“Unearthed Films”

By Travis Love

Flowers

Directed by Phil Stevens and released on October 27, 2015, by Unearthed Films, Flowers is an Arthouse horror film that delves into the grim tale of six women who awaken disoriented and unaware of how they’ve arrived in this state of surreal, dream-esque purgatory, until they discover they’ve all suffered the same grisly fate at the hands of the same demented aggressor. Abandon all hope ye who awaken under a porch surrounded by body filled Glad trash bags.

Watching Flowers and trying to convey to someone what it is, is the equivalent of trying to explain how Pornhub works to a blind man. He really doesn’t understand what you mean because he’s never experienced it before for himself (unfortunately braille Pornhub never caught on…sorry Stevie Wonder). The film is as dark and depressing as it is morbidly fascinating and eerily beautiful, with equal aspects macabre and performance art combing to create one of the most truly genuinely unique cinema experiences you could ever hope for.

The fact that there is no dialog in the film allows you to immerse yourself fully in the imagery, taking in every minute detail of the scenery. The scenes piece together almost like Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, with each character feeling like they’re in their own circle of hell. Each character transitions to a different person and tale as they crawl from underneath the porch, to under the house, to the bathroom through a hole in the floor and so on. Past events with the victims are tied to Polaroids that they either awaken with, or discover during their venturing through the house. Each picture triggers a memory for each character that holds some barring on their life before and their personal encounter with the antagonist.

As far as gore goes, Flowers even delivers artistically in that regard as well, with scenes that run the gamut of twisted and perverted (fondling the intestines of a disemboweled victim before warming up her dead body like a gas station burrito necrophilia style) to ethereal and metaphorical (a victim discovering she’s hollow on the inside and begins stuffing what she believes are her internal organs inside the open cavity, but to the outside perspective she’s only stuffing her gaping hole with earth and worms). Morbid imagery has never looked so enthralling and engaging.

In conclusion, Flowers achieves what so many films set out to do, it establishes its originality and individuality proudly in leaps and bounds and sets a precedent that films can be artistically beautiful and engaging while at the same time brooding and aberrant. Do yourself a favor and let Flowers put something hauntingly beautiful inside you…and possibly some fingers as well.

Rating: 8/10

-Travis

MOVIE REVIEW: Flowers (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Flowers (2015)

By Travis Love

Flowers

Directed by Phil Stevens and released on October 27, 2015, by Unearthed Films, Flowers is an Arthouse horror film that delves into the grim tale of six women who awaken disoriented and unaware of how they've arrived in this state of surreal, dream-esque purgatory, until they discover they've all suffered the same grisly fate at the hands of the same demented aggressor. Abandon all hope ye who awaken under a porch surrounded by body filled Glad trash bags.

Watching Flowers and trying to convey to someone what it is, is the equivalent of trying to explain how Pornhub works to a blind man. He really doesn't understand what you mean because he's never experienced it before for himself (unfortunately braille Pornhub never caught on...sorry Stevie Wonder). The film is as dark and depressing as it is morbidly fascinating and eerily beautiful, with equal aspects macabre and performance art combing to create one of the most truly genuinely unique cinema experiences you could ever hope for.

The fact that there is no dialog in the film allows you to immerse yourself fully in the imagery, taking in every minute detail of the scenery. The scenes piece together almost like Dante Alighieri's Inferno, with each character feeling like they're in their own circle of hell. Each character transitions to a different person and tale as they crawl from underneath the porch, to under the house, to the bathroom through a hole in the floor and so on. Past events with the victims are tied to Polaroids that they either awaken with, or discover during their venturing through the house. Each picture triggers a memory for each character that holds some barring on their life before and their personal encounter with the antagonist.

As far as gore goes, Flowers even delivers artistically in that regard as well, with scenes that run the gamut of twisted and perverted (fondling the intestines of a disemboweled victim before warming up her dead body like a gas station burrito necrophilia style) to ethereal and metaphorical (a victim discovering she's hollow on the inside and begins stuffing what she believes are her internal organs inside the open cavity, but to the outside perspective she's only stuffing her gaping hole with earth and worms). Morbid imagery has never looked so enthralling and engaging.

In conclusion, Flowers achieves what so many films set out to do, it establishes its originality and individuality proudly in leaps and bounds and sets a precedent that films can be artistically beautiful and engaging while at the same time brooding and aberrant. Do yourself a favor and let Flowers put something hauntingly beautiful inside you...and possibly some fingers as well.

