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!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Rest in Peace Sid Haig (1939-2019) The Passing of an Icon

Sidney Eddie Mosesian
July 14th, 1939 - September 21st, 2019

Just 12 hours ago, the horror community found out that one of the genre's most iconic actors had passed away. Last Saturday, the world lost the legendary Sid Haig. Sid's wife let his fans know on instagram this morning about the sad news, and every social media on the internet is blowing up with beautiful tributes to the late actor. Everyone who has ever worked with him, and everyone who has met him during the tons of conventions he attended, sent out their love to Sid, his wife, and family. As sad as it is to see a figure as important as Sid Haig pass, it was pretty incredible to see the fans come together to celebrate his decades long career.

I'll never forget the first time I was introduced to Sid Haig, and that film was Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. I was a young teen at the time, and holy shit, I was an instant fan. Then The Devil's Rejects came out, and I got to see more of the craziness that is Sid Haig. His Captain Spaulding character was just incredible, and still to this day, there hasn't been a film character as memorable as him. Spaulding was funny, nasty, lovable, and absolutely fun to watch. By this time I started to dive into Sid's older stuff, and I was mesmerized by catalog of films this guy has worked on. From Jack Hill's Spider Baby, Big Doll House, and Coffy, to Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Kill Bill 2, this guy was THE cult actor to end all cult actors.

To end this little tribute, I would like to send my love to Sid's wife and family, his colleagues, and all the die hard fans who kept going out to see his films. Thanks for nearly 60 years of amazing cinema, and for being one of the nicest dudes out there. You will forever be missed.

J. Ryan

Friday, September 6, 2019

Repugnant Review: 2001 Maniacs (2005) - Tim Sullivan

There really isn't any horror remakes that are better than the original, but if I could name one, it would be Tim Sullivan's 2001 Maniacs. Way back in 1964, the late and great Herschell Gordon Lewis gave us the cult-splatter-classic, Two Thousand Maniacs! A silly and gory horror film about a town full of confederate hicks who lure in northern tourists, and brutally kill, then eat them. It's truly a cannibal classic, and I love the work of H.G. Lewis, but compared to Tim Sullivan's version... there's no contest. I mean, finances definitely come into play, since H.G. Lewis was notorious for churning out cheap gore flicks, but 2001 Maniacs did a near-exact remake, and didn't skimp on anything when it came to special effects and cast. I'm absolutely not sorry when I say 2001 is so much more superior to the original, and don't worry, I'll explain. I might be biased because I truly love this movie, but lets just go into the reasons why I find this movie to be as awesome as it is.

First of all, the cast is fucking awesome. Robert Englund as Mayor Buckman has got to be one of the greatest villains in recent years. What I love about Robert Englund, is that you can give him any role, big or small, and he'll just completely fall into it and give you a memorable performance. Not only is Mr. Englund in this film, you have the legendary Lin Shaye (Insidious series, Kingpin, There's Something About Mary), the insanely underrated Giuseppe Andrews (Cabin Fever 1 and 2, Detroit Rock City), and a bunch of great cameos from Peter Stormare, Eli Roth, Kane Hodder, Scott Spiegel, and hell, if you're a hardcore death-match wrestling fan, you might of noticed Kevin "MAD MAN PONDO" Canady play the blacksmith. Everyone gives a hell of a performance, and even though the coeds in this film were plain cheesy as shit, they were still fun too. The black biker guy and his hot asian dominatrix girlfriend were my favorite out of all the victims. They were so offbeat, and they weren't afraid of fucking with locals of Pleasant Valley. Honestly, one of the best casts in any slasher movie, ever, in my opinion.

The gore, was top-notch. There were even a few digital effects in 2001 Maniacs, but since they were blended in with lots of practical effects, it worked pretty well. I mean, the movie is 90% practical effects, but a great example of the digital effects in this movie is when the milk-maid forces the character Nelson to drink her "special" moonshine. It begins to melt through his throat and chest cavity, and when they show his chest caving in, the digital effects they used to pull it off looked pretty damn good. I'm not the biggest fan of digital gore, but for this particular effect, it looked incredible. Other than that and other small digital effects, the practical stuff is what I fucking love about this movie. The kills are brutal, and the manner of how all of these people die are incredibly creative and downright hilarious. One of my favorites is when the gay character, Ricky, get's a spear shoved up his ass and through his mouth. The amount of shock and laughter that oozed out of me after watching that was insane. There were about a dozen scenes in this movie that I just kept rewinding because the kills were just so damn good.

Lastly, I would just like to talk about the humor behind 2001 Maniacs. All that I can say, it's hilarious. These backwood ghouls are stuck in the period they died in, keeping with them the stereotypical southern ignorance of hating non-whites, gays, and "yankees". So hey, let's add a bunch on northern folks, throw in an interracial couple, and a guy dude, and then you got the bulk of the humor in this movie. It's offensive, but it's not at all that bad. I don't even think they use any brutal slurs or anything like that, but they do make silly assumptions towards certain races and sexual orientations. It's honestly super tame, and most of the silliness comes from the redneck confederate stereotypes. A lot of the locals of Pleasant Valley are depicted as illiterate sheep/cousin fuckers, so it's balanced when it comes to ripping on everyone. There are so many memorable lines in this one too, and I find my self saying them here in there. "Son, one time I had full confidence in a fart. Shit all over myself" and "Frankly, Miss Pussy, I don't give a damn" come to mind, and 2001 Maniacs is just one of those movies I can quote from front to back. "PUSHIN UP DAISY'S BY MIDNIGHT, BOYS!"

