24th Dec2015

Top 15: Films of 2015

by Phil Wheat

top-15Well here it is, my Top 15 films of 2015. If you’ve ever read one of my end of year lists, you’ll know that my choices tend to be a million miles away from the mainstream; and this year is no different! This year has been AMAZING for films, I could easily had penned a list of 52 films – one for each week of the year – but instead I managed to narrow down the choices to 28 films quite swiftly. However, to hit this years target of a Top 15 (for 2015 geddit?) it took a hell of a lot of work. I think this list even surprises me – there’s a number of films that going back over the 508[!] films we’ve reviewed here on Nerdly in 2015, at the time I reviewed them, I didn’t expect would stay with me till the end of the very end of the year. Oh, and this is a list of films that were either released or screened in the UK between January 1st 2015 and December 22nd 2015!

DISCLAIMER: This list is subjective. It’s based on the films of 2015 that I personally ENJOYED… There’s no room for films that “deserve” to make end of year lists (I recently took part in another listicle that had people place shows based on the public’s reaction to a show NOT their own opinions. Utter lunacy!); this is purely a breakdown of the films I enjoyed, in order of just how much I enjoyed them. As best I can order them of course…

Phil’s TOP 15 films of 2015:

1) Deathgasm

Deathgasm tells the story of Brodie, a metal-loving kid sent to live with his bible-bashing relatives who is an outcast at home AND at school. When he meets a kindred spirit in Zakk at the local record shop, they decide – along with Brodie only two schoolfriends – to start their own band, the titular Deathgasm (they rejected the name Intestinal Bungee Jump). Soon the duo’s resentment of the suburban wasteland leads them to sheet music said to grant the Ultimate Power to whoever plays it. But the music also summons the ancient evil entity Aeloth The Blind One who threatens to tear apart existence itself. With their classmates and family inhabited by demonic forces that turns them into psycho killers, can the wicked force be stopped devouring all mankind? Full Review

2) Wyrmwood

A biblically-foretold falling star (the Wyrmwood of the title) leads to an zombie apocalypse on Earth, turning all but those with A negative blood into the walking dead. When Aussie mechanic Barry’s wife and child fall victim to the zombie “virus” he seeks out the only other member of his family, his sister Brooke – who, after surviving a zombie attack, is abducted by a sinister team of gas-masked soldiers and experimented on by a mad military scientist. Teaming up with a handful of other survivors, Barry heads across the outback in a truck powered only by zombie blood, to track down his sister and kick plenty of zombie ass along the way! Full Review

3) Night Fare

Following the traditional slasher movie framework, Night Fare sees two best friends, Luc and Chris, reunited after a year. A year they’ve spent apart for some (mysterious, to be revealed later) reason. With their relationship on a rocky ground, the pair are further strained by their love for the same woman, Ludivine. However those issues are the least of their worries after – whilst on their way to a party – they skip out of a Parisian taxi without paying the fare. Big mistake. This taxi driver doesn’t take to fare dodgers lightly and the mystery motorist hunts the duo down all night long killing everyone that gets in his way. Full Review

4) He Never Died

Jack’s in a rut. Depression and severe anti-social behavior has whittled down his existence to sleeping, playing bingo, and eating the same meal at the same time every day at the same diner. Seeing the human race as little more than meat with a pulse, Jack has no interest to bond with anyone. There’s little purpose for him to make friends with someone he’d eventually eat. However Jack’s world is turned upside down when a daughter he never new existed turns up on his door step and he becomes embroiled with a group of mobsters… Full Review

5) Turbo Kid

Originally conceived as an entry in the ABCs of Death series, which was eventually rejected (in favour of T for Toilet) and expanded to feature length, Turbo Kid is set in a post-apocalyptic 1997 and follows a young kid obsessed by comic books who lives in an underground bunker and survives by scavenging in the Wasteland. His life is turned upside down when the evil Zeus who controls the water supply with an iron fist kidnaps his mysterious new friend Apple. And the reluctant hero must find the courage to face his fears if he is going to save her. Did I mention it features BMX’s, a fantastic synth soundtrack and gore – lots of gore. Plus an opening montage that gave this RAD fan goosebumps! Full Review

6) Blood Punch

No doubt released in time to cash in on the hype surrounding actor Milo Cawthorne’s other recent horror flick, Deathgasm, Blood Punch is a Groundhog Day style horror that tells the story of Milton (Cawthorne), a brilliant chemistry student who breaks out of court-mandated drug rehab with a mysterious bad girl, Skyler (Olivia Tennet). Looking to recruit a cook for a one-day drug score, she lures him to an isolated cabin with her psychotic and trigger-happy boyfriend Russell (Ari Boyland). Russell reveals that he plans to murder Milton as soon as he is finished cooking the drugs, and their simple love triangle quickly descends into a mind-blowing supernatural cycle of carnage and mayhem with no end… and no escape. Full Review

