Thank God for VOD! – Almost Human

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

almosthumanAlmost Human

I’m actually a little late on writing about Joe Begos’ directorial debut feature length film Almost Human. Late, in that I actually watched this movie almost two months ago, and late, in that the film is actually getting its DVD/Blu Ray release this week (I think). So, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of my initial concept for these Thank God for VOD! columns. That being said, who cares? The movie is a whole lot of fun, and you shouldn’t let my tardiness in writing about it keep you from giving it a view.

This low budget, throwback horror movie owes a lot to the earlier films of John Carpenter, as well as a whole host of B-movie sci-fi fare from the last 50 years, most notably, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake from 1978, or 1993’s alien abduction flick Fire in the Sky. Staring a cast of unknowns, the film centers around Mark, a man who mysteriously disappears into a flash of blue light in front of his friend Seth and girlfriend Jen. Two years later, Mark suddenly returns, but he’s…different, and a series of grisly and gory murders follow him.

The first thing that struck me about Almost Human was the fun blood and gore effects. The filmmakers and FX guys, probably as a result of their shoestring budget, crafted a series of quick, simple, and practical gore effects and makeup art to propel the movie away from all of the other low budget horror shows out there. They went old school, with no CGI, all blood packets, plaster casts, and foam body parts. These simple, but endearing makeup effects paired with the overall 80’s “video nasty” vibe of the film as a whole make it blast to watch. The tone is dark and deadpan, and the blood is red and spurting. And, while some of the acting and dialog can be sub-par at moments, these same gore effects more than make up for it.

Almost Human feels like something I would have watched on late night cable, or rented from one of the small, independently owned, original video stores back in the 80’s, a vestige of and homage to a time long lost, but never so overtly as to become cloying or annoying. In an artistic and pop cultural era when nostalgia is king, Begos’ film hits most of the right notes.

If you meet a strange, naked man in the woods, just turn the other way.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit

2 Responses to Thank God for VOD! – Almost Human
  1. Shawn C Baker

    Shawn C Baker Reply

    Well, the right the fuck now list is pretty backed up, as I just got around to this one. Very solid, very nostalgic, very fun. Reminded me a lot of Ti West’s first film “The Roost”, which also has that, what you so wonderfully call, “late night on cable/rented from independent video store in the 80s” feeling.

  2. Shawn C Baker

    Shawn C Baker Reply

    Added to the “Watch right the fuck now” list.

    Where were you with that “naked man in the woods” advice a couple of years ago…

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