Monday, October 7, 2019

Repugnant Review: Zombie/Zombi 2 (1979) - Lucio Fulci

If I had to choose my favorite zombie film of all time, it would be Lucio Fulci's Zombie (Zombi 2, Zombie Flesh Eaters). Lucio Fulci has always been a good go-to when it came to super gory horror films, but for me, it all really started with this movie. Having seen all the Romero movies, I thought I was in for the same zombie flick I've seen a thousand times, but Fulci's Zombie is almost a throwback to classic zombie films such as White Zombie (1932), King of the Zombies (1941), and The Plague of the Zombies (1966)... with more gore. Zombie stars Tisa Farrow (Anthrophophagus), Ian McCulloch (Doctor Butcher M.D.), Richard Johnson (The Haunting 1963), Al Cliver (The Black Cat, The Beyond), and Olga Karlatos (Once Upon a Time in America, Purple Rain), and of course, a killer soundtrack by the great Fabio Frizzi.

Zombie has all the elements for a great zombie film. It has a great cast, creepy atmosphere, disgusting special effects, and an all around solid story. The movie is about a woman by the name of Anne Bowles (Farrow) who teams up with a journalist (McCulloch) to help find her missing father after his boat is found off the coast of a New York harbor. They gather some info from her fathers boat, and track down his last whereabouts to the Caribbean island of Matul. In order to get there, they find the help of a couple who are sailing around the world, and agree to take them to the island. The island of Matul has a history of being cursed by voodoo, and most people tend to stay away out of fear of being cursed themselves. In between the scenes of the group making their way to the island, we are introduced to Dr. David Menard (Johnson) and his wife Paola (Karlatos). He resides on the island studying voodoo curses, trying to figure out why the locals are dying, then immediately coming back to life as flesh eating monsters. Back on the boat, one of the woman take a quick dive underwater, but then she finds herself caught between a shark, and a zombie, giving us one the craziest sequences ever seen in a horror movie. The zombie tries to fight the shark, getting it's arm ripped off, and then the shark rams the boat, damaging it. They eventually arrive to the island, meeting Dr. Menard there. Anne finds out her father has died due to the mysterious illness on the island, and this is ultimately when shit really goes down. I honestly don't want to spoil much about the plot, but I'm sure most of you are aware of the gory bits. Let's get in to why I enjoy this movie so goddamn much.

This movie oozes with gothic atmosphere reminiscent of classic Hammer films. It's utterly creepy the entire time on that island, and the zombies are scary as all hell. The makeup on them were incredible, most notably the main zombie with the worms falling out of its eye. The kills are as gruesome as you'd expect from the Italian Godfather of Gore, and I'm sure you're all aware with the legendary eye gouge scene. Even to this day, that scene makes me squirm. I really love the fact that, for the most part, the origin of the curse, or how the zombies have even come to be, is all a complete mystery and never gets explained. People are coming back from the dead to eat other people, and everyone is left helpless trying to find a way off the island. Other than the cast, and gore, it's the overall creepiness of the location that keeps me watching this movie. By this time, slashers were on the rise, and horror movies started to get more obnoxious, losing the atmosphere of their predecessors. Sure, I love mindless gore-fests as much as the next guy, but I also love a movie with great atmosphere that gets you going before any killing happens.

Yeah, this is my favorite zombie film over all time. It has everything that I want out of a good horror film, and Fulci knows how to not only creep the shit out of you, but to deliver you a solid horror film with buckets of gore. If you've never seen this, go out and it get it. I know you won't be disappointed.

My Other Fulci Reviews!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Repugnant Review: Terror Firmer (1999) - Lloyd Kaufman

Terror Firmer, in my honest opinion, is the greatest Troma film ever made. It's everything that is Troma, but on fucking crack. The copious amounts of gore, sex, and comedy are taken to a higher, fucked up level, and even to this day, I think it's Lloyd Kaufman's most extreme film. Terror Firmer centers around a Troma film crew working on their latest feature as each of them are picked off by a mysterious and sexy psychopath. The film itself is based on a book that Lloyd and James Gunn wrote called "All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger: The Shocking True Story of Troma Studios", and other than the gruesome murders (unless Lloyd actually killed a few PA's on set), it's basically the same "story". Terror Firmer also stars Alyce LaTourelle, Will Keenan, Trent Haaga, Debbie Rochon, and Ron Jeremy, with kick-ass cameo's from Eli Roth, Lemmy Kilmister, Joe Lynch, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker.

