Michael vs. Thomas: DEATHGASM and STITCHES
Michael Rich and our Editor-in-Chief love horror films and hate each other. In the spirit of the great horror face-offs of history, they’ll be going toe-to-toe in the ring and covering the horror films of Netflix in Michael vs. Thomas.
Logline: All these teen metal maniacs wanted to do was rock, but things got out of hand when they stirred something Satanic.
Thomas: All of my friends told me that I would hate this as a music movie, and you would hate this as a horror movie. My end is definitely fulfilled, but did you find any part of this redeemable?
Michael: The gore. But the bloody diarrhea is a little much.
Thomas: See, I took this as a sign that I’m too old and jaded to enjoy the willfully schlocky, EVIL DEAD-core gore they had…I just felt it made things all the more juvenile.
Michael: That’s my biggest complaint. The juvenile aspect. Is anyone really laughing at teenagers hitting zombies with black dildos?
Thomas: Teenagers just getting into metal, probably. The one thing I’ll say that’s sort of in the film’s favor is that it unknowingly had these obnoxious, generally unlikeable teenagers champion metal’s more obnoxious and generally unlikeable releases. But I worry that that was entirely unintentional. Also, kinda weird how much focus they put on that relationship between Brodie and Medina, no?
Michael: Especially when the relationship angle ultimately went nowhere. Honestly, DEATHGASM is better than what its title implies. At the end of the day, though, I’d rather watch an actual Edgar Wright film, than a mediocre knockoff.
Thomas: I disagree about it being better than what the title implies, because I think both the title and the general concept could make a great B-movie. But when it tries this hard to fit that aesthetic, it can only fall flat on its face. I’m definitely feeling more “putrid” than “mediocre.”
Michael: Eh, I wouldn’t go that far. It’s a quick watch. It moves with that Wright-style they try so hard to replicate.
Thomas: But you know what? Still a better music movie than GREEN ROOM…
Michael: Go home, Thomas. You’re drunk.
Logline: A cleaver to the face changed this clown’s forte from birthdays to death days. Ever seen a human balloon animal?
Michael: STITCHES basically lacks a story. Things just happen. I enjoy the film’s kills, though, and like that they take advantage of the clown gimmick.
Thomas: To be honest, when I picked this, I 1,000% thought it was the 2014 movie CLOWN that Eli Roth produced. So, I was a little bit disappointed because of that. But yes, the human balloon animal lived up to its promise. I think this is a better B-movie dark comedy than DEATHGASM, since they ended up being comparable in that regard.
Michael: There are actually a decent number of killer clown movies in the last few years. I’ve seen CLOWN and it’s much better than STITCHES. You’re right. Both movies this week share a similar tone. STITCHES just seems more self-aware for some reason.
Thomas: I would agree, but I think a large portion of the self-awareness comes from Ross Noble’s performance, which I found to be extremely tiresome by the end of the film. There’s only so many bad clown puns a man can take. I wish they had done more with the absolutely ridiculous dead clown occult, I think that could have made this a lot more fun.
Michael: Yeah, what in the world was going on with that? They introduce the clown cult at the beginning and never follow through with it. That goes along with my story complaint. There’s no cohesion between scenes. Why does Stitches suddenly rise from the grave? What is up with the eggs that represent the clowns?
Thomas: I think maybe that self-awareness you were talking about can wrap around to excuse some of the narrative missteps. It’s clear that everything was an excuse to get to the kills. But, I would argue that the (very) small subplots in terms of the kids and their relationships with each other are actually kinda well-executed. A more believable romance than DEATHGASM’s, in any case.
Michael: All these horror B-movies shoehorn these relationship subplots in to give themselves some semblance of substance. But when you clearly don’t take yourself seriously, then it’s hard to be invested. STITCHES is fine. I’m never going to watch it again, but it’s what I’d expect digging through the Netflix horror section.
Thomas: We’re not even scraping the bottom of the barrel yet…