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MOVIE REVIEW: Ahockalypse (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ahockalypse (2018)

In the upcoming horror comedy Ahockalypse, we get to watch some hockey players, who just won their championship match, survive the zombie apocalypse. Shortly after winning the championship, Jonsey, BJ, Wave, and Mrs. Johnson are celebrating their victory and zombies begin to appear, taking out the other players on their team, which is when the main characters begin to panic and we get a delightful comedy of errors. Not to mention that we get these hockey players (who have probably been hit one too many times) who are running around screaming with some rather dumb ideas to say the least. Yet somehow, they continue to survive even when they lose friends in what are usually absolutely absurd and comical deaths.Ahockalypse

Watching Ahockalypse is a total treat and it had me laughing from the beginning to the end with all of the various things that happen to our poor hockey players. Going to the house of Jonsey’s girlfriend, they encounter two guys who have kind of lost their minds a little bit and have an obsession with shiny and chrome (think the guys in Mad Max Fury Road). These two individuals proceed to make the gang take their clothes off and lock them in a basement. This is just one of many comical incidences throughout the entire film. As a huge fan of the zombie genre, especially when comedy can be incorporated, all I can truly say without spoiling jokes or plot is that this film is a must watch. It will have you laughing from beginning to end and whilst it’s not full of blood and guts, when there is gore, it is well done.Ahockalypse

As I said, the humor is what makes this film so enjoyable and totally worth watching and showing to your friends. I’ve already got a few people that I plan to introduce to Ahockalypse just because it’s so damn funny. This delightful zombie comedy is available on August 17th on itunes, Amazon, Vudu, Steam, Fandango Now, Google Play, and Sony Playstation! You can also buy the DVD on their website:


Robin Williams – Four Years Later

Robin Williams – Four Years Later

Robin Williams: 1951 - 2014With the fourth anniversary of Robin Williams’ death yesterday, it seemed appropriate after having just finished reading a new biography about him to do a brief write up about the legendary actor and comedian. I’ll also give my thoughts on the new Dave Itzkoff review titled Robin. An incredible man who was the epitome of a tortured soul and ended up taking his own life, Robin made millions of people laugh and even cry at points. Another reason I write this piece is because suicide has affected all of us at some point in our lives. Robin’s death wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last, but his life and death shows that even those who seem to have it all together might not.

Robin was an Academy Award winner, winner of multiple Golden Globes, and even a few Grammy’s, and one would think he was happy and rather content with his life. With films like Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King, and Good Morning, Vietnam — to his name but a few, his film successes were impressive, to say the least. Yet, as Itzkoff’s biography points out, Robin was deeply haunted by severe depression and a constant anxiety that he wasn’t successful in his career. Tragically, his demons were persistent, especially when one of his films flopped. However, the flops weren’t what pushed him over the edge. Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s was the final straw… Not long after the diagnosis, he was found in his room having hung himself.

Robin Williams - 21 July 1951 - 11 Aug 2014
One of the most incredible actors and comedians had finally reached the point where he was unable to take living any longer. Loved by millions and certainly an incredibly talented and successful individual, he still took his life. As anyone who has ever seen him act or do stand-up can attest to, Robin was an incredible human being with a heart of gold. Itzkoff’s biography (that I feel I have been remiss in not discussing more) is a tour de force of the story of Robin’s life, including his battle with addiction and depression.

Robin Williams: 1951 - 2014Although Robin Williams is dead, his legacy lives on, and I think his succumbing to depression and suicide is a rather profound point for his legacy to end on. I say this not because he took his life but because Robin’s death has shown people that appearances truly can deceive, that someone may look alright on the outside and be anything but okay. For all any of us know, that person could have a storm raging inside. Take time to talk to people, listen to them, and interact on a personal level because we can’t see inside a person. Speaking from experience, sometimes that’s all it takes to bring someone back from the edge.

For those of you reading this, please know you are not alone. If you ever feel lost, there are people available to help you.

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Robin Williams - Prevent Suicide

Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Nekromantik (1987)

MOVIE REVIEW: Nekromantik (1987)

Nekromantik (1987) / Fair use doctrine.In the infamous 1987 film Nekromantik, the viewer encounters one of Jorg Buttgereit’s best films and (when released) one of the most incredibly controversial films of its time. To say that Buttgereit hurt a majority of people’s sensibilities would be an understatement when Germany, where he made the film, banned it, and even Japan — where people were used to the extreme — had it censored. Oddly enough though, it was never banned or censored in the United States, largely because it was so underground and passed the MPAA’s jurisdiction. Due to this, Nekromantik acquired a cult following in the US. I watched this film about three years ago or so on my MacBook™ in college because I did not think that this film was available for purchase at the time. Fortunately, during this phase of my life, I was able to find Nekromantik 1 and 2, A Serbian Film, Salo, and a handful of others available online, which were frowned upon.

Nekromantik (1987) / Fair use doctrine.Having a Blu-Ray copy of Nekromantic that I could finally watch on a television, I certainly found it to be much more enjoyable on a bigger screen. The premise follows the title of the film rather closely and is about Rob who works for a street cleaning service that primarily works on cleaning up car accidents and the like. As he works on the crew, he gathers various organs and pieces of flesh from the corpses to bring home to his girlfriend for their collection. Ultimately, this leads to Rob bringing home a half-decayed corpse from a marsh. This progresses to necrophilia where Rob cuts a piece of wood (a certain amount of irony is there as well) that Betty, his girlfriend, then places into the corpse at the waist level. Betty then proceeds to fuck the corpse’s pseudo-penis, thankfully with a condom at least. From there, we get a long scene of clips of Rob, Betty, and the corpse fucking that takes place.

Nekromantik (1987) / Fair use doctrine.So as to not give any spoilers near the last quarter of the film, I will only speak in generalizations. A film of graphic proportions, I am thoroughly impressed with what Buttgereit achieved through the special effects from 1987. It was definitely an assault upon censorship and the normalcy through which society attempts to exist. Buttgereit certainly exposed society to a different level of intensity than what society is used to. Personally, I rather enjoyed the film and found it to be 4 out of 5 stars.

Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Combat Shock (1984) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: Combat Shock (1984) [SPOILERS]

Combat Shock

In the classic Troma film, Combat Shock, written and directed by Buddy Giovinazzo, we are introduced to Frankie, an incredibly disturbed Vietnam War veteran who is trying to survive in an America that wants nothing to do with him. Frankie, played by Buddy’s brother Rick Giovinazzo, was captured in Vietnam and lived as a POW for two years before being rescued. Once rescued, Frankie is kept at a hospital for three years because of the near catatonic state he is in from all of the trauma. We learn about Frankie’s past through flashbacks that are interspersed throughout the film and occur randomly from minuscule triggers, like water dripping from a faucet.Combat Shock

This review will contain some spoilers so if this is a film that you are wanting to watch, I would recommend postponing reading this review. In addition, this review is for the new limited edition release of Combat Shock from Severin Films, which is a new 4K rescan from the 35mm inter-negative with 2K inserts from Buddy’s personal 16mm print. Further, this release of Combat Shock is a director’s cut and has 8 minutes of never before shown footage. Watching this release, I can say that coming from 1984, the rescan does the film a great justice in clarifying the colors of the film and the film in general. Severin has done a great service to the cult film community and the world in remastering this classic film addressing such a prominent and significant topic as PTSD. 

As someone diagnosed with PTSD myself, I was cautious going into watching the film because I did not feel like being triggered, but instead of triggering me, I found myself sucked into watching one of the best portrayals of PTSD that I have ever seen. With no work coming his way, Frankie and his wife and baby (the baby having been mutated due to Agent Orange), are living in a near-destitute situation with no food, except a carton of sour milk, so part of the film is Frankie dealing with these difficulties, being confronted by a loan shark, and seeing a friend who is addicted to heroin and willing to do anything for a fix.

Anyone who is or has been an addict or known an addict will see a scary realism with Mike the junkie. One of Mike’s scenes, in which he has finally acquired a fix but does not have any way to prep and inject the heroin. In an act of desperation, he finds a piece of broken glass, carves open some veins and mainlines the heroin, not through injection but pouring the powder into his open veins. This is Mike’s last act of desperation and leads to his death by overdose.

Also titled as American Nightmares when it was first being made, Giovinazzo has shown the darker, seedier side of the American dream, one where surviving demands ruthlessness. Not just that though, the film shows how far one can fall into darkness when one is devoid of hope. With an ending that haunted me yesterday, we watch as Frankie shoots his wife once, her body hits the ground and the baby begins to cry. Not dead, Frankie screams at her, “Die goddammit! Die!” putting a few more slugs into her. He then turns the gun on his son and with the bleakness that comes with a film like this, we watch in horror as he puts a bullet through his baby son’s chest. Making it even worse, the baby does not die but continues gasping for air, so he puts it in the oven and turns it on. Last, he shoots himself and the movie ends.

Combat Shock is a dark, ultra-realistic tale that Giovinazzo has told in a beautifully tragic way, and I highly recommend this film to anyone with the stomach to take it.

Combat Shock

MOVIE REVIEW: Hereditary (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Hereditary (2018)

HereditaryIn the new film, Hereditary, written and directed by Ari Aster, viewers are given a well-written, well-acted experience watching as a grieving family falls further into tragedy and terror. At first, Hereditary seems to be a psychological horror film, but Aster has done a phenomenal job in writing something that the viewer will sink into expecting it to go one way, and finding that it turns a different direction. Now, before I continue with my review, within the horror community, Hereditary has been receiving mixed reviews from it being fantastic to people being bored, these are my personal views, any problems with them feel free to discuss them with me. In addition, this review will have some spoilers.

Hereditary (2018)Back to the film… Toni Collette as Annie, delivers a masterful performance as a woman whose mother has passed away and while grieving, her young daughter brutally dies, having her head knocked off in a tragic car accident while her son is driving. Creating division in the family and leading to Annie hating her son, for a moment the film feels as if it has fallen into the drama category of a family coping with loss, but then Annie meets a woman, who has also lost a loved one (her grandson) and been reunited with him through séances. At first terrified, Annie quickly decides to try it out herself in an attempt to reconnect with her lost daughter Charlie. This is where the film takes another turn, shifting rather well I might add, to a supernatural horror film with some Rosemary’s Baby-esque elements to it.

Hereditary (2018)So as to not ruin what I found to be a spectacular ending, I’ll be stopping with these final remarks. Toni Collette was beautifully haunting throughout the film, as a bereaved mother her desperation was clear and her inability to get past the accident incredibly convincing. Surrounded by a fantastic cast and with phenomenal writing that has me wanting to watch the film again to see what I missed, I highly recommend it. However, as said above, the film is not for everyone, some will not enjoy it, but just because some people don’t like it does not mean you shouldn’t give it a chance.
Hereditary (2018)

Posted by Spencer Evatt in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, THRILLER, 0 comments
EXTREME REVIEW: Doll Syndrome (2014) [Minor Spoilers]

EXTREME REVIEW: Doll Syndrome (2014) [Minor Spoilers]

Doll SyndromeIn Domiziano Cristopharo’s 2014 film Doll Syndrome, one gets the privilege to see Domiziano at his finest. Doll Syndrome is first and foremost a work of art superbly directed by Domiziano and beautifully written by Andrea Cavaletto. Telling the story of a loner who begins to become obsessed with a woman he encounters on the street, we watch this man become a dangerous and disturbing stalker. The way Domiziano directs this beautifully disturbing film the viewer is made privy to every twisted and even odd thought that crosses the loner’s mind.

Doll SyndromeI can confidently say that watching Doll Syndrome and the obsession grow, I felt a deep sense of foreboding as I watched this man follow this girl nearly everywhere and even as he just watches her from afar. A rather graphic film on multiple levels, each scene certainly adds to the feeling of unease you get watching the man progress. Beginning with some basic scenes of masturbation in front of the window in his apartment and building to his purchasing an inflatable sex doll for him to practice his fantasies on, we see his progression deeper and deeper into himself as well as in his obsession with this girl.

Doll SyndromeWhilst most of Doll Syndrome’s sexual scenes are not disturbing in the acts, they are incredibly graphic and progress to the inclusion of self-harm that do make them disturbing. Add the fact that with the sex doll, he is constantly fantasizing about this woman — even when he is using a fabric stapler on various parts of the doll — and it becomes quite disturbing. Not the most disturbing moments of the film by a long shot, but if I were to reveal everything, then where’s the fun in watching it? I will say that this film is not for the faint of heart, and it involves some extremely brutal scenes of torture and self-harm, but for those who are into the extreme side of film, I cannot recommend it enough.

In addition, Doll Syndrome will be available to purchase on 5/22 from Amazon and is up for preorder, and I encourage everyone to support Domiziano’s work!

Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Takashi Miike’s Blade of the Immortal (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Takashi Miike’s Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Takashi Miike's Blade of the Immortal (2017)
Blade of the ImmortalAdapted from the critically acclaimed manga, Blade of the Immortal, Takashi Miike’s 100th film, introduces us to an incredibly beautiful story about Manji (Takuya Kimura), a samurai haunted by his past and cursed with immortality, and Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki), a girl whose parents are killed by Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi) and his Ittō-ryū. Swearing revenge, Rin approaches Manji to request his services as a bodyguard. Eventually, Manji gives in and agrees to be Rin’s bodyguard as she seeks to avenge the death of her parents. Now, to those not too familiar with Miike’s work, he is one of the best in the business when it comes to an extreme amount of stylized violence combined with a deep story, thus making one hell of a film.Blade of the Immortal

With this film, Miike does not disappoint in the least; it is full of blood and guts, over the top stylized violence, and a beautiful story of revenge and redemption. At nearly two and a half hours long, viewers are given a story that moves at an incredibly quick pace and leaves one feeling as if the film was only two hours long. With each fight scene beautifully choreographed and showcasing a number of brutal weapons, viewers are also given the pleasure of watching a samurai film that is not just dueling katanas. It is certainly a refreshing take on revenge films, and I honestly found it delightful to watch as Manji slices through person after person with a variety of bladed implements.

Blade of the ImmortalIn my opinion, Blade of the Immortal is one of Miike’s best films to date and shows his mastery of cinematography, violence, and story-telling. His hundredth film really delivers, and I was not disappointed in the least. I’ve even found myself going back to it a number of times for the artfully choreographed fight scenes — not to mention, the final thirty minutes or so is a fantastically violent battle of Manji versus hundreds with him dispatching them however he can so that he is not overwhelmed. This scene alone exhibits every side of Miike’s artful mastery of filmmaking, and it will keep you enraptured and unable to look away as every shot has been done precisely. For Miike fans, I cannot recommend this film enough, and for people new to Takashi Miike’s work, this is the perfect starting point!

Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Death-Scort Service (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Death-Scort Service (2015)

In Death-Scort Service, written by Chris Woods and Sean Donohue, and directed by Donohue as well, we are introduced to a delightful exploitative horror flick with enough blood, guts, and boobs to make any viewer rather pleased. I know that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire film and all of its gory fun. Death-Scort Service is well-written with a rather surprising twist ending that I won’t spoil for anyone, but I can say that the ending itself took me by surprise. Filled with various brutal killings, each of which was rather ingenious in their sadism and brutality, Death-Scort Service really delivers.Death-Scort Service

Death-Scort Service tells the story of some prostitutes who begin to realize that there’s a “john” calling girls to meet — girls he then brutally murders before mutilating their corpses. To say that it is a gory film would be an understatement. The blood flows in a delightfully liberal way that makes any gorehound overjoyed. In addition, the extreme levels of nudity help to give a fantastic exploitative feeling that any fan of exploitation or grindhouse will love. There’s almost as much nudity as there is blood and gore. Woods and Donohue even incorporated some rather comical moments that drew some chuckles out of me.

Concerning the extreme brutality, one scene, in particular, was ingrained into my mind, a scene that I found to be delightfully sadistic. In fact, it made the little sadist in me very intrigued. Tying one of the victims down, the killer spread the woman naked legs and arms wide open. Going away for a moment, the killer returns with a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire. Taking brutality to another level, the killer proceeds to use this weapon as a dildo upon his victim. I’ll let everyone use their imaginations there and encourage you to watch the film if you love gory exploitation films full of nonstop nudity, sex, and gore.Death-Scort Service

While this film is not for the faint of heart, I will say that any gorehound would love it. Death-Scort Service is a fun, well-written piece of exploitative horror and if you’re a fan of that sort of film, then all I can say is watch it, you won’t be disappointed. I appreciate Chris Woods providing me with a screening copy of it and the sequel. I will be reviewing the second Death-Scort soon, and right now Chris Woods is working on getting funding together for Taste Me: Death-Scort Service Part 3. In fact, there is still time left to buy into the Indiegogo campaign, and I highly encourage you to support Chris and his team if you have some extra money. Don’t just watch his next Indie exploitation flick, be a part of bringing it to production!

Death-Scort Service

MOVIE REVIEW: Flowers (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Flowers (2015)

FlowersIn Phil Stevens’ Flowers, we are introduced to a beautifully surreal and intensely disturbed film revolving around six dead women who wake up in a crawl space under their killer’s house. With this film, Stevens has developed a unique style bent on haunting the viewer from beginning to end. Interestingly, there is no dialogue, the film’s story is delivered primarily through visuals and the haunting music that accompanies the various atrocities being committed. In a sense, what I could gather from the film was that these women were forced to confront what happened to them so that they could move on.

The women are each referred to as flowers while the killer is known as The Exile and we get to relive the atrocities that they were put through in an extremely surreal way. In truth, the film tells the entire story in a very abstract and what some might say is an unconventional method, but I think that’s what makes this film so successful in being so disturbing. Anyone can tell a fucked up story with dialogue because the dialogue adds to the intensity and can build plot. The lack of dialogue is completely made up for with the amount of emotion seen in each of the flower’s faces, not to mention the different reactions they have to where they ultimately find themselves.

FlowersNow, reviewing it based on what I see is rather lackluster and honestly not a very successful approach. What I will say is Flowers has taken the grotesque, the disturbed, and especially the blood and gore of intense violence and it has created a work of art. Watching the film, one can see how methodical Stevens was with every single shot in getting his work across. From the scenes of shit-covered walls, floors, and ceilings to the moments when a flower begins to undo the sutures across her chest, every image is beautiful in its grotesquery. That is largely why I have not attempted to state much of what happens in the film, it’s not a film of words but of pictures brought together to create one large work of art.

FlowersIf you have a strong stomach, I cannot recommend this film enough, Stevens’ artistic style is something that will make you watch Flowers again and again. Not to mention the fantastic acting and you have a work of art that will never go stale. Flowers is available through Unearthed Films in DVD or through their new streaming service on Vimeo. In addition, Phil Stevens is raising funds right now for Flowers 2, and I cannot encourage everyone who loves horror enough to contribute.Flowers

Hey, Souls, check out the fundraiser video on contributing to Flowers 02, and then click the link below to donate! You’ll be glad you did.

