Fun and entertainment, the weird way. Not the usual cup of tea, but flavoured.
*Qualification: Funny, entertaining, weird.
I. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Genre: Horror Comedy
Director: Drew Goddard
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison and Chris Hemsworth
This is the latest entrant to our list, and makes one wonder if there is such a genre as Satirical Horror, or if this is rather just typical Horror comedy – still, our movie is everything all at once; horror, entertainment and lots of strange elements of fun, too good to be from a director doing his first movie. It has an underground facility hidden from the outside world by placing it under a cabin in the woods. Here, a number of employees try to control the life of whoever comes to the cabin for vacation by watching their every move by cameras, and later unleash horror upon them. This is quite the horror movie with so many monsters running around, but the funny elements regularly take over when they bet on both the people in the cabin as well as the monsters, and yell out to Anna Hutchison’s character to take her top off, which she does supported by the conditions which they create. There is a lot of horror that follows, but none of them are of the usual style, as this is a pure combination of everything that the former horror movies had provided us with, but depicted in a strangely funny way.
II. Zombieland (2009)
Genre: Horror Comedy
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin
Well, this is a zombie comedy – the zomcom which has undoubtedly inspired many others including the first Bollywood zombie comedy Go Goa Gone, and it was the highest grossing zombie movie of all-time until World War Z was released in 2013. With the tagline “Nut up or shut up”, this movie follows the life of four survivors of a zombie apocalypse going on a road trip to find a place free from zombies. But in the main time, one of the male leading characters comes up with a number of funny rules to survive the zombie attack, while the other is in the hunt for the world’s last Twinkies. Meanwhile, the two female leads use their wits and beauty to their advantage in an environment of chaos and total destruction so as to survive the world. From the mad cow disease to the brain dead zombie outbreak, this movie take the stranger route to create lots of fun, and become one of the most critically acclaimed zombie movies of all-time. It is hilarious in its own weird ways, as they murder a man disguised as a zombie, and destroy things for fun.
III. True Lies (1994)
Genre: Action Comedy
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tia Carrere
Arnold Schwarzenegger takes over the movie as a double-life leading protagonist, and Jamie Lee Curtis as his adventure-loving wife wishing to take a break from her boring usual life. But the lady ends up getting more than what she wished for, as both are taken prisoners by a terrorist organization, and later they both escape to come up against a bigger mission. As the movie has a heavy dose of action and comedy, it is a powerful dose of entertainment as one would expect. It delivers a weird punch which is quite uncommon and not belonging to its time of release. As the name suggests, there is truth and there are lies, plus there are the true lies which form the base of the movie. One of the most expensive movies of its time, True Lies is served with always-existing humour supported by great performances by the leading actors. Jamie Lee Curtis might be the funniest, and still gorgeous leading lady while Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man to look out for as usual.
IV. Piranha (2010)
Genre: Horror Comedy
Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Jessica Szohr and Kelly Brook
The remake of the 1978 film Piranha surprisingly scored not only with the audience but also with the critical appreciation. The movie scores with its high margin of exceeding the expectations, as it didn’t turn out to be another movie filled with horrible CGI inspired terror and random nudity, not going the path of the last few movies in the Lake Placid movies which would have been an easy way out. Piranha has achieved what they had failed to achieve, even with its heavy blood and gore, skin-show and the 3D effects. As a highly aggressive prehistoric species of fanged fish emerge from an underwater fissure and take on the people of a lake, there is complete chaos in the middle of tourists. Piranha is a strange, but highly effective combination, which its sequel failed to be. Piranha 3DD went horribly wrong with a lot more to add to the mistakes of the late Lake Placid sequels – it was a sensual comedy with all its unacceptable glory and more of a parody of the 2010 movie with everything concentrating in one water theme park with strippers and adult theme, giving one the idea about what to expect, Danielle Panabaker being the only saving grace.
V. Hancock (2008)
Genre: Action Comedy
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman
Hancock is that movie which I had to like quite a lot even as all my expectations were against it. Our hero is actually a superhero, who does save the day often, but is still not popular with the people of the city as he is a reckless alcoholic who destroys property and even injuries some other people in the process. This should be strange enough, and its gets even more different when Charlize Theron’s character enters that world, and later reveals her secrets which would change the hero’s life forever. This our different superhero who runs in a publicity contest and wins the same, and also gaining his own identity on the process. Charlize Theron and Will Smith takes the superhero world by this storm of variety with their performances. This is one of those stranger movies which has our star as one of those good guys who is not used to positive responses, but the movie did have the non-negative responses from the viewers if not from the critics, which might have been expected.
