Sunday, January 25, 2015

V/H/S Viral (2014)

Lots of things go viral now. The Internet has become a sort of do-it-yourself paradise for people who aren't talented enough to get famous any other way. Hell, look at my own blog for a perfect example.

...I think I need to go re-evaluate my life choices. In the meantime, here's a review of V/H/S Viral I had previously written and will now somehow play back to you even though this is a text-based blog post and that makes no sense.

Director: Various
Starring: Justin Welborn, Emmy Argo

Co-written with Tony and Michelle.

Yes.

We start this off with one of the most realistic things ever according to modern horror filmmakers – people playing around with cameras and filming their girlfriends' cleavage:

What amazing cinematography and lighting.

I'm sorry, I gotta break character so early in the review but really...who acts like this? Who in real life ever plays with a fucking camera like this? Nobody does! Absolutely nobody in the world ever uses a video camera this much and just follows their girlfriend or friends around filming all day! You'd probably be slapped with harassment fines if you filmed your significant other this much! They'd leave you in a second! But the way these movies tell it, no, filming your loved ones is the highest mark of respect! Truly it signifies decency and respect, and doesn't at all mean they're about to cut you up into little pieces and store your body parts in a freezer while masturbating to the video later.

Sigh. I dunno. At least this time we get a sort of story here with Camera Boy seeing a car chase going on outside. I guess the idea is that it's actually a rogue ice cream truck going mad, which to me sounds like the kind of thing Stephen King could only dream of writing.

Anyway, a cop stands in the road telling Camera Boy to stop filming, because I guess the cop just feels insecure about his looks today. The ice cream truck hits him and immediately kills him, severing an arm in the process – I'm so glad we're letting our kids buy ice cream from these trucks which can kill a man in a second!


Dante the Great

Then we get the first of the anthology stories – this one is a documentary about a magician called Dante the Great. Apparently Dante used to be trailer trash up until he randomly found a magic cloak that used to belong to Houdini. Then he started being able to do cool things like pull rabbits from his cloak.

"Holy crap, I forgot I had left this in my back pocket for so long! Now I get why my clothes smelled like rabbit shit for months!"

After that it was apparently a fast ticket to success, as he gets huge sold-out exclusive shows in big cities and seems to be wowing the entire world. I love some of the people interviewed...like this one couple who say Dante the Great teleported them across the country during his act, from New York to San Francisco. Gee, honey, that magic show sure was worth the hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket back to our home and missing work the next day!

"Dude, he teleported us to the Antarctic Circle! I'm so in awe of the power of stage magicians!"

Another guy says Dante the Great picked his pocket on stage. Well that's great. You really spellbound me on the art of magic now! He stole money from you after you already paid for a ticket. The guy doesn't elaborate if Dante ever gave him his money back, but given the rest of the story, I'm inclined to think he didn't. Boy, Dante's kind of an ass, huh?

As the documentary goes on, it chronicles how Dante went slowly insane because of the cape. This magician's assistant tells most of the story, about how he made friends with her (though really he's just trying to get in her pants). He does creepy things like tie up her hands with rope without warning her first:

"Next I'll use X-Ray vision to see through your already skimpy clothing...isn't that amazing?"

And also beating the shit out of her abusive boyfriend, Chronicle-style!

Assault and eventual murder? Whimsical!

Though not all of his super macho-aggro fighting exploits are so noble – for example, I really don't think killing random women who you conned into sleeping with you is kosher.


I just love the amount of logic this guy has...hey, I'll try and get this hot magician's assistant to be my girlfriend! Oh, but I'd probably have a fucking girlfriend if I didn't keep murdering every woman who came home with me! Eh, what can you say but, magical cloaks turn you into a giant dildo of a human being.

Then we see more of his logic as the cops find out he's been killing people and arrest him. He escapes and gets into a huge fight with them, apparently figuring that will persuade them. Hey, maybe if I kill the cops, they'll leave me alone and I can go back to selling out theaters to perform magic! Yeah! And maybe if you try hard enough, you can also pull a rabbit out of your ass next time.

"This is great publicity for my shows!"

Assistant chick, meanwhile, is sitting in some cop's office and the cop is telling her magic doesn't exist. Then to prove her wrong, she gets magically sucked through a portal in her chair to where Dante is:

"Hmm, my sense of irony and comedic timing tell me this moment means something..."

In the fight she has with Dante, she of course never even has any dust on her face, and doesn't have a single hair out of place or makeup smudge. What can I say about this? Clearly it's important for women to look good while fighting for their lives.


Also, why isn't he just killing her? He's clearly an omnipotent super-god of a man; why not just kill her and get it over with? Or is it really still a possibility in his mind that he could get together with her if he just beats her into submission? Really proving how different you are from the abusive jackass that you saved her from before, guy! But whatever. Clearly he's just crazy now, so that excuses everything.

The guy can teleport anything he wants and rip open bunny rabbits without touching them, but his best recourse here is just strangling her with one hand. Brilliant combat strategy.

He gets sucked into his own cloak like it's a giant vacuum cleaner, and she goes home and uses a webcam so she can show off her own ass:

"Oh, I had an extra cloak after all!"

Then she gets sucked into the cloak too, and that's the end of that!

Bonus – there's a documentary scene where it shows his mom after his disappearance, still living in the same trailer park as before. So even when Dante the Great got all that money and fame, he didn't help his own mother move out of a trailer park. That is just the epitome of class!

Parallel Monsters

The next story is about this guy who builds a dimensional portal in his bedroom. You know, like you do. He meets up with himself from another dimension, which is super cool!


