Genre mash-ups are all the rage these days. Remakes and reboots aside, it seems like the only way filmmakers are able to get a genre film made these days is if they blend well-trod tropes and conventions together. Vampire police procedural? Let's make a deal! Post-apocalyptic rom-com? Sign on the dotted line. Kung fu werewolf revenge drama? Please, just take our money! If any of these made up movie pitches appeal to you, then you might just get something out of the zombie-buddy comedy DeadHeads.
It isn’t uncommon to see movies at the After Dark Film Festival where you can tell others that the plot can be excused. Monster Brawl, which aspires to be a mirror image of a televised WWE special, replaces the scary looking beefcakes with scary looking monsters.The film seems to have a better idea of what it wanted to be rather than how to really accomplish that. “The story didn’t matter” is a common thing to overhear at these events, but I gotta hand it to you, Monster Brawl, “I’m not really sure that was a movie” is a new one.
Redline isn’t about nothing, but it isn’t about much. Nothing stops Redline from hitting goals. Nothing stops Redline from victory. Redline is so ferocious and unwieldy that it’s too dangerous to be bound in your hands, it’s too fast for the qualms of plot or logic. It can’t slow down. The wonderful thing about animation is that it’s a world from scratch, created only by the pen instead of constructs of likelihood. Redline is its own universe, and it rockets through it so fast you’ll miss planets if you blink.
Manborg is meant to recreate that VHS tape you once found misplaced in the corner concert film section of a pawn shop. In a world being rapidly flooded with these rehashed nostalgia bombs, Manborg is challenged to represent a new era/aesthetic of re-re-re-rehash, and to be more entertaining than many of the other films in the running. Thankfully for Manborg, it is half man, half cyborg, all Manborg.
As his first film since The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers is horror director Ti West’s opportunity to show a winning streak, or at least an uncanny corridor. It also happens to be a chance for star Sara Paxton, often cast as that pretty blonde in really forgettable roles, to earn a new start, not unlike West himself.