Body Horror

Harrison Smith’s new body horror ‘The Special’ to get exclusive World Premiere at SF Indie Fest

Harrison Smith’s new body horror ‘The Special’ to get exclusive World Premiere at SF Indie Fest

Following the recent release of a new trailer and poster, it has now been announced that The Special will starts its festival run as an official selection for SF Indie Fest where it will have its exclusive World Premiere.

The Special is the latest film from director Harrison Smith (Death House, Camp Dread), which has continued to gain interest due to its controversial themes dealing with addiction, obsession and a very Special box.

When Jerry Harford who discovers what he believes to be his wife having an affair, his best friend urges him to fight fire with fire, with horrific results. Harford begins a nightmarish trip down a surreal rabbit hole that gives Fatal Attraction a dark spin.

The script has been adapted by Mark Steensland and James Newman from their novella of the same name and serves as a stark warning to the unfaithful.

The film stars; Davy Raphaely (Camp Dread, Zombie Killers), Sarah French (Death House, Rootwood) and David Sheridan of Scary Movie” fame.

The film also includes special cameos from Howard Stern’s Richard Christy, pro wrestler Chris Jericho and singer, musician Howard Jones

You can keep up to date with new for the film by following director Harrison Smith on Twitter and The Special on Facebook

Posted by Philip Rogers in Categories, HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
New trailer released for the body horror ‘Replace’

New trailer released for the body horror ‘Replace’

How far would you go to live forever?

Norbert Keil’s brilliantly disturbing Replace has an answer – see what it is on digital and DVD this October.

Afflicted with a dermatological disease, young and beautiful Kira discovers that she can replace her skin with that of other girls. Helped by her lover, she plots a murder and the victim becomes her donor, but when the disease returns, she is forced to find more victims.

From writers Richard Stanley and Norbert Keil, Replace stars Rebecca Forsythe (The Bronx Bull), Lucie Aron (Berlin Syndrome), Sean Knopp and genre icon Barbara Crampton.Replace is on DVD and VOD October 1 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Posted by Philip Rogers in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Disturbing horror ‘The Special’ selected to headline Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival

Disturbing horror ‘The Special’ selected to headline Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival

Following the controversial first private screening at the Appell Centre, it has now been announced that The Special with start its festival run by headlining the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival the weekend of August 23rd.

The latest horror from director Harrison Smith has been described as both, “Disturbing” and “Shocking horror” has already seen come controversy when a couple walked out of the first screening, but a standing ovation and first critical reviews have shown that the film has had a positive response amongst horror fans.

At this time very few details have been released regarding The Special, with early audiences asked not to give away any spoilers regarding the film. Most notable what is contained inside the box.

The script for The Special has been adapted by co-authors Mark Steensland and James Newman and is based on the novella of the same name. Proving more than just a horror film, it also serves as a stark warning regarding infidelity and obsession.

When Jerry Harford who discovers what he believes to be his wife having an affair, his best friend urges him to fight fire with fire, with horrific results. Harford begins a nightmarish trip down a surreal rabbit hole that gives Fatal Attraction a dark spin.  

The film stars; Davy Raphaely (Camp Dread, Zombie Killers), Sarah French (Death House, Rootwood) and David Sheridan of Scary Movie” fame.

The film also includes special cameos from Howard Stern’s Richard Christy, pro wrestler Chris Jericho and singer, musician Howard Jones.

Posted by Philip Rogers in HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
‘The Special’ shocks audience during an exclusive private screening

‘The Special’ shocks audience during an exclusive private screening

‘The Special’ had an exclusive first private screening at the Appell Centre on Friday and it soon became apparent that some audience members were not prepared for the controversial subjects of the film. One couple walking out of the cinema halfway through in disgust commenting “I’m not sitting through anymore of this”.

It is no surprise with a tag line of “This is not a love story” and Harrison Smith asking people to ‘See it with someone you hate!” the film was always going to get a provocative response. However, the feeling of the couple were obviously not shared by the rest of the audience who gave the film a standing ovation and positive early critic reviews.

The interest has continued to build leading up to the release of The Special, even though details regarding the film have been deliberately held back with audiences asked not to discuss the events in the film. Although the film artwork involving a box with a whole which says ‘Stick it in here’ has naturally raised some speculation regarding the film’s themes.

‘The Special’ is directed by Harrison Smith, with the script adapted by Mark Steensland and James Newman from their novella of the same name. It is not a film for the squeamish or easily offended and serves as a stark warning regarding infidelity and obsession.

The film stars; Davy Raphaely (Camp Dread, Zombie Killers), Sarah French (Death House, Rootwood) and David Sheridan of Scary Movie” fame.

The film also includes special cameos from Howard Stern’s Richard Christy, pro wrestler Chris Jerichoand singer, musician Howard Jones.

When Jerry Harford who discovers what he believes to be his wife having an affair, his best friend urges him to fight fire with fire, with horrific results. Harford begins a nightmarish trip down a surreal rabbit hole that gives Fatal Attraction a dark spin.  

Filmed around Phildelphia, York and Lancaster Pennsylvania. The film also reunites Harrison Smith with Felissa Rose as associate producer.

