Monday, 31 December 2012

The List of Things I Liked in 2012 Part 2

Mr. Darko's Favourite 6 Indie, Low-Budget, Whatever else of 2012

 This list consists of all the things I didn't consider a big blockbuster that came out this year, but that doesn't mean they are below any of the movies on part 1. I just didn't want to have to mix these movies together into one big list as I felt that certain things would get left out that shouldn't. That's also why this list got extended to 6 as well. Below are the 6 movies that you likely didn't see this year, due to a limited or non-existent release but are definitely worth the trouble to seek them out.

1. Killer Joe
Killer Joe  was well, about as divisive as it seems every indie movie if these days. People love it, people want to see it burned at the stake. That seems to be the story of most of the movies on this list but Killer Joe did it exceptionally well. No one can watch it and say it doesn't feature some amazing performances, or that it doesn't succeed at exactly what it wanted to do. People hate it because of what it does. Killer Joe makes you very uncomfortable and for many, the distinctive and soon to be cult famous chicken scene is not going to be easily forgotten. But when it comes to Killer Joe, I'd only say that means it was successful, I may not have comfortable enjoyed it, but it was a powerful movie.

2. Holy Motors
This strange French film from Leos Carax has been causing quite a big stir. I've noticed it on a few different bloggers sites, mostly listed as that 2012 movie they think might have made their list if they had actually seen it. Well, as of yesterday I have and well... here it is in third place. I've done weird movies. I'm familair with the filmographies of the likes  of Lynch and Jodorowsky. Holy Motors is a movie weird enough to comfortably fit in with any of their works. While it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, Holy Motors is a beautiful movie that captures the very essence of what movie are about, capturing scenes that while inexplicably connected all contain elements of movie magic that make great movies. It's not easy to explain, but I recommend any moviefan watch it, just don't try to hard to understand it and go along for the ride.

3. Father's Day
Father's Day is the epitome of  the current exploitation B-movie resurgence that has occurred over the last few years and is about as offensive and distasteful as any of the cult classic's from the days of drive-in movies and grindhouse cinemas. It's over the top and ridiculous, brought to life by Astron-6 on a budget smaller than the cost of some expensive shoestrings and with the powerhouse of independent movie making, TROMA, behind them Father's Day isn't going to be watchable let alone understandable for everyone. But it wasn't trying to be, and for those who enjoy the gory, distasteful grindhouse movie, Father's Day is a treat no one was expecting. It also might have been released in 2011, but don't hate me for it.

4. Kill List
This British horror movie was definitely one of the biggest surprises this year starting out as a story about two hitmen working their way through a list before things take a surprising turn into madness. Kill List builds paranoia as we learn about our two lead characters until everything is thrown out the window in the insanity of the first act. I don't want to ruin it for you, but watch it, it made 4th on this list for a reason.

5. Iron Sky
When I first heard about Iron Sky I remember thinking how ridiculous it sounded. A movie about Nazi's hiding out on a secret moon base only to return to take over the world? That is some cheesy sci-fi B-movie premise right there, and honestly it was. But it was also some of the most entertaining fun I had this year as well. Iron Sky knew what it was and was comfortable with it, not taking itself to seriously and just going for the shear fun factor. It had a lot more originality and entertainment in it than any of the sci-fi action blockbusters Hollywood turned out this year (Battleship? Really Hollywood?) as well as featuring some rather impressive special effects and CGI considering it was Finnish indie movie. It might not be an artsy masterpiece, but it was full of popcorn worthy fun.

6. Safety Not Guaranteed

 I finally got around to watching this this week as well and of the two rather good indies Mark Duplass starred in this year, I enjoyed Safety Not Guaranteed a bit more. I mean the premise alone is so much more intriguing and fun, a newspaper add seeking a time-travel companion? Of course, I knew that the story would focus more on the characters and how their relationships developed but the acting was well done and the story was great, especially at the end when the movie went in the one direction I was absolutely sure it was not going to.

Also of note: End of Watch, I would add it in 7th place but that might be stretching this list a bit.

There you have it. Check out part 3 for what I watched on T.V.


  1. Father's Day played on festival (Toronto After Dark) in 2011, but did not really open in theaters or play any other fests until January 2012.