Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Signal and Boulder Beer Co's Mojo Risin' DIPA

I found the time to thumb through my movie collection to audit what I had and what I needed.  In the process I realized it’s been quite a while since I last watched the movie The Signal.  How could this be?  It must have been one of those movies I put off reviewing until a time when I had exhausted all other quality films.  I’ve been watching a slew of okay but largely unoriginal movies and thought I would spice things up for all of you.  If you haven’t seen this movie then stop right now.  Don’t read ahead!  Drop all plans for the evening and hunt down a copy (good luck).  While you’re at it find some Mojo Risin’ Double IPA.  Park your ass on the couch as this will be a night you will not soon forget.
 I’ll warn you that this movie starts fast.  This isn’t my first go at it and I know better than to try and do any other tasks while this movie is on.  So the popcorn is in the bowl and the beer is in the glass.  I’ve got my feet up and the movie ready to be started.  Everything is right in the world.  All except I didn’t mention one….little….detail.  This isn’t a zombie movie.  Technically.  But it’s pretty darn close and it’s amazing.  Just watch it.  So we begin.
This film comes at you like a raging bull hopped up on coke and caffeine.  The opening scene drops you at some cabin in the middle of the forest where a creepy nerdy guy is torturing and killing women.  It’s really B-rate and grainy.  There’s no plot just women trying to cut the barbed wire off of themselves so they can try to escape.  A few minutes into it though it cuts out and turns into this strange blurry colorful picture that you might get in your media player.  That’s “the signal”.  The whole thing was playing on some guys TV and not the movie itself.  But don’t be lulled into a sense of security because it’s about to come back around real soon and just as bad.
The guy who owns the TV (Ben) is in bed with a married woman (Mya).  Despite his pleas for her to stay and just leave her husband (Lewis) she goes back to him.  She narrowly escapes one of the “crazies” and gets back to her apartment.  There Lewis confronts her and displays signs of being aware of her mischief.  But before she can jump in the shower and get settled down Lewis has become infected and goes Babe Ruth on his buddy’s skull.  Shit spirals really quickly.  In the hall people are stabbing and mauling each other.  Mya eventually escapes with one of her husband’s friends.  He eventually turns crazy…or maybe not.  The director does a great job of casting a certain degree of doubt into his mental state.  That made the whole thing even more frightening.  When a crazy person in mauling an innocent man or a man stabs an attacker in self defense it’s hard to tell the difference.  And at a certain point paranoia takes over and the line blurs even further.  I’m going to seep forward a bit.  Car crash, Rods knocked out, Mya is walking to the train terminal.
If I don’t stop now to talk about the beer it won’t be till the very end that I remember to mention it.  I just get so excited about this movie.  So I managed to pick up this normal $8 six pack for $10 a case!!!!!  Basically I got 24 for the price of 6.  Gotta love the military exchange.  And I do love me some DIPA.  It’s a light medium amber with a decent off white head.  The aroma is beautiful but not overwhelming (as if there were such a thing).  There’s lots of pine and citrus and it’s very sticky and sweet.  There’s the presence of malt but none of the lemon or grassy aroma that would be common of the newer breed of American IPA.  Boulder Beer Co, the oldest microbrewery in Colorado, says the beer is double dry hopped with tons of Amarillo hops.  Thus the “outrageously intense” grapefruit like aroma and flavor.  The first sip is wonderful.  The beer is moderately carbonated.  Just a bit lower than I like but perfectly suitable for the style.  I understand that what I like doesn’t always mean what’s the best for that beer in that style.  So I will forgive what I feel is slightly low carbonation.  The flavor is great.  Exactly what I want in a double IPA.  This one focuses on the flavor and aroma hops and doesn’t kill your tongue with 100+ IBUs like some beers (STONE).  There’s tons of the same stuff you smelled. Mostly grapefruit.  There’s a healthy malty base with this beer.  It’s just slightly sweet.  It actually is VERY drinkable for a 10% abv IIPA.  That’s saying a lot about the crafting of this special pint.  Is this the unique monster that Smuttynose’s Big A IIPA or Stone’s Ruination are….no.  But is this a very tasty in incredibly drinkable IIPA that should be stocked in everyone’s fridge for movie night…undoubtedly YES!

Back to the carnage!

Something that I should have mentioned earlier is that the film is broken up into different transmissions.  Each one was directed by a different person.  None of the directors had contact with each other.  The three transmissions were in different genres; 1. Horror 2. Dark Comedy 3. Science Fiction.  This was something I didn’t know the first time I watched the film and it made the second viewing even more impressive.  That’s why the first transmission was so violent in a heart racing, arm of the chair gripping kind of way.  The second part of the movie (where I pick up here) is very different.  Yes it’s still violent and bloody in a very unsettling way….but it’s also hilarious.  My wife was using the computer and I had my headphones on when I was watching it.  So it was awesome to see her face as I laughed out loud at scenes that she found repulsive.  The whole second transmission takes place in a house where a very 50’s Leave it to Beaver type husband and wife are having a New Year’s Eve party.  Well he’s dead.  Wife killed him when he went crazy.  But the party goes on anyway.  The way that the director blends the mundane and the extreme are beautiful.  Trying to make small talk while caked in blood and surrounded by dead bodies is a pretty funny thing.
I don’t want to go on forever but I do want to capture a few of the major victories of this film.  I don’t know what kind of budget they had but this movie is theater quality big block buster stuff.  The severed head scenes are great and when the guy drills into Lewis’s arm I almost threw up.  But it wasn’t just the special effects that made this movie great.  It was the originality and fearlessness.  It was having a person on fire running by and nobody even looks up.  Then a guy chases people with a chainsaw only feet from our main characters and they barley look up.  It was funny and gory and scary.  I was blown away with the acting.  Each character was believable and likable (maybe accept Lewis) and each was real.  Each person was unique.  This movie left me with an unsettling feeling yet I immediately wanted to watch it again.  I shamelessly give this movie the 5 dead hand rating despite its lack of technical zombies.  Screw anybody who disagrees.

The Beer:
Aroma – 10/12
Appearance – 2/3
Taste – 18/20
Palate – 4/5 
   Overall – 9/10
Total = 43/50

The Movie:
Production – 5/5
Plot – 5/5
Gore – 5/5
 Zombies – 5/5 (this movie is so fucking great i'm bumping this to a 5)
  Overall – 5/5


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