Aug 31, 2012

Review: Regissören - 2011

Director: Ronny Carlsson

First of all let me tell you what an honor it is to be given the chance to write the first review of this in the entire world! I’ve seen all of Ronny’s previous movies, at least I think I have, and they’re all very special in one way or the other. You can clearly see that he has evolved from making fun shorts to complex thoughtful script where he forces the viewer to think. He has a thing for picking the optimal music for his scenes and there’s usually very little dialog – if any. The title of this movie – Regissören, literally translates into The Director and is in essence a mockumentary.

Its quite different though. But needless to say it works on so many different levels. First of all we have the obvious mockumentary level. I would certainly hope that some of the sequences are a product of Ronnys imagination. But there is also a true documentary side I think. Ronny may have chosen to manifest this in metaphors but have spoken with Ronny many a time I think I know what he means by it. It’s an expression of emotions and not to be taken literally.

It also works as an experimental and surreal film and it’s obvious that Ronny knows what his doing – or not? I say not because there’s so much trial and error in his movie making, at least that’s what he’s expressing here. But I could misinterpret of course, that may be part of the mockumentary. Haha!

The editing is top notch of course, that has always been Ronnys strong side and here he’s playing with it more that usual. The movie is mostly in Swedish but there are subtitles and some are spoken in English too. Dialog in a Ronny Carlsson film is awesome! There’s one sequence with an interview of sorts which is a highlight of the film. It’s so funny! They sit and talk about how to make and how to not make films. The true intentions of them and the need for experimentation. As soon as imaginative editing is mention the film takes a turn as shows just what they’re talking about. Many a true word are spoken here and I believe most of this is true to Ronny as a film maker and as a person.

Further more, the movie also works as a finishing part of Ronny “Shitty Camcorder Trilogy” which started with Video Geisteskrank and My Monster as well as a standalone anthology. I like this very much! Finally I think it kind of works as a promotion for Ronnys Forthcoming film Dustbox which I cannot wait to see!


Review: Necronos: Tower of Doom - 2010

Recensionen på svenska

Necronos: Tower of Doom
Director: Marc Rohnstock

The Devil has plans for the earth, to conquer it and to enslave all of mankind. They can’t all be killed since the berserkers need something to eat. His mighty minion – Necronos, comes to earth to find the most precious ingredients to ensure his arrival. Necronos is accompanied by Goran – a blood Golem and a mighty witch that will assist him in identifying the most precious of all – the virgin witch. Her blood ensures the arrival of Satan and Hell will come to earth. Necronos is about to raise an army of demons and rule what’s left side by side with Satan.

First of all we need to establish that this is an independent production with a very low budget. Therefore it cannot be compare to high budget films but I don’t think Marc Rohnstock was aiming for that anyway. Usually when it comes to flicks like this the whole point is to make it very cheap and possible learn something in the process. That is why I commend productions like this; they move the boundaries of what can be done. A small budget forces the filmmakers to innovative solutions which in turn makes the industry richer. There are many high budget films that could never have been done if these productions didn’t pave the way.

Having that said it’s no big surprise that this film has the usual problem independent films have. First of all there’s the acting of course but I actually think that better than usual so I can’t complain about that. The second thing is cinematography, possible because of cheaper equipment. This is the most obvious way to tell if a film have had a shoestring budget or not.

Being a splatter film the effects are our main concern though. Those are what’s important tm us. There are two general points about this I think. It should look believable and over the top at the same time. That’s actually a pretty hard task to accomplish. Most films never come close to this, not even major Hollywood productions. The other thing is inventive use of the gore. Just to pull an arm of without any fun way of doing it isn’t good enough. There need to be a point to it. Why is the arm coming of? Just for the gore of it? Some reason that moves the plot forward? Of course I’m only talking about this as an example here but I think this film pulls it off nicely. The splatter and Gore are quite nice and most of the time there’s a point in having it there.

As it is a German movie its dialog is in German of course. I have a hard time with it. Not because of the language itself but as most of the dialog is spoken through filters to make it feel more demon-ish. It’s slightly better than watching a flick dubbed into German of course but it’s still an ugly language. Fortunately it’s subtitled into English which I understand..

The main plot isn’t very deep. But again, it doesn’t need to be. We are interested in the gore and the nudity of course. There are quite a few full frontal nudity shots and there are boobs throughout the film. I like the way this is done since it’s not only perfect bodies. There are actually real people in it as well, some saggy women and fat men, just like people are. It would be nice to see perfect porn star bodies of course but less realistic. I think it’s done in the right way!

But even if the plot isn’t very deep you get details from the beginning. You are introduced to the characters by several texts and some teaser shots. We start a few hundred years back in time with some fantastic shots. There are some really great torture scenes here. I wish they make a prequel that exploits all this in a more detailed way! Most of the film takes place in the present where the virgin witch is sought for and the torture is kind of lost in the process. I wanted to see more blood running on the women’s naked vaginas rather than intestines in a meat grinder.

Will be released by Swedish Dark Entertainment.

This just in...
Troma Entertainment will distibute the film for the whole US market within the next month.

Review: A Serbian Film - 2010

A Serbian Film
Aka: Srpski Film
Director: Srdjan Spasojevic

Milos is an former porn actor, the best in the business! He’s even a living legend and if no one else can deliver a hard on, he sure can! He can keep it up forever, or so it seems, but he’s retired now. He has a wife and a son and wants to spend his time with them these days. But he still gets offers from the porn business and one day he gets an offer he can’t refuse. The amount of money he’s offered makes it possible for him and his family to spend the rest of his life in luxury. He’s not given a script and the director claims that the real facial expressions can’t be achieved if he knows too much about the movie in advance. Soon he realizes that he shouldn’t have sign up for the project and want out. Something that’s easier said than done!

