FILM BIZARRO'S BEST OF 2016
(Posted: 8 January 2017)


We're always late to making these lists, aren't we? To be honest, it's simply because we continue to watch movies until the very end of the year and we want to be absolutely sure about our list. So, dear 2016, you are a mere memory now.. A lot happened, but you're on a website for people who only care about different forms of entertainment, so most importantly this was the year that Louis C.K. created an amazing TV show ("Horace and Pete"), "Stranger Things" was more fun than expected, video games with decade long developments were released, Matt Berry proved yet again that he is as great of a musician as he is a comedian, David Bowie released a brilliant album, and... oh, wait, he died... Carrie Fisher died... the Godfather of Gore died... That one guy over there died, in particular! Everyone died. We're all alone now! Who the hell are we writing this list for? Eh, fuck it, let's just get on with it!

 


#30


OPENING THE MIND
Director: Michael Todd Schneider

The cut we saw of "Opening the Mind" is an early preview and thus we can't put it higher or dig into it deeper as of now. Back when Film Bizarro started we got in contact with Michael Todd Schneider, and "Opening the Mind" was even shot before then. What "Opening the Mind" was originally going to be, and what it will finally become, are perhaps two different things on paper. The most important thing is that it preserves the raw nature of a highly creative filmmaker in his mid formative years, where ambition and creativity rules over convention. Through the years since its original conception, certain changes have been made that certainly makes today's presentation different, but it remains as one of its strongest story-driven aspects. The movie is so big in concept, with tons of interesting shots, a huge variety of eccentric personalities, and jumps from silly to extreme, yet this is a very no-budget lo-fi creation that has been waiting for 10 years to be seen. The dent it could've made in the "indie scene" back then is far too much to ask for now. Unintentionally, the result is even more strange and appealing to me now than it would have been then. It has become its own post-mortem.

#29


BEYOND THE GATES
Director: Jackson Stewart

Quickly heralded as being a great throwback feature to ’80s horror films that mixed in adventure and fantasy where our heroes (usually children) had to defeat an evil in order to set things right. That inspiration is certainly in there but there’s more at play within the film than mere nostalgia. Focusing primarily on the characters, Jackson Stewart structured “Beyond the Gates” as if it were a spiritual sequel to all those childhood horror films but from an adult angle (and all the baggage that comes with being an adult). It's not all serious and the movie's main objective is to be fun but the maturity of the movie and the character arcs gave "Beyond the Gates" a more well balanced tone. Instead of being nothing more than another homage.

#28


WINNERS TAPE ALL: THE HENDERSON BROTHERS STORY
Director: Justin Channell

In this day and age where irony is the new everything, it’s refreshing to find a film that has genuine sincerity for its subject. Even if they’re giving it a friendly ribbing. Justin Channell’s “Winners Tape All” is a film that beautifully satirizes backyard movies where aspiring filmmakers had more ambition than ability. The movie is hilarious in its lampooning as the jokes are quick, sharp and hit their respective marks perfectly. Certainly, it may seem like an easy target to mock — bad films made by inexperienced folks — but the genuine adoration Channell has for these films and filmmakers shows that the humor comes from sincerity rather than cynicism. It’s what makes the difference and allows there to be both strength and respect within the film’s comedic ability.

#27


10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Director: Dan Trachtenberg

Whatever you think of "10 Cloverfield Lane", you can't deny the tension that John Goodman brings to the table. We knew from the trailer that this movie would be worth the watch for John Goodman alone. Surprisingly, this movie ended up being quite a good thriller! And yes, it is surprising considering how bad the original "Cloverfield" was. All that said, this was a movie that could have gotten a way higher placing here if it wasn't in fact a sequel to "Cloverfield". No, not because it is a sequel to a bad movie, but because it had to carry certain things over, which lead to an ending that is expected and excessive (as humorous as that was). Everything prior to that was excellent! Thanks to the premise of three people being stuck in a bunker together, there is plenty of room for the characters to show their true sides. It's a nailbiter that has you questioning pretty much everything!

#26


DARK
Director: Nick Basile

If you mix some of Polanski's thrillers with modern indie dramas, you get something like "Dark". A simple, realistic and powerful journey into the head of a paranoid woman who tries to not go crazy when she's alone during the 2003 blackout in New York City. The movie puts you on the edge of your seat without ever doing too much. It's driven by human emotion instead of scares and spectacles, and it's a shame that a lot of people have watched this under false pretenses. The only real problem with "Dark" is that it seems to have been pushing the horror aspect more than it delivers it, and that has probably hurt it more than it deserves.