You can keep up to date with new about The Special by following

Harrison Smith on Twitter: https://twitter.com/harrisonsmith85

The Special on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/givemethespecial/  

 

Posted by Philip Rogers in EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
Still Blowing Minds 38 Years Later – Celebrating Scanners

Still Blowing Minds 38 Years Later – Celebrating Scanners

January 14th, 1981 is one hell of an auspicious occasion in the annals of horror releases. Scanners, a film that successfully combined sci-fi and mystery, laced with potent punches of gore mesmerized audiences and helped American filmgoers become aware of who will be known as the Baron Of Blood, David Cronenberg. A name that none of us would have probably known if the now legendary filmmaker did not decide to change his focus of studies in college from Science to Literature, and end up embracing his inner storyteller.

 

 

After terrifying audiences with the parasitic psycho-mania of Shivers in 1975 and the uncommon aggressive outbreak of his Rabid in 1977, Cronenberg went on to create The Brood in 1979. The Director took on a deeply personal tone with this production focusing on mutant offspring.  He admitted in his 1992 book entitled Cronenberg on Cronenberg, that he based the story around the nastiness involving the deterioration of his relationship with his first wife. He went on to say that he found the shooting of the climactic scene involving the strangulation of character Nola Carveth by her husband, to be “very satisfying.” Cronenberg yet again shifted gears in 1981 with the eventual cult classic, Scanners.

 

 

“There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created… and they are winning.”

 

“10 Seconds: The Pain Begins.  15 Seconds: You Can’t Breathe. 20 Seconds: You Explode.”

 

The story for Scanners is simple enough: A powerful, renegade Scanner named Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) has created an underground movement intent on world domination. After what is an aggressive and dangerous display of power, Revok becomes a wanted man by an agency known as ConSec. A doctor at ConSec, Paul Ruth (Patrick McGoohan) finds Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) who is another Scanner and decides to utilize his psychic abilities as a valuable weapon against Revok.

 

I remember being a kid and walking through the local video store, searching for my next rental on one occasion. My eyes were darting from the various VHS covers and then, BAM! My gaze became fixated on this simple yet kind of scary image of a man in a shirt and tie, seeming like he was about to explode. I recall becoming excited as I picked the copy up and read both front and back covers, wondering why I had never seen this in the store before. Come to find out, I never saw it on the shelf because it was always checked out. I don’t think I rode my bike home so fast in my life than on this day. I was fucking ready for Scanners.

Unfortunately not everyone was ready for Scanners or the type of graphic horror Cronenberg brought to the screen. After reviewing the film in 1981, famed movie critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Scanners is a new horror film made with enough craft and skill that it could have been very good, if it could find a way to make us care about it.” Thankfully Ebert, who in my opinion, had a penchant for condescending ways, could not have been more wrong. Some films and some filmmakers themselves take time to sink into the hearts and minds of movie goers. David Cronenberg and his film, Scanners is a great example of this. Although the movie did more than his previous to help gain a favorable reputation as a filmmaker for himself, especially in America, it still took some time to earn the kudos deserved. Eventually, the film even gained the coveted Criterion Collection treatment proving Ebert wrong. People did fucking care.

 

 

You see, I believe Scanners was just enough far removed from his previous, rather complex  films to help allow a wider audience to enjoy his unique creative energy. Cronenberg plucked strings of dischord and immense cinematic pleasure all at once and became dubbed as The King Of Venereal Horror but the release of Scanners showcased his incredibly eclectic style. His vision coupled with the legendary talents of Makeup Master Dick Smith and Special Effects Supervisor Gary Zeller help spawn a heavily celebrated addition in the history of film. The constant collaboration between composer Howard Shore and himself has proven beneficial and this, only their second endeavor together, is no exception. Scanners is also home to one of the most iconic sequences in horror; the head explosion. It truly is a rare treat, a magnificent blending of horror, sci-fi, intrigue, and hands fucking down phenomenal special effects that are still highly regarded to this day. It is not an easy film to forget, as is any Cronenberg flick, but there is simply something so truly special about it that I feel my words just can’t do it justice. David Cronenberg, a cornerstone of the Body Horror subgenre, master filmmaker and personal hero, has entertained, bewildered and inspired so many with Scanners and it continues to do so 38 years later.

 

 

Posted by Danni Winn in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
Teratomorph – A Short Film By Joe Meredith

Teratomorph – A Short Film By Joe Meredith

I got the opportunity to screen the highly anticipated underground short film Teratomorph. The film is the sequel to Joe Meredith’s South Mill District. Although, it’s a sequel it could easily be a stand-alone film. It takes place in the same universe and has the same virus, but the characters and plot are much different. I do still recommend watching South Mill District for more background and because it’s a great film. In South Mill District we’re given a lot more information about the Havoc virus and Eon Corp. In Teratomorph we get to see more of the virus in action and witness the second outbreak.

The film starts out in a bleak seaside setting, a young boy (Elijah Meredith) looks out at a blood-soaked shoreline and pokes dead bodies with a stick. He makes his way through an empty city scavenging what he can before returning to his small hidey hole. His character reminds me a little of Newt (Aliens). He discovers that his arm is infected and, in an attempt, to save himself from the virus cuts off his hand, but it’s already too late. His arm grows into a grotesque, elongated limb that eventually develops a mind of its own and completely takes over his body turning him fully into a teratomorph.

