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(This is NOT an official poster. It's just a place holder that I made for the review.)

“Frankie Go Boom”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Last week I got to attend a cast and crew screening of the upcoming indie film, Frankie Go Boom, and are you all in for a treat! This is a Secret Stash exclusive! After checking with writer/director Jordan Roberts and the producers, I’m pleased to announce that this is officially the first review of Frankie Go Boom anywhere! Remember you read it here first! I’ve always wanted to say that, and now it’s actually true! Okay, let’s get this show on the road. Now, when I went into this movie I had absolutely zero expectations. I had no idea what it was about, and having not seen a trailer… There isn’t one yet, by the way. Yeah, I told you, you were the first to know! I really didn’t know what to expect, and I’ve got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The one thing I did know going in, was the cast. I’ve always enjoyed Lizzy Caplan on the big and small screen, but I became a huge fan of Chris O’Dowd’s a few years ago after seeing The Boat That Rocked/Pirate Radio. That alone got me into the theatre, and I’m guessing that’s why I didn’t even bother to ask what the movie was about before seeing it that night. But lucky for you, your old friend Darby took some notes, and is ready to give you the 4-1-1.

Frankie Go Boom is about two brothers, the youngest Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) who is continuously being tortured and humiliated throughout his life by his older brother, Bruce (Chris O’Dowd), all the while being caught on tape as the subject matter of Bruce’s “movies.” I use the air quotes because Bruce’s movies are nothing more than glorified home videos of his constant mistreatment and torment of poor Frankie. From Super 8 cameras to HD cellphones, the advancements of modern home video equipment over the years don’t really seem to be helping Frank deter Bruce from making anymore of his movies anytime soon. And as I’m sure you can all guess by now, it was only a matter of time before one of Bruce’s “movies” found its way to the internet. Fortunately for Frankie, only a few million people got to see Bruce’s latest little opus which captured one of the worst days of Frank’s adult life, his wedding day. After that, Frank decides to do the only logical thing, he gets himself a trailer and moves out to the middle of Death Valley, miles away from society, and more importantly his family. Of course he realizes that it’s only a matter of time before they pull him back in, which is why he leaves notes to himself reminding him just how awful they can be. What’s that they say about all best laid plans? Sure enough, Frank gets lured back home, and it’s while he’s attending Bruce’s AA graduation that he runs into… Well actually she runs into him. Never the less, Frankie meets Lassie (Lizzy Caplin), who is not a dog by the way. Lassie just happens to be her name. It’s not clear if it’s in reference to the Scottish term for young lady, or the famous Border Collie, but I kind of love the fact that they don’t even address it. I think it’s hilarious that there’s not even one attempt to explain why her name is Lassie.

I think this is where I’m going to stop the play-by-play story breakdown. I don’t really want to give too much more away, and trust me this is only the tip of the iceberg, but I will however give you just one last little nugget. Mostly because I know it’s already floating around out there on the old interwebs, but also because it has to be said, Ron Perlman gives a show-stopping performance in this movie! He plays Bruce’s former prison roommate Phil, or as he/she is now known, Phyllis. I’ve gotta tell ya, seeing Ron Perlman in drag is not something you can actually prepare yourself for, especially when Mr. Perlman is sitting right next to you! I’m not kidding! Sitting right to my right, Hellboy himself, Mr. Ron Perlman! Trust me, after you see the movie you’ll understand just how weird of a life experience that was for me.
Let’s just say that someone finally makes Scott Bakula look like an attractive woman. Oh, boy.

I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed this movie! I’ve been trying to think of a movie I could compare it to, that might help you get a better idea of the film’s overall tone, but it’s really hard because the movie is unique unto itself. It’s very much an independent movie, but it has this underlying mainstream appeal that I think will ultimately help it find a bigger audience once it comes out. But, if I had to compare it to something, I would have to say Clay Pigeons, which was one of my favorite movies from the late 90’s indie film movement. It stars Vince Vaughn, Joaquin Phoenix, and Janeane Garofalo. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend NetFlixing it. As for Frankie Go Boom, the humor and pace of the movie is dead-on, and there’s a nice grittiness to it that seems to really set it apart from other movies being released these days. If you’re planning on attending this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival, I highly recommend seeking this one out! I have a feeling it’s going to be the talk of the festival. I for one will gladly be seeing it again, and I think it’s safe to say that I already have a favorite movie on my list for 2012. I’m really hoping that when Frankie Go Boom comes out, that it will go BOOM in a really big way!




