The trailer for Joe Begos’ Almost Human literally blew my mind, showing flashes of inspiration that harks back to classics like Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and John Carpenter’s The Thing.
With Begos’ sci-fi horror playing at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival this month, we thought it would be fun to have the independent director list of his “Top 5 Creature Features.” While Carpenter’s The Thing clearly makes the cut, I think you’ll enjoy seeing what his other four selections were.
The 38th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 to 15, 2013.
This would most likely appear on any list of “Best Creature Features” you could find, and it’s with good reason. It’s the fucking best. Not only do you have the absolute BEST practical effects ever put on 35mm(or digital, for that matter), but you have an AMAZING ensemble, mounds and mounds of tension, and one of the most badass characters ever put on film, being played by one of the most badass actors who ever worked in Hollywood. Really, do I need to sell anyone on THE THING?
Another one that essentially should be on any “Creature Feature” list or said list should lose any credibility. Much like THE THING, this is an A-Class picture about a MAN TURNING INTO A FLY. Think about that one. It’s got an Oscar worthy performance from Jeff Goldblum, an Oscar worthy script, and razor sharp direction from Sir Cronenberg. It’s a tragic story that just builds and builds, ending in one of the messiest, coolest, and heartbreaking 3rd acts in monster movie history. Did I mention that the practical effects may very well be the best to have come since it’s release way back in ’86?
This movie is such an important part of my life, that I’ve got Belial exploding out of the basket and screaming, inked on my arm for life. This is one of the movies that opened my eyes to the sleazy low budget underbelly of 80’s horror. I accidently watched it at SUCH a ridiculously young age(It was the second movie on a 6 hour VHS tape, following THE WITCHES) and it’s been a constant viewing ever since. A murderous mutant siamese twin brother who lives in a basket and can telepathically communicate with his normal brother, while they seek revenge against the doctor who surgically split them. GOLD. The sleazy setting and 16mm photography, the amazing stop motion scene of Belial trashing a hotel room(actually, all of the stop motion), the sickly score, the insane cast of characters, It all works, and delivers one of the most unique, memorable, and twisted creature movie ever.
One of the best horror movies of the 90’s, and one of my favorites ever. This movie is another one that was on constant repeat at an early age for me. Featuring WILLIAM FUCKING SADLER as BRAYKER, our supernatural demon murdering anti-hero, and BILLY GODDAMN ZANE as a crazy demon raising villain known only as THE COLLECTOR, you know you’ve got something special in your hands. Add in to the mix that former cinematographer Ernest Dickerson is behind the camera, giving us a beautifully photographed movie shot to look as if almost the whole movie is lit by moonlight. Inside this immaculate photography you’ll find a slimy, well designed army of demons and enough blood, gore, and monster incarnations to please any hardened genre fan. I wish movies like this were still made and released theatrically.
One of my favorite movies of all time, XTRO is a nasty little insane blast. The first 20 minutes alone feature an alien abduction, a diseased looking four legged alien creature raping a lady, and a 40 year old, 6 foot man exploding out of the womb out of the same woman. IN THE FIRST 20 MINUTES. The budget is low, but the bat shit craziness is there, and the alien design is one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t seen this one, SEEK IT OUT. One of the few movies that could really raise the bar with an uncompromising remake and some cash behind it. If only.
Almost Human plays at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 5 to 15, 2013.