Nothing gets my juices flowing like the fall. The best foods come out around this time; the best movies tend to be released around this time; and the weather gets nice and cool again around this time (but not SO cool as to be as miserable as winter). Yes, I am in my very best spiritual place come October -- or as I like to call it, "Shocktoberween."
And, friends, have I got extra special NEWS for you this month: I have found the woman of my dreams!
Indeed, located deep within the bowels of the web, there is a certain special someone -- a lady so nice, the world named her twice.
I'm talking about Obscurus Lupa.
I found her thanks to my pal, the Nostalgia Critic, about whom I've written before. See, the Nostalgia Critic, in addition to featuring his own film reviews at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com, also hosts videos from, like, OTHER people over there.
Well, I never really paid a whole lot of attention to any of them (hey, who has the time?)...UNTIL, that is, a couple of weeks ago, when the N.A. did a joint video with none other than Miss Obscura Lupa. They analyzed some Dennis Rodman action flick from the late 90s, and the result was friggin' hilarious. I mean, talk about chemistry!
But that wasn't enough for me. I was like, "I must know more about this strange woman who's invaded my weekly Nostalgia Critic video." So, I found Lupa's page, and thus unfolded two weeks or so of solid entertainment. Seriously -- this chick's video library is a goldmine of crappy movies. We're talking the kind of low-grade stuff I remember watching on HBO at three AM when I was about 12 or 13: direct-to-video slasher flicks and karate fests; fodder for Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater. I LOVE seeing these things again, and have been in Hog Heaven with Lupa's reviews.
And to think that a GIRL would be so into content of this nature. Damn you, Lupa! I probably have blown two gigs or so of my monthly bandwidth cap on perusing your 50 some-odd videos in recent weeks!!!
But that's OK, as it's clear I have finally found the partner for me. Friends, Obscurus Lupa (real name Allison...something) OBVIOUSLY should be my special lady friend. I knew it for certain when I saw her review of Zombie Nation (which was also reviewed by Yours Truly). I mean, who but the absolute greatest of women would actually sit through something that shitty, like I would???
What I'm saying here is that great minds think alike.
We shall marry. ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN. And there will be dancing, with flutes and trombones playing...and much rejoicing. And our children will start a family band that tours the countryside, as all is right with the wor--
Eh, who am I kidding?
Someone as cool as Obscurus Lupa would never want to be with me. I'm a nobody! A loser!! A sad shell of a man!!! I haven't got the big bucks, great looks, or clean criminal record that a dame of her caliber requires.
And she's probably a lesbian, anyway.
Sigh. Forget the whole thing....
But, STILL, I recommend checking out some of Lupa's videos. She's incredibly funny -- kinda like the Nostalgia Critic...only hotter, and into weirder stuff.
OH, and one more Shocktoberween link for you here today:
My old buddy, James Rolfe (aka the Angry Video Game Nerd), is currently ankle deep in his annual Monster Madness month of horror film reviews. Yup -- each October, James posts an in-depth video analysis of an awesome horror flick every single day, and I look forward to it all year long. We're talking really great and fascinating stuff over here!
This year, it seems that James is focusing on classic monster movies, covering a bunch of old Frankenstein films in the past week. That's just fine, as I love Frankenstein, and seeing great art revisited by someone who appreciates it even more than I do always lifts my spirits and gives me a healthy motivation booster.
Check it out!
ANYway, I suppose I'd better do my part to pollute the web with horror reviews, as well. So, today, I have for you folks a movie that comes from the mysterious and exotic land of England. It's the heart-warming tale of a traditional family, just trying to get by together in this crazy modern world. I think we can all relate.
Mum & Dad (2008)
After missing the last bus home, Polish immigrant Lena (Olga Fedori) accepts a ride with her cheerful co-worker Birdie (Ainsley Howard) -- only to find herself knocked unconscious and imprisoned by a deranged family of murderers in this twisted horror flick. Terrified and outnumbered, Lena must find a way to appease the demented clan -- or else suffer an agonizing death. Dido Miles and Perry Benson co-star as the sadistic heads of the household.
Mum & Dad is the charming story of Lena, a young, Polish immigrant to England who is taken in during her time of need by a middle class family that only wants to help out and make her feel loved.
...Of course, to THEM, "love" involves beatings and being hogtied to a furnace for days on end (with maybe the occasional whipping).