Cidney Meredith makes an appearance in this one as Svetlana a soviet spy trying to steal a sample of the virus to use and sell as bio-weaponry (I assume). She extracts the virus and is quickly taken down by a full blown teratomorph spewing face melting acid, poor Cidney doesn’t last long in her husbands’ films!

You won’t recognize him, but Martin Trafford (indie artist) also plays a part in this one as the cyborg. I love the cyborg in this, it looks great and is reminiscent of Ash (Alien).

I loved South Mill District and was excited for this, but I really didn’t expect what this turned out to be. This was an obvious labour of love right down to the last slimy tentacle and fluorescent goo filled syringe. An amazing project put together by a family and group of friends. The film had no funding outside of their own pockets and still managed to look fucking incredible. Kudos to both James Bell and Joe Meredith for spectacular fx. The use of colour lighting and fluorescent fluids was ace and the creatures in this were birthed from an intelligent imagination. I especially loved the many headed beast and cyborg. I can’t wait for the next Havoc outbreak that I hope is being made into a third film…

You can buy South Mill District now and coming in February you can order a copy of Teratomorph. You can get them with special edition covers painted by Joe Meredith and hand numbered. You’ll be able to purchase it here

Posted by Candace Stone in Categories, COMING SOON, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
Essence is coming soon and you can help!

Essence is coming soon and you can help!

I had the pleasure to see the teaser trailer for the new film by Jeff KACMARYNSKI’SESSCENSE” the film has a real late 70’s vibe to it from what I saw and have to say I’m intrigued along with the grindhouse feel of the style of old film. The trailer gave a little bit of what to expect but didn’t reveal all too much which is good because seeing this I’m interested to see what will transpire and want to walk in  surprised on how it escalates. I was lucky enough to get a little more information from the Director on the plot and inspiration of the film “After the death of her son, Joanna discovers a hidden room in her home, with a power that could lead her back to him. However, the room instead, unleashes a malicious cosmic entity, that feeds on her fears and sanity, ultimately unleashing a terrible mind game. Our cast includes legendary Lynn Lowry, and veteran actress Maggie Wagner. We are doing a very psychedelic surreal horror film, influenced by Cronenberg, Lynch, Lovecraft , Argento and Fulci.” I have to wonder will we see body horror, over the top gore that will get under our skin? One thing is fore I myself can’t wait to see more. This will be his first feature film that he’s done since his shorts he did some time back DEAD THERAPY is featured in Wild Eye Releasing’s movie WELCOME TO HELL which all have won several awards. Right now there’s a indigo campaign so if you like to contribute by all means even a share helps! For more information here’s a direct link to the Indigogo campaign

 

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in COMING SOON, FEATURED ARTISTS, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments

Urban Legends: Kuchisake-onna

Urban Legends: Kuchisake-onna

By Margeaux DeMott

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This lovely urban legend comes from Japan. The Kuchisake-onna, Slit-mouthed Woman, legend comes from Japan’s Heian period (794-1185). It is a story of a violent man and a vain woman turned vengeful spirit. Kuchisake-onna translates to slit-mouthed woman in English.

Kuchisake-onna

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Kuchisake-onna was a beautiful, vain woman.  She was married to a violent and jealous samurai. The woman cheated on her husband and when he found out he was enraged. He violently attacked her and gave her a Glasgow smile. After doing so he said to her “Who will think you are beautiful now?”

The tale sounds like one to warn against infidelity, but in the late 1970s Kuchisake-onna reappears as a vengeful spirit.

Kuchisake-onna is said to wear a brown trench coat and wears a surgeon’s mask to hide her going, bloody Glasgow smile. Appearing to people traveling alone at night or on a foggy day she would ask the unfortunate person a seemingly innocent question. Do you think I’m beautiful? This simple question could land you in very hot water. When you tell her yes she proceeds to pull down the surgeon’s mask to show you her still gory wound. She will ask you How about now? If you answer no she reveals a pair of scissors and will kill you on the spot, but if you answer yes she will cut you with the scissors so you too can have a permanent smile. She was often seen lurking near children because their innocent answers would allow her to gain more victims.

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Do not fear dear reader for there are a couple of ways to avoid both of these fates.

  1. If you respond with You’re average, So-so or Am I beautiful? You will be able to confuse her for long enough to run away. And no, you cannot simply run away. If you do not confuse her she will be able to simply reappear in front of you and even follow you home.
  2. If you give her hard amber candy she will be pleased and simply let you go unharmed.
  3. If you tell her that you are late for an appointment she will apologize and let you go to your appointment without incident.

The sightings from the late 1970s may have an actual living, well formerly, culprit. A corner came across documents of a woman who was hit by a car while she was chasing a young child. This woman just so happened to have similar scars as Kuchisake-onna. It is highly likely that she was the cause of the terror and rekindling of an old urban legend.

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The legend of Kuchisake-onna has made its way onto the big screen. The films based off of this story are as follows: Carved aka A Slit-Mouthed Woman aka Kuchisake-onna (2007) and its prequel Carved 2 aka Kuchisake-Onna 2: The Scissors Massacre aka A Slit-Mouthed Woman 2 aka Kuchisake-onna 2 (2008).

