Your Netflix Instant Weekend: THE INTRUDER (1962), MIMIC 3: SENTINEL, and more

Brian Kelley

by: Brian Kelley
July 8th, 2011

We've gone from too few films to discuss to too many. My list of movies worth recommending added since last week is enormous and is going to take some time to get through (expect to see some pop up next week). Now that the 4th of July is over, though, and you only need to go see HORRIBLE BOSSES this weekend (please avoid ZOOKEPER and any of your friends that choose to go see it) it's totally cool to stay inside with your favorite Netflix-enabled device and watch some movies you've never seen before or rekindle the romance with some old favorites.

Take a look at the "If you're looking for more..." section at the bottom for a daunting list of titles narrowed down from the dozens added. Be sure, though, to not pass up an incredible performance by William Shatner as a racist and a horrific take on REAR WINDOW with giant cockroaches.

THE INTRUDER (1962)

William Shanter is Adam Cramer, a charismatic and well-spoken man who arrives in a Missouri town just as legally enforced school integration is about to begin. Using his powers of charm, he preys upon the heightened emotions and racial tensions of the town's white citizens in a bid to incite violence. However, things spiral out of control and the racist-cum-demagogue loses his grip on the mob he has created. THE INTRUDER is a scathing and intensely realistic portrayal of the racial stresses of the early '60s in America, particularly in the South. It exposes the tenuous nature of the balance that was beginning to form at the time and showed how quickly even those who fancied themselves accepting could be swept up in mob mentality. That the film was released at that very time- basically holding up a mirror to filmgoers- is undoubtedly why it has been quietly simmering on the back burner for all these year. THE INTRUDER, directed by Roger Corman (yes, THAT Roger Corman), still has a sharp bite and points an accusatory finger at anyone watching. It's about as mature and intense as any film tackling racism can hope to be.

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MIMIC 3: SENTINEL

Marvin, a young amateur photographer, has severe allergies and asthma and is, therefore, confined to a room-sized bubble in his apartment. With nothing but his neighbors' windows to photograph, he keeps a keen eye on the building. When he witnesses some odd disappearances-maybe-murders, he enlists the help of his sister and her friend to investigate. As it turns out, the odd events may be linked to gigantic Judas Breed roaches introduced in Guillermo Del Toro's original. Making no attempt to mask its REAR WINDOW influences, this third entry and the second direct-to-video sequel in the MIMIC series, is an effective and stylish chiller thanks in big part to the careful pacing and restraint shown by writer/director J.T. Petty (SOFT FOR DIGGING, THE BURROWERS). The cast of relative unknowns (save for genre film workhorse Lance Henricksen) performs admirably, taking the material seriously saving the film from becoming a cheap, laughable threequel. MIMIC 3: SENTINEL is a perfect example of why you should never pre-judge a movie, there are good stories hidden in the oddest of places. (Available in HD)

The Wildcard - DAHMER

I've heard this film is actually quite and having recently watched THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER (coming to DVD 7/2 from Intervision, watch for my review then) I'm kind of in the serial killer "mood", as morbid as that sounds. Jeremy Renner is always reliable so I have faith that this is more than just a few grades above the sort of unwatchable, exploitative real-life killer trash Ulli Lommel is infamous for (ZODIAC KILLER, B.T.K. KILLER, GREEN RIVER KILLER, etc. etc. etc.).

If you're looking for more...

That little movie about a killer tire (but oh so much more), RUBBER, has been added and should be one your top priorities. Also in genre film is the '80s valley girl horror NIGHT OF THE COMET. One of the better remakes of recent memory, LET ME IN, is most definitely worth watching. The original 1958 sci-fi shocker THE FLY is available as is the sequel to the remake, THE FLY II, which is itself a perfectly fine monster movie. Finally in the horror world, Hammer's incredible DRACULA A.D. 1972 is ready to be invited in to your home. For some laughs start with the incredibly goofy air-drumming epic ADVENTURES OF POWER. You can also enjoy the classic Andy Griffith comedy NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS. Bill Murray adds a few bonus points to THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE, a film that doesn't exactly hit the mark but is enjoyable enough. Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, and Karen Black lend their talents to the odd and satirical RHINOCEROS. Woody Allen pens (but doesn't direct) the farcical Peter Sellers film WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT. For your blaxploitation fix, jump on FOXY BROWN (Pam Grier!) and SUPERFLY. And for some just plain exploitative fun check out the Corman produced, Angie Dickinson starring BIG BAD MAMA. For family fun, get everyone together for THE BOY WHO COULD FLY. One of my all time favorite directors, Billy Wilder, is behind one of the very best Agatha Christie adaptations, WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. Finally, Sean Penn stars in the brutal juvenile delinquents prison film, BAD BOYS (1983).

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