Lola’s Top Ten Worst Films of 2016

While 2016 was mostly a good year for the horror genre, there were still some major flops that slipped through the cracks. My list consists of the films that were not necessarily the worst, but the ones that I found most annoying. I’ve ranked them accordingly.

disappoint5.jpg10. The Disappointments Room

There isn’t much to say here. I think Wentworth Miller had some sort of gothic trope check list that he used to create this script. The sad thing is, he’s an excellent writer. Stoker is a favorite of mine. If you want to see a good gothic thriller starring Kate Beckinsale, I’d go with Stonehurst Asylum.

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9. Holidays

There have been some great anthology films of late. Unfortunately, Holidays falls into the weird and stupid category next to The ABCs of Death. The best segment of the batch is the Kevin Smith one, but even Smith’s piece seems lacking. The worst one is the Saint Patrick’s Day one, which crams a shitty 90 minute film into about 15 minutes.

171610088-7213fc65-1b44-41b3-a847-68a42f5b4325.jpg8. Green Room

I know many of you are going to disagree with me about this one. I liked the director’s first film, Blue Ruin, but Green Room seemed sloppy and nonsensical. It was drastically underlit, and I frequently couldn’t tell where the characters were in relation to one another. I’m also confused as to why this massive group of white supremacists couldn’t wipe out a few punk rockers. Finally, I have to talk about Patrick Stewart. His performance was almost unwatchable. He mumbles his way through the whole damn movie, like he’s sedated or something.

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7. Intruder

If I were ranking these films based on how poorly they were made, Intruder would be at the very top. This Netflix original had little to offer except unintended laughs. The most cringe worthy scenes are the ones where Moby attempts to act. Also, why can’t that girl see her stalker when he’s standing right next to her while she’s in the shower? She better get her peripheral vision checked.

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6. The Purge: Election Year

The Purge is a fun concept, and I enjoyed the first film and parts on Anarchy. However, Election Year just took it way too far. I didn’t hate this film, but it was just trying too hard. There were moments and characters I enjoyed, but the film as a whole felt like silly political propaganda.

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5. Ghostbusters

Ok, so Ghostbusters isn’t a horror movie, but horror sites covered the hell out of it and it has ghosts. To be honest, I couldn’t sit through the entirety of this film. The jokes fell flat as a pancake, and the characters made my flesh crawl. Whoever thought this script was good must’ve had their streams crossed.

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4. Morgan

This film had so much potential to be smart and scary. Instead, audiences were forced to endure some needless action scenes and an obvious plot twist.

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3. Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever gets the award for most pointless remake of 2016. Ever wonder what would happen if you took the exact same script, and reshot it with different actors? Yeah, neither did anyone else.

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2. Blair Witch

The Blair Witch happens to be one of my very favorite films. When I heard about the new film, I was pretty excited. The trailer looked good, and I knew it was in the capable hands of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a messy, confusing rehash of the original. Dumbest part of the movie? The drone, definitely the drone. They set it up to be an important part of the film, and then did nothing with it, what a waste.

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1. The Darkness

This film is so rubbish, it’d be comical if it wasn’t so sad. The trailer offered promise of an unusual ghost story, with Anasazi gods at the heart of it. Unfortunately, the Anasazi gods were only a minor part of the film. Instead, the audience was forced to endure haunted house 101 gimmicks, and a family that is full of dysfunction and low on likability. Kevin Bacon, you can do so much better.

 

 

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Ash Vs Evil Dead: The Morgue

Just when you thought that you may have seen everything you could possibly see in the Evil Dead Universe, Ash vs Evil Dead proved you wrong. Episode 2 of the second season, saw our heroes begin their quest to retrieve the Necronomicon, with some zany, disgusting, and hilarious mishaps along the way.

The episode entitled “The Morgue” immediately left off right where the last episode began with Ash and company attempting to obtain the Necronomicon. Unfortunately, Ruby hid it in the body of a corpse that’s currently in the town’s morgue. Well, they make a plan: Ash and Kelly will go to the morgue, while Pablo stays behind to watch Ruby.

While Ash and Kelly leave, Pablo attempts to get answers from Ruby as to what’s been happening to him. Ruby turns the tides on him and interrogates him, discovering that he has been having premonitions since his encounter with the Necronomicon.

As for Ash and Kelly, they make it to the morgue. While Kelly acts as look out, Ash begins to brutally disect the many corpses looking for the book. Finally realizing it’s in the very last corpse, Ash attempts to retrieve the book. However, the body’s intestines refuse to let go. In one of the all time greatest scenes in Evil Dead History, Ash battles with this snake/worm like intestines monster that literally pulls Ash up in the, (and I apologize for the language), ass of the of the corpse. Then hilarity ensues as Ash battles the the monster while stuck up the corpse’s ass. Ultimately, Ash wins, gets the Necronomicon, and rejoins Kelly.

Back at the house, Ruby forces the truth out of Pablo in a vision and discovers that a demon known as Baal is coming. The interrogation is brief as they are interrupted by the deadite impersonation Ash’s Dad’s girlfriend. Ash and Kelly arrive just in time to see Ruby and Pablo defeat the deadite imposter. With the deadite dead and the Necronomicon retrieved, Ash and company celebrate. The party doesn’t last long. Ash’s car is stolen by some teenagers, with the Necronomicon in the trunk.

