Saturday, October 22, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016: Mulberry St

OK, the Internet is back and has been stable for more than 24 hours. Going with out the Internet was astoundingly life interrupting. It has become a utility so much more than TV was, when I cut the cable. Not only couldn't we continue with our downloading of the last few flicks, but we had to cut 'I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House'. Via my phone I gave myself minimal Net access to update FB and the photoblog, but long form like this blog had to be left to the wayside.

P.S. Fuck Bell.

2006, Jim Mickle (Stake Land) -- download

I think this movie was in the leftover pile from Halloween seasons past. We just started watching media via Plex, which gives you posters/covers & synopses, while via the folder-based PS3 Media Centre, I found myself often asking, "Which one is that again?" And often there was no answer except IMDB. I saw Nick Damici's name and said, "Oh that one, let's watch it !"

I loved Jim's Stake Land which was seriously indie but incredibly sincere. That is my catch word for indie movies, that despite limited budgets and maybe a limited sense of experience (entire crew all around) make a well rounded movie. Too much of the indie crowd is lazy, making just enough of a movie to satisfy the film festival circuit and the genre movie blogs. I blame Asylum, who made doing good enough movies a sought after endeavour. Even there, bad movie as intent is fine; bad movie as laziness is unforgivable. And of course, some indie directors just don't know how bad they are. It's like student  & fan films, kids who are so enamoured with the process of making a movie, they cannot see how bad they are at it. But Mickle has skill and lots of fervour.

Mulberry St is also a sincere indie movie. Mickle spends a good amount of time building the world in which this movie is set. An apartment complex on Mulberry St in NYC, a falling down structure is filled with old tenants and a community of those who protect each other. Nick Damici is back (well, not back as this was done before Stake Land), as Clutch, unemployed ex-boxer. His daughter is returning from overseas war, her best friend is a transitioning young man with a crush on Clutch, the immigrant woman upstairs sees Clutch as a good catch. And so on. The building is a loose family.

And then the weird, indie, low budget horror movie emerges -- rat people infection. Yep, rat virus as an analog for zombies. In fact, they do the whole break down of NYC and quarantine of the city while our small group of people just trying to survive the night beat down as many rat people as they can. Its funny but its also deadly serious. But its also so very very low budget, which unfortunately takes something away from it all. I applauded his attempt, but couldn't buy into it entirely. Those rat people were just... goofy.