I heard very much about this movie before I saw it and my expectations were very high before I viewed it. The rumor about it was that it was the most extreme movie made – ever! And a movie that disturbs it’s viewer with strong emotions is a very good movie in my world. On the other hand isn’t it uncommon that great expectations often lead to even greater disappointments. That’s according to my personal experience of course.

The movie revolves around pornography and that wasn’t too hard to figure out, but that doesn’t make it a porn movie in any way. There is no visual penetration and the nude scenes are fewer than expected. I don’t see anything strange in a movie that covers the porn world but not becoming a porn movie itself. In fact, I think that that’s making the movie better. There’s not just graphical explicit sex just because the hell of it, a lot of the sexual situations are of the kind that you have to create in your own mind. I think that’s preferable in 99% of all cases actually. The imagination of the viewer is usually much more vivid than what filmmakers in general are able to visualize anyway!

But it is a strong and revolting movie? Do I get anxiety when I watch it? Is it as good as the rumor? Well.. No it isn’t! It’s a pretty slow paced movie where the main concerns are Milos fall and decadence. The movie is more about him and his anxiety about what he has to do to the other participants in the porn movie. There are only victims in the movie – no winners, and I think that’s a good way to tell the story. It might be a message to the porn industry but I would have wanted even more helplessness from the participants. They’re all victims, yes, but show us more strong scenes of hopeless decadence and humiliation!

But even if the movie starts out being slow tempo is that certainly not the case when it’s about to end. You get sucked in the movie and there seems to be a point to make the next scene slightly stronger than the one before. You wonder what the final act of humiliation will be and when it comes to ultra perverted sex there’s really no equal to it. The final minutes are some of the most revolting minutes I’ve ever seen and it’s made in a way that keeps the perversions going even after it ends. It glues itself in your mind in a way that shallow but violent movies can’t! You know those kinds of movies that only seek to shock us with its violence.


Review: The Alcove - 1985

The Alcove
Director: Joe D’Amato

When Elio De Silveris – a colonel, returns from the war, he does so with a trophy. He’s been given the chiefs daughter as a gift and she is now his slave. It the house his wife isn’t too please about having the “savage” present and make racist comment all the time. She suppresses the black girl and tries to humiliate her at first. After a while she gives in to her beauty though and the slave girl plans her revenge on the couple and on the colonel’s secretary. Pretty soon it isn’t that clear who is the slave and who is the master anymore. Zerbal – the black woman, seduces everybody with her beauty and love making skills and the former masters become her slaves.

I’ve seen and reviewed a few flicks by Joe D’Amato (Aristide Massaccesi) before but this is the first time I do so in English. D’Amato is certainly an uneven director, he made tons of films and only a few of them are mentioned when it comes to discussions about him or his movies. There are of course Anthropophagous, which is more or less the same movie as both Porno Holocaust and Erotic Night of the Living Dead minus the hardcore sex. And speaking of hardcore, D’Amato more or less stopped doing regular movies and devoted himself to porn at the end of his career. This is done before that moment and doesn’t contain any porn at all, no hardcore material is present but there’s plenty of softcore to enjoy!

There are not many actors in this film, and most of them are notable in one way or another. Al Cliver plays the colonel and there’s also Lilli Carati and Annie Belle as the wife and secretary. But most importantly, there’s Laura Gemser. I’ve written a great deal about her stunning beauty in other reviews and this is no exception. She’s absolutely fabulous and the others fade in her presence.

I don’t usually think that she’s a great actor, and she doesn’t need to be in an erotic drama with her looks, but here she outdoes herself. She transforms her character brilliantly between the submissive slave girl to the strong master she’s becoming. At first I didn’t think much of it but at the end of the film it’s obvious. She’s changed herself as much as the other have, or even more so!

But the first half of the film is not much to remember. There are just some softcore scenes, which indeed are beautiful, but not remarkable. The last half is where the entire main plot takes place. Of course the first part is needed as a base to build the twists on but the base is kind of boring to watch. The second half is very entertaining and has some softcore in it also. The ending comes much as surprise but it’s a little too abrupt I think. However this is a very fine film and I would say that this is far better than most of the more recognized films by D’Amato, a real gem actually! 

Review: Amateur Porn Star Killer - 2006

Amateur Porn Star Killer
Director: Shane Ryan

Brandon looks nice and doesn’t have a problem to get the girls attention. Beneath the surface lies a secret though. Stacy, the young girl he just picked up and persuaded to accompany him to his hotel room, will soon be aware of his dark personality when he manipulates himself into her mind and she “willingly” takes her clothes of one by one for him while he films the events. She has a nervous smile on her face during the “voluntary” undressing which changes when he force himself onto her, humiliates her and rape her right before he beats her to death – all on camera!

The idea itself with a sole perpetrator that kidnap young girls just to rape, humiliate and kill them on camera might not be a new one but it’s certainly an attractive one when it comes to pseudo snuff, which is what this film is all about. I have to admit that I was expecting a stronger, more explicit tale of violence but this is really a brilliant imitation of a genre so concealed in mysteries that no one has been able to prove its existence – yet!

