FILM BIZARRO'S BEST OF 2011
(Posted: 18 January 2012)


Usually by the end of the year me and Preston sit and reminisce about what a bad year it was for films, but for me it has actually been a pretty good year. For Preston though, it's been the worst in a long time. Not necessarily because he thought the films have been shitty, but more because he hasn't been interested in seeing the films that came out. And I don't blame him, there's been a lot of shit too. Whether it was bad movies like "Stake Land" and "I Spit on Your Grave", or meh movies like "Attack the Block" and "Insidious", or just good-but-not-good-enough films like "Drive" and "I Saw the Devil". The only reason I ended up finding enough good films was because I was set on checking out each and every film that looked interesting to me.

There has been a lot of variety this year, but most of them not worthy of recognition on our list. Hell, there are even some that we both enjoyed but didn't bring up because they just weren't as good as what we chose. I'm talking about titles such as "The Troll Hunter" and "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil". Both fine, fun movies, but not what we consider Best of the Year material. So what the fuck have we liked this year? We're known to be grumpy fucks, and we still are, but our Year lists always focus on the positive, and it's the same this year.

We have also decided to expand our list. We still only have 10 picks each that are the "Best of", but we have added awards such as "Best Actor/Actress", "Sleaze of the Year", "Biggest Mindfuck" and "Best Self-release". These are things we plan to have coming back every year from now because there's always something worth dropping in each category. We might add something new every year but we will try not to get rid of any award.

I'll shut the hell up now, and present to you the Film Bizarro 2011 list, as I should!


Ronny - #10
THE MILLENNIUM BUG

If you take one huge fucking bug and add hilarious, fucked up hillbillies, then you're pretty set on getting an entertaining movie. Completely without CGI and reminiscent of films such as "Godzilla", but with a healthy dose of inbred assholes, how could this film possibly go wrong? If you see one big bug movie this year, let it be this one.
Preston - #10
GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION

Picking my tenth best movie of the year wasn't easy. Hell, compiling the list altogether wasn't easy at all, but I decided to go with "George: A Zombie Intervention" for one reason: it made me laugh. Definitely the weakest movie on my list in terms of quality filmmaking and technical execution but at the end of the day, none of that was important because it kept me entertained. A very silly and absolutely ridiculous movie that was fun, and funny, and if any movie can make me stop being a miserable asshole for ninety minutes, then it deserves to be on my list for the year.
Ronny - #9
ABSENTIA

I wrote a review earlier in the year where I stated that this film would be on my top list. I didn't know then that the year would actually have a lot of good movies (pretty rare) but "Absentia" STILL managed to take the 9th spot. This is probably the most low budgeted film on the list, but that doesn't mean it's bad. This movie survives because the story is so well told and it's a real mystery that makes you scratch your head more than a few times. You get emotionally invested in the story and accept any turn it decides to take with open arms.
Preston - #9
KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE

Yeah, this was on my best of the year list last year as well. So what? What are you going to do about it? Not a goddamn thing, that's what. (Because it is a repeater I did bump it down to the ninth position in order to be some what fair.) Ronny thought this was a good year for movies but for me it was a pretty "meh" year - lots of films came and went that I simply couldn't care less about. However, I was able to see "Klown Kamp Massacre" on the big screen and 2011 also marked the "official" DVD release for the movie. I feel the same way I do about the movie now as I did when I first saw it - a funny and clever take on the slasher genre that was extremely well made.
Ronny - #8
22 MEI

The director of "Ex Drummer" is back with something completely different. Equally as visually striking, but this is a very slow drama movie about an explosion in a mall. The main plot isn't superb but the way it's done is great. I also think this might feature the most excellent explosion in any film I have. It's that good!
Preston - #8
SUPER

I'm not the biggest fan of James Gunn as a filmmaker but Ronny pushed me to give the movie a chance and I'm glad I listened to the Swede. Several movies had been released in a short span of time about everyday people taking on the persona of a super hero. All of which were piss poor - except "SUPER". It was a damn good movie and I was amazed by that since I wasn't a fan of the person behind the camera or Rainn Wilson for that matter. Also because I especially dislike Ellen Page. None of that matter when I was actually watching it: the characters were great and the fact that the movie focused on the emotional aspects of the story as opposed to mindless action is what really impressed me. I wasn't much of a fan of James Gunn when I went into the movie but after it was over I had a new found respect for him as a filmmaker.
Ronny - #7
CONFESSIONS