VI. Men in Black (1997)
Genre: Sci-fi Comedy
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Linda Fiorentino
My first vision of this movie was through a video game of the same name which came to me as an accident. To be frank, I watched this movie much later, even as I watched its sequels with not that much of a delay. The members of that secret organization which watches over alien invasions as well as the extraterrestrial alien refugees creates one of the most weird visions supported by the creatures of extreme variety. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are undoubtedly at their best here, which adds to the wonderful moments of the movie as they combine their forces of seriousness and fun. The extraterrestrial lifeforms which thrive on Earth while hiding their existence from ordinary humans also add to the weird fun and entertainment which this movie provides – it is not the humans who decide what we get around here, as it is more about the aliens and space than about the Earthlings and the planet Earth.
VII. Naked Fear (2007)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Thom Eberhardt
Cast: Danielle De Luca, Sonja Runar and Kalila Ceccarelli
This movie won’t qualify for most of the lists out there due to its own existence as something which doesn’t really evolve enough to please any specific group of viewers. Being wierd is the only way for this flick to get into a list, and that is what has given this one a spot. Danielle De Luca plays the prey who is thrown into a deadly hunting game after being kidnapped by a serial killer, stripped naked and is chased by the murderer in the woods as if part of a hunting game. She is hunted in the wilderness like an animal until she finally has her revenge. It is the brutality that she suffers that changes her and in a reversal of roles, she would assume the role of the hunter, the predator of the opposition. The movie is a thriller with its own little strength, and it hasn’t deteriorated into some random porn movie, and that surely might help it to keep the head high despite of the negative reception. Danielle De Luca is undoubtedly the eye candy as well as the centre of attraction throughout the flick. This has a good setting and a pretty good setup for a nice plot to follow, and the light dose of thrills, and an overdose of the gogeous Danielle De Luca, and thats the end.
VIII. Crank (2006)
Genre: Action Thriller
Director(s): Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Jose Pablo Cantillo
Crank is kind of weird throughout its existence and one has to say that its sequel was more of stupid weird. The movie is the story of a hitman named Chev Chelios who is poisoned and must keep his adrenaline flowing so that his heart doesn’t stop and he remains alive. To keep himself alive, he resorts to causing chaos all around, gets into fights with criminals and gangsters, and even with the police, and takes a number of drugs along with committing robberies, rash driving and even having sex with his girlfriend in public. There is no denying that the movie is fun despite of the strange world that it is a part of. He remains the man who can’t die despite of having no superpowers. Even in the sequel Crank: High Voltage, it seems that he still exists for another sequel. But the first movie is the best mindless fun, of the strangest kind. It provides the viewers with nothing else though, and can be termed an fantastic stupid entertainment which ceases to exist and has a heavy aversion toward logic. Jason Statham is the key.
IX. Child’s Play (1988)
Genre: Psychological Horror
Director: Tom Holland
Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon and Brad Dourif
If this movie hadn’t set new standards in weirdness at a time when the horror was following a path which wasn’t of much variety, all the strange ideas which followed might have never arrived on scene. The serial killer who has transferred his soul into a doll with a voodoo ritual and living in it to murder – that is weird enough! Now that is one huge advantage right there for the other side. It is a story of possession told in a different manner, not without the elements of humour, but that too is dark enough. Even the surprise and shock elements are well used so that this movie has drifted toward the genre of horror and thriller. With the sixth movie of the installment, Curse of Chucky coming up this October, and the use of the Annabelle doll in The Conjuring, this series is expected to have a new life and the great weird doll might continue to bring more movies of this kind. This is the variety which is fun.
X. Gremlins (1984)
Genre: Horror Comedy
Director: Joe Dante
Cast: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates and Hoyt Axton
This movie is nothing other than the strange fun that it provides. When considered in a philosophical style, the creatures would still reflect many aspects of the unruly youth, not only of that age, but also of the present. They are representations of the human ability to transform into terrible monsters despite of having the tag of being created in God’s own image. It is the story of a strange creature which spawns a number of other creatures who turn evil and destructive. Gremlins 2: The New Batch didn’t really live upto this one despite of inherting the weirdness, and its comparatively colder reception is quite justified. The imaginary creatures are supposed to be mischievous enough to make the life of people miserable as much as they wish to. I am not with the creatures though, and in case of a future reboot, they need to be worked on, a lot. They won’t be the smurfs or the minions any day, and that is one thing even a dead zombie might be absolutely certain about.
I always wished there was a sequel to Hancock. More than enough material to work with for a follow-up. At any rate, I’d love to see Smith and Theron work together on something else.
I have been wondering what would happen in a possible sequel too. I also felt that Theron hasn’t been around for enough movies – they even killed her character in Prometheus 😦