“Hey, Me from Another Dimension, I totally trust you even though you're acting suspicious as fuck and I don't know what kinds of dark secrets or fucked up shit are in this other world! Let's trade lives and explore each other's dimensions!”

“Okay!”

In the parallel universe, main dude meets up with a double of his wife, who apparently finds it fun to invite two wannabe porn stars over to sit on the couch and watch reruns of The Wicker Man.

"What? They don't do this in your dimension?"

He sits on the couch with his parallel-dimension wife, who complains that he ignores her too much. To alleviate her worries, he looks out the window and ignores her some more. What a class act, man.

Then some noises sound outside and he goes outside to find that the two porn stars from before actually have worm monsters in place of dicks, which is totally what I wanted to see. This movie is really hitting all the right notes! I don't think their porn careers would be very fruitful though – they have labor unions for shit like this now.

Hey, his facial expression is the same one all the viewers of the entire movie had after it was over!

Back in the real world, the alternate reality version of the main guy pulls out his own monster-worm-dick in front of the real-world wife. I thought he raped her the first time I saw this, but really we see her again later, and she doesn't look like she got violated by a worm monster...I mean, so far as my eyes can tell on the other side of this computer screen. So maybe he just wanted to show it off. Truly, the lesson learned here is just to use protection when you enter a parallel dimension. Always play on the safe side.

It's also never explained WTF that is, or why they have them - it's just, hey, this is weird alien shit!

I also wonder what her reaction was...

“I've been married to you for 6 years! How did I not notice this?!?

Yeah that sounds about right. Anyway, both of the wives, in both universes, kill their husbands, which ends this time travel story on a bit of a sour note. I mean, it really isn't much of a selling point for interdimensional travel, is it? I mean, double homicide on both ends probably isn't going to have NASA barging into the basement of the next weirdo who makes a portal.

Wrap-Around Land

In the wrap-around segment, more teenagers try to film the car chase with the demonic ice cream truck, which is a sentence that really makes me question what I do here. Don't I have anything else I could review? No, probably not. Am I having a conversation with myself in the middle of a review? Yes. Yes I am...

We get some dumb enlightening, powerful plays on filmmaking like a shot from the prospective of a kid being dragged along on the back of a truck. KEEP FILMING, BRAVE SOUL!

Bloody feet? No problem! KEEP FILMING!!!

Or this masterful one, which shows from the perspective of a kid falling off a bridge to his death:


Truly this is the commentary on suicide we've been waiting for. Nobody will want to kill themselves now that they've seen what it looks like from this perspective!

Ugh. Okay, I'm done talking about this part.

Bonestorm

The last actual full-length story is about kids skateboarding and making literally everyone they come across mad. I'm not shitting you here. They skateboard on a roof and make the owner of the roof shout at them. They're on the sidewalk and one kid runs into a guy's jeep and damages it, and that guy gets mad at them. What kind of ingenious recourse do they have against all these angry squares who just don't get it? Well, they mostly just flip them off and keep going.

Nothing to do with what I described just now, but funny all the same just for causing these three morons pain.

Also, filming everything is TOTALLY radical, dude. I dunno, just show me the scene where they fight Scott Pilgrim and get exploded into a handful of coins.

They then decide the United States just can't handle their douchiness, so they go to a remote, desolate part of Tijuana, where I'm sure they will be in good company with the drug dealers and slum lords in the area!

"In America they just have photos of Kim Kardashian and Sarah Palin at their skate park ritual religious temples!"

Frankly, though, the dangers of drug cartels are nowhere near as perilous compared to the dangers of Satanic voodoo ritual cults. I can see why so many of them are eager to cross the border to the States now.


Fortunately for them, though, skateboarding means you get superpowers – again, Scott Pilgrim. Read up on it. So the skater-douches go to town on the cult members, even though they're violently outnumbered and smaller, and somehow turn into Sylvester Stallone mini-me's.


Wrap Around...Again

There's a short story in between the main ones about some girl taking off her clothes in a cab for a camera and then pulling a gun on the sleazebag making her do it, saying something about revenge porn. Unfortunately she doesn't kill him before a truck slams into the cab and presumably just kills all three of them. It's kinda just an excuse for boobs, which every V/H/S movie has some sort of insane quota of that I guess this one hadn't met yet.

Will this drive up my site traffic more? I think so. That's why I put it here.

After that we get the conclusion of the main story, where Camera Boy finds the ice cream truck in some abandoned field and finds inside it...well, look:

Hey, you found the neighborhood child predator's hideout!

What were they originally doing in that truck before the apocalypse? I mean, I can't imagine the demonic truck putting all those TVs in there by itself. So that means that, before all this crazy shit started happening, somebody else put all that shit in there...people really need to ask more questions of the ice cream man.

Then what happens next is...honestly kind of hard to describe. Camera Boy sees his girlfriend on the screen bashing her own head into a wall unless he takes his own picture and “goes viral,” I guess – maybe the whole thing is some weird-ass allegory for what technology and “viral” video culture do to us. I dunno, it really isn't elaborated on much.

A new way to take a selfie.

So that's V/H/S Viral. I honestly don't know what they were thinking with most of this, but it was a bit entertaining at least – certainly moreso than the lame second installment, which felt recycled and like an afterthought to the first one. This one, while dumb and mostly nonsensical, did at least keep you guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. I wouldn't go so far as to call it good, but it entertained me more than I thought it would.

Now, my minions, go and spread this review and make it...VIRAL!

Images copyright of their original owners; I own none of them.