Confessions of a Film Junkie: The 2014 SPLATTER! Awards
By: Brian Cotnoir
Welcome one and all to the 3rd Annual SPLATTER! Awards, where we honor the Best and Worst Films of the Year. I just wanted to remind you all that the films on this list were all films that I PERSONALLY WATCHED this year, so many of you are likely to disagree with me over my choices. It’s not that I think that all of these are the Best or Worst films from this year; I just think that they are the Best films that I personally saw this year. I also wanted to say thank you all so much to everyone who follows, reads, and supports this blog. All your comments and film suggestions are greatly appreciated, and here’s hoping for me good things to come in 2015. All right, I’m not going to waste any more of your time, here the Winners of the 2014 SPLATTER! Awards
BEST FILM OF THE YEAR: (Award Given To what I consider to be the Best Film of 2014)
For the second time in 3 years, the Award for Best Film of the Year goes to a film from Marvel Studios and that film is “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. I’m sure a lot of you are already saying to yourselves “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a way better movie put out by Marvel Studios this year”; I wish I could agree with you, but I have still yet to see that one. I was very impressed with this sequel film after being utterly and totally disappointed with both Marvel Sequel films—“Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World"—last year. Now true, a lot of us saw the big twists coming ahead of time (I mean the previous 3 Marvel Superhero movies tried pulling a fake death of a major character, how stupid do they think we are by now?), but I still felt the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” still had a lot of great suspense, action, and added new characters perfectly to an already phenomenal cast. I can honestly say, that I think that “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is the Best Superhero film put out by Marvel Studios since “The Avengers” (which coincidentally won the 1st SPLATTER! Award for Best FOTY back in 2012).
WORST FILM OF THE YEAR: (Award Given To what I consider to be the WORST Film of 2014)
All three nominees for this year’s Worst Film of the Year came from the same film studio, so no matter what it’s not good news for The Asylum. After much careful thought and deliberation, I decided to give the award to “Sleeping Beauty” (2014) or, “Casper Van Dien’s Family Reunion” as I prefer to call it. Now, why did I pick this as my Worst Film of the Year? The film is a piss-poor rip off of “Maleficent” and Van Dien’s decision to cast his daughters in the film in some of the main roles did him no favors. At least in “Blood Lake” I could turn pass some of the crappiness of the film because it had 2 credible actors, which is more than this film had. That’s this films ultimate flaw, it has nothing credibility or competency to show, the whole thing is one long and boring mess! I’ve seen three films with the title “Sleeping Beauty” now and they’ve all been terrible! Maybe now, I’ll finally learn my lesson to avoid any & all films having to do with “Sleeping Beauty”.
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR: (Award Given to a film Released in 2014 that I thought was going to be bad, but I actually ended up liking)
I remember the day Robin Williams died for two specific reasons: 1.) the tragedy of losing one of the World’s Greatest Comedians too soon and 2.) It was also the night I saw this film for the first time, and it made me laugh so much. The Winner for Biggest Surprise of the Year has to go to Magnolia films “Stage Fright”. At first glance, I thought this was just going to by a crappy straight to DVD remake of the 1987 version, but on the contrary it was an original work with original songs. The films setting at a Summer Theatre Camp run by a former Broadway Director (play by the awesomeness Meatloaf). I enjoyed everything about this film; the acting, the songs, the excessive bloodshed, absolutely everything. Do yourself a favor: if you haven’t seen “Stage Fright” yet, give it a watch. It is an ideal film for anyone who may be a fan of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Repo! The Genetic Opera”, and “The Devils Carnival”.
What the F*ck?! Film of the Year: (Award Given to the film that made me throw up my hands in the air and shout “What the F*ck?!” the most)
This years What the F*ck Film of the Year Award goes to the Found Footage Horror film, “As Above, So Below”. Now, I saw and reviewed this film this summer with my 15-year-old cousin, and we had very different opinions on the film. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect and contemplate on the film, I’ve reached the conclusion that “As Above, So Below” isn’t really a bad movie, but it is really, really confusing. First of all, it’s supposed to be a “Found Footage” Horror film, and none of the dialogue feels natural. I think if they would’ve just made this as a regular Horror feature then I would’ve like it more. Secondly, this film references a lot of old texts and medieval history, which probably makes sense if you’re a History PhD, but to the Average Joe watching in the theatre—like myself—it’s very easy to get confused by the plot. I have a feeling that this film is too smart for the average American audience, and that it will probably take you multiple viewings to understand what the hell is going on.
BIGGEST DISSAPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR: (Award Given to a film that I had high expectations for that did not meet my expectations)
I’ll be honest with you I was not impressed with a lot of the films released this year. I mean some of the films I saw this year were such big letdowns that I can’t believe I wasted my time and money seeing them in theatres. Well, the award for Biggest Disappointment of the Year has to go to the 2014 Historical-Action-Drama “Pompeii”. You would think a film about a volcanic eruption that wipes out a whole city the focus on the film would be on the volcano and the impending eruption, right? Well not in this film, instead the plot of the film chooses to focus more on Kiefer Sutherland’s over-acting and Kit Harrington’s background story and muscular body than it does on Vesuvius. In fact, Vesuvius is barely mentioned until like the last 15-20 minutes of the film. “Pompeii” feels like “Gladiator” if it was made by SyFy Channel. Though, I really shouldn’t have expected much from the same guy who wrote and directed the “Resident Evil” film.
BEST FILM THAT I SAW FOR THE 1st TIME THIS YEAR: (Award Given to the Best Film that I Saw this year, regardless of Year it was released)
This one was probably my toughest decision to make. For the longest time it was a toss-up between the 2013 French Indie Drama “Blue is the Warmest Colour” and the 1994 Sci-Fi-Action “Death Machine”. For a while I was leaning towards “Blue is the Warmest Colour”, which was beautifully shot and actually helped restore my belief in God (after “Salo, the 120 Days of Sodom” destroyed it). No doubt in my mind that if I had seen this film the year before it would’ve won Best Film of the Year. However, the film is really long—an almost 3 hour long—run time. That’s quite a stretch for most people, and at times in the film. But just when I was ready to give the award to “Death Machine”, which was shorter and more action packed, I saw another film with an almost 3-hour run time which was filled with action, drama, and even some comedy and I knew I had found the true winner for the Best Film that I saw for the 1st Time this Year: “Django Unchained”. What was it about this film that made me think it was better than “Blue is the Warmest Colour”? Two Words: Christoph Waltz! Ever since I saw him “Inglorious Bastards”, I’ve thought to myself that there isn’t any person on this earth who is as interesting as actor Christoph Waltz. He alone is what makes this film worth checking out, and a more than worthy recipient of this year’s Best Film that I saw for the 1st Time Award.
WORST FILM THAT I SAW FOR THE 1st TIME THIS YEAR: (Award Given to the Worst Film that I Saw this year, regardless of Year it was released)
You’re all expecting me to name “Salo” for this one aren’t you? That would be a good guess, but this Award is for the Worst Film that I saw for the 1st time this year, not the Award for “Film that Made Me Stop Believing in God”...Note to self, see if we can make that into a new SPLATTER! Award. No, the real winner of this year’s Worst Film I saw for the 1st Time This Year has to go to “H.P. Lovecraft’s the Tomb”. Not only, does this film have nothing to do with the original short story by Lovecraft, but it also tries to rip-off the movie “Saw”. This movie is awful on so many different levels, and I think the state of California should pass a law making it illegal for the film’s director Ulli Lommel to make any more films.
Thank you all so much for reading this years posts, and here’s hoping for Great New Year here on Confessions of a Film Junkie.
The 2013 SPLATTER! Awards