I love when no-prestige 1990’s studio flicks appear on Criterion Channel – here in a revisionist black-and-white version. Much better than I first thought, made by an ambitious artist who got caught in the Hollywood crap machine. The new coloring and the passage of time help you see “the movie that was in the movie.”
For not having seen this in 20 years, I recalled some scenes very well. Funny to watch a 4k restoration of a movie with so many SD-video elements (three long TV newscasts, Robo’s POV screen). Not so many people in the theater on a weeknight, which bodes well for tomorrow’s screening of The Conversation.
Since I’ve recently rewatched Peter Weller in Naked Lunch, it’s time to complete the trilogy and rewatch Screamers. Our other cop hero is Brian De Palma muse Nancy Allen, whose rocket attack on Ray Wise is a comic highlight. Robert DoQui of Coffy gets a good role as the sarge; other cops are incidental, disgruntled and trigger-happy.
As the invincible druglord crimewave baddies, That 70’s Dad and Laura Palmer’s Dad are joined by a Shawshank guard, a Greatest American Hero regular, and a doctor in The Day After.
At the Company that controls the cops, RoboCop project lead Miguel Ferrer is killed by corrupt ED-209 project lead Ronny Cox (he’d play another evil authority figure in Total Recall), who is fired to death by bossman Dan O’Herlihy (Twin Peaks sawmill owner who dies twice).
Casey is eating string cheese in the opening scene, says she’s taking the World’s Fair Challenge. Repeats the words, stabs herself with a pin, then hits play on a video which based on the reflections on her face appears to be the end of Lux Aeterna. Alex G music and Albert Birney video game animation. Abandoned strip mall aesthetic when she goes outside. Multiple creepypasta and Paranormal Activity references. “I love horror movies and I thought it might be cool to try actually living in one.” She’s using Photo Booth app for video recording, I don’t think that’s a thing? Sleep?walks to the shed and admires daddy’s rifle, then watches ASMR videos. Commenter JLB sends her a laughing-clown twisted picture of herself, claims to be “nobody” just wants to help her. We soon see JLB, a bald Tim Roth-ish guy. Then a cheap cinematic adaptation of the same story as an autoplay video. I like that she’s going through all this and her channel videos only have 50 views… but what is she even going through? And what does JLB know, or is trying to help her from? She makes a response video addressed to him, a tarot card reading accusing him of being pathetic. Problem with found footage films is that in seeking authenticity, your movie looks very bad. 70 minutes in the major event that’s happened as a result of her Challenge is that she’s torn up her favorite stuffed animal then cried about it – or maybe this was normal sleep deprivation / moody teen / youtube overdose behavior. “They’re just videos” JLB: Casey… “That’s not even my name” She calls him a pedophile and hangs up. A year later she contacted him and they met up in NY. After Saint Maud this is my second movie of the month that hints at horror but ain’t horror.
“What is a troll?”
Cyberbullies get murdered by ghost of their victim, five stars. Much of the terror here is in degraded video and waiting for sites to load. Unfortunately when I think of this movie, instead of the cool stuff like the one guy’s suicide by blender, I keep lingering on the last two seconds, which unwisely leave the desktop and show us the ghost. But movie also had positive outcomes, getting me to put the post-it note over my laptop camera again. Fun how the movie sets up Blaire, whose desktop we’re in, as a friend, paints her as a victim, then as her friends turn against each other and die, it’s revealed that she’s just as bad, and finally worse.
Blender boy is Terri from the movie Terri, and two of the girls are TV stars. The director is from Georgia (the country) and his followup was an “animated documentary” about a painter/puppeteer. The writer worked on the Sleepy Hollow series, and the gaggle of producers are the only ones who returned for the sequel.
How did Karl Krumpet’s 25-second vacation video get eleven million views??