Posts Tagged ‘Gore’

Scorching the Retinas; Avalanche of Indy

collar dvd cover

Collar (2014 – Canada)
Writer/Director – Ryan Nicholson
Plotdigger Films
Unearthed Films
Runtime – 72 minutes

(Warning; this is more a stream of consciousness review I had fun scribbling in a groggy early morning hours state rather than the usual intricately planned, thought provoking, well-articulated article – ha! As if)

If you know anything about Ryan Nicholson, you know “Gutterballs”. And if you know that twisted chunk of celluloid you have some understanding of what to expect from this. However, if you don’t know Mr. Nicholson’s style, I’ll supply a few descriptive words.

Gratuitous Sex, depravity and Gore.

(Red Band teaser/trailer courtesy of Stephen Biro of Unearthed Films)

A definite “Deadbeat at Dawn” (A Jim van der Bebber classic cult slice of cinema) vibe gets this film out of the starting blocks, an introduction to a City (the seedier parts) and the films main character (but more on him a little later). For now, let’s just say he’s a homeless fellow who’s causing slightly more than a little disturbance behind the drugstore in the alleyway.  Two deviants who just so happen to be in the area have a penchant for filming ‘Bumfights’ (yes. Unfortunately, it was a “thing”) and have gotten excited as they believe they’ve stumbled upon a goldmine of sorts. Our homeless “friend” is an aggressive sort who likes to show off. Suffice it to say violence sells. Extreme violence brings in more money and sex. Well, you guessed it! These guys have zero morals even fewer prepared lines and it just so happens two full cell phone batteries. (God help us!) Add to the calamitous plot a pair of cops, a street walker a pimp and his sidekick and the story pretty much writes itself. Or, at least it seems like it has.

collar massive

uhhh- I need direction!

Let’s sprinkle in a little D’Amato influence ala the lumbering George Eastman (as The Grim Reaper or Anthropophagous [the Beast], depending upon which version you’ve seen) just think of the poor lobotomized fellow (played by Nick Principle who has a remarkable filmography to his name and appears as if he could play a decent Anthropophagous in a future remake) in a city setting rather than upon a Greek isle and add a delicate sparkle of a backstory. It appears ‘Massive’ (these fellows get inventive with their names) has a past filled with abusive at the hands of a clergyman and a rage fueled by his youth drenched in horrific experiences. Suffice it to say this gargantuan doesn’t speak much, has a dislike for pretty much everyone and treats his female company much like Walmart treats their employees (did I just say that? Whoops).

collar hungry

Do you happen to know my lines?

Naturally seems as this is a Nicholson helmed film the storyline is minimal, really just a thinly veiled excuse to depict carnage, atrocity and horrific abuse on film. And it needs be said homage to his influences. The D’Amato lumbering mindless killer vibe is strong even down to the near fetus eating scene (one of the main reasons the film was banned in so many countries for such a long time. It was a rabbit!) which appreciatively this film stops just short of. The acting is threadbare and the directing…well, surprisingly it’s passable, albeit raw, this is probably based on the fact Ryan has a few films to his credit (perhaps his style is getting more polished as it matures? Is it possible?) Now that’s not to say this is well written, it really isn’t. I’ll be Frank (…but only if I can be Sally later. Huh? What?) Collar is not in any way a great film. It’s horrific (but its far from the worst I’ve laid eyes upon). It has zero socially redeeming values, its dialogue is despicable (probably improvised throughout, with minimal script I don’t doubt) and the most expensive set piece is a haphazardly thrown together shed. It should come as no great shock therefore that I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. It’s doubtful that the casual B movie fan will find this amusing, it really has very little humor in it unless one counts the acting (some performers stand out more than others) the production values and the dialogue (did I mention the final scene is extremely quotable?) However, the sickest, most jaded among us will love this. Collar thrives on nudity and crimson. Actually, more than a little of the “red stuff”. When someone says “Gore” this is exactly that, far removed from merely blood spraying everywhere, this film gloats on scenes showcasing shattered skulls, dismemberment, people torn in twain and eyes popping from their sockets.

gutterballs dvd cover

An early poster for “Gutterballs”

In short, this is sure to please the most depraved among us. I’ll only watch it once, it’s left a mark on me. For all others, avoid this like the plague. It’s hard to watch, raunchy and “wrong” doesn’t even come close. More importantly it’ll make one want to scrub themselves clean following a view, this is the kind of film which makes most feel dirty… beneath the skin (yuck!) For all others, a rare few to be blunt, this is likely to rank and place among “Gutterballs”, “100 Tears”, “Flesh Mannequins” and “Necromantik” (although to be fair, this was more an art film about doing the nasty with a corpse) in the finest collections of the “connoisseurs” of the genre (that’s the nicest way to say it). Hopefully in a location perched far above the inquisitive grasping hands of the more impressionable (aka as kids), I was once one and this is unfortunately the way I was indoctrinated; wide eyed and fascinated.

Wear a seat-belt, don a mask (fingers crossed this Covid shit goes away sooner rather than later) and keep this away from the kiddos (these are my words of wisdom for today) But most of all steer clear of this if you’re easily offended.

That’s it, I’m out!

Watch at your own risk!

