Oh what a year it’s been. While 2015 offered up a lot of really great horror movies (I had like eight runners up on my top 5 list) I also ended up watching an endless stream of absolute schlock. Cult Corner is about digging through the muck to find some entertainment in the bottoms of bargain bins. Here are five that are worth your time, whether because they’re legitimately good or because they’re some absurdist nonsense slapped together with whatever money the director had lying around and some friends. Get your beers ready.
I watch a lot of terrible movies on Cult Corner. It’s just the nature of the beast when doing this kind of a segment. Even when the movies do get my stamp of approval they usually aren’t “good” in a traditional sense. In an effort to maintain what’s left of my sanity I occasionally sneak in a movie or two that I’ve seen before just so that I can be positive and let you guys all know about something that’s worth your time. I can only tear apart so many bad movies before all of the negativity starts to wear on me. That being said, this is a list of “Cult Corner Discoveries” and if I’ve seen the movie before it doesn’t really count a discovery, does it? The following movies have been included because they’re all fantastic, but don’t really fit the title of the list.
Basket Case and Brain Damage both made their way onto Cult Corner this year and Frank Henenlotter is a master of this kind of filmmaking. Street Trash is another classic if you love super gory and hilarious b movies. I revisited Riki-Oh for the first time since college and it’s just as blood soaked and wonderful as ever. Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four still holds up as the best cinematic outing that Marvel’s first super team has ever had, for better or worse. Finally, Lord of Tears is a genuinely creepy and well-made movie from a promising new talent, and when The Unkindness of Ravens makes its way over here I’m very interested in seeing what they do next. Now on to the list.
Neon Maniacs (review)
This is one that I’ve been wanting to see for a while and I’m honestly confused as to why more people don’t know about it. Is it a good movie? No, not really. Is it fun? Absolutely. The plot is formulaic and the characters are all absurdly 80s, but there’s a hell of a lot of cool makeup effects in this movie and the maniacs themselves are amazing. They’re never explained. I repeat, they’re never explained and that just makes me laugh. On some level I guess I don’t really care who they are or where they came from, but they’re so bizarre that it makes me wonder.
Ohhhhh boy. Have you ever wanted to see all manner of reptiles, bugs, and swamp creatures murder people one by one? Have you ever wanted frogs to menacingly hop around without actually doing anything? Frogs is the movie for you! This is a terrible film, but I love it so much. The first half is a chore and the second half is a hilarious nonstop marathon of awkward death scenes. The film uses real animals and for the most part they have no idea what’s going on. It’s edited together about as well as it could be, but ultimately it’s not quite as scary as I’m sure the filmmakers thought it would be. This is a perfect b movie to watch with a handful of friends and twice as many beers.
Robo Vampire (review)
What even is this movie? It’s like if you took some martial artist stuntmen, some vampires, and a low budget stage production of Robocop and smashed them all together. A robot fights vampires who have been employed by organized crime to fight off the cops from their drug ring. The vampires hop everywhere instead of walking. Apparently that’s actually from Chinese folklore, but it doesn’t translate to live action in a serious way. This movie is amazing.
Oh look! Something good! Like actually truly good! Decoys was one of the more surprising things I discovered this year. It starts to play out like any old late 90s sex comedy. It plays out like American Pie or something in that vein complete with epic sorority parties and all of the character cliches you could imagine. The only difference is that there are also alien creatures disguised as beautiful women. Pretty standard stuff, but there’s actually some legitimately clever writing as they subvert your expectations and the characters are far more likable and well fleshed out than they have any right to be. It’s still a b movie, but for what it’s worth this one shows some real promise and I enjoyed it.
Sweatshop is a slasher movie, and if you’ve ever seen a slasher movie before then you know exactly what to expect. A guy in a mask kills some party-goers who all look as though they just ended their shift at Hot Topic. What makes this one particularly great though are the kills. Sweatshop is obnoxiously gory and every single kill is amazing. If you’re looking for a fun and blood-soaked slasher flick then this is one to watch for sure.