Monday, October 1, 2007

Cheese from Outer Space

Lately I’ve been in the mood to watch pseudo-horror films, the type of movies which sound vaguely spooky in a plot summary, but which only rarely actually scare anyone. If you watch without expectations, such movies can be pretty entertaining, although not always for the reasons the filmmakers envisioned. So here are the psuedo-horror movies I’ve seen and enjoyed recently on DVD, and I recommend them to you as well, assuming that you too sometimes like your horror with a nice thick slice of cheese.

Invasion of the Body-Snatchers
Since this film was remade in the late seventies Pod-people have become such a cultural commonplace that it is difficult to understand what the characters are so upset about. Girlfriend or pod-girlfriend – who call tell the difference?

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Even here, Johnny Depp was attractive, in spite of his big 80's hair and disturbing resemblance to the 12-year old Annette Funicello. The rest of the cast’s mickey-mouse club-style acting (mental note to self: must stop obsessing about Annette before husband finds out) is deliciously bad.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
A city relies on Commando SuperModels in various states of undress to rescue them from zombies. Unfortunately everyone else in the city gets turned into a zombie anyway, forcing the Commando Supermodels, in an excess of type-casting, to act selfishly and save themselves.

The Blob
Since the 1950's lacked Commando SuperModels, a small town must rely on a pack of teenagers, led by 28-year old teenager Steve McQueen, to rescue them from mobile grape jelly from outer-space. Although substantially less well-armed, the teens prove themselves much more community-spirited than the Commando SuperModels. These were innocent times.

Underworld
Sexy stylish vampires fight sexy thuggish werewolves for world domination. Which side looks better in skin-tight faux-Goth wear? The answer shall determine The Future (and two sequels, which I haven’t seen yet).

3 comments:

SecretAsianMan said...

What's your take on the newest installment in the Resident Evil series? Isn't this whole concept taken from a game? Although, I still have dreams about that scene in the second one where the head Commando SuperModel rides into the church on a motorcycle with her guns (the kind with gunpowder) blazing.

Sadly, I don't feel like you've given enough recognition to the foundational moral significance of the excessive firepower wielding, dark haired, combat chick archetype so lovingly rendered in the Underworld movies.

Anonymous said...

I love your list and your plot summaries are fantasrtic, but you're leaving out an entire genre of cheesy horror films: the demonic horror film that stars has-been or aspiring model/actresses in roles of utterly entertaing inanity. Perhaps you need to rent a copy of Tawney Kitaen's film Witchboard (1986) which adds an extra layer of richness to the cheese in your list. You may recognize her as the "hot chick" in the Whitesnake videos of the same period.

Granted you're talking pseudo-horror films, but still can anything beat bad demon/otherwordly horror? I think not. What about the bevy of truly cheesy HP Lovecraft films that stole the titles of his stories but bore no resemblance to them? (And often starred other aspiring model/actresses?) A veritable goldmine of cheese that were staples of late night movies in the late 80's and 90's.

I'd love to see an expanded list with comments, assuming you have the patience to watch them all (because some of them are pretty bad). Thanks for the trip down cheesy-horror-film memory lane.

Anonymous said...

This inspires me to build a film noir Blog. Thanks!