Southbound Review

Film Review: Southbound

February 20th, 2016 | by Craig Caudill

Horror anthology film Southbound is in theatres now, and Craig Caudill has ComiConverse’s review.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Southbound. I think some of the collaborators worked on the film V/H/S. I remember V/H/S had one story that left a deep impression on me. I felt was filmed very well; it had a strange girl who turned out to be some sort of harpy or siren. She obsessed over one of the party goers, kept repeating “I love you, I love you” over and over. Until she ran off with him and took off flying this was all shot on cameras on his body, befitting the “found footage” genre. I intend to talk about this at great length in another article, but I thought it was very well done and a good moment of suspension of disbelief — it looked real. I loved the abduction caught on tape; it almost felt like a viral video, leaving me to wonder how they filmed that without CGI magic, and still maintain the feel of raw video footage. This is one of my fantasies, being kidnapped by a babe — who would complain?

Now Southbound belongs in the realm of the horror anthology genre. One could argue it’s a vast improvement on the V/H/S concept; this was much better. Much like The Grudge was the best adaptation from a Japanese story to an American story. There hasn’t really been a good short film horror anthology since Creepshow — and yet I’ve seen them all, despite my better judgement. This movie expertly crafted a group of short stories that blended into each other so wonderfully you might possibly, if you weren’t paying attention, think it was all one story that didn’t make sense. This film uses a team of directors and different casts. It’s always good to see Dana Gould in anything; he is so funny. I don’t have the space to do him justice.

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Things I Liked:

What was undoubtedly refreshing in this movie was the casting. Especially the female roles — now, yes, they were pretty, but in a realistic way. I actually thought they were actresses, instead the same old scenario of producer goes to a strip club and promises girl he’ll make her a star. Which is something that been pissing me off these last fifteen years. I’ve seen a lot of B movies so bad no one takes it seriously and it’s like bad joke. You see it on the actor’s faces and how they act. Back in the day, no matter how bad the movie was, the passion and seriousness the actors put into the film is what gives B movies their charm and lets you enjoy them.

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I liked the music by the Gifted. Now I can’t find their albums anywhere but I’m going to look hard to track down the sound track.

The Stories:

We begin with two men on the road at night, covered in blood, trying to get home. On the radio is some cheeseball 80’s retro synth which is music I love. As the credits begin to roll,  the music brings me back to Claudio Simonetti and Argento and Giallo Cinema. It was really a great opening. Perhaps a subtle triumph for the jaded. And for those who do not, know Giallo Cinema is Italian for Yellow Cinema, so named because many Italian directors would shoot with a yellow filter because it made colors look more intense — especially blood.

We find our two bloody protagonists making a stop in a diner. There is a subtle pop cultural reference that wasn’t rubbed in your face: the movie Carnival of Souls was casually playing on a small TV-VCR combo. It was a nice little touch. And I loved theTwilight Zone feel to the whole production; I loved how when one story ended it segued into another. Usually stories are interrupted with introductions and credits but this film went for a more fluid approach, which I applaud very much.

One thing that comes to mind: who is writer/director Radio Silence?

Could someone be pulling an Allen Smithee?

I casually surfed the net and to find they are a team of filmmakers. I need to learn more about these guys and this screams to me, interview. If possible?

I’ll try to make it happen.

One story sticks out the most. The one about Lucas, played by Mather Zickel, who appears to traveling home talking to his girlfriend going on about which dress she looks good in judging by cell phone photos. Now he’s wearing headphones to free his hands, but he’s distracted. Suddenly he hits a girl with a car, but I can’t spoil the how and why because that would ruin the story for other viewers. And I don’t want to do that — I want you to watch this movie. He then calls 911 who encourages him to get her to the hospital and the rest of the segment plays like a WTF moment. A seemingly nice guy trying to do the right thing in a world where most people would have driven off. It’s almost like he’s punished for doing the right thing.

He winds up taking her what turns out to be a Chernobyl-like hospital which is creepy as hell. I don’t want to ruin anything, but I can say I love how it all came full circle. It’s open-ended enough to explore the story further. Although V/H/S was more of a found-footage anthology, I felt this was tight like a well-crafted Mötörhead song — when it’s good, it’sreally good. This plays closer to Creepshow.

Check out Southbound when it plays in your town.

 

Craig Caudill is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter @craigcaudill.

Rhys Darby on X Files

Rhys Darby on X Files

 

 

If anyone knows me I am a big Rhys Darby Fan and to my delight I just saw him on the latest X files Episode. Which was hilarious. Rarely does the show go into the comedic realm  but have done so quite a few times and has worked. TV in the 90’s I thought sucked and was the only show worth watching of course I was a heavy book reader reading 3 novels a week. I hated TV then and I never thought it would improve. The X files was The Fox Network Answer to ABC’s Twin Peaks which  was a on an episodes in Drag

So far I’m enjoying this miniseries and I hope they continue with more shows in the future.

