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Parody photo

Fifty Shades of Black trailer actually plays parody well

The Wayans can get it right sometimes
Nov 19
// Matthew Razak
We have to thank the Wayans family. If it weren't for them the movie spoofing genre would have completely died with Leslie Nielsen. Now you may be thinking, "Matt, that would be a good thing," but believe it or not there some...
Rocky! Rocky! photo
Rocky! Rocky!

30 for 30 does Rocky IV

Ending the cold war one punch at a time
Nov 12
// Matthew Razak
A few week's ago College Humor brought us a parody of ESPN's 30 for 30 programming by creating a hilarious short on Angels in the Outfield. It worked and it worked well. It looks like they'll be continuing the series as ...
ESPN 30 for 30 photo
ESPN 30 for 30

ESPN 30 for 30: Angels in the Outfield

A straight-faced College Humor parody
Oct 23
// Hubert Vigilla
While I don't necessarily like baseball, I really like the idea of baseball, especially documentaries about baseball. That goes for pitching docs like Fastball and Knuckleball, as well as underdog stories like The Battered Ba...

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Is a Great Fans-Only Follow-Up to a Cult Classic

Aug 03 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]219718:42521:0[/embed] The Netflix series takes place in one day at Camp Firewood, the first day (duh) at Camp Firewood, the only day that matters (other than the last day). Teen movie tropes about virginity, pecking orders, and bullying ensue, but it's also clear we're in a different place on the first day of camp than we were by the last day of camp. Coop (Michael Showalter) is timidly dating Donna (Lake Bell) rather than being a timid sadsack, Katie (Marguerite Moreau) is seeing a snooty Camp Tiger Claw guy named Blake (John Charles) rather than cocksure bad boy Andy (Paul Rudd), and, somehow, Ben (Bradley Cooper) and Susie (Amy Poehler) are an item, though a frustratingly sexless item. Also, Christopher Meloni's cook character has hair and isn't batshit crazy. None of the above is inherently funny, but that's what makes it funny. So much of the humor in the Netflix show is contingent on knowing on the first day of camp what happens on the final day of camp. It makes me think that a prequel to Wet Hot American Summer is infinitely funnier than a sequel would have been, at least at a conceptual level. That's the absurd way that movie-time/series-time works--with prequels in particular, real-world chronology matters more than in-story chronology. In prequels, set-up is really punchline. To put it another way, what kind of mook watches the Star Wars prequels before they watch the original Star Wars trilogy? Who pops in Temple of Doom before they watch Raiders of the Lost Ark? I'll tell you who: someone doing everything wrong in life. Since the Wet Hot prequel takes place 15-real-word years after the original film, there are a lot of unspoken gags built around the age of the cast. In Wet Hot, actors in their twenties played teenagers, which is common practice for lots of teen movies and coming-of-age films. In First Day of Camp, the teenage counselors are all roughly 40 years old, give or take, which is uncommon practice anywhere. The cast shows their age--though some have aged better than others (Rudd and Elizabeth Banks must have paintings rotting in rooms somewhere)--and the wigs/hairstyles look even more fake. It all adds to the show's enjoyably off-kilter quality. Showalter looks especially schlubby as Coop. Compare Coop in First Day of Camp to Coop in Wet Hot American Summer and it's a pretty startling before-and-after (or after-and-before). I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way since it's part of the humor and all the performers are in on it. It's actually a smart visual gag that's used effectively as part of the storytelling. Seeing Showalter next to Lake Bell makes the doomed awkwardness of Coop and Donna's relationship more apparent. In those 15 real-world years that separate the First Day of Camp from the last day of camp, some of the Wet Hot American Summer cast have become much more famous. For Banks and Poehler, that means more focus on their characters and what makes them each tick. The backstory they've concocted for Banks' character Lindsay is especially inspired. It's a nod to Just One of the Guys and a wink to Cameron Crowe's real-life adventures as a fake-teen that led to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. With Cooper, by comparison, writers Wain and Showalter have come up with a clever in-story way to accommodate the Academy Award-nominated actor's busy real-world schedule. (Cooper had to shoot all of his scenes in just one day.) The expanded cult following behind Wet Hot American Summer means loads of guest appearances throughout First Day of Camp, including Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Jordan Peele, Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, and H. Jon Benjamin. There's another major cameo I won't ruin, though it seems like this particular actor, like Cooper, probably shot all of his scenes in one day. In addition to guest stars, the growing Wet Hot cult translated into a bigger budget (probably to pay all the guest stars). Wet Hot American Summer was shot for $1.8 million, though Wain told people it was $5 million in the hopes it would help secure a better distribution deal. Judging by this 2013 article from Variety, Netflix probably shelled out $1.8 million per episode for First Day of Camp. The scope of the story is larger, and yet there's still a scruffy, raggedy look to the whole thing that fits with the aesthetic of the film. It's as if Wain and Showalter figured out how to make everything look chintzier even though the world of the film has grown. And that's the thing. First Day of Camp is a cult show for a cult movie, and it stays true to its roots: spoofs, the yes-and of improv, the weirdness of 90s sketch shows, the and-then of a feverishly implausible child's story; and it's all fueled by real-life nostalgia for teenage summers as well as nostalgia for certain bits of Gen-X pop culture. Part of me wonders if there'll be a second day of camp. That same part hopes it happens about a decade from now. It would be funnier that way. The Wet Hot American Summer series seems to get better with age.
Wet Hot American Netflix photo
♫ "Taking it higher and higher!" ♫
Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a great follow-up to 2001's cult classic Wet Hot American Summer. Like the original film, First Day of Camp is rife with anarchic absurdity and chock full of movie ...

