Domiziano Cristopharo

Monster Outbreak: The Horror of Covid-19

As society struggles to survive these trying times, I had the opportunity to chat with a diverse, eclectic, and truly talented group of individuals who all currently work within the horror genre. In this interview we take a look at how Covid-19 has affected not only the independent horror community, but life in general. History will one day speak of a time when everything in the world shut down and life was put on hold. What will be said about the countless lives ruined and lost to this unprecedented outbreak? Monster: How has the horror community been affected during the recent crisis, with cancellations and postponements of film festivals and the closings of theaters throughout the world?

Tom Lee Rutter (West Midlands, England): Every aspect of the horror community has been affected. I’ve personally had to postpone film shoots and film screenings which have taken a lot of organization and energy and it really sets you back. I think the worst and possibly most frightening aspect of it all though is that it is isolating us from our communities. There are means of gathering and connection online in social media but it’s really not the same. For film festivals and screenings, it’s about coming together to be with your own kind on a social level. What’s more, making films is a way of connecting with people, connecting with communities, commenting on societies. We don’t know how long this pandemic is going to go on for, and how bad it will ultimately affect or break down our societies and communities. As a film-maker, there is nothing scarier than making films with no purpose. No social connection means no audiences and without them, there is no fundamental reason to be doing it in my opinion. On the positive side no matter how bad and worrying it gets, for all the stress and anxiety it brings us it will ultimately be a source of inspiration to all creatives. I feel like we’re living in a dystopian nightmare already and there is something perversely inspiring about that! Monster: As panic and fear have set in and taken hold of humanity over the past couple weeks, what’s the atmosphere been like being so close to where the virus is said to have originated? What’s it feel like living in a real-life horror movie with everything shutting down all around you and people being quarantined and going into isolation? 

Manuel Urbaneck (Landau, Germany): It’s an incredible situation, at least here in Germany. People were fighting for toilet paper. For toilet paper! Man, that’s completely crazy. Everything still gets delivered, so nobody needs to panic. And if it’s really about survival, what’s the use of toilet paper? I have completely different problems. No, I’m not worried about what I wipe my ass with, but what I eat, what I drink, where I sleep safely. Toilet paper is only useful in civilization. As my film describes it well, the real danger would not be the undead, but the other survivors. Because man is able to do cruel things, especially when it comes to his own head and collar. In America, they are now hoarding weapons and ammunition everywhere. I would be really scared. At least they only hoard things like flour or toilet paper. That is bad enough.

Take a look at the elderly in the supermarket who want to buy something and there’s nothing left. What are they doing? They are at the bottom of the food chain and nobody cares about them. But do you know what makes me happy? When the going gets tough, the hamsters go first. There are always enough who have fewer but are much more unscrupulous. They already know where to get something. When you see how headless some people react, that there are security guards in front of the supermarkets and that they have to guard the toilet paper, that shakes me.

Monster: You’d recently screened your new film Live and Let Die at a couple of festivals before the current outbreak hit. What are your thoughts on making a film about the apocalypse just before what some people believe might actually be the end of the world as we know it?

Manuel Urbaneck: I never thought that my script would become a reality so quickly and that people would go so crazy. I also believe that everything will be fine again. The question is when? Because the current crisis is only the first stage before the actual crisis, when our economy is weakened, when many small companies go bankrupt, when people become unemployed – that is all still to come. After all, nature is recovering due to everyone isolating. It’s astonishingly quick. By the way, my survival backpack is still packed in the corner and ready to go. You never know. And who needs toilet paper in the wilderness when there are the three seashells. Monster: How has Covid-19 impacted horror fiction and book sales at the moment, especially that of stories based on outbreaks and pandemics?

Peter Blakey-Novis (East Suxxex, England): Personally, I haven’t written any post-apocalyptic stories, or anything related to pandemics, but I know of authors who have reported an increase in sales for this sub-genre. I would certainly say I’ve seen an increase in sales of my books in all formats, but especially audiobooks, which I can only put down to people being off work and having more time to read/listen to books.

I think this event will lead to an increase in outbreak-related stories but that is quite a heavily saturated genre (not to say there aren’t many excellent post-apocalyptic stories because there are). The real downside (from a writer’s point of view) is the cancellation of so many events. We’ve seen postponements and cancellations of a number of large horror events, as well as the Brighton book fair which I co-organize. While a lot of authors are doing their best to run ‘virtual’ versions of these on social media, many of us have already paid out for quantities of books with nowhere to take them for the foreseeable future. It will definitely be interesting to see what new books emerge from writers who are isolating themselves for long periods of time and how much the current situation influences the stories. Monster: It’s one thing to hear the shelves are empty like you’d see in some apocalyptic horror film, however, it’s another thing to witness the insanity of the situation first hand. What’s it like seeing it up close and trying to wrap your head around the true terror and panic of it all?