Yup, Mum & Dad is yet another torture porn flick, really about little more than a helpless pretty chick getting kidnapped and abused in a variety of horrible ways. Hey, we haven't seen anything like THIS before, now have we??? How original! How gripping!! How much PRAISE I have for this film!!!
Pfft. GOD, I am getting tired of all these torture pr0ns. Seriously, how many of these friggin' things are going to be crapped on us??? I mean, admittedly, the glut of, say, zombie movies that the horror industry created in recent years did become undeniably tedious after 4321456241 pictures or so, but at least zombies are FUN. You know -- a man can watch zombies kill people over and over and over again without it ever really bothering him because he knows, in a very conscious way, the whole time that they're just fictional monsters; but TORTURE PR0N??? -- It's a challenge in almost every case to be entertained. So, why are there suddenly so many? You'd THINK that only the most talented of filmmakers would explore this territory....
But, alas, that appears to not be the case, as some Tom, Dick, or Harry seems to pump out a torture pr0n movie every 14 seconds nowadays.
And Mum & Dad is just another one of them.
But, to give this thing a fair shake, let's quickly summarize its plot:
Lena the Polish refugee moves to London, gets a job at Heathrow Airport as a cleaning lady, and becomes friends with a spunky coworker named Birdie (who I found oddly cute for some reason). One night, when Lena misses her bus home, Birdie and her brother, Elbie, offer to let her stay over at their place. "Our parents won't mind," they assure her. "They're totally cool like that! Plus, our house is REAL cosy!!!"
So, Lena agrees to accompany Birdie and Elbie home, and GUESS WHAT??? -- Turns out their parents are absolute psychos who promptly restrain our heroine, beat the crap out of her, and lay down the law. "Basically," they tell her, "you're our new little girl. Now give Mum and Dad a big old kiss!"
Thus follows the standard learning period of such situations, as Lena gradually becomes accustomed to living in the prison that is Mum and Dad's house. She must obey them at all times; never talk back; and do all chores demanded of her...or else. Yeah, neither Mum nor Dad are ones to spare the rod, and I gotta give a little credit to our hapless Polish immigrant of a lead for coming to grips with that a bit faster than many other torture pr0n characters would.
...Or, DOES she???
Yeah, Lena has the smarts to put on the face of someone who simply accepts that she's now a prisoner FOREVAR; but behind that cool gaze, she's plotting her escape all of the time. For instance, at one point fairly early on, she tries to signal to a guy outside in the street that she needs help, but Dad catches her and quickly demonstrates for one and all how efficient he is in the art of murderization (killing the street guy). What a crazy, demented bastard he is!
Still, that don't matter in the end, as eventually, Lena outsmarts her captors by turning them against each other. See, Birdie, who was previously the LITTLE ANGEL of Mum and Dad who could do no wrong, has her trustworthiness thrown into question, as the gears in Lena's mind grind. After a little while of clever manipulation by our heroine, the family dynamic is sort of thrown on its head, making LENA the emotional puppet master, and she uses that to her advantage to make her ultimate escape. The end.
Look, the psychological games that take place between Lena, Birdie, and the parents make Mum & Dad SLIGHTLY more interesting than your average torture pr0n tripe, OK??? Also, I have to admit that this film IS very sleek-looking, with impressive visuals that add up to a very eery and claustrophobic atmosphere. The lighting in several scenes manages the difficult feat of being both ugly and beautiful at the same time, and there's no denying that this picture has a pretty talented and convincing cast. So, on a technical level, Mum & Dad is, at the end of the day, a cut above the rest in its genre. There. I said it.
HOWEVER, I would also like to point out that, when all is over and done with, there honestly isn't a whole lot TO SAY about this movie. I mean, sure -- it looks good and has one or two twists; but, fundamentally, it's just another kidnapped-girl-gets-abused story. Frankly, the only thing that REALLY grabbed me about Mum & Dad was the strong lower-middle class accent of all its characters. I don't know if it was Cockney (or whatever), but when someone talks like that, it always charms me. You English are hilarious!
Looking back, I am neither glad nor disappointed that I devoted 90 minutes of my life to Mum & Dad. It's a fairly ho-hum experience, just like most torture porns. I don't recommend reserving it for your Halloween night entertainment, but it's not a total waste of time, either.
2 out of 5.