The Cult Club: Wet Hot American Summer (2001) Awkwardly Flirted Into Our Hearts (and Pants)

Jul 31 // Hubert Vigilla
In a lot of ways, Wet Hot American Summer is a cult movie made by the generation that grew up watching cult movies and cult television. Picture this sign on the treehouse: "The Wet Hot American Summer Cult Club--No Boomers Allowed... Unless You've Seen Zapped with Scott Baio... or Sledge Hammer!" The film takes place in one day at Camp Firewood, the final day at Camp Firewood, the only one that matters. And into this day is poured multiple teen movie cliches: telling your crush you're into them, virgins trying to get laid, bad boys being bad to good girlfriends, exuberant montages, demented staff, friends trying to get their virgin friends laid, a talent show, telekinesis, hidden romances, nerdy kids saving the day. So much happens so quickly that logical notions of time and space have no meaning. An hour-long trip seems to cover a weekend of events, a one-minute training montage seems to cover a week of exercise and self-discovery, a single day carries in it a month-long trajectory of emotions. And that's the whole point. Wet Hot American Summer takes place in a film version of time and space since it's a movie about the culminating plots of other movies. Beneath that meta-layer, there's perhaps a wistful tinge of nostalgia as well--as a kid, summer seems to go by so fast, like the entire summer is just a single day. Mostly it's just funny if you think about it, but also if, in a smart and detached way, you really don't think about it too much. Even though the movie is about the culminating stories of other camp movies, Wet Hot American Summer isn't constructed with a single narrative thrust that climaxes and wraps up neatly. The movie stops and starts as title cards note the passage of in-story meta-movie time. A potential Bad News Bears-style showdown in the middle of the film seems like the big set piece we've been waiting for, and yet it's self-consciously avoided. A camper says that the cliche of the big game is trite, and the counselors agree, because ultimately it is trite. Summers, whether a day or an entire season, rarely have that kind of shape with a solid conclusion. Instead, Wet Hot American Summer is more like a feature-length sketch show that just ends when camp ends. The final shot of the film is suitably unceremonious. [embed]219652:42516:0[/embed] I think Wet Hot American Summer is alive today because some Gen-Xers got the joke--were in on the joke--and are now in power at Netflix.  From their streaming thrones, they're able to dole out the filthy original-series lucre as they see fit. (And good for them.) I can't help but stress the whole Gen-X angle, which bleeds into a millennial attachment to the film. It may also explain why film critics of the time (who were predominantly Baby Boomers) just couldn't get into it. The Boomers weren't really in on the joke; some didn't even get the set-up or that the set-up and punchline were sometimes one in the same. Like other cult followings, there's a sense of exclusivity. When Scott Tobias wrote about Wet Hot American Summer for the AV Club back in 2008, he identified the makers of the film as well as many of the cultists: Here's a movie from 2001 that doesn't concern itself with yesterday's box-office hits, but with a sub-sub-genre of comedies from the late '70s to the mid-'80s, starting with Meatballs and its sequel, and including other disreputable standards like the TV movie Poison Ivy (with Michael J. Fox and Nancy McKeon), SpaceCamp, and the non-gory scenes in their slasher cousins like Friday The 13th and Sleepaway Camp. But it doesn't stop there: WHAS is pitched specifically to Reagan-era latchkey kids who grew up watching these movies on television, and have a certain generalized nostalgia about the fashions, hairstyles, graphical elements, and other minutiae that seeped into their wood-paneled family rooms. Tobias, a Gen-Xer like that first-wave of classic AV Club writers, is a Wet Hot acolyte. (Gooble gobble.) The comedy is so videostore and VCR-based, drawing on a shared cultural memory not just of middle-class summer camp experiences but about movies-about-summer-camp and teen-sex-movies and slashers-at-camp-movies and that-one-joke-I-saw-on-late-night-TV; and maybe to a certain degree, the movie is also about people trying to model their real-life summer camp experiences to match the things they saw in films and TV. The time-space weirdness of the movie seems to suggest that it's impossible to make real life work like the movies; further, if real life worked out that way, it would make reality trite. Wain