Mj Dixon (Milton Keynes, England): It’s strange, you know? I never thought we’d see a day like this in our lifetime, but I feel foolish for ever having thought this, looking back I feel like this was inevitable, we’d been warned about it for years. I think that watching hundreds of films about this over the last 30something years, I would feel more prepared, but the harsh reality is, we’re just not ready to cope with this mentally as a race and the public are proving that with their actions.

Watching society devolve the way it has over the last few weeks is terrifying, but knowing that on top of that, on top of not being able to get food, supplies, medicine, there’s a very real danger that someone close to you, or even YOU, could contract the virus, it is becoming increasingly obvious that it can kill just about anyone, healthy or not. We’re living in something worse than any horror movie right now because it’s our reality.

Monster: Do you think these dark and tragic times in society are going to inspire the direction and future of the horror genre, and what type of films and books do you think it will produce in the years to come?

Mj Dixon: I do, I think we’ll see thousands of isolation/Lockdown/Virus movies come out of this, littering the shelves in 18 months or so, cheap stuff that’s really just about anything, other than taking your money with nothing real to say. I think, honestly, it’ll be the inevitable saturation point that breaks the Indie Market. I can’t see it being anything but a bad thing.

However, there is an interesting outlook outside of that. I do wonder how it will affect the narrative of stories going forward as the War did. Will this now be a cultural moment that we embed in future films and books like the Nazi’s, something too hard to ignore even in fantasy? It’s got me curious, should we live to see it. Monster: How has the spread of this disease curbed filmmaking where you live, and what effects do you think it will have on the industry, putting millions of people out of work for an unspecified amount of time?

Alex Paterson-Churchyard (Essex, England): Well clearly we’re seeing a halt to lots of big/medium-sized productions and the industry itself seems to have started to shut down essentially. The same is likely true for the indie and micro-budget industry as well and in fact, a friend of ours recently announced on social media that they are postponing shooting the end of their movie.

For us personally, we had stuff in the pipeline which we may now need to postpone shooting – we can use it as an opportunity to get some writing done though – it wouldn’t be a surprise if many others ended up doing the same.

Of course, we are also seeing lots of bigger films being postponed, but less is written about all the film festivals that will also get delayed or canceled and the impact that will have on us and filmmakers like us. We’re lucky that we have had a couple of screenings already this year, but it is worrying going forward.

We feel for all of our industry friends and anyone whose work has been affected and is struggling as a result.

Hopefully, when this is all over we will see a lot of production resume; projects in development coming to fruition, and although it is disappointing, it’s not the end! Monster: What does a catastrophe like this do for streaming services and what kind of result will it have on independent horror films that usually garner their target audience once they touch down online?

Troy Escamilla (Texas, United States): My guess is that streaming services are thriving during this time when people are home with possibly more time on their hands than they’re traditionally used to. Personally, I have watched more shows and movies via streaming services in these past three weeks than I have perhaps in the past three years.  Now is a perfect time for indie filmmakers to get their films on digital streaming platforms and for filmmakers who already have films available on these platforms to PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE them! There is probably no shortage of people at home right searching for the next horror film to watch, and they’re certainly more willing to watch a film they might not otherwise have given time to in the past.

Monster: With so many amazing low budget films out there right now and the majority of the nation practicing social distancing, do you think creativity within the genre will take a serious hit, or do you think it’ll flourish and we’ll have a lot more content once we recover from the threat?

Troy Escsmilla: I do not think creativity will take it a hit at all.  I know myself and many other filmmakers and artists are taking this time to create.  The social isolation has allowed me the time and motivation to work on a few new scripts and I see a plethora of other artists doing the same: taking the opportunity to be creative.  With hope is that any filmmaker who was planning to produce and/or shoot a film anytime in the upcoming months takes this opportunity to have another evaluation of the project. Give the script another read and maybe send it to a few trusted individuals for some additional feedback.  Is it truly the best it can be? Reevaluate marketing and fundraising if funds have not been fully secured. While crowdfunding in the past has been beneficial to many indie filmmakers, myself included, this current climate may not the most ideal to rely on donation and pledges to your film as many people continue to lose their jobs. I don’t say this to discourage, but to point out that this does not have a situation where projects are abandoned, but rather a situation allowing the project to be assessed one final time to improve it.   With that said, once this coronavirus threat is past, I have a strong feeling there will be many indie filmmakers itching to get back behind the camera to produce new films, many perhaps that were written during this stay at home time! So, in the next few years, I expect to see many new, creative genre films to emerge! Monster: Having produced a sweded version of the 1959 Hammer Horror film, The Mummy, where an extensive amount of time was spent dressing and wrapping the main antagonist in toilet paper, what’s it like trying to survive the chaos with everyone buying up all the necessities?

