Monday, April 22, 2013

Bonus CineFiles: Nobody Gets Out Alive! Snow Shark! The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies!

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.

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Nobody Gets Out Alive (Not Rated)
Image Entertainment

A man is so distraught over the death of his daughter due to a drunk driver that he becomes a clichéd backwoods maniac. Forget the fact that, only moments earlier, the dad and daughter were playing hopscotch on the highway. While this was kind of stupid set-up, it still could have led to a great revenge thriller. But, instead, director Jason Christopher decides that’s too much work and opts for the senseless mass slaughtering of a handful of horny teens that overuse the word “bro” via a sledgehammer to their DC-skate-wear cocked caps. As much as I like seeing that, I would also appreciate some sort of originality and panache to the proceedings, but Christopher has absolutely none to offer, making Nobody a no-win affair for even the most easy-to-please horror fans. Its lack of even trying just comes off like he had a couple of weekends to spare and just wanted to make something to build up his resume. Nobody gets anything out of this.

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Snow Shark (Not Rated)
Independent Entertainment

While watching one of those made-for-SyFy nature-gone-amok mash-ups, many things go through your mind. But most of all: Is it this bad on purpose? Is this meant to be ironic? Or are they really trying to create something here? There are no such questions while watching Snow Shark, a no-budget, homegrown attempt at the SyFy machine, featuring not-very-good actors running around some dude’s backyard while an cheesy CGI fin coasts through the snow, eating the good townsfolk one by one. There are no questions because, from the very first frame, it’s obvious that director Sam Qualiana and crew did this purely out of love for monster movies and they’re having a good time with it. It’s not some goofy basic-cable filler. They actually try to put a real, actually decent, story up on screen and while their limitations — both financially and talent-wise — might hinder them often, dammit, at least they’re having fun. And that makes me have fun.

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The Return of the Beverley Hillbillies (Not Rated)
MPI Home Video

With all this talk of economic depression, sequestration and energy dependence, wouldn’t it be nice to have some help to get this country back on track again? In 1981, America was facing most of the same problems, so, of course, television turned to those loveable one-percenters, the Clampetts, with the charming TV movie The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies. Therein, Miss Hathaway, now a U.S. government bigwig, employs the backwoods clan to solve the then-energy crisis by using deceased Granny’s moonshine as the fuel that will help rebuild the United States. Sure, Irene Ryan was dead and Jethro was played by a completely different actor, but the fun is there. It was definitely a relic of a less politically divisive time where even the goofiest of premises were instituted to make a weary country come together and laugh at our troubles. This is the type of thing we need now more than ever, but because we’re all so hyper-serious it’s probably never going to happen. But, at least, we have this to give us a few chuckles in the meantime.

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