Rating: 8/10

-Travis

Posted by Travis Love in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness (2012)

By Travis Love

untitled (2)

Directed by Felipe Eluti and released March 24, 2015 by Unearthed Films, Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness is a descent into depravity as a washed up boxer finds himself at the mercy of an unimaginable evil that lives in his psyche. As his torture escalates at the hands of this female visage, his grip on reality slowly spirals into madness and he seeks out victims to inhumanely torture at the request of his mentor in torture, the nameless female figure. When a man has lost it all, what is left but the raw carnal need to inflict pain on those that he stumbles upon?

Story wise the movie keeps you disoriented by shuffling from past, middle, and present with only head and facial hair as a signifier that any amount of time has passed. One minute you start off in the beginning as The Boxer is furiously training, and then the movie interjects snippets of morbid visions of a bleeding duct taped victim strung from the ceiling. The film definitely keeps you on your toes without allowing you a structured timeline, but with The Boxer losing his grip on sanity, it helps to symbolize his decent into darkness.

The moments between The Boxer and his female tormentor at no point feel like they're just a mental fabrication. They feel unbelievably real and, for that reason, straddle the line of reality and believability. The method by which she tortures him is a twisted, morbid spin on the whole mistress/slave dominatrix BDSM fetishism, and much of the film finds bondage in general via ropes showcased very attentively as The Boxer intricately ties complex knots with great care, binding his victims before mercilessly torturing them.

The torment that the Boxer unleashes on his victims is, at times, anywhere between savagely brutal and mentally cruel. During one scene he binds a female victim to another male victim and after murdering the male victim, leaves him bound to the still alive female to decompose, her face pressed firmly against his corpse. The majority of the torture scenes are sadistic and callous, with eyes being cut out and the open wound being used for sexual gratification in an intense boundary pushing scene that is both disturbing and mesmerizing.

In conclusion, Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness is an absolute exercise in extremes balanced with the morbid beauty of the fetish culture of bondage. For viewers who seek out extreme horror regularly, this film delivers every bit of the gruesome, morally absent violence that you could ever want. This film is the equivalent of a Mexican cartel decapitation video fisting 50 Shades of Grey, and you will never be the same afterwards.

Rating: 7/10

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MOVIE REVIEW: Revenge Is Her Middle Name (2011)

By Travis Love

Revenge

Directed by Anthony Matthews and released in 2015 on Unearthed Films Revenge is Her Middle Name tells the story of a calculative downtrodden hooker named Kat, who has plans of changing her life for the better by any means necessary. Unfortunately for Kat, her pimp doesn't hand out a severance package or 4-Ho-1k to hos that betray him. What follows is an unbridled ride full of twists and turns and a few tricks pulled by the whore with a bloodlust for gore.

The plot line is as follows:
1.) Kat discovers that after countless tries she's finally become pregnant with the assistance of her dope fiend boyfriend.
2.) They formulate a plan to rob Kat's pimp to keep themselves in drugs, upon robbing her pimp Kat backstabs her boyfriend and bolts for a better life.
3.) Her pimp catches up to Kat after a some time and his posse has an all-you-can-rape buffet leaving Kat broken, bleeding, and childless.
4.) Kat begins to hunt down each member of her pimp's posse and dishes out her gruesome revenge Costco bulk style leading to her eventual main target...her pimp.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the gritty depression of Combat Shock and the unmerciful brutality of I Spit On Your Grave hooked up, and bumped genitals on a soiled mattress in a seedy alleyway? Well this movie is totally the bastard love child of that hump session in the best way possible! Every bit as dirty as it is bloody, the film leaves you feeling tainted by its unbelievable filthy sexiness, but begs you not to use protection so that you can enjoy the feeling (oh and you will!).

If anything can be said of 'Revenge is Her Middle Name' it's that it wins the hearts of Revenge film aficionados like a hooker shooting ping pong balls out of her ham wallet at a bachelor party, it makes you stare at it in awe and bewilderment. The story is filled with unapologetic risqué dialog that is every bit as enjoyable as the violence. During the rape scene you feel the tension building to the boiling point that will eventually explode into a tidal wave of epic revenge!

Anthony Matthews is definitely a talent to watch as his writing finds something often missing in indie cinema, actual plot twists. So many times during the film it directs you to one conclusion but immediately finds betrayal or hidden facts that don't come into play until later..or sometimes until the very end of the film. It's amazing when a film doesn't just give you all facts in a linear fashion, but leaves surprises and story arks to keep you on your toes.