Christine Parker (North Carolina, United States): Well I’m starting to wish we’d kept all those wrappings! I think we went through at least a 12 pack of toilet paper. I have to say, this is not at all what I’d expected from a pandemic. Where are the wild mobs fighting for food, the looters, the people just losing their minds? Not how the movies depicted this at all! It’s rather underwhelming when the most chaotic thing happening is people hoarding toilet paper. Of course, we are early into this so maybe in a few weeks we’ll all start to devolve.

Monster: How has this virus affected your multi-award-winning female film company Sick Chick Flicks at the moment and everyone you employ under that umbrella?

Christine Parker: Well, to be clear we don’t actually employ anyone. We all volunteer our time to create together. So no one is out of work from my company, most of us have day jobs that I hope they are able to keep. However, we had just started on an anthology “Sisterhood of The Damned.” My ladies had written some truly wicked short films that they were going to direct this year. We had even gotten to the casting phase and were about to launch our fundraising campaign when this hit. So all of that is on hold at the moment. I certainly don’t want to be asking people for money right now with all of this going on. People need to pay their bills before donating to us! I’m also hoping this won’t affect our upcoming Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival in October. Hard to think this thing may last that long but it just might. I do have a plan B for doing it online if the filmmakers are game. We’ve also slashed our entry fees until the submission deadline to hopefully ease the burden for filmmakers who are struggling right now to get their films out there. Monster: Being a proprietor and provider of scares yourself, how do you see this all playing out? Do you think humanity will persevere and become stronger after all of this is said and done, or will we ever recover from such a severe assault?

Domiziano Cristopharo (Rome, Italy): This is something that will for sure change our way to see the future. We are learning year after year, that the world and society and politics are not following a straight direction; we still have a lot of incognito in front of us. And fear is the natural reaction man has in front of the incognito.

Some people will improve after all this and become a better person. Most of the people sadly will forget everything very soon. But in any way, a culture will make a jump forward.

In Italy for example, many people learned to trust and use online shopping, and also many industries tested and developed the “smart working” from home. It’s something very common in many countries, but Italy in those things is like 20 years in the past.

Monster: As a director known for utilizing heavy eccentric gore in your films, what’s it like witnessing those near you die from this infection?

Domiziano Cristopharo: I do horror movies because it’s fun to make them. Actually, I’m not so much into gore or a gorehound in private life. The saddest and scariest part of this situation is the fact that this virus is highly contagious.

So, people infected stay alone all the time without human comfort and pray to survive…because if not, you die alone. And your beloved can’t even give to the body the last “goodbye”.

[Review] House of Flesh Mannequins is finally being released uncut

[Review] House of Flesh Mannequins is finally being released uncut

For the longest time I would hear, “Oh if you want to see a great horror movie watch House of Flesh Mannequins” the name alone convinced me enough to watch it. The name gave an idea of what the movie is or was. A torture film maybe? A murder family film? A over the top horror movie that would make viagra ersatz nachnahme follow link go to link pay someone to do my statistics homework first draft essay sample cialis vesus viagra where does thesis go in conclusion paragraph generic viagra soft tabs 100mg omoxycyclin pills essay tutoring my hometown essay see url do the ends justify the means essay handy homework help book follow link enter site source site custom application essay parts of report writing source site dissertation research reading go site follow site essay writers follow blank lined writing paper Eli Roth beg he was behind the camera on this.

However, though, the version everyone saw was just a censored version. Never seeing the true vision on what Domiziano Cristpharo wanted to show. Thus began the journey for me to find the movie but the version we are meant to see. House of Flesh mannequins tells the story of a loner artist with a history of abuse meets a beautiful woman who takes an interest in his life and work; leading to a chilling path of tragedy. This is the debut film where we get a glimpse of the future of one Domiziano Cristpharo. Being uncut there’s really no reason it had to censor. However, the rating systems vary from countries so perhaps we couldn’t see eye to eye. The censorship is unnecessary.  They limit violence. Strong scenes of violence of sexuality and violence are available, but with his debut film along with other films Domiziano tells us the story with deep character development, a beautiful soundtrack that’s laced as the ribbon for this gift of a movie. The rapport between Domiziano Arcangeli and Irena Violette is picture perfect. The two find each other and we see them naked. They confess their life, they open up. We feel for them not in a quirky romantic comedy, but just maybe Domiziano’s character can find solace and peace, but does he get it? The movie gets dark whereas stated yes there’re scenes of graphic violence and sex, but it’s the dramatic scenes of Domiziano’s character Sebastian displaying the raw talent of director working with an actor. The ending is poetic and symbolic, giving the audience mixed emotions on what to think. Overall we should watch the movie uncut not just for the violence but for the sake of the story. Domiziano Cristopharo went to explain his thoughts on the uncut version being released.