MOVIE REVIEW: American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014) [SPOILERS]

In Stephen Biro’s firsStephen Biro's American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014)t film, American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore, we are introduced to a gorehound’s wet dream. Drawing a decent amount of inspiration from Hideshi Hino’s original Guinea Pig film, Flower of Flesh and Blood, Biro adds onto what was already a rather fucked up concept by adding a second victim and providing more of a plot that has some heavy religious connotations. In addition, instead of a single cameraman, we are given multiple perspectives examining all of the mutilation and gore up close. Filmed with an 80s style in mind, we see the cameramen using small, handheld VHS recorders and have to change film at various points.

Spoiler Alert Nosferatu

Stephen Biro's American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014)Set in a warehouse, we watch as this group of sadists and filmmakers go through a near-ritualistic approach in dismembering the two women. The main antagonist is known as “The Actor” and it is job to perpetrate all of the various acts of violence while the cameramen watch on and film every gory detail. To start though, the victims are drugged so that they don’t feel any of the pain from the mutilation. Add to that, before any limb is lopped off, tourniquets are applied to ensure that neither woman bleeds out. The deaths are slow and methodically calculated to say the least. Having recently watched Flower of Flesh and Blood, the parallels in this film are incredible down to the last detail. Implements similar to what Hino used are used by “The Actor” as well.

Stephen Biro's American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014)So to not spoil all the wonderful scenes of gore, it felt apt to just mention a few of the brutal moments that made the sadist in me dance. From running a straight razor across one victim’s eye to sawing the mouth and jaw in half so that the mouth hangs open limply, Biro has written something uniquely brutal that I think every gorehound will enjoy! I especially liked the use of a box cutter to slice an incision on the skin around one victim’s arm. This then progressed to “The Actor” peeling the skin down off the woman’s arm. That scene is a helluva toe curler and it is done spectacularly well. All of the special effects are well done and none of the gore feels staged or superficial.
If you’re a gorehound seeking some delightful moments of evisceration, disembowelment, and even a scene of cannibalism. I highly recommend watching American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore if you love a good gory, pseudo-snuff film. The film can be purchased directly from Unearthed Films.

American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Sargad (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Sargad (2017)

SargadRecently, I was given the pleasure to watch Sarah Giercksky’s film Sargad. Written by her and also starring her, Andres R. Ramos directs this gem of an independent, low budget revenge flick. Giercksky plays the role of a girl named Elina who has gone out to a cabin with her mom and little sister to scatter her father’s ashes. What at first glance seems to be a pretty basic revenge flick, turns into a film with multiple levels of depth and intensity.

Sarah Giercksky as Elina in Sargad (2017)When Elina and her family go out to scatter the ashes, three men arrive to harass, torment, and assault Elina and her family. This is when the film gets violent and one of the men forces Elina to get out of her pants and stabs her in the gut and leaves her for dead while they take her mother and little sister back to their cabin. With the harshly stark reality portrayed disturbingly well, we see Giercksky embrace all of the agony and terror of someone who was abruptly stabbed, the blood pouring from her as she crawls and attempts to get to her feet. Once she has gotten to her feet, she hurries back to the cabin in search of her mother and sister. This is when we get a rather visceral, toe curler of a scene where Elina gives herself first aid with an office stapler and duct tape.

This first aid scene gives Giercksky a fantastic opportunity to show her acting skills as we see her facial expressions and hear the pain you would expect to see from someone stapling a stab wound. Shortly after this, Elina finds out that her mother and sister were both brutally assaulted and killed. This is where we get to see Elina begin her delightfully brutal path of vengeance upon these three men who took everything from her.

Sargad (2017)So as to not reveal all of the fantastic plot elements that Giercksky incorporated into the film, I’ll just say that there’s some twists that alone make this a very worthwhile film to watch. And for all of my fellow sadists who have a passion for the brutal, Giercksky gave Elina a fantastic level of sadism. One instance that is still ingrained upon my mind being that of when she takes a knife to the penis of one of the men cutting down the middle of it lengthwise and then stapling it back together.

Sargad (2017)As a man, I had to grit my teeth and thank heaven, hell, and everything in between that it wasn’t my genitalia being mutilated!

Overall, with the title Sargad, which translates to Wounded in English, you get to watch a phenomenal tale of revenge unfold and I highly recommend it for all my indie film lovers! I will certainly be watching to see where Sarah Giercksky’s film career takes her both in her writing and in her acting, I’m quite confident that she has quite the future ahead of her in the industry and I am excited to see what she puts out next!

Sarah Giercksky as Elina in Sargad (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Deep Web XXX (2018) [Spoilers]

MOVIE REVIEW: Deep Web XXX (2018) [Spoilers]

Deep Web XXX (2018)In Deep Web XXX, the viewer is introduced to a collection of sick and twisted depravities that a man finds on the deep web. With a unique narrative approach, I found myself deeply engrossed in the film and wondering what the directors came up with next. With the narrative around an individual who joins a deep website known as Queen of Hearts where individuals film and share their depravities with the deep web audience. Now, for those who are not aware of what the deep web is the opposite of the normal internet in that it is the invisible, underground, and quite illegal side of the Internet. Not all of it is illegal, but the majority of the deep web is certainly not the sort of thing you tell people that you’re exploring. That having been said, let’s dive into the film.

Consisting of multiple segments, each directed by a different individual, each segment of Deep Web XXX is a video that the main individual (performed by Mark Thompson-Ashworth) pulls up on the Queen of Hearts site. So as to not ruin one of the key elements to the film, I won’t be going into all the details of each segment because the film is an exploration of the dark web and what one might encounter there. As the film progresses, we learn that the deviant individual who is watching all these videos is essentially viewing them for a bit of extra encouragement for his personal recording.

Deep Web XXX (2018)Each segment is rather compelling in its own right and each is disturbing in its own way, but I want to focus on the third segment that Domiziano Cristopharo directed titled “Cruising,” involving some infrared cameras and an extreme BDSM club. Beginning with a naked man tied to a St. Andrew’s cross, we watch as another man in leather flogs the individual and we see that the individual is already bleeding from the flogging. Proceeding from there, we follow the man who was doing the flogging down some stairs into a basement. During this segment, the camera assumes the first-person viewpoint, and we end up privy to a rather extreme scene. The scene in question involves the sadist from above preparing his arm with a long latex glove that he applies a copious amount of lube to and then turns to face an individual suspended in a sex swing. This is the scene that curled my toes a bit as we watch a man being anally fisted to death. Cristopharo has certainly outdone himself with this segment showing his skills in cinematography and in filming an extreme scene in a discreet, but not completely in your face manner.

