The following is a quick overview of Your Humble Reviewer’s thoughts on his schlock viewing for last year. The majority came from theatrical viewing but a few noteworthy on-DVD releases were included. It starts with the site’s best and worst lists for 2010, each selecting including a brief bit of commentary to give you the rationale behind the choice. These lists are followed by rankings of worthwhile second-tier fare, standout disappointments that aren’t flawed enough to earn “worst” status and Your Humble Reviewer’s pick for the best “good dumb fun” of the year.
None of the films in any category are ranked in a particular order because Your Humble Reviewer feels ranking systems are old hat. If you want to get a better understanding of any choice, a link to the site’s review for said film is included. It is Your Humble Reviewer’s hope that the lists give you some ammunition for your next video rental or Netflix-streaming session – and perhaps a bit of food for thought. In any event, have fun reading and feel free to share your best and worst selections in the comments section.
BLACK DYNAMITE: a pitch-perfect blaxploitation sendup made by filmmakers who truly know and love the genre.
BOOK OF ELI: the welcome return of the Hughes Brothers is grizzled post-apocalyptic fun that references everything from Japanese samurai fare to spaghetti westerns.
THE CRAZIES: the rare horror remake that’s worth a damn – and also a film that improves on its unwieldy predecessor.
FASTER: a crisp throwback to the tough-guy pulp of the 1970’s that’s moodier and more thoughtful than its previews suggest
HARRY BROWN: ace indie movie-style update of the vigilante genre whose secret weapon is a career-best performance from Michael Caine
CENTURION: the sword-and-sandal genre is update with gusto, gore and a dash of feminism by Neil Marshall
KICK-ASS: a subversive take on the comic-book-film genre that had the year’s best action sequences
THE RUNAWAYS: one of rock music’s sleaziest real-life stories is told with tons of style and atmosphere (not to mention a dazzling Michael Shannon performance)
SPLICE: Vincenzo Natali’s Cronenbergian take on the Frankenstein genre was the most transgressive, challenging film to see the light of a multiplex in 2010
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD: overlooked, brilliantly directed comic book adaptation that is destined to be a huge cult fave in the future
PIRANHA 3D: cynical, lazily-directed crap marketed as “camp” and inexplicably embraced by gullible fanboys
RUN BITCH RUN: weak grindhouse tribute that delivers its sex and gore in the most inept and dull ways imaginable
CLASH OF THE TITANS: update of an admittedly mediocre Harryhausen film represents studio genre filmmaking at its worst: loud, incoherent and wasteful of good resources
HOUSE OF THE DEVIL: don’t believe the hype on this dull, terribly written and dumb retro horror pastiche – it’s the Emperor’s New Clothes all over again
THE ROOM: this is what happens when hipsters who don’t want to dirty their hands with real cult movie weirdness decide to create their own midnight movie phenom
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: another crap remake from the Platinum Dunes mill with a stupid patchwork script and a dour, joyless approach to horror
SAW 3D: truth be told, modern horror’s franchise champion was never any good but this entry is a stunningly awful last gasp effort – even the 3-D gore is pathetic