Posted by Alan Smithee in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, 0 comments
Jen and Sylvia to remake Rabid

Jen and Sylvia to remake Rabid

Fans of the Twisted Twins are celebrating today with the news that Jen and Sylvia Soska will be directing the remake of David Cronenberg's Rabid. Yes, you heard that right, The Soska sisters have been picked to helm a remake to the cult classic from the king of body horror.

Jen and Sylvia Soska direct Rabid

The Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska take aim at Rabid

The original Rabid stared 70s porn star Marilyn Chambers (Beyond the Green Door). Chambers was attempting to turn her pornographic career into a more mainstream career. The film combines zombies, vampirism and Cronenberg's trademark body horror. Chambers plays a woman injured in a motorcycle wreck and undergoes an experimental surgery. The operation appears to be a success, but Chambers soon develops a vestigial appendage in her arm pit that feeds on human blood. Those drained become ravenous zombie like creatures that spread the contagion across the country.

Rabid was one of the first of many of Cronenberg's films to reach cult status. He followed it with films like Scanners, Videodrome, The Brood, The Dead Zone and the Fly. The Fly was a remake of the classic Vincent Price horror film. More recently Cronenberg moved to more mainstream films, and even more critical acclaim with A History of Violence.

The Soska Sisters came to the attention of the horror world with their low budget hit, Dead Hooker in a Trunk. They solidified their fan base, and their legitimacy with the hit American Mary starring Katharine Isabelle (Hannibal) and Tristan Risk. They followed this success with the sequel to See No Evil, starring the WWE's Kane as Jacob Goodnight.

Jen and Sylvia Twisted Twins

Jen and Sylvia Soska, the Twisted Twins

Remakes are always a risk with horror fans. Many fans resent a favorite classic film being remade and tampered with. In general, I'm not a huge fan of horror remakes, but this seems to be a good match.

Jen and Sylvia Soska made their mark in Hollywood, with female centric films Dead Hooker and American Mary. Even their remake of See No Evil, which only got a luke warm response from many horror fans, had a strong female cast including Danielle Harris, Katharine Isabelle and Chelan Simmons. Rabid, if it follows the original to any extent will need a strong, yet vulnerable female lead, and directors who know how to handle that lead role.

Plus Cronenberg is the undisputed master of body horror. Rabid was one of his earliest forays into that subgenre. Jen and Sylvia had their greatest success, so far, with American Mary, which was a form of body horror. The biggest difference was that American Mary highlighted body modification of the medical variety, while Rabid's body mods were of a supernatural origin.

Katharine Isabelle in Jen and Sylvia Soska's American MAry

Katharine Isabelle in Jen and Sylvia Soska's American MAry

To say the Soska Sisters have a loyal and rabid fan base is an understatement. The twins repay this loyalty with true love and affection. Will the new Rabid be a critical success or reach cult status? It's way to early to tell, but the odds are it will be hit with the fans. Hopefully Jen and Sylvia can work the American Mary magic one more time.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Boxing Helena (1993)

MOVIE REVIEW: Boxing Helena (1993)

By Amy Mead

Boxing Helena

Directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch

Story written by Phillipe Caland

Screenplay written by Jennifer Chambers Lynch

Starring Julian Sands, Sherilyn Fenn, Bill Paxton, Kurtwood Smith and Art Garfunkel

 

Dr. Nick Cavanaugh is a successful surgeon living on a posh Atlanta estate who is as lonely as the day is long. Lonely and harboring some pretty hardcore mommy issues, he becomes obsessed with the beautiful and beguiling Helena after a clandestine one night stand. He is unable to shake the memory of her, in spite of being engaged to his lovely fiance Anne. His enchantment with Helena leads him to many careless acts, including climbing the trees outside her apartment and peeping on her and pretty much stalking her. 

Nick throws a party one night and foolishly invites Helena. He is forced to witness her flirt with a young man at the party. Helena becomes the talk of the party when she removes her dress and goes for a nice, sexy stroll through the majestic water fountain in Nick's garden and then leaves with the young man she just met. The way Nick feels for Helena is written all over his face as he watches her in the fountain, leading to an angry confrontation with his fiance Anne in which he denies any sort of relationship with Helena. 

The next day Helena returns to Nick's estate to retrieve something she mistakenly left something behind at the party.  This leads to an awkward standoff between Nick and Helena and she tries to leave in a hurry and winds up getting hit by a car in front of Nick's property, leaving her with some pretty gnarly damage to her legs.

Lucky for Helena (or is it?), Nick is a surgeon and he is able to treat her right there in his home and keep her alive. However, when Helena finally wakes, she discovers that both of her legs are gone and she is virtually a prisoner in Nick's palatial home. Nick uses excuse after excuse as to why he is keeping her there and eventually Helena tries to strangle him. bad move on her part as she then wakes up and her perfectly healthy arms have also been removed.

She is now completely dependent upon the man who has taken his obsession to another level and she is beginning to resign herself to the fact that she may never make it out alive...

 

 

Boxing Helena is the directorial debut from Jennifer Chambers Lynch and it garnered just as much controversy during its creation as it did once it played to shocked audiences upon its completion. There were many legal woes as a lawsuit was filed against Kim Basinger for backing out of a verbal agreement to play the titular role. The studio won and it cost her a cool seven million dollars, thus placing the film in the spotlight before it was even in the can. 

