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(Spoilers) Film review for The House that Jack built uncut

(Spoilers) Film review for The House that Jack built uncut

I got the chance to see the uncut version of The House that Jack built. Nothing was going to stop me. My Alamo Drafthouse was sold out, luckily, I was able to find an art theater in an almost abandoned mall. Afterwards it was surreal walking out as the mall was closed almost like a lucid dream from what I just saw. So, get to it, right? Tell us what you say! Review the movie! It was a one-time screening and honestly FOR GOOD REASON. The movie is very brutal, humorous, artistic, nihilistic and over all dare I say a work of art? So, sit back and relax and just know in a very rare instance I will actually post spoilers about the film including what deaths to expect. The rated R version will premiere Dec 14th. So, think of this as a guide on what to expect, how much to expect and what may be cut. Now the film is under scrutiny with the map based on the uncut version being released early that could generally confuse the crowd thinking they were going to see the rated r version. However, the audience in attendance KNEW exactly what to expect. So, if you’re still curious still wanting to know let’s break down THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT. As stated, I WILL BE POSTING SPOILERS SO FINAL WARNING. The film did have intros by Matt Dillon and Lars von Tier thanking the audience for attending and knowing that they’ll be seeing the UNCUT version. As the film opens, we see Matt Dillion driving down the road seeing Uma Thurman stranded needing help, the two begin to talk where Uma becomes persistent of needing help not so much begging for help, but making as if it HE HAS TO DO IT. This does continue throughout the opening scene where we begin to be annoyed by her as she picks on Matt profiling him as a serial killer (which he is) After a while he snaps using the car jack to cave in Uma’s face which they do show. This is probably the only time in the film where we don’t feel so bad and actually understand why he did it. We cut away to dark screens where there’s voice overs of Jack speaking to somebody only known as Verge played by Bruno Ganz this happens throughout the movie which will make sense in the end. Jack speaks about the 5 random incidents in his life that stands out the most of his “art” that he’ll refer to now and then throughout the movie. Him killing Uma was the first incident, the second is where we see him early in his life learning to kill, learning to get rid of evidence and feel nervous riddled with OCD. He confronts a widow posing as a cop who later reveals he’s an insurance agent in order to get into her house, tries to kill the older woman only to fail where he tries and tries again.  We’re treated to a display of his ocd where he gets away with the murder, but he just can’t be happy assuming he left blood stains all around. Now being choke doesn’t sound vicious, but he drags the body with his van in order to escape the police who come in reporting a break in. When he gets back to his meat freezer, he purchased previously we see the woman’s hollowed skull like it was a watermelon display set. Perhaps the most cringe worthy scene that I can made 100 people leave the screening at Cannes is his 3rd incident where he talks about, he had a family at one time. It was his, but he was on a date with a woman and her two children. He takes the family hunting explaining the guns and the targets as well as the trophy displays hunters would boast about. We get a glimpse of him as a boy expressing how he would hide in the corn fields hearing the farmers using their scythe that put him at ease. During this flashback he cuts off a baby duck’s leg and throws it back into the water. There’s no cuts, edits or even CGI it looks like the real thing. As we go back to his picnic date, he’s begun hunting the family He goes for the children first shooting one child in the vital organs and shooting his leg off. He shoots the child’s brother point blank in the head. The mother cries as he sets up a picnic forcing her to feed food to her dead children who are positioned as scarecrows, he eventually kills the mother after asking her what’s her favorite number to which she replies 12. The number is then used as a countdown. Jack goes on to discuss that he’s always wanted to be an architect but was never given the chance due to his mother who felt it wouldn’t pay off. He works as an engineer and throughout the film explains his actions as art arguing with Verge about the differences and his actions are right. Verge listens but draws the line at child’s death as if I heard it all but I still don’t care to hear these parts and can’t acknowledge anything like this as art. Which keep in mind this is a drama art film with heavy horror elements. Most of the time we are treated to philosophy, music and the sanity of Jack who ideally just wants to build a home but can’t get the idea of his dream home down. It’s murder and torture that lines the foundation of his new “home” that makes him feel at ease, cures his ocd and engulfs him to where he’s a confident sociopath with the ability to manipulate those around him, even then his friends are loners and people who aren’t very social. The film is well done with excerpts of the mindset of Lars Von Tier who has repeatedly certain taboo and controversial topics. Yet, this review isn’t to bash Lars it’s simply to showcase the film that I saw. He does speak of falling in love once, but it ends in murder where he explains nobody cares and nobody wants to help a person. The end result is Jack slicing off a woman’s breasts which once again no edit no cut away the scene takes place right there. The final incident was just him experimenting on shooting a full metal jacket bullet in the heads of a group of men lined up. Jack has bought the wrong bullet and must correct his mistake where we see the crumbling of him with the ocd coming back. We don’t see the execution with the bullet which is kind of a shame but at this point with the meeting of Verge we realize he wasn’t going to make out of this alive and it could be either his confessions to a priest as he approaches death row or Virgil is simply the embodiment of Death. Answer: The latter. Jack is caught by a friend who tries to reason with him but is brutally stabbed in the mouth with a bowie knife. What are seconds feels like minutes watching him raise his mouth as the knife goes deeper into his skull. The police find what’s going on and hunt Jack down. As the police try to break down the freezer doors Jack decides to go out and build his home from what Verge explains this is how Engineers work. They work with what they have. He ties up the bodies using wire and hooks. The house is creepy since he’s been keeping the bodies frozen (also there is a taxidermy scene with one of the children he kills to always be smiling) Which you will see quite a bit in the film. Verge takes him down a hole inside his house where we figure that he’ll be taken to freedom, but as the epilogue continues, we are treated to the previous conversations we heard in the dark. Verge is death and he’s taking to final destination. Heaven or hell which is by a broken bridge. The bottom is just lava with a screeching metal noise. Verge explains many people have tried to cross the other side but never make it. Jack feels he has a chance and tries only to fall to his death. So that’s the movie an art film with graphic violence, some soul and blues music, dark humor or perhaps the crowd was laughing nervously or just have a twisted sense of humor. I may never know. With this showing nobody walked out but who knows on the other screenings. Should you see this movie? Yes, keep it mind it is an art film but the gore, storyline and acting will keep you interested. I have to say despite Lar’s character he went out and made a great film about raw emotions that escalate to murder to ease the jangled nerves of a man who has to find an outlet. The movie makes American Pyscho (2000) look like a cartoon.




