of films, and honestly, I wasn’t all that into most of them.
BEAUTY QUEEN BUTCHER (1991)
Beauty Queen Butcher comes from the 90s, when many indie directors believed you could just score total cult camp cred by having a guy in drag playing a female character in your movie. The gimmick absolutely fails in this cheapo slasher comedy that runs way too long.
An overweight girl is tormented by all the mean girls in school, yet ends up in a beauty pageant with them…because they have a plan to humiliate her. This is the part where I would just advise you to re-watch Carrie instead.
This movie drags more than the guy in drag. Nothing funny or entertaining enough happens to fill the first 70 minutes before the first kill. The cliché characters aren’t that interesting mostly because they don’t have much in the way of humorous dialogue at all.
The girls torment the overweight girl and the pageant goes on forever and very little of it is even vaguely funny. It’s mostly just annoying and boring.
Finally, the overweight girl snaps and goes on a killing spree. All of a sudden, the tone, atmosphere, and even the score sound like total 80s slasher goodness. It all could have saved the film, but unfortunately, the girl is annoying as the killer, so it ruins even the “good part” of this 2-hour long film.
VAMPIRE DAD (2020)
This silly little vampire comedy has a pretty simple plot that lends itself to a low budget, and it also capture the spirit of more traditional horror fun perfectly, right down to the comic book art transitions.
It starts with dad getting bit by a vamp on Halloween, which had me excited, but sadly it doesn’t take place entirely during the holiday. It really would have added to the charm if the entire film had stuck with a Halloween night theme.
This is a throwback to the Leave It to Beaver/Father Knows Best days of television, focusing on an all-American family in the early 1960s.
It’s a comedy of errors as dad and mom try to keep dad’s bloody appetite a secret from their teenage daughter and the neighbors…while dad is tasked with being the therapist for other classic monsters. In essence it’s reminiscent of The Munsters.
There are cute, campy jokes, sizzling hot Jackson Hurst of Drop Dead Diva is adorable as the dad, the guy playing the mortician uncle who helps keep his secret is funny, and the vamptastic woman playing the goddess of the underworld also handles double duties as the horror hostess of the film.
The movie even has the perfect ending to summarize the tone; the cast dances and lip-syncs to “The Monster Mash”.
FRIED BARRY (2020)
This is a film that definitely appeals to a particular mindset. It’s visually artistic and flashy and trippy, and the content is sleazy with some nasty scenes. On top of that, it’s a spectacle that doesn’t concern itself too much with a flowing narrative. This is essentially a stream of thought film.
Barry is a druggy in the city, and he is one skanky looking dude played fantastically by lead actor Gary Green, who actually does very little speaking throughout the film. And that’s because…
Barry gets beamed up by a spaceship at the very beginning of the movie. This is by far my favorite scene in the film. It’s freaky and bizarre and visually arresting. Also, some awful probing is done to Barry, and I’m not just talking through the opening in his butt. Eek!
After that, he’s taken over by an alien, returns to Earth, and spends the movie just walking around touring the city and dealing with the slimiest characters cities have to offer…if it were like 1983.
Barry witnesses and then also experiences gay action in a bathroom stall. Barry gets high at a rave. Barry gets taken home by a few women, including a prostitute—who experiences one of life’s beautiful and nasty miracles. Barry witnesses a murder and responds oddly. Barry gets harassed by thugs. Barry gets abducted and tortured. Barry gets arrested. Barry gets thrown in a loony bin.
This is a movie that goes everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. For me personally, it wore thin after a while, and what makes it worse is that nothing else in the film lives up to the horrific promise of the alien abduction scene at the beginning. Alien Barry isn’t really an ominous threat to humans…he’s kind of like a stoner who has no idea what the fuck is going on for the whole film. It’s the humans that are the real problem.