The quality of the picture is crap and you don’t se any naughty and/or violent details at all and I think that’s the main thing. What you get is a film that the perpetrator records and this is just about what it would look like if he has lousy equipment. Very realistic indeed! One might think that he should have concentrated on capturing more graphic details if he’s going to get something out of his own recording later but that is not the case here. There is somewhat of an explanation in the end credits about this but I’m not going to give it away here.

There’s a big problem with the sound though, it’s so bad from time to time that it’s hard to hear the dialog. This might partly be for accomplishing the same effect as for the crap picture – realism, but there’s also a problem with the soundtrack, the music drown the voices, more or less. I really like the soundtrack though; it enhances the pictures and creates an atmosphere for the movie. But at the same time it’s bad for the realism, I don’t think that a real snuff film would have had any music what so ever!

Brandon (Shane Ryan) behavior towards the young woman becomes more and more violent during the film and that’s exactly the image I have of a perpetrator of his kind in my mind. Obsequious and flattering at first so that she will give in to his perversions and then a change of personality! The camera shakes and moves all over the place and with the combination of the bad picture this successfully hides what really happens and we – the viewers, must just our imagination instead. I usually claim that this is the preferred way to tell a disturbing tale but I am not certain about it in this case. I would like to have more of the violence and sex in the frame instead of outside it. It becomes kind of tame and it’s difficult to keep interested even if the movie is just around 70 minutes.

Definitely an interesting movie worth seeing, but not the masterpiece I was hoping for.

Review: Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo - 1981

Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo
Aka: Vi barn från Bahnhof Zoo
Director: Uli Edel

When Christiane turns fourteen she tries to inject heroin for the first time. She has previously snorted it and used both valium and hashish. Her life begins to take a different and more decadent path, in fact, her life shatters. Her friends decrease in numbers and she only has one thing in common with the ones she got left – the drugs! But they cost money and where can a fourteen year hold get money? She turns to prostitution and learns the hard way of street life, how it works or rather how it does not work and descends into a world of drugs and prostitution.

This movie has often been praised as a masterpiece in various contexts and there’s no doubt about that it’s a great movie. But to be frank I was a bit disappointed with the initial 40-45 minutes. I didn’t think it was something special at all. Movies about youngsters in trouble have been made before and I tried really hard to figure out the difference between this and the other movies, our Swedish movies – G and Sova Räv for example. But it doesn’t take long to figure it out, what follow the first 45 minutes is something completely different. There is a rare realism both macabre and believable, it even disgusting and revolting on a couple occasions.

It is a film about drug abuse like no other to be sure. There’s no way to be certain on who lives and who dies when the end comes. Well, except the main character since the film is based on the book which is based on interviews done with the real Christiane. The filthy world she and the other live in is described fabulously and the environment is magnificent. The actors are great and it’s hard to believe that there just actors really. They could be the people they play for all I know but we have to settle on calling it authentic. It’s very nicely done!

There is no glamorizing or glorifying of the drugs anywhere. It’s a brutal film and it’s like punch in the stomach when it comes to realism, but that’s not what makes it so good in my opinion. What makes it good is that it lures the emotions out of the viewer in scenes that shouldn’t even be too emotional. Of course it’s tragic when people overdose and so forth but in a film with this story it’s something to be expected. But the love story between Christiane and Detlev is very touching. They seem, in despite that the main attraction between then is the drugs, to have an unselfish relationship. But on the other hand, when they the anxiety kicks in by full force the unselfishness are gone…

And I must mention the amazing, brilliant, magnificent, revolting scene where the abstinence kicks in for real! I don’t think I’ve ever seen something more frightening. It’s surely discouraging and I hope that the scene is strong enough to discourage from ever begin with the evil – the drugs!

Review: Begotten - 1991

Director: E. Elias Merhige
Art House

God commits suicide and there’s born a woman from His body – Mother Earth. This woman then gives birth to a son which is dragged through the landscapes with a rope around his neck. Faceless and cannibalistic creatures torment his in various ways.

I’ll admit that the above synopsis is very sparse, but that’s more or less what it’s all about. And it’s not very clear at all. If the possibility to read the story wasn’t available I don’t think that I could have come up with it myself. It’s very hard to get the storyline of this film! There are clues in the closing credits and the characters are stated to be as above.

To further confuse the films cinematography is pure black and white, and I mean just that – black and white, there’s no shades of grey at all. It’s very difficult to see what’s really happening at times and the impression of a gigantic Rorschach test comes across. The close-ups are extreme and I don’t think there’s any right or wrongs when it comes to interpreting this film. There is no dialog whatsoever and the music is very sparse. But there is use of sound within the picture that is very effective. It makes it exciting with nature sounds as crickets in the background which generates very exiting sound constellations.

It’s all about grotesque and morbid sequences, that much is clear, even if the detail are very hard to figure out or even see! The quality of the picture itself can be compared to something from the silent movie era and is like a visual trip through symbolism and metaphorism. I could write a review with a few thousand words about this movie but to claim that I have any of the answers would be a lie, and I’m very diplomatic at that!

I believe that each and everyone will interpret this differently. You may hate it and you might love it but I don’t think there’s anything in between. It will affect all. I personally found a fascination for it even if I didn’t understood it in a way that I really would have liked. And there for I conclude this review in a little different way than usually. Here is some shorthand I noted when I saw it:

An intellectual challenge
Great Art
Macabre and grotesque imagery
Not revolting
A visual trip
If you’re lucky you might find it for a couple of hundred bucks on eBay…

Review: Consumption - 2007

Director: Richard Powell

What seems to begin with a romantic dinner for two, soon changes into something more macabre. Something way beyond ordinary peoples frames of references. Professor George Klubbard and Claudia are fully aware of their commitments and will stop at nothing to complete the experiment. Empirical research that emphasises on unknown states of mind and experiences of flesh few can brag about.

