By Chuck Francisco
August 28, 2013 Source: Mania.com
Back in the waning, halcyon days of the 1990's, the task of exposing friends to a crazy syringe of cinematic madness was a blessedly simple endeavor. An invitation was extended then accepted; couch cushions were occupied on a first come basis; VHS tape heads where locked and loaded into place; and tracking worked furiously to make magnetic sense of the well worn medium. Admittedly my recollections are saturated in a rich stew of nostalgia, but it seemed far easier to convince friends to watch haphazardly crummy horror or cult films back in the day. The glimmer of truth lost among loose rocks is that there was a fair amount less minutia demanding our time back then, but we shouldn't forget that getting our grubby mitts on rare cult films was an involved and desperate ordeal, very much unlike our on demand world of today.
Turning down an offer to watch a flea market acquired copy of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky in a buddy's dorm room was tantamount to missing out on it entirely. To paraphrase Winston Zeddemore "When someone asks you to watch a Fulci film, you say YES!". And in that way I exposed friends to The Beyond, Rock and Roll Nightmare, Pieces, and innumerable others, while being introduced to rarities like Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles in return. Today, friends suggest an astonishing bevy of titles to me that I'll likely never get to. A massive backlog has begun building in the notes section on Gimli (my iPhone), and in this way the punishment of Sisyphus seems genteel by comparison. An avalanche of schlock may one day leave only my rigid hand exposed, clawed and lifeless.
With this dilemma hailing a checker cab to the intersection of my attention, I began considering the best methods for sharing bad movies with friends. It's often difficult to cut through all of the white noise screaming for attention in our modern connected existence, and it's bound to become more so as Google Glasses become ubiquitous, always on technology. Start by figuratively smashing a hatchet through their saturated sheen of distraction (which in my imagination is a CRT TV- purely for the satisfying explosion of glass and pressure).
Blowing their brain pans open to unique and kitschy experiences should be as simple as sharing the trailer, after all the sales pitch is then being managed by trained professionals with an eye for the over promising antics of shameless promotion. Like carnival hucksters of old, trailers for cult and horror films commonly rely on visual slight of hand, and in the case of Corman, slight of exploding helicopter (shred the waves of YouTube for Roger Corman trailers and you'll recognize the same chopper exploding in a number of unrelated flicks). When choosing a trailer, be extra careful not to pull some dopey college kid's video editing project, which has been inconsiderately labeled as the real deal. If the film has been covered by Trailers from Hell then definitely include that, and if you've never been to TFH's channel then life has thus far deprived you of absolute cinematic delight.
Existing as a shining bacon of campy helpfulness (bound to be cast as a camp consoler, lethally afflicted with sharp case of death), I've taken the liberty of collecting a handful of trailers precisely calibrated to cut through the white noise in your friends' lives. Check out these amazing gems and share the blissful joy of bad movies.
Want to watch something right now? Check the Screaming Streaming section for suggested viewing which is available right now via the magic of the Internets.
A Company Man
Runtime: 96 minutes
Genre: Import Action/Thriller
Availability: VOD, Amazon, Playstation, Xbox, CinemaNow, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube
This Korean language import functions on two levels. Primarily it empties the clip into the well worn trope of the assassin trying to break out of the life he's grown beyond. Left to that device, A Company Man would be an competent, but serviceable film. The inspired nuances surrounding that base seed nourish the imagination and critical thinking skills, elevating this into must watch territory. The assassin is employed by a firm which functions exactly like a nine to five white collar company, accept that they specialize in contract killings. All of the infuriating bureaucracy, ruthless ladder climbing, and asinine faux comrade are juxtaposed onto the beating heart of thrilling assassin adventure, making this worth an introspective evening's time. A Company Man hit video on demand services this week, available from a number of content providers (listed above). NOTE: While the trailer doesn't have English subs, the film does.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.
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