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Last updateFri, 03 Apr 2020 5pm

In Fabric is one of 2019’s wackier movies. An unofficial homage to director Dario Argento by Peter Strickland, it follows a killer dress as the garment takes out victims during a busy shopping season. It has the weird score, the strange-looking fake blood that’s too brightly colored, and the sort of pacing that has made Argento a cult favorite.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste stars as a mom looking to get back on the dating scene after her husband leaves her … so she buys a dress. The dress burns her when she wears it and sometimes jumps on people after hanging around on the ceiling. Strickland somehow makes this sort of beautiful and silly, rather than just silly.

Later in the film, the story shifts to a soon-to-be-wed machine repairman (Steve Oram) who is also victimized by the strange garment. Fatma Mohamed takes the award for Weirdest Entity in a Weird Movie as a geisha-looking store manager who seems to know the dress has powers, but sells it anyway.

So, beware: In Fabric is a nutty, strange, ambiguous movie that isn’t for everyone. But if you do happen to like films about killer dresses, this is right up your alley.

In Fabric is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

English-import limited series The End of the F***ing World, based upon a dark comic book, is as insane as TV generally gets. If you like your humor dark, dark, dark, this will suit you just fine.

Jessica Barden (The Lobster) and Alex Lawther (Black Mirror) are incredible as Alyssa and James. Alyssa is the new girl at school; Alex is the strange kid who sits alone in the cafeteria, fantasizing about one day killing a person. Alyssa walks up to him and immediately qualifies herself as his potential first murder (not counting a slew of animals in his backyard). He fakes being interested in her, and they go out on a few dates, while James secretly fantasizes about slitting Alyssa’s throat.

This is not your average set up for a standard rom-com, now, is it?

Somehow, these two performers not only pull off the premise; they do so in grand fashion. The eight-episode series (each show is about 20 minutes long) breezes by, and somehow, Alex winds up being more heroic than psychotic. Don’t get me wrong—he’s still nuts. Yet somehow, somehow, he winds up being strangely sweet.

As for Barden, she’s a star in the making, and this show wouldn’t be the success it is without her. Her comic timing is impeccable; she will break your heart. Steve Oram chips in as James’ dad, and he does a beautiful job of portraying a well-meaning doofus.

We’ll see if this is a one-season-and-done season show. If so, the way it ends is perfect. If not, I would not mind seeing the further adventures of Alyssa and James.

The End of the F***ing World is now streaming on Netflix.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

What happens in Sightseers caught me completely off-guard.

This is a dark, twisted road comedy that boasts Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End) as one of its executive producers. Steve Oram and Alice Lowe star as Chris and Tina, a couple going on their first holiday together. They pack up a trailer—much to the chagrin of Alice’s attention-starved mom—and head out on a tour of England.

What follows, I will not divulge; I will just say the movie offers a cool surprise.

Oram and Lowe are excellent in this movie, giving us the two best RV-traveling characters since Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty in Lost in America. There’s a great mix of darkness and funny here, and it’s refreshing to see something this unpredictable. It’s a deranged delight—well worth your time.

Director Ben Wheatley is a bit of a nut. He also delivered a segment of the anthology film The ABCs of Death that was a thousand kinds of crazy. I’m interested to see what the man does in the future.

Special Features: There’s an audio commentary with the director and cast, some outtakes, and a making-of documentary.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

This movie caught me completely off-guard, thanks to a deranged surprise. Therefore, I’m not going to write anything in this review that will give away the twist.

This is a funny, dark and twisted road comedy that boasts Edgar Wright (director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) as one of its executive producers. Steve Oram and Alice Lowe star as Chris and Tina, a couple going on their first holiday together. They pack up an RV, much to the chagrin of Alice’s mom, and head out on a tour of England.

What follows? You’ll have to watch. Oram and Lowe are excellent, giving us the two best RV-trip characters since Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty in Lost in America.

This is a deranged delight that’s well worth your time. 

Sightseers is available via IFC On Demand.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing