(au) wrote: You know exactly what to expect when you have a horror anthology film...and that is a mixed bag. This film really is no exception. I'd say that out of the 4 shorts offered, only one of them is legitimately funny, at least in my opinion. The others vary from almost good to cringe worthy, which I will get to. But, with that said, I think the film exhibits a sheer love for horror films and its sheer insanity that is impossible to deny. That definitely elevates past what it naturally achieved on its own. Even the worst segment of the film, I Was a Teenage Werebear, exhibits an enthusiasm for outright silliness that I can't really hate it. The film employs a lot of raunchy, seriously, comedy that's certainly not for those with a weak stomach. It's not truly grotesque, but it is very juvenile. With that said, I'll review each short individually as there were only four of them in the entire movie.Wadzilla: We start off the movie with a juvenile tribute to 50s horror films, most specifically Godzilla, as obviously implied by the title of the short. Basically, long story short, this short focuses on a giant sperm that's attacking the city. The main character takes this pill that makes him curl up in pain whenever he's aroused. Of course, when he finally lets the monster free, as literally as I can possibly be, it's revealed that his sperm has grown in size exponentially and he will continue to grow until it is destroyed, or it destroys the entire city. With a concept as silly as this, you know exactly what to expect. A lot of sperm jokes and the like. I think it certainly has its moments, like when they destroy the giant sperm, who's humping the Statue of Liberty, the entire town is covered in sperm. It is as gross, if you have a weak stomach, as you can imagine. But, by and large, the short is definitely very hit and miss. It's a great short to start off the anthology with since it is relies so heavily on the visual of a giant sperm killing people, and I think at the very least that'll grab people's attention, but it just doesn't really do enough with its concept to make it more than just a hit and miss affair. Of course, that's not exactly fair to this short since there are time constraints, but I think this could've been much better. Still think this is a very loving, but gleefully immature, tribute to monster films from times past.I Was A Teenage Werebear: As I mentioned in the first paragraph of the review, I think this is easily the worst of all the shorts in the movie. It's just way too long for its own good, even in its final cut and it doesn't have as many laughs as any of the other shorts. This short spoofs the beach party movie genre from the 60s with a bit of a horror twist. Basically, long story short, a bear, in gay culture, is a large, hairy man who presents an image of masculinity. In fact, the most clever thing about this film is its title. Since, knowing nothing about this film prior to it, I originally thought instead of people turning into werewolves, they would turn into bears. So they gave it a little bit of a gay twist, literally. But, like I said, it's the least funny short in the entire movie. It has some good musical scenes, fitting right in with the beach party movie genre, and some good gore. But it never really comes together as a whole. It's clear that this was a blast to film, so I can't hold it that much against them, but no amount of energetic passion can save this short from being below average. You can imagine how lackluster this is when this one actually drags quite a bit.The Diary of Anne Frankenstein: This is easily THE best short of the anthology. Of course, it's easily the most offensive out of them all, which really adds to how entertaining it actually is. One of my favorite parts of this one is after Hitler kills the entire Frank family, he instructs the soldier to take the diary, write it as Anne Frank, put a bunch of depressing stuff in the diary and that they'll make millions off it after the war is over. Nothing like poking fun at a diary that has inspired millions of people. I'm all for black comedy to be perfectly honest, so I was perfectly fine with this. But there's no denying that, for some, this is pushing the boundaries of bad taste. Particularly after Hitler creates his Jewish monster, whom he named Meshugganah. His appearance is about as stereotypically Jewish as you can imagine. Again, I found it funny, others might not. I'd suggest that this would be more of a tribute to the old Universal horror films from the early part of the decade until the 40s, but really it mostly reminds me of Young Frankenstein. That is if Young Frankenstein tried as hard as it possibly could to offend a large section of earth's population. This is ironic really, considering that Young Frankenstein is in itself a tribute to the Universal horror films. Joel David Moore, who played Hitler, absolutely stole the show with his performance. He was so gleefully over-the-top and ridiculous that it was a joy to watch him. The rest of the cast was clearly having a good time being as silly as they possibly could. Unfortunately though, this one also drags a little bit. Not as much as I Was A Teenage Werebear, but it still dragged. Thankfully it got right back on track with its finale, which was pretty incredible. I loved this one really. If the other shorts were better than they were, I'd have no problem giving this film 3 stars, it'd be mostly because of this, but this would be a considerably better movie. If you need to watch one short out of this, it should definitely be this one.Zom-B-Movie: This is the one that really connects all the other shorts together, so it doesn't really have much to do other than that. The pulled a red herring because I thought there was gonna be another short, instead of this one, called Deathication. It was literally a bunch of a shit flying around on screen, basically the projector got fucked up by the zombies and Deathication was to be no more. Probably a good thing too, because I wasn't liking where Deathication was going. It would've been an awful way to end the film. I realize that, given the structure of the shorts themselves, that this one had to go on last, but I really think that The Diary of Anne Frankenstein should've closed out the film. I get why it didn't, again, it wouldn't have made sense given how they were structured, but you want to go out on top right? At the very least, this one has a lot of gore and ridiculously over-the-top sex. That's all I can really say about it, and it also has a lot of film references that any self-respecting film nerd will pick instantly pick up on. I'd say this was the second best short in the film almost by default. It was just a little more tightly-scripted than Wadzilla, and I think it ended up giving us more with less than Wadzilla gave us more with, well, more. Fun cast again, nothing to complain about there. And this short definitely makes want to go to a drive-in theater even more. This is something I've wanted to do for over a decade now, if I had to make a bucket list, going to a drive-in would be on that list. Good gore and decent amount of comedy.Really, while this is a tribute to past incarnations of the horror genre, in all its forms, in many ways, this is also a tribute to the midnight community that keeps these films alive. The end of the film sees people in a theater applauding at what the madness they had just witnessed. And, I don't know, but there was something about seeing that that brought a sense of pride in me, even though I've never even been to a midnight screening, about how cool this community can be sometimes. And I liked that little nod to the community that makes these films achieve cult status. Rocky Horror Picture Show wouldn't be as big as it is today without the midnight audience. But I've already kept this review long enough. This film wouldn't have gotten this score if it wasn't for The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, even if none of the other shorts themselves were downright awful, it just wouldn't have been as 'good' without the Frankenstein short. But I think this would be an even better movie to watch with a group of friends. I think watching the film like that would be a blast. At least if you're all like-minded. Average movie at best though, not the best anthology horror film I've ever seen. Not nearly the worst either.
(gb) wrote: This was a rather intelligent comedy, with an interesting story and some great acting. The rather unusual plot makes it rather amusing and intriguing to watch, since I've never seen a film that was about post-mortem cleanup - you? Anyway, the storyline is rather interesting, and the only problem is in the lack of development of the characters, mainly by the end of the film. Yes, one of the two sisters decided that she is 'better than that' and that she will end the affair she was having with a guy. But that's about it. There is no reflection on it. The other sister decides to just take a road trip and disappear. Why? No one knows... Also, the relationship with her (girl)friend just ends abruptly without any sort of pondering upon that. Those are definitely weaknesses in the film, but the laughs, giggles and plenty of good dramatic moments make up for it.The cast is great, especially Emily Blunt who had the most expressive performance in quite a while. Amy Adams was her usual greatness, and Alan Arkin was ok - very much the same character he played in "Little Miss Sunshine".Overall, despite some problems with the character development and the storyline, "Sunshine Cleaning" is a heart-warming dramedy with interesting events and good acting. Definitely worth watching!