Friday, March 10, 2017

Magic Capes, Alternate Universes and Zombie Candy Skull Death Cults, or Thoughts on V/H/S: Viral

The sequel to V/H/S/2 (2013), V/H/S: Viral (2014) either goes completely off the rails or takes the series to its inevitable conclusion, depending on your perspective and tolerance for the found footage genre.  The movie throws away the box of haunted videos premise and simply presents a series of stories from multiple perspectives; as if a compilation of movies were assembled by an anonymous editor and stitched together from gun cams, security cameras, numerous phone videos.  The movie has the highest production values and is in many ways the most ambitious and mainstream of the series, which again, can be considered a good thing or a bad thing.
The framing narrative, Vicious Circles from director Marcel Sarmiento follows an LA police chase of a speeding ice cream truck that’s and broadcasting a viral video signal inspiring random acts of violence like in Stephen King’s Cell (2016).  Dante the Great, from director Gregg Bishop has a hack magician discovering Houdini's cape (they call it a cloak, but really, it’s a cape, and a cheap looking one at that) and performing real magic on stage, essentially the plot of Clive Barker’s The Lord of Illusion (1995).  Magic is problematic enough in real life, people resent being tricked, and the entire illusion falls apart on screen where everything's fake.
Parallel Monsters, the most intriguing feature by Spanish director Ignacio Vigalondo features a mirror universe with Blade Runner-esque satanic airships and swingers with satanic cthulhu-genitals.  And it wouldn't be VHS without a gang of idiot dude bros, this time on a skating trip to Tijuana in Bonestorm, directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead.  They encounter candy skull zombie death cult, but to their credit, the dude bros don’t panic and fight back.  There’s also a secret track on the Blu-ray from director Todd Lincoln, Gorgeous Vortex; a confusing but stylish mishmash, as if David Lynch directed a Victoria’s Secret commercial.
  Reminiscent of George A. Romero’s Diary of The Dead (2007) at least thematically, V/H/S: Viral (2014) explores the idea that everyone has a camera, and everyone is filming.  The original director Adam Wingard of V/H/S (2012) and V/H/S/2 (2013) was not involved in this sequel, and the consensus from fans and critics alike is the film suffered from his lack of participation.  However he went on to make You’re Next (2011), and the Blair Witch (2016) remake so it’s not like he was looking to revisit an old project.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).