Cult

Collar is available to watch on Tubitv and can (probably) be found online to purchase at a wide range of prices, it’s best to shop around before you start to supply those credit card deets.

Ryan-nicholson

Parting words; In October of 2019 Ryan passed after a lengthy battle with cancer. His career includes numerous directorial duties (namely Gutterballs, Hanger, Live Feed and Collar for Plotdigger Films) and prolific often award winning FX work for such films as Scary Movie, (the most recent) The Predator, The 13th Warrior, Reindeer Games, Mission to Mars, Final Destination, Dreamcatcher, Elf, The Chronicles of Riddick, Blade: Trinity, Ghost Rider and Blair Witch. His films, which are always shocking and often controversial, have left an indelible mark upon the genre joining the fight to eradicate censorship within cinematic realms and the art world.

He shall be missed. RIP.

 

Scorching the Retinas – Avalanche of Indy

Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore (2014)
Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore (2014)
Italy
Director – Lorenzo Fascina, Marco Giangiareli
Runtime – 59 minutes
Bayview Entertainment
Widowmaker Films

 

How Pizza delivery and Slasher cinema collide I have no idea. Perhaps I should confer with Axe Slasher (a band from California with much the same interests whose work can be found here https://axeslasher.bandcamp.com/) or Werewolves in Siberia (who provided the soundtrack for “Slice” https://werewolvesinsiberia.bandcamp.com/album/slice-original-comic-book-soundtrack an online comic book with much the same premise) before I continue. Regardless, this vignette collection opens with a Pizza delivery person (whoops, I nearly said “boy”) navigating hasty drawn directions. The chosen mode of transport is a skateboard and this is the first indication that this might be a different than normal excursion into cinematic depths.

(trailer courtesy of DirtyTapeProduction)

With the “package” securely fastened cheesy deliciousness is on its way. However, it isn’t as easy as all that. The directions aren’t as easy to follow as believed and an obstacle hampers the deliveries progress; It’s a VHS tape. But more on that later.

Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore - Ghost

Whoa – You have cold fingers!

 

Scuffed up and bloody the courier believes he’s found his destination. Indeed, he has. Bludgeoning replaces the traditional tip and the movie has an introduction. Cut to the first segment; “Whispering Ghosts”. A shared file proves to boast more than merely something for the eyes to discover, in fact its influence is undeniable. This is “The Ring”, hardly as polished, but in shared file form rather than VHS format. Be wary what you download, check its origin first folks.

The second segment; “Devils in the Night” amps up the skateboard element and adds a Punk rock/metal aura. By this point I’ve realized the movie hasn’t any SUBS.  Surprisingly, there’s hardly any dialogue other than an ominous figure narrating in Italian, a presence much like the Crypt keeper (though more sinister, add a Satanic aura) from the infamous Romero/King helmed “Creepshow” franchise. His narration would I can only imagine would add weight to this particular segment as it merely plays out as a Capture/kill in gruesome ways for little reason short with an arrival at the end which could well tie the reasonings together.

 

creepshow soundtrack

Most probably the first of many Creepshow images this article will boast. (This is a limited edition soundtrack on vinyl)

“Alone in the House” is the following segment. As you can imagine it is exactly that. A solitary female discovers a mysterious intruder, hides, then confronts said intruder (with a knife). Words aren’t needed here; the story is rather self-explanatory. The addition of symbol laden flashes is a nice touch as well the protagonist’s reflection in the knife she wields in a shaking grasp. The ending is a little odd but provides a gruesome climax for those wanting such. If only the lighting were better the FX could have truly shined.

“Wood” is next up. And is blatantly another segment plucked from the aforementioned “Creepshow” ala “Hitchiker” but with a difference, the moniker nods at not only its location (if you catch my drift) but also at this segment’s erotic nature, in part anyway. However, the mood soon transforms when the pairs vehicle collides with…something. One of the most inventive segments on offer “Wood” changes direction veering from predictable realms and yanks its viewers into WTF territories. Suffice to say this is one of my favorites here showcasing one of my favorite actors within this feature; the quite delicious Bunny Roberts, who sadly only has one acting credit to her name (even fewer pictures online), such a tragic waste of talent. Again, the lighting is abysmal leaving many of the FX, action and character in murky shadows and much of the details up to one’s own imagination.

Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore VHS

Now imagine this has a life of its own and makes humorous noises as it moves around quite comically

Lastly, “Killer Tape”. Serving as the dark humor book end of the piece it gives live to a VHS tape when its owner decides to about face, change personalities from a comic book loving nerd into more a Collegiate Jock and bin bag all of his previous bits and bobs into the nearest trash receptacle to be replaced by various, cliched, sports paraphernalia.

Zero dialogue again in this piece other than grunts, groans (issuing from assorted bedroom activities) squeals, screams and a myriad of cutesy noises one might associate with Gremlins or creatures within features of similar ilk.

Several elements make this my favorite segment here. The tapes movements coupled with the noises it makes and the overall absurd nature propels it into fantastical realms and the fact that it pines over its ripped-up cover is the icing on the cake. Add to this a scene in which it comes face to face with an arch enemy and you have all the makings of a classic segment. I only wish I could say the same for the entire collection.

Bad taste one sheet

Any excuse to add a Bad Taste image and I jump on the opportunity.

“Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore” has its moments and lovingly embraces a camera style which fans of “The Evil Dead” and “Bad Taste” will be quick to appreciate but only leave them wanting more. The tie ins from several of the segments are clever, especially the Introduction and last segment, though not all seem to fit the puzzle leaving several questions which demand answers. The acting surprisingly isn’t horrid and fits the overall mood of the collection. Even sans conversation the collection makes sense, largely, although subtitles would be useful in working out what the enigmatic narrator is saying, a factor perhaps which might also explain somewhat his place in the proceedings and undoubtedly heighten the flow of the overall feature. Apart from the undeniable channeling of vignette collections before it (namely “Creepshow”) this overall shows promise for the filmmakers involved, although using the word “Gore” dominantly in the title might leave many wanting more. Yes, it has a few scenes of grisliness, though not nearly as many as one might imagine.

hjeavy metal soundtrack

Obviously, this is the  most famous film with a “metal” soundtrack

The ideas are there, the direction is there (the easy to embrace up close somewhat quirky style – the homage in part) and the lighting, well, I believe I’ve mentioned that a few times. The use of Thrash/Speed metal as part of the soundtrack is a nice touch (a love it or hate it element really) which many Independent pioneers are embracing. Sure, the writing requires tightening up, experimental avenues need exploring, but that’s all part of the ongoing filmmaking journey and honestly, I’ve witnessed a great deal worse than this in my past viewing of Independent (low budget) films. All in all, this leaves me curious as to what comes next from the creative team involved. I’ll keep my eyes and ears to the ground.

5

Cult

best horror quotes

Exactly!

Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore is available on DVD (Region 1: US and Canada) courtesy of Bayview Entertainment from most online retailers including Target, Walmart and Amazon (and I would imagine complete with English subtitles which this screener was absent of).

It can also be purchased here; https://www.familyvideo.com/creepy-tales-of-pizza-and-gore-539471

 

For all those interested “Slice” the online comic can be found here https://stela.com/

 

 

Attack of the Compilation;

Doomed and Stoned in the Netherlands

Doomed and Stoned in the Netherlands

https://doomedandstoned.bandcamp.com/album/doomed-stoned-in-the-netherlands

Release – June/2020

DoomedandStoned.com

Curated by Willem Verhappen

 Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. During that time this spinning globe we all reside upon has gone through all kinds of changes. And to think at the beginning of the year most of thought masks were a fashion accessory reserved for Halloween and lavish Fetish Balls. There’s certainly something going around and it certainly isn’t cheer. One reason for this is the fact that this nasty virus making most life’s infinitely more miserable has managed to temporarily close down most, if not all, venues. This has resulted in a great many acts looking toward other avenues for revenue. Some have taken to live streaming concerts; others have double downed in their creative efforts in hopes to keep their fan base happy. Most, however are stumped and broke. Thank the heavens for ingenious minds, such as the one behind this compilation.

The Netherlands in relation to Europe

The Netherlands in relation to Europe. In case you might be curious.

Doomed and Stoned in the Netherlands showcases a wide variety, not all, of what the country offers in relation to the bands within its borders producing audio for the pleasure of the senses. Before I delve deep into the audio, a few words on the art (as is customary). The image encasing this collective bears a windmill front and center (is anyone shocked?) also a plant sprouting instantly recognizable leaves in the foreground (The Netherlands, again, is famous for this). The inclusion of a crow (perhaps a raven, I’m no expert) is a little off-center, though perhaps it represents the occult element, I can only wonder. Clouds might be merely clouds or even smoke (if you catch my drift?) And the inclusion of the moon adds weight to the addition of perhaps (again) an occult/celestial element. Doom has a great many facets both in arrangements and lyrical styles. Did I mention the image is rendered in exquisite detail in black and white ink? No? Well it is, and my curiosity, excitement and eagerness only builds.

doomed and stoned portland oregon

The Doomed and Stoned goat asks; what not a single one?

What say we get started and discover something new, as honestly, I don’t recognize a single name on the roster.

With 33 tracks on offer, and over four hours (that’s four hours!) of audio to choose from one would think there’s pretty much something for everyone, as long as the tastes vary within the Doom and Stoner genres. Hell, I might even be surprised? Track lengths range from a surprising barely under two-minutes to close to a whooping eighteen-minutes, which is obviously (assumed) more traditional for the genre. To be truthful my genre of choice lay elsewhere. However, seems as I’m an open-minded sort of bloke and Doom often coexists with a wide variety of other genres, I’ll take the plunge where others might not.

