As another year comes to an end, we’ve been fondly reminiscing about the unadulterated trash ecstasy of the last 365 days of the cinematic calendar. Past years have given us such campy delights as Ben Mendelsohn’s Up Pompeii turn in Exodus: Gods and Kings, gratuitous exposure of celebrity buns from Scott Eastwood to Ryan Phillippe, and British national treasure Imelda Staunton playing with dildos in Pride. 2015 has been another year for campy delights and we’ve picked our highlights below:
Blythe Danner and Co. Get High
Our 2015 got off to a spectacular start with the gorgeous I’ll See You in My Dreams – a film that we haven’t really shut up about since January – which featured a divine lead performance from Blythe Danner. One of the high camp highlights saw Blythe and her posse (featuring Rhea Perlman, June Squibb and Mary Kaye Place) get an attack of the munchies after indulging in some marijuana. Hijinks ensue! A high June Squibb is actually the eighth wonder of the world.
Kate’s Back, you Bastards!
Nobody was really expecting the end result that Aussie revenge-comedy-drama The Dressmaker delivered – and that was undeniably part of the reason we adored it. The main reason, however, was Kate Winslet’s unrestrained performance as Tilly Dunnage – a feisty fashionista returned from Paris to he outback town of Dungatar to settle some old scores. The fun starts as Tilly steps off the shuttle bus and utters “I’m back, you bastards!”
Holy (Liam) Hemsworth!
We could compile this whole list from The Dressmaker but we’ll try and restrain ourselves to two entries. Part of the film’s high camp charm came from the exploitation of the swoon-worthy Liam Hemsworth who was very game to take his shirt off in the role of love interest Teddy. As Liam removes his shirt for the first time, there were audible gasps from a trio of middle aged women alongside us. We couldn’t relate more.
Michael Douglas Hunts Twinks
Michael Douglas is at a stage in his career where he seems to be having a lot of fun – and this has never been more evident than in B-Movie delight Beyond the Reach. Staying true to the spirit of exploitation, Douglas’s sadistic wall street hunter strips twinkish Jeremy Irvine down to his boxers and pursues him across the harsh desert terrain. Who says hunting should be banned?
Peachfuzz Scars For Life in Creep
Creep was a refreshingly unsettling piece of oddball horror that’s ending is likely to chill you to the bone. Perhaps more chilling that the brutal final moments was Mark Duplass’s birthing of Peachfuzz and his spine-chilling dances into the world – burning it into our consciousness.
Gratuitous Jai Simultaneously Saves and Kills The Terminator Saga
It makes us sad to see Jai Courtney derided on social media and other film publications. Whilst he may lack the suave finesse of Cary Grant or the intensity of Al Pacino, he is not without his charms. These charms are only really visible when he takes his top off – which he did much of in Terminator: Genisys and we’re forever grateful for these light moments of joy in such a disappointing film.
We Are All Jada Pinkett Smith’s Queens
Magic Mike XXL provided us with a further abundance of male gratuity, but the much more important than this, was an iconic performance from Jada Pinkett Smith as their emcee. When Jada calls us a queen, we feel like one. Thank you mamma.
Jane Seymour Goes Off The Rails in Bereave
Bereave was a strange one, and it’s unlikely that you will ever see it unless you were involved in producing it or caught it at a local film festival. This tale of a crumbling marriage could be on our list for a number of reasons but the main piece of trash heaven came in the form of former Bond girl/medicine woman Jane Seymour’s character getting off-her-face on sleeping pills, fencing with a vase, and then sleepwalking in her wedding dress. Wonderful.
Rosamund Lets Loose in Return to Sender
High camp rape revenge flick Return to Sender might have left critics cold (we loved it), but it provided some great performances and sharp writing – as exemplified in a scene where Rosamund Pike lets loose at a stroppy cashier with a torrent of heavenly abuse: “How do you manage that? Being skinny and fat at the same time? And you know, with breasts like that do us all a favour and wear a fucking bra.” Slay Queen Rosamund.
Raphael Personnaz Became Our Obsession
French heartthrob Raphael Personnaz was unknown to us before accepting a role in François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend – a stirring and unnerving portrait of gender identity – but we’re so glad that Mr. Ozon introduced him to us. The debonair hunk shares a shower scene with Romain Duris and the scene plays out like a gift from the Gods.
Michael Parks Devours Scenery in Tusk
It’s always a joy to see that Kevin Smith has signed up Michael Parks for his projects as the pair have an incredible working relationship – the results of which can be seen in Red State and most recently, Tusk. The latter sees Smith unchain Parks and allow him to channel a Mommie Dearest-esque intensity into the role of Walrus obsessed Howard Howe. The results are traumatising, yet enthralling.
Jennifer, Meet The Boy Next Door, Ryan.
The Boy Next Door provided 91 minutes of heightened TV movie bliss as J-Lo’s sexy divorced teacher is seduced by criminally hunky Ryan Guzman – who is also a little bit insane. The results are sexy thrills and an outrageous faux pas regarding a first edition of Homer’s The Iliad.
Banging on Daniel Baldwin’s Desk in 50 Shades Rip-Off Bound
It’s rare that rip-off factory The Asylum make a better film that their source material, but they did it with high-camp erotic thriller Bound. The project puts more time into terrible business-related sub-plots revolving around the wholeheartedly unsexy Daniel Baldwin’s company exec. The result is one of off-kilter brilliance that showcases more smarts and self-respect for a female audience than the horrendous EL James adaptation. Praise should also go to the mega-hot Bryce Draper whom we very much fancy.
Nick Nolte is a Pantyologist
A Walk in the Woods was a charm-filled delight boasting a sweet chemistry between Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Nolte’s gravel-voiced turn as Katz – a sex-hungry pensioner who strikes up a bond with a larger lady and refers to himself as a Pantyologist – a remark that is more horrifying than any genre picture of 2015.
Tangerine. All of it. All. Of. It.
This contemporary trash epic feels like the unholy love child of John Waters and Andy Warhol and man, are we glad that it exists.