Friday, October 20, 2017

Rock and Shock 2017 - Worcester, MA

So like I said in my previous review for FETUS, I went to Rock and Shock last weekend. My girlfriend and I went Saturday, and to our surprise, it wasn't really packed. Which honestly, was great for us. I'm a big awkward nerd, and being stuck in big crowds isn't my thing. This blog post is essentially my favorite highlights from this years Rock and Shock. The booths, the merch, the celebrities, and a neat little shorts panel I checked out. So lets get into the goods... here's my Rock and Shock experience.

Before we did anything, my girlfriend buy's a mug from Wild Bill's Soda, a company that makes soda the old fashioned way. The drinks were ridiculously good, but the best part was the fact that you could get free refills all day. Much better than spending $5 on a bottled water (I mean, it's unhealthy as fuck, but I'm a glutton anyway). After that we made turn to one of many lanes in the convention, and the first see is an amazing Lucio Fulci bobble head. I almost got one of these on Rotten Cotton last year, and considering these were a little cheaper than the RC ones, I had to get it. The first thing I see, it the first thing I buy. How compulsive is that? I got the bobble head from a both called "We <3 Michelle Bauer", and they also threw in a Michelle Bauer Scream Queens trading card, and the soundtrack to The Beyond. Too fucking cool, and a solid buy if I do say so myself.

Directly behind me, was the Troma booth. The only thing that really pisses me off about the Troma booth every year, is that Lloyd Kaufman is never here! What the fuck, Lloyd? But Troma convention guy Ron Mackay is a super nice guy, so I got over it. I picked up 5 movies from Troma (and I totally regret not getting that Toxic Avenger hot sauce). I picked up Pro-Wrestlers VS Zombies, something a friend and I have wanted to see for awhile, VHS Massacre, an amazing documentary on Cult films and the decline of physical media, Symphony in Blood Red, which is a giallo style film, Electric Apricot: The Quest for Festeroo, Les Claypool's directorial debut, and a compilation called From Asia With Lust, which featured 2 really sleazy japanese rape and revenge flicks (it was buy 4 get the 5th free so why not). I really wish I brought more money, but I was trying to be good, and one day I'll eventually have the money to buy ALL THE TROMA STUFF.

In the early afternoon my girlfriend wanted to check out a Short Film panel happening on the 3rd floor. It seemed pretty interesting, and there were a couple shorts that really stuck out for me. One was called The Root of All Evil, which was about a pagan Halloween tree that killed all those who disrespected Halloween tradition. The second one I can really remember was called Mannequin, a short slasher about a killer store Mannequin who kills retail associates at night. It was a fun little panel, and I was pretty impressed with the shorts I enjoyed. It kind of made me think about the local horror community, and the possibility of find people like this to help me on my future films. Definitely a great way to network with other filmmakers.

I remember following my girlfriend over to some Halloween bath bomb whatever booth, but passing buy, I caught a film called "FETUS" on this gore covered table. I walked right back around to check it out. I mean come on, it was called FETUS. The booth was a film company called Morbid Vision Films, and man at the helm of this incredible booth was Brian Paulin. I picked up FETUS and bought another one of his films called Blood Pigs, which he told me was voted "Goriest Film of 2010" by Rue Morgue Magazine. I could say no. Just take my money and let me whine about it later, I NEED FETUS AND BLOOD PIGS. After that I picked up a few posters; a couple Japanese Godzilla ones, a poster for the collector's edition of They Live, and Frankenhooker. Buy 2 get 2 free, which is pretty awesome for a con. Actually, this is one of the cheapest cons I've ever been too. Even some of the same collectibles I saw at Boston Comic Con that appeared at Rock and Shock (such as some of the Living Dead Dolls) were $20 to $30 dollars cheaper. The only really thing you'd be spending a lot of money on at Rock and Shock, was meeting the celebrities. Speaking on celebrities...

I only met two famous people at Rock and Shock this year, but they were the ones that counted the most in my opinion, and a lot of the other celebrities I've met at past Rock and Shocks, or other events. The first person I met was actress Barbara Magnolfi, from one of my favorite films ever made, Suspiria. She was honestly too great, and a very nice lady. She left a fun Olga quote, signed her lithograph, and took a photo. Meeting one of the greatest giallo actresses from one of my favorite films of all time was just a dream come true. The other actress I had to meet this year was the amazing Tiffany Shepis. I've talked about her countless times on this blog, and I could definitely rank her in my top favorite Scream Queens of all time. We was just as great as I thought she was. Very personable and loved to interact and chat with fans. We talked about Scarecrow (check out my old Scarecrow podcast!) and a few of her other films, such as Tromeo and Juliet, Night of the Demons, Sharknado 2, and Bonnie and Clyde VS Dracula. I'd definitely love to meet her again, and maybe do some kind of interview for The Repugnant Playhouse!

