Inhumanwich! Review: All Empty Calories But It Feeds Your Need at the Moment - Dread Central
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Inhumanwich! Review: All Empty Calories But It Feeds Your Need at the Moment

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Starring Matt Laumann, Michael Peake, Jack Burrows, Kayla Clark, Jake Robinson

Written and directed by David Cornelius


If H.P. Lovecraft ever created a creature for the Upside Down version of McDonald’s, I suspect it would look a lot like the creeping, crawling, quivering mutated mound of man-eating meat with eyeballs and tentacles that is Inhumanwich!

Astronaut Joe Newman is an all-American hero, happily married, currently in orbit aboard the Argo-1. Oh, he also has an onion allergy that causes him to bloat up and get very lethargic. Not sure why I mentioned that. He’s not sure why he felt the need to mention it either. Still, good to know.

Joe’s wife makes a mean Sloppy Joe. Actual Joe is chowing down on the sandwich of the same name when the Argo-1 gets bombarded by a radioactive meteor shower. Capsule damaged. Cockpit contaminated. Joe screaming in agony, coated in a mix of radioactive waste and a completely fine Sloppy Joe gone to waste. His ship will come crashing down to Earth, where Joe Newman will emerge as the flesh-eating intergalactic terror with an “unsatiable” hunger we call Inhumanwich!

I must express a certain degree of disappointment that the title meat monster does not actually resemble the fanged Sloppy Joe sandwich presented on the artwork that lured me into renting this film like a siren’s song. I was truly expecting and anticipating a preposterous Troma-meets-Attack of the Killer Tomatoes monstrosity in the form of a toothy Manwich sandwich. What we actually get is a mutated mass of meat brought to life via a mix of practical effects with an occasional touch of digital work that looks like what you would wind up with if you mixed Meatwad from “Aqua Team Hunger Force.” The Blob, and The Creeping Terror in a b-movie blender. Can’t complain too much, though I would have loved to have seen the Sloppy Joe that bites back in action.

David Cornelius’ Inhumanwich! is the latest in the popular sub-genre of microbudget monster movies presented in black & white that pay loving homage to, while stylistically parodying, cheap drive-in creature features of the atomic age. The recipe for making an Inhumanwich! includes a pinch of Naked Gun-esque visual and verbal gags, a dash of familiar 1950’s monster movie tropes turned on their head and used as a pogo stick, a heaping helping of love and affection for these b-movies of yesteryear, and all of it is seasoned with the unmistakable taste of WTF-ness. What demented mind comes up with the idea for a 1950’s style creature feature about a meat monster that keeps growing as it absorbs more and more flesh and the only thing that may be able to save the world is a competitive eater with a bottomless stomach and a wounded soul?

As the sloppiest of Joes eats and expands, the brave, yet not altogether brightest men of the National Space Command in Dayton, Ohio, are on the case. Aided by a gruff general who keeps a framed photo of “Magnum P.I.” on his wall instead of the President and Joe’s loving wife, who gets far more distraught at the thought of her husband-turned-beef blob devouring an innocent dog than the multitude of human skeletons he has left in his sloppy wake, time is running out to find a means by which to beat their meat problem. Hey, didn’t Joe say something about an onion allergy?

Jokes range from running gags (scientist loses his legs to the monster and spends the rest of the film sitting around with skeletal limbs) to poking fun at genre tropes (over-written, matter-of-fact dialogue typical of these old films) to the outright ridiculous (a scientist who licks skeletons to identify the flavor of the thing that consumed their flesh).

Arguably, the most inspired joke is the old 1950’s chestnut of casting actors way too old to play teenagers. Here, the gag takes casting in the opposite direction with what looks like a pair of 13-year-olds seated behind the wheel of the Lover’s Lane car, only for their romantic interlude to be interrupted by something falling from the stars.

What’s that deafening inhuman wailing coming from the woods? Must be those damn raccoons again.

There’s even a hokey as hell musical number that gets interrupted by a hungry monster. The Creeping Terror and The Giant Gila Monster would be so delighted by their meaty cousin carrying on such a proud tradition.

A movie with a premise this absurd shouldn’t work at all. In the wrong hands it could have ended up a moronic, vulgar, gross-out comedy a la the vast majority of what passes for low-budget horror comedies these days. I didn’t love this one as much as I did I Was a Teenage Wereskunk from earlier this year, but the good-natured wit of the script and the undeniable enthusiasm of everyone involved make this a worthwhile throwback parody that should whet the appetite of fans of similar films such as The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and the works of Christopher R. Mihm.

“You’re not some sort of man-eating monster. You’re Joe Newman, the man who wouldn’t let Tom Hanks molest me for less than $150 dollars.”

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
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Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

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Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

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Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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