Friday, April 18, 2014

10 Movies on Netflix You Probably Haven’t Seen but You Definitely Should (Part I, 10-6)

by. Hemlock

  Recommending films is an art form. When someone says, “Tell me a movie I should watch,” they’re actually asking for a movie that has these four characteristics: they haven’t seen it yet, they can find it easily, it’s good, and that suits their personal tastes in film. The first one is actually the trickiest, since everyone has different movie going experiences. So when you suggest a movie, you usually have to mention a very obscure film to make sure they haven’t seen it yet. That idea usually clashes with the second criteria, a movie that’s easy to find. Sure, They Saved Hitler’s Brain is probably a film that not a lot of people have seen, but it’s not exactly widely available either. Most people don’t have a VHS player anymore, nor do they have the patience to look for movies on the Internet. The last two criteria depends on who you’re talking to, since there are different ways to define what makes a movie “good”, and everyone has different tastes when it comes to films. My personal philosophy is to suggest a film worth watching. Be it good or bad, weird or mainstream, suggesting an interesting movie is sometimes worth more than suggesting one that people know they will like.

10) Pontypool

  Pontypool is the story of a radio announcer stuck in his recording booth while a strange virus infects his town. The story is told through narrations of news stories coming into the studio. It’s a lot of people sitting around and listening to other people talk about mobs, mutilations and strange events. So it does sort of sound like a zombie movie. I won’t say what the actual threat in Pontypool is, but it’s definitely one of the most unique looks at the zombie subgenre.

9) Brick

  A noir style movie set in high school, where the femme fatale is a cheerleader, the drug kingpin is a loser kid selling pot from his mom’s basement, and the main character justifies the weird narration as his “deep” existential insights into the world. It’s like going back and reading your old diary from high school, but in movie form. And the movie features a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Add an actually engaging storyline with a pretty good mystery, and you have one of the strangest examples of how film noir can still be done well.

8) Scream Blacula Scream

   The sequel to the classic blackpoitation Blacula movie is an all-black cast doing Dracula on a very small budget chock full of 70’s lingo. I love exploitation movies and this is a great way to get someone into the strange world of low budget Z flicks. If you’ve ever wondered where Black Dynamite came from, it spawned from this type of movie. Check out Dolemite if you want to know more about where Black Dynamite comes from. If anything, Scream Blacula Scream is so mind bogglingly strange to modern audiences that you’ll want to make all friends sit down and marvel at it.

7) John Dies at the End

   John Dies At The End moves out of sequence while playing with expectations. You even get a huge spoiler for the movie in its title…or do you? When you’re a movie buff and you watch a movie that uses the classic frameworks of its genre, you already know who dies, and it gets kind of boring. But this film uses tropes and then subverts them in fun and interesting ways, playing with how we tend to predict a movie’s plot. Plus, the movie has a weird Lovecraftian horror angle with the monsters, toying with the audience’s perception of the monsters. If anything, watch the movie for the giant meat monster.

6) Absentia

   Another good Lovecraftian horror selection, Absentia is the story of a woman whose husband vanishes. Several years later, she’s rebuilt her life, putting all this pain and suffering behind her. Then her drug-addicted sister comes to visit her, and the protagonist stumbles upon a weird tunnel and some strange stories. Great characters with a good thematic edge to it, Absentia is both a powerful film and scary at times, without resorting to jump scares.

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