March 8, 2017

Below

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(Editor's Note: During the show, it was mentioned that Larry had a punk band called Cock Holster and the Misfires. After extensive research, Derek was able to find a recording of the only single they ever released, "Shootin' Blanks". You can hear it right here! Enjoy! - Derek)

After last week's movie, this one is a treat! Jake picked 2002's Below, a World War II-based submarine flick with a difference.

In 1943, the USS Tiger Shark is in the Atlantic, doing whatever it was that they were doing back then (looking for Germans or something, we suspect), and receives orders to pick up some survivors from a British hospital ship that was destroyed by a German U-boat nearby. They manage to pull three people out of a raft they find: a nurse named Claire (Olivia Williams), a soldier (Dexter Fletcher), and a wounded man whose face is wrapped in bandages (Bernard Schilling). Almost immediately, they are spotted by a German ship, and they have to dive in order to avoid it.

Does somebody need a hug?
The German ship begins running its sonar, hoping to ping the sub, which is running silent until someone turns on a record player that starts blasting Benny Goodman. This apparently alerts the German ship to their location, and it begins dropping depth charges, which toss the ship around like a ragdoll.

What, like the Aerosmith song?
The Captain (Bruce Greenwood) and his crew try to root out who turned on the record, and they rush to the room where the injured man is, finding Claire there with him. She tries to explain what happened and why she didn't tell them the man was a German soldier, but Captain Brice has already figured it out. Brice has Claire removed from the room, and when the German lunges for a scalpel, Brice shoots him. He then confines Claire to her quarters, where he hopes she won't cause any more trouble. He also orders his men to wrap the body and prepare it so they can dump it off the next chance they get to surface.

Have I got something stuck in my teeth?
Later that night, Claire hears whispering coming from somewhere in her room. A quick search reveals that the body of the dead German was put under her bed. And the men who wrapped him put sticks in his mouth so it would stay open, all so they could scare Claire, who obliges them and screams light a frightened toddler. (A reasonable reaction, really.)

Not. Amused.
Brice is, naturally, pretty unhappy with his men and demands they rewrap the corpse and take it out of Claire's room. Later still, Clair sneaks out of her room and into Brice's quarters, where she takes a peek at the sub's log book. She notices that there are two different people's handwriting in there, and she starts to suspect something isn't on the up-and-up. Before she can do any further searching, she is interrupted by Ensign Odell (Matthew Davis), who tells her that the ship's original commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Winters (Nick Hobbs), was killed when he slipped, hit his head, and fell overboard when they surfaced to confirm the destruction of a German submarine tender.

The German boat returns again, this time pulling large hooks along behind it, which latch onto the sub and tear off a part of the conn tower, as well as doing some serious damage to the hull before the crew can get the sub to the bottom. When they finally do, Brice sends a team of men--Odell, Coors (Scott Foley), Loomis (Holt McCallany), and Weird Wally (Zack Galifianakis)--inside the hull to see if it can be repaired while they are still underwater. While split off from the other two, Coors tells Odell that Winters was killed because he had ordered them to machine gun any survivors from the German ship they had fired on. A fight broke out, and Winters fell, hit his head, and died. As he is telling this story, he looks as though he's planning to kill Odell with a hammer, but he falls from one of the beams he's standing on and is himself dead.

His beard is trying to destroy them all!
The others return inside, where they tell the crew what happened. Almost immediately, the boat takes control of itself and turns back toward the site where they sunk the German ship. Nothing the crew tries can regain control, and then they start having problems with hydraulics, which they rerout through the battery room, and that causes an explosion that kills a solid 75% of the remaining crew.

No idea if this is a survivor or not. Seriously.
While investigating the damage and sifting through the ashes for bodies, Loomis sees his reflection in a mirror that moves differently than he does, and it drives him over the edge. He runs for the exit, escapes (again, while they are still under water), and tries to swim to the surface. He doesn't make it, however, because the sub manages to impale him on a broken railing in the damaged conn tower.

Once again, Claire sneaks into Brice's quarters to read the log. A new entry tells what really happened when Winters died. (Normally, we would give details here, but we don't want to ruin the fun in this case, as it's a large part of the final scenes of the movie.)

By now, what's left of the crew is starting to feel a little edgy, as anyone would, and they also notice that the hydrogen in their air is reaching dangerous levels. They beg Brice to allow them to surface so they can get some fresh air in the boat, but he refuses. When an argument ensues, the sub makes up their minds for them and heads for the surface. When they break water, Claire makes a run topside, hoping to signal a ship that was spotted so they can all be saved from what they now believe is a haunted or cursed sub. Brice follows...

Maybe he thought she had candy...?
What happened the night Winters died? Is the submarine actually haunted? Or was it hallucinations brought on by the dangerously high hydrogen levels within it? Why is Zack Galifianakis the best actor in this movie? What, to wrap it all into one simple question, the hell? Tune in to find out!

Derek really liked this movie, although the CGI left a lot to be desired. He also was surprised at Galifianakis' acting chops. Why isn't that guy getting more work like this? Comedies are all well and good, but he can do drama or horror! Make that happen, somebody!

Larry didn't like it because the awful CGI took him right out of the movie. He did like some of the cast, although he also felt most of them just weren't up to the task. He also thinks the movie should have been scarier. He is convinced that it is better than he says it is, though, when Jake makes a good point about the story.

Jake thinks that the story is amazing, and not happening nearly enough in any format, but movies especially. It's sort of a dramatic-suspenseful-noir-horror sort of thing, and that's just dandy. He also liked the cast, but, as with the others, he is astounded by how poorly-done the CGI is. (It really is awful.)

So slap on your wetsuit, get your crucifix, and listen to this week's episode!