and collaborators Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, and Joe Lo Truglio were all members of MTV's sketch show The State, which is one of the cultiest cult shows that ever did cult-show. A lot of the fondness for Wet Hot American Summer comes from an attachment that many had to The State and the projects that the cast embarked on following The State's cancellation. (Maybe a question to consider in all this: at what point does fondness become nostalgia?) The State was at the forefront of that cult sketch comedy canon, along with The Kids in the Hall, Mr. Show, The Dana Carvey Show, and The Ben Stiller Show (of which camp director Janeane Garofalo was an alum; ditto a brief stint on Saturday Night Live). Thinking about it, you really can't have sketch comedy without grounding that in the improv tradition. Think of places like Second City, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Groundlings. These were the places where SNL and SCTV found their players. Improv is often built on discrete scenes with a common theme, all of which abide by a "yes and" mentality between performers in order to keep a joke alive and to enhance it. The "yes and" at the heart of improv might be the adult collaborative equivalent of a child using "and then" as a conjunction while telling a story that they're really excited about. [embed]219652:42519:0[/embed] The State's comedy tradition and the film's roots in home video explain the varied nature of Wet Hot American Summer's humor--a series of personal experiences by way of movie cliches joined together by strange "and then's" with lots of "yes and's." It's also why (again, if you're in on the joke) a lot of the comedy hits. The characters at Camp Firewood are rendered broadly from a collection of tropes, as if hewn from a sketch team's writing room or from an improv team's regular house show. Each character is dropped into situations that play to their strengths as comic figures, and it just keeps going--and then, and then, and then until the end. Beyond that, there's the awkward interpersonal comedy, mostly having to do with flirting and attraction. There's slapstick. There's quotable non-sequiturs mostly from Christopher Meloni as the 'Nam-addled camp cook. The visual gags are there too (e.g., why are they wrestling behind the line for corn?), and ditto some audio ones (e.g., Wilhelm scream). Wet Hot takes its lessons not just from improv and sketch, but also from Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker at their best: keep the jokes coming fast, from different angles, and don't just rely on one type of humor. The Wet Hot American Summer series on Netflix is a prequel rather than a sequel. A sequel would have made logical sense since they tease a 10-year reunion in the film, a snippet of which is seen after the credits. And yet it's a prequel show about the first day of camp rather than the last, and most of the cast looks their age (i.e., comfortably into their 40s). Come to think of it, they're following up a 90-minute movie about the final day of camp with eight half-hour episodes about the first day of camp. But that's the joke. Wet Hot American Summer continues its own tradition of operating in a pocket of movie-space and movie-time, and the set-up and punchline are one. Its driving comedy imperative of yes's, and's, and then's hopefully still abides. [embed]219652:42518:0[/embed] Next Month... We're taking a look at one of the odd moments in American film and popular culture: the time in the 1970s when pornography went mainstream. Known alternatively as prono chic and The Golden Age of Porn, Flixist will focus one of the seminal (now, now) films from that era: 1972's Deep Throat. In addition to looking at Deep Throat, we'll consider the rise and fall of The Golden Age of Porn (blame home video), how the clash over porn led to a division among second wave feminists, and how the ugly side of this pornorific era in American culture was depicted in films such as Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights and, more recently, Lovelace starring Amanda Seyfried. Yup. Porn. I'm sure putting that Philosophy degree to work. PREVIOUSLY SHOWING ON THE CULT CLUB Repo Man (1984) Putney Swope (1969) Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) The Last Dragon (1985) Tromeo and Juliet (1996)
Wet Hot American Summer photo
"I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters"
David Wain's Wet Hot American Summer is one of the least likely movies to inspire a follow-up of any kind. The film was savaged by critics upon its release and barely made a dent at the box office; Universal even denied the m...