Next to "Cold Fish" and "I Saw the Devil", this is probably the Asian movie people have talked about the most from this year (considering how much people talked about those it didn't leave much room for this one, but still!). It's a very unique movie. The story is fucked up and sometimes even silly, but somehow it works perfectly. First part of the movie is dialogue-driven but extremely intense, and the nightmare that follows is a very unique revenge story. Combined with the great cinematography this is a treat for fans of something unusual.
Preston - #7
WOUND

"Wound" marked the return of David Blyth and I think he managed to create one of New Zealand's more original horror movies that really messes with your head. Part horror movie and part arthouse-experiment; "Wound" made for a unique viewing experience as the story goes in many different directions but all with a very specific reason and goal in mind. The sometimes gross and over-the-top visuals made for an interesting pairing with the surreal storytelling.
Ronny - #6
REVENGE: A LOVE STORY

"Revenge: A Love Story" took me by surprise mostly because it was an Asian movie that I hadn't heard people talk about. Usually if an interesting Asian movie comes out people won't shut up about it, EVER! ("I Saw the Devil", "Oldboy", etc.) But this one I hadn't heard a word about, and after just a couple of minutes I was hooked. The story is very sad and very violent, and even though the ending was a bit too much, I think this is a really great movie worthy of its place on this list.
Preston - #6
BLACK MIRROR

A bit unusual to put a mini-series up on the list but after seeing so many people put that awful and basically retarded "American Horror Story" on their lists, I thought it was necessary to mention an actual worthwhile series. "Black Mirror" is the creation of Charlie Brooker; a journalist who has become renowned for his analysis and criticism of all things media - which is what he does with this series as well, just under the guise of TV-fiction. "Black Mirror" consists of three very different episodes all meant to take a look at how the human condition is affected by our obsession with technology and media. While seeming a bit far fetched at times, each episode's core concept has a heavy basis in our current reality. Whether its us becoming a slave to entertainment, an obsession with reliving our recorded memories on a hard drive imbedded in our skull or having our humiliation being broadcast over the world. "Black Mirror" does a fantastic job of touching on some real or soon to be real, issues that we face as a society.
Ronny - #5
EL MONSTRO DEL MAR!

The best monster movie of the year mixes the 50's monster movies with the busty Russ Meyer films (especially "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!") and is just an overall great piece of independent entertainment. Stuart Simpson knows exactly how to piece together the two genres to make them work, while giving it his own spin as well. Highly overlooked monster film that is a blast from beginning to end!
Preston - #5
SOUTH OF HEAVEN

"South of Heaven" is a strange creature;  a combination of western and noir with a comic book flare - we get taken on a wild ride of lust, violence and revenge with some of the most colorful and memorable characters. While the concept/story didn't originate as a comic book, "South of Heaven" manages to be one of the more successful movies (I think) of bringing that style into a movie. The folks behind "South of Heaven" even managed to give characters ink outlines and actually make it work without making it seem silly, like you think it would. Not a movie to be taken completely at face value; "South of Heaven" is a cool little movie if you're looking for something that's going to the beat of its own drum.
Ronny - #4
SEEKING WELLNESS

This is one of the most interesting films of the year because it went out to be a sort of therapeutic ritual and actually pulled it off. It's split into four segments and each of them feel like their own little rite, which I think was very interesting. The second segment also manages to be pretty damn disturbing!
Preston - #4
KROKODYLE

I wasn't sure what I was going to be getting out of the movie "Krokodyle" I just knew it was a movie I had to see after I saw the trailer. It's a bitter-sweet film that deals with the ideals of normalcy that have been set in place by society and what it means to be an adult whose job is to follow those beliefs. A filmmaker comes to understand what it all means when working on his last movie pushes him to the boundaries of his imagination - especially when he decides to delve into the world of alchemy. An interesting movie that is a dark comedy and a fantasy tale for adults that reminds us of what it is that we lose when we decide that it's time to grow up.
Ronny - #3
THE BUNNY GAME

An extreme film without actually being very graphic. But above all it's an exploitation movie that manages to be so much more than that - it's arthouse exploitation at its most fierce. Rodleen Getsic deserves praise for her role, not only because her acting was fantastic but because she really put her everything into it, using it as a sort of therapy. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the real violence in it but it certainly makes it more terrifying and knowing she co-wrote it makes it so much more interesting.
Preston - #3
MOLD!