It turns out it was what was best for the film in the long run. I cannot see this film being even half as good with Basinger in the role of Helena. I have a hard time seeing anyone but the sexy siren Sherilyn Fenn (yes, she is my woman crush) playing her, even knowing that Madonna was up for the role at one point. Sherilyn Fenn is Helena. No question about it for me. I think she is the only one who could exude the sexiness required for the role and do it any justice.

Jennifer Chambers Lynch gets a lot of hate for this movie but I personally love it. I have since my first viewing upon the film's video release WAY back in the nineties. I don't care what anyone says, I think her direction on this film is fantastic. I have also heard that Fenn and Sands have both received criticism for their performances in the years since the films release, but I think the roles of Nick and Helena were played exactly the way they needed to be, by who they needed to be. Being that Chambers Lynch adapted the screenplay from Phillipe Caland's story herself, their performances were more than likely exactly what she was after. 

Given the subject matter, one might be led to believe that the film would be ultra gory but that is not the case here at all. We are not made privy to the act of Helena's limbs being taken from her, we are only made witness to the aftermath and Helena's shock upon waking up and realizing that parts of her are missing. We witness her downward mental spiral and it is truly horrific and heartbreaking to watch her decline into anger, sadness. and despair and it is almost heartbreaking to watch, until we start to see that in spite of everything, she has retained her fiery spirit after all. She unleashes her fury and holds nothing back with her verbal tirades upon Nick. She abuses him right back with her words and it's very refreshing to see. 

While Boxing Helena is not your typical horror film by any means, even without the gore and jump scares, the film is quite terrifying purely based on its subject matter alone. It takes a really unhinged person to subject someone you "love" to the humiliation he places upon Helena. The thought of going through what Helena does makes my skin crawl. SO creepy. 

Say what you want about Boxing Helena, but I myself love it. It may not be in your face horror but it is truly horrific nonetheless. I have watched it countless times and will watch it countless more. If you haven't seen it yet (and I don't know how that's possible) you need to. Immediately. 

I give Boxing Helena a solid  9/10 

 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)

By John Roisland

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The Human Centipede III
(Final Sequence)

In 2009 Tom Six shocked and, for many, disgusted, the movie industry with his release of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) - the story of a crazed doctor who surgically sewed three victims together to form a human centipede. Two short years later, he was back for the follow up with The Human Centipede 2 (Second Sequence), that movie’s viewers said was even more vile and disgusting than the original. This time around, the story of a mentally abused man, who is a fan of the movie, The Human Centipede, and wants to live out the movie by renting a dingy, dirty warehouse where he preforms less than medically precise operations on victims that he has kidnapped from the parking garage where he works.

And now for our entrée, The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence), was released by Six Entertainment Company. Three goes like this: An alcoholic, sadistic prison warden named Bill Boss (played by Dieter Laser, returning to the series after playing the insane doctor from the first film) who takes great interest in seeing his prisoners tortured by his own hands, is teamed up with Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey who starred in Human Centipede II)), the warden’s sidekick and his voice of reason.

Throughout the film, Butler tries to convince Boss to stop abusing the inmates because of rising medical costs and the legal backlash. At last he tries to persuade Boss to create an inmate centipede. He outlines the pros to this: no more fights, cost cut backs on staff, housing, medical, and so on. He even goes as far as showing Boss the movie in his office, but this doesn’t work as well as he’d anticipated. When the movie is over, Boss yells about how the film was a piece of shit.

images (3)While passed out, Boss has a nightmare of being captured and raped by an inmate (Robert LaSardo from Death Race, Anarchy Parlor, Nip/Tuck) through a puncture wound in his kidneys, while being surrounded by a large group of fellow inmates. So, after this, and a prison riot, Boss rethinks his stand and decides that maybe constructing a human inmate-centipede might not be such a bad idea.

I like Tom Six, I like his vision, .... this one was just too cheeky. Now I personally also think Dieter is a scary man, but after this film, if I had to listen to Boss howl, moan, and yell in drunken stupors one more time... I most likely would have blown my own head off!

I did, however, like how the main cast of the first two were brought in to make this film together, I really did, and it was very suiting. But Six, turned a hard corner and went from the road he was on to an almost cheesy film. Sad, too, because the first two installments were, let's just say, kind of powerful and unforgettable films. Let’s face it, like them or not, you talked about them. This one lost its flair; the shock was kinda there, but the gore wasn't really even present. Disturbing in its own way, I guess, but it still didn't have the same impact. Since Six himself had a scene in the movie, I’m guessing he wanted to end this series on a slightly lighter, less serious note... I hope that was his intent anyhow.

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The film also stars Eric Roberts ( The Dark Knight, The Expendables), Bree Olsen (Live Nude Girls, Camp Massacre), and Tiny Lister (Friday, The Fifth Element)

Mr. Six, I am anxious to see what you come up with next, I really am, but if it might be a fourth installment of our centipede, I cant promise I'll be taking the time to even bother.

So, in the long run, my friends, unless you’re planning on playing this in the background of a party for for kicks, I hate to say, but DON’T BOTHER! But I have to this time around.

