Sunday, January 6, 2019

Cloris Leachman needs a pool

Ahoy-hoy people of the world! Welcome to this week’s edition of Will Twerk for Horror Movies!

Do you remember, oh, about a week ago when I gave Felt a raspberry? You know, because it was such a crap movie? So…

Out of curiosity, I started reading some of the reviews that others have put for this movie. And…well…people liked this one, if you can believe it. It even won some awards. Rotten Tomatoes – the only critical source that I trust more than sixty percent of the time (That’s a lot for me, trust me) – even gave it a 63 percent rating.

So, what does that mean? Do I retract my earlier statement? Do I reconsider my own horror movie guru-like wisdom and rethink the whole gauge by which I base the watchability of the movies I enjoy on?

Yeah, I don’t think so. I never said my opinion was the end all, be all for all horror movies that you’ll ever see. Horror is pretty subjective when it comes down to it and I love debating your type of scary and comparing it to mine. I’m not elitist about it at all. Really, it’s all good...

Except for Felt. That still sucked.

Which leads me to this week’s movie:

The Fields starring Cloris Leachman, Tara Reid, Joshua Ormond, Faust Checho, Bev Appleton, Louis Morabito, Karen Ludwig, Brian Anthony Wilson, and Suzanne Inman.

So, I’m not really sure how to go about a synopsis for this movie. The movie’s kind of constructed like someone is telling you a story about what happened to them when they were a kid, but they keep forgetting parts and adding them in later.

Oh, yeah, and this is based off a true story, so, I don’t know. That might have been on purpose.

So, I’ll just sum up this time.

Steven(Ormond) is a little boy in 1973. He witnesses his father, Barry(Checho) pull a gun on his mother, Bonnie (Reid). His mother decides to leave Steven with his father’s parents Hiney(Appleton) and Gladys(Leachman). Gladys has a foul mouth and Hiney has his dogs. Some scary hippies come into town. There’s a cornfield that Steven keeps going into which leads to a lot of adults screaming his name.

The hippies terrorize their house, Steven’s dad drives into the cornfield and almost runs Steven over, they find the head hippy who’s hung himself. The end.

Yeah, there’s not much more than that plotwise. All the in-between stuff is stitched together in a sort of drunken patchwork quilt kind of storytelling. Steven likes to play with dinosaurs, grandma still calls black folks the n-word, Steven’s mother might be a lesbian and that’s why their breaking up – not sure about that one.

But, yeah, it’s a whole lot of fat that needs trimming before I can call it horror.

There were some high points however. For example, I really appreciated the way the film was shot. Everything was grainy and low-quality color like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre/The Hills Have Eyes kind of quality. It made everyone and everything look just a little more off kilter. For a second…a long second because there’s a lot of nothing that goes on in the movie, but for a second, I kind of thought of this movie like what the family in Texas Chainsaw Massacre must have done between massacres.

There was one part that looked like it might turn into something interesting. At a certain point, Gladys, Hiney and Steven go to visit Grace, Gladys’ sister. Grace is horribly deformed (Her face is twisted in a way that you can’t really understand anything she’s saying, but that’s okay! Gladys understands her) and her house is filthy. At one point she offers Steven a peanut butter cracker and gives him what looks like a loogie on a cracker.

Yeah, real nasty. Steven creeps around the house and finds three other family members in the basement chasing around a chicken for fun. Then they catch it and chop its head off. Apparently, this is normal. Steven’s grandfather pats him on the shoulder and tells him that it’s time to go without acknowledging any of the weirdness.

But nothing happens after that. And nothing really happens for most of the movie. All things considered, however, it wasn’t as bad as Felt was. I mean, the filming and direction were spot on – even though the acting was pretty bad and the plot was pretty bad. I still feel like the filmmakers did their best with what they had.

I still don’t know what Cloris Leachman was doing in this movie, though. She was probably the best thing about it. It was kind of like watching Meryl Streep in Snakes on a Plane.

So, for that reason, this one doesn’t get a full raspberry. Just a little one.

All right. For next week, we’re doing Found, the first movie I’ve encountered that the library felt the need to put a warning label on. I’m all a twitter. See you next week.


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