Monday, June 25, 2018

'Brutal Massacre: A Comedy' is Ridiculously Underrated

It's always fun to go through the horror groups on Facebook, or find small indie horror forums, just to find the one person that references the horribly underrated mockumentary BRUTAL MASSACRE. Whenever I mention it to other friends and cult movie goers, 95% of them have no idea what I'm talking about. It just blows my mind that a lot of people are unaware of this movie, and I'm writing this because I want more people to check it out. Honestly, it's got to be one of my favorite comedies ever made, so here's a completely biased review of BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY.

BRUTAL MASSACRE was released in 2007, written and directed by Stevan Mena. You may know Stevan from his other work such as Malevolence and Bereavement, two solid slasher films that, if you haven't already, should watch. But I'm not talking about his horror films, I'm talking about his comedy about a horror filmmaker trying to make his next big film. This movie stars David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) as Harry Penderecki, a horror filmmaker struggling to create his new "masterpiece" after years of failure, and his film crew which consists of one of the best cast lineups in any cult movie. Brian O'Halloran (Clerks), Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Ellen Sandweiss (Evil Dead), Betsy Baker (also Evil Dead), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), and Gerry Bednob (The 40 Year Old Virgin). The movie has horror film nostalgia all over it, and that's where most of the comedy comes from in this. If anyone has ever made a short film, or a full on low budget feature length film, you already know all of the bullshit that goes into making a movie. BRUTAL MASSACRE is essentially breaking down ever aspect of the film-making process, well, as if every bit of the making of this movie was doomed from the start. Everything from pitching the film to some rich asshole who wants to change every bit on the script, to casting, pre-production, inexperienced special effect techs, etc etc. Anything that could go wrong on a film set, happens in BRUTAL MASSACRE, and it is hilarious from beginning to finish.

Fangoria Magazine refers to this movie as "The Spinal Tap of horror films", and that's essentially it. The offbeat humor and dry delivery of the dialogue is what makes this movie so great. David Naughton is just so awkward and goofy, and just completely unaware of his surroundings. Every time he takes one step forward, his film and crew take five steps back, and he spends most of the movie trying to round up his crew without committing suicide in the process. Other than David Naughton's portrayal of Harry Penderecki, Gunnar Hansen as the drunken Vietnam vet was the funniest character in the movie. He has some of the best one liners I have ever heard, and I quote them all the time. Even the other day my girlfriend was asking me to go to the store to get some things, and we joke around a lot so she was pretending to be a major asshole. That's when I yelled "I WAS IN THE NAM, PUSSYFART. I'LL TWIST YOUR HEAD OFF AND GO BOWLING". She didn't know what to say, and I was just cracking up... I mean as all 26 year old man-children would after yelling "PUSSYFART".

I understand that most people wouldn't get the humor or the film-making process, especially when all of the inside jokes refer to horror films, but BRUTAL MASSACRE even seems to be underrated in the horror community, and I don't get it. You'd think with a cast like this, and a story as funny as a low budget film-making crew making a ridiculous movie, would appeal to the typical horror nerd. Of course, like I mentioned, this is completely biased. I saw this movie when I was in high school and it just stuck with me. I personally find it hilarious, and as someone who has made a few short films, I just got it. I think it's just one of those niche films, where you really got to be into horror culture and film-making to really get it. Maybe you don't either, and you like off-beat, dry humor. I've read a bunch of negative and positive reviews, and usually it's directed towards the humor aspect or the self-deprecating of the indie film-making process, so I can see it as a movie that you either like or dislike. But, I'm one of the guys who loves it. I'm a nerd who's into making movies, and that kind of humor, so whenever I interact with other horror fans I always like to reference BRUTAL MASSACRE to see if they know what I'm talking about. I'm a fan, what can I say.

I know you can find this movie cheap on amazon and other streaming/rental websites, so if you have the couple extra bucks to blow on a movie, definitely pick up BRUTAL MASSACRE. I think it's just a great movie for the typical horror nerd, or the aspiring film-maker, or someone who just enjoys a good comedy. I'll post the amazon link and trailer below, and if you purchase it, let me know what you think! I'm always wondering how all of you react to the movies I like to write about, and if you want to chat and discuss more movies, you can always follow me on twitter or instagram as @jakeisrepugnant. Hope you enjoyed this completely biased, ultra-fan review of BRUTAL MASSACRE, and I hope to hear form you soon. Thanks!



