Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Ten "Best" of 2022

GIF taken from our Short Film of the Month of April 2012,
As we pointed out last year in our blog entry More or Less "Best of" 2021, "Best of" is always relative here at a wasted life, as the films we give good reviews don't always show up in our end of the year round-up while films we trash do. This is because our choice is based less on quality than staying power: how often we think back upon a film, or the general feeling it stirs when we think about it again. This year we wrote about a few more films than in 2021 — 27 to last year's 24 — but, nevertheless, we watch so much crap that coming up with a "Top 10" is a challenge. Unlike most years, this year the list consists of a full ten feature films. Of them all, only one was actually released in 2022, but then what matters for our list is not the release date but the year (2022) we watched the given movie.
As for the Short Films of the Month — they are linked to the left — all 12 are good/interesting or we wouldn't have featured them, but this year our "Best of" list is once again reserved only for full-length movies...
And so, here is our selection: the ten movies we watched in 2022 that we found the most noteworthy, for whatever reason, and in no particular order. And, as an added attraction, the movie we found to be the worst film we watched in 2022. (Roger Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel [2019 / trailer] is probably just as terrible, despite its huge budget and name cast, but we didn't bother writing about it — because of its budget and name cast — so we can't do it the [dis]honor of being listed.)
Click the linked titles to read the original, overly verbose reviews.

(Italy, 1961)

"Without doubt, it is the sets, costumes and cinematography that truly make this movie so different, so bizarre, so striking — and all that, combined with the cleavage and the muscles and the almost hallucinatory dialogue, is what gives the relatively slow-moving movie its fun factor."
Trailer to

(Brexitland, 2022)

"To say that The House is a captivating film is an understatement. An anthology film, The House is of course distantly related to the horror anthology films of yore that so many of us fondly remember, but it takes a thorough turn towards individuality and autonomy by being neither live-action nor pure horror."
Trailer to
(USA, 2001)

"The makers of Jason X knew that they weren't making a masterpiece and instead of faking it, simply went with the flow. [...] Jason X ends up a surprisingly well-paced cheese-a-thon with some witty interludes, laughable dialogue, and entertaining low (high?) points, many of which are delivered or occur almost as asides."
Trailer to
(USA, 1998)

"Dollar for the Dead isn't exactly a terrible film. It is entertainingly ironic and often laconic, and it zooms along at a quick speed. Furthermore, despite the film's genre, much of the action owes less to the traditional or Spaghetti Western than to the unrealistic excesses of the Hong Kong crime and/or wuxia flicks [...], so even if Estevez isn't all that convincing when he's flipping in the air or sliding along the ground shooting his 12-shooters or 24-shooters or 48-shooters (all of which look like 6-shooters), the set pieces remain entertaining excesses."
Trailer to
(Ireland, 2005)

"An obscure and unknown (assumedly outside of Ireland that is) direct-to-DVD science cum nature-gone-wrong film that truly deserves a wider audience than it has [...]."
Trailer to
(USA, 1931)

"Whatever age-related 'flaws' Little Caesar might have, the movie remains a compact and riveting experience that foregoes any excess flab or flash, though more than one scene does owe a nod to the German expressionist films of the previous decade, if only due to the stage design, use of shadow or camera placement."
Trailer to
(Brexitland / Romania 2009)

"Strigoi, with its tangents and pacing and overall foreign-film look, probably owes more to what was once called 'art film' than to conventional contemporary horror, but whereas we once would mean that as an insult, here we mean it as a complement. The film is simply different in a good way, with a lot of personality (not to mention a bitchin' Balkan Beat soundtrack), and is definitely undeserving of its general obscurity."
Trailer to
(Spain / Great Britain, 1972)

"[Horror Express] is a damn good train ride! Tense and well-made, it can still scare the bejeebies out of the younger set, while those who no longer pee in their pants at the scary bits will nevertheless find the slightly uneven journey an engrossing and suspenseful one, if lightly spiced with a touch of cheese and some truly fake science (the latter at a Kellyanne Conway scale of 'alternative science')."
Trailer to
(Baltimore, 2000)

"We screened this with a small group of six at our weekly bad-film night, where only two of us even knew who John Waters was or what his filmography includes. And the other four found the movie hilarious, openly agreeing that the movie was way too good to be shown at a bad-film night, that it was a movie one could watch with friends and family — and that despite jokes about zombie porno-film patrons or autographing sex toys, gerbils in the rear, kidnapping and terrorism, incestuous rape, Satanism and so forth."
Trailer to
(India, 1978)

"The Deadly Thief is a bad and dated movie, one would hope even by Bollywood standards, but it has its enjoyable points that makes it a fun watch in a psychotronic way."
Argentine trailer to


The Turd of the Year Award
goes to:
(Mexico, 2010)
"It's been a long time (okay, maybe not that long a time) since the last time we felt justified to say it, but in the case of Arturo Anaya's Fallen Angel a.k.a. Ángel caído, we must warn you: 'We've seen it so you don't have to.' [...] Like Donald Trump — and so many of his proto-fascist acolytes — this flick sucks syphilitic elephant dick."
Trailer to

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