Getting To Know Me Part II (movies)

You are what you eat, they say, and although I resent the implication that I might be a chicken drumstick, I find the idea of getting to know a person by what they like and dislike to be true-ish.

So, for all those out there who are interested, here is a list of my ten favorite movies (not necessarily in the right order):

  1. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
  2. The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998)
  3. K-Pax (2001)
  4. In the Bedroom (2001)
  5. Hellboy (2004)
  6. Mystery Men (1999)
  7. Quills (2000)
  8. The Boat That Rocked (2009); a.k.a. Pirate Radio for all those poor people in the U.S. who will only see the cut version.
  9. The Mummy Returns (2001)
  10. Sunshine (2007)

Honourable mentions should go to Condorman (1981), which was my first favourite movie ever, back when I was little more than a semi-conscious blob, and to Ladyhawke (1985), which was my favourite movie when I was a slightly more conscious blob that thought that Matthew Broderick was cute and that Rutger Hauer had to be an A-list actor. (I had only seen Blade Runner and Ladyhawke at that point… an easy mistake to make under those circumstances.)

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but that’s usually the way it is.

Beer-Flavoured Soft Serve

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Appearances may be deceiving, and so this is not a post about some extremely disgusting Bavarian recipe that I want to share with you. Also Wasting Away is not a bad movie.

(Mhm… maybe there’s money in this one. I bet beer-flavoured ice cream would be the thing in Bavaria. Need to think on that.)

Anyway. I had the opportunity to see Wasting Away last Monday at the Fantasy Film Fest. The festival, which I have been attending for ten odd years now, has in the past never ceased to amaze me, both with the quality of the movies that it shows, as well as with the incredible badness of other movies that it shows. It has become something of an artform for festival attendees to sort through the newspeak yuck in the program and find the few movies that are worth watching. In recent years it has always been a bit of a hit and miss scenario for me, but this year I seem to have finally managed to get the knack. Black Dynamite, Push, District 9, Wasting Away and Moon all have been excellent movies. (And then there was Trick ‘r Treat, which just goes to show that they can’t all be winners.)

So… about Wasting Away: I didn’t have very high hopes for this one. The movie seems to have left almost no traces on the web, and as previously mentioned the festival program cannot be trusted under any circumstances to provide accurate descriptions of the movies on offer. Tapping in the dark and willing to risk seeing a bad movie for the good of mankind I bought a ticket.

And I was not disappointed. Wasting Away is a clever zombie comedy with superb writing. The actors, most of them totally unknown to me hitherto, are brilliantly cast and manage to imbue their characters with dignity despite the funny nature of the movie. Especially Colby French as janitor-turned-super-soldier Nick Steele is a delight to watch. But I could praise every single one of the protagonists in the same manner. The cinematography is wonderful in an unassuming kind of way and I love the use of black and white versus colour images.

Wasting Away starts out a little slow, but after five or six minutes of introduction, all shot in black and white, we meet our four principal protagonists and the beer-flavoured soft serve from the headline. The soft serve is squeaky green and infested with the zombie drug, but the protagonists are sure it’s just a trick of the light. And after that the fun starts in earnest. From here on the movie is divided into black and white scenes that show us the world from the bland point of view of those not infected with the zombie mutagen, and in bright crisp colour to enlighten us as to how a zombie sees the world. I’m sure there is some very deep philosophical interpretation to this, but I am too tired to think of it right now. And when self-declared super-soldier Nick Steele hits the scene, all bets are off and the movie transcends the boundaries of the good far into the divine.

All I can say to sum this up is that the movie is a little jewel that deserves more attention. Worldwide release in major cinemas. Sequels. Tie-in novels. Beer-flavoured Happy Meal promotions. Anything. Anything to give the world the wonderful gift of zombie vision.