Ginger Snaps (2000)
John Fawcett, director of many things, but most interestingly, most of Orphan Black
Take two teenage sisters, a year apart in age, toss in some very intense gothiness without the solid black clothes, and you have Bridgette and Ginger. Now mix the two up with a few drops of werewolf and you get Ginger Snaps. Oh also, the entire thing is an allegory for getting your period, aka The Curse.
So, Ginger starts to turn. Her ever loyal sister sticks by her to try and find a cure even though Ginger is growing increasingly more bitchy. For the budget, Ginger’s transition is really good, and this movie deserves more credit than it gets. The series sort of went off the rails by the third, and what I think is the last, movie, but this first one is quite entertaining, even if I do want to slap them both and yell “Cheer up!”
Editor’s Note: That may have sounded rather sexist just now, but I assure you, if some dude was whining this much, I would slap him too.
The Stuff (1985)
Larry Cohen. Q, and the It’s Alive movies
Old man finds bubbling white shit in the snowy ground. What would you do if you found that? Eat it? That’s the only correct answer. Next time you find some goopy shit on the ground, you eat it, and you eat it right away. It tastes good – I promise!
The movie is full of genuine humor. Michael Moriarty and Garrett Morris are fantastic as Mo Rutherford and Chocolate Chip Charlie respectively. They play their parts so well, and their back and forth is hilarious.
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Suicide Club (2001)
Sion Sono is my favorite director. I have not covered his movies yet because I don’t feel like I will do a good job. Even though I have made writing my living, I don’t feel like I will ever use the right words when speaking of this film, or any of his others. That said, I guess I have to try.
54 school girls join hands and jump in front of an on-coming train. From that point, more and more suicides occur throughout Tokyo and are connected to a website that shows each death as a colored circle. Rolls of rectangular skin pieces sewn together are dropped off at various suicide scenes, each piece thought to be from a suicide victim. A cult is thought to be behind the rash of deaths. One girl is almost killed by a friend as he plummets to his death from a building. She follows clues from a music icon group called Dessart and is kidnapped by another group claiming responsibility for the Suicide Club. Eventually she meets with a group of small children who ask her if she is one with herself. Satisfied with her answer, they lead her away. A piece of her skin is found in another roll, and as the police try to stop her from jumping in front of a train, she simply pulls away from them, boards the train, and leaves.
Each Sono film takes this idea and places it inside a little box, then surrounds the idea with the most absurd and graphic content imaginable. He takes the farthest extremes to explain the smallest of ideas. This type of storytelling will resonate with some and alienate others. If you view this film as a horror movie and nothing more, then there will be intense disappointment in your future. If you catch a glimpse below the surface and start peeling back layers, I believe you are in for a treat that you won’t forget.
I know, I really got preachy on this one, but everyone has that thing they are passionate about, right? Everyone has a theme that really gets them. Sono’s movies do it for me. Please sign up for the newsletter if you liked what you read, and check out our Facebook group here. We love talking all things horror.
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