Kung Fury photo
Kung Fury

Kung Fury is finally here and it is everything

Stunningly 80s, all awesome
May 29
// Matthew Razak
I'm just going to leave this here with a hearty recommendations. Usually awesome trailers fleshed out fall flat, but the 30 minute Kung Fury movie is a masterpiece of modern cinema and possibly the only film that will ever hold a candle to Mad Max: Fury Road.  Finally, Kickstarter doesn't let us down... well, this and Veronica Mars. 

Review: Ana Maria in Novela Land

Mar 19 // Nick Valdez
[embed]219098:42280:0[/embed] Ana Maria in Novela LandDirectors: Georgina RiedelRelease Date: February 27th, 2015 Ana Maria, in a nutshell, is like a better version of Freaky Friday. The film follows the titular Ana Maria (Edy Ganem), a twenty something who can't hold a job and would rather spend her time live tweeting her favorite novela, Pasión Sin Límites (or Passion Without Limits), than hanging out with her friends. As her favorite character Ariana Tomosa (once again, Edy Ganem) seems to have the best life with an upcoming wedding and a hot guy pining for her, Ana Maria wishes that was her life. After a storm, a tweet, and some shenanigans, Ana Maria becomes a part of her favorite telenovela. Now she must make it home before the series ends or she'll be stuck forever.  Ana Maria gently tows the line between homage and parody without ever falling too deep into one of those pitfalls. It's all part of an effort to make the film a bit more digestible for a wider audience. The film already has a few esoteric barriers to entry (the audience needs some kind of knowledge of novela culture, and the film has a cast of native Spanish speakers, for example), so the choices it makes are understandable but a bit disheartening. For example, while the film is a nice comedy, it never quite goes far enough with its premise. I'm not sure if it's a fear of offending anyone, or a lack of confidence in its Spanish flair, but there's a major sense of holding back. For example, Ana Maria joins the show as a character, rather than switching places with the actress playing that character. So the jokes come from the surface level hokiness already apparent in telenovelas rather than trying to find something deeper. And while most of the film is indeed a fun parody of the tropes, there are a few jokes that are definitely derogatory. Like Luiz Guzman's Licenciado Schmidt popping around the corner every couple of scenes is funny at first, but grows tired as the film relies on it.  That lack of confidence also has an effect on the film's outcome. Since Ana Maria joins this fantastical world, her decision to return home never quite feels real. Thanks to the show's plot giving her a deadline, Ana Maria doesn't come to her conclusions through character work but through ease of plot. It's like she'd rather live her boring life than die, and that's not a great message to go out on. But there's one major aspect I would like to touch on, and it's the one thing that separates this film from most comedies: Ana Maria never loses her agency. It's a refreshing skew of Latino culture.  Latino culture (whether they be Mexican, or from the Central and Southern American regions) follows traditional beats. You know, grow up through church, get married and have kids at a certain age. While the film at first criticizes Ana Maria's choice to be alone (notably, it's her choice), the film's ending, while forced, makes that not seem so bad. Ana Maria's sister may have a traditional marriage, but the film allows Ana Maria the freedom to go through the film's journey in the first place. It's a small, but powerful detail.  Beyond its story, the film's production is quite well done. It took me awhile to realize Ana Maria and Ariana Tomosa were played by the same actress, and I'll give the film credit for managing the feat with just some makeup and hair tricks. And while I wish the film would've sunk further into its telenovela world (we only see one set piece, and it's not used very well), every scene in the show is given a nice glaze. A bit foggy, a bit mystical. It definitely retains its fantastical appeal.  Ana Maria in Novela Land is a nice first step into broadening Latino culture in film. It portrays a facet of that culture rarely seen with analytical eyes, but never quite has a statement one way or the other. It's a nice comedy that pokes fun at the genre, and Edy Ganem is a great lead, but the film lacks bite. 
Ana Maria Review photo
She livin' a life just like a movie star
It's been a tough time for Latino representation in pop culture. While television has made great strides in casting Latino actors in non-traditional roles to show off a greater range of characterization beyond "gang banger" a...


