Tomie Unlimited (2011)

After eight Tomie films, the time seemed ready for a reboot and Tomie Unlimited — kind of like Marvel’s Unlimited newer universe — was the answer. Noboru Iguchi (Zombie Ass: Toilet of the DeadThe Machine Girl) would be the creative force to make this one happen.

The movie starts with Tsukiko Izumikawa (Moe Arai) taking photos when she runs into her stepsister Tomie Kawakami (Miu Nakamura). The two both are in love with the same boy, Toshio Shinoda (Kensuke Owada). Tsukiko hates her stepsister yet is in love with her beauty, unable to stop taking photos of her, even as a steel cross falls from a building and kills her.

A year later, on her eighteen birthday, Tsukiko is trying to get back to a normal life, which changes forever when Tomie returns. On the first night, she grabs an electrical cord and demands that her family beat Tsukiko for letting her die.

Meanwhile, Tomie has grown a scar in her shoulder that contains a talking tumor before her father kills her and her mother tears apart her body. This unleashes multiple Tomies, from small heads that can infect others to her main head that asks her father to kill his wife and feed the remains to her.

By the end of the film, women all over Japan, including our heroine, have all become Tomie, all destined to die at the hands of men, all fated to come back to ruin the sanity of everyone they encounter.

After watching all of the Tomie films, this is up there as one of my favorites in the series. It has just the right mix of abject horror and ludicrous humor. And the floating head of Tomie conjures pleasant memoirs of Mystics In Bali and that’s a good sign.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

Zonbi Asu (2011)

When you have a movie called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, you’re not expecting subtlety. Well, you’re not getting any with this one, a movie that proved to me that I can still be grossed out and upset me a movie, which I guess makes me happy.

After her sister gets bullied to the point that she commits suicide, Megumi and four friends go on a trip in the woods, which gets out of control when Maki eats a parasitic worm that she finds inside a fish in the hopes that she can keep her weight down. Later, when she’s trying to take the Browns to the Super Bowl in an outhouse toilet — you know the kind that have like a 15-foot drop off into nothingness that scare you when you’re a kid? — and ends up laying eggs and feces all over some bodies that have been hidden in the poop pile.

Director Noboru Iguchi somehow went from adult video to making movies like The Machine Girl and this. That said, his pervy heart is still on display, as this is one of the few movies that I’ve seen where girls pose provocatively while tentacles emerge from their rectums.

There’s also a moment where the girls are in danger because the zombies are attracted to flatulence and fecal matter, so they all have to hold it or die. I would never make it in this zombie apoopcalypse.

Kimi Wa Zonbi Ni Koishiteru (2011)

With a title that translates as Bite Me If You Love Me, this is a movie for people who love zombies and understands that if you want purely bonkers genre cinema, go to Japan.

Naoyuki Tomomatsu, who also made Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, directed this, which tells the story of Hitomi (AV starlet Ai Haneda), a high school girl obsessed with zombies. When she finds an Italian book — where else would one learn how they undead walk — that can make the dead live, she hooks up with a geeky boy named Shota who everyone already calls Zombie. She knocks him off the roof, pours powder all over him and before you can say Romero, she’s aardvarking with one of the living dead.

There’s a great moment when the girls are all comparing boys and Hitomi shows everyone the maggot zombie from Fulci’s Zombi and talks about how hot he is.

Shota ends up becoming a celebrity, but as his body rots, so too does Hitomi’s love for him. She soon falls for a fat Japanese Jason Vorhees, turning this into a love triangle with deadly consequences.

This is cheap, scummy, gory and goofy. These are all adjectives that I love.

Onna No Kappa (2011)

Shinji Imaoka is one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Pink (the others are Toshiya Ueno, Mitsuru Meike, Yūji Tajiri, Yoshitaka Kamata, Toshirō Enomoto and Rei Sakamoto) who make some of the strangest and most interesting adult-oriented movies from Japan.

It probably has the best cinematography the adult genre ever has had — outside of the movies Gary Graver worked on — thanks to Christopher Doyle working on this movie. The Australian native has been part of some really famous films, such as Fruit Chan’s Dumplings, Gus Van Sant’s Psycho and several films with Wong Kar-Wai.

This entire movie was shot in five and a half days, all with only one take per scene.

Asuka works in a fish factory and is about to marry her boss when she meets a legendary river creature known as a kappa. She soon discovers that it is the reincarnation of her first love Aoki, who drowned when they were only seventeen. The film, while adult in nature, tries to explain the feelings of love and loss. And oh yeah, it’s also a musical.

Yes, this is probably the only movie where you can see not only singing and dancing, but also what a Japanese water demon’s genitals look like. It also has a soundtrack by the French/German duo Stereo Total.

I pride myself in finding strange films, but at no point in my movie-watching life did I say, “I wish that The Shape of Water showed the sex and oh yeah, that everyone occasionally had song and dance numbers.” But here we are.

Dear God No (2011)

So if you were ever saying to yourself, “I wish someone would make a socially undeeming biker movie that brings back the old bikerspolitation movies of the past but has no morals whatsoever,” you’re in luck. I’ve found a movie for you.

The Impalers were on a rape and murder spree when they barely escaped a battle with a rival biker club called Satan’s Own. As they run to a cabin deep in the wilds of North Georgia, their home invasion turns wrong when it turns out that the scientist whose home they’ve taken over has plenty of deep, dark secrets hidden in his basement and an even bigger one stalking the woods outside.

Director James Bickert has thrown everything into the kitchen sink for this, with Nazis, zombies, rampant nudity and tons of gore in nearly every frame. It’s not perfect, mind you — the performances are what you expect for a low budget film and the biker on civilian violence is beyond brtual, but for those that love absolute junk — and I say that as a compliment to this film — you need to get this movie between your legs.