#25


MEN & CHICKEN
Director: Anders Thomas Jensen

Regardless of their country of origin, modern comedies have a tendency to come across as the same: simplistic and obvious humor derived (primarily) from a crass awkwardness. And honestly, “Men & Chicken” is no different. It’s an ugly movie with a foul sense of humor but underneath the ugliness is a story with meaning and characters to care about. Somehow, Anders Thomas Jensen is able to use darkened slapstick to tell a heartfelt story about family and heritage. How both are important yet aren’t necessary to define who we are as an individual. With an exceptionally hilarious and emotional performance from Mads Mikkelsen, “Men & Chicken” is one comedic film that actually brought something more to the table.

#24


PSYCHONAUTS, THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
Director: Pedro Rivero, Alberto Vázquez

This animated feature film about anthropomorphic characters trying to escape the island they call home in order to find a new life, often felt like a fairytale...a horribly dark and bleak fairytale. There’s a bit a whimsical fantasy-adventure aspect to the story but the horrors that surrounds these characters and seeps through the film is all too real. Even with the insertion of an absurdist form of humor, the movie offers no levity for a viewer. Yet, through all the darkness that’s explored in the film, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel to give the characters, and the audience, a glimmer of hope. Even if it’s a small one.

#23


THE MONSTER
Director: Bryan Bertino

Bryan Bertino found early success with his feature debut, “The Strangers”, but his follow up films have received mixed reactions. Even for us it was tough on whether or not “The Monster” would make the list. While we are a bit biased when it comes to creature-feature flicks, Bertino’s newest movie isn’t without its flaws. A few leaps in logic in order to make its singular location scenario work. Not to mention, the movie has a tendency to beat you over the head with its themes and message. Still though, the performances from Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine brought a heavy emotional quality. Their intensity gave the characters life and made a story about a mother and daughter trapped in a car by a monster have some worthwhile tension.

#22


THE INVITATION
Director: Karyn Kasuma

"The Invitiation" is another example of how powerful movies can be with a small cast of great actors and just one location. Following great movies of previous years like "Resolution", "Coherence" and "Honeymoon", this is a movie that starts slow and builds up its tension masterfully before reaching its peak, and there are few moments when it ever lets you feel safe. Its effective soundtrack is a huge help in building its atmosphere. If you want to feel uncomfortable in your couch, this is a good movie to start with.

#21


THE MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET
Director: Aik Karapetian

For Latvia's first horror film, Aik Karapetian has managed to set the bar pretty high. A relatively simple setup of a revenge based home-invasion movie, “The Man in the Orange Jacket” wants to explore its psychopathic character rather than what it takes to survive his rampage. The movie is even willing to be a little more broad in its concepts as it uses the idea of the power and its corruptive nature as The Man quickly adapts to a life style he once hated when he is given the keys to the kingdom. What makes the film truly enjoyable is the haunting atmosphere created from the character’s paranoia and the haunted halls of his victim’s home.

#20


UZUMASA LIMELIGHT
Director: Ken Ochiai

Ken Ochiai's film is based in reality and it delivers exactly what you expect out of it. It's a tribute to a genre and a certain kind of actors: the actors that get killed on camera in samurai movies and TV shows. The movie is incredibly honest and humble, so it's hard to not get emotional watching it. It's not complicated or pretentious, it's just a movie that honors a very particular skill, and they manage to tell a sweet story while doing it. If you have no interest in reading up, or searching for a documentary, on the subject then watching "Uzumasa Limelight" is the perfect way to get an appreciation for it.

#19


TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE!
Director: Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella

It’s easy for people to brush off “Tex Montana Will Surive!” as another found-footage movie that someone made because they had little-to-no budget. But to do so would be foolish, if not down right ignorant. Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella are the first filmmakers to come around in sometime who properly utilized an overdone format and structure in order to tell an effective character story. Sure it’s easy to be spellbound by the silly, and sometimes abstract, humor and improv-based performance from Mr. Gardner as the titular Tex Montana. But when you look below the surface of jokes and silliness, there is a tragic story of a man who’s so lost to his own ego that he’s willing to risk his life to prove himself to those who control his fame. And through this journey, a man is forced to face the one thing he is terrified of the most — his true self.  