Here is what’s on offer (aka the track list);

an evening with knives

Gigatron2000 – This Island Earth

Fuzzboar – Acid Tears

Obese – Behexed

An Evening with Knives – Sacrifice

Gore – Bad Ideas Obsession

Dreckneck – Pusherman

swampcult

Drive by Wire – Glider

¡Pendjo! – Hacia La Luz

Stone in Egypt – Chariot on Fire

Mouflon – Lawless

Swampcult – Chapter III: Al-Azif Necronomicon

VIIHB – Cyanide Holy Night

mantra machine

Into the Arcane – Sleepless We Lie, Thoughtless We Cry

Phantom Druid – Colossal Gate

Phe – Vortex

Severant – Sunyata

Mantra Machine – Delta V

Omgeving – Zwaartekracht bestaat hier niet

onhou

Cthuluminati – Svartálfr

Ache – III

Onhou – Silence

Uur – Helder Uur

Hooded Priest – These Skies Must Break

OneGodLess

Officium Triste – Like a Flower in the Desert

Bismut – Gewapende Magte

OneGodLess – Hangman’s Time

Gavran – Uska

Façade – Ego

throwing bricks

Throw Me in The Crater – Volcanic

Ortega – Void (feat. Gnaw Their Tongues)

Throwing Bricks – Slowdives Dagger

Toner Low – Phase Nine

With 33 tracks on offer there’s bound to be a few which catch my fancy, probably a few which leave me with my jaw on floor and most certainly a few tracks which do little, or nothing for me, or so one would imagine. Within the multitude of acts on offer there’s a myriad of established acts, some which have just managed to get a ‘foot in the door’ (so to speak) and others who have just started rattling cages, are unsigned, and have yet to be discovered. What say we jump in ears first?

As is customary in instances such as this I’ve devised a ratings system especially;
monkey-scratching-head

Nope. I’m still confused. Can we go over this again?

I don’t believe I listened to a single song here, in its entirety – to be quite honest I’d rather hear a recording of my significant other grunting in time with sloppy flesh-laden percussion provided by the neighbor’s thrusts.

I Skipped most of this, but found it comical but not in a humorous way – Seriously, was this compiled in a kindergarten class?

Didn’t skip any tracks, but my digits were poised, ready to strike – I may or may not revisit again. If I give it more time will it grow on me?

I believe I can actually remember a few of the band’s names here – This shows promise!

This leaves me with a smirk on my face and has me bobbing my head on a frequent basis – Be prepared to search for a reliable internet connection, in order to do some invaluable research on where to distribute the pennies.

Dammit, I can’t concentrate! – Break out the lube. Does this come in a format I can insert myself into? I’ll preach about this when I’ve cleaned up the resulting puddle.

(These rating are somewhat crude though self-explanatory; I hope you’ll agree.)

ramen noodles

Ramen noodles

With the price here being “Pay What You Want” one can obviously drop whatever funds one wishes based on the enjoyment level. Manners would dictate at least something (please consider being generous as there’s a great deal of talent on offer here, and I can only assume the compiling of such a compilation took up a great deal of time, energy and planning) as the proceeds are going towards a great cause; keeping the assortment of acts from a diet of Ramen noodles, destitution and obscurity.

So, what did I think? Is this worth investing in? The answer is a resounding Hells yes! There’s not only a mountain of talent showcased here but also more diversity than I at first imagined. (Again, Doom appears to play exceedingly well with a plethora of other genres.) Plus, this is for a good cause and shows support for those who might normally find the exposure especially in times like these when venues are still closed, some sadly for good due to the lost revenue this accursed pandemic has caused. My rating; “This leaves me with a smirk on my face and has me bobbing my head on a frequent basis – Be prepared to search for a reliable internet connection, in order to do some invaluable research on where to distribute the pennies”. Verging on “Dammit I can’t concentrate”.

Within this compilation I’m glad to report I didn’t skip a single track. Several tracks perked my interest more so than most, in order of appearance these are as follows;

gigantron2000

Gigantron2000 – This Island Earth – A Stoner and fuzz laden instrumental which serves as a fantastic opener for this collection.

https://gigatron2000.bandcamp.com/

An Evening with Knives – Sacrifice – Hard Rock, Alternative, Fuzz, Doom call this what you will but there’s no doubt it’s damn catchy!

https://aneveningwithknives.bandcamp.com/

Gore – Bad Ideas Obsession – a chaotic and technical instrumental, not exactly what I was expecting given the bands moniker but it proved to be a fantastic way to spend, roughly, a hundred seconds.

https://gore-revanche.bandcamp.com/

¡Pendjo!

¡Pendjo! – Hacia La Luz – An insanely catchy track incorporating a heritage vibe, rough n’ rowdy rock n’ roll and surprising atmosphere. Just try not to nod the head while listening to this!

https://pendejoband.bandcamp.com/

Stone in Egypt – Chariot on Fire – A Stoner rock anthem which checks all the boxes!

https://stoneinegypt.bandcamp.com/

Into the Arcane – Sleepless we Lie, Thoughtless we Cry – Initially I thought the vocals style didn’t match. However, after a minute or so it clicked. Doom drenched in Heavy Metal/Thrash stylings with a “nature break” (think Tiamat’s “Gaia”) and an abrupt ominous transformation. The more I listen to this the larger my addition grows!

https://intothearcane.bandcamp.com/

Mantra Machine – Delta V – Cosmic, instrumental, Psychedelic fuzz. It truly is better than its description and probably better than the words I can use in any attempts to do it justice. Perfect music to chill to (if you catch my drift?)

https://mantramachine.bandcamp.com/

Omgeving

Omgeving – Zwaartekracht bestaat hier niet – Atmosphere of a cinematic scope boasting an effective sinister edge. This would well work as part of a soundtrack.

