Rufus, Scraps and DJ rates it:
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Scraps: Have you ever heard of a movie that sounded so perfect for you personally that deep inside you knew it would be awful, just because no one could mix the greatest ingredients and come up with anything close to cool?
So a few months ago I hear about “Shock-O-Rama” – a horror anthology (which I love) starring Misty Mundae and Julian Wells (who I love) and written by Brett Piper (who I love). Skeptical? You bet. But…I went in with an open mind, and I was going to let the finished product wow me.
And it did. “Shock” was just what I (and the genre) really needed – a well written fun tongue-in-cheek look at B-movie horror as an industry. It wasn’t a spoof per se, but it came off more like an homage.
But I wasn’t the lone Bum in the room that night. Was I the only one that loved this flick?
Rufus: Absolutely not. I had mix hopes going into this. Did it meet and exceed my expectations? Well yes, and no. Overall this movie was a blast. The Special FX were Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure which added immensely to the tongue in cheek feel, and the way the stories were presented and blended together worked out perfectly. There was one story out of the anthology that felt slightly out of place, but I have not seen a movie this surreal and so imaginative for some time. Anyone else want to chime in before I continue?
DJ: I walked into this with zero expectations. I was half-drunk and woozy and entered the screening room just because it was a dark place to sit down. Little did I know this movie would incite me into such fits of laughter that my stomach is still recovering. I haven't had this much gut-busting trauma since Scraps and Rufus dared me to eat an entire jar of pickled eggs. This film wasn't all humor though. It delved into some typical horror elements, and let me just say Misty Mundae was like a radiant vision....
Scraps: Damn straight. I think her secret is…actual talent! She was perfect in her role, not just because she played the “victim-no-more” role so well, but the opening monologue was absolute comic genius. She mocked her own career, and the entire industry all at once.
Before we get too far in, here’s a brief rundown of the story. Misty plays an actress who’s given the boot by her production company. She heads off to the country for some R&R time, while the producers scramble to find a new leading lady for their T&A matinees. While Misty is being stalked by the undead in an old house, we’re provided the other stories of the anthology through the eyes of the producers trying to track down the next big starlet. It was a clever mix of horror (with the heroin taking matters into her own hands) and some great sci-fi stories.
I’m always a fan of stop-motion vs. CGI, so I was in heaven. And yes, to knock it down a level or three, the actresses all looked amazing. Sure, they were poking fun at the nudity in B-movies, but it still gets me every time. The lighting and camera work was great as well, almost like watching a live-action comic book.
I had a blast watching “Shock-O-Rama” and it was the most fun I’ve had watching an anthology since “Creepshow”. It captured the joy of campy films while also mocking everything that made them great.
Rufus: Amen Scraps. This was a fun movie, in every sense of the word. Watching the first story gave me visions of LASERBLAST. Watching this movie made me feel like part of the joke, and the fun that I’m sure was had making the film reflected in everyone’s performance.
While tongue in cheek it never dropped into the ridiculous absurdity that it could have. This made the laughs genuine comedic moments instead of low brow, so stupid you have to laugh moments.
Oh yeah, nudity. Always a good thing. Now making fun of nudity is even better. If you know of EI Cinema’s releases then you will get the jokes. If you know low budget B movies, then you will get the jokes.
How about those old school FX? Impressive is a light word to use for such effects. They were corny enough to have a distinct artistic vision to them, yet still able to work perfectly within this type of movie. Now this is a kind of movie that I could watch over, and over.
If I have any complaints it is with how out of place I thought the last story felt. While not bad at all, it was too trippy to make much sense, and after the first two laugh out loud stories, it seemed very out of place. On a bright note, the nudity flourished in that one, so I guess you take your good with your bad, huh?
I want to see more like this movie in the near future. Give me more stop motion, and I will be one happy Bum. Well, stop motion and boob scares….
Scraps: Stop it…you’re making me cry again. You do bring up a good point…and allows me to segue into my next thought about this film. There are SO many cliché scenes, and so many great lines, I predict (and I’ve never been wrong before) that this is the next Rocky Horror, it has such potential for interactivity. While I was watching, I was thinking “for every F-bomb, you chug”, “for every full frontal nudity, you chug”, “for every pistol shot without aiming, you chug”…I think you get the gist of it.
I really liked this film, a lot. If you were going to pin me down and make me find something that keeps it from being a perfect 5 cans, I’d be picking nits, but that’s what I’d do. Personally, I thought the third story ran a little bit long. That’s it. I liked the look, the sound, the cast, and the story was a blast. It’s a strong 4 ½ can movie. Closing thoughts?
Rufus: You’re right Scraps. This movie swept me away to a time where movies could poke fun at themselves and still be a blast. Shock-O-Rama is one entertaining, tongue in cheek, semi giving, naughty mischievous school girl of a film that would make Hollywood kick themselves in the ass for not being this fun. 4 Cans!!
DJ: This was a really fun movie. It's not exactly going to answer the secrets of life, but it doesn't have to. This film takes me back to the old drive-in days of sitting around with a bunch of buddies, scarfing popcorn and swilling brew. If this isn't at least a 4 1/2 canner, I don't know what is.
Added: Tuesday, April 04, 2006
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