It’s all too hard to review this movie in any other way than to reveal certain details of it. The following text may therefore include spoilers. Read at your own risk!

This is a short, no longer than thirty minutes long. These have a kind of dramaturgy not comparable to that of the feature films. It’s a more intense way of telling the story and you don’t have as much time to develop characters and so forth. To create a situation is however possible but to get the depth from longer productions is just not easily obtained. It also has a limited budget so no extraordinary details nor production values is neither possible. But it does not have to contain those things anyway! The tone of the movie is certainly amateurish, but still there is both a feeling of voyeurism and real ambition, underlying values of moral and it’s fascinating at the same time as it’s provoking and really gets under your skin.

I can’t get a total grip of the actors though, at first they’re really bad and the feeling that anyone could have done this at home with a camcorder is apparent. The initial events also seems to be unnecessary trivial. But then something happens! Not really that the acting improves, but as the plot thickens and evolve into a really unpleasant story when the cannibalistic ingredients comes along the production gets more intense altogether. I would compare this, at least plot wise to films like Marain Doras Cannibal based on the true events of German cannibal case of Armin Meiwes. Not that there any homosexual eroticism, or heterosexual either for that matter, but the romantic dinner and the victims willingness to the whole arrangement could easily be compared with that movie.

Instead of the sexuality there’s lots and lots of black humour in the story. Perhaps of the kind that goes unnoticeable the first time but still its present. It’s a pretty clever dialog, but even if it’s apparent where the storyline is going it’s still a bit of a chock when it’s revealed for us. You get overwhelmed by the obvious, so to speak. It’s macabre and totally disgusting (in the most positive sense of the word) and it’s flavoured with some really good and shocking gore effects. The blood might be a little thin but as a whole it doesn’t really matter, the whole point is not to shock with these effects and I’ve seen it done a lot worse in big budgeted movies too.
So… I like this, regardless of the amateurish production values. I see it as a must for those who are interested in nihilistic, cannibalistic and repulsive flicks. It manages to stay right on the egde and does not get tasteless just for the sake of it and leaves the viewer with a feeling and hopelessness and moral values!

Review: Easter Bunny Kill! Kill! - 2006

Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!
Director: Chad Ferrin

Remington claims that Mindy is his true love in life but he’s obviously a grafter luring his way into the family for whatever reason. Mindy also has a son, sixteen years old with Easter as his favorite holiday. Actually the kid is somewhat retarded and cannot really cops with reality. His greatest hero in life is his father and the Easter Bunny. When he gets a rabbit from a complete stranger he really starts to shine. Remington, only in for using Mindy, hates the boy – Nicholas, and the boy hate him back. Using threats Remington means to fool Mindy to believe that they can be on happy family. But when Mindy needs to get to work, Remington phoned a perverted man trying to sell Nicholas to him. No marks and no memory are the rules. In the meantime Remington goes out to get some prostitutes for the Easter party. But the party doesn’t go as he thinks, soon there’s a deranged killer on the loose killing of the people one by one…

It’s pretty obvious that this picture didn’t have a massive budget and the cinematography betrays its underground origin. I like underground cinema though and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it being obvious either. Especially when it’s done as nicely as here, it feels like you’re in the movie sitting like a fly on the wall rather than just seeing a picture on the TV. That’s always a good and intersecting thing in my home. I wouldn’t say that it’s exciting but it is somewhat suspenseful at times!

It takes a while for the movie to really get going but the characters are interesting and the acting is surprisingly good! I have some trouble believing the retarded kid as I think he overacts quite a bit but you can’t have everything and I don’t really know how retards talk anyway, it might be very accurate after all.

The intro shot (in a double sense) is quite disturbing and in your face. You get to see someone in an Easter Bunny mask robbing and killing a store clerk. It’s not a secret who did it for long though and we get to follow Remington on his was getting in to the family. At first we get the feeling that he’s only wants Mindy for sex, and she is rather good looking, but later, when he tries to sell Nicholas to a perverted bloke that seems ecstatic over getting the chance to abuse a retarded kid. At this point I thought this was the true meaning of the movie, an exploitation of perverted abuse of the boy. It really builds a tension but I was wrong. The next thing happening is that the Easter Bunny comes along and starts to kill people. It’s of course not the true Easter Bunny, just someone in the initial Easter Bunny mask and you can guess who it is, or at least try to guess. It seems obvious, but it’s not!

At this time Remington goes out hoping to get some pussy for his party. No problem since he knows his way around and picks up a couple of prostitutes. Here’s where the first nudity in the film takes place and I thought it would become somewhat sleazy. But there’s really no more than a few tits to be exposed. Not that I complain but I thought it would be a little bit more in that department!

Now the film takes its final turn and becomes what it’s been all along really. I wouldn’t call it a full scale slasher but it’s sure the main theme of the film. There’s also a lot more commenting on the nuclear family issues and mental disturbances. I had my doubts when watching it but when it’s finished I can see that this was a really good movie and well made with some thought put into it. It gives me so much more than just a basic exposition film and as for the killings; they’re done with some unusual tool. Well, at least it isn’t just knives and axes and things like that. We get to see drills, circular saws and stuff like that! And yeah, the ending took me by surprise and that’s unusual! Good Movie!

