Cleaning Out The DVR: Killer Body (dir by David I. Strasser)


(I recorded Killer Body off of Lifetime on December 30th.)

Oh my God, this was a great movie!

Okay, so check this out.  Once upon a time, there was a medical student named Elizabeth (Lindsay Maxwell) who felt like she was being shunned and ignored by her classmates.  She had a crush on a doctor named Chris (Peter Benson) but Chris was in love with Katie Jones (Sunny Mabrey),  Eventually, Elizabeth ended up having a total melt down and was forced to drop out of medical school.  Elizabeth become obsessed with plastic surgery, hoping to make herself look perfect (which, in this case, meant looking more and more like Katie).  Now going by the name Liz Oakley, she goes from doctor to doctor, getting work done and then suing them for malpractice.  And if she can’t get your medical license taken away, she’ll just spray you with poison perfume.  Seriously, this film features 4 separate attacks by toxic perfume.

One day, Liz shows up at Katie’s office and, until Liz introduced herself, Katie doesn’t even recognize her.  Liz wants some minor work done and she claims that she’s been referred by one of Katie’s colleagues.  Of course, Liz soon proves herself to be just as unstable as you might expect someone who regularly murders people to be.  Soon, all Katie’s like, “I don’t want you as my patient anymore,” and Liz is like, “Fine, I’ll just destroy your life.”

Soon, Liz is showing up on a college campus and making a seriously awkward attempt to befriend Liz’s daughter.  Katie and Chris (whose brilliant medical career has been brought to an end by a stroke) take out a restraining order but there’s nothing in that order that can stop Liz from going to another, less ethical plastic surgeon and having more work done in her quest to be perfect and to look more like Katie.  Of course, when the surgery results in Liz having a barely noticeable scar on her chin, it’s not a good thing…

Obviously, the success of a film like this pretty much hinges on the actress who is cast as the stalker/psycho character and fortunately, Liz is played by Lindsay Maxwell.  Maxwell turns Liz into a force of  uncontrollable, narcissistic nature and one of the more entertaining aspects of the film is watching as Liz goes from smiling to screaming in just a matter of seconds.  On the one hand, Liz is a complete psycho but, on the other hand, who hasn’t wanted to be perfect and who hasn’t, at least once, thought about they would do to achieve that perfection?  Maxwell wisely adds just a bit of vulnerability to the character, making Liz a psycho to whom you can relate.  Sunny Mabrey and Peter Benson also contribute good performance but ultimately, the film is dominated by Lindsay Maxwell and her bottle of killer perfume.

Killer Body was a killer melodrama, exactly the type of movie that we watch Lifetime to see.  Between the murders and the intrigue and the attempts to fool Chris into committing adultery, this was a wonderfully entertaining look at just how far people will go to achieve perfection.

Playing Catch-Up With The Films of 2016: Warcraft (dir by Duncan Jones)


Last night, my cousin and I watched Warcraft, which is a film that has been called “the worst of 2016” by several critics.

Personally, I don’t think it’s the worst film of 2016.  It didn’t make me physically ill, like Hardcore Henry did.  My cousin — who, unlike me, has actually played all of the Warcraft games and therefore came into the film already knowing who and what everything was — says that he enjoyed it.  On the basis of both Moon and The Source Code, I think Duncan Jones is a genius who will eventually emerge as one of the most important directors working right now.  Dominic Cooper is in Warcraft and so is Ben Foster.  They’re both fairly unrecognizable (thought not as unrecognizable as Clancy Brown!) but they’re also two excellent actors and I’m always happy to see them listed in the credits.  Visually, the film was well-designed though it was impossible for me not to think about the Make Love, Not Warcraft episode of South Park.

But I have to say that no film has ever left as totally confused as Warcraft.  I got that the film was about a war between Orcs and humans.  And I appreciated the fact that the film attempted to give all of the Orcs their own individual personalities and culture.   If I wanted to, I could probably spend a few 100 words talking about how the war in Warcraft can serve as a metaphor for every war currently being fought in the real world.

But seriously, I spent nearly the entire film trying to keep straight who was who.  The cast was huge and the dialogue was full of people and creatures talking about magic and honor and history and tradition and sacrifice and why so-and-so had to do this to such-and-such because of something that happened to someone else centuries ago and it made my head hurt trying to keep up with it all.  I eventually gave up.  My cousin was enjoying the film and, in the end, that’s all that mattered.

Plus, there was a cute little orc baby!  I liked him and his story reminded me of the story of Moses floating away in that basket.

Anyway, Warcraft was slaughtered by critics and, because it cost a ton of money to make, it didn’t make any money back.  So, the film probably won’t get the sequel that the ending was obviously designed to set up.  However, I get the feeling that, next year, Warcraft will be a popular film to live tweet whenever it shows up on SyFy.

It may have been the most incoherent film of 2016 but it wasn’t necessarily the worst.

Warcraft Official Trailer (For The Film…Not The Game…I Know, Right!)


Warcraft

Warcraft was a game on the PC that I played for hours on end. It was the closest thing gamers had to a video game version of the Warhammer Fantasy property. the title had two popular sequels and gave birth to the biggest, most popular and most addictive MMORPG in history. I mean, World of Warcraft, led to couples getting divorces, players getting into real fights outside the game and even getting together in holy matrimony for reals.

So, Hollywood seeing a cash cow when it sees one had been trying to get a live-action film based on the Warcraft property for years. So many different directors had been attached to make it (from Uwe Boll right up to Sam Raimi) but in the end Duncan Jones got the job to bring Azeroth (and Draenor) to life on the big-screen.

With the film still months away, Universal and Legendary Pictures look to start the hype train going by releasing the first official trailer for Warcraft with much fanfare.