“I investigated a bit… and thank’s to suggestions and good advice of friends and fans, I’ve found out there is only one version still available online (amazon etc) and especially a Blu-Ray: the one released from Edel Germany that also have the english audio. So it’s easy to believe this became the most popular version available… and the one pirated online in thousand of unofficial streaming sites that collected in those years thousand of visualization. I MUST say that already the ELITE version (a Director’s cut from the available footage) It’s a censored version, done with the editing of the cut version plus some new additional filling footage. But this one, is cutted more of 21 minutes. So, for make it simple: doesn’t exist the real cut of the movie ’cause we had many legal problems and censorship. So existed a cutted movie with 30% of footage re-shooted for cover the lenght and re-create the story links… from this censored version germany released the only copy for now available and is cutted 21 minutes more!!! This means most of the gore and the cult scenes (like the murder of Poison Rouge or the INFAMOUS drill scene) aren’t there. All the sexual contents too aren’t there. This movie use sex and gore as part of the story, so this means that 20 minutes of sentences, twist and important characters aren’t in the film! Some characters just appears like for “no reason” and dishappear “for no reason”. So now I start to understand why after a great debut, the film is getting all those bad reviews… ’cause it looks now like a film very difficult to follow, understand and that also look very artsy and ambitious.”-Domiziano Cristopharo 

For more information on when and where to buy the film. Please visit Tetro Video and Unearthed Films.

[Review] WHITE GARDENIA’s “A perfume made with Blood and Tears” featuring OVAL (Markus Popp)

[Review] WHITE GARDENIA’s “A perfume made with Blood and Tears” featuring OVAL (Markus Popp)

I’m a music fan most of various genres, so please enjoy my first and hopefully not last music video review. The video, “A perfume made with blood and tears” by White Gardenia featuring Oval was directed by Domiziano Cristopharo (House of Flesh Mannequins, Torment, Deep Webb xxx) Sarah Rouge (Sacrifice, a taste of Phobia) were given full freedom to create what they  wanted.

The video has gore that doesn’t cheapen the theme of tasteful art, with nudity of men, being the object of display vs women on the receiving end. Of course there’s a scene of a female masturbating or touching the men and scenes of body piercing. The rendition that was provided to me was the uncut adaptation with the tune giving an ambient of comfort yet haunting vision as we couldn’t help but continue watching and appreciating the view. The human body is a thing of elegance, the music guides us through the journey showcasing that even though there’s an uncut and censored there’s nothing to censor. The body is not controversial and neither is the act.

For more history on the musicians, OVAL is an electronic music group founded in Germany in 1991 by Markus Popp, Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger. The group is regarded as pioneering glitch music, writing on CDs to damage them and produce music with the resulting fragments. They cooperate with Bjork and Sakamoto. WHITE GARDENIA is a group influenced by the “sicko songs” and teenage tragedy ballads of the 50s 60s and 70s, death rock, early 20th century Gypsy music, country-western music, am radio, amateur radio, low bandwidth radio noise and static bursts.

[Review] The Obsessed, a film inspired by true events of Bjork’s stalker

[Review] The Obsessed, a film inspired by true events of Bjork’s stalker

When it comes to love, we fall hard, we fall quickly, and in some cases, we become attached rapidly. These feelings can be mutual, and sometimes they won’t be shared. It’s hard for celebrities in general due to the public eye and often having to carry an image that means they’re available for anyone, which can sometimes be unhealthy. Which is the topic of our review.

I was very honored to watch Albania’s first horror movie “The Obsessed” directed Domiziano Cristopharo (Deep Web xxx, Torment, III: Final Contagium) stars Jacopo Tomassini, Elisa Carrera Fumagalli, and Bjordi Mezini, Dashnor Cakalli and Grace (The Dog) “A body horror freely inspired to the real story of Ricardo López, Bjork’s stalker.”

The movie starts with a beautiful song sung by Susan Dibona, who does the singing voice for Grace (Elisa Carrera Fumagalli), the affection of love in question. The film isn’t so much a slow burn, but it’s just a dissection of the human spirit and mind. We watch him go through a metamorphosis of a drug addict fan to his last stage of a mad man on the brink of false affection which leads him to at this point there’s really no need for spoilers since you’re aware of what happened to Bjork’s stalker. If not here’s the link. The movie is a horror movie no argument there. In reference to the concept and the fx involved. A body horror of which the like of puppetry and amazing prosthetic. Yes, I said puppetry but don’t expect a cute song and number. Think of more along the lines of Frank Henenlotter (Basket case, Brain Damage) including a scene in The Obsessed where a penis monster instructs him to kill. No kidding.

We watch him suffer in pain from drug abuse. Jacopo doesn’t do drugs to ease the pain from reality; he takes the drugs to put him into the world he wishes to see. Where he’s beautiful, where he’s somebody of course at times, the drugs have horrifying repercussions such as “mutations” or even hallucinations. We can’t help but feel disgusted with him but also sympathy? He carries a torch for his love only to find no replies of any sort. Which in reality she just doesn’t know he exists. He grows tired and desperate as the drugs continue to get harder as well as his alcoholism.

There’s no sign of improvement, no sign of him realizing the error of his ways, just merely him wallowing in his “Grave” if you will. The grave being his home. The times he does go out, it’s just to pick through the trash. Not using it for anything but just collecting whatever he feels fit.

As stated, yes, this is a body horror movie. No over the top fx that would take away the element of the film. The film is a gritty character development that some may grow bored of, or some would be hypnotized into watching, taking it all in, watching the character grow. We don’t hate him; we don’t love him; we sympathize with those who have been through addiction and are getting help. The film latches onto us as we see him talking a pile of ooze, which was played by Jacopo or even his “mutations” into a cat and a demon. This is what I enjoyed the most watching the fx come into play because the editing is done so well it’s hard to pinpoint how it was done precisely. Of course, the movie will be released by Tetro Video. So I’m sure there will be extras for the fans.

One scene, in particular, I enjoyed where he talks to his “Father,” Jacopo decides to do some drugs and just turns into the demon he sees in the mirror. We hear his father’s voice, but only to find his face has been skinned off and Jacopo applies it back on only to hear “I forgive you” I saw this as the main actor just telling himself he forgives himself so that he can feel validated for his wrongdoings. At this point, we realize there’s no hope for him.

We see scenes of mutilation and even a view of him dressed in makeup, where he delivers a beautiful speech. Which yes can be seen as creepy, but if the feelings were mutual, I’m sure it would be different. Of course, I appreciate Domiziano shooting the scene very professional and very respectful. A movie like this is very delicate and very sensitive for some. Domiziano went out to make a movie inspired by the events of Bjork’s real stalker. He didn’t make a movie with no plot, nudity, and gore just for the sake of blood to make a quick buck. He made a movie that showcases so much more which as a fan of film you can enjoy. The film was shot on location and, at times, has beautiful backdrops and even lighting for certain scenes. Not so much depending on psychedelic colors, but just to match the mood of the character.

The film won the “Best MIDNIGHT feature” at The Nightmares film festival 2019 and also Best actor nomination for Jacopo Tomassini. Truth be told This would be a cult classic, a midnight night movie for sure. The kind of movie you watch late at night or a club while you drink saying to the bartender, How can I get this movie or can I buy off of you because nobody is going to believe me when I tell them. Watch this movie with friends, a loved one, or just show it to your fx class so they can see a work of art unfold.

III: Final Contagium. A body horror film that cuts deep on the root of evil

III: Final Contagium. A body horror film that cuts deep on the root of evil

John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, James Gunn, Stuart Gordon is what we think of with body horror. Still, you can add these directors to the list: Kai E. Bogatzki, Domiziano Cristopharo, Lucio A. Rojas, Lorenzo Zanoni with their film III: Final Contagium starring Ximena Del Solar, Chiara Pavori, Felipe Rios, Max Evans, Arianna Bonardi, Franceso Gianotti, Giorgio Agri, Rayloren Mata and Tommaso Arnaldi

The plot is about a scientist who releases a deadly virus that is spread through money.  It moves faster along with showing how we, as a society, can be around money, which proves the adage. “Money is the root of all evil.”

The film tells three stories all center around money. Now when it comes to body horror, most people would assume the usual stuff. The movie is excellent at giving the audience a story and fx that will make you uneasy. Let’s dive into the film and talk about it

The film starts with a suitcase that’s read Chilean army; this segment (Day 0) directed by Lucio A Rojas written by Lucio A Rojas and Kimena Del Solar. We then cut away to a party where two girls decide to get a guy drugged and rob him. Upon going back to his house in the middle of nowhere, the girls proceed to strip for him. The host gets excited and rapes one of the girls and gets ambushed by one of the other friends. We kind of cheer them on; however, this was their intention from the start: To rob a guy. So we still feel the need not to like them. The girls escape opening the briefcase with this toxic fume hitting them; they could care less because they just found the jackpot to end their worries. Or they start. The girls get infected, showing the results quickly. I have to admit the story was quick and straightforward, which was good because it’s not drawn out, and the fx looked terrific for such a small portion of the story. Overall it sets up the story and paves the way on what to expect.

The story continues in different parts of the world already in chaos (Gully, day#86), directed by Lorenzo Zanoni  written by Luca Nicolai. The host from the first segment is a scientist using bio weapons has the virus spread through money. The second story focuses on the sloth of a guy who just wants to be lazy with his girlfriend and not care about life. He saves an”infected” person that’s transferred to the hospital, but before going into the ambulance, the guy steals the infected money. He feels conflicted and decides to just forget about it. He informs his girlfriend he did a good deed by saving a live but still feels guilty for taking the money. This story was great. A bit drawn out, but it did help the story because, as the story progressed, so did the virus. Now, this is what I love about the story; the fx once again excellent and very creepy. We see close-ups we see prosthetic work; we see scenes not of him killing but killing those he loves with his laziness and non caring behavior. He destroys his relationship with his girlfriend and ends up in this prison of his apartment. Mutating, growing sores, body parts falling off. Think of The Fly transformation, but he’s doing nothing to fix it. The film continues like this until the very end where we see his GF come back, and she accepts it just as he took his fate.

The third film, “The Body” (day #104), directed by Domiziano Cristopharo, written by Pasquale Scalpellino, tells a story about a transgender woman who is looking for the price of beauty. Still, like all the stories in this movie, it comes with a price. She’s injected with a serum that gives her the ultimate body, but it slowly becomes infected, not by STDs but the virus. We see her touch the money that caused the whole issue. This film is very well done. Domiziano took a topical story that does affect a lot from the trans community. People are going to get simple surgeries at a low cost but only to suffer in the long end. The film was done with respect and also dignity. We feel bad for the woman who’s suffering, however, though with the virus spreading, she’s growing desperate for options such as self-mutilation and murder. Yes, we see the female victim naked throughout the movie in a physical sense, but more in a literal sense when she simply says, “I want to look beautiful” at that moment, we the viewer simply feel for her and understand her pain.

The final film “The Cabin” (day #913) written and directed by Kai E. Bogatzki The film tells a story of a father and son who are in the woods as he watches his son slowly die from the virus. The father decides to cut the wounds off with a hatchet to stop the spread; however, this makes it worse since it’s spreading. This movie may have the stereotypical feel of horror in the woods, but it doesn’t go far. No comedy, dialogue that’s not drawn out, no flashbacks. Just straight to the point, and the gore is impressive. The film ends on a down end, but honestly, with something like this, it’s bound to happen.

Overall I enjoyed this film. The directors went out to do a horror movie about an infection virus where they don’t rely on typical Hollywood film with over the top monsters, CGI that’s not needed. They used to sound old school fx, props, fake blood, snappy dialogue, an A-list soundtrack. It’s just a good movie with an exciting story line. Think of a zombie film where it ends, and you think where we do go now. Instead, it’s just people who may not be perfect want happiness, and they go to great lengths to achieve it or people who just love too much and have to sacrifice what they consider to be priceless in the end they get more than they bargained.  For more information on when to buy the movie or other films vist TETROVIDEO