It was followed up by the even more insane — I didn’t think it was possible — Frankenstein Created Bikers, which I found to be an even better movie that this one.

Final Destination 5 (2011)

Steven Quale was the second unit director of Titanic and Avatar before getting to make his own movies. He jumped in to the Final Destination franchise, which had by now pretty much done it all when it came to brutally wiping teenagers out of existance. He was joined by Eric Heisserer, who wrote the remakes of A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Thing, as well as Lights OutArrival and Bird Box.

They did what had never been done. They made a prequel instead of another story.

Sam Lawton is anout the cross the North Bay Bridge when he sees the bridge collapsing and only his ex-girlfriend Milly Harper surviving. So he keeps everyone off the bridge, which soon collapses. In case you haven’t seen any of these films before, Death will make them all wish they had just become ex-people then.

Luckily, Tony Todd is back as Bludworth. He takes a more involved role this time, telling the survivors that if they wish to live, they should kill someone who was never meant to die on the bridge.

Only Molly and Sam survive and they go to Paris together. Of course, they board Flight 180 and…we’re right back to the first movie.

Another major part of these films are the references to horror personalities. The fith film references William Friedkin, Tobe Hooper and William Castle.

Well, that was five movies from one franchise in a few days. We did it! We made it! Oh no, the computer is glowing! Instead of seeing my death coming, I’m just going to take whatever comes next. I’ve learned so much from these movies. Good bye, readers!

The Howling: Reborn (2011)

While this movie claims that it’s based on Gary Brandner’s The Howling II, it is merely inspired by it. If you’ve made it this far in this series of films, you won’t be surprised. This is the eighth film in the series that started back in 1981 with The Howling. Much like the Amityville and Demons series of films, the phrase series may make you think these movies have some connection. They really don’t.

Will and his girlfriend Eilana are just trying to make a horror movie with their friend Sachin when it comes out that Will is, yep, a werewolf. It turns out that his mother didn’t die when he was young, but has instead been raising an army of beasts in the basement of their high school.

Director Joe Nimziki obviously wrote his own IMDB bio, which states that he was “the youngest Vice President in Sony Pictures’ history, for what would become its’ most prolific winning streak,” “the youngest Hollywood studio President (Worldwide Marketing) at New Line Cinema, as they reached an unprecedented level of success” and “a highly-sought “Movie Doctor” in Hollywood, brought in by both studios and independent producers to re-write, direct and edit a number of major films.” He’s also worked as a creative director in advertising, so that makes even more sense.

Somehow, this movie was able to pay for the rights to Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” which surprised me. What’s really even more astounding that in Germany, they didn’t even try to release this as a Howling film, instead referring to it as Blue Moon. The original film was called Das Tier, which translates as The Animal.

What an ignominious close to a week of these films.

Neowolf The Band from Hell (2011)

So this rock band, led by a man known only as Tony, comes back to his old college to win back his ex-girl Rosemary, but the band Neowolf gets in the way. Soon, people are turning up dead and yes, werewolves come on the scene. Bark at the moon, indeed.

Director Yvan Gauthier took his name off this, so he’s listed as Alan Smithee.

This is probably the most interesting part of this movie: The sex scene with Rosemary is not actress Heidi Johanningmeier, but a body double hired by producers months after the film wrapped. That happens all the time, except that no body double credit is on the film and Johanningmeier went to the Screen Actors Guild and won her case.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

Fast Five (2011)

Somehow, the street gang from the first film has become almost like G.I. Joe in these movies. This film — the fifth as you can tell by the title — tells the story of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) as they steal $100 million while being pursued by U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). This is the film that moved from street races to big action scenes and fans went wild.

The film starts by having Dom busted out of prison by the gang and ends with the Rock showing that he just might join these guys, which includes Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, Ludacris as Tej Parker, Matt Schulze as Vince, Sung Kang as Han Lue and Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar.

This is also where the movies start feeling bloated, pushing themselves past a two-hour running time. The other criticism is that women barely have names and are just sex objects in these films. Hell, they don’t even tell you what Gal Gadot’s character’s name — Gisele — is for the entire movie!

One of the good things is that these films have minimal CGI and rely mostly on practical effects for the car stunts.

Also — that scene where they found out that Letty is alive? Michelle Rodriguez didn’t know anything about it until she saw the movie in a theater.

Just Go With It (2011)

Somehow over quarantine, this movie has played in our house more than three times. Yes, I know. Being stuck inside does weird things to you.

Oddly enough, this movie is based on the 1969 film Cactus Flower, which an adaptation of the 1965 Broadway stage play, which was based on the French play Fleur de Cactus.

It was directed by Dennis Dugan, who beyond Problem Child has mostly directed star Adam Sandler in movies like Happy GilmoreBig DaddyI Now Pronounce You Chuck & LarryYou Don’t Mess with the ZohanJack and Jill and two Grown Ups films.

The Golden Raspberry people must have been licking their lips, ready to bestow this movie with awards. And so they did, giving this both Worst Actor and Worst Director.

Long story short: Sandler is a lifelong bachelor who really should be with his assistant, played by Jennifer Aniston. However, he’s in love with Brooklyn Decker, who thinks he’s married. As always, rather than the truth, hijinks rule the day. Otherwise, we’d have no movie.

I’m always amazed at the stars that will show up for a Sandler film, as Nicole Kidman is in this. I always think of her as an A-list star well above these matters, but here you go, as she’s interacting with Nick Swardson.

That said, Sandler films play on our screen often enough. And while they’re hated by critics, they’re innocuous enough and I always end up rooting for him every time he enters the third stage of the hero’s journey.