I love October! This is my month. Crisp fall weather ushers in seasonal favorites like pumpkin spice bratwurst and hot apple cider. I proposed to my wife in October and our wedding took place the following year in October. My favorite month is also the flagship month for SCARY MOVIES and though I can claim my badge as a “Yearlong Horror Enthusiast,” it’s the month that the masses join in on one of my most cherished rituals. In years past, I’ve always looked forward to going to the cinema and seeing the newest offerings from my favorite franchises but the pandemic has left us at home with Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Thankfully, the streaming services have met our needs with some new blood for our televisions.
The Netflix original, Vampires vs. the Bronx presents a horror comedy with humor that lands somewhere between Return of the Living Dead and Slice. The film takes a look at gentrification, as a sinister investment group begins to buy up properties in The Bronx for the habitation of white vampires with canvas bags. With a lovable and heroic teenage trio and Hip Hop legend, Method Man cast as a priest, I really don’t know what else I should ask for. “Should” is the keyword in that last sentence. I would have loved to have heard at least one Wu-tang song in the soundtrack or perhaps (Meth’s) “Perfect World” serenading the ending credits. Heck, why not bring in The Grave Diggaz for this one? The truth is that if I nitpick the soundtrack, it’s only because I think the movie is good enough to deserve something better. Vampires vs. the Bronx is good for a few chuckles and has a handful of memorable scenes. I always like it when modern horror flicks pay homage to their predecessors as this film did with Blade and Salem’s Lot.
I was still riding high from Vampires vs. the Bronx when I decided to give Adam Sandler’s new Netflix original a shot. Then ‘Ernest scared stiff’ called and mentioned that he would like his style back. Hubie Halloween sucked so bad that I couldn’t make it past the first half-hour. While I was quick to praise Sandler for his performance in Uncut Gems and thought he was mildly funny in the generically titled, Murder Mystery (2019), I just don’t identify with this brand of comedy. It’s as if he constantly feels the need to make fun of speech impediments and fails to make me laugh at every corner. Hopefully, Netflix will have some better Horror offerings in the next week or so.
The most fruitful of my ventures this week was the unexpected team-up of Amazon and Blumhouse with a series of new stand-alone films entitled, Welcome to Blumhouse. I was thoroughly impressed with the first release under this moniker which was a Sci-Fi drama entitled Black Box. This film tackles psychological concepts like false memories and out-of-body experiences through a protagonist who is suffering from amnesia after a fatal car accident that took his wife. Black Box is thrilling and plays out like a Dean Koontz novel. The film showcases an excellent cast including Phylicia Rashad aka: Claire Huxtable from the Cosby show.
My favorite movie of the season so far was the 2nd Blumhouse picture, The Lie. There are too many feel-good movies this year and not enough feel bad films. The Lie will quench your thirst for a dreadful drama with a great twist. This story was crafted by the director and some cast from the AMC crime drama, The Killing and holds parallels with the unsettling and awesome thriller, We need to talk about Kevin. Set in the most beautiful and dreary Canadian winter, Kayla and her family find themselves in a trap where dishonesty seems to be the only way out. This flick is a remake of the German drama, Wir Monster. I think an appropriate title for this version would be, We need to talk about Kayla. This was my first binge of the month but stay tuned as I shift my priorities and make time for more Filmology.
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, while sometimes playfully singing and/or rapping, he juxtaposes his style with real-life situations and subject matter. With six full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released.