Stay Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Videodrome (1983)

By Nick Durham

Videodrome

It's really hard to say anything about David Cronenberg's classic Videodrome that hasn't been said a million fucking times already. It remains one of the director's crowning achievements in a filmography that features a number of classics, as well as a classic of body horror. The fact that Criterion decided to add this film to their prestigious lineup (that somehow also includes Michael Bay's Armageddon... no, I'll never understand that) speaks to the lasting effect that Videodrome has had on all of us.

James Woods, in the most unnerving performance of his long career, stars as Max Renn, the proprietor of a sleazy cable TV network that specializes in softcore porn and hardcore violence. He stumbles upon a feed for a mysterious pirate broadcast of torture and murder called Videodrome, and it isn't long before Max starts losing his mind...or does he? The thing with Videodrome is that you keep questioning yourself as to what you're seeing unfold on screen. Is it real? Is it in Max's head? Is Debbie Harry really so goddamned sexy? These are the questions you'll be asking yourself throughout the film's running time.

I could talk more about the film's intricate story and plot, or about Rick Baker's disgusting and groundbreaking effects work, but instead I'm going to focus on the special features of this Criterion Blu-ray release. They are pretty much identical to the special features included on the DVD release from years back, which is absolutely fine because they were wonderful then and are wonderful now. The film is presented here in all its uncut glory with a beautifully restored picture. There's commentary from Cronenberg as well as Woods and Harry, Cronenberg's short film Camera from 2000, documentaries and interviews, complete footage of the Samurai Dreams softcore flick that Max views in the beginning of the film, and a vintage roundtable discussion between Cronenberg, John Landis, John Carpenter, and Mick Garris. All these features make this disc more than worth its price tag.

I know I've gushed before about releases from Arrow Films and Grindhouse Releasing, saying that they are the Criterion Collection for horror films, and that remains the absolute truth. That being said, there's nothing quite like a Criterion Collection release, and their release of Videodrome is something spectacular indeed. Do yourself a favor and pick it up ASAP. You won't regret it.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Society (1989)

By Nick Durham

society2

Arrow Films, you treat me so good.

Long out of print on DVD, Brian Yuzna's delirious and insanely underrated Society is finally available on Blu-ray on this side of the pond, and holy sweet fucking Jesus, it's totally fucking amazing. This is quite possibly the definitive Blu-ray horror movie release not just of this year, but perhaps any year. Yes, even more so than Scream Factory's Nightbreed set. That's right, I said it.

Anyway, for the uninitiated, Society is about a teenage boy (Billy Warlock, which is probably the greatest name for an actor in a horror movie in the history of ever) who often feels out of his place with his wealthy family and contemporaries. Turns out it's because almost everyone he knows in high society is a humanoid creature that feasts upon the nutrients of the humans. Yes, the rich literally feed on the poor. The social commentary is far from subtle, but that is quite okay, because even to this very day, this 1989 (though not released until 1992) film remains shockingly and frighteningly relevant.

The real main attraction of Society is the makeup effects, which you probably already know about. Designed by Screaming Mad George, the effects here are shockingly imaginative, inventive, and totally fucking disgusting. The concluding "shunting" scene is something that you have to see to believe. Even if you've never seen the film nor have any desire to, look it up on YouTube, right now. You'll never forget what you're about to see, trust me.

I had mentioned in the beginning that Arrow Films really went out of their way with this Blu-ray set, and I wasn't kidding. Packaged in a deluxe case/box and featuring a reprint of the comic book only sequel Society: Party Animal, as well as the typical Arrow collectible booklet. There's a new commentary from Brian Yuzna, as well as new interviews with Yuzna, George, Warlock, and others involved in the film. There's a featurette on the effects work, a Q&A with Yuzna, and tons more as well. This set is fucking brilliant to put it bluntly.

I could gush over Arrow's Society Blu-ray forever, but I won't. I know I've said to pick up every other Arrow Films Blu-ray release before, and I still mean that, but you should pick up Society first and foremost. This is an absolute must own. I'm not kidding, stop what you're doing right now and go pick this up. Thank me later.

Rating: 5/5

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The Human Centipede Trilogy – Final Observations

How Does The Human Centipede Trilogy Stack Up

By Woofer McWooferson

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

At first glance, The Human Centipede films (First, Full, and Final Sequences) seem little more than shock horror that is designed merely to gross out its audience – and each alone does that very well. However, when viewed as a trilogy, as Tom Six intended, they become iconic, rising above the individual films to become the epitome of franchise horror. Each film knows its place in the series and Six makes sure that each delivers exactly what audiences want and expect from them. Is the trilogy 100% medically accurate? No, but it is 100% entertaining.

Check out my introduction to the series. For more detail on the movies, check out my reviews of The Human Centipede (First Sequence), The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), and The Human Centipede (Final Sequence).

Final score is 10/10 claws for understanding sequels and making a trilogy to rival any franchise horror.