https://omgeving.bandcamp.com/releases

Uur – Helder Uur – Hypnotic rhythms, you can find yourself lost in the wonder of this track!

https://helderuur.bandcamp.com/

Hooded Priest – These Skies Must Break – Epic traditional Doom with an over-abundance of groove and rhythm. Pleasingly heavy in occult and theatric elements.

https://hoodedpriest.bandcamp.com/

Bismut

Bismut – Gewapende Magte – I’m not usually into instrumentals, this however held my attention for its epic duration providing plenty of delightful transformations in both rhythms, pace and style. Bismut deem their style as “Desert Metal”.

https://bismut.bandcamp.com/

Others tracks left me stunned, with my jaw hitting dirt. These are as follows;

obese

Obese – Behexed – A fantastic build leading into a steamroller riff assault. Moments of psychedelia and varied vocal styles lend this track surprisingly addictive diversity.

https://obeseofficial.bandcamp.com/

Mouflon – Lawless – Doom with startling movement, plenty of groove, an Old School aura and growling vox. The combination works infinitely better than expected and I could spin this all day!

https://mouflondeathmetal.bandcamp.com/releases

Phantom Druid – Colossal Gate – Channeling both Sabbath and Cathedral this is basted in Occult values and delivers all that a fan of traditional Doom could ever want. The pace, the tone, the vocal cadence; all spot on!   

https://phantomdruid.bandcamp.com/

severant

Severant – Sunyata – If The Doors were a little more Western influenced and their music bore a considerably more “Stoner” vibe they might well sound like this! This has a perfectly executed nostalgic vibe going for it and plenty of emotion to boot!

https://severant.bandcamp.com/releases

Cthuluminati – Svartálfr – With a moniker which is part Lovecraft (Cthulu) and part Secret Society (The Illuminati) one would imagine this audio to have a certain slant, and it does! This bears a wicked air of mysticism and intrigue. As well a sinister veneer. This is altogether ominous, dark and comprised of a variety of genres. However, it never manages to suffocate the listener in any one genre which they might be altogether unfamiliar with.

https://cthuluminati.bandcamp.com/releases

Officium Triste

Officium Triste – Like a Flower in the Desert – Sporting a delicious, slightly different, upbeat tempo this track initially puts me in mind of material from acts such as In Mourning and Draconian but then transforms to invoke an epic and illustrious Opeth and Amorphis vibe.

https://officiumtriste.bandcamp.com/

Gavran – Uska – Monolith sludge, boasting palpable atmosphere, depth courtesy of the guitar tone and a certain density which derives from the drums tribal beat. A haunting vocal range only adds to the track’s atmosphere. I can’t get enough of this track and the realms it transports me to. For some reason I’m thinking monstrous Troll like – creatures roaming through the forest on the prowl for their next meal. Prepare to be whisked away!

https://gavran.bandcamp.com/

Façade

Façade – Ego – Epic, exquisite Death/Doom with excellent “build”, equal measures of foreboding and melancholy with plenty of atmosphere and presence to spare.

https://facadedoom.bandcamp.com/

This marks the conclusion to my thoughts. Show your support. Add this to your collection. A fantastic part of this compilation is that one can either purchase it as a whole, or track by track in order to make their own preferred playlist. Obviously, everyone’s favorites are going to vary considerably.

Doomed and Stoned . Com logo

Following my leisurely sojourn, I’m about to take time out to dig deeper into my favorite acts (featured here) and their discographies (and why not?) Then I believe I shall explore the other no doubt exciting avenues which additional Doomed and Stoned Global compilations direct me toward. This was remarkably good, I’ve no doubt that others will offer the same levels of variety and quality.Doomed and Stoned can be visited here https://doomedandstoned.com/ their Bandcamp page can be explored here https://doomedandstoned.bandcamp.com/

Cult

Scorching the Retinas – The Night of the Virgin

The Night of the Virgin – La noche del virgen (original title)
(2016) Spain
Director: Roberto San Sebastián
Writer: Guillermo Guerrero
Runtime – 116 minutes
Platanoboligrafo
Matchbox Films

The night of the virgin film

“Please I’m begging you, fuck my girlfriend”.

Some might think they’ve found themselves in a strange situation. I would imagine especially on a special occasion, where excessive drinking might be involved. None however, I would bet, come even slightly close to what this film showcases.

Imagine, if you will, it’s New Years. An awkward youngster, played by Javier Bodalo, is on the prowl. There’s plenty of liquor to be had (the location, a nightclub, has an open bar) but he’s striking out. Apart from being vomited upon he’s had no luck. That is until a mature lady approaches him. One thing leads to another and they’re back at her place. But, there’s something amiss. Something other than the fact that there’s no running water, menstrual blood is stored in a chalice in the shower, it appears the apartment hasn’t felt the touch of anything slightly resembling a cleaning product in years and that there’s cockroaches everywhere. However, our hero is about to get laid so obviously some of these things can be forgiven.

nico night of the virgin

Hey, Beavis. I’m gonna get laid!