Bilder: © 2006 Crappy World Films © 2011 Cine du Monde (UK Licence)

Review: Insidious - 2010

According to me James Wan is a true talent! I haven’t seen all the movies he’s directed, and certainly not the early shorts and stuff, but out of those I have seen he has about 100% successful films in his portfolio. He’s a master of suspense and seems to know exactly what the audience is thinking and then doing the opposite. In this one he shows us “the monster” in broad daylight just because we aren’t used to it. He thinks outside the box to find solutions others don’t seem to think about at all. I’m always surprised when I see a film of him! He has gone from making the first episode in the Saw franchise to Dead Silence (I never saw Death Sentence) to this one and all of them are frightening and very inventive story wise. The acting is top notch and they’re very tense when it comes to deliver the story. You should expect the unexpected and even then you will be surprised!


Review: Familiar - 2012

A far as I know this is Richard Powell’s third short film. Both the other ones (ConsumptionWorm) were quite good so my expectations were high when I viewed this one! I didn’t need to worry for long though; this is at least as good as the best moments of the previous films! It’s kind of hard to describe a synopsis when it comes to short films, they tend to be some what’s easy structure wise and if you describe too much you might spoil the film for those who reads you review. There for I will not describe it very lengthy and satisfy myself by saying that the main character – John Dodd, played brilliantly by Robert Nolan, is dead tired of his life as he lives it. He feels like in a prison and can’t wait for his kid to get to collage so he can leave his wife and start over again; live his life as it ought to be lived!

But he finds out that his wife in pregnant and plots to get rid of the fetus and regain his freedom once and for all! That’s more or less it. There are a few things that work as metaphors of course, but yet they might be true! Is there really a monster growing inside of John Dodd’s body or does he imagine things? Are they just there for us – the audience? Well, at the very end we get some answers but nothing up till that moment.

The story is great, the mood is awesome but nothing impresses more than Robert Nolan! It feels like he could pull anything of after seeing him in this part! He’s a genius and I never saw it before! He has always been very good but here he’s even better!

I think it’s really a movie about insanity (of some sort) and I absolutely loved it. The only problem with it really is that it should’ve been a feature film. It had that much story to tell and if it were spread out during a longer time and told a little slower it would have been a true masterpiece!

Review: Excreamer - 2002

Director: Shane Mather

Aliens, hostile toilets, a lunatic scientist and a rampage contagion that reminds of classic zombie symptoms. This is only some of the things this movie contains. The background is that NASA sent up a secret spaceship, full of toilets, into space in 1971. The reasons for this is still commonly unknown except for those who occupies the most influential positions in the power structures hierarchy Many years later when the spaceship reappears on earth, an alien species has taken control of the toilets and sets about to make use of them in their own demented plans Suddenly, people all around the globe start behaving like they’re crazy and turns into perverted maniacs.

Is it really possible not to like a film with all these elements? It seems to be as good as it gets as long as the twisted plot is concerned. At least that’s the feeling I got from reading the storyline. I would, however, have liked some more contexts. It feels a bit like there are some scenes that are put together just for the heck of it, and for the sole purpose to put it out on DVD. Naturally there’s mitigating circumstances as the movie itself had absolutely no budget, and you more or less have to enjoy the good parts of it rather than disliking the bad.

This is absurdity combined with splatter and the most important thing about it isn’t the skills of the actors. They simply don’t have to meet the award winning standards for their contribution in a production of this kind. Also, there’s no point in getting irritated by the films lack of logic, the absurdities just have to speak for themselves. That’s part of, if not the entire point of, the humour itself.

As far as I’m concerned, I felt that there was a little too much poop in the movie. The zombie-like decease is namely spread though shit - through the mouth that is. How this came to be is uncertain since there is no distinctive coprophagy to fall back on. My own theory is that the toilet seats contaminate humans through regular use, through the intestines and through the mouth. I honestly wish that more time were spent visualizing of how the toilets chase the humans, since there since some of these scenes are just hilarious to watch!

The movie itself is just about 63 minutes long, but it’s enough. It feels as if you don’t need to se any more of the special effects by that time. It’s noticeable that the Mather brothers doesn’t master the effects in full and in some cases the blood looks more like beetroot juice than blood that I’m happy with. In this area they’ve done a lot better job with the poop effects. There is also some CGI involved, which gives the film a kind of an amateurish sci-fi feel (that I like). But this technique has, luckily enough, not been used whenever the violence is concerned and its use is limited to the environment and things like that.

Review: Eyes Beyond - 2010

Eyes Beyond
Director: Daniel Reininghaus

Two brothers share the same house. One day they invite their next door neighbors over for a nice dinner. What the neighbors don’t realize is that everything is not right with the brothers and they soon find themselves in a game of ultimate humiliation and degradation. They’re at the mercy of their captors and the only thing that can release them from the nightmare is death – or is it?

I’ve seen my fair share of low budget amateurish films and I’m happy to say that this is not one of them. It might have a shoestring budget but it’s far from being amateurish! I was, in fact, somewhat surprised by it and had not expected it to be so revolting. And I mean that in the good sense of the word. I’m happy to compare this to Funny Games, not because it’s very close quality wise, because it’s not, but the storyline kind of revolves around the same basic plot. Not exactly of course but it’s not hard to see the similarities! The violence is not visually explicit put still present in a way that ought to shock even the toughest viewers. There’s both mutilations and sadistic sexual violence in a way that I’ve seldom seen. I’ve got to say that I’m a bit impressed!

But the movie is not one long orgy of violence and I think that is a good thing too. It’s really a three part piece where the second part of the movie explains why the first happened and the third complicates thing so much that you aren’t exactly sure of what really happened at all. You can’t be sure of anything and the final scene really makes the movie what it is. It takes the movie to a whole different level and puts a serious question mark on part of society. It shows that the movie itself is thought through and not just edited into a shocking piece. This movie, even if it’s short (around 30 minutes) has something to say!

It’s not a perfect movie actor wise though. I really liked Robert Nolan’s performance in Worm but here it’s a bit too much. A few overacted scenes make the movie less believable and I think that’s problem the movie has to deal with. This is most evident in the first part of the movie. To see the next door neighbors’ daughter brutally raped in front of her parents is a very strong scene indeed. But the parents (Robert Nolanand Kelly Marie-Murtha) overact a little too much and the scene suffers from it. The daughter – Abigail (Danielle Barker) is very good though!Daniel Reininghaus – the director of the movie, does perhaps the most important role in the film and manage to be diabolical, misunderstood, fragile and sadistic all at the same time. The movie wouldn’t have worked out as nice without him!

It seems like the movie has received a lot of rewards on the festival circuit and it is, as I first mentioned, quite a big difference between this movie and the typical low budget (amateurish) horror film. Because even if the bottom line might be a little ambivalent it should appeal to both fans of violent cinema and those who like their movies to have a point. And this film most certainly has a point in the social society debate!

Review: Fantaside - 2007

Director: Shane Mather

The leader of a Nazi-sect collaborates with a psychotic madman in the search of a relic spoken of in myth. It gives its owner a legendary power which they’re both after. They are not the only ones, however, who wants the ancient spear. It’s a cruel struggle of power where the contestants won’t back down from killing each other in the most bestialised ways. A reporter has, at the same time, witnessed a ritual killing and hires a private detective to solve the mystery. But time is not on their side and they have to hurry before they become victims of the Nazi sect.

As in Exreamer, the music is something you notice right away. It sounds totally wrong, but at the same time it sets the humorous and paradox tone for the movie. It proves once and for all that all splatter movies don’t need to have a heavy- or death metal soundtrack to work.

The movie is also pretty politically incorrect and it makes of point of being just that. It goes all the way and doesn’t seem to be embarrassed over that fact either. It makes use of sarcasm and irony over the society of today, primarily through the movies visualization of broadcasts and newsflashes. Absurd allegations about society and the government in particular are grounded enough in reality to be perfectly understood without any doubt though. This is one of the movie absolute best virtues if you ask me!

But what would a true underground film of this kind be without some morbid and rather innovative sequences of murder where the blood splats quite a bit? I think that’s the main attraction to the masses for this kind of movies and I can report that this is looking quite good in that department, a lot better than in Exreamer! Norwegian Bread & Circus comes to mind, at least when the violence is concerned, absurd and humorous just like it’s supposed to be!

But some things I didn’t have to see. The, according to me, extremely tasteless presentation of animal sex, with a cat that gets executed and then eaten right after the act. Luckily for me, this is just a movie, but I can’t honestly say that that scene didn’t affect me in a negative way. That there’s “regular” rape a couple of times didn’t concern me in the same manner, it’s strange what kind of values you hold dearly, isn’t it? These are, of course, fictive too and there’s no problem in seeing through the falseness of it. Penetration should be rather impossible in that position if the male isn’t equipped like John Holmes himself!
Further more, the Nazis, or at least their leader (what a terrible actor he is) represents a rather pathetic transvestite. That alone is certainly absurd enough to fit right into the production, but I wouldn’t say that it’s realty that politically incorrect! To redicule the Nazis is one of the few ways, possibly the only, to exploit the Nazis. Don’t misunderstand me; it’s totally clear that every opportunity to mock them, if it’s by deviant sexuality, that doesn’t quite ring true with the thoughts of elitism associated with the Nazis, or something else, should be taken. But to put it in a movie that’s supposed to be politically incorrect seems to me to be a bit of a paradox.

All in all a watchable movie, it would however not hurt to cut it down a bit, Since a more average running time of 90 minutes would give it a much better flow.

Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street - 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Director: Samuel Bayer



A burned man with a striped sweater, a glove with razor sharp knives and a hat haunts some teenagers in their dreams. The dreams turns out to be more real all the time and if you’re hurt in them, then you’re hurt for real. One by one, the teenagers die violently in their sleep without having an obvious connection between each other. They’re found torn by Freddy Krueger’s knife glove and no one can explain why. The youth’s parents have some of the answers however. They know who the scary man is, why he haunts the kids and what he’s avenging.
I think that the above synopsis is rather unnecessary really. If you read this review you already know what this movie is all about. I think its common knowledge that this is a remake of a classic horror movie from 1984. Very few characters are so iconized as Fred Krueger and its all Robert Englunds doing. And the fact is that even long before this movie was made reality it was rejected by a whole world of horror film communities. All because that Freddy wasn’t portrayed by Robert Englund and that there was no way in hell it would be possible to remake such a classic masterpiece.

I won’t deny that I had my own doubts about it, but I’m so experienced these days that I realize you shouldn’t have preconceptions about these things. You can never know until you’ve actually seen it! To judge a film, or something else for that matter, before you’ve experienced it is plain idiocy! I would place this film in the category of movies that aren’t as bad as everyone who hasn’t seen it claims it to be. I’d say it’s rather good actually! Perhaps comparisons with the original are a stupid thing to do, but some things just can’t be helped. I think that the strength I this movie lies somewhat in the small variations that are made from the original. There are subtle hints to the original that is quite entertaining too.

