Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Body Horror


During the summers, I work at a summer camp for kids between 5 and 10 years old. A couple years ago, I was on the playground with the kids watching them attempt to play basketball when one of them fell. He didn't get up on his own. When I helped him up, his left forearm looked like a boomerang. Like, I'm not even joking. He's crying, I'm using every bit of strength I can muster to A) cry myself B) not pass out from looking at this thing or C) look at the kid and say, "Dude, yo' shit's f***ed up." I sat with him and comforted him until he was in more capable hands than mine and everything worked out. The kid is totally fine, now, but that day was a rough one.

It's not much of a lead-in, but that's all I got right now because, dammit, it's late 'round these parts and I'm tired. If it wasn't obvious, the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, as chosen by our host, Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, is body horror. For those unfamiliar...or just too queasy for to even know what that is, it's horror based on some very nasty things happening to/being done to the human body. Lots of nasty ways for me to go with this one. Let's see what I came up with.


Teeth
(2007)
The body in question belongs to Dawn (Jess Weixler), a high school girl who is also a devout Christian and has pledged to remain a virgin until she gets married. She even refuses to masturbate. Of course, fleshly desires soon flare up and her assertion is heavily challenged. However, there's an even bigger obstacle to her sex life than her faith. In the most fortunate/unfortunate way imaginable, Dawn discovers that her vagina has teeth. And they're rather protective of her virtue. Needless to say, things don't go so good for her would-be suitors. It's a disturbing, yet somehow empowering, and morbidly comic affair. And yeah, the doc in the pic is about to have a big problem. (My full review)


American Mary
(2012)
Mary (Katharine Isabelle) is a gifted medical student with some serious money woes. Naturally, she decides to try her hand at stripping. However, before she removes one stitch of clothing she's called into action and has to patch up one the club-owners lackeys. This helps her find her calling and we watch her develop into a body-modification artist, specializing in the extreme. And since practice makes perfect, she keeps one of her old instructors chained up to use as a guinea pig. There are lots of disturbing things going on here, all with a surprisingly healthy dose of relevant social commentary to boot. (My full review)


Starry Eyes
(2014)
Like lots of other girls who move to Hollywood and take waitressing jobs, Sarah (Alex Essoe) will do anything to become a big star. That mantra is pushed well beyond its limits once she finds out she's in the running for the lead part in a horror flick, ironically enough. We then watch Sarah deteriorate, physically and mentally, as she puts herself and her friends through the wringer. It's a cautionary tale to wannabe starlets everywhere, and a fine film, to boot. (My full review)



24 comments:

  1. I haven't seen any of these but they sound interesting. I read about Teeth somewhere in the past so I was already considering to watch it. I'll add the others to my list too.

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    1. Teeth is definitely worth a look. Looking forward to your thoughts on it.

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  2. YAY someone else chose Teeth! A true underseen gem of a film. I've been singing its praises since it came out and get so excited whenever Jess Weixler shows up in anything (although she hasn't gotten a part as good as this since).

    American Mary sounds so intriguing but I don't know if I could survive it given how squeamish I can get.

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    1. Happy to see the love for Teeth. Yeah, American Mary might not be for you.

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  3. I need to see both Teeth and American Mary.

    I loved Starry Eyes. About an hour of effective slow burn, about 30 minutes of full-on horror. Great ending!

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    1. Yes, you do!

      Very true about Starry Eyes.

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  4. I've seen two of these mentioned already today but haven't seen any of them...and honestly never will. They all have intriguing concepts I guess if body horror is your thing but it most definitely isn't mine.

    With that said this was a rough and tough week for me to scratch up three only accomplished by including a film that I hated so very much.

    Altered States (1980)-Ken Russell directed head trip about a college professor (William Hurt) who uses ancient tribal halogenics and an isolation tank to achieve another level of consciousness eventually devolving to a primordial ooze of energy as his colleagues and estranged wife (Blair Brown) fight to restrain him from destroying himself. Screen bow for both Hurt and Drew Barrymore as one of his daughters.

    Society (1989)-Bottom of the barrel sludge about a teenage boy (Billy Warlock) who senses that he’s different from the rest of his family who mix with a certain level of society while he is more of an everyday kind of guy. After several disturbing incidents he discovers the truth which is revealed in revolting fashion. Terrible junk.

    The Fly (1958)-Inventor Andre Delambre (David Hedison) is experimenting with his teleportation device, first with inanimate objects which he’s successful with and eventually animals where he runs into problems. Working on the glitches he decides to try the machine out on himself….but unbeknownst to him a fly gets in before he hits the switch and a melding occurs and he becomes THE FLY!! A big drive-in hit on release this isn’t as technically savvy as the 80’s remake but fun on its own merits and hey it’s got Vincent Price in the cast, always a plus.

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    1. I've only seen The Fly which is a fun 50s sci-fi, but yeah, I much prefer the remake. I still need to see Altered States.

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  5. I have not seen any of these and doubt I will. Teeth on the vagina?? I wonder if she had any fingers left by the end of the film.

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  6. Teeth is a great pick and we matched with starry eyes! I need to see American Mary, that sounds intriguing.

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  7. Teeth is a film I want to see all because of the premise itself. I had it in my previous DVR hard drive but that's gone now. I'll have to wait for it soon. Ah, it's the perfect reason to use the NIN song "With Teeth" for that film.

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    1. The premise is insane and the film delivers on it. Hope you can track it down, soon.

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  8. Teeth! Of course!! Its insane but I kinda like it. She goes crazy about it then uses the teeth for revenge! Love it. Although the ending still freaks me out.

    The other two sound cool but too much gore for me

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    1. Both are very interesting, if you can work yourself up to them.

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  9. I've seen both Starry Eyes and American Mary, the former of which is creepy, disturbing stuff. Never seen Teeth, seems interesting.

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    1. It's very interesting. I'm highly recommending it.

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  10. :O!!! No Cronenberg??

    Will have to add the first two to my list. Though Starry Eyes is a FANTASTIC choice

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    1. I was really close to picking Videodrome, but I figured others would. I was right.

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  11. I've seen two out of three of these flicks. (I haven't seen Teeth.) American Mary was a bit much for me. LOL! But it was well done, from what I can recall, and in light of the stories filling the news recently, the angle dealing with sexual exploitation of women seems oddly relevant. :-(

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    1. It's saddening how relevant American Mary. However, for me it was less about the sexual exploitation of women than about the unhealthy nature of women relentlessly trying to achieve an impossible standard of beauty. Of course, you can argue they're the same thing, or at least very closely related, so I wouldn't really argue the point.

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  12. Teeth is the only one I've heard of and possibly the only one I can watch. The other two sounds way too creepy and disturbing.

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    1. They're definitely not for the squeamish.

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