Sharknado 3 has a title

Third movie in SyFy straight-to-TV franchise will air July 22
Mar 18
// Matt Liparota
You'd think two movies about weather-related shark attacks would be more than enough to last the human race until our surely-impending end, but sometimes the world is a funny place. Despite all logic, a third Sharknado f...
Birdman  photo

Check out this awesome Birdman toy commercial

Feb 25
// Nick Valdez
There's not really much to say other than this is a neat little ditty promoting Birdman's victory lap through some theaters after taking home the Best Picture Oscar. But it's just really, really neat. If you haven't yet, you should watch Big Birdman too.  "Smells like balls."
Big Birdman photo
Big Birdman

Flix for Short: Big Birdman

(Or The Unexpected Virtue of Orange Pants)
Feb 20
// Nick Valdez
We've featured Sesame Street parodies on the site before, but they've never been as mindblowing as this. Featuring Caroll Spinney and Big Bird, this is just all kinds of perfect.  "How did we get here? How did we get to Sesame Street?"

Taken 4 trailer is here

Not really, but really
Jan 16
// Matthew Razak
With the success of Taken 3 (do not listen to Sean it is a terrible movie and a waste of your money) we all have to ask why the hell we keep seeing really bad movies. We also have to expect that despite the third film c...
Dumb and Dumber To photo
Dumb and Dumber To

These Dumb and Dumber To posters parody Lucy

Aug 18
// Nick Valdez
Although I've never seen Lucy (as I still regret seeing Hercules over it), I've heard lots of good things and it's apparently popular enough to warrant a parody. Specifically, a parody of the "use 10% of the brain" premise.&n...
Intramural Trailer photo
Intramural Trailer

First trailer for Intramural, a sports parody featuring SNL cast members

Apr 15
// Nick Valdez
I'm not the biggest fan of sports movies as they all tend to look the same. But every once in a while, something new comes along and manages to rock the sports genre with its uniqueness. Intramural might make it close to tha...

Muppets Most Wanted spoofs action movie posters

Mar 07
// Liz Rugg
The Muppets Most Wanted promotional campaign has been as delightful as expected from the franchise, though with these new parody posters, The Muppets have upped their game yet again. Each poster parody's a famous action movie...
The Simpsons photo
The Simpsons

The Simpsons pay tribute to Studio Ghibli films

Skinner as a Box Kite!
Jan 10
// Nick Valdez
This Sunday on The Simpsons, Comic Book Buy is getting married in "Married to the Blob." Sure, Comic Book Guy (or Jeffrey Albertson) has been in romantic relationships before, but now that he's apparently romancing a manga a...
Bound 3 photo
Bound 3

Rogen and Franco recreated Kanye West's "Bound 2"

Nov 25
// Nick Valdez
On the set of Seth Rogen's directorial follow up to This is the End, The Interview (featuring Rogen and James Franco as a TV personality and producer who are roped into helping assassinate the prime minister of North Korea), James Franco and Seth Rogen did a shot for shot remake of Kanye West's weird music video for "Bound 2." Ye...yeah it's pretty sexy.  [via Twitter]
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A Haunted House 2

First teaser trailer for A Haunted House 2...exists

That's right, there's a second one.
Nov 22
// Nick Valdez
I finally saw the first A Haunted House on Netflix a few months ago with some cool buddies of mine. We all walked away thinking terrible things about it. It not only had one, but three Saints Row: The Third posters hang...
22 Jump Splits photo
22 Jump Splits

Channing Tatum does a split for 22 Jump Street

Van dayum!
Nov 20
// Nick Valdez
Jean Claude Van Damme once did an ad for Volvo which featured him doing an "epic split" like the mad god he is. On the sett of 22 Jump Street, releasing June 2014, Channing Tatum decided to do a parody of that ad for some re...
FFS: Catching Fur photo
FFS: Catching Fur

Flix for Short: Sesame Street's The Hungry Games

"Being strong heroine of entire franchise hard work."
Nov 19
// Nick Valdez
With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire setting fire to theaters in a few days, it's time for everyone to get in on the hype. And that includes the Sesame Street gang. In The Hungry Games: Catching Fur, Cookie Monster stars as ...
Best Night Ever trailer photo
Best Night Ever trailer

First trailer for Best Night Ever is not the best ever

Nov 18
// Nick Valdez
Best Night Ever seeks to parody the likes of party films such as Spring Breakers and every bacholerette party movie ever. What Best Night Ever fails to do, however, is make any of it funny. Although it's most likely too earl...

