Guts and Grog Tooned Up

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: The Films

Another year passed. Every year I think it is going to be a weak year, then at the end I start listing all my favorites and can't believe how many I have loved. You would think I would figure this out, but not so much. In fact you can probably go back over the last few years lists, and I have a similar intro to every one. The human brain is a funny thing, mine is funnier. 

My initial list was over fifty titles. Cutting out some of them was quite painful. It just comes with the territory. Twenty five is a ridiculous enough list, I wasn't going to make it any longer.

To get it out of the way. These are a favorites list, not arranged by quality, or importance. That is up to you to decide. I have never claimed to be a critic. I am a lover of celluloid, A drunk asshole with an addiction to all things movies. I spend insane hours in theaters, at home glued to one of my many screens, or with my face in a book, most likely about films. 

This is also, like past years, not exclusive to horror. I tend to mostly incorporate horror around here, but when it comes to the year end, I like to take on all of cinema.

I also have to mention, that there are still plenty of films I have yet to see that may have changed this list. Some have only been available at festivals I wasn't able to attend, while some have laziness/procrastination as the culprit. As much as I love the cinema, I work graveyard hours, so sometimes it is a challenge to make it to all of the films released. I do my best. I am mainly missing some of the big Oscar buzz films. I will make sure to see them by awards season, but for now. I bring you my year in film. 

Asylum is not for everyone.  I know the shark gimmick is getting out of hand, but occasionally something comes along that is just so badass that you have to drop all of your reservations and just let it fuck you, hard and good. That is what Sharknado did for me. I waited anxiously for it to hit prime time. It finally did, and Mortician Matt and I ate a special cookie and lost our shit. Tara Reid has become one of my favorite batshit insane people. Ever since she started hanging out with Uwe Boll, she has become pretty awesome. Did anyone see her appearance on Shark Week? Holy shit. Priceless. 

25. Tie

I had such a blast with the first Birdemic. Saw it multiple times, with and without Rifftrax. When I saw the first teaser for the sequel, I shit, not too much, but enough. Jump ahead and I was at Crypticon hustling some Grog merch, the cast of Birdemic was there showing part two. I unfortunately missed the screening at that time, but as soon as I got home I rented that shit on demand and lost all the shit. Sure, the first one was magic, while this was planned to be a shit fest. It was still a lot of fun and has brought me much enjoyment this last year.

My mom is actually the one who brought this to my attention. She had heard about it on the radio. I initially was intrigued as I saw the cast, and how full of win it was. I then watched the trailer and knew I had to see it. Just a fun movie. They definitely did a great job making you beleive it was a musical of the fifties, but full of aliens, singing, dance, and horror. 


I don't usually include short films on my list, but I was just too excited to have a new Van Bebber. The grittiness and gore are two of many reasons I have been a fan of this dude for a while. Word on the street is that it is becoming a full length. I hope so. Definitely has potential to become a classic, hell as a short it became one of my favorites of the year.


Like most sane people, I have never really been a fan of Sandra Bullock. That however, was never going to stop me from seeing a movie that looked this beautiful. I opened up my mind and got lost in space with two of Hollywood's biggest stars.The feeling of emptiness and dread is pretty strong in this beast. I instantly was engulfed in the world created. Did it add anything having such superstars? Outside of getting noticed, probably not, but I promise you, it didn't hurt it. 


Found footage has become as much of a dirty word as remake in the film world. Like anything, once something works, everyone and their inbred cousin tries to recreate it. Sure most turn out like shit, but it is inevitable that a few will slip though with their integrity and awesome intact. This is one of those. Set up as a live broadcast from 1987, this will have any nostalgic horror nerd feel some things in their pants that may confuse them. 


Another found footage film makes it on my list. Who knew? This time Bobcat Goldthwait is behind the directors chair. I saw this with Bobcat in attendance. He of course was hilarious, and had some interesting shit to say, but mostly the movie spoke for itself. It was funny as hell, but managed to be tense and creepy when needed. Don't look into this too much, just check it when you get the chance. 


The acting, the tension, the lack of music, the bond these friends have is definitely what made this movie work so well. Best if left unsure of much when entering a viewing, so that is all I will say. Definitely an achievement in the genre.


I actually enjoy Michael Bay films, sure they are mostly explosion porn, but they entertain me. Sometimes that is all I want. Pain & Gain however, is a very different beast for Bay. Sure it has plenty of action, but it is mostly a dark comedy full of despicable characters. The cast is all around great, and The Rock's love of Styper kills me. Best use of Stryper in a movie since Night of the Creeps. 


I really had no interest in seeing this. I am not usually a fan of the big budget possession/haunting films. I also have never really been a big fan of Saw, not saying James Wan hasn't made some solid films, just not my favorite by any means. One night I decided, why not? So I popped this bitch in and instantly was sucked into this world. Everyone in it plays their part so well. It is shot fucking beautiful, and is as close to "scary" as a film can be for me these days. Not perfection by any means, but goddamn is it a lot of fun that leaves you wanting more. 


Kept hearing some pretty amazing things about this. Wasn't able to check it until it finally dropped on DVD. Blurring the lines between reality and drug infused insanity, this is one of the most unique films of the year. Like many great films, best to know very little beforehand. 


