Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: The Backwoods (2006)

backwoods_243x347This week’s voyage into the realm of sketchiness takes us to an unknown, rural part of Spain, as we venture along with Gary Oldman into The Backwoods.

Koldo Serra’s 2006 thriller follows the story of  young English couple Norman and Lucy (Paddy Considin, Virginie Ledoyen) as they travel to the Spanish house of friend Paul (Oldman) and his wife Isabel (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón).

Norman and Paul stumble upon a deformed child, who has been locked away in a deserted house in the forest.  Naturally, they decide to remove the girl from the house and attempt to bring her to the local authorities.  That’s when the fun starts.

Raw, brutal and unsettling, The Backwoods seems to exist somewhere between Deliverance and Hostel.  As the group tries to hide the child, the townsfolk are none too happy to find her missing and begging searching for her.

While Gary Oldman kicks a considerable amount of ass in just about any movie he’s in, there seemed to be a lot of missed ass-kicking opportunities in this movie.  Promising scenes were rampant with Oldman’s trademark look, offering the false hope that at the end of the day, all would be saved by your hero and mine.

Instead, there were underdeveloped characters and a very weak storyline.  Not only do we not find out the cause of the child’s deformities, but we never even find out just why she was locked away to begin with.  It’s a shame, really, because the movie could’ve made something of itself.

the_backwoods_movie_image_gary_oldman__1_While I don’t want to give away the ‘surprise’ ending of the film, I must say that this ending made No Country For Old Men seem like a neat, tidy, happy-ending fairy tale.

But I love Gary, I do.  And just for him, I’m going to imagine the various ways in which this movie could have ended, in order to trick my mind into having a much higher opinion of it:

  • They discover that the child is essentially the devil himself, and end up returning spawn of Satan to her house of confinement.
  • Gary Oldman kills just about everyone, good guys and bad.
  • Norman decides to just shoot Lucy instead, considering she’s been such a degrading bitch during the whole trip.
  • Gary Oldman just stands there, being Gary Oldman.

And I leave you with this week’s Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

Paul: “There are hunters and prey, Norman. That’s the only fucking truth in this world.”

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January 26, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: “Teeth” (2007)

teeth Today’s Sketch Cinema feature is surely one for the record books, and is bound to make any warm-blooded man squirm in his seat uncontrollably. In fact, it just may be the one film that could very well bring a man to tears.

On this quiet, snowy, New England Sunday, I bring you Mitchell Lichtenshein’s 2007 sketch fest, Teeth.

Jess Weixler stars in this twisted take on the coming-of-age film as Dawn O’Keefe, a spirited blonde teenager with a terminally ill mother and a step-brother with an inexplicable fondness for, well, unconventional sex.


Inexplicable to most, but quite clear to us, the viewers. As it turns out, Brad’s aversion to the conventional methods of intercourse is simply due to an unfortunate childhood incident. An incident in which, during a pool-side game of doctor, Brad loses the tip of his finger when he decides to explore his step-sister’s anatomy. Too young to realize just how lucky he was to only lose a fingertip, he inconveniently blocks the memory out entirely. Let the games begin.teeth_movie_stills

The movie offers a fresh spin on evolution and the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’, with Dawn even referring at one point to her newly discovered ‘adaptation’. After dealing with the initial shock of the abnormality she possesses, she quickly learns that her ailment can be quite advantageous.

A surprisingly well-made film with a strong storyline, I must refrain from sharing too much. Lichetentein masterfully paints a fresh, compelling tale of the true loss of innocence that cannot be missed, even if it may have men of all ages shaking in fear.

And now, I leave you with this wteeth_still02eek’s Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

(As doctors are performing reconstructive surgery on Ryan and about to attach his, well, you know):

Head Surgeon: “Seems like a waste of time if you ask me.”


January 18, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | 1 Comment

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema – January 11, 2009: Slither (2006)

For those of you hoping for an updated version of Howard Zieff’s 1973 comedy, let me deflate your hopes before we go any further and clarify that there will be no mention of James Caan as we discuss this week’s voyage into B-Moviesville.


 

Instead, I bring you James Gunn’s Slither.


 

After happening upon this little gem of over-the-top, gory ‘horror’ hilarity, I settled in for ninety-five minutes of graphic gore, dozens of small-town stereotypes, and a collection of quips and one-liners that almost rivaled an Austin Powers movie. Almost.


 

The story focuses on the small town of Wheelsy, where a meteor has managed to crash to earth in a loud, uproarious explosion, conveniently unnoticed by two Podunk local cops who are parked a mere thirty feet away. When the town’s resident rich guy (Grant Grant, immaculately portrayed by Michael Rooker) sneaks away for a quick romp with the town slut (after being denied yet again by his much younger, high school biology teacher wife), he discovers something slithering around in the woods behind the local bar.


 

Upon further investigation, the slithering substance in question suddenly bores a hole through Grant’s chest, carves its way to his brain stem, and proceeds to take over his body, bringing with it such side effects as wanting to make sweet, tender love to his wife and an insatiable appetite for raw meat.

 

But Starla, Grant’s wife, knows something is amiss, and shares her concerns with the ever-ready Town hero Bill Parday (portrayed by Nathan Fillion), whom one is led to assume has a history with the lovely Mrs. Grant as the film provides weak allusions to some hidden, sinister affair sub-plot, though it is never fully explored.


 

blogslither_2_400 As Grant Grant runs amok all over town, kidnapping local dogs and farm     animals to sustain his never-ending hunger for meat, he returns once again to his favorite little piece of trailer-park booty for a quick chest-boring, not only succeeding in turning her into one of these extra terrestrial creatures, but also managing to impregnate her and turning her into a ravenous, flesh-hungry, giant beach-ball-of-flesh. One should not miss the birthing scene, under any circumstances.


 

While the movie reeks of discarded film bits from the screening room floor of Night of the Creeps, Slither takes the B genre to the next level by dotting the script with classic one-liners that seem to indicate the cheese-awareness of all involved in creating this little chunk of goodness. It does not take itself seriously, and has absolutely no time for viewers who expect to do so, either.


 

And so for now, I leave you with this week’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema movie quote of the week:

 

Jack MacReady: [panicked] We need to find this Grant, and I mean yesterday. Town council’s lit a Roman Candle, stuck it up my ass.
Bill Pardy: Jack, your leisure activities ain’t my business.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | , , , | 1 Comment