Rants for the Riff-Raff: Beautiful B-Movies
By: Will Bray
Hello again lovely readers. Welcome to the second installation of this column. Last week, I rambled about four of my favorite horror/comedies. This week is the logical progression, four of my favorite B-movies. Not everyone has the same definition of a B-movie. For some, a B-movie is a poorly made, cheesy piece of film fit only to be MST3Ked. I’m not into that. I like my movies to be good. For me, a B-movie is a bloody, over-the-top good time. All subtlety should be left at the door when it comes to these flicks. A lot of them are also hilarious, so there is a little generic bleed-over (heh) between this list and last week’s.
Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
I know this is the second time I have featured a Sam Raimi film, but I can’t help it. The man knows his horror. The plot sounds simple enough; a group of people go to an abandoned cabin in the woods and are soon plagued with dark and supernatural forces. Yet that does not even begin to cover this movie. It’s bloody, creepy, and zany. Zany may seem like a strange way to describe a horror movie, but it’s really the best word to use. Just watch it. You’ll thank me later.
Dead Alive (1992, dir. Peter Jackson)
Yes, that Peter Jackson. Before he got intimately acquainted with hobbits, he made zombie movies. And not just any zombie movie. In terms of fake blood used, it is the bloodiest movie ever made. There’s a kung-fu priest, a weaponized lawn mower, a sex scene between two zombies, and much, much more. “Restraint” was not in Jackson’s dictionary when he was filming this. And Dead Alive is the edited version. The unedited version, Braindead, is 17 minutes longer and still banned in the US.
Dog Soldiers (2002, dir. Neil Marshall)
Werewolf movies are only awesome sometimes. For every good one that comes out, there are approximately 6 terrible ones. Dog Soldiers is one of the good ones. It’s the story of a group of British soldiers on a training mission in the woods of Scotland who run afoul of the wolfy beasts. This movie is the least insane out of those on the list, but don’t hold that against it. It’s really well-written and has some surprisingly great performances. It’s a B-movie you could bring home to meet your parents.
Hellraiser (1987, dir. Clive Barker)
If Dog Soldiers is a B-movie you could bring to family dinner, Hellraiser is the B-movie you wouldn’t even tell your parents you were dating. If you tried to bring it home it would clog the toilet, tell your mom you do drugs, and then butcher your father. It’s a disgusting movie, but disgusting in all the right ways. It’s filled with wonderful, splattery ’80s gore and great make-up effects. Not exactly a light-hearted movie, but one you should definitely check out.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list. Just a starting point. That’s all I have for this week, but don’t you worry, I’ll be back next time with a whole new batch of horror movie goodness.
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