The 80's throwback of science-gone-bad is another solid indie horror-comedy that manages to hide its budgetary constraints with some serious talent and skills going on behind the camera, while finding that perfect blend of horror, splatter and laughs. A number of movies that want to be throwbacks and homages could take a note from "Mold!" as style never takes precedence over substance. Not to mention "Mold!" does plenty to stand on its own and bring something to the table - even if that something is covered in fungus.
Ronny - #2
MELANCHOLIA

I'm a Lars von Trier fanboy, so it's not a surprise that this film would be on the list. Not one of his best films but this was so good that I watched it twice on the big screen, while I haven't watched barely any other films in a theater this year. Slow and rather nice, but ends with one of the most memorable endings of the year, and without a doubt the most beautiful. Oh and Dunst's boobs are actually fantastic! A complete turn-around after his controversial "Antichrist" that I think some will appreciate, while some will be bored to death. And that's fine.
Preston - #2
A CADAVER CHRISTMAS

An entertaining low-budget zombie affair that has one of the best anti-heroes since The Chin. You know who I'm talking about. With an atmosphere of cheesy Italian zombie flicks, classic one-liners and some interesting means of disposing of the undead - "A Christmas Cadaver" will do to the mop what "Shaun of the Dead" did to the cricket bat. Lots of talent on display behind the camera and a solid comedy element, "A Cadaver Christmas" is a fun, low-budget movie that kicks ass. Easily one of the better holiday themed horror flicks that you'll see too.

Ronny - #1
SUPER

Hands down the best movie in 2011 for me. I say "for me" because that's exactly what it is - I can often be a pig and say it like a fact. But "SUPER", while I do think it really is a good film and people should agree, is especially great for me because it features so many things I like in a movie. It jumps between being funny, sad and violent through-out and ultimately takes away the usual security a movie like this would give you, and that's excellent. I don't have a problem crying from some films, and this one did give my teary eyes. It's just a well-written ride that shows some things most similar films wouldn't. Good actors too! Rainn Wilson and Kevin Bacon are both excellent. Ellen Page is so-so but it's probably her best role so far. I love "SUPER", it's the only new film I have watched 5 times during the year and I will watch it again and again!

Preston - #1
THE BUNNY GAME

Another repeater. But why did this one move forward instead of backwards like "Klown Kamp Massacre"? Simple really: Out the entire year "The Bunny Game" has remained as the best movie that I've watched all year, even though technically I watched it last year. Last year I said it was going to be 2011's talked about title and I was right - after being banned by the BBFC everyone finally took notice of Adam and Rodleen's movie. And rightfully so; as jaded as I like to think I am the movie still shook me. Powerful, brutal and beautiful "The Bunny Game" is an intense movie and one that will stay with me for a long time.

 

AND NOW TO THE AWARDS!

BEST POSTERS/COVERS

ISLAND OF LOST SOULS - CRITERION COLLECTION
Criterion is one of the driving companies that's putting "art" back into "artwork" and the artwork for "Island of Lost Souls" is a favorite for both Ronny and I. ("The Phantom Carriage" is another but we've jerked that movie off enough as is.) It has a classic look to it while having some modern touches - it appears simple in design but is still eye catching all the same. The point of poster art or artwork for a release is to get your attention and Criterion's release of "Island of Lost Souls" certainly does that.

(Click the posters for larger picture!)

EL MONSTRO DEL MAR!
There's an obsession in being "old school" with everything. Whether it's making a wannabe grindhouse movie, or having a scratched and torn poster. This poster for "El Monstro Del Mar!" is one of few that tries and succeeds to be a superb poster as well. This poster speaks so well for the movie, it catches your attention in a second, and is just an overall well-made poster.

 


BEST INITIATIVE

LOUIS C.K - ONLINE DISTRIBUTION OF STAND-UP SPECIAL
I don't like to pay for downloading or streaming, I much rather buy a DVD or even a VHS if there is no DVD release. However, when Louis C.K. released his latest stand-up special "Live at the Beacon Theater" through his website for $5 to download/stream, without any hassle, and of course - instant, I couldn't resist. People told Louis C.K. that it would be a lot easier for people to torrent it and pirate it, but he believed in what he did and it was proved a success - in 12 days he earned $1,000,000+. Hail Louis C.K. - the best stand-up comedian and now one hell of a business man!