“I Spit on Your Grave”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Do you like rape? What am I saying? Of course you do! Who doesn’t? No, really. You’re going to have to be really okay with rape scenes if you’re even going to thinking about seeing this movie. I Spit on Your Grave is a remake of the 1978 grindhouse exploitation film Day of the Woman, which was later re-titled and released as I Spit on Your Grave in 1980. The movie was very much one of those movies you hear about in high school, and know you shouldn’t see it, so of course you’ll do anything to get your hands on a copy. Much like those Faces of Death videos. I of course watched the original back in high school, but can’t remember anything about it, other than the fact that it, like everything else, did not live up to the hype. So, when Shady and I went to the advanced screening of the current re-interpretation of I Spit on Your Grave a few months back, neither of us had any idea what we were walking into. We’re talking about almost forty minutes, if not more, of hardcore rape. And, I mean rape. Which is then followed by graphically violent revenge torture. Shady and I both have a pretty high tolerance for all things wrong, and even we were having a hard time sitting through this movie. I’m not kidding, people were leaving the theatre in waves throughout the screening, and by the end of the movie the full theatre was easily half empty. You know it’s bad when you’re filling out the questionnaire at the end of the movie, and when you get to the “What would make this movie better?” question, you actually find yourself writing “less rape.” With that said, Sarah Butler, the actress who plays the young victim, is outstanding! The things that she had to do for this movie are unbelievable, and the fact that she not only did them, but also was able to give a performance that would make even Meryl Streep envious, is simply amazing! Butler plays Jennifer, a young female novelist who has rented a reclusive cabin out in the middle of nowhere to get some writing done, and quickly becomes the fascination of four local men. As you can probably guess at this point, they brutally and graphically rape her. The tension and discomfort of the first half of this movie is sure to bother everyone, and I mean everyone! I don’t care how much you say nothing bothers you. If you can watch this movie without getting upset or truly uncomfortable, you’re either a sick freak or a soulless bastard. How do I know this? Because I was sitting with someone who would normally fit that description, and even he was both bothered and uncomfortable. The revenge torture in the second half is equally graphic and unsettling. But, it does seem to somehow manage to even out the scales somewhat with Jennifer getting her revenge. But with all of that said, I still think that some of the movie was really well done, for what it was. It’s really hard to say you enjoyed a movie about really graphic rape, and at times one step away from an exploitation snuff film, but there are a few things worth seeing in this remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Just be ready. I mean really, really, really ready.


“The Crazies”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Welcome to Ogden Marsh, population 1,260, and dropping. I’ve got to tell you, this is one hell of a movie. It hasn’t even opened nationwide yet, and I’ve already seen it twice. It’s a remake of a 1973 George A. Romero film of the same name. I haven’t seen the original, but I’m now really looking forward to checking it out very soon. George A. Romero was an executive producer on this new version as well, which is always a good sign on a remake. The one thing I would however advise you to do before seeing The Crazies, is to not watch all the trailers for the movie before seeing it. The one that I have posted at the end of this review is safe, but this is truly the type of movie that the less you know going in, the better. The second time I went to see it, I brought Shady with me, who watched the trailer right before going, and he said it totally ruined it for him. Now this was months ago, so the trailer he watch was the first trailer they released, and they have since stopped showing it for just that reason. The new trailers are a little bit more vague, but it’s still better to just go see the movie with absolutely no spoilers.

Now, this is where I would normally tell you what the movie is about… But, how can I do that, when I just told you not to watch any of the film’s trailers? Okay, here’s what I feel I can tell you… This is not a zombie movie. Most people hear George A. Romero, and instantly think zombie, which they damn well should! However, this is not about zombies. In this movie, it’s more like a virus with zombie type symptoms. Unlike zombies, the infected in this movie don’t want to feed on human flesh, or hunt in hordes. No, it’s more like a creepy, calm, empty rage, which on film is way scarier than it sounds. Trust me. The Crazies takes place in a small Iowa town just outside Cedar Rapids, where Sheriff David Dutton, played by Timothy Olyphant, tries desperately to save his wife and town from a sudden virus, and at the same time a government quarantine. That kind of sums it up quite nicely, and spoiler free to boot.

I really liked this movie. You can even tell when you’re watching it, that the filmmakers, really knew what they wanted to do with this project. At no point does it try be something it’s not. It’s just a nice clear-cut story that is brilliantly directed by Breck Eisner, and is a perfect example of what I would consider an outstanding movie. Which is shocking because Eisner, son of Michael Eisner, also directed Sahara. What I think really does work for this movie, is that it has this “little movie that could” feel to it that definitely adds to its charm, much like one of my other absolute favorite movies, Feast. If you have not seen Feast yet, shame on you! More on that some other day, but for now back to the movie at hand. The Crazies really does do a wonderful job of mixing the suspense and tension in the film, into a fantastic horror cocktail. The scenes in the funeral parlor and car wash are just so good, truly classic horror movie moments. I can almost guarantee that I will be seeing this again in the theatre real soon. It’s just simply a fun ride. So, to all of you reading this right now, do yourselves a favor; buy a ticket, and take the ride. You’d be crazy not too.