#18


SUN CHOKE
Director: Ben Cresciman

Methodical is the best word there is to describe “Sun Choke”. A movie where the content doesn’t chase viewers off, but the very deliberate nature in the way the film is designed. Ben Cresciman created a cold, calculated movie that moves at such a dreary pace that it almost becomes unbearable. Yet it reflects the story perfectly as a young girl who believes she’s being held captive slowly descends into her own madness and psychosis that her caretaker (Barbara Crampton) tries to protect her from. Ben is able to capture this character’s spiral into darkness to such a precise point, that by the time end rolls around, you feel as if you reached the bottom of despair and are unsure if you’ll ever be able to find your way out. The attention in the structure and the creation of atmosphere reminded me of the films of Cronenberg, except without “Sun Choke” ever feeling like that’s what it was specifically trying to achieve.

#17


NOVA SEED
Director: Nick DiLiberto

“Nova Seed” is a film to be admired for its technical achievement — a beautifully animated feature hand rendered solely by Nick DiLiberto over the course of 4-years. “Nova Seed” is a movie that should also be loved for its outstanding ability in telling a story almost exclusively through the action of its characters. Nick tells a grand adventure about a monster saving the world from a super-villain in a massively expansive world without relying on exposition through dialogue. The audience is dropped into the middle of a story that’s already taking place, but thanks to the amazing detail in the art and the execution of the scenes, the audience is never lost. Instead they’re absorbed into the world of “Nova Seed” where the landscapes are breathtaking and the characters are amazing to watch (and cheer for) as they try to save the world.

#16

VORE KING
Director: Dan S

Dan S (as he often credits himself) is one of the most interesting filmmakers to come up to the surface in recent years. Even his previous documentary "Old Man" which was a simple telling of his family's history and his father's record store was intriguing. It could easily have been a bore to anyone who doesn't know them, but it wasn't. "Vore King" is his newest documentary, about the eccentric filmmaker Raymond P. Whalen (Rock and Roll Ray). You probably don't recognize the name, but after "Vore King" you will never forget him. The documentary covers Ray's history of filmmaking, hosting wild movie nights at local theaters, hosting odd local TV shows, his dives into depression, his vorarephilia fetish videos, and his and Dan's challenge to create a beast to consume 100 people. It shines the light on a larger-than-life personality, and manages to be both crazy and sensitive at the same time.

#15


TICKLED
Director: David Farrier & Dylan Reeve

You've heard about it, but what the hell is "Tickled"? It is an investigative documentary that starts out with a filmmaker being curious about a tickling contest. When he is met with hostility, he gets even more curious. He ends up finding something a lot weirder than a fetish, and the documentary spirals into a conspiracy that couldn't possibly be true... right? In a year with a ton of new documentaries to watch, this is one that stands out and that I think a lot of people have been interested in. It's an intense watch that keeps evolving into stranger things. 

#14


UNDER THE SHADOW
Director: Babak Anvari

It's hard to be a fan of ghost movies when the modern idea of a ghost movie is to show too much too often, throw jump scares in your face, and simply not tell an intriguing enough story. Part of what makes "Under the Shadow" great is that it works in the culture and life of people in '80s Iran into its story. In the middle of the War of the Cities, it tells an intimate story about a mother's fight to save her daughter from a Djinn. There's equal suspense from the supernatural being, as there is from the war that is happening around them, and it balances them perfectly. There are some traditional scares in here, but the supernatural aspect is not over-the-top, and the result is the best supernatural horror movie in 2016.

#13


ALWAYS SHINE
Director: Sophia Takal

You know when you're around someone who seems mad, but they won't tell you about it? The entire day goes by and something just feels off? "Always Shine" is an entire movie that feels like that. Something is very wrong, but you can't really put your finger on it. The music gives you hints, the actors show that they're hiding something, the entire atmosphere is just... off. This movie is really a showcase for two actors, who are portraying two actors. One is successful and one is not. We witness the clash of their feelings for each other when they decide to spend the weekend together. The excellent performances from Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin FitzGerald makes this movie hard to forget.

#12


A BRIDE FOR RIP VAN WINKLE
Director: Shunji Iwai

Shunji Iwai can somehow create a movie that is very small in scope, yet has a complexity in its characters and the situations around them which makes the movie feel like an epic to sit through. "A Bride for Rip Van Winkle" has a lot to introduce (which makes its original cut of 179 min feel necessary) to finally become a beautiful story of love. There is a lot for the viewer to digest, but it's a movie that can pull you in even if you don't try to look deeper into it. If you have liked anything by Shunji Iwai in the past then I don't think you have anything to worry about. If you're new to his work then you need to be ready for a slow beginning and a long, personal story.

