Best F(r)iends (2017)

Best F(r)iends on paper, does not sound like a good movie or idea. Because it really isn’t. In Tommy Wiseau (who plays Harvey in the film) and Greg Sestero’s (who plays Jon in the film) new film together, a mortician and a homeless man become business partners and their friendship is put to the test. Best F(r)iends is is objectively terrible in every technical standpoint but yet, I didn’t feel myself hating it just because of how much I enjoyed Tommy Wiseau’s on-screen prescence. Even comperable to Wiseau’s performance as the loveable Johnny in The Room (2003).

I think that the actual direction in this movie reeks of the quality of a film student. The amateur lighting, the reliance on stock footage, and the cinematography in some scenes looked like it was shot on the iPhone 7 Plus Steven Soderbergh used to film Unsane (2018). In one shot, the boom microphone was in the frame. Frequent frame rate drops appear throughout the movie which is a first in any live-action film I think I have ever watched. Overall though, it makes for an enjoyable experience just because of the performances from Tommy was so and Greg Sestero as well as the supporting cast and a very outlandish plot that involves the sale of gold through fake teeth, Wiseau licking his new car, and a family of clowns; and this is only the first part. Perhaps director Justin MacGregor is taking inspiration from Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac? (the last movie that I can recall that was released in two parts in quite the same fashion as Best F(r)iends is). By the end of the movie, I was asking for much more of the on-screen pairing of Wiseau and Sestero and I cannot wait until the June 1st release of the second volume.

When I watched the film with a large audience of people at my theater, mostly everyone erupted with laughter and made for a fun viewing environment. Everyone was in on the joke and it was probably the best experience I’ve had watching a movie at the theater since going to see Get Out (2017) on opening weekend. It is the adequate way of watching Best F(r)iends. Just remember when going into this film that doesn’t expect it to be to be like a David Lynch film. However, if you expected it to be like a David Lynch film then you wouldn’t be going to see it. I doubt anybody is actually seeing this movie interested in the plot but, more interested in Tommy Wiseau himself. Becasue, if this film had anyone else starring in it besides Sestero and Wiseau it would be unwatchable garbage.

Note: There was also some pretty lengthy behind-the-scenes footage with a focus on Red Bull for some reason? Then there was a music video starring Wiseau too.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

★★★½

It is good to see film that was so hated in the past undergo a critical re-evaluation. Some of the most famous examples would be: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) (Now considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time) as well as Buster Keaton’s silent masterpiece The General (1926). Now, I am not here to declare Halloween III: Season of the Witch to be even of comparable quality to those two films, but at the time, the reason why this movie was so hated was just because it lacked slasher-icon Michael Myers. So, it seems as if people back then did not even pay attention to the actual quality of the movie itself and just were angered at the sudden genre shift towards much more witchcraft and magic-oriented horror. However, now people are realizing that Tommy Lee Wallace directed a pretty fun, albeit uneven B movie.

Where John Carpenter’s Halloween (1979) just happened to take place on the night of Halloween, Halloween III is completely centered around (and relies upon) the holiday. We have a creepy mask factory, some cool practical gore effects, and TV’s sending out signals to take back Halloween to its sacrificial roots. The film manages to be mostly original with its plot, but sadly, it still falls into some lazy writing clichés such as a really pointless and undeveloped romance between Dr. Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie (Stacey Nelkin). Other instances of Halloween III‘s clichés are much more fun and really help it shine as a B grade horror film. Such as, a creepy town that is very unwelcome to visitors as well as an evil businessman pent on world destruction.

The soundtrack is a synthesizer extravaganza, composed by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth. It gives off an eerie and unsettling vibe that fits the town of Santa Mira and the subject matter at hand. Possibly the most remembered song is the “Silver Shamrock Halloween Commercial” which is an ear worm (set to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”) that is near impossible to get out of your head whenever this film comes to mind.

Halloween III is an interesting and overlooked horror film that seems to be gaining more recognition as time goes on. The film was supposed to help turn the Halloween series into an anthology series with all planned films also centered around Halloween. This idea most likely confused too many people as Halloween II (1981) had Michael Myers in it. And the backlash was so heavy and the box-office returns so little that, six years later they gave the public what they wanted with Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).

Hoop-Tober Film #1 of 35