Full of some of today's funniest comedians, as well as a slew of cameos. It has been a long time since I have laughed as hard as I did while watching this. Love the satirical take on everyone, and the surprises are endless. Definitely the best comedy in a long time. 


I have always been a true crime junkie. I was very familiar with the case of Richard Kuklinski beforehand, but when I saw Michael Shannon was portraying him, I knew I had to seek this out. The entire cast is great, but Shannon steals the show. I was excited to see Winona Rider back in a starring role. It has been a minute.


Another one that seems to be mostly disliked. I am not sure if people just wanted another Drive, but for this movie slayed me. So brutal and beautiful. More reminiscent of Valhalla Rising, which is my favorite of the Winding Refn films. 


Malick is definitely one of my favorite directors. This one skipped my radar until I noticed it for rent. Maybe not quite as epic as Tree of Life, but a solid follow up. Looks like he has three more films in development. For a man that usually makes a movie every ten years, he is sure shitting them out. I will be here to roll around in them as long as he allows. 


Chan-wook Park makes his English language debut with this nasty piece of beauty. Such a beautiful, but uncomfortable film. Excited to see where he goes next.


I am not a hater of remakes. I am however leery most of the time. I actually haven't seen the original Mexican film. I always meant to, it just kept escaping me. Normally I wouldn't want to watch the remake without seeing the original, but I love Jim Mickle too much to not check this. As with his last couple films Stake Land, and Mulberry Street, this was amazing. So pretty, bleak, and disturbing. This guy is quickly becoming one of my favorite modern horror directors. 


Brilliant home invasion flick. Brutal and unique for such an overused genre. Love Wingard these days. 


Been wanting to check this for a while. I loved Kill List, even if it was just a cult version of A Serbian Film. Wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but in the end I laughed my ass off, and kind of hated myself all at the same time. That means it did its job. Looks like Wheatley already has another one out. Keep 'em coming sir. 


Not really sure how or why this made it on my list, or how it made it so high. I like Snyder, but have never really been a huge Superman fan. I also am pretty picky on superhero films. Some are fun, but only a few have I loved over the years. Anyways, I put this on and was blown away. It looks like a Malick film, Superman actually does things instead of being a whiny goodie goodie. He causes so much ruckus and destruction, and it is definitely one of the most beautiful films of the year. 


This popped on my radar after a bit of buzz on the net. I ordered a watch and instantly saw why everyone was raving. A zombie film, that has so little to do with zombies. Don't look into it, just get online and rent it. It is like five bucks on their site. Worth that five times over. 


I have been in love with Mike Mendez's work since I first rented Real Killers off the shelf back in the day. While not insanely prolific, he has yet to disappoint me. On top of that, all of his films have been so different. This one is his take on a giant creature movie. It is fun from start to finish. While I am unashamedly a fan of shitty creature films, for example any Asylum film, this is not one of those. This is a great film that you actually enjoy, not just fun, but well made taboot. 


A solid follow up for the Soska sisters. I enjoyed Dead Hooker in a Trunk, but I loved this. Katharine Issabelle steals the show. Unique and full of great gore and body mods, as well as the sexiest Betty Boop looking lady ever. 


I feel dirty. I never anticipated liking this as much as I ended up. 1980's Maniac is one of my all time favorites. So sleazy and amazing. Elijah Wood? Didn't see that coming. They did this right. They made it their own. Not trying to have Frodo try and recreate Spinell, but making the character completely his own. The music is so fucking good, the gore flows a plenty, and there is just the right amount of homage, without shoving it in you like a painal video. 


Brandon Cronenberg is definitely his fathers son. You see that within seconds of this opening. With that said, he is still his own entity. I don't even know where to begin. This blew me out of the water. Such an interesting idea that is only outdone by its execution.

1. Tie

Korine splits people right down the middle. Many live by him, many detest him. This film seems to even separate Korine fans. Satirical, hilarious, and beautiful. The stunt casting worked this time, and Franco in the role of his lifetime. 

1. Tie

Zombie, another filmmaker who definitely splits people right down the middle. This is a very different film for him. Much more of a European feel than his normal trashy American portraits. The visuals in this are mind bending, and the entire cast kills it. You have already decided what you think, and that is fine, but for me this along with Spring Breakers were by far my favorite films of the year. I couldn't decide between the two, but knew they would both be at the top. The sheer amount of times I watched these two films would  battle the other twenty five on the list.

Another year has come and gone. Some amazing, some garbage, as to be expected. There were plenty I wish I had room for on this list. When I was cutting it down to twenty five(27 technically), it was painful. I mean I cut things like The Worlds End, and Under the Bed. Many, many more were great efforts this year, and of course the batch I have yet to see wasn't included in the running. Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out all the other year end list goodness we have for you.

Thanks for reading. 

- Tromeric


Maynard Morrissey said...

Awesome list! Love to see some more love for Lords Of Salem which really blew me away.

Also, Antiviral, Big Ass Spider, Stoker and especially the uber-hilarious Pain & Gain... yes, 2013 kicked ass :D

Guts and Grog Reviews said...

It was a great year for sure. Thanks for reading dude.