Not every film hits the mark. Hell, some films don’t even get the chance to take aim at the mark, either going straight to DVD or getting buried on some distributor’s shelf, only to finally sneak their way onto the shelves of video stores around the country (they still have those, right?) years later. Or dumped onto VOD without fanfare, as is the fashion nowadays. Just to be clear: I’m not saying these movies are great or destined for cult classic status, but in my very humble opinion, they are very watchable, and definitely deserve a second look if you skipped them the first time around for whatever reason.
In no particular order…
The Baytown Outlaws
Director Barry Battles’ “The Baytown Outlaws”, about three Alabama redneck brothers who head off to Texas to save a handicap teen at the behest of Latina spitfire Eva Longoria, is about two or three scenes away from being really, really awesome. As it stands, it’s really, really entertaining. Billed as a “Southern Whup-Ass Extravaganza”, the film loses its way every now and then, derailed by Battles’ (who also co-writes) need to CYA. Even so, this one is destined to become a cult classic once it hits DVD, cable, and all the usual spots, so be on the look-out when your friends start telling you that they just saw this really awesome action movie starring these three redneck brothers from Alabama. You can tell them that you already know all about it thanks to Nix at BeyondHollywood.com. You’re welcome.
Douglas Aarniokoski’s post-apocalyptic, moderately budgeted flick “The Day” is the reason why I fell in love with cinemas in the first place. It’s a no-frills, no-holds bar action movie about a small band of survivors trying to make it through the day while confronting roving bands of cannibals. Betrayal, harsh conditions, and the brutal knowledge that they’re fighting a hopeless cause makes for one depressing, albeit very awesome viewing. The film’s standout performance goes to Ashley Bell, playing a survivor name Mary. If Mad Max and Virginia Hey’s Warrior Woman in White from “The Road Warrior” ever took time out from battling The Humungus and his hordes to do the nasty, Mary would be the result. The film has the makings of a franchise, so you should do everything in your power to watch this movie and spread the word so it can become a cult classic, and I can finally get my sequel.
Talk about a bloodbath. The producers of “Dredd” wanted to make a version of the comic book character that would make audiences forget about the much-derided Sylvester Stallone one. That, uh, didn’t quit work out. Despite its apparently more faithful adaptation of the source material (I say “supposedly” because the only time I ever read a Dredd comic book it was one of those gratuitous crossovers with Batman), the film took a beating at the box office. In fact, it was pretty much a bloodbath for the film’s investors. The movie itself, though? I thought it was kinda rad. But then again, watching a movie where people get shot to pieces or get splattered against hard concrete every few seconds without any regard for good taste is most definitely an acquired taste. In the violent, over-the-top world that is “Dredd”, it kinda makes sense, though. Karl Urban is badass as the head lawman, and Olivia Thirby is damn cute. Plus, Lena Headey as an ex-pros turned drug dealer with a nasty looking scar, who somehow still looks ridiculously hot? You can’t beat that.
Get the Gringo
Mel Gibson battles for his life when he’s (justifiably) jailed in a Mexican prison in “Get the Gringo”. You see, Gibson’s character, who goes unnamed in the movie, is something of a career criminal. Although a clever bloke, he’s not quite clever enough not to get caught early in the film and lose all his loots to some crooked cops. Locked away in a prison that looks more like a self-sustaining small city, complete with crime kingpins and business interests, our hero must weave his way through the wacky system in order to get back his ill-got loot. Along the way, he befriends a Mexican boy and his mom. If you can get over your antagonism towards Gibson by way of his personal life, “Get the Gringo” is a clever, amusing film that actually does something new with the “Westerner trapped in a hellish foreign prison” subgenre. In a movie with nothing but bad guys, Mel Gibson’s bad guy is the least bad guy of them all. Get ready to root for the bad guy. Again.
CONTINUE FOR MORE OVERLOOK FILMS FROM 2012
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