Gobble gobble gobble, streamers. Gobble, gobble gobbly gobble gobbling gobble Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble yam bikini. Gobble, this week’s Cross the Streams.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Beginning of the End (Netflix Instant)
If you’re hanging out with friends and family for the holidays, you’re going to be catching up on stories, eating meals, and watching sports. But if you need something to put on in the background, you’ll never go wrong with MST3K, and it won’t be long before everyone is watching intently, laughing like turkey-stuffed hyenas. Not only is there this “grasshoppers taking over the world” classic, but you can now also find the “giant turtle against a monster” gem Gamera vs. Guiron. And the genetically engineered sea creature thriller Devilfish. It’s a cornucopia of laughs and robots.
Grabbers (Netflix Instant)
What better way to follow humor during a creature feature than with a creature feature that’s actually funny. Jon Wright’s 2012 sophomore effort is about an Irish island that gets invaded by bloodsucking aliens. The inhabitants soon realize that alcohol kills their attackers, so everyone gets shitfaced in the name of survival! I wasn’t completely into it in the beginning, but boy, once things started rolling, it was hard not to love what was happening. Paying homage to past movies rather than ripping them off, Grabbers is a nice, self-aware throwback that works well in just about every area that a tight horror/comedy should. (Wright’s next film is Our Robot Overlords. Remember him.)
Vanishing Waves (Hulu Plus)
You’ll also want to remember the name of Lithuanian filmmaker Kristina Buozyte, whose Vanishing Waves is a trippy and mysterious journey into the mind of a young woman in a coma, through the mind of a scientist who delves inside and alters her thoughts. It’s best not to get too deep into the slight plot here. Confident direction and a psychosexual tone make this one a must-see, though it’s regrettable that the narrative itself isn’t as strong as the visual elements, which call back to Stanley Kubrick and all of his influences and imitators. Probably not one you’ll want to watch with someone with whom you aren’t comfortable about the subject of sex.
Stalled (Netflix Instant)
We just heard about Stalled two months ago, and already it’s here on Netflix. No complaints. Christian James directed this horror/comedy that takes place almost entirely inside a woman’s restroom, where a crafty custodian gets stuck during a zombie outbreak at an office party. It’s the kind of movie that you can only compare to other low-budget movies of the same variety, and this one gets away with quite a bit of originality and awesome makeup for all of its limitations. Call it what you will, but it’s a zombie movie inside of a bathroom. Low expectations are key.
Max Steel (Netflix Instant)
A reboot of a cartoon series that is based on a Mattel toy, and Paul W. S. Anderson is an executive producer. These are things that usually legitimize doomsaying, but this Disney XD toon has amassed a large fanbase for its action and CGI. It’s about a teen who moves to a new city and connects with an alien because he has this special power inside of him. Bully fights and supervillain battles ensue. Oddly, only the first 12 episodes of the first season are available.
Video Game High School (Netflix Instant)
The hit web series, the first season of which was edited into a movie of the same name, takes place in a world where kids who are awesome at video games can achieve fame and fortune, but first they have to fall in love and shit. It’s a series that really hits on all fronts for a very specific type of entertainment-based nostalgia. I haven’t seen the longer second season yet, but here’s my chance, and I won’t pass it up up down down, and so on.
Not too light on the releases and not too heavy. Just like I like my turkey. In a totally non-sexist way. Feeling like something more serious? Watch Playing God: Human Cloning and then regret you did. Have a happy holiday everyone, even those of you who don’t celebrate. All Thursdays should be wonderful.