Instant Gratification Quick Takes: July 4, 2011

Highlighting odd and off-beat new releases to watch instantly on Netflix

Happy birthday, America! Here’s your present… movies!


New for July 4, 2011

The Crush (1993), directed by Alan Shapiro, with Alicia Silverstone, Cary Elwes and Amber Benson – In the early 1990s, an epidemic of staggering proportions swept across the nation brought about by a fresh-faced young actress named Alicia Silverstone (hereafter referred to as Patient Zero), who first rose to prominence by appearing in a trilogy of videos from the rock band Aerosmith. Patients exposed to Patient Zero, primarily teenage boys, were infected with a virus with symptoms which first manifest themselves by spontaneous erections followed by long periods of isolation in which the patient will lock himself in his room. Families of these patients began to notice the sudden appearance of empty tissue boxes and bottles of hand lotion throughout the home.

In 1993, Patient Zero set her sights on a new population, the adult male, by appearing in the R-rated thriller The Crush. Ironically, it starred that guy from The Princess Bride (Cary Elwes) as a man attempting to repel the advances of a manipulative, sexually-forthright teenage girl. When The Crush hit basic cable and home video, teenage boys were exposed to a second wave of infection.

It seemed there was no stopping Patient Zero, but her stranglehold — figuratively speaking — on the sexual organs of the American male would not last. After The Crush, there was a fairly successful attempt to target the female population by appearing in 1995’s Clueless, but from that point on, Patient Zero’s strength began to wane. By 1997’s Batman & Robin, the pouty expression that had once sent teenage boys into what doctors once referred to as “hysteria” had lost its effect. New, younger, perkier infections were developing with exotic three-word names like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Geller. Soon, Patient Zero faded into obscurity.

Until now.

Proprieters of Netflix! Fools! Do you not know what manner of plague you might be unleashing on this nation by making The Crush available on Netflix Instant! Do you not know that a young Alicia Silverstone has 20 times the sexual potency of any number of cheap, interchangeable Internet whores?

Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! (Available until January 1, 2012)


Nightmare Man (2006) – directed by Rolfe Kanefsky, with Blythe Metz and Luciano Szafir – “Horror fans will enjoy this hair-raising film from writer-director Rolfe Kanefsky, creator of the comedic chiller The Hazing.” (The Hazing is also available to watch instantly on Netflix (Click here to add it to your queue)). That’s according to Netflix’s summary of Nightmare Man, part of After Dark’s Horrorfest line up of independently made fright flicks. I’m about half an hour into Nightmare Man and, in spite of terrible acting, cliched dialogue and ugly shot-on-digital cinematography — it’s at least kept my interest so far. Blythe Metz, hands down one of the worst actresses I’ve ever seen, plays a woman seeing visions of a “nightmare man” after purchasing an African fertility mask, and may or may not be crazy. Anna thinks that she has this movie’s “twist” figured out already. I hope she’s not right, but the longer I continue to watch this, the less I care. Co-stars Troma girl/scream queen Tiffany Shepis. (Available until September 30, 2011)


Hey! Follow me on Twitter at @CM_MattDunn!

Click here for the Instant Gratification archive.

Click here for the 50 Movies for 50 States archive.

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