SNL's Wes Anderson parody is pure brilliance

The worst thing about this is that it's only a parody
Oct 29
// Sean Walsh
The only thing wrong with this brilliant Wes Anderson parody is its lack of Bill Murray. Other than that, it looks exactly like an Anderson film. The music is perfect, the shots are perfect, Edward Norton's Owen Wilson is perfect...ahhhh, it's perfect! [via YouTube]

Check out American Psycho with Huey Lewis and Weird Al

Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?
Apr 04
// Logan Otremba
So I would totally be down for a full-length parody of American Psycho starring Huey Lewis of Huey Lewis and the News and Weird Al Yankovic, but that may be just me personally. Regardless, Funny or Die released a video that i...

Watch Disney Princesses go wild in Spring Breakers parody

Mar 22
// Nick Valdez
Going to see Spring Breakers this weekend? Maybe you should watch this hilarious parody video first (then read our review!). It takes one of the core draws of Breakers (watching former Disney starlets do crazy stuff for mone...

Flix for Short: Garlan Hulse: Where Potential Lives

Mar 08
// Nick Valdez
In the same vein as the cool retro marketing Wreck-It Ralph had done for its fictional Fix-It Felix Jr. game, Rich Moore has made a short "documentary" to celebrate WIR's release on home video this past week. Garlan Hul...

Flix for Short: Movie: The Movie 2V

Feb 26
// Nick Valdez
As part of Jimmy Kimmel's post-Oscar special, he revealed a parody trailer for the sequel last year's Movie: The Movie. 2V doesn't exactly reach the heights of the first one (how could he beat, "Once you go Black Hitler, you...
You would also totally watch a Quentin Tarantino Biblical revenge movie
Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live did a great parody of Django Unchained and Quentin Tarantino movies in general. Behold Djesus Uncrossed, with Christoph Waltz as the Man (with No Name) of Galilee. I'm not going to give ...


Trailer: Scary Movie 5

Dec 26
// Nick Valdez
Here you go everyone, the moment almost no one has been waiting for. Ever since it was announced that a fifth Scary Movie was going to be made without Anna Faris, then Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen were stunt casted for so...

Trailer: A Haunted House (Red Band)

Dec 13
// Nick Valdez
While the first trailer seemed to borderline entertaining, this new "VIBE exclusive" Red Band trailer seems to go for the kitchen sink...and subsequently loses me. There are sex "jokes" out the wazoo, Marlon's "motherf***ing...

Trailer: A Haunted House

Marlon Wayans is trying to take back the horror parody.
Oct 19
// Nick Valdez
I remember there was a time that I looked forward to movie parodies. When the first Scary Movie released, I laughed so hard I almost had an accident (I was also ten). When the sequel came out, that excitement tempered a bit....

First image of Scary Movie 5 confirms it will be terrible

Sep 21
// Nick Valdez
You know how every Scary Movie is supposed to have a random celebrity cameo who has no business being in movies? Like how Scary Movie 3 had Pamela Anderson, Scary Movie 4 had Dr. "My PhD is For Realsies" Phil, or th...

The Cult Club: Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2002)

