Posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 by Angie Han
If you adore films about people who are trapped in an enclosed space and forced to fight to the death, as the fates of their loved ones hangs in the balance, you probably went out of your way to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this past weekend. If you then walked out of the theater disappointed because it wasn’t nearly bloody and gritty and grown-up enough, then Raze may be the film for you.
Directed by Josh C. Waller, this action-horror stars Zoë Bell (Death Proof) and Rachel Nichols as two women who are abducted and wake to find themselves in a concrete bunker with 48 other women. They then realize that they must kill the others, because if they refuse to fight or lose, their families will suffer. Tracie Thoms, Doug Jones, Sherilyn Fenn, and Bruce Thomas also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, excluding Valentine’s Day starring every safe, boring white actor ever, that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview.
In 1986, a supernatural moto-fantasy about a murdered bro who returns via a phantasmic, black stealth race car to kill his killers was released on Earth and no one gave a shit. More than two decades later, The Wraith, though forever without a wet ‘stache lick from Peter Travers, is cult-minted for being memorable-enough ’80s-ploitation. Next month sees the release of a Special Edition DVD that adequately recognizes and explores the movie’s legacy and history with commentary courtesy director Mike Marvin and featurettes on the film’s semi-iconic Dodge racer and co-star Clint Howard (who, if not semi-iconic himself, sported a semi-iconic wig inspired by Eraserhead for the film).
Revisiting The Wraith, what’s interesting is how this derivative hybrid of genres and classic revenge films—Marvin references High Plains Drifter and The Road Warrior—remains sublimely adolescent but in an inherently cold and detached way. Stranger still is how this suits the film’s undead hero, vehicle, and hints of an afterlife with a decidedly mechanical bent. And before viewing the S.E. I had no idea a crew member died and many others were injured in a chase scene gone awry. One stunt coordinator recounts how a grip fell 60-feet down a rocky embankment and was only found knocked-out but okay hours later. Nor did I know (or need to) that a sunbathing scene with lead star Charlie Sheen as the titular, ghostly hero and co-star Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart) was shot on a “near-freezing” day. Hearing these stories, I wonder now if the troubles of the production didn’t contribute to the overall tone. And looking back at the film itself, which was released the same year as Top Gun, Ferris Bueller, and Blue Velvet, might The Wraith, however unintentionally, deserve to be called Lynchian?
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