31 Days of Horror: The Signal

The horror genre is littered with low budget independent films. 90% of these movies are complete and utter crap. But every so often somebody comes along and makes a masterpiece. In this case it's actually three directors - David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry along with producer Alexander A. Motlagh who have managed to create a smart, effective and horrifying low budget movie.

The Signal was made for only $50,000 and shot over 13 days. This 2007 film is told in three chapters or transmissions. Each director takes a turn directing one of the chapters. Despite each chapter being told in a different genre: pure horror, black comedy and thriller-love story, the movie isn't all that disjointed. Everything flows together - it's one movie that you are watching instead of three short films.

The movie opens with a cheap looking horror movie - the kind that are prevalent for the low budget horror genre before the movie switches to the real film. The story is simple. On New Year's Eve there is a signal that is suddenly being broadcast on every TV, radio and telephone. And it's driving people crazy. Not just "What's that annoying noise?" crazy, but irrationally, murderously crazy. Within this is the story of a married woman who is having an affair. She is about to run away with her lover when the signal hits causing chaos everywhere. The film follows her journey along with her husband and her lover within each of the chapters.

Despite the low budget, the cinematography is amazing, the acting is brilliant and the gore effects are quite realistic. There's a scene involving a head in a vice grip that looks pretty authentic.

This is an amazing low budget film that deserves wider recognition.

Beatles Revisited

I hesitate to post this, but after what happened at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa Saturday night it seems our esteemed prime minister might have a shred of humanity in him after all. And no, I'm not referring to the cute kitty in the photo which he probably throttled, cooked and ate after the picture was taken. (YouTube)

Michael Moore: Jesus Was A Socialist

In a column posted this a.m., Michael Moore points out the contradictions between Christian values and American social and political reality:

I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what's left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother's and sister's keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you'd have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.

I guess that's bad news for us Americans. Here's how we define "Blessed Are the Poor": We now have the highest unemployment rate since 1983. There's a foreclosure filing once every 7.5 seconds. 14,000 people every day lose their health insurance.

Full thing here. (Huffington Post)

And Americans are concerned that there are so many atheists nowadays. Well guys, don't be surprised that the hypocrisy, stupidity, insanity and general viciousness of your nasty little fairy tales are offputting to those of us who value decency. But hey, give us a call when you finally get this "though shalt not kill" thing figured out.

Pick of the Day: The Cove

They call him Flipper! Flipper! Faster than lightning.
No-one you see, is smarter than he.

I don't know who wrote the classic theme song (YouTube) for the popular '60s TV show set in south Florida and starring a crime-fighting dolphin, but I have to call bullshit on him/her. While it's true that Flipper, with the help of the game warden and his two sons Sandy and Bud, did regularly manage to outwit crooks on the show; and while it's also true that dolphins do rank pretty high on the intelligence scale for animals; they're nowhere near as smart as humans.

No animal is. We boast by far the biggest intellects of any lifeform on Earth. Yet we still do stuff like what this documentary (which screens tonight at the RPL at 7 p.m.) condemns. Go fucking figure. Here's the trailer (YouTube)

And if you're in the mood for a doublebill, Food, Inc. plays at 9 p.m. (YouTube)