Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hobos, Trolls, Samuari, and Sean Bean

With Halloween coming soon, and an arduous project for that said holiday up my sleeve, I've been watching a lot movies. Recently, I've watched a slew of a great, somewhat under the radar releases from Magnet Releasing, a subset of Magnolia Distribution, who is a U.S distributor for slightly off-beat, foreign, or violent/grindhouse releases. The few I've watched, Rubber, 13 Assassins, I Saw the Devil, Hobo With a Shotgun, Black Death,The House of the Devil, Trollhunter and the ones I plan to see Tucker and Dale vs Evil, The Last Circus are all high quality indie flicks with the approach, production, and execution that the movies many of the pay homage to lacked.

13 Assassins
As I said, some flirt with the mainstream, for instance 13 Assassins is an excellent samurai flick that would make Korosawa proud and is done by the Japanese master Takishi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition). Similarly, Black Death, featuring Boromir/Lord Snow/005 (Sean Bean, the man who dies in every movie he's ever been in) is a solid medieval action flick filled with tons of great fights. Rubber is a hip, playfully self-aware black comedy that focuses on a serial killer car tire and Hobo With a Shotgun hides nothing in its technicolor glory and shotgun executions. The biggest surprise for me was House of the Devil, a 2009 release that looks like it was done in the early 80's (this is purposeful). It's an excellent haunted house/slasher that's as good an homage as it is a current release. The latest, for me that is, is I Saw the Devil, which convinces me that ever single Korean is obsessed with revenge. The film was an excellent, and very disturbing revenge tale much like Old Boy, but thankfully original in its own way.

I Saw the Devil
I guess I'm happy to see consistently good movies and more so surprised that a one company has such a good eye for these releases. It makes me think of labels like Profound Lore, Gilead, Halo of Flies, and back in the day, Earache, Peaceville, Roadrunner, who inspired enough confidence that I would buy simply based on their track record.

I recommend each film, unless you have a weak stomach, otherwise they cover a wide breadth of action/horror, all with their own unique eccentricities.There's something about them that I guess is reminiscent of my taste in music. Some are very good, but are purposefully predictable or cliche (Hobo with a Shotgun, Black Death) reminding me of bands like Coffins or Insect Warfare who are far from reinventing the wheel, but do what they do almost perfectly. Others, like Trollhunter are goofy, good premises that are a fun watch and never claim to be anything else, much like thrash bands like Municipal Waste. Maybe the same way people thumb their noses at one of the previously mentioned bands because of their familiarity, or lack of mind-blowing originality that is nearly impossible to find, these films, and the music I like get scrutinized a bit too much and should simply be enjoyed because they invoke something in you. Whether you're twirling your hair to a band like Midnight or cheering on a shotgun wielding hobo, you're still having a good time.

The scenes of this fat Norwegian man yelling "troll" make this movie alone worth it.


Shanetera said...

Wait. Wait. Hobo With A Shotgun is a real movie?

Perpetual Strife said...

Yep, with rutger hauer (the main android in blade runner, Roark in sin city). The trailer might be as good as the film... I enjoyed it

Andrew Childers said...

i gotta disagree on hobo with a shotgun (it was trying to be funny bad and was just bad-bad) and black death (which just went nowhere and was boringly obvious all the way through).

13 assassins, though, is miike's best film since sukiyaki western django and possibly his best since audition.

troll hunter was also a great movie for how small its budget was.

Perpetual Strife said...

I think hobo was honest in that it was purely an homage. I enjoyed it. It made me chuckle, i think that's all it looked to do. It wasn't full of itself like Death Proof or something.

Black death was a bit slow, but I enjoyed it; nice to watch at work.

You should definitely check out I saw the Devil. A simpler version of Old Boy, but same kind of feel.

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