Domiziano Cristopharo

[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.

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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

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TORMENT

TORMENT


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.

Posted by Ryan Logsdon in BRUTAL REALITY, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, NEW RELEASES, 0 comments
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