Overall, I had some mixed emotions with the episode. I totally agree that the slapstick humor was top notch. the scene with Ash being shoved up the corpse’s ass was hilarious, but it felt like the episode was mainly fluff, just to set up for the scene. With the show being only a half hour long, you need to make the most of time and I felt it was used to make one epic joke.

It begs the question, what’s next? Where does the show go next with its comedy? The morgue scene was a whole new level of slapstick, but how do you top it? My fear is it peaked too soon and we might be seeing the end of the series before it even gets there. I mean, we still learned a lot and the dialogue is still great. Still, the physical comedy has always been an important part of Evil Dead.  My hope is that I’m overreacting. The episode was still enjoyable, hilarious, but I do see cause to worry. Let’s hope this Sunday’s episode will put our doubts to rest.

Ash vs Evil Dead airs sundays on Starz. Check your local listings for times and channels.

(All photos from Starz.)

Demonic Housewives Is A Home Run!

DH Postcard proof 4(Postcard by Adam Neubauer)

For most theatre and production companies in Los Angeles, they live and die by their first show. Some are a hit, many others, a miss. In the case of Force of Nature Productions world premier of Thomas J. Misuraca’s new play, Demonic Housewives, they didn’t just come out swinging. They hit a Grand Slam!

(Photo by Adam Neubauer)

After the mysterious death of her Aunt Wanda (Lee Quarrie), Darcy (Lara Fisher) and her best friend Rae (Caitlin McCormick) visit the small town of Hobsville to attend to her Aunt’s affairs. What they soon discover is that several of the housewives, led by Millicent (Redetha Deason), are using black magic and summoning demons to keep control over their small town, and eventually, the world. Thus begins a battle for control as Darcy learns to harness her newfound power and goes head to head with Millicent. What ensues is a true battle of good vs. evil.

 (Photo by Adam Neubauer)

This show goes all out from beginning to end. As soon as you walk in to the theatre, you are greeted by the wonderful live music performed by Jennifer Novak Chun and Elif Savas, better known as the “Demonic Duo,” who not only provide live pre-show music, but also provide all the live music and sound effects throughout the show. The addition of a live score adds a nice icing to the already delicious cake.

img_2585(Photo by Adam Neubauer)

The cast, entirely female, is phenomenal, filled with wonderful characters. Redetha Deason is cunning and evil as Millicent, the main antagonist. You love to hate her. Beth Fisher is hilarious as the sweet, but dimwitted Peggy, Millicent’s sidekick. They are joined by Monet Hendricks as Kim, who wants to be good, but is easily manipulated into joining Millicent’s covenant. Opposing them is Lara Fisher as Darcy, Wanda’s niece. She is the total opposite of Millicent. Cunning, with attitude. You want her to win. She is supported by the strong comedic timing of Caitlin McCormick as Rae, Darcy’s best friend. They are supported in their efforts against Millicent by the very funny Lee Quarrie as Wanda, Darcy’s dead aunt and former witch. Filling out the cast are the wonderful Susie Horton, Aubrey Manning, and Anne Westcott as the church choir and providing some fantastic songs and commentary. Each performer creates a unique character that is different and strong.

(Photo by Adam Neubauer)

Giving the actors the tools to work with is the strong and witty script by Thomas J. Miscuraca (@GeeksMusical). It’s an over the top comedy that keeps the laughs coming. The dialogue is sharp and straight to the point; perfect for this style of comedy.

 (Photo by Adam Neubauer)

Taking the reigns as director and producer is Force of Nature Productions founder, Sebastian Munoz (@CiNeMaMaN8). His strengths as a director shine, as he was able to lead this wonderful cast to some amazing performances. Something I’ve observed with all of Sebastian’s shows is his talent and ability to bring a cast together as a family that wants everyone and everything about a show to succeed. It’s inspirational to see that. Supporting Munoz and serving as Assistant Director is Angelia Weitzman. Jahel Corban Caldera serves as Stage Manager.

 (Photo by Adam Neubauer)

This being a horror-comedy, I want to point out that there was one truly scary moment that creeped me out. A scene with Millicent, Peggy, and Kim chanting; the lights a deep red and the music, dark and moody. From where I sat, Millicent, Peggy, and Kim’s eyes seemed to be entirely black. It was incredibly freaky. After the show, I asked them if they were wearing contacts, and they said no. I just happened to be sitting in the right seat at the right time.

 (Photo by Adam Neubauer)

Demonic Housewives is funny, scary, and creepy in all the right ways. There is never a moment where the audience isn’t entertained or bored. The cast is wonderful and having fun. I believe if the cast is having fun, then the audience will have fun. What more could you ask for in a night at the theatre.

Do yourself a favor: go see Demonic Housewives. You will need to hurry  and get your tickets ASAP as the show is selling out fast! Then do yourself another favor. Go on Twitter and Facebook and follow Force of Nature Productions (@fonprods, http://www.fonproductions.com) They have announced that they have a few exciting things in the works coming out over the next few months and they are sure to be amazing!

Demonic Housewives runs Thursday and Sunday evenings, April 14th through May 1st. Performances will be at 8pm Thursdays and 7pm Sundays. Tickets are $20 and can be bought at the door or at www.archwayla.com. Tickets will sell out, so please get them early.

The Archway Studio/Theatre (@ArchwayLA) is located at 10509 Burbank Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601