So, during the making of the latest Toxic Avenger movie, members of the film crew start getting murdered in incredibly bizarre ways. Impaled by bongs, eaten by escalators, dismembered by moving trucks, shocked by stage lights... this movie depicts some of the coolest and cartoonish ways you can kill a person. During all of this, there is a love triangle between Jennifer (LaTourelle), Jerry (Haaga), and Casey (Keenan). There is so much wacky shit going on, that you can't look away from whatever the hell is happening. It can be a bit jarring, but in my opinion, a Troma movie is just an extremely graphic version of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I'm not knocking it though, because I love the craziness of the entire film. Terror Firmer is just as nutty as it was in the beginning, up until the explosive finale, and you won't stop laughing for a single second. Did I also mention that, yes, this one also has the car flip scene... only involving a naked fat guy who just ran through Times Square with his insanely small donger hanging out. Holy shit... even thinking of all the other shit that happens in this movie is making my head spin. Scene after scene after scene... blood, gore, tits, and poop... what more could you ask for?

Terror Firmer is just one of those movies I watch constantly. I've seen it enough to recite more than half the movie word for word, and even when I'm writing my own scripts, I'll put it on for inspiration. It's honestly one of my favorite movies ever made, and I consider it the best Troma film ever made. I highly suggest picking this up, especially now considering Troma is re-releasing this on blu-ray for it's 20th anniversary this year. I also highly recommend the "Making Of" documentary "Farts of Darkness". It's just as funny as the actual film and I honestly can't get enough of Lloyd freaking out on everyone. I'll post a link down below to where you can find this film, along with the trailer as always. Watch this fucking movie, and let me know what you think!

Repugnant Review: I Spit On Your Grave (1978) - Meir Zarchi

 October is here, and what time is year is better than this! I figured for the entire month of October, I would review my favorite horror films of all time (yeah, I know, I missed the !st, but you know what, double the reviews!). For my first feature, I had to chose something I find completely gut-wrenching, but exciting at the same time. I Spit On Your Grave might not be the ideal Halloween movie, but it's absolutely one of the most devastating films out there. I personally love this movie, and every time someone asks me what they should watch when they want to dig deeper into more extreme stuff, I always mention this movie. Even to this day, my ass is hanging off the edge of my chair, and my teeth are embedded into my bottom lip when I watch this. It's so brutal, but they pay-off has you cheering at the end. If you want some crazy-excitement this Halloween, throw this classic on.

I Spit On Your Grave is a horror/exploitation film written and directed by Meir Zarchi. What's interesting about the making of this film, is that it's based off of a real life situation where filmmaker Meir Zarchi found a bloodied woman in a New York park after she had been raped by a couple men. This horrible situation fueled the story for what would be I Spit On Your Grave, or originally titled, Day of the Woman, and there film world would be shocked for years to come. The film is about writer Jennifer Hills (played wonderfully by Camille Keaton) who rents a cottage out in the woods so she can quietly write her first novel. When she arrives, she's met by a few men who take a liking to her. They begin to cruise by her cottage and stalk her, until one day they eventually attack Jennifer, and brutally gang-rape her. After the prolonged assault, the group tasks their mentally challenged accomplice to finish her off. He couldn't bring himself to do it, so he dips a blade in her blood, and shows them he did it. After Jennifer realizes she's alone, she tries to collect herself, and that's when she plots her brutal revenge. A little while passes, then Jennifer starts to make herself known to the ones who raped her, and one by one, she kills them all in the nastiest ways possible.