7) Road Games

Set in rural France (but shot for the most part here in the UK) Road Games sees hitchhiker Jack rescues Véronique from a road rage altercation. Alone on the road the twosome decide to travel together for safety’s sake after learning a serial killer is cutting a murderous swathe through the region. Tired and hungry they decide against their better judgment to take up an offer to stay the night at a mysterious elderly couple’s mansion… Full Review

8) Sun Choke

Sun Choke stars the wonderful Sarah Hagan, who many will remember from TV shows like Freaks and Geeks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – where she played one of the potential slayers, Amanda, Here Hagan channels that same sweet, shy persona with an underlying edge she had in Buffy. However unlike that TV show, where that edge would ultimately channel itself into a heroic vampire slaying role, the underlying edge here is more of the unhinged kind – you literally spend the entire movie just waiting for her character Janie to snap. You see Janie is recovering from a violent psychotic break, subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed and enforced by her lifelong nanny and caretaker Irma (Barbara Crampton). Finally granted permission to leave her house, Janie develops an obsession with Savannah (Lane) to whom she feels an inexplicable yet profound connection. The obsession turns increasingly invasive, and wedges all three women into an ever-tightening, and progressively terrifying, struggle for control. Full Review

9) Project Almanac

Project Almanac tells the story of David (Johnny Weston), a brilliant high school student whose skills get him a place at MIT; however a lack of funds means that he can’t attend the only school that will push him academically. Scouring his fathers things for a project that could score him a scholarship, he comes across a video tape that seems to show that he has travelled back in time to his own seventh birthday party. Searching through the rest his fathers things for answers, David and his friends discover blueprints for a machine that can send them back in time. They soon rewrite history to win the lottery, ace exams, and party like there’s no tomorrow. Their fun is short lived however when they discover that by changing the past, they have threatened the future… Full Review

10) A Christmas Horror Story

Helmed by the crew behind the Ginger Snaps trilogy – Grant Harvey, Brett Sullivan and Steven Hoban – A Christmas Horror Story is a Yuletide anthology set in the small town of Bailey Downs – the same town that appears in Ginger Snaps – a semi-Tales From the Crypt shocker featuring four distinct, yet interconnected stories… Stories which are tied together by William Shatner(!), who plays a radio DJ working the Xmas shift at the local radio station, slowly getting more and more sozzled as the film goes on, drowning his sorrows at the memory of a fatal incident that took place in Bailey Downs a year ago, when two teens were found slaughtered in the basement of a school that once housed a home for unmarried pregnant teens. Full Review

11) Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance. Full Review

12) The Wedding Ringer

The Wedding Ringer tells the story of Doug Harris (Josh Gad) , a loveable but socially awkward groom-to-be with a problem: he has no best man. With less than two weeks to go until he marries the girl of his dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. What ensues is a hilarious wedding charade as they try to pull off the big con, and an unexpected budding bromance between Doug and his fake best man Jimmy… Full Review

13) VHS Forever? Psychotronic People

The latest in a growing strand of films that take a fond look at the VHS era, VHS Forever? Psychotronic People is a feature length documentary taking a look at the explosion of movies that became available on VHS in the UK. Taken from the perspective of those who tried to unearth that elusive movie at all costs known as psychotronic cinema… Full Review

14) Clinger

Horror film come bizarre love story, Clinger follows high schooler Fern Petersen whose possessive high school boyfriend dies in a gruesome accident on the same night she breaks up with him. As if that wasn’t enough turmoil, things go from bad to worse when he returns as a love-sick ghost, initially intent on wooing her once more. But the course of true love never runs smoothly, especially when you’re a headless ghost, which leaves Robert with no choice but to kill Fern so the two can be together… for eternity! Full Review

15) Barely Lethal

Part Spy Kids, part James Bond, part traditional coming-of-age teen flick, Barely Lethal stars Hailee Steinfeld as teenage special ops agent-come-assassin Megan who, in the middle of a mission, bails out on her job and and her “boss” Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson) by faking her own death. Initiating her secret “high school plan”, Megan enrols in a student exchange program and soon becomes a part of high school – subjected to the pressures and life being in this environment, making her assassin years look easy in the process! Full Review

Honorable Mentions: The Sand, Charlie’s Farm, From Bedrooms to Billions, The Killage, Nintendo Quest, Grace: The Possession, Addicted to Fresno, Tales of Halloween, Antisocial 2, Frankenstein (Bernard Rose version), Some Kind of Hate, Night of the Living Deb, These Final Hours and Kingdom Come


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