Monday, October 29, 2012
Rise of the Animals (2011)
I couldn't stop myself when I saw the title, Rise of the Animals. It's a fine and simple title. It says everything you need to know. The trailer was the second thing that made me buy it, packed with silliness (including a killer-squirrel and a giant, very angry octopus). I rarely need more than that when it comes to creature feature and Rise of the Animals is a cheap, cheap, cheap - but still kinda funny - killer animal movie in the vein of Day of the Animals, but with a big fat twinkle in the eye and the most primitive visual effects since the devil in Spawn. This doesn't mean anything to me, I watch cheap movies all the time and I understand when it's a super-cheap indie-movie in front of me. That might be the biggest reason why I enjoyed this a lot.
Something is wrong. The nature strikes back, from squirrel, turtles, dogs and bears (and everything in-between!) and the only thing pizza delivery guy Wolf (Greg Hoople) wants is to get together with his newfound date again and give her the cell phone she forgot after their first - and for the time being - last meeting. Wolf sets out on road trip together with his pal Jake (Adam Schonberg), who only wanted to see Babies With Rabies 3D in cinema that night, and a violent, kung-fu-kicking-a-horse chick named Rachel (Stephanie Motta), to deliver the cell phone and fight as many killer animals as possible!
It's technically uneven, but remember it was shot during three-day weekends all through the autumn and with very little money. There's some sloppy editing and some effects not working so well - not because the are unrealistic (because they are and it's mean to be that way), but sometimes the connection between the effect scenes and the ones involving actors just doesn't hang together so well. While I like most of the actors its also quite visible that there wasn't many rehearsals (if any!) and sometimes this took me out of the movie.
Okay, enough with the whining. G, who was sitting behind his computer, looked up a couple of times and seemed amused by what he saw, yeah, he even laughed at some of the comedy. This means it's not that bad and actually damn charming. I like how the filmmakers went for an unrealistic look on the animals - but the puppets and digital effects - and somehow made Rise of the Animals look like something from Meet the Feebles or some kind of spoofy comedy. There's a lot of blood, lots of it and some cheesy graphic violence tossed in here and there.
It's all about how you look at it. If you're expecting a serious, realistic killer animal movie then you will be disappointed. But if you, on the other hand, wants to see a fun, low-budget cheese-fest made with a lot of heart and passion you will enjoy Rise of the Animals. I did for sure. It has some damn funny set-pieces also, for example when a flock of deer attack a cabing - it's like Night of the Living Dead or something but with bloodthirsty deer burstning through the walls, grabbing their victims and pulling them outside for a nasty snack! The best special effect in the movie is, by the way, the giant octopus who in the background grabs a big boat and sinks it.
On the DVD is a fun and interesting documentary, 15 minutes - easy to watch - which gives a good insight in indie-filmmaking at this level. The best thing is a promo/teaser, consisting of a scene that's not in the movie (using the same actors, but playing other characters), and I must say I think it's one of the best stuff they made. It's called "The Emu Farm" and you can guess what happens there. Damn funny and bloody.
I've noticed that Rise of the Animals has gotten distribution in
Japan and the and I hope it will continue. I'm
very curious about what the director Chris Wojcik and his team will come up
with the next time, maybe with a higher budget? I don't demand a sequel, but
man... please do a movie called Emu Farm. That would be awesome. US