Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Wrap Up: Year End Awards And 20 More Great Films From Last Year

2013 was a damn good year for horror, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  Sure there as some real crap out in theaters, but this was probably the best year for major theatrical release horror we’ve had since I started the blog.  Of course, the indie scene gave us more than enough killer flicks to make 2013 a cause to celebrate.   I think it's only fair to recognize a few of those that brought me so much enjoyment.  Now, on to the first annual Son of Celluloid Year End Awards.

Best Non-Horror Flick – The World’s End 
The end of the Cornetto Trilogy has taken on horror and action, so they decided to go out on a sci-fi note  The flick definitely delivered the laughs albeit in a more mature way than Shaun or Fuzz.  This one hit a little close to home, but it was a blast.  The World’s End is everything you hoped it would be.
Runner Up: The Wolf Of Wall Street


Best Actor – Mike Nall as Charles Lake in I Am No One 
Director Jason Hoover tells me that Mike isn’t an actor by trade.  "He's just a dude that was willing to go to the edge with me.”  This character immersion technique worked like a charm though, ‘cause he’s genuinely scary.  He’s perfected that chilling “is he really calm or is he just coiled to strike?” delivery.  The finale of I Am No One is the best single scene from any indie flick this year.
Runners up: Lance Henriksen (It’s In The Blood), Sean Pertwee (The Seasoning House)

Best Actress – Rosie Day as Angel in The Seasoning House 
At only 19, Rosie shows the acting chops of a seasoned professional. See what I did there? Anyway, she burst onto the horror scene this year with an incredible pantomime performance as a deaf/mute girl forced to work in a sex-slave whorehouse.  She might just have the most expressive eyes I’ve ever seen.  Rosie has everything it takes to be a horror star.
Runners Up: Katherine Isabelle (American Mary), Ambyr Childers (We Are What We Are)

Hottest Actress – Hannah Hughes (V/H/S/2
 A pale, gothy redhead with sexy lips, pretty eyes, a nice rack, and a dirty mouth?  Yeah, that’s my type.  She’s totally worth dealing with those homicidal ghosts following her around.
Runners Up : Miriam Giovanelli in Dracula 3D, Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)

 Best Monster Design – Frankenstein’s Army 
Whether or not you dug this flick (and I can’t see how you couldn’t), you can’t deny that those mechanical zombie bastards are some cool ass monsters.  Finally someone found a way to incorporate steampunk into horror and it not suck.
Runners Up: Beatress (American Mary), Bad Milo (Bad Milo) 

Funniest Scene – “Put ‘em on the glass” – The Battery 
Poor Mickey is trapped in the car during a zombie attack, but as the busty zombie presses against the window, he can’t help but do what comes natural.  
Runner Up: “Wire catches arrow” (You’re Next) 

Best Quote – “I want you to f**k me on this bed next to your dead mother.” –  Wendy Glenn in You’re Next 
Kinky.  I like it.  
 Runner Up: “Can I stab her anywhere?” – Sasha Gray in Would You Rather

Best Kiss – Kiss of the Damned 
As a child of the MTV era, I believe that this has to be a category in any movie awards.  Anyway, I seem to be the only person who was highly disappointed with this flick, but there were a couple of cool shots and a kiss through the space of a chain locked door was my favorite.
Runner Up: “Wait ‘til Dad finds out” – We Are What We Are, Various girl on gorl makeouts – Embrace of the Vampire 

Best Sex Scene – Here Comes The Devil 
Felix lets his fingers do the walking as he and Sol breathily discuss their early sexual experiences in the car.  I ain’t gonna lie, that scene is hot as hell.
Runner Up: Emasculating a douchebag (Alyce)

Best Nude Scene – Riki Lindhome in Hell Baby 
There was some great onscreen nudity this year that went for the sexy, but my favorite scene went for the laughs.  Riki stands there naked for a good 3 minutes chit chatting and making her brother in law very uncomfortable in a hilarious scene.  I’d commend her for having the balls to do it, but, well…
Runners Up: Hannah Hughes (V/H/S/2), Asia Argento (Dracula 3D), Strip Club Scene in Cool As Hell
Best Performance By A Madagascar Hissing Cockroach – All Hallow’s Eve
 You should know that when a clown hands you flowers, there’s gonna be a surprise inside.  In this case, it was one of these little guys.  It’s always nice to see maddies in a flick.  Hopefully some of my babies will make it to the silver screen.
Runner Up: Dracula 3D

Best DVD/Blu-ray release – The Vincent Price Collection (Shout Factory) 
It’s nice to have the master’s work in hi-def, but the real selling point here is the extras.  Vintage intros and interviews team up with copious commentaries to make this the definitive versions of six Price classics.
Runner Up: Crystal Lake Memories (1428 Films)

Potential Icon Award – Art the Clown (All Hallow’s Eve) 
Coulrophobia is common, so this creepy clown could absolutely bring nightmares to the masses.  Whether it's more anthologies or a feature, he needs to come back.  I can see him on tshirts and being cosplayed (I hate that word) at horror cons.
Runner Up – Bad Milo (Bad Milo), Animal Mask Killers (You’re Next)

Best Soundtrack – Cool As Hell 
I think it’s safe to say that a James Balsamo movie is going to win in this category every year he makes one.  The theme song by the almighty Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space would clinch the win by itself, but the movie also features tunes by The Other, Nightmare Sonata, Order of the Fly, and Calabrese to name just a few.  The man has great taste in music.
Runners Up: Lords Of Salem, The Battery

And the big one, the most important award of the year…

Best Kill/Death Scene – Chainsaw Facef**k – Evil Dead 
If that isn’t already a Cannibal Corpse song title, they need to get right on that.  Evil Dead was a divisive movie among horror fans.  In fact, it seemed to split them right down the middle, just like a chainsaw would a deadite’s head.  The glorious splatterfest had a bevy of great kills, but this long, loving bisection (complete with a nod to Ash and a roaring fire in the background) got the theater cheering and applauding more than any other at the screening I went to.  Rarely have I seen my favorite power tool put to such good, and messy, use.  The saw is family. 
Runners Up: Knife through the cheek – The Seasoning House, Herschel’s Last Grin – The Walking Dead, Eyeball and Genital Mutilation – Play Me, Face Off – Maniac, Family Dinner – We Are What We Are, Nut Cracker – I Spit On Your Grave 2 

Ok, one more thing before we lay 2013 to rest.  Recently I read a couple of reviewers (the kind that get off on ripping stuff to shreds) say that they had a hard time even finding 10 good horror flicks from the last year to make a “best of” list.  I‘m calling bullshit.  On facebook I said that I could easily name 20 flicks I would recommend.  Well, I’ve decided that I can go one better.  You’ve already read my top 10 (HERE and HERE if you’ve been slacking), so here’s a list of 20 on top of that.  That’s 30 flicks from 2013 that I wholeheartedly recommend.  Take that you “I hate everything” jackasses.  Here we go… 

Frankenstein’s Army – A found footage WWII flick?  Yep, and it’s fun as hell.  The last half is like running through a haunted attraction. 

Evil Dead – Put your remake hate away for a minute and just enjoy the gory fun.  Blood, blood, and more blood! 

Lords of Salem – Rob Zombie’s hallucinatory nightmare divided viewers, but if you just give in and go for the ride, I think you’ll dig it.  It even gets better with repeated viewings. 

I Am No One – If you mixed the mechanics of Man Bites Dog with the atmosphere of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the result would be I Am No One. 

Hidden in the Woods – Sleazy exploitation fun from Chile.  Blood, boobs, cannibalism, drugs, and chainsaws. 

Curse of Chucky – I know it’s heresy, but this just might be my favorite non-comedy Chucky flick.  Why this one didn’t hit theaters is beyond me. 

American Mary -  The Soska Sisters come out swinging with their sophomore effort.  It’s visually stunning and features a great performance from Katherine Isabelle.  

100 Bloody Acres – Keeping Australia on the genre film map with a great horror comedy. 

Gut – Killer indie flick with a great creep factor.  A man is getting snuff films in the mail… and starts recognizing the victims. 

Sightseers – Well written and well acted pitch black comedy from England.  When she agreed to go on a holiday with him, she didn’t know he was a killer. 

Contracted – A sexual encounter at a party leaves a young woman with a bizarre disease.  Nasty infection horror.  Good stuff… just ignore the last two minutes. 

Alyce – What would you do if your victim turned out to not be dead after all?  A nice descent into madness.  Most of my horror chick friends really dug this one. 

You’re Next – A lot of people touted the suspense.  Personally, I think it was one of the best comedies of the year. 

Dead Woman’s Hollow – Atmospheric backwoods/small town horror with some great performances and a killer finale. 

Cool As Hell – The prolific James Balsamo brings his usual gory, irreverent, cameo packed madness to this horror comedy.  Troma-esque in a good way.

The Collective Vol. 6 – Another great collection of themed shorts from Jabb Pictures featuring a short version of “I Am No One” and Brian Williams’ fantastic ‘Play Me.”  What scares the people who scare us? 

Stoker – Creepy thriller from the director who brought you Oldboy and Thirst.  Need I say more? 

Grabbers – Giant octopus monsters are attacking an Irish island and the only way to survive is to get wasted.  Hilarity ensues. 

Hell Baby - Comedy from the minds behind Reno 911 about the birth of the Antichrist.  Way better than it had any right to be. 

No One Lives – Refreshingly old school.  Dumb dialogue, but very little shaky cam, plenty of blood, a couple of nice twists, some creative violence, and even a little gratuitous nudity.

See?  A whole bunch of goodness for you to check out.  Now, on to 2014...

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