Sunday, April 23, 2006


I haven't visited my regular Tales From Netflix feature in quite some time. I'm thinking perhaps instead of rating the rentals on a regular basis, I'll give monthly highlights from DVD home viewing. So, I'll go ahead and feature some of the best that I've seen, and perhaps focus on those movies you might not have heard of otherwise...

I'm not sure when this came out, but it is a 2006 release, and aside from starring Robert Englund (Freddy from The Nightmare on Elm Street films), or rather featuring him, there's not much to catch your attention on this horror flick. I've never even seen a preview for it, and I don't think it made the theaters. However, it does sport Eli Roth, the noted director of the recent buzz slasher flick HOSTEL, as a producer. Roth also makes a cameo, either similar to, or perhaps even the same character he cameod in his first film CABIN FEVER. It's also apparently a remake of 2000 Maniacs, so, it's got some horror/slasher pedigree behind it.

The story starts out as many horror/slasher films, a group of wild college kids, in this case making their way to Florida for spring break. Along the way though, the teens, and some other young travelers get routed through a detour in the deep south. It's at this point that the storyline begins to unwind into something unique and entertaining, with our cast of characters pitted against a sinister and completely insane town populace. 2001 Maniacs is a darkly comedic romp, where all of the trappings of gore flicks are amped up, in every regard. A style the creators refer to a splat-stick.

As you may guess, Maniacs is not for everyone. It is however a great slasher romp, for anyone who can enjoy movies that are deviant to their core. The cast is great, the sets perfect, and the storyline truly inspired for such a saturated genre. If you like gore with your comedy, or vice versa, you'll love 2001 Maniacs.


Other recent offbeat Netflix:
ICE HARVEST - Cusack is perfect in this charming caper/mobster dark comedy gem, taking place one frozen Christmas Eve in Witchita.

JUST FRIENDS - Get this one if you like Ryan Reynolds or offbeat comedies.

WAITING - Speaking of Ryan Reynolds, Waiting is a great restaurant worker comedy with some truly original laughs...
Watch out for the "batwing"!!

LOLLILOVE - Is a fun and funny documentary spoof that plays like a really good dark comedy improv.

HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE - Miyazaki becomes more and more popular with each release, but with Howl, I was worried the subject matter would leave me wanting, since the film focuses on an elderly woman... I should know better. Castle is as charming and impressive as any other Miyazaki film, and perhaps with more heart.

SEQUESTRO EXPRESS - A foreign, or perhaps independent film (or both), about an upper class Venezuelan couple who are kidnapped for randsom, and their plight to escape. A great journey into another world, and it's underbelly, with social commentary to boot.

Recommended mainstream stuff:

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