Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Vicious Fun (2020, Cody Calahan)

This is a very meta film in some ways, which is fine. Vicious Fun channels the 1980s in a good way, and has a fairly solid premise: a self help group for serial killers. Which the movie’s hero, Joel (Evan Marsh) stumbles into at a restaurant while very drunk. Lucky for him Carrie (Amber Goldfarb) is around to help him out in a badass final girl way. David Koechner is the only actor I knew in this movie and he’s pretty funny, as usual.

Each of the serial killers are based on film and real life ones, yet it is Ari Millen as Bob who steals the movie. He’s a mix of Patrick Bateman, Ted Bundy and a literal chameleon. I enjoyed that Vicious Fun was not afraid to show blood or gore, yet doesn’t utterly depend on those elements to be highly entertaining. Also Marsh and Goldfarb are quite funny together, and yet the movie wisely doesn’t try to set them up as a couple.

I did think the movie worn a bit thin by the final act and there was an obvious set up for a potential sequel. Regardless Vicious Fun is a blast and is one of those slasher movies that would be great to show at a drive in theater. I think my favorite part is the killer taxi cab driver idea, just because The Bone Collector ran with it in the late 1990s.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015, Christopher B. Landon)

Ah the Scouting life. I am an Eagle Scout, something that depending on the people you talk to is either something cool, or something really dorky. I enjoyed my time in the Scouts fully, and I made some good friends along the way. Despite this movie being cheesy, way too focused on gore at times, and rather outrageous, I still liked its spirit and its heart. Also this film centered on a trio of friends, and these three guys help add to the film’s strong comedy elements, which outweigh most of its horror elements. I am also very heavily biased towards the zombie genre, and therefore am prone to liking many of the ones I watch every year. Ben, Augie, and Carter are a bunch of goofy Scout members who have been Scouting for years. Naturally two of them are thinking quitting (not really hard to figure out which ones), and they cannot bring themselves to tell the one who is very happy with the status quo. Having been young once upon a time its easy to identify with all three teenagers, and so even without the zombies this film has plenty on its plate already.

Oh and having David Koechner as their Scout leader is a great touch, especially since he kind of reminds me of past Scout leaders. What happens to him is both crazy and funny in a horrible sort of a way, and this humorous part along with the cause of the zombie outbreak sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Tye Sheridan as Ben proves to be a solid leading man for the film, and I actually liked that the young people in this movie, save for a few, actually look like they are in high school. Well that and also the main problem in many zombie movies: the military showing up, freaking out, and deciding that bombing the area is the solution. Also that having Scouts to defend you is a good thing, since they know how to build weapons and other things. This could be a new favorite of mine, and is recommended as a fun time at the movies. Sometimes fun is a good thing.

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