The Woman

31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Kate Erbland was dared to walk like a man while singing “Walk Like a Man” and wearing an inflated latex glove on her head), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Even though it’s a sequel to a 2009 film called The Offspring, Lucky McKee’s The Woman can stand fine on its own as a super weird and super horrific tale of misogyny taken to its furthest extent. That film introduces us to a clan of cannibals who abduct and devour townsfolk somewhere in the Northeast. It details the fate of the last surviving member of this clan (Pollyanna McIntosh) and what happens when a hunter comes upon her one day when he’s out in the woods. Which begs the question, what would you do if you came across a cannibalistic woman bathing in a river? Because this creep (Sean Bridgers) decides to chain her up down in his root cellar and instruct his family through the process of trying to civilize her. And, even worse, this guy being an abusive, creepy misogynist, his idea of civilizing someone probably resembles psychological torture and sexual abuse much more than other people’s. Revenge scenarios follow.

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The Coroner

Director Lucky McKee’s most recent film, The Woman, garnered a lot of critical praise at Sundance in 2011 but gained the most publicity when some old codger decided to have a freak out that was caught on tape where he said the film was degrading to women and demanded it be burned. Luckily for the sake of art and free speech, the negative was not burned and the film has indeed been released on DVD and Blu-ray. The film follows the Cleek family and their zany adventures trying to ‘civilize’ a wild woman the patriarch finds in the woods. I put civilize in quotes back there because that’s how the film is officially described, but in my book giving someone a bath and making them wear clothes doesn’t actually amount to trying to civilize them. No, for that, one must teach them proper dining etiquette. Obviously, as this is branded a horror film, the titular woman chained up in the basement must cause some havoc, though she’s not the true villain in this story.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to This Week in DVD! Lots of titles hitting shelves today, and we’re covering nineteen of them below. High profiles like Real Steel and Paranormal Activity 3 are releasing alongside indies like The Woman and Beware the Gonzo. There’s also several older titles worth checking out including Punishment Park, The Arena with Pam Grier and a Criterion release of Godzilla. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Whistleblower A female cop (Rachel Weisz) from the Midwest takes a temporary but high paid job as a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia and discovers despicable crimes and criminals in her midst. Her instinct as a cop is to help people and bring the guilty to justice, but the systematic corruption may be too widespread and unbeatable. Weisz gives a strong and emotional performance, and the film pulls no punches in its exploration of the sex trafficking trade that exists in Bosnia (and around the world). It manages to be both powerful and suspenseful too while never feeling the need to glamorize or Hollywood-ize the story. This isn’t the sexiest release of the week and there are some better films below, but it’s an important and well made movie with a message worth sharing.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

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By now, most die-hard movie fans have seen the YouTube video of the man storming out of a screening of Lucky McKee’s film The Woman at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but not very many people have had a chance to see the film and why this guy left in such a huff. This coming weekend, dead in the middle of October, McKee’s new and controversial film opens in limited release, the first theatrical run the director has had since May released in 2003. May helped propel McKee into horror film stardom, so much so that with just this film under his belt, he was dubbed a “master of horror” by Showtime, who invited him to direct an episode of their series of the same name. The Woman is a sequel to the horror film Offspring, about a group of cannibals who live in the woods. The leader of this group, a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), returns as the victim in The Woman. While on a weekend hunting excursion, the father (Sean Bridgers) of a rural family discovers she’s living in the wild. He then captures her, chains her in his cellar, and tries to make her civilized in the most uncivilized ways. McKee took some time to chat about his new film, why it makes people so uncomfortable, and how he’s not afraid of being labeled a horror director.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with Lucky McKee about his disturbing new horror film The Woman. Plus, we launch a new feature for the month of October where horror filmmakers discuss a favorite horror film. This week, A Horrible Way To Die and You’re Next writer Simon Barrett praises an obscure modern classic. As if that weren’t enough, FSR Associate Editor Rob Hunter goes mano a mano with Film.com‘s Eric D. Snider in a test of wits and movie news acumen. Download This Episode

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One of the best things to watch over and over and over again was the video from Sundance when a cranky, old sad person walked out of Lucky McKee‘s The Woman because it was a piece of art to get mad at or something. There’s no doubt that McKee has been a fresh voice in horror for years, and his new flick comes out on October 14th so hopefully your loins are girded. Because, according to that cranky person, the movie is way too challenging. What’s not challenging is this small group of pictures from the production. One screams poetry, another shows off some behind-the-scenes fun, and the last simply has blood all over it:

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Here’s a little experiment. Watch this new trailer for Luck McKee’s The Woman and see whether it makes you want to leave the room or not. Chances are, it won’t, but that’s not because it’s not just a little offensive. It’s because it’s a fantastic, utterly watchable trailer. Horror fans need no introduction to McKee’s work, but as an introduction for those who don’t know him yet, this is a bloody mess of wonderful that has a punk rock feel to it. What would happen if you found a wild woman living in the woods? Would you chain her up and try to civilize her? Would you slap your wife about it? Ask yourself that question and check it out:

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After getting locked out of the press screening for this year’s Grand Jury Prize Dramatic Winner, Like Crazy, I skipped over to the next theater, which sadly played the worse film I saw at the festival this year, The Ledge. Despite that mishap, there were a lot of great films at Sundance. Here are my top 5 in no particular order, alongside the best film I saw at this year’s festival (which may surprise you). I felt that each film had the most impact during my stay at the festival and introduced us to some fantastic new voices that will be coming to a cinema near you.

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The Woman is a harrowing and often darkly hilarious horror satire about family values, feminism, and the nature of violence from the twisted minds of Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum. A true find at Sundance for all fans who love gore and the twisting of Americana. From the beginning of the film, it’s clear that the Cleek family of Maine has a lot underneath the surface. That’s made even more prominent when head-of-household Chris (Sean Bridgers of HBO’s Deadwood) bags a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) outside the family farm. Chris’ idea is to have the family train her in the ways of civilization.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Sundance 2011 marks my first time at the festival, and the overwhelming task of having the chance to see literally hundreds of films and shorts makes it a daunting and exciting task to look forward to in my first adventure in snow-capped Park City. Many of these films will only be seen at this one time at the festival and then possibly never again due to various rights, distribution, unseen film politics, or just plain shoddy filmmaking (sad to say). So besides all of that hub-bub, here are the 11 films I can’t wait to see as the year’s festival kicks off from this Thursday, January 20th to the following Sunday of the 30th.

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Lucky McKee has made a career out of delivering strange horror to the small group of people who know to look out for his name. For his next trick, he’s teamed with horror novelist Jack Ketchum to co-write a sequel to “Offspring,” which was adapted for film last year. McKee and Ketchum have, of course, also turned that forthcoming novel into a screenplay for McKee to direct. They then poured blood all over the screenplay and hired cannibals to tear it to shreds with their teeth. The Woman was a character played by Pollyanna McIntosh, and you can see her here again displaying what happens when you cover Lindsay Lohan with war paint and keep her locked up in a barn for ten years.

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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