Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

You’re in love with a weirdo. That makes you a weirdo by association.”- Ted Bundy(Efron) to Liz in a more light-hearted context.

Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile is the latest movie/documentary to tell the story of real-life serial Killer Ted Bundy, played here by former teen heart-throb Zac Efron. This incarnation draws inspiration from the memoir of Bundy’s once girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall, played by Lilly Collins.

The movie is quite good, buoyed by strong performances but does not completely avoid questionable decisions of focal points.

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The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)

My whole life has been decided by fate. I think something more powerful than we are decides our fates for us. I know one thing — I’ve never planned anything that ever happened to me“- the actual Sharon Tate.

Hillary Duff stars in The Haunting of Sharon Tate where she plays the title character Sharon Tate, the most famous victim of the Manson Family’s two massacres. The movie focuses on actress Sharon Tate and her friends as she is being plagued by visions of her imminent death, which is supposedly based off an actual premonition she had. The movie has been attacked by Sharon’s surviving sister Debra as exploitative and critically lambasted.

The movie doesn’t really deserve all the flack it’s been getting. It’s a perfectly fine and serviceable movie that I’d recommend seeing if you’re curious. Spoilers below the cut.

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Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

“Any attempt to trace the names behind Last House on Dead End Street will lead no further than the credits themselves, all obviously false.”- David Kerekes 1995.

Last House on Dead End Street is a notorious independent film directed by and starring Roger Watkins. Its notoriety is derived from the fact that it tells the story of an ex-con (Watkins) who starts making snuff films with a small crew. The film’s premise combined with the cast and crew waiting over two decades after the film’s release to come forward about it led to the urban legend that the murders depicted actually occurred.

This movie is not good but it’s not entirely the fault of the film-makers.

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Happy Death Day: 2U

“What exactly are you always looking for under that desk?”
-Tree on the approximately 20th repeat of that morning.

Happy Death Day: 2U is the sequel to 2016’s horror-comedy Happy Death Day. Both movies feature on Tree (Jessica Rothe), a college student who finds that she had become stuck in a time loop and keeps living the same day ad nasueam while there is a killer on the loose. This movie begins minutes before the end of the first movie. Most of the cast and crew of that first movie have returned for this movie

2U is a worthy sequel to the first movie that lives up to the promise of being something unique while maintaining the same tone. For best results in terms of the humor and Tree’s character beats, one should watch the original first.

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Blindfold Imbibe: This Stuff’ll… and The Gumball Rally.

Hello readers, It’s Tanner. I’ve decided to try something new. This column Blindfold Imbibe, heretoafter marked as BI, will be devoted to lesser-known titles I watch where I know little going in. The most I will typically know are the title and a one-sentence synopsis. For this inaugural entry of a sporadic column, I will be talking about This Stuff’ll Kill Ya and The Gumball Rally.

I apologize if the reviews seem spotty. I watched them either one month or two months ago without originally intending to review them. As such, my memory might fail me on the less notable parts.  Spoilers below the cut.

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Hell Fest

You came here to be scared, right? I can’t arrest people for doing their jobs.“- Security Guard

Six college-age friends decide to attend Hell Fest, a traveling carnival consisting of several haunted-houses and similar attractions. However, they soon find themselves being stalked and killed by a mysterious figure.

Hell Fest is a very enjoyable slasher movie. Spoilers and more below the cut.

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“I didn’t know her. I didn’t know my own daughter”- David Kim (John Cho)

Director Aneesh Chaganty’s new movie Searching is the latest in what some refer to as the Screenlife medium. In this framing, the entire movie is presented through a computer screen, in the vein of the two Unfriended movies (indeed, the three movies share a producer). This particular story is about David Kim (John Cho), a father searching for his daughter Margot (Michelle La) who has gone missing. Along the way, David has to come to terms with how much his daughter has kept from him.

This movie was fantastic. Spoilers and more below the cut

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The BlacKkKlansman

“Some men speak the Queen’s English. Some speak Jive. I’m fluent in both”– Ron Stallworth (paraphrased from memory)

Director Spike Lee’s latest picture tells the 1972-set story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) who becomes the first black police officer Colorado Springs has seen. Stallworth decides to lead an undercover investigation of the Ku Klux Klan, with a Jewish officer (Adam Driver) standing for Ron during the in-person portion of the infiltration. Meanwhile, Stallworth must also maintain a second facade around his love interest Patrice (Laura Harrier), the militant leader of a black student union he met while undercover at a Black Power event.

This is a great movie. One could devote plenty of digital ink to the political and cultural commentary of the movie and writers far more skilled and able to than I have and will. Although I will address some of that, this review will focus on the film as a movie.

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