Streaming Releases: Inhumanwich! (2017) Reviewed

What happens when a film critic makes the leap to directing their own features?  Film history is full of notable examples.  Paul Schrader and Peter Bogdanovich have created or helped create some of the most memorable films of the late 20th century.  And then there's Francois Truffaut, who no less than started a revolution in French cinema.  Time will tell if online film critic David Cornelius ever reaches the lofty heights of these revered directors, or others who've followed a similar path.  But if Inhumanwich! is any indication, at least he'll have a lot of fun trying.

A throwback to goofy 50's sci-fi monster movies like The Blob and Them!, Inhumanwich! tells the story of astronaut Joe Neumann (Jacque Ransom), who, as the result of a freak accident in space, become a giant carnivorous blob of sloppy joe meat out to devour everyone in its path.  After reading that sentence, you've likely already decided whether you want to watch the film or not.  Those who choose to watch are in for a black-and-white nostalgia trip with just a touch of modern flair and a whole lot of what makes old school low budget sci-fi so much fun.

Inhumanwich! benefits from making a lot of smart creative choices.  The most noticeable, and ultimately satisfying, choice is avoiding the temptation to be overly self-aware.  Where a lot of similar films would take a snarky and cynical approach to give it that modern edginess, Inhumanwich! plays its '50s camp straight up.  This makes it easy for the film to work within its limitations (according to IMDb, the film has a budget just north of $2000) and come off as the loving, light-hearted tribute it was probably intended to be.  Granted, the cracks do occasionally show, particularly as far as the acting and effects are concerned, but even that adds a touch of authenticity.

Pull my finger. 

Cornelius obviously loves and respects the goofy monster movies that inspired Inhumanwich!  But rather than make them the butt of a singular feature-length joke, he crafted a fun and silly tribute with its heart in the right place that hits all of the buttons.  Comparing Inhumanwich! to The 400 Blows or Taxi Driver just on merit is a futile exercise, but one could say that any of them are indicative of the director's love and passion for cinema.  Inhumanwich! may not be a work of art, per se, but it definitely succeeds as a fun and spirited tribute to the campy black-and-white sci-fi of yesteryear.


-Mike Stec