Welcome back, gang, to my weird movie recommendation series! I love doing these and they tend to be among my most viewed articles on the entire site. I’m stoked to share my weird finds with you guys because I know you love screwed up obscure flicks as much as I do.
So Residue. I saw this weird ass flick floating around on Netflix and it caught my eye because the description tells of a cursed book which damns all who read it. Also the thumbnail pic had a bitchin’ looking monster. A prosthetic monster, mind you. Not CGI.
My love of demonic occult books and practical monster effects had me clicking play faster than Charles Band can make a Puppet Master sequel! I planned to give it the ole 10 minute try before sending it off into bullshit boring waste of time obscurity when the thing just blasted right off with the kind of old-school Stewart Gordon Lovecraftian flavor that I thought had been forgotten in the early 1990s.
Right away we meet a crazy scientist dissecting some little practical effect monster thingy when some weirdo busts through the door demanding answers and then gets eaten by a tentacle monster! Holy shit! I’m hooked! Tell me more! Go on!
What follows is a blustering hour and a half of creepy, paranoid delusional whackiness that is equal parts crime noir, Lovecraftian nightmare and time travel paradox all rolled into a compact, low budget flick with more heart and gore-boners than it has any right to possess.
Throw in cameos by cult character actors Matt Frewer AKA Trashcan man AKA Max Fucking Headroom and William B. Davis, he of the Cigarette Smoking Man X-files fame and the breathtakingly beautiful young actress Taylor Hickson to anchor leading man James Claton’s hard boiled P.I. character Luke Harding and you’ve actually got yourself a helluva cast for an obscure little horror flick.
In all honesty it’s hard to follow what the hell is going on with this flick for about the first 30 minutes. It takes a while to fall into its delusional groove. But if you give it time, the movie pays off every one of its seemingly nonsensical story-lines, all replete with horrific violence, monsters and plenty of gooey, drippy gore!
Did I mention the practical effects? Yeah, well, I can’t stress enough how important practical gore and monsters are in modern horror. Prosthetic appliances have weight, substance and can be lit properly, allowing a flick to not only stand the test of time, but often times to live in ambiguity as to its release date. RESIDUE could have been shot in 1994 as easily as 2017 because of the filmmakers’ decision to shoot practical.
In the end, RESIDUE is not only a great love-letter to monster movies of a bygone era, it also stands firmly on its own two gore-soaked feet as a Lovecraftian monster movie with great writing, great acting, and great effects. All parts of modern horror film making that are often forgotten in the era of micro-budget, straight-to-streaming video dreck that often clogs up our “recommended” lists on our favorite streaming services.
I give RESIDUE a solid 5 out of 5 occult text Strangeheads for scoring every point that matters on the low budget horror movie scale. I cannot recommend this movie enough to fans of the Gordon/Yuzna Lovecraftain film era. You can do much much worse than adding this little weirdo gem to your to-watch list on Netflix. Tell em Strange sent ya!