TORMENT is a tapestry of filth focusing on the abstractions of normality in cruel segments of horrific intent unfit for mass human exposure.
TORMENT, a film by Adam Ford and produced by Domiziano Cristopharo, is an account of a psychotic clown who kidnaps his victims to become cruel amusements in his sadistic actions towards his prey, fulfilling darken daydreams that could only be conceived within the depths of a soulless, fragmented and devious lunatic.
TORMENT plays out almost as a work of primitive performance art, arrayed in confronting scenes of increasingly hateful violence followed by silenced, engaging and somehow touching moments of sadness from the perspectives of both the spider and its ensnared, hopeless quarry.
The movie opens with a crawling sense of disgust and a grim resonance that TORMENT never truly abandons through its run-time with commanding images beheld as innocent illustrations that launch the viewer into an insane, lengthy opening segment reeking of venomous bodily fluids as the dimensions of a horror film take hold.
The longevity of one rape scene later in the story, lit in ominous shades of blue, creates an atmospheric pressure that threatens its audience as well as challenges their ability to withstand stomach-churning cinematic assassination attempts with a penetrating deviancy.
The controversial climax of the movie, not particularly to my personal liking, still resonated within my mind while my body recovered from being recoiled and repulsed by the acts onscreen.
TORMENT forms a divisive circle of WTF moments that make this initial release in the “Too Extreme For Mainstream” brand from Unearthed Films a welcomed addition to the infamous distribution and production company’s cannon of diverse offerings to the seedy realms of underground horror.

INTERVIEW: Poison Rouge – Director, American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)

INTERVIEW: Poison Rouge – Director, American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)

After recently watching American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice, I was so impressed with it that I reached out to the director Poison Rouge. I was surprised and delighted to learn that Sacrifice was her debut film and even more delighted when she consented to an interview. Actor and director Poison Rouge is quite the talent, and if you haven’t watched American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice already, I highly recommend you do so.

Interview: Poison Rouge / Fair use doctrine.

House of Tortured Souls: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. I’m very excited to connect with a talented woman who also loves extreme horror. Did you always want to be a director/actor?
Poison Rouge: No, thank you for your time and for supporting Indie films. Actually, I don’t yet know who I am or what I want to be in life, I just want to live it day by day. The fatal meeting with Domiziano (Christopharo) changed a lot of things for me, around me, and inside me. We first met at a tattoo shop where he was working. He did a tattoo for me, and we became friends and have been ever since. Now I see something — and someone — in myself that I didn’t see before. He suggested that I act in his sideshow first, then in his first feature film House of Flesh Mannequins (2009).
House of Flesh Mannequins (2009) / Fair use doctrine.
HoTS: What was your inspiration for this film?
PR: The story was already written. It was originally conceived as a horror comedy that Domiziano wanted to direct as the first chapter in his Trilogy of Death. The lead role was created for a woman, but the actress abandoned the project two weeks before starting. Domiziano asked me to take her place, and later he decided to give the direction of the movie to me so he could follow the second production (Torment). I turned the character into a male and removed the comedic tone to obtain something darker.

HoTS: Why did you choose to start with such an extreme film?
PR: Life decided for me, and I always accept the gifts that life gives me daily.

HoTS: I noticed a lot of well-researched references to the Goddess Ishtar. Why did you choose her or what is her significance to you?
PR: I love the fact that she is the goddess of sex, life, and destruction. The heart of motherhood in some ways. She’s a strong female figure that really describes the power of a woman outside stereotypes.

Interview: Poison Rouge / Fair use doctrine.

HoTS: What films and directors are your favorites and influenced your style?
PR: My favorite movies are any ones that involve Sly Stallone; I just love him! Especially Rocky.
In horror, my favorites are all the classics — Carpenter, Polanski, and Friedkin, etc.
I don’t think I really have a style yet. It’s impossible after only one feature, but I have a vision. My passion for art and painting is very visible in Sacrifice.

HoTS: I loved the gore and the practical FX in this one. I heard a rumor that the penis mutilation scene is partially real. Is that true? Please explain!
PR: Haha! You should watch the extras on the DVD to know more about it. I won’t say another word!
The FX are great and very realistic. Domiziano (aka Athanasius Pernath) is a master.

Interview: Poison Rouge with Domiziano Christopharo / Fair use doctrine.

HoTS: It’s really cool that your first film was picked up by Unearthed and is part of the American Guinea Pig series. Was it made specifically to be part four of AGP or was that something that happened after the fact?
PR: It was already in the works by Domiziano to be the first in his Trilogy of Death. He was planning for it to be the first Italian extreme horror saga. The references in the first film Sacrifice are from He Never Dies, the third installment in the Japanese Guinea Pig saga. Stephen Biro noticed us from the start and followed us every step of the way. He found the final result worthy of his American Guinea Pig series, and the rest is history!

HoTS: On a personal note it’s my understanding that you’re quite an accomplished bodybuilder and boxer. How did you get involved in it?
PR: Because I love Rocky and Stallone! He was my inspiration in filmmaking and made me want to act. It was only a natural next step to start fighting for real, too.
Interview: Poison Rouge / Fair use doctrine.
HoTS: I’d like to thank you, Poison, and Domiziano Christopharo again for agreeing to chat with me. You’re both talented artists and lovely people. I look forward to seeing your next film. After this incredible debut, I’m eager to see what you will do next.