 

 

 

BEST ACTRESS

RODLEEN GETSIC - THE BUNNY GAME
Rodleen's performance seems so real in "The Bunny Game" and that's because it is. The movie is co-written by Rodleen from her own real life experiences from being abducted so she let's it all come out in her portrayal of Bunny. Her performance is haunting and while it's a clichéd expression, there is no other word to describe what she does in this movie. It's moving and it's frightening - you'll feel for Bunny even though you do not know who she is. It is amazing what Rodleen has done.

 

 

BEST ACTOR

KEVIN BACON - SUPER
How could Kevin Bacon not be recognized for his fantastic portrayal as the druglord in James Gunn's "SUPER"? A memorable character with his own personal quirks that only a great actor would ever think of doing. Bacon's character was sleazy but at the same time very humane and realistic, and that's something you don't see every day.

 

 

 

MOST VISUALLY STUNNING MOVIE


MELANCHOLIA
It doesn't matter what you think of the movie, there is no denial that the visuals are simply stunning. The amazingly surreal painting-like slow-motion scenes in the opening, the fantastic boobies of Kirsten Dunst, the beauty of Melancholia rising and throwing a double shadow and most importantly, the final scene. A very intense and powerful scene worthy of the award alone.

 

 

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

KILL LIST
Not necessarily a bad movie, I actually enjoyed the genre-bending, starting with an everyday drama, going into a hitman thriller, and finally heading down the horror lane. My problem was the finale. Yes, I know I will hear "You don't get it" because I didn't like it, but it was actually extremely fucking silly. Not to mention I dislike films with cults in them to begin with - the movie should be so lucky I didn't dislike it already before the finale. You can say it was clever all you want, but all the filmmakers did was do something unexpected and then went back to plant a few things (that would never be of any help anyway).

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2
I tried to put off watching both of the "Human Centipede" films for as long as possible. While compiling my "Best of 2011" I realized I can't skip them forever, so I went straight into both of them. The first one was exactly how I expected it to be (if that means it was good or bad doesn't matter here), but after hearing so much about the second one I expected something different than what I got. What I got was actually just a fucking stupid gross-out comedy. And as you know, films with "American Pie"-type of gross-out aren't actually disturbing or very disgusting, rather just annoyingly attention-seeking

BIGGEST MINDFUCK

MAXIMUM SHAME
Carlos Atanes' "Maximum Shame" is so mindfucking that it desperately finds a hole in your mind that you've accidently left unguarded and rapes it with a cock of epic proportions. I liked it!

 

 

BEST SELF-RELEASE

ROBERT MORGAN'S FOUR SHORT FILMS
Yes, we're Robert Morgan fanboys here but the truth is, out of all the companies/movies that have done self-releases this year, Robert Morgan's collection of his four signature films has been the best by far. First and foremost because this is the first time his movies have been made available on one DVD plus early versions of two of his short films. But also because he definitely made it worth the price by including two postcards, an actual frame of film from a 35mm print of "The Cat With Hands" and the DVD is graced with a signature from Robert himself. Oh, and it being a limited edition didn't hurt either.

SLEAZE OF THE YEAR

FEROZZ: THE WILD RED RIDING HOOD
Even though there have been films that pushed it further than this one, this is definitely the sleaziest of the bunch. Featuring rape, incest, beastiality, voyeurism, underaged nudity (actor was of age, character was not) and murder, this is hands down the sleaziest. Sometimes serious, but most of the time it feels like a Ryan Nicholson-kind of a sleazefest, but that doesn't matter, a sleazy film is a sleazy film, be it silly or not.


Ah yes, as you were.







 

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TOP 10 OF LAST YEAR:
1. Fires on the Plain
2. What We Do in the Shadows
3. We Are Still Here
4. Spring
5. Makeup Room
6. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
7. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
8. Shadow Zombie
9. Honeymoon
10. Nina Forever
Taken from Best of 2015



CURRENT FAVORITE
DISTRIBUTORS:
- Mondo Vision
BFI
- Second Run DVD