Posted by Jai Alexis in Categories, COMING SOON, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, 0 comments
A Serbian Film (2010): It’s Fucking Art!

A Serbian Film (2010): It’s Fucking Art!

In a desensitized world when shock truly does have value, along comes A Serbian Film, and here we are 8 years later still discussing it and reeling from the controversy. It’s a film that has ruined a lot of other films for me, making them seem colorless by comparison.

A Serbian Film (2010)

If, like me, you’re a fan of A Serbian Film, then you know it’s not something you admit to just anyone or casually discuss at family dinner. I used to find myself constantly on the defense regarding my love of this film, but now I refuse to be. I no longer justify why I like it or why it’s my second favorite movie of all time; I defend the movie itself. Before I get into the reasons why, let’s just quickly go over the movie’s plot and content for those who may not have watched it yet.

Milos, a semi-retired porn star, is struggling to provide for his wife and young son. When Milos’ former co-star comes by and offers him a role in an “art film” being made by a visionary and promising new director, it seems like his troubles are over. So far everything sounds pretty tame, right? Let’s fast forward to after the shooting of the “art film” starts and watch as it begins a downward spiral into depravity that would make the Marquis de Sade blush.

A Serbian Film (2010)

The areas causing the most controversy are the film’s depiction of child abuse, forcing a minor to watch a sexual act, raping a newborn, and raping a child. There are many other graphic, sexually violent scenes, but the aforementioned really get the censors riled up. For these reasons, the film has been heavily edited and banned in many countries, making an uncut copy somewhat difficult to find. Fear not, however, as Unearthed is releasing an uncut version with tons of extras and a much-anticipated documentary on the film.

Now back to my defense of the movie. It’s often assumed that I will use the same political defense the director Srdjan Spasojevic claims. Spasojevic insists he spent years trying to perfectly put on film how it felt to grow up in the midst of a very chaotic time in Serbia. He states that the infant rape and necrophilia show how the government rapes its citizens from birth until after death. Spasojevic also states, “this is a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government”. Although these are not the reasons why I support the film, they were successful in getting me to investigate a little further into Serbian politics.

A Serbian Film (2010)

I personally don’t use the political pretense to justify this movie, and quite frankly I call bullshit. I believe Spasojevic wanted to make a shocking movie and once the backlash came, he used his carefully prepared political statement as a defense. I defend this movie simply because it’s art. Art that makes you really feel something, be it shock, anger, disgust, or horror, forces you to put down the fucking phone and watch. It makes you feel genuine emotions, powerful ones. For that reason alone, A Serbian Film is worth defending and remains one of the most engaging cinematic experiences of my life. I applaud it for pushing boundaries I didn’t even know I had.

A Serbian Film (2010)

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Baskin (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Baskin (2015)

By John Roisland

2015 brought us the Turkish horror film Baskin. From first hearing about Baskin - reading what little information was being given out - to finally trailers of the movie when first announced, I knew I had to see this film! Baskin had been talked about as the be-all end-all of all horror films. It was claiming to be as one of the scariest and the goriest films to have been made.

I was beyond thrilled when our little friends over at Netflix decided to actually put something worthwhile and relatively new to their horror section. Baskin begins with five Turkish police men who, after dining at a small, dark, and dismal cafe, drive their police van through what seems to be the darkest and creepiest of back roads. While traveling and singing (yes, I guess Turkish men sing love songs to each other), a call comes across the radio from another police vehicle in distress. The location is right up the road, so they respond and immediately hightail it to the location. While en route, they hit what they thought looked like a naked man who ran into the street causing them to run off the road and into a ravine. No one is seriously injured, so on foot they go back to the road where there's no body and no visible evidence that anything was hit.

They soon run upon a family with a small campfire. The family eventually gives directions to the location that the police seek, but warns them not to go. Before leaving, the officers note that the family had buckets full of frogs... Hundreds of frogs.

The cops walk through the woods and make their way to the location, which is a rather large old decrepit building of some kind. They find the empty police car that had radioed for help, lights still flashing. As they slowly enter the building, friends, THIS is where things start to get good! Until this point, the movie was moving kind of slowly, but it still kept the viewer's interest. The things that the police officers run into and witness inside are visions straight from Hell - tortured bodies, cannibalism, and blood everywhere.

It seems that the building is some sort of portal or or threshold, if you will, through one of the gates of Hell. When our five enforcers enter, things quickly get bloody for our law fighters. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I did enjoy the film as it moved fairly quickly, yet I wish the build up had been stretched out a bit longer. It seems they took all that time and built it up, they would have rid it out a bit more.

The scenery/set they used for Hell i thought was perfectly designed, much of a dungeon feel to it. The film is subtitled, and I do not know if there is a dub version. I think dubbing takes away from the film. The special effects were good, the overall story was good, and it was an overall solid horror film. It is a dark and twisted film where the director's vision is projected perfectly, but it falls short because of all the media hype that it got upon its release - particularly reports claiming it was the ultimate horror film. It's not, by far, but it's still an enjoyable flick. I'm always up for a good foreign horror film, so I do recommend you check it out and give it a shot. At least it was fairly original... and that alone to me is worth a watch!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Circus of the Dead (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Circus of the Dead (2014)

By John Roisland


In 2014, almost three years ago, native Texan, and downright great guy, Billy Pon, aka Bloody Bill, and long time friend Lee Ankrum, brought the world, Circus of the Dead. Once upon a time in the world, when you thought of clowns, you thought of children laughing, balloon animals, bright colorful makeup, and a red spongy nose. Well, Bill and Lee are taking you to another kind of circus.

We had the great pleasure of having Bloody Bill as a guest on our podcast show, House of Tortured Souls Live a few weeks ago. He and I spoke recently, and Bill sent me a screener for Circus of the Dead to review for him. I WAS THRILLED!