#11


LOWLIFE LOVE
Director: Eiji Uchida

Third Window Films' first fully produced feature is about a bastard who happens to be a filmmaker. It's driven by a lead character that we kinda don't like, but somehow are forced to understand and relate to. He dreams about creating a great movie, but most of the time he sleeps around. Unlike most films about filmmaking they don't magically have a good movie at the end. This is an entire movie about the relationships behind the making of a movie. Luckily the movie is not all failure and sadness, it has the dark comedy that we often see in Japanese cinema, and it's one of its most important ingredients!

#10


THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK
Director: Joel Potrykus

It may seem like we’re playing favorites as we often sing the praise of Joel Potrykus around these parts, but that’s only because his films are just that good. Breaking away from his previous “slacker-comedies”, Joel has managed to subvert many expectations with his latest film. “The Alchemist Cookbook” is a movie that operates like a traditional indie dramedy in the beginning, but much like Ty Hickson’s character, it becomes a slow, terrifying descend into darkness and madness. Deriving the horror element from psychological and metaphysical components, Joel was able to create a movie that’s more frightening than standard genre titles — while still maintaining some of his unique brand of humor. Even though it takes a team to make a movie, Joel is one of those unique filmmakers who seems to have such a sound understanding of film (story, characters, structure, etc.) that it is his ability and instincts that continues to make his work remarkable.

#9


EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT
Director: Ciro Guerra

This is our first experience with Ciro Guerra's work, but it's not hard to see why the people who know about him stick around. There's something very unique about the approach to "Embrace of the Serpent", something not too unlike the work of Lav Diaz, but a lot more polished and relatable. This could easily have been a pretentious mess, a self-righteous way of pushing your own agendas on the audience. Instead the movie is truly an experience in film form. Based on diaries by two scientists, it's obviously a movie that is very down to earth, but it's also a movie that expects the viewer to watch it with their heart. Four different languages are spoken in the movie, but the most important aspect is how it shows the emotions and expressions of everyone as equal. You can see as much going on in the mind of the tribes men as they communicate, as you do in the "white" scientists. Outside of the technical stuff, this movie could have been made in any era and it would have the same effect on the viewer, yet it is amazing to me that this was made now because of it. You don't need to be into artsy-fartsy film to appreciate this one, and I hope everyone gives it a chance if they can.

#8


DEMON
Director: Marcin Wrona

Whether the anxiety seen in "Demon" is directly related to the suicide of Marcin Wrona during its Polish premiere or not is hard to say. We believe that a person making a disturbing movie doesn't have to be disturbed person, and a person making a happy movie doesn't have to be a happy person. That said, when you watch a movie like "Demon" after the fact of his death has been made known, it's hard not to think about it. On its own, "Demon" is a great drama/thriller that takes place on "the happiest day", the wedding day of a young couple. What originally seems like the groom getting cold feet, develops into a story of possession. The atmosphere is just perfect in portraying the clash of happiness and sadness. It's one of the best examples of possession in modern film. The use of depression as possession could be too on the nose, but luckily it was so carefully executed that it all worked well.

#7


THE VERY PRIVATE WORK OF SISTER K
Director: Johan Liedgren

No matter where we are in existence sex remains as a hot topic issue. “The Very Private Work of Sister K” is an amazingly well balanced movie that uses a courtroom-drama structure to set the course for a debate about sex. Between those who believe in its beauty and those who deem themselves the keepers of its morality. While it would be easy to see this movie taking on the stance from a woman’s perspective, Johan approaches the concept of sex more from a spirituality sense where a person of any gender or of any sexuality can relate to. The effectiveness of the film is impart due to the performance of Liza Curtiss who plays Sister K — a character who saw the power and value of sex and the unity in two people when they become joined together in passion. More importantly, the strength of her character shines as she continues to hold strong in her convictions when those who believe they hold the power to declare what is right and wrong try to tear her down. Her ability to deflect their attacks with wit and understanding of something they fear makes her performance, her character, and the movie, something that needs to be seen.