That was basically my day at Rock and Shock. I feel like I'm a direct kind of guy when it comes to cons. I search for the stuff I really like, and I don't dilly dally too much at booths. I was there for about 5 hours, which was more than enough time for me to look at everything. It was definitely a fun afternoon, and I had a blast meeting all the people I met. I truly hope cons like this never disappear, because conventions like Rock and Shock are the best for those true genre fans. It really caters to the blood hounds and gore fiends in us all, and I'll obviously be back again next year.

Repugnant Review: FETUS (2008) - Brian Paulin

So last week I went to Rock and Shock in Worcester, Mass; The biggest horror convention in Massachusetts. I had an awesome time spending an ass load of money on things I didn't need (Rock and Shock article coming soon) but I did need some new movies. I came across one booth in particular that had a really gross looking gory corpse on the table, Morbid Vision Films. One of the movies I saw on the table was called FETUS. Fucking FETUS, and the cover has a woman ripping a torso-less FETUS (get it?) out of her snatch! I had to get the this and watch it immediately. A couple days after the con I finally sat down, and watched. I was fucking floored.

So this film is a tribute to the ultra-violent splatter movies coming out of Japan during the 80's and 90's, very much like The Guinea Pig series and Naked Blood. As far as that goes, this movie nailed it. It's one of the most brutally violent movies I have ever checked out and it is just perfectly stylized with insane amounts or gore, and glorious practical special effects. The story of FETUS revolves around a man named Kevin (played by writer, director, and special effects guy, Brian Paulin), a grieving husband still suffering after the death of his wife, and his unborn child. Kevin does everything in his power to see his wife and child again, which results him buying a book on necromancy and brutally murdering innocent people to sacrifice them to a Demon that possesses him. There were many scenes in the film that made me wince and cringe, and I loved every second of it. I haven't seen a splatter movie as fun as this one in awhile, and I'll be going around and showing this to friends every chance I get. This shocker is quite the ball kicker, and I can't wait to check out the other Morbid Vision Film I bought, called BLOOD PIGS, which Rue Morgue Magazine declared "Goriest Film of 2010".

If you're into the splatter movies like the Guinea Pig series and the August Underground trilogy, then FETUS will satisfy your hunger for extreme blood and gore. I still can't get that finale out of my head. This film as one of the greatest endings in splatter history, and if you can make it through the 74 minutes of brutal gore and murder that FETUS has to offer, this is the movie for you. Actually, this isn't just a movie, It's a FUCKING MOVIE. I'll post the links for Morbid Vision Films, and the link to actually buy FETUS and some other damn fine splatter-pieces.

Go to the Morbid Vision site HERE and you can buy FETUS HERE

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rat God by Richard Corben (2015) - Dark Horse Comics

Richard Corben has been a mainstay in horror comics since the 1970's, with some of his earliest work being featured in Creepy, Vampirella, and Heavy Metal Magazine. A couple years ago, the Will Eisner Award Hall of Famer put out one of his creepiest stories yet. I happened to find all five issues of Rat God at Wonderland Comics, wrapped up in a bundle and sold at a discount. The books were in a "censor bag" as I like to call it, because there was a black box covering three fourths of the plastic bag. If they were hiding the cover, then it had to of been good. I got home, ripped off the plastic, and started to dig.

The cover to the first issue was an incredibly gross portrait of this old rat/human hybrid. The decaying inbred rat person is incredible, and Richard Corben's artwork is just so detailed and realistic that it just makes you feel uncomfortable looking at it. There is a lot of Lovecraftian elements in this story, including references to Miskatonic University in Arkham. It's also full of Native American lore, with the base of the story being about a ancient Native rat spirit. Clark Ellwood ventures through New England looking for a woman named Kito, a Native American woman he fell in love with at the University. He finally comes across the town of Lame Dog, Kito's hometown. Clark Ellwood soon finds himself in a town of deformed rat people, and a cult dedicated to the terrifying Rat God. The mix of Lovecraftian horror and Native American mythology is just perfect, and it almost feels like it could be part of the Lovecraft mythos because it just blends in so well to Lovecraft's original stories. The artwork is horrifying, and every panel didn't skip a beat in detail, and terror. It's honestly one of my new favorite horror stories now, and I'm so glad that this random buy at a little comic shop was worth it.

I think you can pick up back issues on the Dark Horse website, and I believe they put out a hardcover of all the issues in one nice package. This story was absolutely brilliant, and the Lovecraftian back-woods rat cult vibes got me all sorts of creeped out. I'll post a link to the Dark Horse page, and his personal page if you're interested in checking out more of his work. Let me know what you think!

Buy this comic here at Dark Horse Comics and visit Richcard Corben's website HERE

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Repugnant Review: Raw (2017) - Julia Ducournau

The French shocker, Raw, is one of the most talked about movies of 2016 (and released in 2017), and after I heard that people were fainting and getting medical attention after watching this, I just had to see it. Julia Ducournau's Raw is one of the craziest and most unnerving horror films I have seen in awhile. The film is about a young woman who starts her first year at a prestigious Veterinary school. After being hazed by the upper-classmen into getting covered in blood and forced to eat raw rabbit kidney, she begins to develop rashes and an intense hunger for raw meat.