Cristopharo also does a fantastic job of directing the overarching scenes involving the man watching the videos and the end when the same man decides to follow through with his own act of violence. Following the man, we watch him enter the bathroom where he has an individual tied up in the bathtub. While not one of the most extreme scenes of the film, we watch as the man pours acid upon his victim’s face and observe the acid burning away skin and flesh. Overall, I was very pleased with the complete film and found that Deep Web XXX was a well written and well-executed film. If you like viewing something extreme and artfully unique, then I highly recommend Deep Web XXX. Keep in mind, though, that it is not for the faint of heart.Deep Web XXX (2018)

American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)

American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)

SacrificeIn American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice, we see the fourth film in the American Guinea Pig series from Unearthed Films. Produced by Domiziano Cristopharo and directed by Poison Rouge, we are introduced to Daniel (Roberto Scorza) a very psychologically scarred individual who has returned to his childhood home. As the film progresses, we are introduced to harsh self-mutilations and torture, which Daniel inflicts upon himself. Deeply disturbed, we see that Daniel has multiple scars from past woundings that he has given himself. Further, we find out that this latest instance is Daniel’s attempt at a sort of self-enlightenment with the hope being that his sacrifice will bring the goddess Ishtar to guide him.

To say that Sacrifice is unsettling would be an understatement, but its disturbing nature will keep you completely engrossed until the film’s ending. Going into the bathroom in his childhood home, Daniel unpacks Sacrificea couple of white candles and a number of metal implements, which is my only complaint in that we don’t get to see him use all of them. For an American Guinea Pig film, I must say that Daniel’s self-mutilation starts off rather tame with some deep slashes across his wrist that he ties off with a cable tie. After this, things get a whole lot darker and a whole lot more brutal. Daniel’s next implement is a razor blade that he uses to carve a marking into his forehead. From there, he takes out a power drill, first testing it upon his inner thigh and then using it upon his forehead where he had carved the marking. With this scene, we even get to hear as the drill crunches through his skull some.Sacrifice

I can’t really do the film justice telling the plot because there are so many psychological factors going on and even a stream of consciousness from Daniel during everything. Daniel goes from wanting to perform this big sacrifice for Ishtar as the book states to the revelation that he has made a big mistake. Near the end of the film was the particularly toe-curling moment for me when Daniel sounds himself (usually involves slipping a very thin piece of wire into one’s urethra to create pleasure) with a Phillips head screwdriver. The film is unabashed in its no-holds-barred approach to showing everything. Nothing in this film is ever implied or mentioned in speaking; it is shown in all of its intense brutality.

SacrificeOverall, I rather enjoyed Sacrifice and think that Poison Rouge has made an incredible film with numerous psychological and emotional levels. I highly recommend Sacrifice to anyone who is into gory flicks involving lots of torture and some rather dark moments deep inside the psyche of a man who is heavily disturbed.

There is still no word from Unearthed Films as to when it will be released, but I will make sure to keep all informed as I learn more!

WiHM Interview: The Inimitable Barbie Wilde

WiHM Interview: The Inimitable Barbie Wilde

Woofer here, Souls, and it’s my great pleasure to introduce this interview. When discussing Women in Horror Month with my assistant editor Spencer, we decided that as fans of Hellraiser – both as the Books of Blood and the film franchise – we would be completely remiss if we didn’t reach out to Barbie Wilde. Being both talented and gracious, she consented to be interviewed and is our final focus for Women in Horror Month.

Barbie Wilde - Female Cenobite Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Well, that’s enough of my yammering. You’re all here to find out more about the lovely, talented, and kind Barbie Wilde, so keep on reading.
House of Tortured Souls: Did you ever think you would become a horror icon?
Barbie Wilde: I never did… And it’s a bit ironic that I nearly didn’t go to the audition for Hellbound Hellraiser II, because I found the first Hellraiser film so disturbing. (Although I did love the character of Julia. I’m a sucker for obsession! And the Cenobites were such original and unusual monsters.)
However, I’ve very glad that I did go, obviously. Being in Hellbound was a great experience and, speaking as a short blonde person, I’m truly thrilled that I’ve managed to scare so many people over the years.
HoTS: What is your favorite memory from working on Hellraiser II?
BW: Meeting Ken (Dr. Channard) Cranham for the first time. I walked up to him in full Female Cenobite makeup and costume, when he was in full Channard Cenobite makeup and costume — and on the phone to his wife as well! For some reason known only to the infernal powers below, I said: “Hi Ken, I’m Barbie. Do you want to get married and have babies called Pepper and Skipper?”
Why I thought that this was an appropriate way to introduce myself for the first time to such a venerable actor as Ken, I don’t know. Especially since he was English and had no idea that there were these famous American dolls called Barbie, Ken, Pepper and Skipper. (In Britain, the Barbie Doll equivalent is called Cindy.) In my defense, I do say this line to every “Ken” I meet, because for some strange reason, I think it’s hilarious.
Anyway, Ken was gobsmacked and whispered to his wife, “Darling, an actress is talking to me… I’ve got to go.” I apologized profusely and we’ve been good friends ever since.

The Lovely Barbie Wilde

HoTS: What was it like working with Tik and Tok?
BW: The years with Shock in the early 80s were fantastic. It was the most fun that I’ve ever had as a performer. Working with Tik and Tok was wonderful, as well as performing with Robert Pereno, LA Richards, and Carole Caplin. The high point for us was supporting Gary Numan at Wembley Arena, but we also toured with Depeche Mode and supported Ultravox as well.
HoTS: Who are some of your greatest influences?
BW: As a writer: Rod Serling, Patricia Highsmith, Clive Barker, Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, Colin Wilson.
Directors I admire are: Guillermo Del Toro, Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, the Soska Sisters, Ann Biller, Katherine Bigalow, Mary Harron, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Patty Jenkins.

Barbie Wilde's Blue Eyes - A Film By Chris Alexander

HoTS: How do you prepare for a role? Is it different for each?
BW: I approach each role in a new way. I don’t use any particular “method”. I’m very intuitive and I take a lot from the text…
HoTS: Why horror? What drew you to it?
BW: To be honest, I didn’t choose horror, horror chose me! I had moved from acting into presenting, writing and hosting TV shows when I was cast in Hellbound. It was my first horror movie. (Although I suppose being in Grizzly II: The Concert (1983) was my first appearance in a horror movie, but it was never released.)
It’s interesting, because until Paul Kane asked me to write a story for the Hellbound Hearts anthology, I was more interested in exploring the criminal mind in writing novel like my diary-of-a-serial-killer novel, The Venus Complex (published by Comet Press), than writing horror. But I had so much fun writing my Female Cenobite origin story (“Sister Cilice”) for Hellbound Hearts, that I continued writing horror, contributing short stories to various horror anthologies over the years, culminating in my illustrated, full color, short horror story collection, Voices of the Damned (published by SST Publications).