So yeah... I recommend the fuck out of this movie. I honestly don't see too many flaws in this movie, and the movie is so goddamn entertaining that even if there were any, I don't think you'd notice. It's fun, funny, gory, and and just one of the gnarliest slasher/splatter films to come out in the last 15 years. Find it on amazon, or fucking anywhere you can find it, because I know for a fact you won't be disappointed. I shouldn't leave out Two Thousand Maniacs either, so if you're interested in checking out the original first, I suggest that too. I think I got 2000, Color Me Blood Red, and Blood Feast all on one blu-ray from Something Weird, and it was about $12-$15 dollars, so it's totally worth it. Let me know what you think, because I know you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Repugnant Review: Automaton Transfusion (2006) - Steven C. Miller

You might think I talk about High School too much, but you know what... I'm getting old and some of that nostalgia is working its way back into my memories. One of the best memories I'll ever have is skipping school on Halloween with my buddies, and watching horror films all day. The best part was that our parents were in on it, and let us continue this ritual throughout our last couple school years. We kept a good list of movies we would watch every single year, and one of those movies was the 2006 gore-soaked zombie film, Automaton Transfusion. I haven't watched it in years, so when my girlfriend recently wanted to watch a zombie movie I figured I'd take the opportunity to re-watch a school days horror classic. Did it hold up? Well, kinda.

Automaton Transfusion is a pretty basic zombie film. The Army started to develop a way to revive dead bodies for their own benefit, only to accidentally release the virus onto a small town. When the town is completely overrun, it's up to a group of teenagers to fight back and find whoever is behind this. Even though it may come off as a generic zombie film, the gore and action absolutely make up for it. It's a complete blood bath and the special effects are pretty gnarly for a low budget film. One of the best scenes in the film is when a zombie walks in during a party, and just rips a fetus out of a pregnant woman. I remember my friends and I rewinding that several times, just out of pure hilarity. I also feel like I should talk about the soundtrack, because it's honestly the kind of stuff you'd hear walking into a Hot Topic in the mid-2000's. The golden days of emo/screamo/post-punk all crammed into one gory zombie movie, and even though it felt dated, it did bring me back to those high school days. Absolutely cheesy, but I love it.

My only gripe for this film is the acting. It's pretty terrible, but I can't really shit on it too much. It's a low-budget feature with no name actors who've probably never acted before, but the gore and overall story did make it worth it. It holds up for the most part. I still enjoyed watching this, and it did bring back some pretty awesome memories. I highly recommend Automaton Transfusion to anyone who enjoys balls-out zombie flicks, and insane special effects. There's a few more films I want to look into again, because our old Halloween lineup was full of goodies from that era. More to come for sure, especially now that fall is here!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Repugnant Review: Boy Meets Girl (1994) - Ray Brady

For the past couple years I've been slowly building a little collection of movies released by the notoriously extreme Unearthed Films. Recently I picked up the 1994 Ray Brady film, Boy Meets Girl, and I was immediately interested just by cover alone. A women in leather with a bound dude wearing a tank over his head, and the tank had a bunch of cigarettes sticking out the sides. I assuming it was going to be a gross torture flick, considering the gruesome material Unearthed Films is know to released (American Guinea Pig series, Thanatomorphose, Torment), but I was honestly surprised by the entire thing. It wasn't your typical torture porn... cause it really wasn't one at all. If I had to describe it, it would be more like a severely dark psychological drama.

Here's where the initial confusion came from. The synopsis says "A man meets a woman in a bar, the two go back to her flat and begin watching porno films. The man passes out and wakes to find himself strapped to a dentist chair. The woman, along with her accomplice begin to torture the man…". The movie has its brutal moments, but I feel like most of the film was dedicated to psychological torment rather than physical. Don't get me wrong, I love my gore, but this was a pretty refreshing watch. It's also very dialogue heavy, but due to great acting and great atmosphere, I wasn't bored, and I was pretty captivated by the entire situation. In the film, it's pretty apparent that these female torturers want to break this guy, not only physically, but mentally, and it's pretty brutal through out. Prodding him for info on his life, taking pictures of his family, and confessing to awful acts he's committed over the years. It puts you in one of those situations where you kind of feel bad for the guy, but he's a piece of shit, and you might relate to the torturer a bit, but she's also a piece of shit. It gives you somewhat of a moral dilemma, and I like shit like that.

For a low budget shocker, I thought the film as a whole was pretty great. The minimalist tone to all the sets, considering there were only 3 main characters through out, and top notch acting, really made this film so much more than a typical "torture porn". It gets bloody and there's one particularly gory scene in the film, but other than that, it's pretty tame as far as violence goes. It's mostly about breaking someones spirit until they're mentally gone, and you know what... that can be just as brutal as any other kind of torture. Less messy, but hey, not everyone is into that. I totally recommend this, and I highly suggest you pick it up from the Unearth Films website. If you get it, let me know what you think!

P.S. I can't find a trailer anywhere but trust me, it's a great movie!