So it has more strength as a new interpretation of the original story than standalone feature, at least that’s my view about it. Obviously it’s a sign of weakness that you need pre knowledge about it to really enjoy the movie to its fullest, as it’s a sign of weakness that you need to be familiar with short stories and novels to reach an optimal viewing experience. It’s a totally different film than the original films, or at least what the original films came to be after a few sequels. There isn’t very much of the humor from the latter movies of the original series, but there are a few one-liners a couple of times.

The new Freddy, which is played by Jackie Earle Haley (Probably best known from Watchmen), looks rather good through my eyes. There is a difference in makeup but on the other hand it’s more realistic too. It looks as if he was burned and it’s quite creepy actually. There are quite a few surprise effects in it and I for one don’t tend to like them very much. I think they’ve done a great job here though! The effects are nice looking and even if there are some cgi here and there it’s barely noticeable. It looks good more or less. The death scenes are successful and the hints to the original films make it all worthwhile watching. I say films since it’s not all about the first film but about several of them. I think it’s pretty thought through!

Something that I also like about this, something that I not necessarily like when it comes to other remakes (Halloween for example) is that you get a little more background to the story. Freddy isn't just a boogeyman and a killer, you get a little more motivation to the story. What it is that drives him to do what he does and so on. The other characters aren’t very interesting but there’s nothing to distinguish them in a negative way either.

Bottom line is that this was a good and positive acquaintance for me. I wish that all fans of horror could se it without prejudice because if there is something that will ruin it, there you have it! In either case I have a dilemma, I don’t know if I dare to watch the original again, this is so good that I’m worried that my nostalgic memories regarding the original are just that – nostalgic…

Review: 7 Days - 2010

7 Days
Aka: Les 7 Jours Du Talion
Director: Daniel Grau

Dr. Bruno Hamel and his wife see their 8-year old daughter walking off on her own. That’s the last they see of her, at least while she’s still alive. She’s found a couple of days later raped and murdered! Her parents loose themselves with grief and start to blame each other for the terrible crime. They should have looked after her and they should have done this or that. A few days go by and the police find a person likely to have committed the crime, very likely even. The DNA matches and the trial should be over very quickly. But that’s not enough for Dr. Hamel. He finds a place where he can be undisturbed and hires a couple of thugs to bring him the prime suspect into his little torture chamber…

I’ve heard a few opinions about this French spoken Canadian movie and I decided I’d check it out myself. Most of the comments about it were positive and most of them claimed this to be a very strong movie. It was said to be full of very hard to watch torture scenes and the cover even claims Saw is child’s play in comparison. Well… The theme and context of the movie is truly horrible. I can’t think of anything worse than losing your child and then finding her raped and killed by a crazy pedophile. And the plot emphasizes on the grief and how to get over such a tragedy at first. I felt very strong with the characters and I thought it was very nicely acted and directed.

The movie keeps the dense atmosphere throughout but becomes rather tedious after a while. There’s not enough happening for it to be interesting. Sure, there are a couple of torture scenes that really gets to you but there’s not many and they don’t last but long. Most of the time the pedophile just lay on the blood bleeding without being assaulted at all, in pain of course. But I realize that this film isn’t really about torture and is more or less a portrait of the father, but I would have liked if it was a little stronger torture wise as well. After all it is sort of  a horror movie.

But the descending of the father – Dr. Hamel, into madness is quite interesting but it’s not varies enough. He sits and drinks his beer, or whatever it is he’s drinking all the time, and loses his mind. There’s a lot of philosophy about what’s right and what’s wrong. If killing the perpetrator would bring his daughter back or bring him peace? I don’t think the film brings any answer to the riddle and that it’s up to you and me to find out for ourselves. I like that in a movie. The viewer should be able to make his own mind up about what’s right or wrong.

Of course there’s some classic contrast between rational thinking and emotional feelings. And I think each and every one of us would like to avenge our loved ones emotionally. But most people have blocks preventing this and clichés like “don’t sink down to their lever” or “It’s not worth it” comes to mind. I still wonder if it’s worth it or not. If the satisfaction of vengeance justify having another person’s life on the conscious.

The bottom line is that I found it somewhat entertaining. It was rather nicely portrayed by the actors and the director but it was too slow and not enough variation to it.

Review: The Bunny Game - 2010

The Bunny Game
Director: Adam Rehmeier

Bunny is constantly high on cocaine. She blows guys for cash and is always on the look out for another John to finance her bad habits. She does whatever need to be done for the money and does certainly not limit herself to blowjobs. Some Johns are very violent but she’s learned to live with it. At least up until now… A trucker kidnaps her and strings her up in the back of the truck. He spends the next few days making her wish she’s never been born!

As long as I can remember there have been rumours about snuff – movies that claim to be the real deal – where the deaths are for real – but nobody has ever been able to prove the existence of these extreme films. Now, for the first time, we have a movie that’s claimed to be effect free. That is to say that everything you see is happening for real! It’s a good way of selling in this picture don’t you think?

It is a really provoking film, there’s no doubt about that! And there are some scenes which stick to you like glue, but as a whole I imagined it to be crueler than it really was. I mean, there’s a lot of terror in it and Bunnys screaming for help is very trustworthy but there isn’t very much true torture in it (thank God!). There are a few scenes with branding and some other stuff but that’s about it when it comes to disfigurement. It’s still disturbing to watch but the picture I painted up before me didn’t quite come true! I guess that might say more about me than the movie makers.