The Venus Complex (2012) by Barbie Wilde

Saying that though, I’ve always watched horror movies, ever since I was a kid, especially Sci-fi horror. Those films really shaped my twisted imagination! And TV shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits also made a big impression on me.
HoTS: What are your favorite horror films?
BW: I love the old black and white horrors like: The Thing From Another World (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Innocents (1961), The Haunting (1963) and Night of the Demon AKA Curse of the Demon (1957). I also like visceral horror such as Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) and Alien (1979). Other favorites are: American Mary (2012), Sinister (2012), Audition (1999), The Lure (2015), Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), Crimson Peak (2015), etc. (I’m really looking forward to seeing The Shape of Water and the Soska Sisters’ reimagining of Cronenberg’s Rabid.)
HoTS: What drew you to writing? Do you prefer it to acting?
BW: I’ll always love acting, but now I prefer creating my own worlds, my own characters and my own mythologies.
HoTS: When did you realize that you wanted to dive into the arts?
BW: I was a very shy kid, but when I was cast in a school play when I was 12, I was hooked forever. People were laughing with me, rather than at me. I loved it.

Voices of the Damned (2016) by Barbie Wilde

HoTS: What is something outside of art that you’re passionate about?
BW: Wine… Margaritas… Martinis… you see a pattern here? Actually, those are just hobbies! Seriously, I’m fascinated by archeology (it was my Minor at University) and I love what’s happening in the world of science with all the innovations that are happening, medical discoveries, etc. And I’m a tech geek. I never would have guessed that I’d love gadgets so much. I suppose it’s the Star Trek fan in me!

Barbie’s books and other works:

Out now:

Voices of the Damned, an illustrated short horror story collection published by SST Publications. (Publishers Weekly: “…sensual in its brutality.” “…a delight for the darker senses.”) Each story is illustrated in full color by top artists in the horror genre, such as Clive Barker, Nick Percival, Daniele Serra, Vincent Sammy, Tara Bush, Steve McGinnis, Ben Bradford and Eric Gross.

Barbie Wilde - Female Cenobite with knife in Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

The Venus Complex, Barbie’s debut dark crime, diary-of-a-serial-killer novel, published by Comet Press. (Fangoria: “Wilde is one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror fiction around.”)

In pre-production:

A feature length horror film called Blue Eyes, based on a short story by Barbie. It’s co-written with Chris Alexander (Blood for Irina, Queen of Blood, Female Werewolf, Blood Dynasty, Space Vampire) and will be directed by Chris. Starring Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy.


Film Script: “Zulu Zombies”.
New real life horror novel, working title: The Anatomy of Ghosts.

Plans for the future:

To find a publisher for graphic novels based on Barbie’s short stories “Sister Cilice” and “Zulu Zombies”.

The Offer (2017) - Barbie Wilde

In 2017, Barbie returned to acting after 17 years in The Offer, the first episode of the horror series, Dark Ditties, produced by Cult Film Screenings.

Barbie Wilde Social Media:

Barbie Wilde - Classic Beauty

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon

American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon

The Song of SolomonRecently, I was given the honor and pleasure of being given a screening copy for Stephen Biro’s much-anticipated film The Song of Solomon. Another film in the American Guinea Pig series, I would say that it is Biro’s best film yet, and it is one of the best films that Unearthed Films has made to this date. Written, directed, and produced by Biro, he has given us an intensely dark, realistic, and thoroughly researched exorcism film.

The film begins with Mary Catan’s father waving a knife around and talking at her. It turns out that Mary has been spreading rumors that her father molested her and murdered his own father, even though neither of these statements is true. However, regardless of their validity, her father takes the knife and slashes his throat wide open and then pulls his tongue out through the gash. All of this happens within the first few minutes of the film so very quickly you will realize that Biro isn’t messing around. With that first scene, he has encapsulated the intensity and brutality to come throughout the rest of the film, but I won’t be sharing many gory details because spoilers piss me off.The Song of Solomon
Portraying Mary, the demon-possessed girl, and also portraying the demon, Jessica Cameron has brought the character to life in a very real way. It certainly helps that Biro wrote a fantastic script and screenplay as well. As the film progresses, we get to watch as different priests encounter the demon, and this certainly doesn’t end well for any of them. Interestingly, Biro has given each priest some fatal flaw/sin that distinguishes them from the others. From a child molester to an ex-soldier to even a priest who lost an exorcism and therefore lost his soul, we get to see a variety of people confront and attempt to banish the demon.

One scene that certainly stuck out to me involved the demon causing Mary to regurgitate her intestines up onto the bed in front of Father Corbin (Gene Palubicki) and then consuming them all shortly thereafter. With the cinematography, we are given a complete view of the grotesquery and also see the visceral reaction that such an act draws from Father Corbin. Certainly, not the most brutal or disturbing scene of the film, but it was rather memorable and some scenes are more prone to spoiling some of the plot’s surprises and twists.The Song of Solomon
As I said before, I think The Song of Solomon is Biro’s best film to date. I’ve already watched it a couple of times because there are so many levels to it that one viewing cannot do the film justice. In fact, as I watch it over and over, I’ve developed an even greater appreciation for the film and what Biro has achieved in an exorcism film that I would say is up there with The Exorcist, and in this critic’s opinion better than The Exorcist. There is no word on a release date yet for the hard copy, but I will certainly be purchasing it to add to my collection so that I might enjoy it in future years. Not to mention that I have gone through the largely coveted screener many times, watching it just on a computer monitor! When Unearthed Films makes The Song of Solomon available to purchase, I cannot recommend enough that it is one to buy, and if you’re lucky enough to see it on the big screen somewhere, then I envy you!

The Song of Solomon

Movie Review: Red Krokodil

Movie Review: Red Krokodil

In Domiziano Cristopharo’s film Red Krokodil, the viewer observes a man (played by Brock Madson) wrestle with an addiction to the incredibly detrimental drug krokodil. Now, krokodil is a desomorphine and is made through a process similar to the process to make meth and is made up of codeine, hydrochloric acid, and red phosphorus to name a few. It received the name krokodil for the effects that it has upon the user, particularly at the injection sites where one’s skin turns green and takes on a scaly hue. Add to that an effect similar to necrotizing of the flesh and severe internal damage, and krokodil is one of the more lethal drugs in the world.

With these facts in mind, I shall dive into the beautiful and haunting world of Red Krokodil. Set in a post-nuclear city in Russia, the viewer is introduced to Madson’s character from the outset and the first impression of him is rather tragic because you find him with his hands, elbows, and knees wrapped in bandages and he is dressed in some rather ratty underwear. Long unkempt hair and what is certainly rather questionable hygiene and we are introduced to someone in the brutal throes of drug addiction. As the film progresses, we get to experience this man’s hallucinations and at points his personal self-loathing. The entire film undergoes a constant narration with Madson’s voice talking about why he does what he does, even though he even comments at one point that he wishes that he would stop with the injections of krokodil.

Madson lying in bed in Red Krokodil (2012)One thing to take note of in this film is Domiziano Cristopharo’s phenomenal direction and cinematography in showing both the visual damage that krokodil has done to this man and in how through the cinematography, Cristopharo shows the internal damage that this drug exacts upon the mind. From hallucinations to even a lucid scene where Madson has a very intimate interaction with himself whilst in bed, we see his mind deteriorate at a pace that is both equal and even worse than his physical deterioration. The physical damage that krokodil did to the body is shown in an unflinchingly fearless manner. As the film progresses and this deterioration becomes more and more obvious, the man unwraps the bandages from his body and picks away at the flesh as it just falls off. Even skin peels away as if it was just an extra layer of clothing.

Madson prepping for the Injection in Red Krokodil (2012)Just like those layers of skin and flesh, this is a very full-bodied film with a multiplicity of layers that demand one give the film multiple viewings. I am still processing everything I saw in the film and I am doing my best to avoid spoilers so that readers might go and see the film without knowing how the story unfolds. I can happily say that I will rewatch this film again and again. Gratefully, I’ve had the pleasure to converse with Domiziano Cristopharo directly concerning Red Krokodil and how it came to be! Discussing the film directly with Cristopharo he informed me that at the time, he was not happy in life and decided to quit filmmaking. Instead, he harnessed those feelings and began a trilogy signifying a journey from light to sadness and solitude. Red Krokodil is the purgatory aspect of his trilogy with Dark Waves being the paradise and Doll Syndrome being the hell. In addition, he informed me of how instead of quitting filming, he just needed a change in how he made films. For 8 months, Cristopharo couldn’t find an actor until Brock Madson came along, who after one sees the film can recognize is the perfect choice for the role.

In addition, it turned out that Madson had wrestled with drug addiction in the form of meth. So for them both, along with this being a journey, as Cristopharo put it, it was a way for them to exorcise their demons. Overall, I highly recommend this film, and give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Red Krokodil can be purchased on Blu-Ray and DVD from Unearthed Films!

Brock Madson in Red Krokodil (2012)

Atroz: A Look Inside One of the Most Disturbed Films in History [SPOILERS]

Atroz: A Look Inside One of the Most Disturbed Films in History [SPOILERS]

Translated into English, atroz means atrocious, and that is exactly what we get out of Lex Ortega’s film Atroz. Set in Mexico and beginning with the police arresting two men who while driving drunk ran over a girl and killed her, one of the officers finds a camcorder. The film switches to found footage of the two men stalking a transvestite prostitute. It needs to be noted here that this film pulls no punches whatsoever. You quickly find out watching the footage these two deviants created that they are both incredibly hateful. Once they can get her alone, they knock her out and take her to a storage unit where they begin to torture her.

Atroz (2015)This is where I began to realize that this film wasn’t joking with its title being Atrocious. First, the men brutally beat this woman to the point that her face is just an unrecognizable mess of blood and gore. Whilst plenty of films have brutal beatings, Ortega takes it to a much more personal level by strapping the camera to the wrist of the man beating the prostitute. It will certainly make your stomach curl some when you see and hear the impact of the punches. Pausing at points, the men make sure to wipe the blood off the camera so that they can continue clearly filming every punch.

Atroz (2015)The sadism of these two deviants takes another turn when one of them takes out a pocket knife and slashes open one of the transvestite’s breasts pulling what seems to be silicone out of it. Certainly a nice toe-curler and, one might say, unique. Of course their depravity knows no bounds and to further torment the woman, one man unzips his pants and urinates over the open gash where her breast once was. While part of me wishes that I could say that this is the most extreme and fucked up that this film gets, I would be completely wrong.

Before continuing on, I must say that I found the approach that Ortega used to tell his story rather refreshing. After the camcorder is found, the film switches between the footage that the police continue to find throughout their investigation back to the present to show us how the police are handling the two deviants in question. Apparently, after the first tape, the police decided to treat these individuals like they had treated their victim, and the police begin to torture the two criminals.

Atroz (2015)Fast forward a bit and we hit the point that I think raises it to be one of the most extreme films to date. Finding another videotape, we watch as a father assaults his teenage son for being a homosexual. This quickly escalates to the father throwing his son down on the bed and anally raping him in front of his wife and daughter. At this point, after a few minutes of this act of sodomy, the footage skips to another point where the son has recovered and to say he’s angry would be an understatement. Beating his father and holding him at gunpoint, the son forces his mother to wear a strap-on dildo that is wrapped in barbed wire. The cinematography gets interesting at this point as we get to experience this boy force his mother to sodomize his father to death. The reason that I say it gets interesting is the point of view is switched to the strap-on as it begins to tear through the father’s anal and rectal cavities.

Atroz (2015)

There are certainly other atrocities to be seen in Atroz, but for me to reveal all of them to you, the reader, would be an injustice if you ever do decide to take the plunge and watch this film. As a fan of the extreme, I must say that Atroz shocked, disgusted, and even outraged me at points. The brutality alone certainly earns it the adage of being the goriest film in Mexico. Due to all of the things I mentioned, I would probably be remiss if I did not warn anyone who desires to view Atroz that it is not a film that you will quickly forget. In fact, it will ingrain itself upon your mind and soul. All of that having been said though, IF you have the stomach for it, watch it and let me know what you think. I’ll certainly be viewing it again!

Atroz will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD this week on February 13th and can be purchased from Unearthed Films.