NOTE: When scoring The Human Centipede trilogy, the movies were evaluated for what they are as opposed to evaluating them as thoughtful films in the vein of Academy Award winners.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Feed (2005)

Brain Food - A Review of Feed

By Woofer McWooferson

feed_3 (1)
Director: Brett Leonard; Writers: Patrick Thompson (based on an idea by), Alex O'Loughlin (based on an idea by), Kieran Galvin; Stars: Alex O'Loughlin, Patrick Thompson, Gabby Millgate; Rating: NR; Run Time: 101 min; Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller; Country: UK; Language: English; Year: 2005

When it comes to depicting sexuality and fetishes, no genre can compare to horror. Indeed, horror movies are fertile ground for examples of how desire can become obsession and how obsession can destroy. Bondage, Domination, Sadism, and Masochism (BDSM), in particular, lends itself well to horror since going one step too far in a BDSM relationship can be life-changing. In the last two decades, an entire subgenre – torture porn – has sprung from it. The popularity of movies like Hostel and its sequels has driven studios and independents to produce and distribute similar movies. Amidst countless Hostel clones, Feed is a fresh breath of horror that straddles the line between body horror and torture porn while depicting an extreme version of the Feeder-Gainer phenomenon.

Phillip Jackson (Patrick Thompson) is an Interpol cybercrime detective whose work with a mouse and keyboard is “one of the best” in the cybercrime unit. After being allowed to be front man at an arrest involving a particularly disturbing and gruesome crime, Jackson finds himself rethinking all that he once held as truths. Jackson throws himself back into work, determined to make a real difference instead of just working damage control. When he runs across a particularly horrific feeder site that also allows paying customers to go beyond watching a gainer gain, Jackson sinks his teeth in and will not let go. Not only does the site allow people to pay to see the models be fed and gain weight, it also offers users the opportunity to bet on various aspects of the gain process. The site's owner, FeederX (Alex O'Loughlin), is just as computer literate as Jackson, and so begins a cat and mouse game when he notices Jackson's attempts to access member only sections of his site.

Feed has many plot holes, but the overall creep factor allows us to look past those and enjoy the movie as a whole. There is very little gore, but there is quite a bit of disgust to make up for it. Some of the flashbacks are easily confused with each other, and the attempt to parallel the childhoods of Jackson and FeederX is awkward. The musical choices, however, are spot on and further the movie in the way that only good music can.

Overall, Feed is a fun little romp of a popcorn movie although you might want to skip the popcorn if you have a sensitive stomach.

7/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)

Reflecting on The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

By Woofer McWooferson

Human Centipede 3

WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS

Writer and Director: Tom Six; Stars: Bree Olson, Eric Roberts, Laurence R. Harvey, Dieter Laser; Rating: NR; Run Time: 102 min; Genre: Horror; Country: Taiwan; Language: English; Year: 2015
The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is the final film in Tom Six's grotesque body horror trilogy. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) continues the meta concept by beginning with the end of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), including the end of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) that is in The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence). Thus, we are watching a film based on a film based on a film. As with The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) firmly follows the grand tradition of franchise sequels by being bigger, badder, and bolder than the previous films. If The Human Centipede (First Sequence) pushed the envelope, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) threw it over the edge, and The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) farted on it, set it on fire, and then pushed it over the edge, taking the viewer along for the ride. Had this been the first film, we would not have seen another, let alone two.

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) focuses on the warden of a vastly over budget prison that is facing closure and his harried prison accountant. Bill Boss (Deiter Laser) is even more outrageous than the mad Dr. Heiter in The Human Centipede (First Sequence) while Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey) is more intelligent and confident that Martin in The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence). Butler, having shown The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) to Boss, believes he can solve the budget issues if only Boss would listen. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) takes the viewer on a tour of the prison via the deranged actions of Boss himself. Butler follows Boss from one horrific moment to the next, all the while the attempting to mitigate the cost of the warden's actions and relate his proposed budget solution. We do not question Boss' insanity, depravity, and egomania; nor do we question Butler's sincerity in trying to keep the prison solvent.

Centipede veterans Peter Blankenship, Akihiro Kitamura, and others return for the outrageous grand finale. Other notable actors include adult film star Bree Olson as the warden's assistant, fan favorite Eric Roberts as the governor, and Tommy 'Tiny' Lister as the inmate who becomes the lead segment. Tom Six plays himself in a small role, reinforcing the idea that the first two were films and that this one is reality.

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) is disgusting, disturbing, and demented, and as such it succeeds magnificently. It takes its role as a typical horror sequel seriously, so there is no filter and no regulator; the horror and the gore start immediately and do not end until the credits roll. Once again, this is not for the easily nauseated, faint of heart, or children.

Check out my introduction to this series and my reviews of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence). Watch for my overall review of the series as a whole.

6.5/10 claws

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

By Woofer McWooferson

Human Centipede 2

Writer and Director: Tom Six; Stars: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie; Rating: NR; Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Horror; Country: Australia; Language: English

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is a worthy follow up to the original film. Where The Human Centipede (First Sequence) keeps the gore to a minimum, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) embraces it. Beginning where The Human Centipede (First Sequence) ends, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) eschews the franchise tradition of making a prequel or sequel and, instead, sets The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) in a world where The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is a movie. As the end of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) rolls, the camera pulls back and we see that Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a parking garage security officer, is transfixed. Within minutes, Martin begins his sadistic and insane quest to create his own human centipede. Released in B&W due to excessive gore, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) also employed few locations, a minimal cast, and nominal dialogue. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) leads viewers into the dark and twisted labyrinth of Martin's mind where his obsession with The Human Centipede (First Sequence) eventually obliterates all other aspects of his life.

