Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Two Bits: Harbinger Down

The term rare treat isn't something we throw around a lot in The Basement. Actually I don't think Shawn, Amy or I have said it once on the show. But, having just watched Harbinger Down with Shawn, I'm willing to use the phrase around now.

We've pimped Harbinger Down here on the site a couple of times, primarily because former Basement guest Lance Henriksen is a major player, and it's an old-school special effects monster movie from practical FX wizards Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alex Gillis.

Having seen it, how do I define what makes this flick so special? It's not the story, which is basically a riff on The Thing and The Blob. Nor is it the performances, which are what you'd expect from a B-grade monster movie, Mr. Henriksen's badassness aside of course.

No, Harbinger Down is awesome because it's a showcase for old-school movie making and practical effects. This flick looks and feels like it was plucked right out of the 80s and air dropped into modern cinemas. It's a fun throwback to the kind of monster movie I watched growing up and, although far from perfect, it's a fuck of a lot of fun.

Yes, the visual effects -- 90 per cent of which must have been done in camera -- are brilliant. And gory. And creepy. I haven't seen creature effects this rad since John Carpenter's The Thing back in 82.

And yah, Henriksen remains The Man. Even at 70, he's still a bad motherfucker who can play a range of emotions with minimal effort. It's a pleasure to watch him work, and he knows who I am. That's pretty cool.

This is B-grade horror/sci-fi entertainment of the highest order. It's not for pretentious types, but if you love throwback genre movies, you're in for a treat. If The Thing is your thing, you need to get on this shit. Now!

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