Say hello to Mr. Dickless, everyone!
Like I said before, it's a tough watch, but they pay-off is just fucking incredible. I always tell people to tough out the rape scene, because after that you're just rooting for Jennifer to completely eradicate these pieces of shit. They get hanged to death, their junk cut off, sliced to pieces by a bot propeller, and more. The more I think about it, these have got to be the same thoughts that Meir Zarchi had when he found that woman in the park, like as if he imagined this woman's own revenge and what he would personally do to these rapists. I totally get that, as I react violently whenever I read about someone being raped at a local park or party. It's an absolute shame, but this movie tells assholes like them that there are strong women out there who are more terrifying than you think. I just enjoy everything about this movie, and if you're one of those folks who can stomach the prolonged rape scene, you have to watch this. It's just an incredible film and I'm not even sure what more I can say about it. Fucking watch it.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Social Media Censorship: An Artist's Nightmare

I think one of the hardest things for any artist out there to do, besides putting money away to complete projects, marketing, pitching your idea, etc etc, is dealing with mainstream social media bias. I see it constantly. An artist is banned from instagram for painting a picture of a nude woman, a filmmaker is banned on twitter for sharing photos of their upcoming horror film, and even for me recently, getting removed from instagram and facebook for being "unsuitable material". You think you covered all the bases, including various labels and warnings posted in bio's and sites making sure that people know that your content might not be suitable for some certain viewers. One asshole slinks in, reports it, and facebook, instagram, twitter, or who ever the fuck, gives it the ban hammer. Most of the time it's for the dumbest shit, then you fight the claim and you can usually get it overturned pretty fast. What about the prolonged bans or even permanent bans? Or better yet, what about the artists who rely on social media to sell and display their work? Why do the elites at facebook get to decide what's suitable for me to watch?

Literally, most of what you can show, versus what you can show, doesn't even make sense most of the time. One of my friends got banned on facebook for a few days because he posted a violent image from a horror movie, but you can share posts of animals getting beaten to death because it's spreading some kind of message against it. Even recently, filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska were banned from twitter for sharing photos from their most recent film, Rabid (remake of the David Cronenberg film of the same name). In a time where the internet is so important for creative types to get their work out, why do we let a small group of corporate assholes judge what anyone posts on the internet. I mean, duh, they obviously have to look out for creepy shit like real-gore, child porn, and other horrendous material, but you can't tell me that a painting, a film, or a piece of music is more offensive than seeing a video of some guy slice his wife's throat open for cheating on him (saw that on facebook once, where were the censors then?).

It's a love and hate relationship, because I can sit here and shit on social media all I want, but I rely on them because they help me get my message out. It's like, social media is the overbearing parent that took cool shit away from you if they deemed it to offensive. There needs to be a better process to weed out actual terrible shit, and obvious art made my some-what level headed people. I guess it's a battle we all must face, especially in an era where just about anything is considered "too offensive", and like I always say, if you don't like the content and find it offensive, just turn away and don't make a big stink about. That's why I have a warning that appears when you first come on to this site. It's an annoyance we all have to deal with, though. It sucks, but all we can do is support our shit in anyway possible.

Can we bring back forums? Or if you know any good ones let me know, unless that shit went extinct.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Repugnant Review: Basket Case (1982) - Frank Henenlotter

If I ever made a list of my top favorite filmmakers, Frank Henenlotter would definitely be in my top 5. His films are a perfect blend of gruesome gore and zany humor. Whether it's Frankenhooker, Bad Biology, or the Basket Case trilogy, I can keep coming back to them and still be incredibly entertained. Today, though, I wanted to review his first feature film, and one of my favorite movies ever, BASKET CASE. This movie has been in my rotation since I've been in my young-teens. My mom would go on movie binges every so often, and we'd scour all over Worcester County looking for all sorts of horror movies. One day, she picked up this and ever since we watched it, I was an instant fan. It was weird, bloody, and pretty much the perfect film for any teenager getting into crazier horror films. Recently, I rewatched this classic on bluray, and seeing it in HD was just mind-blowing. I knew I had to review it, even though I've seen this movie a ton, but there are some people I've come into contact with who haven't seen this yet, and it's one of those movies that needs to be seen. If you're not convinced by my initial love for this movie, then read on.