Alas his partner falls asleep on him and he’s trapped. Still horny he manages to escape her snoring ‘grasp’ and decides to explore his surroundings. A strange statute and a collection of photographs alights his senses and he’s off again. This time he’s flying solo.  But, wouldn’t you know it in the midst of ‘cleaning up’ he’s disturbed. Interrogated, he arrives close to confession, admits he think it best he should leave only to find he cannot. Jealousy is at the door in the guise of an enraged ex-boyfriend. He’s cornered.  This film appears pretty much run of the mill at this point. Abruptly, it switches gears. Dives face first into razor wire, bizzaro-ville and starts to live up too many of the blurbs on the DVD box art. At this juncture I’ll spoil it and mention that a front row seat at a GWAR show would pale in comparison to the many highlights this film offers.

(Trailer courtesy of Cleopatra Entertainment)

Rather than offer more spoilers than I already have I’ll mention that “Night of the Virgin” is a movie which revolves around calamitous scenarios, lust, rituals, dedication, determination and childbirth. But it’s a whole lot more than merely that. With nods toward a slew of cult cinema including Jackson’s “Brain Dead” (Dead Alive), “Baby Blood” and” Inside” there’s plenty to get excited about. Admittedly the film has a certain air of discomfort about it, to put it mildly, and plentiful scenes to make one run towards the nearest bucket in a state of rapidly transforming color.

night of the virgin menstraul blood

Tell me I didn’t just pull this from my ear

A standout sequence might make one wish they would be better off wearing a poncho (there’s my tip of the hat to the films flavor and origin). Others still are reminiscent of a myriad of other no holds barred European affairs; “Taxidermia” comes to mind. There’s little doubt that “Night of the Virgin” takes a while to get going, the initial quirkiness is hard to ignore, once it builds to full steam the doubt has dissipated replaced by shock, bewilderment and an aura of What the unholy Fuck which only a handful of films have recently managed to provide. Naturally, as with any film one becomes invested within one will want to scream, throw things at the screen and shake their heads at the decisions the main character makes as he stumbles onward, blindly, towards his personal goal (which changes several times throughout the films length) and the films climax.

night-of-the-virgin-film madea

“Follow the sound of my voice, but don’t step on the cockroaches, it’s bad luck”

Strong performances from the films main characters make it stand out. The back and forth mental attitudes and general palpable awkwardness of, Nico, “the virgin” is captured and performed acquisitively. The seductress, Medea, is played chillingly and convincingly by Miriam Martín with just enough tease added to get any teenagers hormones raging. The dialogue is one of the films main attractions also. Insults hurled from behind doors and the way in which the same conversation deviates into a pleading tone is hilarious adding a humorous pitch to a situation which is otherwise viciously dramatic. This approach, also delivered excellently, puts me in mind of another Spanish director, Álex de la Iglesia, whose works include “Day of the Beast”, “The Oxford Murders”, “Witching and Bitching” and “The Last Circus” who demands discovery for those whose penchants run to subtitled cult affairs.

The-Night-of-the-Virgin nico dressed to impress

Hey, I’m Rico. Want me to do your dishes?

Although there’s humor to be found the film seethes with an aura (aided by its shadowy surroundings and style) of raunchiness and a vibe which will leave one feeling queasy and uneasy much like the same endured by the films main character Nico. Rather than follow the same tracks laid out by many before it, the film veers from the path which many might believe it will follow to instead incorporate ancient folklore, prophecies (another nod to “Brain Dead” but in this case minus a Sumerian Rat Monkey) and fertility rites. And there’s a spin on all this towards the films climax which is sure to stick with the viewer for some time following the viewing.

night of the virgin...birth

Where’s the OFF button?

Overall, “Night of the Virgin” is many things. A ‘slow build’ is chief among the words one could use in its description. However, as I’ve stated before, once it gets its legs it transforms into an unrelenting beast. A blistering chunk of grisly, disgusting, immoral, improper, celluloid one will want to talk about to whomever will listen. A harrowing experience, a viewing which might make one ponder upon their drunken past escapades as the main situation is somewhat, in small part, relateable. And more importantly a film which warrants eyes upon it. It isn’t by any means perfect, but I’ll argue that its imperfections add to its overall charm. Do what you can to get ahold of this, it’s a must see in my opinion especially if like me your tastes run into the jaded, more depraved arena, a territory than Hollywood would never dare offer, or even come close to.

8

Cult

Scorching the Retinas – Tackling the Wrong Turn Franchise

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)
wrong turn 2 cover art
Writers – Turi Meyer, Alfredo Septien, Alan B McElroy
Director – Joe Lynch
Runtime – 97 minutes
20th Century Fox, Summit Entertainment, Constantin Film Production

Sure, why not start in the middle rather than at the beginning? Well, I did and here I am. Cult is away again, probably sleeping already. He’s on vacation and he’s stuck with his young un’ at home, and let me tell you, she’s a spirited one. If she ain’t singing “Let it Go” or “Into the Unknown” she’s storming around like a Princess, with an attitude to fit. But getting back on track; I’ve got the reins now with snippets of that Slayer Comp still ragin’ through my ears.
So what say we get started.

(trailer courtesy of Movie Clips Classic Trailers)

“Wrong Turn 2” was made back in 2007 and it doesn’t take long to realize this. Cell phones are flip things, and earpieces are akin to those unsightly slabs of metal worn on “Star Trek” (the early series with good old Shat not the newer ones).

wrong turn 2 opening kill

Breast or Thigh? …It doesn’t matter!

