The Horror of 2016

The Witch

“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”

Best line in recent contemporary horror as whispered by the tempting, unseen evil thing in The Witch, one of the 2016’s least conventional but deliciously grim horror movies. I haven’t heard a line that good since “I know you are, but what am I?” from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985).

Supergirl

The second best line of dialogue of the year comes not from a horror/sci-fi movie, but from the TV series Supergirl: “It’s time to punch you in the face…” (Note to anyone not using glitter chapstick – Supergirl is faring far better under the CW™ tweener banner than it did with CBS™, who had no idea what to do with superheroes sporting abnormally perfect teeth and Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action™ complexions. This is CW’s™ wheelhouse, man.)

In a year fraught with horror (politics notwithstanding), there were more than a few genre movie and TV stand-outs. And while I’m a world famous (ahem) blogger of horror/sci-fi, this e-offering is not even close to being comprehensive and I am by no means an authority on the subject. (I’m an expert at being NOT an expert.)

Black Phillip Cider

Of the ton of big/low-budget genre movie/TV crap I’ve watched all year long, the following represents a few chunks of interesting crap therein. You don’t have to agree with me, though, just because I’m a world famous blogger [insert nervous cough here]…

The Witch, Train To Busan, Shin Godzilla

THE WITCH
This unforgettable chiller introduced horror’s best new figurehead: Black Phillip, the Danny Trejo (or “Machete”) of badass barnyard animals.

SHIN GODZILLA
F-word amazing. They gave reboot G several insanely cool upgrades while holding true to Godzilla’s original hairstyle, including his “one-blow-blows-up-all” destructo breath: purple-y AND flame-y. That’s pretty sweet. Shin Godzilla, almost all filmed in broad daylight, shows Godzilla doing what he does best: making smash hits. I’d buy his album.

TRAIN TO BUSAN
A South Korean zombie movie that mops the floor with every other zombie movie released this year. So ridiculously intense is this thing (passengers trapped on a speeding commuter train while zombies board without passes), you don’t need English translation. (I went legit and watched it without sub-titles. That’s how I roll.)

10m Cloverfield Lane, 31, Phantasm Ravager

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Was this a sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield? There are those who walk among us that say yes. Doesn’t matter — while the movie climaxed with alien stuff (if you didn’t already know that — ha!), it’s the premise of several super tense characters in a rural underground survivalist bunker (two of which are there involuntarily) that brings the real horror.

ROB ZOMBIE’S 31
Like him or not, Rob Zombie always makes stomach-turning, gritty and gory horror movies. This one puts a group of traveling carnival white trash performers in a huge maze inside a huge warehouse-y type building, facing off in a brutal do-or-die obstacle course with highly colorful and pretty darn mean maniacs (Doom-Head, Sick-Head, Schizo-Head, Psycho-Head, Death-Head, Sex-Head), all wielding power tools. Make it out of the building, you live. Sort of.

PHANTASM RAVAGER
Does this final installment of the surreal and beloved Phantasm franchise deliver the groceries? Yes and not yes. Given that it’s been nearly 20 years since the last one (Phantasm IV: Oblivion/1998) and brings back the original characters, all of which puts you in the zone, Phantasm Ravager still leaves a pile of unanswered questions, like what happened to Reggie’s 1971 Plymouth Barracuda (second only to the Batmobile in sleek coolness)? But hey, those iconic flying death spheres, aka, gasoline-powered sharp things? All over the freakin’ place.

Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange

DEADPOOL / CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR / BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE / SUICIDE SQUAD / DOCTOR STRANGE
Great year for great superhero movies. All of the above kicked ass to varying degrees of ass kicking. And Suicide Squad’s dementedly drop dead sexy Harley Quinn ranks with Deadpool and Black Phillip as a top genre icon of the year. (Godzilla’s already in the Hall of Fame, so giving somebody else a chance here.)

Harley Quinn

Honorary mention goes to Ben Affleck’s Batman, who puts the dark in Dark Knight. (He drinks the hard stuff, two syllable swears, horizontally smooches the ladies, takes pill-shaped drugs, beats people like drums then tortures/shoots them, and socks Superman right on his justice-shaped jaw. On top of that, he drives really fast and crashes into stuff. Batman gives driving lessons, not takes them.)

A few thoughts on some other this and thats…

Arrival, The Shallows, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

ARRIVAL
Not just a good movie, but a great UFO movie that doesn’t rely on all out paranoid military warfare on our space brothers, who look a heckuva lot like seafood appetizers. P.S. to the Internet: I’ve seen nearly every UFO video on YouTube™ and they’re starting to look fake. I’m beginning to think UFOs aren’t real. But that’s probably just crazy talk.

THE SHALLOWS
You can still be the most heavy metal, human-gulping shark with extra teeth in the ocean, but you still take second seat to Blake Lively’s seat in a string bikini worn throughout the ENTIRE MOVIE.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
An enthralling movie set in 1920s New York with wizards and a menagerie of off-the-hook mythical creatures and monsters, the likes of which have not been seen since the last WWE pay-per-view. Y’know, I bet Harry Potter fans might like this.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, The Boy, Morgan

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
In my day a home for peculiar children was called “summer camp.” A bunch of mutation kids with unique abilities: floating, projecting movies through eyes, starting fires by touching stuff, super strength, control of nature, and my fav, eating through a mouth on the back of your head. You could take down a Frisko Freeze™ double deluxe burger in one mouth while sucking down a chocolate shake with the other. I wouldst like to live deliciously.

THE BOY
Featured The Walking Dead’s walking gorgeous Lauren Cohan. I wasn’t aware of anything else in the movie. I think it had some sort of boy in it. I think he was a puppet, which is just plain weird.

MORGAN
A genetic experiment gone wrong — or right, depending on where you stand on a contemporary updating of Frankenstein (1931).

Independence Day: Resurgence, X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond

There were a few genre misfires this year, though, including Independence Day: Resurgence, (we need to issue a formal apology to extraterrestrials), X-Men: Apocalypse (yeesh, what a mutant mess) and Star Trek Beyond, which relied more on blowing up things than the story line. Speaking of, why do they have to keep exploding the USS Enterprise over and over? Man, I wanted to drive that thing.

Wonder Woman

So what do we have to look forward to from here? According to IMDB.com there’s approximately 1,000+ horror/sci-fi/fantasy/superhero movies (Wonder Woman – I await you) slated for release in 2017. Butt — meet couch. Like Doctor Strange, I’m looking through space and time (and Collider.com) for Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), Godzilla, King of Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. King Kong (hopefully before I croak). All the other stuff watched is what I’ll do to pass time/pass gas/pass out until those movies come to enrich my life.

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