There is a certain kind of film that fails but at least fails interestingly. These are the movies that stumble through essential elements like story, characterization or theme but nonetheless possess some kind of special something — some weirdness or energy or visual brilliance — that makes them a worthwhile watch.
I’ve got three of those movies for you. Each flawed, odd and opening today in Omaha.
First is Nacho Vigalondo’s comedic monster movie “Colossal,” which starts strange and gets far stranger. In the film, Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an unemployed writer with a drinking problem whose boyfriend (Dan Stevens) has kicked her out of his apartment. She moves back to her hometown, where she runs into an old childhood friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). He now owns a bar, which becomes Gloria’s new hangout.
Meanwhile, a giant, reptilian monster has repeatedly attacked Seoul, South Korea, killing hundreds. Gloria, in the midst of a brutal hangover, notices from TV reports that the monster’s peculiar movements seem a little familiar. She soon discovers that she is controlling the monster. Every time she walks through a tiny playground in her town, the monster appears in Seoul, repeating her movements.
Weird, right? Well, what if I told you this movie is really about the havoc wrought by white male entitlement? Weirder, right?
The unlikely detour is admirable, even as it doesn’t really fit with the fantastical story. But once “Colossal” begins to explain itself, it falls apart.
Next up is Agnieszka Smoczynska’s “The Lure,” a glam musical set in an alternate 1980s Poland, where a pair of cannibalistic mermaid sisters have washed ashore and joined a cabaret act. (Yep, that’s what this is about.)
For a while, “The Lure” is as exhilaratingly strange as it sounds. The musical numbers are well-staged, the production design agreeably kitschy, the comedy wonderfully perverse. The mermaid sisters, Golden and Silver, have varying desires. Silver wants a human boy to love her. Golden wants to eat people. The siblings clash when Silver decides to have the fishier half of her body transplanted with the legs of a real girl.
This movie is more or less what it sounds like: “The Little Mermaid” for degenerates. It’s heroically bizarre, but after a while you’ll notice how poorly all the peculiar pieces hold together.
And finally, there is “The Void,” which is one of the most disgusting movies ever made. Easily. It’s an ’80s horror throwback in the vein of John Carpenter, with a group of thinly drawn characters trapped in a soon-to-be-abandoned hospital by a murderous cult. What’s in the hospital basement, however, is much, much worse.
“The Void” is just a clunky combo of “Hellraiser,” “The Thing” and “Assault on Precinct 13,” which — after a strong first…