At home, Martin is a mildly mentally challenged man whose mother still controls most aspects of her son's life. Powerless and abused, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is his only escape. As his mother's abuse escalates, Martin's mental state declines, and he retreats further into his dark fantasy life. Unable to execute his fantasy at home, he rents a warehouse and where he stores his victims as he gathers the 12 people he needs for his centipede. Martin's segments, for he does not think of them as individuals, are drawn from wherever he can get them. Unlike the mad doctor in The Human Centipede (First Sequence), Martin has no medical training and cares not for the aesthetics of his centipede, only the total length and number of segments matter.

Where The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was deft and dramatic, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is bold and brassy. There is no long lead in to give us insight into Martin, rather it is presented throughout the movie as Martin interacts with his mother, neighbors, and doctor. Laurence R. Harvey conveys everything we need to know about Martin with his body and the occasional grunt. Facial expressions, posture, and stride all speak of an unstable man buffeted by life and longing for control. Martin has none of the skills of the mad doctor from The Human Centipede (First Sequence), but he makes up for this in enthusiasm and ingenuity. Incredibly, he persuades Ashlyn Yennie, who plays herself, to “audition for a Quentin Tarantino film” so that he can incorporate her as a segment. With each new segment he captures, his self-confidence increases, and he is, by the end, a god in his own mind.

As with The Human Centipede (First Sequence), The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is definitely not for the weak stomached, faint of heart, or children. If, however, you liked The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and are fond of grotesque and twisted body horror, you will not be disappointed.

Check out my review for The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and my introduction to The Human Centipede trilogy. Also, watch for my review of The Human Centipede (Final Sequence) as well as an overall review of the series as a whole.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

By Woofer McWooferson

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) movie poster

Writer and Director: Tom Six; Stars: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura; Rating: R; Run Time: 92 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2009

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is one of those rare movies where viewers are well aware of the premise and yet are delightfully surprised by the execution – if the viewer is not easily nauseated. Writer and director Tom Six transforms a minimal cast, typical setup, and standard location into a dark comedy that is just serious enough to set the stage for the coming sequels. Six makes the most of the performances, and we feel the terror and revulsion that the victims endure. When The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was released, horror fans were already divided into two camps: 1) hard core fans who have to see everything and 2) those repulsed by the concept. Six himself admits there is no middle ground, only those who love it and those who hate it.

The movie centers around Dr. Heiter and his mad crusade to connect three humans together in a grotesque ass to mouth procedure (100% Medically Accurate!). Writer and director Tom Six sets a languorous pace, allowing viewers get to know Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams), Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie), and Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura) as the horror grows exponentially. We empathize and sympathize with the would-be segments as they are joined and then trained by the mad doctor. The horror, nausea, and revulsion that they experience is palpable, and the ego-maniacal insanity of Dr. Heiter is both unquestionable and unwavering. By the time the characters become segments, we are lost in their sorrow and anguish, shuddering both internally and externally. The end is more powerful than one would expect from a movie with this premise, but it works and it brings us back to the sobering reality of the situation.

In spite of its flaws, it's a better horror movie that most credit it. Indeed, Six ensures the film maintains an extremely dark comedic layer by allowing Dieter Laser free reign as the mad doctor and by the “100 Medically Accurate” disclaimer. The mad doctor's house is beautiful, allowing for some incredible cinematography. The movie begins and ends with long pan shots that draw us into the film as it begins and drawing us out as it ends. Between these we are treated to a movie that pushes the bounds of taste aside and strides through with a purpose. While the gore level remains quite low, this movie should not be viewed by very young children. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is not for the easily disgusted, but it is for cult film fans. And Tom Six has only begun.

Check out my introduction to The Human Centipede trilogy and watch for my reviews of The Human Centipede (Full Sequence) and The Human Centipede (Final Sequence) as well as an

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede Trilogy Introduction

The Human Centipede Series: Introduction

By Woofer McWooferson

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Some movies (including The Human Centipede) and their sequels are billed as not suitable for the faint of heart, some assert they're based on true stories, and some claim to be beyond the limits of decency. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and its sequels, comedic horror of the most disturbing kind, assert medical accuracy as only medically inaccurate yet horrifically disgusting movies can. The Human Centipede films were inspired by what writer/director Tom Six jokingly said would be a great punishment for child molesters: sewing their mouths to the asses of sweaty, long haul truck drivers. Exactly how this idea transformed into a trilogy of films that hold no punches when it comes to the gross out is something only Tom Six can answer. Regardless of the evolution of the idea, The Human Centipede trilogy have carved a gross niche in the body horror genre.

Six, born 29 August 1973 in Noord-Holland,Netherlands and known for wearing RAF-style sunglasses, Panama and cowboy hats, and light-colored linen suits, says of his films, "I try to create original films, why write stories that are done a hundred thousand times? Create something new, push boundaries, why else bother?" and "I don't like happy endings in films, only at massage parlors." Indeed, his films clearly reflect his philosophy, something not always possible for filmmakers in today's world. Among his influences are his favorite films La Grande Bouffe (1973), The Idiots (1998), Crash (1996), Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), and Fitzcarraldo (1982). Salò's influence is quite clear in The Human Centipede trilogy.

Check out the rest of my commentary on this trilogy:

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
The Human Centipede (Full Sequence)
The Human Centipede (Final Sequence)
The Human Centipede Trilogy Final Observations

Stay spooky.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments