Monday, July 18, 2011

The Taint

The Taint almost left me speechless. Almost. I knew enough about this film to know that it was going to be, for lack of a better word, bonkers. Yet, it still exceeded all expectations. Now, it is a comedy, and it is all done as a commentary on the male ego and the power testosterone has when it gets out of control.

Like many of the films I review, this is certainly something only for a select audience.

The story is that two scientists, in the basement of one's parents, develop a chemical that will make penises bigger and "super charged" so all men would be equal. Something goes wrong with the chemical and it is injected into the city's water supply. This leads to a rather immediate apocalypse as all men, aside from our lead role, turn into crazed misogynist zombies hell-bent on killing all women.

This movie delivered in laughs, gore, and shock. It's claim to fame is containing "the most penis explosions ever caught on film". An ever coveted title who's crown I think will remain upon The Taint's head for some time.

If you are looking for something that will make you laugh, cringe, and question the meaning of life itself, look no further. The Taint will remain one of the most outrageous independent releases until the actual, penis filled apocalypse takes place. If this film could have a mind, it would be out of it.

Shock or not? Shock

Film: 3/5
Shock: 5/5

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cannibal Holocaust

I've been hearing about Cannibal Holocaust since I was a kid. It quite possibly has the most notorious reputation in all of cinema. When it was first released in it's native Italy back in 1980, the film was seized and the director and producer were arrested because it was believed that they actually killed these people for the film. Of course, after an investigation it was revealed that it was in fact not real.

I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous before watching this. To sit down and watch what is so widely considered the most disturbing film ever made takes some balls, but of course I watched it. How could I pass up this opportunity?

To my surprise, there was a lot more to this film than just it's brutality. It actually has a message, and a powerful concept.

The story seems simple at first, but actually gives way to some complexity.

There is a group of four documentary filmmakers who are setting out to make a film about the native tribes of the Amazon. After all contact with them is lost, Professor Harold Monroe is tasked with finding them. He witnesses some of the horrors of the tribes along with us, but eventually befriends them. He finds the remains of the four people he was looking for, along with their camera equipment and film canisters. He brings the film back to the United States with the plans of using to make the film the crew could not finish.

This is where things get tricky. As he reviews the film with the film company that is producing it, they discover that it wasn't the tribe that was barbaric, it was the film crew. In order to get the footage they wanted, they burned and brutalized entire villages and then the tribe gets their revenge in equally brutal fashion. We then experience the battle between Prof. Monroe and the production company to release the footage. They of course want to make money, but Monroe knows the true evil that is captured on that film. We then sit in with the executives as they finally agree to watch the footage in it's unflinching and raw state. The final decision on what to do with the film I'll leave out, for those who can and will watch it.

This film works as a commentary on society, questioning who the real savages are and making money off of others' misery. It pushes the limits of cinema.

This is definitely a film for only those who know they can handle it. It's no joke. I am surprised and impressed by the actual weight of the story that has been overshadowed by it's shocking visuals.

Shock or not? Shock

Film: 3/5
Shock: 5/5

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SPECIAL PREVIEW: Save Her (short film)

Those who know me, know that I don't endorse just any film. That's why you should pay close attention here. You don't want to miss out.

Chicago-based creative talent, Nem Perez, has released a teaser trailer and website for his upcoming short film Save Her. There has been a lot of talk about this film during it's production, and I have been eagerly awaiting it's release.

Here's what Perez has to say about his film (from interview on

"To put it shortly: The story is about a girl trapped in her nightmare who's saved by her lover who emerges from his dream to rescue her.

The film has many other themes surrounding it as well, especially those concerning dream vs reality (and which state is worth living in most). None of the characters have names except for the main female role Maryam (played by Megan Lewis). Maryams side of the story takes place in her nightmare while the boys side (played by Alex Duarte) takes place in his dreamland. The main antagonist of the story is played by Monica Anelle, she lives in the boys dream and she is the woman he's been dreaming about since he was younger. I don't want to give away too much else since the project is still in development but that's the main synopsis."

From what I've been seeing and hearing about Save Her, it has the feel of films by Lars Von Trier, Tarsem Singh, and early Darren Aronofsky. Personally, I love films like this. When filmmakers get abstract with their craft, it unlocks their full artistic ability. It gives them the chance to dig deep and really go all out artistically. This film has so much potential for being a visual treat with thrills, chills, and making the viewer think. The imagery, colors, use of gritty black and white and overall concept all have me at the edge of my seat to see this film.

Save Her is one fever dream I can't wait to experience.

website with trailer (trailer contains a little bit of nudity): Click Here

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Treevenge (short film)

From the madmen that brought us Hobo With A Shotgun, comes this 2008 short film Treevenge. You read that right. The idea behind this is brilliant. There is a lot more to pine trees than we thought.

They are sick and tired of us cutting them down, dragging them from their families and natural habitats and humiliating them with decorations until they die and are thrown out. So they decide to finally rise up and exact their revenge in this 15 minute, blood-soaked beauty.

