Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fine Young Cannibals

Every so often a movie comes along that is way more interesting then it has any right to be. It's more innovative, weird, ambitious and silly then you would expect going in. The other night I watched Ravenous (1999) which I had never seen and Evil Dead II which I've lost count of how many times I've seen.

I had no intention of linking these two films, but what do you know? They are totally connected! If you squint. And take off your glasses. And stand 20 feet away.

Ok, ok... they're both just weird. But one is awesome weird and one is "meh" weird. Ravenous is about cannibalism and the demons in Evil Dead will swallow your soul. So there is some element of digestion in both of them.... Right? Right.

Ravenous deals with a bunch of soldiers in and around the civil war. Guy Pearce is a coward and Robert Carlyle likes to eat people, there are also a gaggle of other soldiers whose main uses are to ask Guy about himself to reveal his character then be eaten by Robert. The most noticeable thing about Ravenous is the score by Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). It's brave, that's the best thing I can say about it. It's so truly odd and disconcerting that a film score could so overtake a movie. Also, Guy Pearce can't fall. He can't. Watching him fall is like watching someone who has never seen anyone fall try to fall. It was a really special moment in my life the first time I watched the part where he falls mid-way through Ravenous. And it was still special the 2 times I rewound and watched it again.

The big problem with Ravenous is it wants to be weirder than it is. Director Antonia Bird is all set to make a dark satire but the script is waaaaay too by the book. The script is a pretty typical thriller. People die under mysterious circumstances,hero solves it, throw in a twist, hero solves that, BAM, ending. Take away the historical setting, some great casting choices and you've got every movie Monica Potter and Ashley Judd was in, ever.

Evil Dead. Oh, what can I say about you that hasn't been said already. Actually, what can I say that B-Sol over at the Vault of Horror hasn't already said? It's one of the best write-ups of one of the best horror films series. What I like about Evil Dead is it takes a simple concept and expounds on it. It also has enough shocks to warrant the laughs. What horror film fan doesn't love the voice over of "workshed". Liking Evil Dead is akin to being in the cool kids club. Well, maybe not the cool kids club but definitely the funny kids club.

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