#6


I AM A HERO
Director: Shinsuke Sato

It might come as a shock that "I Am a Hero" is not only a great zombie film, but it's not even the best zombie movie of the year! Japan has always offered a fun take on zombies and with "I Am a Hero" you get everything you could ask for in the genre, while remaining fresh! It's a fun manga-infused live action horror movie that's funny, dramatic and intense. A strength to it is that they dared to be creative with the zombies. They're absolutely mad looking, with their eyes pointing in different directions, and they act as if every limb in their body wants to kill you. They bend, twist, crawl and use whatever skills they had as humans just to get to you. In the center of the movie is a nerdy manga artist who dreams of writing a manga with a focus on realistic weaponry due to his own obsession with his rifle that he has never dared to fire. The movie blends everything together so well that whatever cliché it stumbles upon, ends up being fun.

#5


ROOM
Directors: Lenny Abrahamson

There is no doubt that "Room" is an appreciated movie, but that doesn't always mean that we will like it. When a movie can make your eyes tear up with joy halfway through, you know there is some masterful storytelling going on. The premise of the movie is that a mother and her child are locked up by a kidnapper. They've been there since before the child was born. Luckily, the movie doesn't stay there and evolves into a look at the aftermath, where it remains strikingly realistic and grounded. It's just as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, and there wouldn't be any other way of telling this story. When people have gone through trauma they're not automatically saved just because they've gotten away from the situation. It'll stay with them, and I am happy that "Room" focuses on that. As sad and hard as it is to watch.

#4


TRAIN TO BUSAN
Director: Yeon Sang-ho

Here we go! This is hands down the greatest zombie movie of recent years. There's a reason you've heard everyone talk about it, and will hear everyone talk about it for a while still. It's a movie that fans of any genre could appreciate because it's just a damn well told movie. It's intriguing from the start, it has a very clear story with tons of obstacles for the characters to get through, wonderfully nuances characters of all ages and types, and it's intense. The zombies act similar to how they did in "World War Z" (which was absolutely ridiculous) but it sort of makes this one horrifying. Perhaps it is because the movie is claustrophobic, mostly taking place on a train, so when a hoard of zombies are just throwing themselves towards you, it's more thrilling! "Train to Busan" knows when to be horror, when to be drama, and when to be action, and that's an important part of what made the classic zombie films great. It makes sure that you care about the characters and their relationships with each other even more than it wants to scare you. Why would you otherwise care when someone turns into a zombie?

#3


THE LOVE WITCH
Director: Anna Biller

It has been about 10 years since Anna Biller went back to the psychedelic, sexy films of the '70s with "Viva". For other filmmakers it would be important to show that you're good at adapting and following the technology of the modern day, but Anna Biller has spent her time perfecting the look and feel of eras long gone. "The Love Witch" is, on the surface, a colorful, cheerful and sexy story of a witch seducing men, but it's essentially a look at the genders told from the angle of a woman. It's a movie that dares to take itself seriously, yet it never loses its charm and wit. Yes, the style of the movie reminds you of some cheesy older films, but this movie proves that the chosen style of a movie can help bring forth the greater ideas behind it. There's a familiar erotic charm that's sure to take a grip of you here, but don't be fooled into thinking that's all the movie has to offer. It's hard to not be impressed by this creation when every detail is spot on, all the way from make-up to cinematography. It feels incredibly authentic.

#2


HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE
Director: Taika Waititi

Missing the top spot of the list by just a margin, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" is an absolute blast from start to finish. Taika Waititi has proven himself already with "Boy" and "What We Do in the Shadows", but you know he's a master of a very peculiar kind of comedy when he's put out three fantastic comedies of such variety. Sure, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" does have a lot in common with "Boy", but this one is a real adventure. A grumpy Sam Neill and a dim-witted Julian Dennison make one of the most endearing duos imaginable. It's amazing to see someone relatively new to acting, who is so young, as Julian Dennison deliver hilarity in every single line. It's rare to feel this good watching a movie, but me and everyone I watched it with were smiling all the way through. It might not be a unique adventure movie, but it's most definitely a gem of a comedy. Go watch it!



If amazing films like "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" and "The Love Witch" only make it to the second and third spot, then what could possibly be our pick for the best of the year?! What are you asking me for? I already know! Quit dilly-dallying and read on if you want to know so badly!


#1


GREEN ROOM
Director: Jeremy Saulnier

In 2014, we were set to label Jeremy Saulnier’s film “Blue Ruin” as part of our BOTY list, but we foolishly removed it last minute. Thankfully, Jeremy offered us his follow up film, “Green Room”, and what a follow up film it is! Folks often say, they don’t make them like they use to, but in the case of “Green Room”, I cannot recall the last time I saw such a film play across the nation in theaters. Horror? Exploitation? Thriller? The film is a little bit of everything and seamlessly blends it all together into one vicious movie about punks and their fight for survival. It’s a movie where every decision, and every choice is wrought with tension — even if you can predict where the story is going, the tension remains as knot in the pit of your stomach. What helps to bring out the tension though is the quality of the characters backed by fantastic performances to where even minor characters bring weight to the story. Yes, “Green Room” is a gruesome, intense movie that never takes it easy on the audience because it gives you a reason to care about the characters and their plight. It’s been a long time since such a film has been in a theaters and it will be long time before we see one like this again. With Jeremy Saulneir’s ability to make a film that can cover so many genres, have an incredible mean streak, but still allows the audience to have an emotional investment in the film is why it’s our number one pick for the year. That being said, there is a bit of a dark cloud that hangs over the film with the death of Anton Yelchin. His incredible talent and abilities shine through in the film but it is unfortunate to realize when you're watching "Green Room" that it was one of his last performances.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Midnight Special, You're So Cool Brewster! The Story of Fright Night, Hush, The New Guys, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Swiss Army Man, The Wailing, Girl Asleep, Cemetery of Splendor, Uncle Kent 2, Creepy

 

LET'S GO TO THE AWARDS!


INFINITE
Director: Connor O'Hara
Sure, we haven't gone through too many short films this year but don't let that take anything away from this award. "Infinite" is a short film that wouldn't have made me remember it had it been made by someone less competent. The idea is very basic: celebrate the life of a friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The result is an incredibly sweet and honest "friends forever" film, and this seems like a good year to promote a film like this.


 






BEST ACTRESS:
MACKENZIE DAVIS ("ALWAYS SHINE")

From the very first introduction to her character, Mackenzie is able to create a performance that delves into incredible emotional depths. Presenting a character who clearly has had to fight for everything she’s had yet is still vulnerable and easily hurt when she feels betrayed by those she trusts. What’s more, she brings out the complexity of a character to such a degree that the audience can’t decide if she’s the antagonist or the protagonist — do we hate her or do empathize with her? Regardless, once you see Mackenzie Davis onscreen in her first scene, you won’t be able to look away.

Honorable mention: Liza Curtiss ("The Very Private Work of Sister K")



BEST ACTOR:
JOHN GOODMAN ("10 CLOVERFIELD LANE")

John Goodman will probably always be connected to the comedy genre, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Hell, he has always proven to be a fantastic actor in every genre he's been part of. But as horror fans who are also fans of John Goodman, it pleases us to see him truly step it up and shine in movies like "Red State" and "10 Cloverfield Lane". John Goodman in "10 Cloverfield Lane" is John Goodman at his craziest, scariest and most amazing. This man is a cinematic treasure, and we're happy to see him exceed even himself.

Honorable mention: Julian Dennison ("Hunt for the Wilderpeople")







RELEASING A MOVIE AS PAY-WHAT-YOU-WISH THROUGH BITTORRENT
(OSCILLOSCOPE FILMS/JOEL POTRYKUS/THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK)

When everyone can watch movies at any time, anywhere, how do you get your own stuff out there? Sure, Joel Potrykus is slowly getting more noticed by every wonderful film he makes, but teamed up with the daring Oscilloscope Films they managed to find a great way of releasing an independent movie in the year 2016. They made "The Alchemist Cookbook" available for whatever price you want to pay through BitTorrent. This way they can both battle piracy and garner interest from people who are simply curious at the same time!

 

 





ARROW VIDEO - THE HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS FEAST/SHOCK AND GORE

When the news announced that the grandfather-figure of horror and exploitation, Herschell Gordon Lewis, had passed away, it was a sad day to say the least. Whether you admired his films, his overt kindness to those around him, or found his brutal honesty towards his films (and sometimes his fans) amusing, his passing genuinely felt like the loss of a family member. That’s why we believe everyone appreciates the work that Arrow put into releasing what can only be described as the definitive collection of HG Lewis. Regardless of whether or not you picked up the “Feast” set or the stuffed-to-the-brim “Shock and Gore” set, it’s amazing to have so many of his films together in a beautiful box set. A set that also serves as remembrance for a man who helped change and define genre filmmaking.

 

 


 

Well, there you have it. Our favorites from the year. 2016 was a wild and unpredictable year to a point that I don't think any of us are sure as to what the future might hold. Let's just hope that 2017 will be a year where there's joy to be had and good films to watch.






 

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Special Feature Archives



 
 
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