It was hard narrowing this down to just ten films, I could easily have gone to fifteen or twenty. I saw a lot of really good films his year but I had to draw the line somewhere.
Best of 2015
1) Cooties – A horror comedy that delivers on both counts. Jet black humor concerning flesh eating zombie kids, nostalgic jabs at films in general and some genuinely tense and scary moments. Not only the year’s best movie but one of the best I’ve seen ever.
2) Deathgasm – A totally over the top fusion of heavy metal, gore, horror and humor. What if those warnings about hidden messages in songs were true? And what if a group of inept rock star wannabes played the wrong song and conjured up something really evil?
3) We Are Still Here – A wonderfully creepy take on the haunted house film from screenwriter turned director Ted Geoghegan. Takes a while to get going but it really pays off when it does.
4) Bone Tomahawk – The film Green Inferno should have been. A western/horror hybrid that has a posse led by Kurt Russell fighting a tribe of primitive cave dwelling cannibals. It comes through with the tension and brutal deaths that Roth’s film lacked.
5) Turbo Kid – A delightfully funny and splattery retro tale of the future year of 1997. A sort of Mad Max on BMX bikes and with a glove that can fire a death ray. Throw in Micheal Ironside as the bad guy and you have a great little film.
6) Final Girls – A slasher comedy with a heart. A group of friends find themselves in an 80s slasher film featuring the now dead mother of one of the group. They try to change the film’s outcome with hysterical and occasionally touching results.
7)Androgynym – By far the strangest film on my list, Androgynym is a bizarre mix of crime film, love story and meditation on gender identity. And it has a DIY sex change scene involving a pair of scissors and a hot frying pan that will make anyone flinch.
8) I Am Thor – An affectionate and fascinating documentary on 80s metal legend and B movie star Jon Mikel Thor. A fun and inspiring look at a man who refuses to let anything stop him from doing what he loves, and does damn well. As a long time fan I might be biased but it was great to see the real and genuine man behind the image.
9) Dark was the Night – A monster movie with a very human core. A small town sheriff tries to reconcile with his wife and son after the death of their other child and at the same time deal with a creature driven out of the deep woods by loggers. Somewhat hurt by some bad CGI and a terrible final scene this still manages to deliver more real emotion than the more highly praised Spring.
10) The Editor – Another throwback, this time to the glory days of the Italian giallos. From the makers of Father’s Day and Mandroid, The Editor is a wonderful parody of the genre that also works as one of them. Being familiar with the genre, (I’m a huge fan), means you get all the jokes and references but non fans can still enjoy it.
Worst of 2015
I could also have gone on much longer with this list, but why be too negative? These were the biggest failures I had to endure this year.
1) Green Inferno – After all the hype and all the waiting, Eli Roth’s ode to the Italian cannibal films is a huge, dull disappointment. More concerned with poop jokes than gore and thrills. It even steals it’s ending directly from Cannibal Ferox/Make Them Die Slowly.
2) LA Slasher – Another good idea gone terribly wrong. A masked killer kidnaps and kills reality show stars and posts video of it on the internet. Unfortunately the script is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is, the victims are way to over the top and the killer is as annoying as his victims. What could have been a great satire falls horribly flat.
3) Shark Lake – Dolph Lundgren versus a man eating fresh water shark. This should have been a great beer and popcorn film but a horrible script and worse CGI leave it an incredibly boring mess.
4) American Muscle – A potentially good revenge film sunk by lousy action scenes, a weak script and the most unlikable characters I’ve seen in a long time. Nobody in this film has any redeeming qualities and neither does the film itself. When your “hero” is grinning while he beats a woman to death you know you have issues.
5) Zombeavers – Funny title and ad campaign, absolutely unfunny film.