Day 58. 64 pages, 30,172 words.
On Saturday I cruised on out to the civiliseds of Espoo with my esteemed bros dreameling and The Pas, for an evening at the Casa del Fahrenheit where there were to be mystery movies placed before us for judgement, candy, chips, pizza and booze.
Things went immediately weird and wrong when it became obvious that The Pas had purchased viili instead of kermaviili to mix with the flavour powder to make dip for us. I won’t bother translating that, but suffice to say the result was a grotesque mockery of dip that had no right to exist.
It was documented thoroughly, because we are what we are.
This became the unexpectedly appropriate theme for our movie set. It may be immediately and intuitively obvious, or it may require sleep deprivation, alcohol and twisted minds. But there you have it.
Movie 1: Overlord
This Carpenteresque bit of splatter comedy is what would happen when you put The Thing in a movie made by Timo Vuorensola. Essentially, it’s a Nazi Zombie movie with a whole lot of grisly body-shots.
Also similar to From Dusk Til Dawn in its slow-burn, it started out as a really gritty and impactful World War 2 movie. It set up the characters – yes, a little paint-by-numbers, but they’re good paints and good numbers and it sets them up nicely. The straight-up story takes a turn, not quite as abrupt as Tarantino’s “okay, now they’re all vampires”, but just as shocking. Gore and horror ensues.
A great movie, lots of fun to watch, and the river of dark and horrible viili that runs under that little French town (ready to be turned into sweet, sweet Jew-Juice [don’t ask, just watch the movie]) lies ready for a sequel. If the Nazis / Zombies / Zombie Nazis barrel isn’t already empty.
Points for Euron Greyjoy being somehow even more awful in this movie, and Kurt Russell’s son doing a good job playing Kurt Russell’s son’s father here too. Good performances all round. I cared about the characters, which is about 50% of the struggle in a splatter horror. The other 50% is prosthetics, contact lenses and red thickshake syrup.
Overlord is highly recommended for fans of gory horror and splatter comedies. I’ll give it an Iron Sky and an Iron Sky 2 out of a possible Star Wreck, although I admit that’s a very subjective measure. Kind of the point.
Movie 2: Call of Cthulhu
The Pas then sprung his surprise movie on us.
Speculation had been running wild about this, ever since The Pas declared he was taking one of the movie slots for the greatest movie we would ever see, if it arrived from Germany on time. What would it be, we wondered as he gleefully sent us screenshots of the postal service’s progress reports. Cannibal Holocaust? Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death? Gigli?
In the end, he surprised us – and not just with viili dip. Call of Cthulhu was made fairly recently (well, 2005 which still counts as recently damn it!) but it was done in old silent movie style. Text frames, bad makeup, dramatic music and all. The budget was obviously nonexistent but they had done some fascinating stuff with the effects, all while keeping it true to the style.
The Pas took the time to make more horrible and hilarious viili jokes. I’m incidentally tickled that he has named me “Andrew Hindle esq” on his version of the bromantic movies WhatsApp group.
All in all this was a faithful retelling of the Lovecraft classic, and very watchable at a tight 47 minutes long (although it seemed longer because The Pas kept pausing it to take photos of funny bits). Worth watching if you’re a fan of Lovecraft’s stories, the silent movie genre, strapped for time, or all of the above.
I wonder if it would help them to know that poor Johansen and his poor crazy Danish wife Magenta went on to become the great-great grandparents of Johanssens and Johannsens and Johhaanseens whose first names were all colours for some reason. Lovecraft liked things of different colours.
This movie, as well as being surreal and play-it-straight hilarious, also incidentally continued the theme of sanity-destroying things that Should Not Be, and slimy horrors that you should on no account dip a finger in, or sniff, or taste, or go near in any way.
“Go on, Lieutenant Johansen. You know what they say: When in doubt, give it a lick.”
As far as Lovecraft adaptations go, I’ll give it five eldritches, three gibbi, a batrachian, and half a whippoorwill out of a possible Great Old One.
Movie 3: Mandy
In this bizarre mashup of Evil Dead, Hobo With A Shotgun, The Big Lebowski, Blueberry, Deliverance, True Detective, the entire Mad Max franchise and Generic Revenge Murder Spree #9, Nicholas Cage basically has hidden cameras planted around the wildlife-preserve-like zoo enclosure in which he lives and is allowed to go about his normal daily life. Several people are killed brutally but they’re all on so many drugs it doesn’t seem to matter.
Seriously, this was a very interesting movie. Perhaps the best Nicholas Cage movie I have seen since Leaving Las Vegas (although of course Con Air will always be my favourite). It’s a straight-up revenge spree made more interesting by the astonishingly understated and well-acted lead roles, specifically Cage and the titular Mandy. The story is further elevated by simply amazing shots and cinematography throughout – the director clearly just went from place to place doing stuff and taking long, loving shots of it all – as well as a supporting cast of revenge-murder victims that were so enormously overblown and crazy that the contrast with the protagonists was nothing short of surreal.
 Although calling them “victims” may be letting them off the hook for all the murder and kidnapping and stuff.
Add in some weird psychedelic interludes, haunting dialogue and a couple of animated dream sequences set against the backdrop of a fantasy / sci-fi novel that recurs through the movie, and you’ve got one Hell of a payback story and a Hell of a trip.
Drugs are bad.
We’re almost convinced that the biker gang you see summoned in this movie is the same group of weird occult crusaders who had the tentacle monster in Hobo With A Shotgun, but we’re not entirely sure of the connection yet. Bad LSD would seem to be at least one part of it though, as well as the obvious fact that at least one of the bikers was covered in viili and the LSD may in fact have been viili dip. Yes, there is a lot going on in this movie and it’s definitely worth a look if you have the stomach for it.
I give Mandy an Evil Dead, a Hobo With A Shotgun, a The Big Lebowski, a Blueberry, a Deliverance, a True Detective, an entire Mad Max franchise and a Generic Revenge Murder Spree #9 out of a possible all of those movies actually melded together and cut down to a hundred and twenty-one minute festival of gore and psychedelia, if it was possible to do that without ending up with Mandy. In which case I guess I give Mandy a Mandy out of a possible Mandy.