Sure, I’m watching the Academy Awards. Since I’m an official movie reviewer these days (at least until Aleteia figures out they made a huge mistake), I feel like it kind of comes with the territory. Thank God the RiffTrax guys are watching it too, otherwise I don’t think I could make it through the whole thing. As you can probably guess, one of my problems with the show is that they tend to ignore the types of movies we watch around these parts on a daily basis. Well, let’s correct that, shall we? Here are awards in five categories that the Oscars overlooked this year.
BEST OLD SCHOOL CREATURE FEATURE YOU WOULD HAVE RENTED BASED SOLEY ON THE VHS COVER ART ALONE
This was by no means the best low budget sci-fi/horror movie to come out in 2013, but Frankenstein’s Army absolutely had the most imaginative monster suits we’ve seen in a long time. This was the kind of movie you’d see on the cover of Fangoria and then haunt your local mom and pop video store until it came in. And then your ancient VCR would eat the tape. But that would be the next guy’s problem, because you were definitely gonna wind that thing back up and keep watching so you didn’t miss a minute of those cool monsters.
BEST DOCUMENTARY ABOUT A TOPIC WITH ABSOLUTELY NO SOCIO-POLITICAL IMPORTANCE WHATSOEVER
GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING
Truthfully, I didn’t watch G.L.O.W. a lot back in the day, but it was occasionally on in the background. Still, I could probably tick off a handful of the wrestler’s names if I had a chance to win a game show doing so. But for a enterprise that was basically a mash-up of the WWF, Hee Haw, and good girl art, this look back on the show’s heyday turns out to be surprisingly touching in parts. Plus it’s got body slams in it, so that helps too.
BEST ALTERNATIVE TO PAYING TO SEE GRAVITY
As I noted in the comments section of my review of Gravity, it’s a film you definitely want to see on the big screen. And I can say that with full confidence because I got to see it for free. Given that the majority of my readers are Catholic, I imagine it could be a bit of a monetary challenge for them and their 17 kids to go to the theater, especially if it’s to see a movie in IMAX. We’re talking second mortgage time. Because of that, let me recommend Europa Report, a fairly smart space disaster flick made for the same amount of money it probably cost to feed George Clooney’s ego. About the only dumb thing the movie did was try to come out the same year as Gravity.
BEST WORST GODLESS MOVIE
THE LORDS OF SALEM
Rob Zombie’s latest is probably his best movie to date. Of course, considering all his other movies were big ol’ piles of crap, feel free to take that any way you want to. Snarkiness aside, what Zombie actually does do well is channel the movies he loved growing up. In Lords of Salem, Zombie draws on such classic devil-flicks as Rosemary’s Baby, Ken Russell’s The Devils, and just about every movie made about Satan in Italy during the 1970s. Like those movies, The Lords of Salem presents a world in which the Devil is unstoppable and God is silent, if not plain dead. Does that make the movie evil? Only if it convinces you all that stuff is true.
BEST USE OF STEREOTYPES IN A LOW BUDGET HORROR MOVIE
When bloodthirsty aliens invade an island off the coast of Ireland, it turns out there’s only one thing for the locals to do. Get drunk. No, seriously. The aliens won’t attack anyone with too much alcohol in their blood stream. Too bad they didn’t go after Salt Lake City, huh? You now, our parish once had a faith formation director fresh off the boat from Ireland who told me this joke: How can you tell if an Irishman has had too much to drink? If he falls down and can’t get back up, he’s only good for about one more. So, yeah, the drunken Irishman is a stereotype, but that’s who made the movie, so it kind of works. Basically, Grabbers is Tremors with barely understandable dialog, and there’s nothing wrong with that for those Saturday nights when SyFy isn’t showing anything new.
Well, the awards are nearing their end (please, God), so I think that’s all the categories I’ll do this time around. For all those folks who didn’t take home a statue this year (and for those who did, as well), just keep in mind what the Catechism says, “In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward.” Win that, and you won’t even think twice about those little hunks of gold.