Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Eat, Brains, Love (2019, Rodman Flender)

The movie Eat, Brains, Love reminds me that I never bothered to watch Eat, Pray, Love. I’m not a big Julia Roberts fan, sorry not sorry folks. However Eat Brains Love is a pretty decent zombie rom-com that has a good amount of gore and bloodshed, so this movie is not for those who don’t want to view zombie violence that is typical of such movies. The cast is young and likable so that’s a plus, and they help out with some of the thinner material. Plus the flick does start a bit slow and the ending is a tad abrupt-perhaps a sequel is on the horizon? I would view a sequel if Rodman Flender does make one, even if sequels usually offer diminishing returns.

Jake and Amanda are two people who are polar opposites that become infected with a zombie virus passed on by sex which leaves the person hungry a lot. Those who catch it only become zombies at certain points due to feeling extreme emotions, although the movie doesn’t really explain that very well in my opinion. They are pursued by a creepy government agency which employs a psychic named Cass, who ends up falling for Jake and starting this weird love triangle between the three people. Jake Cannavale is funny and likable as the male lead, and Angelique Rivera is actually pretty funny as Amanda. Sarah Yarkin is good as Cass and is very relatable, however there are times when I felt that she was acting in a different, more quirky movie than this one.

Apparently this was adapted from a book that I have not read, and I wonder if the filmmakers made any changes or not. The zombie vigilante bits are darkly humorous to me, and I’m surprised that no one to my knowledge thought of that before. While not as good as I was hoping it would be, I still can recommend Eat, Brains, Love, although I will admit I’m a huge fan of the zombie genre and thus was prone to enjoying this type of film, anyways. I’m also amused at those who insist horror comedies can’t be good or a thing in movies when there are so many great and good ones.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Raw (2016, Julia Ducournau)

Although I have viewed different types of cannibal movies before, a lot of them sure were not the same as Raw, aka Grave, a French 2010s horror movie. I’ll spare you the biting puns and other taste jokes and note that this movie is still not for the faint of heart, and this is coming from someone who watches way too many horror movies. Julia Ducournau also fashions a haunting coming of age tale about womanhood and the desperate search to find ones’ self in college. I remember college and that’s hard enough for a man and very difficult for a young woman, I’m sure. Garance Marillier is fantastic as Justine, the movie’s central character.

Perhaps vet school wasn’t the best place for Justine to end up at, and things continue to spiral out of control when she meets up with her sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), who is older and more wild than Justine. Adrien (Rabah Naït Oufella) is the film’s male character who befriends Justine in more ways than one instead of running the other way. There is an arm biting scene that will probably make the squeamish groan in disgust, and several other scenes that even made me sit up and notice. I really want to view this movie again, and it deserves a longer review than I’m willing to pen at this time. Check it out as it’s one of the more stark and unforgettable horror movies of the 2010s. I have no idea if it is still on Netflix, and I always am down for more foreign cinema.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Tigers Are Not Afraid (2019, Issa López)

The 2019 horror drama Tigers Are Not Afraid was depressing and well made. Equal parts Guillermo del Toro and Stand By Me with cartel members, the group of kids in this film know they’re all on their own and they act like it throughout the movie. Pursed by a ruthless enemy, one of their members is haunted by ghosts and sees an animated tiger roaming the neighborhood.

Magical realism meets ghost story meets crime drama here, and this film does not hesitate from showing life on the harsh streets. Although the film’s pacing is slow at times there are multiple suspenseful moments and the conclusion is quite violent. I might be thinking about this movie for a while and how it managed to combine politics with horror and sorrow. Those poor kids never had a chance.

2014 Horrorfest Presents: Big Ass Spider (2013, Mike Mendez)

Despite being rather low budget and feeling as if it was a SyFy movie of the week Big Ass Spider is pure, dumb entertainment that had plenty of good moments to offset the noticeably poor acting and cheap special effects.  Greg Grunberg’s Alex and Lombardo Boyar’s José have great chemistry together and are one of the reasons why this film even works in the first place, multiple homages to classic gigantic killer insect movies aside. And it does always help to have Ray Wise, who doesn’t seem to mind that he’s in a movie where the characters have the look and feel of people reacting to a clearly CGI-ed monster rampaging through some city. Naturally it’s Los Angeles, which has seen it’s fair share of being destroyed in countless movies over the past century, and will probably be continued to destroyed long into this century and into the next. Hopefully for the people who live there an actual natural disaster never happens again, yet I highly doubt it will be gigantic killer mutant spiders. No, those are more likely to strike the Midwest….crap….

The story here is kind of flimsy and the dialogue isn’t the best, yet I laughed at a lot of the one liners and I was never bored, which is a good thing. What amuses me about giant killer bug movies is how ridiculous they are, and the best ones seem to embrace the outrageous elements of such a concept. Although it’s not a great film by any means I still liked Big Ass Spider, and I wouldn’t mind if they made a sequel where hapless Alex and Jose continue to battle the super insect creatures that threaten mankind. I’m surprised that more movies don’t exist where an exterminator has to defeat a huge bug-after all, they deal with the little ones on a regular basis. 

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