It has been a while since I did a list for the website and since it is almost the end of the year I thought that I'd toss out my list of the best movies that I watched in 2020. Sure it has been a crappy year in general with conventions being shut down and theaters on life support as we all hunker down at home, but there have been some stellar flicks. I should also mention that this is a list contains some older movies that I just found this year which means not all of them were released this year. With the rules in place let me kick things off with the 10th best new to me movie...
10. Bad C.G.I. Sharks (2019) - This movie ended up not being at all what I had expected. Instead of a silly shark flick with a bunch of poorly rendered sharks swimming around the ocean picking off annoying characters it ended up being a really interesting story about a couple of brothers reconnecting all while being chased around town by some badly rendered sharks. I'm not doing justice to how great of a movie that this is. You can watch it for free on Tubi T.V. as of the writing of this article. I highly recommend that you do. It is worth your time. You can check out my full review here.
9. Love and Monsters (2020) - A romantic comedy about monsters and the end of the world. Not since Shaun of the Dead have I seen such a wonderfully executed blending of the horror and romance. My wife, who normally isn't into monster movies, watched and enjoyed this one with me. This is a fun movie with cool looking monsters that also has a sweet side with a young man risking it all to reconnect with his high school sweetheart. This is a perfect date night choice for the horror fan trying to get their significant other.
8. Blood Vessel (2019) - Low budget horror movies are hard enough to successfully pull off. One set in the past, here during WW II, are even harder. Blood Vessel manages both extremely well. Here we have a batch of characters on a life raft after their ship is sunk by a U-boat. They end up on a mysterious Nazi freighter with some dangerous cargo. Great practical effects work and a creepy setting make for a must see movie. You can check out my full review here.
7. Becky (2020) - Kevin James plays a Nazi who terrorizes a family, especially a young teen/pre-teen girl named Becky. Let that sentence sink in for a minute. While I was disappointed with them not going full on racist asshole with the Kevin James character I will admit I might be a bit jaded with all the exploitation movies that I've watched. Still his character is very effective and the ending is disturbing enough that I will be checking it out again soon. This is another great movie that everyone should see. You can check out my review here.
6. Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020) - The Tremors franchise is one of my favorite creature feature series. I was excited to check out this latest entry and had a blast watching what appears to be the last adventure of everyone's favorite monster hunter Burt Gummer. Honestly the last thing I needed in 2020 was to see Tremors come to an end. I'm sure they might decide to continue things without Gummer, but it won't be the same. This is a must watch for Graboid fans.
5. We Summon the Darkness (2019) - There has been a few movies that have come out in the last couple of years that have a distinct retro vibe to them. Either they are set in the past or have an old school vibe to them that makes it feel like they would have fit in on the shelves of a late '80s or early '90s video store shelf. This is one of those and in fact might be the best one of the bunch. Here we have some dudes going to a rock concert and hooking up with some pretty girls. They head back to their place to party and things go sideways on them. Lots of mayhem and fun are had along the way and we get a couple of fun twists and an excellent performance from Alexandra Daddario. Check this one out. I promise you won't be disappointed.
4. Snatchers (2019) - This twisted bit of fun was a blind buy at a local big box store. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked it up and man did I have a blast watching. Here we have a high school girl giving into peer pressure and giving up her virginity to her boyfriend. Weird thing is that she gets pregnant... well that isn't the weird bit. The fact that she gives birth to some sort of alien or supernatural killing machine a couple days later is what is odd. This movie has a ton of fun gore, great creature effects, and some of the best dialogue of the year. If you are looking for a crazy bonkers movie to watch then this is the one for you.
3. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019) - I'm a huge Kevin Smith fan. The guy makes movies with characters that I can relate to. Here we have not only Jay and Silent Bob, but other recurring characters all dealing with getting older. Part nostalgia and part growing up I really enjoyed it. I do wonder if the Reboot will speak to others like it does to me. But there are some funny jokes and performances along the way so if it doesn't pull on your heartstrings I think you will at least get a few laughs out of it.
2. VFW (2019) - Up until late November this movie was at the top of my list. What we have here is a stylish siege flick with a bunch of vets protecting a girl who stumbles into the VFW from a bunch of drugged up whack jobs sent to kill her and retrieve what she stole from a dealer. Great dialogue, characters, a fantastic cast, and some decent violence/gore make for a fun time. This is as close as we fans are ever going to get to another John Carpenter flick so I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy.
1. Fatman (2020) - Mel Gibson is Santa Claus. Worn out and cranky about how the world has turned out he is forced to subcontract with the government to make some circuit boards for their latest fighter jet to keep the workshop doors open. Walton Goggins is the Santa obsessed hitman hired by a little shit of a kid to kill Santa for leaving him a lump of coal. This surprisingly great movie could have been played for laughs but instead of silly they go for serious and it works. This is going to be part of my holiday traditions from here on out. You must check this one out.
I thought that I'd also point out the movies that I dug but that didn't make my list. I call this my honorable mentions aka. other good stuff. Underwater is a fun Kirsten Stewart flick (never thought I'd say that!) with some Cthulhu action. The Mortuary Collection is a cool little anthology flick. Sweetheart is Cast Away with a female lead and a land shark! Rabid is one of those rare remakes that I think not only is worthy of the original but maybe surpasses it. Bliss is another flick from the director of VFW that I enjoyed almost as much and is an entirely different kind of movie. Patchwork is a wonderful mashup of Frankenhooker and Reanimator with the single greatest line of the year. "Send in the Owlcat!" Finally we get to Killer Racoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark which is a sequel to my favorite killer racoon movie ever, Coons Night of the Bandits of the Night.
I hope that this list maybe pointed you in the direction of some movies you might have missed or want to revisit. Like I said earlier this year has been terrible. I know that I've missed seeing friends, especially the communal experience of going to a screening of an old favorite. Hell I even missed my occasional foray into public to see the latest Hollywood Blockbuster. Fingers crossed that 2021 gets us back to normal or at least some semblance thereof. Until that happens stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season.
© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer