Our first part of this article (for the record, I have no idea why I didn’t shoot for a list of 20 right from the beginning) seemed to draw some fair attention from you loyal DCers, but what struck me was how informative the article quickly became. A good number of readers were quick to point out some gems omitted from the article, which led to debate and recommendation of a follow-up piece. And that’s where we’re at today, where I listen to you, return to a fair number of films I haven’t seen recently, as well as some newer releases, and come up with a respectable list of 10 more movies that make special effects feel special again.
Let’s keep the debate alive, my fellow genre freaks. If you’re noticing a kick-ass flick that deserves to land on lists of this nature, make it known. It’s always a treat to unearth something foreign to me, and I’m never closed to the idea of creating a 10 Modern Horror Films with Awesome Practical Effects Part 3 article.
Maniac (2012): Frank Khalfoun did an amazing job with the remake of William Lustig’s deeply unsettling Maniac. Visually it is an amazingly stimulating film. The filming perspective is clever and effective, and Elijah Wood rises to an occasion many figured he couldn’t possibly achieve. It’s one of those pictures that forces you to think about it well after viewing. And one of the finest elements of the flick just so happens to be the load of all-too-realistic practical effects work that one wildly talented group of effects practitioners make a reality. The murders are brutal, and the scalping scenes look horrendous enough to guarantee the movie earns mention in this list!
Frankenstein’s Army: Let’s just be completely honest here and admit the fact that Frankenstein’s Army isn’t exactly a great film. There’s a lot wrong with the flick (an immediate sign comes in the video and sound itself, which is supposedly captured with a military camera during the second World War, yet looks and sounds so damn crisp it is extremely evident the technology was still a few decades away from arriving, even to the military). But for all the problems, it’s really hard to deny the entertainment value of the pic. Once the insanity really kicks into gear – around the 40- to 45-minute mark – we get to see some of the craziest monster creations ever put to film. And most of it looks absolutely amazing.
Doom: Full disclosure: Doom is a huge guilty pleasure piece for me. It’s so damn goofy, and “The Rock” is so hammy that there are a number of unintentional laughs to be had that tickle my fancy for reasons that could easily be considered wrong. But this video game transfer gets two things very, very right. One, it’s extremely fun. It moves fast and holds our attention (whether we take it seriously or not) with a bunch of cool monsters, human termination, and crazy pacing. The second thing it does very well is nailing the special effects. There are plenty of scenes weighed down with visual effects, but there are a whole hell of a lot of scenes with cool monster makeup and gnarly prosthetics. These beasts are pretty damn awesome… even if the picture as a whole could be considered by some a total waste of time.