This was honestly one of the best cannibal films I have seen in awhile. It's probably one of the most colorful, and well filmed horror film I've seen also. The color scheme and cinematography reminded me of films like Suspiria and The Shining; everything was just so intense and vibrant. The woman who played the lead role of Justine, Garance Marillier, was absolutely convincing. Her decline into madness and hunger chilled me to the bone, and left me with a sense of uncertainty just because you just never knew when she was going to snap. The sexual aspect of the film also made for some of the most unsettling moments in the movie. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it. There isn't really a more perverted away of killing them than trying to eat them during sex. The ending just slaps you in the face, and it's now up there as one of my favorite twists in horror movies ever.

I originally watched this on Netflix, but I liked it so much I picked it up a copy at Wal-Mart. I highly recommend this, and it's honestly one of the best films to show people who are looking for something a little bit more extreme. It's the perfect blend of scary/disturbing and I think anyone who loves good horror films in general, will enjoy this one too. So go out to your local Wal-Mart, or Amazon, or whatever, and buy this cannibal shocker. Definitely a great film to watch during this festive Halloween season!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Preview Review: Happy Death Day - In Theaters 10/13/17

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the title "Happy Death Day" was the song Dethklok wrote for Murderface on his birthday. But other than that... it looks stupid. A college student relives the day of her murder over and over again until she discovers the identity of her killer. Hasn't this scenario been played out dozens of times already to know that it hasn't really worked since Groundhogs Day? That what this reminds me of, like Groundhogs Day meets Camp Daze, and then MTV bought the rights to both films just so they could make a horribly trendy PG-13 horror film with a fuckin' bumpin' soundtrack that all of the kiddies will enjoy. I didn't have much hope in the film to begin with. These big budget PG-13 films are a complete disaster (most of the time, not all of the time. Insidious for example is a great PG-13 horror film) and considering the director of the film, Christopher Landon, who also wrote and directed such films as Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, I think this is going to be one huge stinker. I'll give him one point though, cause he did write Disturbia and I definitely enjoyed that when it came out.

Obviously these are opinion based and if you think this is going to a good film, then great, that's awesome. If this movie comes out and it's a hell of a lot better than I thought it was going to be, great, good for the people who worked on it. I got a couple more of these 'Preview Reviews' coming up in the future, so keep a look out. What are your thoughts? Let me know!

Repugnant Review: Hanna D, The Girl From Vondel Park (1984) - Axel Burger

What's up you Repugnant motherfuckers, enjoying the fall already? Whats a better way to ring in October than watching some sleazy, trashy, and depraved cinema. I found one you sickos might enjoy, and it's called "Hanna D, The Girl From Vondel Park, directed by sleaze maestro Axel Burger (real name Rino DiSilvestro) and according to the DVD box, this film was saved from a bankruptcy auction in Rome. Thank fuck this film was found, because Severin Films took this nearly forgotten movie and restored it for our viewing pleasure. Hanna D is a brutal exploitation film following the torment of a young girl after she becomes a prostitute to support her drunken mother. This is what I call "An Extreme Morality Tale", because it really reminded me of those anti-drug films from the 30's and 40's. Like "Reefer Madness" or "Marihuana", but on bath salts.

The first thing I found particularly distressing right off the bat was that you didn't know how old Hanna was. The actress who played Hanna, Ann Gisel Glass, looked like she could of been 16, or 17, and seeing someone so sweet and innocent shoot up dope and fuck guys for money, it makes you squirm a bit. There are also very cringe-worthy scenes of drug use through out the entire film. It's almost too realistic, and considering how gritty the film was to begin with I wouldn't doubt a single moment that the filmmaker of this film cast real junkies and whores for this movie. It's a very brutal portrayal of a sweet soul cast out on the street, but it's also one of the most honest I feel. There are some pretty over the top moments in this film, but the story itself is fairly believable. There was one scene in particular though, that really made me jump and chuckle "Holy Fuck!", and I just can't ruin it for you, but it does involve a hookers asshole and a vial of dope... use your imagination.

I really enjoyed the cinematography in Hanna D. It just had some of those gorgeous "giallo" shots and angles that really caught my eye. The acting, as far as most sleaze pictures I've seen, was among the best I have seen. Ann Gisel Glass portrayed Hanna D beautifully, and Karin Schubert as her drunken mother was nearly perfect. I honestly felt bad for these characters, and what's better than actually getting into a film as nasty as this one. The exploitation elements just smack you in the face, but it's lined with some pretty deep drama, great acting, and fantastic cinematography. A great shocker overall and definitely one of my favorite exploitation films now. Like I mentioned before, you can pick up this film at Severin Films (I'll post a link below), and if you're interested, pick it up!