The violence unleashed upon Kat's transgressors is completely bloody and cathartic as she dispatches her own brand of twisted justice. Sometimes dehumanizing and humiliating her victims before slitting their throats cold and void of any emotion but rage. The glory hole scene alone will have you covering your mouth in the grandest "Holy fucking shit!" moment ever. Horror nerd boners will be bountiful upon watching this film.

In conclusion Revenge is Her Middle Name has to be hands down one of my personal favorites to be released this year. If revenge films are your jam then you owe it to yourself to find this film and love it to death like that hamster you wouldn't quit petting in grade school. To quote Kat's pimp, "Blood and semen will spray in a frenzy of revenge", and I loved every minute of it!

Rating: 9/10

-Travis

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MOVIE REVIEW: Creeper (2012)

MOVIE REVIEW: Creeper (2012)

By Travis Love

Creeper-movie-poster

Directed by Matthew Gunnoe and released in 2015 by Unearthed Films, Creeper finds a group of women fed up with skeezy Internet pervs heavy breathing over them like an eight dollar beach raft, so they decide to teach one of their unlucky admirers a lesson through physical degradation. But when humiliation goes too far, who is really the victim?

The beginning of the film starts off in full gear as a girl wakes up in a metal dog crate completely naked and disoriented. As she tries to regain her senses, a zip line attached to the cage pulls taut across the lake where the crate is banked. It rapidly pulls her under the water as she screams bloody murder. Welcome to What-the-fucksville; population: You.

As you come to find out, the series of events that lead to this scene are as follows:

1) Buxom, clothing-impaired typical slasher victims tire of Internet pervs and create a plan to find one special perv and punish him thoroughly (cue Jerry).
2) Humiliating Jerry is no longer cutting it, so the plan turns to ridding the world of Jerry and his 1980s youth pastor haircut via good ol' fashioned murdering.
3) Murder of Jerry is botched worse than a home abortion, and now Jerry is loose and ready to do more than just watch (perhaps with pants still off though).
4) Torture traps and mind games galore, survival of the fittest (or with the girls being nude the majority of the film, it's more like survival of the tittest).

As far as Jerry's revenge, some of the torture lacks the real impact that you'd be expecting, so many times you think that something gruesome has happened beforehand (i.e. decapitated head in a box), but are quickly let down by reality (the head is still attached to the victim who is only covered in blood and buried up to her neck and very much alive). The traps set are mostly explosives or Jerry driving after them in a jeep like a psycho designated driver during beach week. The kills are handled by the same CGI-kill-blood-splatter on the camera effect which leaves a good bit to be desired in the gore department. All in all, it had good ideas but relied too heavily on "Let's explode stuff with a CGI grenade effect!". Shoving a victim’s face into a canned chili fueled shit bucket (latrine) shouldn't have been a highlight (commendable though).

In conclusion, the acting in Creeper is pretty solid for an Indie horror, and the dialog and cat-and-mouse appeal are highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, the torture and actual revenge didn't deliver quite like the opening scene promised. If the imagery would've been as gruesome as the tension that built throughout the movie, this movie would've been perfect, but like a hand job from an amputee...it just wasn't there.

Score: 4/10

-Travis

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

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

By Travis Love

AGP 2

Writer and director: Stephen Biro
Starring: Ashley Lynn Caputo, Caitlyn Daily, and Lilly Dickenson

Since the making of Stephen Biro's American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore was announced, there has been a clamoring to see this film. After watching it for the first time, I wonder: is it warranted? Emphatically so. This film isn't just cinematic viewing, it's an exercise in testing personal thresholds regarding how much the viewer can actually stomach and still continue watching. American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore will test your limits.

The grainy and gritty feel blurs the lines of believability and causing you to reassure yourself, "It's just a movie. This isn't real", but no matter how much you tell yourself that, it has the uncanny ability to allow a little shred of doubt to seep in. The torture is cathartic, unbridled, and animalistic, and at no time do you feel what you're watching is anything other than an obligation to take a life deemed worthy of this "attention".

Orders are barked from masked men filming, shouting their directions like circus trainers would to an animal that without direction would lash out uncontrollably. The imagery you're privy to is nothing short of grotesque and demented, and the FX are so lifelike that you easily become sucked into the atrocities that unfold.

This film firmly places its foot down defiantly, and its claim is simple: You will watch everything we have to show you. If you feel sickened, then you receive no sympathy. You have only yourself to blame. American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore unapologetically captures your attention and holds it prisoner the entire duration of the film, and I, for one, can only show my gratitude to Stephen Biro and everyone involved for doing so. Thank you, Mr. Biro.

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