But even if the physical torments aren’t faked that’s not the movies strongest aspect. You can only torture for so long, but the terror of the victims’ helplessness and the sadism of the truck driver are what are really bothersome. There is absolutely no escape and you feel it the entire time. But even before that the feel of the picture is very raw. It doesn’t take too long to realize that Bunny lives a very sad life. She’s miserable and needs the cocaine to stay on top of things.

And later, when the truck driver comes into the picture, it’s obvious that he’s tormented by his inner demons too! Come to think of it, there is so much anxiety and angst in this flick that Ingmar Bergman would be jealous! Everybody in this flick is victims; there are no winners – only losers. And what does that say about us viewers? Are we losers too that are tricked into seeing this violent movie just because there’s no special effects? Nobody would raise an eyebrow otherwise!

The picture is in beautiful black and white. I don’t think it would have been as good in colour, this takes it to another level. It isn’t told in the easiest way and the plot isn’t always linear. The actors, at least the main two characters, are absolutely believable and so on. But the main thing that really gets to me after I’ve seen this is a question about what’s coming next. This movie has taken notch in the evolution of cinema and I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with that. As a gore hound I’m not necessarily interested in seeing real people getting hurt. It’s not entertaining anymore, it comes wicked and I hope that there’s never a movie like this again.

Having that said I realize that the whole point of making the movie this way is an eye opener. Apparently Rodleen Getsic, who plays the part of Bunny, made this as a therapeutic step in recovering from similar experiences and if that works its ok I guess. But it’s still a challenge to see and to comprehend. Maybe the next step really is producing true snuff?

Aug 30, 2012

Review: London Zombie Epidemic - 2010

London Zombie Epidemic
Aka: Devil’s Playground
Director: Mark McQueen

A major medical corporation are about to release a new drug against stress. They take every precaution keeping it safe and do massive testing with 30.000 volunteering test subjects. At first everything seems to be fine but after at few weeks all of the test subjects has evolved damaging side effects – All but one! At first they became aggressive and soon they start attacking other people, spreading the decease even further. Soon almost the entire city of London or the world for all that we know is infected. But one of the test subjects – Angela Mills seems to be immune to the side effects and no one knows why, she doesn’t and the medical company or what’s left of it sure doesn’t. She needs to be found and taken to the medical teams for thorough examination! The path leads through hordes of zombie-like creatures that crave for human flesh.

I’ve seen my fair chair of zombie flicks. Bad ones and good ones, unusual ones, Italian, Irish and even a couple of Chinese ones I think. This one was produced in the UK and it has that British feel to it. It’s hard to explain and I’m not even going to try what it is that makes it feel that way, it just does. It has more of a realistic cinematography and that might be it. It seems like you anticipate in the actual actions instead of just watching the film. That was at rather good explanation after all. I’ll settle with that.

In this zombie film the zombies are raging fast and there’s nothing of the old frightening slow horror zombie in it at all. It’s not very frightening at all; it’s more or less an action film instead. I have no complains about that. It doesn’t state that it’s a horror movie any way. Well, of course it says so on the back of the DVD but I figure they claim it’s a horror film just because there’s zombies in it. I say it’s an action film first anyway!

The most common explanation for why the zombies exist is also abandoned, that is the non explanation as it’s usually not explained at all. They simply exist and there’s or there is to it. Here there is a failed experiment, it’s been dome before to be sure but I’d take that before “there’s no more room in hell” any day! It’s quite well acted and both the action scenes and the gory ones look nice. It’s not a splatter- or a gore movie but there are some scenes where the zombies eat from human victims and so fourth. It looks really nice and the makeup of the zombies looks good too!

Perhaps it’s a little too talky at times. All zombie flicks seem to take place, at one time or another, in a barricaded house of some sorts and the people get on each others nerves, the paranoia takes it’s toll I guess, and those scenes are a little too long in this otherwise fine movie! It’s a little bit different but it’s quite entertaining!

Review: Kill Devil Hill - 2010

Kill Devil Hill
Director: Robert ”Ace” Jordan

This’ll be a somewhat different review than we normally do here on Fanatisk Film. That’s because that the movie is no longer than around 12 minutes and if I was to dissect the plot into some sort of description there wouldn’t be much left over to surprise you when you see the movie. It’s based upon some bizarre unsolved murders in North Carolina and we’ll leave it at that!

How much of it that is actually true and how much that’s speculation is of course hard to tell and I don’t think it’s a very interesting question anyway? What’s interesting is rather how the movie was made technically. How well it’s put together so to speak and of course, how the story is told. I think it’s successful in all these areas. It’s not just another amateurish flick but a film with quite high production values. There’s good acting, even if the actor doesn’t have that much to work with as it’s a very compressed story. The effects is fabulous even if there’s not that many astonishing things that happens. The changing effect in actors eyes for example is very beautiful.

The story itself has no major problems, but since the movie is so short there’s no time to build up any tension. I’m fully convinced that it would have been possible if the runtime was longer though. This is a competent craftsmanship, both in front of, and behind the camera!

So? What’s more to tell? It feels like I’ve already written all I have to say about this film. Apart from the obvious revolting affect of the victims – the children. It’s still very uncommon for children to be a part of the murder scene, even if the recent years have escalated with a few movies in that direction. It’s still so uncommon that you can’t help yourself from getting a bit shocked. This one is quite brutal in that department and if that’s all that you’re after you won’t be disappointed! The rest of us can enjoy the rest of the movies qualities to!