Buy American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice at Unearthed Films

Check out the trailer for American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice.

Posted by Candace Stone in FEATURED ARTISTS, INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Interview with Domiziano Cristopharo

Interview with Domiziano Cristopharo

Domiziano Cristopharo has been wowing audiences in his native Italy for years. So it’s a true pleasure that he is now taking the US by storm. Thanks to the 2018 release of the Director’s Cut Blu-ray of his 2012 film Red Krokodil, Domiziano reached a whole new audience. Red Krokodil chronicles the downward spiral of drug addiction and proves that Domiziano is no stranger to body horror.

Domiziano Cristopharo

His penchant for the grotesque is showcased in his work, and he doesn’t hold back, which is a real treat for those of us that prefer the more extreme end of the horror genre. As a fan who prefers foreign horror, I was honored to speak with Domiziano recently, and to find out what it is that fuels the man behind the lens, and to get a sneak peek at what he has in store for us.

Domiziano Cristopharo

House of Tortured Souls: I read that you’re often compared to Dario Argento and that you’re the first Italian director to revive the erotic/horror genre. How does it feel to be described that way?
Domiziano Cristopharo: Actually, I was recently even described – by a very kind critic – also like a “mix between the Fulci’s trilogy of hell and contemporary American horror” (and this is a comparison that really makes me feel proud to exist)… but I don’t know, I don’t see resemblances in my works, and I would love to be closer/similar just for a 10% to a master like Fulci or Bava.
HoTS: You made your first film, House of Flesh Mannequins, in 2009. What did you do before you got into film, and what inspired you to do it?
DC: I work in tv, stage and film industry by age of 14. My principal job till 20 was acting then I started professionally to realize fx make up, and write screenplays. My intention was to sell the script but was rejected for years in Italy ’cause the contents. So I tried to send it in USA and I was lucky: empire films produced it and gave me the direction of the movie too.
HoTS: Do you feel there is a difference between Italian horror filmmaking and American horror filmmaking?
DC: More than a difference, I see an abyss. I started in 2008 and I did more than 25 films ’till now (including collective projects and productions). In 2011 after my third film I quit work with Italy and Italians. This helped me to become more productive and find a really active market and a field where I get the chance to grow up as a person and as an artist. In Italy I had just two small distributions in those years, DVD of my films are still available only by import. No support at all and useless to mention the hate and rage that fill this field… Favorite sport of other directors and horror fan here is to create a shitstorm round people who have even a small success. Bad, bad, bad.

Domiziano Cristopharo

HoTS: A lot of your work can be described as extreme horror. What is it that attracts you to that part of the genre?
DC: I always loved to explore excesses, I think is useless to offer to an audience – especially as indie – something that already exists. But my concept of extreme is not related in blood, I don’t even use much of it in my films. Extreme is a feeling, is to dare, to show something forbidden, something not socially accepted, not only murders but evil thoughts, nasty actions, uncomfortable secrets. This is also what makes my lead roles so intense and in same time scares actors so much that I hardly find people to hire.
HoTS: You recently helped produced Sacrifice, one of the latest installments to the American Guinea Pig series. What are your thoughts on the rumors that viewers walked out of early screenings of the film due to content?
DC: Aren’t rumors at all. In France, during the “Sadique-master” (a festival dedicated to extreme movies) three people fainted and one puked. In Italy during the “optical theater festival”, a girl fainted and we needed more than 1 hour for reanimate her… Was scary. I’m very proud of SACRIFICE, is the first part of an extreme trilogy (second part is TORMENT by Adam Ford and XPIATION, just concluded, by me) may be the first extreme Italian series by decades. Biro caught the potential of those films and he wanted it so badly in the AGP saga.
HoTS: Poison Rouge was an actress in your first film, and she also directed Sacrifice. What made you want to collaborate with her again?
DC: She acted with me on stage first, we had a sideshow called BLOODY CABARET; then she played in many films: from the debut in FLESH MANNEQUINS to HYDE’S SECRET NIGHTMARE and PHANTASMAGORIA. She also always helped me on set as assistant director.
SACRIFICE was in my thoughts written for a female role, but I had troubles with the actress…
So I asked Poison to replace her, and then finally I gave to her the direction of the movie.
HoTS: What’s your favorite scary movie?
DC: Dunno, I have many… I love classics… and for sure Carpenter, Fulci, Bava, Cronenberg… But also Polanski, Jodorowski, Lynch
Posted by Alan Smithee in EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments