Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Ava’s Possessions, or: How to Lose Fiends and Alienate People

This week continues the B horror movie trend, but we shake things up slightly by switching from creatures to possessions.  Next week we shake things up even more when Christa and I are ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC.

The Film:

Ava’s Possessions

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

A woman tries to get her life back on track as she recovers from a demonic possession.

The Uncondensed Version:

We first meet Ava shortly after a demon leaves her; she has spent the past month doing violent, depraved, awful things with no memory of them.

The film sets up demonic possession as sort of a form of drug addiction in the way it damages its victims and hurts the people around them.  As with a newly sober addict, Ava’s family and friends don’t understand her well and even cast a bit of blame her way for getting possessed I the first place.  They try to understand what it was like for Ava, but end up asking really insensitive questions like “What are you going to do about picking up the pieces of your life?”

A woman sits in a chair holding her hand to her forehead. Two martinis stand on the table in front of her.
The face I make too when someone asks what I’m doing with my life.

Additional complications:  Ava is facing major charges that could come along with serious prison time.  The only alternative is to go through the Spirit Possession Anonymous program and agree to stick to it.  Through SPA, Ava is able to share the name of her demon and learn about all of the crimes she committed, men she slept with, and ears she chewed.  We also discover the demon was always accompanied by a drum so, understandably, drums are something of a trigger for Ava.

Somewhat counterintuitively, the SPA method prepares its participants to be possessed again when equipped with the resources to expel their demons.  This seems to be accomplished mostly by making funny faces in the mirror, beating the shit out of dummies, fighting with dolls, and popping balloons.  It looks like possibly the most fun form of rehab ever.

a man with a serious expression stands amid a group of people holding mirrors to their faces
I’ve already mastered this step of the SPA program…

Things are going pretty well for Ava, all things considered, until she takes a sudden downward spiral and loses faith in the SPA program.  In a decision she regrets almost immediately, Ava helps her friend perform a black magic ritual during which she’ll be possessed.  I’ll be honest and tell you I wasn’t paying the most attention ever to this part of the film because I suddenly felt really sleepy but wanted to power through it and keep watching.

two women wearing dark robes sit in a magic circle on a rooftop
Even witchcraft looks delightful in this film.  But I’d probably say that regardless.

So anyway…this is majorly against the principles of SPA, which I should think goes without saying.  Ava is kicked out and now must seek help elsewhere or face prison.

Before she can leave, though, Ava realizes someone is trying to kill her.  I think you’ll know almost immediately who it is based on general shadiness, but lest I ruin the surprise for you, I’ll stop right here.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I really enjoyed watching this and am happy to say it was a completely new take on the possession story for me.  It reminded me a bit of Fido, the alternate history zombie rom-com, in its blending of genres, realistic approach to extraordinary happenings, and really quite fun approach to horror.

That being said, the film is a bit uneven as the latter half becomes sort of a gritty film noir, which is a jarring transition.  Or possibly I just have a pitch black sense of humor as I found the beginning of the film quite funny in the way it subverted expectations and drew the parallels between being a recovering addict and victim of demonic possession.

Also the love interest was so boring I didn’t even mention him or care about at all.  But that’s true with most men, isn’t it?

Did this film make Christa embrace her inner demon or would she rather expel it from her memory?  Find out by reading her review here!

a three-headed shark swims in the ocean
Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

3-Headed Shark Attack, or: Pollution Did It

I really missed B movies.  This week we’ve got mutant sharks, pollution, underwater research labs, and Danny Trejo.  Largely picked because of Danny Trejo and some guy who spells “Jaason” with a double a, as well as Christa’s evil influence (obviously).

The Film:

 3-Headed Shark Attack

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

I…I really feel the title tells you everything you need to know about this one.

The Uncondensed Version:

It’s a movie about a shark attack, so obv open scene on a bunch of drunk college kids partying on the beach.  Not even 2 minutes in and there are boobs, so I hope you’re comfortable with looking at boobs.

Actually, this is a very boob-centric film as the first tragedy happens because 2 dudes make a bet with a girl to get her to take her top off.  We only get a glimpse of this woman without her bikini top as she becomes the titular 3-headed shark’s first victim in a rather unconvincing display of special effects.  It should be noted that though the shark is aquatic, it can become a land shark in extreme circumstances.

a three-headed shark devours three humans on a beach

Meanwhile, in an underwater laboratory…but seriously.  There’s basically an entire office building underwater that serves as a base for a group of marine biologists, one of whom conveniently wears only a thong under her wetsuit.

The new intern, Maggie arrives, and it transpires she and one of her colleagues, Greg, used to date in college.  Everyone just sort of stands around uncomfortably while Greg tells Maggie how great she looks.  Okay, but even on underwater research labs there must be some semblance of professionalism, right?

You know this film is about to combine heart-stopping action with environmentalism when alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll of the scientists start talking about 1 in 5 specimens having horrible pollutant-induced mutations.  Even though they are inside of a giant underwater research lab the whole time.  I question how environmentally responsible such a structure is.

a group of men and women stand in a science lab that includes aquarium tanks, test tubes, and specimens in liquid

Apparently these fish are the canary in the coal mine as they can sense when the 3-headed shark is approaching, which tips off the scientists that something is majorly wrong.

Our main crew is able to escape, but of course there’s that one douchebag who just insists on getting a closer look at what he believes is a whale.  WORST MARINE BIOLOGIST EVER.  After snacking on the scientist, the shark takes a Godzilla turn and begins destroying the underwater research lab.

After getting their first good glimpse at the shark, the lead scientist exclaims, “I’ve never heard of a giant 3 headed shark either, but I guess all bets are off at this point!”  Most of the dialogue is pretty much on that level.

Bad news:  the crew is now stranded on a flooding island with no means of escape.  And no one knows where the hell the Coast Guard is in this.  Eaten by 3-headed shark???

The crew is forced to make a daring swim to the scientists’ boat, which only a few will survive.  If at this point you’re thinking “Where the fuck is Danny Trejo?” don’t worry—we all are.  But we finally hear his voice when he responds to the crew’s distress calls, which are somehow going to DT’s fishing boat rather than the Coast Guard (the fuck?).  They ask DT to come help ASAP since the shark is now headed towards a party boat, which is a bit fucked up, esp. as they have no clue it’s even Danny Trejo on the other end of the line.

a mustachioed man frowns off into the distance

The scientific explanation for the shark following the party boat is the pollution is “making it insane.”  Our team wins some and loses some during the party boat attack.  All of this, of course, is leading up to a showdown between Danny Trejo and the 3-headed shark.  DT exclaims in Spanish a lot, which apparently needs to be translated (like seriously “Madre de Dios” gets translated), shoots the shark, runs out of bullets, and proceeds to attack it with a machete.  If I might add, all of which is stashed in his, ahem, “fishing boat.”

a tattooed man with an open shirt stands in the ocean holding a sword

After this battle, the nightmare is over…or is it???  Let’s just say the shark now has super regenerative pollution powers.

This all leads to a plan for the shark to…literally eat itself alive.  WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.

The Rating:

3/5 Pink Panther Heads

This was fun to watch and there were some reasonably well-known cast members, but 3 is the highest rating I’m comfortable with.  Mostly because I’ve cursed myself by trying to maintain a consistent rating system.  Not bad for a B movie, though I don’t think this is destined to be a classic on the blog.  And I still don’t get where the Coast Guard was in all this.

Perhaps what’s most impressive is that this is Maggie’s first day at work and she knows the names of and cares about all of them.

Is Christa on board this party boat or would she sacrifice it to a mutant 3-headed shark?  Read her review here to find out!

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Stung, or: I’ll Spare You the Bee Puns

This week Christa and I are reunited with the bad horror that brought us together in the first place and made the blog collab possible.  And it feels right.  Christa’s kicking off the month with a B horror film that is also a “bee” horror (okay, I’m done with the bee puns, promise).

The Film:


Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

A quaint garden party is ruined when a sudden swarm of bees arrives—a mutant swarm of bees bent on destruction.

The Uncondensed Version:

Our film follows Julia and Paul as they drive to a garden party they will cater.  Wherever they are is really pretty and autumnal and makes me want to cry thinking about summer.  Julia is suddenly in charge of the family catering business after her father’s death, so she’s super tense and afraid of fucking everything up.

a woman holding a notebook stands next to man with a paper bag, both looking up
Could we be any more cliche as characters?  I don’t think so either.

Paul, on the other hand, is a bit more relaxed than Julia would prefer.  He’s also incredibly accident-prone, which is unfortunate for someone working with a lot of food and fragile glasses.  Paul is definitely into Julia, but she is focused on her business and doesn’t seem to have any inclination.

So of course the party is at a creepy old house with a bunch of rich people.  The son of the woman hosting the party is an awkward dude who looks and acts very much like a character from Jeeves & Wooster.  Since they’re rich people, they have a spoiled tiny dog that will ultimately spell their destruction (it seriously pays to be a cat person).  The dog manages to dig up…something.  Is it bees?  Spoiler:  yes, it’s bees.

two servers at a party gaze intently at a man's hand gestures
Shadow puppets are always a hit at parties!

However, you know how this goes:  the bees are going to swarm from the earth only midway through the party.  They’ll be fashionably late.  By the time the bees arrive, the party has gotten pretty lame and it’s almost a relief that something makes this party memorable.  The mayor himself comments on how dead the party is…a statement he would surely regret if it ever leaked to the press.  Unless he were absolutely any of the current presidential candidates.

In the midst of the swarm, it turns out these aren’t ordinary bees (duh).  Once stung, victims become a sort of bee cocoon for giant human-sized mutant bees.  You might not want to watch this one if you’re afraid of bees.

a woman stares in terror at the face of a human-sized bee

As you’ve seen in basically every B horror movie, everyone escapes INTO THE HOUSE.  To be fair, it’s not a haunted house, so they’re safe in that respect (but I’d watch the fuck out of a ghost bee movie).  Aaaaaaaaaaand the bodies start piling up.  Woman who’s been working for Julia’s family for years?  Dead.  Cougar hitting on Paul?  Dead.  Stoner musician?  Dead.  Rich old lady?  Dead.  All of these characters had to know they were just here to die.  Just like Julia and Paul are just hear to be the painfully bland, “relatable” leads.

Shortly after the start of the film, only Julia, Paul, the mayor, and the rich son are alive.  They retreat to the basement, where they sit around in the dark drinking vintage wine, which is probably a better party anyway.

at an elegant outdoor garden party, party guests flee from a swarm of bees
One the bright side, mutant bee swarm at party negates the need for small talk.

Perhaps surprising to no one, the rich son turns out to be a bit of a dick bag and may have caused the entire situation with the mutant bees when he mixed fertilizer with hormones (???????????).  However, there is a price to pay, as he becomes a 2-headed bee mutant himself.  As it turns out, he expects Paul to join the mutant bees and be a father figure for him (even though they’re the same age).

But I mean most of this film consists of our heroes fighting giant bees.  Somewhat refreshingly, Julia saves Paul in the end; however, both characters are so insufferable that I barely even care about the feminist angle here.

Maybe you will for some reason?

The Rating:

2/5 Pink Panther Heads

This is true of all films I watch, but I really wanted this to be a conspiracy.  They almost went there with the potential environmental message and the bee daddy plot points, but any exploration of that was brushed aside in favor of gory bee action scenes.

I would like to emphasize that you should probably not watch this film if you fear bees as I imagine it is all of your nightmares made (sort of) real.  Prob if you’re Nic Cage you should avoid this one as well.

I’d also really like for the horror version of Jeeves & Wooster to happen now.  Jeeves would’ve kicked the shit out of those bees.  OR he would’ve become the most terrifying bee mutant valet.

Even though this was a bad horror movie that truly lived up to the bad part, I’m so glad we’re back to truly terrible films.  They are the heart and soul of this blog collab.

Did this film make Christa feel like a queen bee or would she squish it under the heel of her boot without hesitation?  Read her review here to find out!