RoosterVision: MALIGNANT (2021, Warner Bros.)

An ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media.

…an ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media that we at Rooster Republic Press find ourselves enjoying. Once a week, on Thursdays, we will showcase new and old works and, hopefully, help spread the word on great stuff you might otherwise miss out on.

RoosterVision was previously the name of our non-fiction imprint, and since those titles and that line of books are no longer, we have decided to resurrect RoosterVision for the purpose of this showcase. Enjoy!

Telling you something is “good” or “bad” is boring as fuck.

Sometimes, what you really need, is to see something for yourself. Experience this or that which has been created for your consumption. After all, boil the flesh off life’s bones, and what you’re left with is a series of experiences. However one decides to decorate these experiences, well, that’s on the individual. 

MALIGNANT is a rare treat: schlocky exploitation cinema, given all the polish and shine of a big-budget studio feature.

We’ve actually had two of these in 2021, the other being SUICIDE SQUAD. These films are the cinema equivalent of kissing cousins. And, honestly, they’d make a pretty respectable double-feature.

Both films bring to mind the words of dearly departed Joel Schumacher, “Oh honey, no one ever paid to see under the top.”

That MALIGNANT and SUICIDE SQUAD lean hard into the outrageous (and the outrageously violent) for their brand of humor ought not be a big surprise if you’ve cut your teeth on films like Troma’s WAR or Frank Henenlotter’s BASKET CASE. What sets these newer releases apart from their distant cinematic relatives is that extra shiny Hollywood sheen (i.e. massive budgets).

One could argue all day long about directorial “intent” but once that boring, old canard is exhausted, you are still left with the finished product. Not dissimilar to writing a book and releasing it into the world, a film is made and it belongs forever after to the audience. Are you in that audience? That’s your big decision.

If the idea of marrying BASKET CASE exploitation with JOHN WICK action, and decorating this film like an Argento giallo, sounds even remotely intriguing, then seek out MALIGNANT.

Sure, the dialogue in MALIGNANT hits like a dump truck, but we’d argue that’s part of the charm, as it is with a lot of movies in the exploitation vein.

Oh… the completely implausible horror film has goofy dialogue? Delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer? There goes its chances of winning an Oscar!

Don’t even start with that fucking crap about horror having to be scary. What’s scary is that argument still makes the rounds, like a verbal foot race to see who’s the stodgiest, most boring gatekeeper of them all! Good luck, contestants!

We’d argue that MALIGNANT is worth watching. Whatever comes after, that’s on you.

Bonus points for not being a sequel or an existing IP or based on a comic book.

Thanks for reading.

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine, and…

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