But back to Rhys Darby who made the Flight of the Conchords hilarious. I think he is one favorite comedians of all time. His characters are just relaxed effortless fun. Recently Jemaine Stewart and Rhys teamed up for What We do in the Shadows. Horror Doc Spoof about real vampires and Rhys Darby as the rival leader of a Werewolf Gang…. That were Track Suits so they don’t ruin their denims.

I can never get enough of his humor if I was a comedian I’d want to be as subtle as he is. But knowing me I’d probably go over the top like a second hand Will Farrell. I’d also like to point out that Rhys will notably wearing an outfit very similar to Darren McGavin from the night stalker days. He wore the same jacket a blue striped jacket and the same hat. I don’t want to ruin the whole episode. I assume that maybe this will lots a mixed views. At first I wasn’t enjoying it because it seemed too tongue in check.gillian-anderson-27

Things to consider Gilian Anderson is still a Goddess and it still hurts to look at her after all these years. She is like fine bottle of wine and I feel drunk just looking at the bottle.

I  would like to say last was a shitty year for entertainment I don’t remember much except for Guardians of the Galaxy and that’s it. AHS was cool and Saul was a blast but last yeast was a blur and I hated it.

I just want to know when is cool stuff going to happen if at all? I haven’t been writing about anything because I have been distracted and not inspired. And on top of that I some really cool people have passed on. Man… I am pissed.

MY WEIRD RAY LIOTTA DREAM

Right off the bat I’m gonna say Ray Liotta is a fine actor, and  some of his films are my favorites I have nothing negative to say about the guy. I am not a critic I made a vow to myself that I was going to be a creative person and not a critic.

In the dream I won a contest for my whole entire family to Tour New York with a celebrity. Perhaps I miss New York? its almost 20 yrs since I’ve been there. however not sure who was there in my family accept the usual’s  but oddly enough my Aunt Barb went and in reality she died a few years ago. but she was with us.

Anyway Ray Liotta was our Host  and he was awesome the stories and tid bits of facts he was the best concierge you could ever hope to have. the connections to hotels and shows and restaurants was a dream come true. He even stayed with us in an adjoining room and saw to our needs and comforts 

I bring up my aunt Barb because she went on her own  to an auction where you bid on the contents of peoples cars if any. my impression normally this is a  Scam for the tourists but she did won the contents of this one car which had nothing but suit cases.

And inside one suitcase was a manila envelope with crime scene photos of kill shots and various bludgeoning’s.

Now that I’m awake I think it was a scam with implanted envelope with photo’s totally unrelated to original owner of the car.  now that I think about this ruse is a brilliant come on, to use on  would be unsuspecting tourists looking for a cheap thrill.  and my aunt Barb was no acception. She always seemed to be looking for harmless fun. Have said that she was always a church girl. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now on the trip home Ray was still with us. Now we did fly to New York,  but for some reason ended up taking a rental drive in a couple of mini vans. now here is where Ray Changes from Mr. Nice guy to this Babyfied pretentious spoiled rotten kid.

The man is 60 years old and he for some reason would spread out taking up more room than he needed. and was prone to shouts and screaming and bathroom breaks every half hour. thus making the trip longer than necessary then sometime he would lean on you. or he was sitting behind you would somehow be hovering above you have his arms propped up on you.

“Get off me Ray!” I shouted. and he would look shocked and oblivious.

“My arms are uncomfortable I need to put them somewhere… thank you!” the whole trip was like this and is a blur. I for the life can sort of remember the end when we arrived home which was a stop at a local gas station. after a few phone calls he had actor John Leguizamo meet him there in a white escalade limo. it had gold rims John was wearing a white immaculate suit….  again I have no comment on Leguizamo either. I respect his work and his monologues are incredible. but I will say He only appeared to pick Liotta up and that was it.

Before Liotta left He gave Leguizamo an earful of what horrible people we are. and that we are ungrateful low life bastards we are. then he left an that was it as far as I can remember.

two things come to mind why did i have dream my number one theory, is because I was watching Celebrity Big Brother UK and one person on the show acted like that. Not being a critic that person shall remain nameless. so as not to conjure this person in my life. I think the show somehow implanted this in my subconscious?

the only connection with my Aunt Barb and Ray Liotta, is that they’re birthdays are five days apart. I just found that out today on wikipedia. Almost a coincidence. but not that amazing. I’ve had better coincidences but this dream was worth writing about.

I have no animosity towards aforementioned actors and don’t have any idea why I would dremt about them. I hope theycontinue with the successes they have experienced for years to come.