Just like with Hobo, they really pull out all the stops. Just when you think "no...there's no way they would take it that far...they can't" they do. It's outrageous in all the best ways.

I couldn't help but laugh throughout almost every minute of the carnage. It is out of this world, you won't really believe what you're seeing at first, but just suspend your disbelief and soak it all in. Any real horror fan would love this. I think I've finally found a filmmaker who is just as batshit crazy as I am.

As a special treat the director himself, Jason Eisener, gave me permission to include a link to Treevenge for all to enjoy. Remember, it's not for the faint of heart:


Shock or not? Shock

Film: 5/5
Shock: 5/5

Jason Eisener is the first director to receive a double 5 rating on 2 films. They are well deserved. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us in the future!

Street Trash

Street Trash blew my mind. I mean, I knew going into it that it was going to be nuts, I'm not even sure what to say.

There are a couple of stories going on here. The first is that a liquor store owner finds a box of booze buried in his basement walls. A drink called Viper. He starts selling it at $1 a bottle to the local homeless population. It ends up having some really insane results. Those who drink it almost instantly start to melt. But this isn't your average human melting. Amongst the blood and guts is a bright, vibrant palate of blues, yellows, reds and greens. It's strangely artistic.

The other story focuses on a group of homeless that built a little settlement amongst a junkyard, and their insane leader who is a Vietnam War vet who's mind was lost long ago.

It doesn't take too long before this movie dives into the insanity and never looks back. I found myself often with my hands on my head in awe filled confusion of who the hell wrote this stuff. It was fun as hell to experience.

This one is for those who like horror, but also love the weird. You have to be into the weird in order to enjoy this film. If you are, watching Street Trash will be a gleefully twisted good time.

Shock or not? Shock

Film: 3/5
Shock: 5/5

American Psycho

It's not very every day we see a film adapted from a novel that is based in the horror genre. Thankfully, one of the most controversial books, of the same title, in recent history was translated into the beautiful film that is American Psycho. We start out by being plunged head first into the life of Patrick Bateman. A man who is already well on his way into insanity. Constantly striving for perfection, he only has one thing that is his release...brutally murdering people.

During the day he wears a mask of sanity, pretending to be normal, but that mask begins to slip. His sinister urges are becoming harder and harder to control and as we follow him into this drug and blood fueled darkness, we become less and less sure of where reality ends and his insanity begins.

Personally, I think this film is quite brilliant. It's really different, funny, sick and freaky as shit. Nothing like a naked lunatic covered in blood chasing you through an apartment building laughing and revving a chainsaw. It gets downright insane, and I very much enjoyed that.

Surprisingly enough, there isn't very much gore in this film, but that makes sense. It's not about the gore, it's about the acts and the man behind them. One of the parts that I love the most about this is one aspect that really sets it apart. It gets to the point where he recognizes that things have gotten way out of control, even for a serial killer, and tries to confess to the killings. But no one will believe him. He wants to get caught, but everyone thinks it's just a joke. It's such a beautiful twist that each time I watch it I can't help but get goosebumps during his closing monologue. The idea of straight up telling someone how you want to kill them, in detail, to their face and having them just ignore it. Its unlike anything I've seen.

This film is a perfect addition to a horror fan's collection. It's not the most shocking thing I've seen, but it is shocking nonetheless.

Shock or not? Shock

Film: 4/5
Shock: 3/5

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hobo With A Shotgun

Let me start off by saying this was easily one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen, and I loved it. It was meant to be ridiculous, it was meant to be insane, it was meant to be perverse, hilarious, in your face and downright brain melting. It accomplished all of these with flying, vibrant colors.

I have been waiting to see this movie since it was first announced that it's Grindhouse trailer was being made into a full length feature. It's been a long time since then, but it was well worth the wait. The movie delivered on everything it's ingeniously simple title promises and then some.

The writer (John Davies) and director (Jason Eisener) pulled out every stop imaginable and went deep into the darkness to dig up every twisted idea possible. With a movie like Hobo With A Shotgun you can't pull any punches. If you do, what's the point?

This is the perfect movie for fans of the gore-filled Grindhouse movies of old. This is arguably the best homage to the exploitation films of the 70's and 80's I've ever seen. Eisener obviously knows his stuff, but still kept it his own. Everything from the harsh dialogue, to the use of color, to the soundtrack was done with much planning, thought and precision. This felt like they went into my brain and extracted any awful thought I've ever had, mixed it in with an acid-induced fever dream strained through Apocalypse Now and bled into the ghetto's of North America. It was a pleasure to watch and had me cringing, gasping and laughing all the way through.

I will watch this movie countless times, however, that doesn't mean you should. For something like this, you need to be prepared for it. If you can't handle it, do not watch it. You're missing out on a great movie, but obviously you weren't cut out for this kind of stuff to begin with.

My hat goes off to this first time director (of a full length feature) and his crew. You guys just put Canada on the cinematic map.

Shock or not? Shock

Film: 5/5
Shock: 5/5