WIHM: Honoring Linda Blair

WIHM: Honoring Linda Blair

The Exorcist (1973)For Women in Horror Month, I asked myself what actresses were iconic and helped to make genre-defining films. That in mind, for this piece I decided to write about the prolific Linda Blair. Every horror fan should know Linda Blair and the role she is most famous for; this role is Regan MacNeil, the possessed victim of a demon named Pazuzu in The Exorcist. Filmed in 1973, this film put possession and exorcism films on the map as a sub-genre of horror. Starting her career at the young age of five, Linda was first a model and then out of 600 applicants, she was chosen to portray Regan in The Exorcist. The role quickly catapulted her to fame and won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and even got her nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Terrifying viewers for decades, The Exorcist is still acclaimed as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, and it is largely because of Linda’s portrayal of the possessed. It is incredible that Linda, as young as she was at the time, created such a memorable performance. It is certainly a performance that will be stamped into your mind. Her career does not stop with The Exorcist although most people will say that even to this day, it is the pinnacle of her career. By the age of twelve, Linda had appeared in 75 commercials and hundreds of magazine catalogs. After The Exorcist, she appeared in various TV movies and The Exorcist II: The Heretic as well as the horror-comedy Repossessed, a work that draws heavily on The Exorcist.

Linda BlairTragically, after being peer pressured into purchasing cocaine at 18, her career was quickly limited to B-movies and an occasional guest appearance on tv shows. She also appeared in 1981 in the horror classic Hell Night, as Marti, one of four college pledges who must survive a night in a mansion. It would be remiss of me and probably upsetting to Linda herself if I did not mention her other passion, which is animals. Though an icon because of The Exorcist, it never stopped her from being an animal activist. In fact, some would say that her film career pales in comparison to what she has done for animals. Incredibly, once Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, she personally rescued 51 dogs that had been displaced and left to die. An incredible woman with an even more incredible list of accomplishments from her role as Regan to her selfless work as an animal activist, Linda Blair deserves to be recognized for her life and for what she accomplished as a woman in horror. House of Tortured Souls honors her for all that she has done for horror and for animals!

Linda Blair

Linda Blair

Posted by Spencer Evatt in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
The Guinea Pig Films: Flower of Flesh and Blood

The Guinea Pig Films: Flower of Flesh and Blood

Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)Following my run reviewing the August Underground Trilogy, it seemed rather apt that I should then do a run reviewing each of the six Guinea Pig films. A controversial series of films made in Japan between 1985 and 1990, each film featured an extreme amount of realistic violence so sadistic that the films were banned for around 15 years following their release. In addition, Hideshi Hino, the producer for the series, writer for some parts, and the director of the most notorious and well-known film Chiniku no Hana otherwise known as Flower of Flesh and Blood. Due to how real and brutal the films were, Hino had to prove that no one was hurt or killed in the making of these films. With Flower of Flesh and Blood the second film in the series, being the most notorious, I figured that it’s as good a place as any to begin a series on these infamous films.

Made in 1985 and written, produced, and directed by Hideshi Hino, a well-known Manga artist, Flower of Flesh and Blood also stars him as the serial killer dressed as a samurai. The premise behind the film is that this man wants to show people art as he sees it. As he demonstrates in the film, that art is created by lopping off body parts and letting the blood pour freely over a white mattress. In 1991, after viewing the film, Charlie Sheen contacted the FBI believing he had just watched a real murder on film. After demonstrating the special effects in The Making of Guinea Pig, Hino was cleared of all supposed wrongdoings. Of course, the controversies don’t stop there. Serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki had the film in a point of honor amongst his nearly six thousand videotapes. It was also believed for a while that Miyazaki copied the film in one of his many crimes, but this was proven to be false.

Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)Running at only 43 minutes, it is actually a short film, but it certainly packs the punch of a full-length feature. Starting out, we watch from the man’s perspective as he stalks and abducts this girl, who he then takes back to his home, ties her down, and drugs her. The drugs that he uses have a very pacifying effect and even make it so that she isn’t even aware of what he is doing to her. From this point forward, we watch as the man (once again portrayed by Hino) basically provides a documentary on his dismemberment of this woman for his personal collection. After each limb that he has carved off, he provides a little commentary concerning the “flowers” that the blood has created. This continues throughout the film and ends with him beheading her. While it is not for the faint of heart, I found that the film was made well, especially for 1985. The special effects are done well and the way the cinematography is done lends itself to a more realistic feel. The controversy is understandable when one takes these factors into consideration.

Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)

This film gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.

WiHM: A Brief Glimpse at Comic Legend Vampirella!

WiHM: A Brief Glimpse at Comic Legend Vampirella!

For February and Women in Horror Month, I wanted to start with a character in the horror world who has always been a favorite of mine. First appearing in 1969, Vampirella is one of the most iconic women in the comic book world and most likely the greatest in the horror comics genre. Of course, the difficulty in writing about such a prolific character in the comic world is that where does one start? Dependent upon which era Vampi you start reading about, you could encounter any one of a number of different story arcs and even differing origin stories to an extent. Not to mention her iconic red one-piece leotard that she wears while battling the forces of evil.

Vampirella Cover for Issue 1The traditional Vampirella is a vampire alien from the planet Drakulon (little spin on Dracula for fun) and she possesses all of the abilities of the basic vampire, but she is immune to sunlight, garlic, wood stakes and crucifixes to name a few. Over the years, she has spent her time on earth battling evil, primarily various monsters, from asshole vampires to greaser werewolves to demon run record companies (yes, she has a mini-series titled Kiss/Vampirella where she teams up to kick record company execs who are literal demons). Along with battling all forms of evil, over the years Vampirella has gotten to team up with some legends such as the beloved Ash Williams (in the middle ages against the Army of Darkness), Kiss (as mentioned above), and Red Sonja!Vampirella Dynamite #9
Of course, Vampirella has also had the pleasure of facing off against a number of legends as well! This includes the likes of Dracula, Lilith, Lady Death and even those feisty xenomorphs that so many of us love! With such a prolific career in battling evil, it seemed rather apt that she should be included in February for Women in Horror! While brief, I hope this piece has peaked your curiosity in Vampirella and her many exploits! I’ll certainly be including a few more pieces as the month goes on looking at some of Vampi’s exploits more closely! For now, if you want to get into some of her stories, I would suggest one of the many omnibuses or trades that are available out there, which gather issues from the various years of her career! 

EDIT: Watch for my article on Trina Robbins, artist and creator of Vampirella.

Vampirella Lounging