I started writing for the Satellite Show in February of 2010, which proves a simple point: I do not know when to quit. Since that time, three regular features have emerged: Now Fear This, when I talk about underrated (mostly horror) movies worth your time, Yakmala, of which I am but a yellow lion in a larger Voltron, and Lifetime Theater, where I talk about… something. I forget. I’ve done so many that it’s inevitable a few might slip through the cracks. This is where I play Louis Black and reiterate some recommendations for your next movie night.
Now Fear This
When you’re looking for a Now Fear This movie, you want something you can enjoy without any irony, probably alone or with a few others, and in relative silence. I’m choosing my favorites of the lesser-known movies, since that’s the whole point of this feature.
Mute Witness: The very first Now Fear This entrant. You can tell because, man I sucked at writing back then. This is a classic low budget thriller that wears its Hitchcockian pretensions well.
The Strangers: Legitimately one of the most terrifying movies I’ve ever seen.
Session 9: It’s hard to be this scary with so very little, but this movie manages with aplomb. It still has one of my favorite final lines in film history.
Dark City: Director’s Cut: Really one of the best SF/Fantasy movies out there. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Cast a Deadly Spell: There is perhaps no movie more influential on my own aesthetic. It’s a nifty weird noir mashup that presages HBO’s status as the beloved creator of original content.
Here, I want to recommend movies that make great drunk party viewing. Get some friends together, put out the beer, and let the riffing commence!
Blood Freak: A film I introduced to the gang, so it’s always had a special place in my heart. Plus it’s nice and short, and the best moment is the very end.
The Man Who Saves the World, a.k.a. Turkish Star Wars: Has to be seen to be believed.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo: Its subtitle has become hacky shorthand for dumb sequels, but the original movie is a delirious day-glo fantasy that could not be more fun.
After Last Season: Only a movie in the loosest sense of the term, this feels like the fever dream of a madman.
Samurai Cop: Finally getting a bit of the recognition it deserves, this is what would happen if a Boo Radley-style shut-in ever tried to make an ‘80s buddy cop film.
Lifetime movies are at their best when they go careening off the rails. There’s a lot of overlap with Yakmala, and the best of them can be watched in the same kind of atmosphere.
Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret: How do you turn a hideous murder into half a you-go-girl anthem? Well, Lifetime isn’t sure either, but they sure did take a shot at it.
Drew Peterson: Untouchable: Rob Lowe really brings it in this bizarre true crime story.
Talhotblond: A favorite amongst the Yakmala crowd for very good reasons. It’s a more-or-less competently made film with insane twists that will keep you guessing.
Petals on the Wind: My Dollanganger obsession is reaching a fever pitch, but thus far the series hasn’t gotten any better than its second installment. This is when the people at Lifetime realized what they had and just decided to go with it.
The Lizzie Borden Chronicles: A distaff Hannibal, it’s also completely insane. These reviews are in podcast form!
If you only watch a few of the movies I recommend, those are the ones to watch.