Editor's note: I am in no way being paid by Amazon nor am I employed by Amazon. I merely wish to bring to light the fact that Netflix is no longer the service for cinephiles and that Amazon Instant Video is the best streaming option for fans of movies.
Having the guts to cancel Netflix was the first step. Unplugging from that matrix of over-hyped and overrated original programming, with a dwindling number of films to appease that customer base that subscribed to them for movies in the first place, is a very liberating experience. It opens your eyes to other services that can provide endless hours of entertainment without locking you down into an endless binge-watching loop. Amazon's Instant Video service has a huge selection of films and this week's trio is another small sample of what you can find. Let's take a look at a few from the year 1995, where we find a cult film with a solid ensemble cast, a Swedish horror film and a big-screen adaptation of a beloved animated character.
Congo - This jungle action/adventure film, loosely based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, is a rousing throwback to adventure movies of old. A solid ensemble cast is highlighted by Tim Curry, as the slimy Romanian phony philanthropist, Herkermer Homolka; Laura Linney is a strong female lead and Ernie Hudson makes a good bid to be the star of the film, using an equal combination of wit and bravado as the guide Capt. Munro Kelly. Of course, we also have Amy the Gorilla Who Can Talk, which makes for some humorous situations (some of them even intentional!). The story is quite ridiculous, but has a level of insanity to it that makes it work in an entertaining fashion. A cult favorite of many in the "so bad it's good" territory, but it probably transcends that label; so silly and crackling with humor, that it comes back around as a quality movie you can waste two hours of your life watching. That's a recommendation, folks. "UGLY. GORILLA. UGLY. GO AWAY."
Evil Ed - This is a Swedish horror/comedy from director Anders Jacobsson. Don't worry, it's dubbed in English. It tells the story of a film editor who is assigned to trim the excessively gory parts of a film series called "Loose Limbs" for to meet the standards for international distribution. The editor, mild-mannered Ed (who else), who is used to editing arthouse films, eventually begins to lose all sanity the more he is exposed to the scenes of gore and violence. What starts off as a solid premise, with some witty "film-within-a-film" vignettes, soon goes flying off the rails in a final act that feels tacked on to pad the running time. It's almost as if you're watching two different films. One interesting aspect of Evil Ed is its take on the Swedish censorship bureau, which was one of the toughest in the world up until 1996, when they finally relaxed their stringent standards. The message contained within the film is a blunt take on the segment of the population that believe horror films have corrupted innocent minds. Evil Ed is really only a partially successful film, but still worth a look if you're a fan of gorefests.