Anyhows,  this chick, in the opening scene, is belligerent, screaming at her agent about one thing or another then she plows this poor chap down.  and wouldn’t you know it the poor bugga’ scratched up her Stang. Now rather than being somewhat pissed, who wouldn’t he scratched up the Stang’, she’s unsure, hysterical. However, this doesn’t last long. Some logger type looking chap makes his way outta the woods and cuts her in Twain. Downwards (“Terrifier” style), not across and this movie is off to a great start with perhaps one of the finest kill scenes to open up a movie ever. And my popcorn has suddenly found itself with extra butter (or a liquid which looks strangely close).

Wrong turn 2 Henry Rollins

End scene. Enter Mr. Black Flag, Henry (motherfkn’) Rollins, and an introduction to a reality game show of sorts with six contestants (five now, or seven. All depending on how one looks at it) and a theme centered around the Apocalypse (at this point we should all be taking notes and making time to rewatch the “Mad Max” franchise). Naturally, all of the contestants are young, nubile, hot to trot and bursting with enthusiasm.
A quick look behind the scenes shows the competition heating up and a producer wearing a “Battle Royal” shirt which is rather fitting (if you haven’t seen it, drop whatcha’ doing and prepare to forget Hollywood’s take on it; which is often referred to as “The Hunger Games” franchise).

wrong turn 2 i wanna play

Peek a boo!

The games begin, the rules are explained and it’s clear from the get-go who’s present for the money and who for the prestige of competing. Mr. Rollins does a great job of emulating the drill Sergeant from “The Frighteners” and “Full Metal Jacket” (R. Lee Ermey) and there’s another stand out scene in the books. But it ain’t all fun and games. There’s something uninvited in the woods which wants to join in but with rules of it’s own choosing.

“Holy shit, the whole family’s deformed” about describes the way the remainder of the movie goes. Powered by “The Hills Have Eyes” and general Slasher movie mayhem on bathsalts the kills come fast and furious, unflinching, just like Daddy likes them and uncompromising to boot. Seriously folks, this has more guts in its first half than most reputable Cult Cannibal flicks and a shotgun which would put many cannons to shame.

wrong turn 2 Boom

BOOM!

The pace here is remarkable, fluid and feverish throughout, enough to spike anyone’s adrenaline and the characters varied enough to bring forth opinions ranging from instant I don’t care if you perish hatred to I wish you’re the one who survives to repopulate the world adoration. The acting isn’t horrid enough to deter from the story, which is somewhat minimal, but it matters not when the screen is drenched in this much grue.
The finale looms, there’s enough blood and body parts scattered to give Dahmer a boner and the cast is significantly smaller in size, but more widespread,(that’s a pun), than when the movie commenced. But the action remains slick and sticky (nope, this isn’t another filling every available orifice extravaganza flick) two teams face off and…
Well that’s where I’m going to leave my blow-by-blow (enough of the double entendres already) commentary.

wrong turn 2 lunch

This is strange. I can see my spleen.

To cut this short, for it’s about my bedtime, Joe Lynch has far surpassed himself here. A homage to a wide swath of slasher flicks doused with a generous dollop of dark humor and enough glorious FX to sate the most depraved of penchants I’m pleased to state that this brings to the table more crimson goodies than any “Friday the 13th” flick and an overall viewing experience I would somewhat liken to (one of Cults favorites) “Dead Alive”.

chillerama

“Wrong Turn 2” is frenetic, unflinching, graphic, splattered with antagonists which appear immortal (though most certainly don’t live like it) and dotted with characters one wants to root for. The effects are abundant, grisly and executed with attention to detail (that explosion. Wow!) The directing is top notch, again huge props to the mind behind one of the sickest segments within “Chillerama”, and there’s seriously not a complaint here. Boobs, blood, guts, an inbred fellow who looks like he was plucked from a John Hughes film, tons of pitch humor and a final scene which puts Tobe Hoopers “The Mangler” to shame. This is my kind of film. Did I mention Henry Rollins is in this? I did, well shit I’ll say it again, cus’ he deserves another mention. Go get em’ Rambo (whoops!)
Do whatever you have to be able to set the eyes upon this. I much prefer this over any of the “Friday the 13th” films. Don’t @ me, I don’t care. I don’t have any allegiances, I like whatever puts a stoopid grin on my face. And now I’ve said my part. I’m out!
Shit. I Nearly forgot, Cult likes ‘ratings’ now. If it needs one, fuk, I guess a 9.5 will suffice.

The wrong turn collection

Here’s hoping I get the chance to lay words on the others in the franchise. If they’re anything like this I’m happy to oblige. Naturally I’ve plucked the wrong image from the internet to show the others in the series. This one shows the regular (British) versions, I’ll be diving into the uncut versions whenever I can find them, and the time, and access to Cult’s keyboard in order that I can diarrhea my thoughts all lover his site. Until then.

Scorching the Retinas – Manhunt

manhunt foreign cover

Manhunt 2008
(Norway)
Writers – Nini Bull Robsahm, Patrik Syversen
Director- Patrik Syversen
Runtime – 76 minutes
Fender Film
Norsk Film Studio
Euforia Film

Set around the same time as the original TCSM (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and in much the same location Manhunt commences with an initial soundtrack which strangely screams homage to other cult gems of around the same era. Young girls in pigtails, guys in leisure suits and a Volkswagon bus (boy, these things are worth some money these days) these kids are foot loose and fancy-free heading to the woods to escape the real world and responsibilities (lucky bastids). But there is strife early on, mixed feelings towards one’s attitude toward another and teasing to the point of annoyance, this might not quite be the idyllic outing they would’ve hoped after all.

trailer courtesy of jmacfarlane1234 on YouTube

Much like an early 80’s film with a bit of notoriety behind it the credits roll with all manner of names and ‘titles’ which I can’t make head nor tails of. I’m of the understanding, and hope, that subtitles rather than dubbing will take the helm. Thankfully it does and before long the main characters are introduced as well their idiosyncrasies and a few of the crazy eyed locals. An early indication of how this will no doubt transpire.

manhunt are you looking at me

Are you lookin’ at me? Wanna make something of it?

When the foursome offers a stranded female motorist a ride, after much deliberation, unease sets in. She’s scared, for some reason looking back in fear and only wants to leave the group’s current location. On the road her eyes move like a trapped animal’s, darting back and forth. Then the reason becomes apparent and the films feel abruptly plummets with a shotgun blast (most metal fans might immediately think MachineHead at this point) into the suburbs of both Harrowing and Terrifying. Only this isn’t the suburbs, the group is no longer smiling and carefree but puzzled, lost and strung up like animals. To make matters worse a ‘hunting horn’ suddenly blares away in the distance. What other choice than to run? Deeper into foreign realms, away from that which is familiar and further away from whatever is advancing (and did I fail to mention gunfire?)

manhunt - hide

Our legs are tired, we’re choosing to hide if that’s OK by you?

The film continues in a cat and mouse fashion displaying an excellent utilization of well-built tension and a myriad of well-placed highly effective camera techniques to heighten the suspense, often placing the viewer in the ‘hot seat’. There’s no doubting who the antagonists are as they are shown often, advancing, calculating and cornering their prey. Unlike, but much like, Wolf Creek the prey is the same, the arena is different (in its case the Australian Outback) and Jeff Jarrett remains a solitary hunter. There’s no arguing that these fellows enjoy larger game to that which usually requires a permit. But this is the middle of nowhere, it’s not like anyone is taking notes or will likely overhear or spy from their peripheral vision that which is happening.

TCSM classic poster

But who will survive (…and what will be left of them? To quote one of the original blurbs on artwork accompanying Tobe Hooper’s classic).

I’m not here to spoil things though I will mention that this film works surprisingly well on a variety of levels. For starters the subtitles only help the attention given to the on-screen action. The acting is far from what one might expect, as it is actually decent, relatable and utterly believable in the context. Strong well- written characters in effect bring the audience in closer to also feel the pain and frustration. Admittedly it’s easier to root for a character you care about the plight of. Translation and dialogue in instances seem a tad off and as a result shows the slight cultural differences between Norway and other countries. In regards to the antagonists barely a word is said only adding to the intrigue and mystery surrounding them and their reasoning for doing that which they enjoy. The direction is spot on. A grimy, gritty, edge is applied where it works in the best instance and close ups and well utilized techniques separate this from the typical runoff the mill affair also serving to elevate the tension level into stratospheric arenas.

david hess last house on the edge of the park

Standout scenes include eroticism with a brandished weapon (which replaces the obvious need for compensation) bringing to mind the quite brilliant, creepy and uncomfortable to watch David Hess in both Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left and Ruggero – Cannibal Holocaust – Deodato’s House on the Edge of the Park (I honestly didn’t know he directed this, you learn something new every day). And an unexpected gutting scene (of the vanquished) which leaves one wide-eyed. Gore and bloodshed are utilized when necessary and applaudably kept far from overkill territories leaving the film to rely more on exquisitely-crafted tension. The caliber of such bears mentioning also as it’s well applied; both grisly and believable.

The classical soundtrack is both atmospheric and ominous suitably fitting the films mood not in any way distracting the viewer from the harrowing experience at hand but rather adding to it.

manhunt erotica with a knife

And just where are you thinking of putting that, it looks awfully sharp!

My only slight qualm is the way in which Manhunt draws to a close in what many might deem a predictable manner though it’s not truly elaborated upon leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions as to the characters ultimate plight.

In short, this viewing was a great deal better than I had expected. I went in blind having never heard of the film, or its director (or even its cast) and left pleasantly surprised. A wicked mash-up of the ‘stalk & slash’ genre, Deliverance, Turkey Shoot, the finest from the 80’s Cannibal genre, Wolf Creek and Hostel this is hardly original (there’s even been a remake, with the ame name, released in the last year based in Ireland) though riveting throughout has a deliciously gritty vibe and should not be ignored, regardless of the fact that it has a rather low score on IMDB. Personally, I’d give this an 8.5 with zero regrets and would place it on much the same plateau as the aforementioned Australian Outback outing. Make time for it!

Your slave to celluloid in many of its extreme guises,

Cult