• Maxwell J.

June 2022 Review: The Best Movies I Saw Last Month

As has been a theme for me this year, this last month made it difficult to watch movies. I took a much deserved vacation and then found myself injured again upon returning home. Even still, I wasn’t able to relax as much as I would hope for. Some personal issues also made it difficult to get this roundup ready. During June I watched 31 films for the first time and rewatched 5.


Here are my personal favorites of the bunch!


Re-Watch Highlight: Dead & Buried (1981); Director: Gary Sherman; United States

Gory murders rock the quaint small town of Potter’s Bluff. It seems that the attacks are conducted by the townsfolk. The twist in this story is that the victims end up walking away and replacing themselves in the town’s population. Sheriff Dan Gillis makes it his mission to investigate and get to the bottom of the strange mystery plaguing his community. Eventually, he begins to suspect that more are involved in the conspiracy, as he falls down a rabbit hole involving kooky morticians, books on voodoo and witchcraft, and reanimated corpses. Watching Dead & Buried with fresh eyes for the second time makes it evident why this film didn’t resonate with the younger me. It’s a slower film that takes it time building the horror onscreen. What’s most impressive about the film is its dedication to its special effects. Sure, it is low budget and dated, but for the time there is an extraordinary amount of care taken to make it as eye popping as possible. It also has a nice sense of humor about it. For the time it was made, it balances a lot of the trends of the time borrowed from slashers and zombie films alike to create something fresh and interesting. It’s not quite amazing, but it's a nice little film that deserves a second viewing if you too didn’t give it its due.


Previous Rating: 3.5/10

New Rating: 6/10


BEST #6) Mary Reilly (1996); Director: Stephen Frears; United States/United Kingdom

Mary is a housemaid in Victorian London for an exceptionally wealthy, yet kind gentleman named Dr. Henry Jekyll. After suffering years of abuse and skimming above poverty through her trade, Mary is thankful for the opportunity to have something good in her life. She is more than agreeable to help the doctor in his latest experiments that cause him to stay up late through the night and require her to traverse the city and perform a wide variation of odd errands. Eventually, she is introduced to his assistant Mr. Edward Hyde, a man reduced to his most primeval behavior and base desires. Mary strangely finds herself taken by both and in horror of what it means to fall into their respective traps. An unfairly maligned adaptation of the ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, Mary Reilly is a delightfully straightforward take that showcases great performances and plenty of dark romantic chills for those seeking something a little more subdued. It doesn’t set the world on fire, but it is a solid gothic horror with plenty of atmosphere and provocative moments. If your heart is aching for something that modernizes a beloved Universal classic, Mary Reilly will satiate your desires.


Overall Score? 7/10


BEST #5) Pussycake (CFF); Director: Pablo Parés; Argentina

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 7/10


BEST #4) LandLocked (CFF); Director: Paul Owens; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 7/10


BEST #3) Night Shift (CFF); Director: Greg Swinson, Ryan Thiessen; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 7.5/10


BEST #2) Mad God (2022); Director: Phil Tippett; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 8/10


BEST #1) They Live (1988); Director: John Carpenter; United States

A drifter comes into town trying to earn a living as a laborer. He finds himself utilizing the services of a community space that ensures unhoused individuals have food and shelter in the sweltering Los Angeles heat. He accepts their help even though he is unsure of their intentions, but he finds himself suspicious of the church across the lot that seems to have hidden rooms and secret speakers. Then, the police raid stopping what the man believes is union activity, but is something connected to the strange broadcasts on the tv warning of an invasion. He snags a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see what they see and learns the horrifying truth about reality. They Live is an exceptionally well-done film. Combining horror, action, and science fiction, They Live deftly tells its story of combatting propaganda, corruption, and societal woes, and the impossible horrors that come with it. Great set pieces, breakneck pacing, and great one-liners elevates the social commentary to new heights as a classic 80s film. John Carpenter shows once again that he has an acute sense of how to get under your skin. If you’re like me and slept on They Live for too long, it’s time to wake up and put on your sunglasses, friend.


Overall Score? 8.5/10


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