This week on the B movie docket is The Void
B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B-movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.
Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.
Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.
WEEK 49 – The Void (2016)
Welcome back to another week of 50 B Movies. This week’s film is not for the easily squeamish. But if you happen to be a lover of horror movies. More specifically if you’re a fan of that early 90’s David Cronenberg flair. You know what I am talking about. Those timely close-ups of someone’s eyes bulging from their sockets mirroring Judge Doom’s toon reveal. Just as the skull splinters like an egg left in the pot too long. Well, if you are, I have good news for you. This week’s film is The Void.
If you are a follower of the mythos explored by HP Lovecraft, then you’ll enjoy the Lovecraftian horror on display. In fact, The Void, dishes Lovecraft horror out in spades. The atmosphere is creepy. Replete with multiple cloaked cult members that seemingly appear out of thin air. They are scary and are able to brainwash their victims.
And then there is all the symbolism on display. The filmmakers present loads of black pyramids. So, we get a peek at the abysmal cosmic entities manipulating the characters.
The FX fits the mood and tone The Void sets out to establish. No place is safe for our characters. There’s what I like to refer to as Robocop body-horror. You know what I am talking about? Think Robocop’s Emil Antonowsky as he staggers through a stream having just been dipped in toxic chemicals.
And you have got it. In effect, we get several vomit-inducing scenes of flesh as runny as a cheese pizza.
There are monsters of course. And I’m glad there’s no CGI. Instead, the filmmakers chose to use practical FX. Any fan of the Cronenberg era of body horror will be pleased. There is one in particular that stands out. In the scene, a mad doctor has reanimated his deceased daughter. And the crew pulls out all the stops to slow this shuffling cheese pizza.
The Void is helmed by directors Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie. They are both from the Astron 6 team. They’re Canadian-based and have churned out some of my favorite B movies of the past decade. So, if you’re interested in checking out some of Astron 6’s films. They’re catalog includes Manborg, Father’s Day, The Editor, W Is For Wish, Leprechaun Returns, Chowboys, and Psycho Goreman. The Void’s appearance on the 50 B Movies list marks the third time an Astron 6 production has been covered.
There are a lot of scenes featuring body horror. And every time we see an effect it’s usually dramatic. It’s as if the filmmakers chose the base monster from John Carpenters The Thing and went from there. Because the grotesque images on display build with the film’s momentum. So, when you’re watching this and think you’ve seen it all before. Give it a minute. Every practical effect outshines the last one until we reach the terrifying conclusion.
The story starts out at a small house in the middle of nowhere. Something bad has recently happened. The scene leads directly to the film’s central location for action, the hospital. It is here that the central cast gets their full introductions. We learn about them as well as see a peek of what motivates them. Chiefly the squad of masked occultists that have encircled the hospital.
Soon after arrival, the hospital turns into a scene right out of Assault on Precinct 13. Except there are occultists drawn to the hospital. So, our protagonists are encircled by the masked psychos. Literally trapped inside with a gateway straight to the beyond. The only escape is to traverse into the depths of the dilapidated hospital. And there they come face to face with one of the most horrifying practical effects creations I’ve ever seen.