Aug 10 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat tells the story of Fuad Ramses III (J.P. Delahoussaye), the grandson of Fuad Ramses I, the killer from Blood Feast. One day, Fuad III finds out that he is now in possession of his grandfather's old catering building, so he shows up to claim what's his. Immediately upon arriving, he is interrogated by Detective Michael Myers (Mark McLachlan), whose father was on the police force during the Fuad Ramses murder case way back when. Fuad III, obviously, knows nothing about the exploits of his murderous grandfather, and continues on his way. Soon he gets his first (and, as far as the film is concerned, only) catering job: a wedding for Tiffani Lampley (Toni Wynne), although all of the preparations are run through her horrible mother (Melissa Morgan). It starts off simple enough, but Fuad III soon finds a statue of the Egyptian goddess Ishtar in a locked room in the back of the building and is brainwashed. It is time for him to complete the sacrificial Blood Feast for Ishtar that his grandfather never could.  But the story's not important. It's all about the violence and nudity, the things that made exploitation films what they were. The films in The Blood Trilogy, while certainly violent, lacked any real nudity. There was some almost-nudity at times, but none of them were as explicit as many of his other films were. Blood Feast 2, on the other hand, is very explicit indeed. Although there is no full frontal nudity, anyone expecting to see breasts will not walk away disappointed. They are there, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are horrifyingly still while in motion (implants are really creepy looking) while others are perfectly natural. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. And speaking of spices, this is a movie about a caterer, so there's quite a lot of food. Detective Myers's partner, Sam Loomis (John McConnell), is constantly eating. Almost every shot that he's in there is some kind of food in his hands or his mouth. It's a running gag that as he's finishing one snack/meal, he complains about hunger and asks Myers if he wants to go get something else. Realistically, he's not fat enough for that to mirror his actual eating habits, but it's not like he's Christian Bale in The Machinist or anything. But Fuad III's dishes are a bit more disturbed than donuts or tacos. Instead, he takes livers, eyes, or whatever else his cookbook (entitled How to Serve Man, of course) tells him he needs. The blood flows primarily from Tiffani's bridal party, including such characters as Misty Morning and Candy Graham.  It's possible that this all sounds dumb to you, and I will readily admit that it is a little dumb, but anyone going into a film called Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat with expectations of intelligence really needs to think about their priorities in life. But even though it's dumb, and there are a lot of jokes that are silly for the sake of being silly, it's not always so simple. Some of the jokes require at least a little bit of thought, and every once in a while the jokes stop being so juvenile. If you saw the original Blood Feast, there are some wonderful in-jokes for you. My personal favorite, and one that gets me to this day when I just think about it deals with the very nature of Ishtar. Beyond the joke itself (which is pretty awesome), it's very telling about the state of H. G. Lewis's films in the early 1960s. I won't spoil it, but believe me when I say it's a fantastic moment, and you will know it when you see it. As a piece of so-bad-it's-good cinema, Blood Feast 2 finds itself in an interesting position. Unlike Troll 2, Birdemic, or other films of that sort, it is entirely self-aware, as Lewis's films always were (at least somewhat). Usually this leads to a film that is inherently broken. Making a film that you know is bad in the hopes of striking comedic gold is the easiest way to make a film that is legitimately bad and nothing more. It's like anything Tommy Wiseau could do now. The House that Drips Blood on Alex had its moments, but it didn't compare to the beauty of The Room. But Tommy Wiseau is not H. G. Lewis. The only other director I can think of working today who could match his exploitation pedigree would be Roger Corman, and Corman has stayed away for the camera for even longer than Lewis has; he's just a producer now. So Lewis has a reputation for films that are so bad they're good, and now he wants to take it to the next level.  If The Gore Gore Girls and Blood Feast and all of his other films were horror with a tinge of comedy, Blood Feast 2 is comedy with a tinge of horror. At every moment it's looking at the camera and telling you that it knows exactly what's wrong with it, but it harkens back to a time when people didn't. When the scenes are shot day-for-night (shot during the day but with a dark blue filter to simulate nighttime) it's ridiculous because that's how it used to be. The occasionally awful audio dubbing (e.g. in that first day-for-night shot) serves the same purpose. These are some of the more cerebral jokes, but they're more about the familiarity and nostalgia. If you know what things used to be like, seeing them used in a modern context is bizarre and wonderful. Yes, technology has made leaps and bounds, but staying firmly in the realm of the unbelievable and basking in it makes Blood Feast 2 unique. But even if the severed heads and cut bellies are clearly fake, the things inside are a bit more real. Back in the day (I say as though I was alive then), H. G. Lewis would spend excruciatingly long periods of time with closeups (or even extreme close ups) of the gore in a given scene. A killer would remove an organ and then stroke it for ten, fifteen, twenty seconds. They wouldn't do anything else with it. It was all for the audience, always for the audience. I always felt it was a bit excessive, but who am I to judge? Blood Feast 2 gets the right proportion of time. There's plenty of intestine pulling and stroking (not a euphemism), but it doesn't get annoying in the way that it was. I should note that there are two versions of this film, one which runs about 93 minutes, and the other (director's cut) version is 99. Having never seen the cut version, I can't say what the differences are, but I can't imagine they did anything other than make the film less amazing. Regardless, I expect no matter what version you get, this film is not for anyone with a weak stomach. Long gone is the bright red paint of the original three in The Blood Trilogy. I haven't seen a liver, but I have no doubt that's what it looks like. I have no doubt that all of those organs belonged to some kind of animal previously (probably a pig, since that is the animal they popularized 4 decades ago). They look very real, and even if some of the important organs (like the heart and lungs) don't seem to be anywhere in the meat-caverns that are Fuad III's victims, doesn't mean the illusion isn't effective. What really makes Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat so brilliant, though, is its complete dedication to its parody. This is again why having H. G. Lewis at the helm makes the film so unique. Exploitation and other intentionally-so-bad-they're-good films have been on the rise in recent years, but they're mostly from filmmaking newcomers, frequently people who were born after the golden era of exploitation films (1960s and '70s, for those of you unaware). Maybe they grew up with drive-ins, but it wasn't their stuff on screens. They parody those films from a very different mindset. They parody other peoples' work. H. G. Lewis parodies his own. Admittedly, that could completely and utterly fall apart, but it doesn't. It really doesn't. Also, John Waters plays a pedophile priest. And, really, that should be enough for you. [embed]212391:38676[/embed] Next Month... The man in a hat Hubert Vigilla will rock your freaking faces when he looks at David Bowie's first starring role in Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth. PREVIOUSLY SHOWING AT THE CULT CLUB July: Batman (1966)June: Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)May: The Apple (1980)April: Santa Sangre (1989)March: Tideland (2005)February: House (1977)

[The Cult Club is where Flixist's writers expound the virtues of their favourite underground classics, spanning all nations and genres. It is a monthly series of articles looking at what made those films stand out from the pa...


Batman Maybe

Aug 09
// Sean Walsh
This is brilliant. I usually hate popular song parodies, but this... This isn't the Carlie Rae Jepsen parody we need, this is the Carlie Rae Jepsen parody we deserve. Oh, and, uh, SPOILERS for the three of you who still haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises. [Via Youtube]

Joel McHale out-Fassbenders Fassbender in viral spoof

Jun 07
// Alex Katz
It's good to know that if Community goes down the toilet without Dan Harmon's hand on the wheel, we'll still be able to get that Jeff Winger flavor from Joel McHale over at The Soup. This video parodies Prometheus's&nbs...

Flix for Short: The Wire: The Musical

Jun 05
// Alex Katz
If you still haven't seen The Wire yet, you're part of what's wrong with culture. This Funny or Die video, featuring a good deal of the original Wire cast, showcases a fabulous musical where the show's complex them...

New Brave TV spots & bagpipe compilation CD parody

May 22
// Liz Rugg
Man, I can't wait to see Pixar's Brave. It's the studio's first princess movie, and she looks like she's going to kick some serious butt. Here we have two new short TV commercials for the upcoming movie, as well as a longer ...

Scary Movie guys to parody Hunger Games, nobody shocked

May 10
// Jenika Katz
I love it when a horrible franchise puts very little effort into their movies, makes a ton of money, and continues on forever. Jason Friedburg and Aaron Seltzer, the directors of such timeless films as Scary Movie, Epic Movie...

Trailer: The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Apr 03
// Liz Rugg
Aardman Animations has jumped on the pop-culture band-wagon with this new trailer for their newest claymation movie The Pirates! Band of Misfits - also known as, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. The new trailer ...

Trailer for Movie: The Movie probably not a trailer

Feb 27
// Jamie R Stone
Uhhh... So, okay, Jimmy Kimmel Live is responsible for making "I'm f*cking Matt Damon!" a household phrase, and it looks like the show is about to reproduce that magic with Movie: The Movie, one of the silliest effing things...

Kids reenact the Oscar nominees adorably, bitingly

Feb 24
// Alex Katz
The Academy Awards are irreparably upon us. There's the usual stable of Best Picture nominees that are a combination of films that genuinely deserving to be recognized as among the best films of the year, and ...

Trailer mash-up of The Lion King/Dark Knight Rises

Jan 04
// Hubert Vigilla
Just before Christmas we had a Sweded version of the Dark Knight Rises trailer, which was a great, inventive, low-rent version of the actual trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. Well, with the new year comes a new fake &n...

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