Sunday, June 24, 2018

VHS//Sunday: H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnamable (1988) Jean-Paul Ouellette

I figured since I was going to revamp this blog, I would add some weekly and recurring segments to spruce it up a bit. Here comes VHS//Sunday, an article dedicated to those who want to relax with a good tape. It's always been a ritual of mine. I would make myself a coffee, pack myself a bowl, and pick out a few tapes to watch. It can range from some obscure horror film to old nostalgic cartoons, but since this is primarily a horror and exploitation blog, I'll stick with the gruesome shit in my collection. And for this blogs first VHS//Sunday post, I wanted to watch the obscure horror classic THE UNNAMABLE, based on the 1925 short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

I'm a sucker for anything related H.P. Lovecraft. Whether it's based on his work, or influenced by, there are a handful of films based on his work that I just absolutely enjoy (Re-Animator/From Beyond comes to mind.) But The Unnamable is one that has eluded me for some time. Luckily, a few months ago, I found The Unnamable at the Dudley Flea Market and payed just a buck for it. Just a few weeks after that, that same flea market closed due to pipes exploding and destroying everything inside. I was lucky as fuck to have found it, because I guess it's fairly hard to find. After I moved into my new apartment, I finally took the time to go through, and watch a bunch of tapes that I've been neglecting. The Unnamable was the first to catch my eye, amidst the stacks of old VHS I've been collecting for years. I got prepped with my pipe and snacks, tossed it in the VCR, and hit play.

The Unnamable is a 1988 horror film written, produced, and directed by Jean-Paul Ouellette. The VHS I have is the VIDMARK original uncut version, which I saw on Ebay for about $20 to $30. I was lucky considering I spent a measly $1 on it, and the quality of the film and box is superb. The film is essentially a haunted house movie, with the basis of the original Lovecraft story being about two college men going into an old and cursed house in a cemetery, and being attacked by some indescribable beast. Of course with all film adaptations, the filmmakers are going to change a few things. Take the haunted house story, and add a few teenagers, blood, and some great creature effects, and you have Jean-Paul Ouellette's version of The Unnamable.

The Unnamable begins in the old Winthrop house, where Joshua Winthrop tries to calm this screaming creature that he keeps locked up one of the rooms. He fails, as he's brutally murdered by the creature. Skip to about 300 years later, and we have three men sitting in a cemetery talking about The Unnamable, an entity that haunts the old Winthrop house near Miskatonic University (sound familiar?) Randolph Carter, who in the Lovecraft mythos is mentioned a few times, gets his friends going about this supposed creature named The Unnamable. His friend Joel is eager to go into the house. When Randolph and their other friend Howard refuse to go into the house, Joel sets off on his own. After Joel doesn't come back for some time, Randolph and Howard go back to the Winthrop house to find him. Add a small love triangle and a couple more teenagers who want to bang inside the house, and now you got the making for a monster-slasher movie.

This was honestly a very fun movie. The acting was very good, especially Mark Kinsey Stephenson who portrays Randolph Carter. It has that bleak Lovecraft gothic atmosphere and the sets are very solid. I also wasn't expecting it to have lots of blood and gore, so it was a surprise to see people get their throats ripped out, beheaded, and heads smashed open. The special effects were pretty remarkable, especially when it came to the monster suit, and I have give the actress Katrin Alexandre a lot of credit for her incredible portrayal as the monster. The Unnamable is a great watch, and I'm surprised that many people are unaware of it's existence. It's a solid horror film with a great cast, and a lot of great gory gags. I highly recommend this to anyone who can find it, or if you wait a little bit, you can find it soon on Blu-ray when Unearthed Films releases it in October! I'll post the links and trailer below, and let me know what you think!



Friday, June 22, 2018

I'M BACK - A Return to Repugnance

Hello everyone, how the fuck is everyone? If you're wondering what I've been up to since last posting in January, continue reading.

This year I officially moved into my new apartment with my girlfriend, and recently found a new job. It's been a bit chaotic lately, but I couldn't be any happier. I finally have room for all of my shit! And now that I have the internet back, I can get back into watching and reviewing fucked up and ridiculously distasteful movies. I've been dying to get back into this blog, and I miss sharing my love for these kind of films all over. It's been a blast connecting with others on Twitter and Instagram with the same devotion to the vulgar, bizarre, and brutal films of the world, and I'm going all in with the content I'd like to bring to you with The Repugnant Playhouse. The second half of 2018 is going to be one hell of a time, and I promise to deliver on the REPUGNANCE.