Natural Enemy (1996, directed by Douglas Jackson)


This one’s pretty dumb.

William McNamara plays Jeremy, who was given up for adoption 24 years ago and has never gotten over it.  After killing his adoptive parents, his birth father, someone’s mistress, and a private investigator played by Tia Carrere, Jeremy wants to celebrate his 25th birthday by killing his birth mother, Sandy (Lesley Anne Warren).  However, Jeremy wants to draw out Sandy’s suffering so he comes up with a plot so complex that it’s hard to believe that anyone could actually pull it off.

After Jeremy finds out that Sandy’s new husband, Ted (Donald Sutherland, massively slumming), is the head of a small brokerage firm, Jeremy reads every book that he can find and somehow become an expert on the stock market.  Even though Jeremy could have a high-paying job with any firm, he wants to work for Ted’s little firm.  Ted hires Jeremy and Jeremy proceeds to worm his way into Ted and Sandy’s life.  Jeremy also frames Ted for securities fraud, which leads to Ted losing his job and being blacklisted by all of Ted’s highly ethical Wall Street colleagues.  (Yes, I managed to write that with a straight face.)  Despite the fact that Jeremy is obviously disturbed and that Ted and Sandy’s life starts to fall apart from the exact moment that Jeremy becomes a part of it, only Ted and Sandy’s son, Chris (Christian Tessier), suspects that there’s something strange about Jeremy.

This is one of those dumb revenge thrillers that is dependent upon everyone in the movie being as dumb as possible.  Even Jeremy turns out to be dumb.  After killing almost everyone that he meets, Jeremy suddenly decides to keep one person alive and, of course, that decision comes back to haunt Jeremy in the end.  Jeremy is smart enough that he can trick people into believing that he’s a brilliant stock broker but he’s dumb enough to make an obvious mistake.  Of course, everyone else is dumb enough to to not catch on to the fact that Jeremy is a sociopath so the mass dumbness evens out in the end.

Probably the most interesting thing about this movie is that, somehow, Donald Sutherland ended up starring in it.  Even great actors have to put food on the table and hopefully, Sutherland ate well as a result of starring in Natural Enemy.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Jess Franco Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is the 90th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Franco!  One of the most prolific filmmakers of all time, Franco made movies that …. well, they’re not easy to describe.  Jess Franco was responsible for some of the most visually striking and narratively incoherent films ever made.  He made films that you either loved or you hated but there was no mistaking his work for being the work of someone else.

Today, in honor of his birthday, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962, dir by Jess Franco)

The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968, dir by Jess Franco)

Vampyros Lesbos (1970, dir by Jess Franco)

Countess Perverse (1973, dir by Jess Franco)

Music Video of the Day: Magnetized (2016, dir by Scott Stuckey)


I’ve always liked Garbage as a band.  Only Happy When It Rains seems like a song that could have been written about me and, of course, Shirley Manson and I are both members of the 2% of the population who were blessed with red hair.  Having red hair means that …. well, basically it means that we’re better than everyone else in the world and that’s just the way it goes.

Magnetized appears on Garbage’s 6th studio album, Strange Little Birds.  I like this video because it’s creepy and dream-like and I’ve always wanted to have a mad scientist laboratory to hang out in.  Not that I would actually want to do anything in the laboratory because that’s not really my thing.  I’d just like to have it there as a conversation starter.

Enjoy!