Basket Case is about a couple of siamese twin brothers on the hunt for the for doctors that separated them when they were children. The only thing is that one of the brothers, Belial, was more like a massive tumor with a humanoid face and two little arms. Belial was thought to have died during the surgery, but comes back to kill the ones who wrong him with his brother, Duane. Being as small as he is, Belial is always hidden away in a basket that is kept locked whenever the two are out an about, and I always liked the reactions of everyone who see Duane walking around with this huge basket. The two move into a skanky hotel/apartment building in NYC, as they're closer to the last couple doctors they need to take out, but throw in a couple curious neighbors, a love interest for Duane, and you've got a cluster-fuck of epic proportions on your hands. Once Belial is released, there's no stopping the little creep.

I really enjoy the revenge plot, because you do feel bad for Duane and Belial in the long run. Their father thought of Belial as a monster, and absolutely wanted him to be removed from Duane against his will. The scene is pretty unsettling and gruesome, mostly due to the fact that the Belial puppet was so human-like, and just for the utter fact that Belial did absolutely nothing wrong than exist. The doctors were particularly despicable, which made their horrendous demises all that much sweeter. The effects were pretty damn incredible, and I'll always be impressed with how unsettling the Belial puppet looks. Sure, it's a low-budget splatter feature, but what I really enjoy about Henenlotter's movies is that, even though these are over the top horror fests, he gives us characters that we like from the get go. I genuinely felt bad for Duane, cause not only has he been traumatized by the separation from his brother, but also the fact that he has to deal with his demented brother fucking up his social life. Every time Duane tries to go out and have fun, Belial goes absolutely insane and makes his brother's life a living hell.

After Basket Case, Frank Henenlotter started to add more humor to his films, and you can see that more and more with the sequels. I think this one is the best, because it is has such a solid revenge plot with characters you did feel bad for, and the sequels just get a bit too silly compared to this one. It's a pretty dark and gritty film, with a couple humorous parts, but it just keeps you interested in the lives of these brothers, and all the nasty stuff they have to go through to complete their objective. Belial is truly a great and underrated movie monster, and I still get the creeps every time I see that little shit. Basket Case is truly a fun horror movie, and it's been in my Halloween rotation for over a decade now. If you've never watched it, go out and find a copy. I think I payed about $10 for the Something Weird Video bluray, which was totally worth it in my opinion. Once you buy it and watch it, let me know what you think. I'm pretty sure you're going to enjoy it as much as I have!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Repugnant Review: Sledgehammer (1983) - David A. Prior

Ahhh yes... another SOV gore-fest. It's been awhile since I've watched these kind of movies, considering one of my last SOV reviews was on Video Violence 1 and 2, and that was 2 or 3 years ago, so I chose this to make up for lost time. Sledgehammer is a low-budget slasher movie about a group of teens who stay the night at a house that was the scene of a gruesome murder some years back, and one by one they're brutally murdered by a ghostly sledgehammer wielding maniac. Pretty basic set up for a slasher, but just like every other SOV horror film I've ever watched, it's all about the corny acting, and the over the top gore effects. Sledgehammer doesn't skimp on either of those things.

The film opens up with a woman locking up her son in the basement so she can cheat on her husband. Before she bangs this guy, he's smashed in the head with a sledgehammer, and then she is killed off screen. The movie then cuts to a group of "teens", as in, 30 year olds trying to play teens, getting ready to spend the night in this house where those two people were murdered. One of my favorite schlocky movie fuck ups is hiring older folks to play teens. It's hilariously awful, especially when there's a massive bearded guy with a receding hairline that would put Jack Nicholson to shame. The acting is brutally corny too, but it totally falls into the "so bad, it's funny" category. For me personally, I'd rather see silly over-acting than boring under-acting. Shit starts to hit the fan when a couple of the guys try to tell the story of the sledgehammer murders, tricking their friends into thinking the house was haunted and using a recorder to play spooky sounds and scare them. Little did they know that the ghoulish maniac (who switches back between his child form and adult form) is on the prowl, fading through walls, and leaving his sledgehammer in random locations of the house. I'd say that the highlight of any SOV horror video is the gore, because that always seems like thats where 80% of the budget goes too. It's always know gnarly and gross looking, even if it looks cheap, it looks pretty damn nasty.

Sledgehammer didn't fuck around when it came to the gore. The kills were pretty gruesome, and extremely bloody. I always felt that blunt objects like hammers were the most brutal when it came to killing people, and this movie really shows how shitty it would be to get bashed to death with a huge fucking hammer. The sledgehammer bash in the beginning of the movie looked so gross, with brain matter and blood spewing from the head wound, and it looked fairly convincing. The violence was absolutely the highlight of the movie, which for this kind of stuff... no duh. There's a 9/10 chance I'm buying SOV for the gore, not the story.

It's cheap, goofy, and corny as shit, but it's also super entertaining. These are the kind of movies you want to put on when you have a group of friends over, laughing at the acting but also roaring every time someone gets their head caved in. It's a fun, splattery mess, and I highly suggest this to any gore-hound looking for a fun, schlocky blood bath.

I couldn't find a trailer for the film, but here's a short clip. Silliness galore.

Repugnant Review: Portraits of Andrea Palmer (2017) directed by C. Huston and J. Lyons

So, the whole point of this blog was to review films that really challenged what I could handle when it came to extreme cinema, and after watching hundreds of these kinds of movies, you'd think I'd be used to crazy brutal shit by now, but that's where Tomorrow Productions Portraits of Andrea Palmer comes in... and holy shit is it devastating.

I've reviewed some movies with intense sexual content before. Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, Ryan Nicholson's Gutterballs (uncut version), and even Hanna D: The Girl from Vondel Park had scenes that showed straight up penetration and even more bizarre sexual acts (Hanna D's prison heroin scene is nuckin' futs) but I've never reviewed an Adult Film before. Portraits of Andrea Palmer is a hardcore XXX exploitation film directed by C. Huston and J. Lyons, and released by C. Huston's Tomorrow Productions. The movie is about a strung out webcam who gets duped into going to L.A. to work as a porn star. After she gets fucked over, she begins to work as an escort, but with every man she meets, she slowly descends into madness. This movie is not for the faint of heart. We're talking about a series of sexual acts that just get more and more fucked up as the movie goes on, and probably one of the most bleakest and disturbing downward spirals I've ever seen in any film. As nasty as it was, I really liked it, and I was truly fascinated by the whole experience.

Now admit it, we've all watched porn, but the porn of today is nothing like it was back in the 70's and 80's. Back when porn was on the big screen, playing in theaters on Times Square, and had more of an artistic approach to them. PoAP kind of gave me that experience, where I saw the film as something more than a typical porno, and more of a brutal psychological thriller. It definitely was hard to watch at times, but I was so interested in the whole story and the character of Andrea Palmer, that I kept watching. The sexual acts just get nastier and more bizarre as the film goes on, and to be honest, I was really enjoying the shock factor I was getting from a few of these scenes. I was grossed out by one scene in particular (I know if I explain it, I'll give it away... just watch it), that I was actually laughing and grinning at how disgusted I was. There was one scene in particular that did break up the brutality for a moment, and that's when Andrea Palmer meets an old man (played by the late porno legend William Margold) and he basically pays her for the day to hangout with him. It's a rather calm scene where the two just get to know each other and learn about their personal lives. Sadly, that's the only pleasant scene in the movie, and after that it instantly gets fucked up again. It's a severely brutal film to watch, but I honestly enjoyed the fuck out of it.

I also just want to give Katrina Zova (Andrea Palmer) some major kudos, cause holy fuck did she take a savage beating during this whole film. What a champ. I guess I'd suggest this to anyone who's comfortable with extreme porn and sexual situations, because other than that, it's a pretty nasty exploitative shocker. Absolutely brutal, and devastating, but a very solid film. I'll post the link below to the Portraits of Andrea Palmer website where you can buy the film on bluray, and I'll post a link to the uncensored NSFW trailer below. Enjoy, you twisted motherfuckers!