Circus of the Dead, starring Bill Oberst, Jr. (Criminal Minds, The Retrieval), plays Papa Corn, the leader of our violently, criminally insane clowns that are members of an actively traveling circus.

The story focus's around Donald Johnson played by Parrish Randal (Gut Instincts,Possum Walk) as he is taken hostage by the clowns after a home invasion where his wife (Chanel Ryan, Bad Kid Go To Hell) is brutally murdered and his two daughters are kid napped by the clowns that the family just enjoyed at the local circus, just the day before. Papa Corn and his crew torture and make Donald take witness to future violent crimes all while still in hopes of being freed and finding his daughters.


The film is very dark, twisted and depraved...all of which I like. Bill Oberst, Jr. as Papa Corn, was spot on. My god, I think the man was made for this role! He lures you in and makes you watch, like driving past a bad car accident, you have to look. His performance, even as a clown throughout the entire film, is very commanding. Clown makeup or not, you will take Papa Corn serious.

I have been fortunate to have met a rather large handful of actors, directors, and writers of the horror genre in the last few years. I have also become a supporter of the Indie scene. Billy Pon and Lee Ankrum are proud members of that community, and they should be very proud of Circus of the Dead. The film runs just over 140 minutes, and I loved every second of it.


After waiting and waiting, they have finally come to a trust worthy distribution for Circus of the Dead, and will be released VOD in the very near future. If you were wondering why it was made two years ago and is just now getting out there, that's why. And for that, I tip my hat to you gentlemen for holding true to your work.

Circus of the Dead, in my opinion, will become a cult classic that will live on for years. This is going to be one for me to add to my library for sure, ...shit man, just look at the movie poster, its badass. So do yourself a favor, when the opportunity arrives, go fucking watch Circus of the Dead! You wont regret it.

Oh yeah, and while you're waiting for the VOD release, fill up the family-truckster and head down to Texas by Halloween night for ole Bloody Bill's Haunt. Yup, Pon himself is a hauntrepreneur, with his very own haunt in Odessa, Texas. Or at least check him out at WWW.BLOODYBILL.COM.


"Silence is golden." -Papa Corn

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in EXCLUSIVE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Old 37 (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Old 37 (2015)

By John Roisland

OLD37BRIAN2

2015 brought us the highly-anticipated Old 37, which teamed up two of horror's most iconic actors, Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley, to play brothers Jon Roy and Daryl, a couple of psychopaths who have been brought up by a mentally and physically abusive father.

Their sadistic father ran a scrapyard but was also an ambulance driver who enjoyed torturing and murdering victims at accident scenes if he arrived before anyone else. The two brothers often witnessed these acts as they rode along with their father when they were young boys. Through the years, the brothers acquired their father's passion for inflicting pain, eventually also disguising themselves as paramedics and, using their father's old ambulance, began intercepting 911 calls. Usually first on the scene of an accident, Jon Roy and Daryl would take charge of the survivors using the tag line they took from their father(“Don't worry. I'm a paramedic.”) just before brutally murdering their new victim.

On to the main story line.

The movie focuses on a group of affluent teens who enjoy back road automobile racing and playing chicken. All is fine until one day a race turns deadly as they hit and kill a elderly woman getting her mail. Panicked and frightened, the teens flee the scene to avoid responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately for them, the teens are noticed by Jon Roy and Daryl who were pulling out of a nearby lane. Given their psychopathic natures, the brothers wouldn't have cared too much about the hit and run except for one small problem - the victim of the fatal crash was their mother. Devastated, the two brothers begin a campaign to seek out vengeance for their mother's murder.

The movie itself was fun film although I must admit I did expect a few more scenes with Hodder and Mosley doing what they do best...killing! The story revolved around the teens, their popularity, their social life, etc., leaving most of the development of the brothers to flashback and showing precious little of their grown up hobbies.

Before all you die hard Jason Voorhees and Otis Driftwood fans tear me apart, hear me out. I'm a big fan, too. That's why even though I enjoyed Old 37, I was disappointed. I truly expected to see more of these horror legends in the film. Hodder and Moseley did an awesome job together (Sorry Bill, but Kane stole the show!) and really deserved to be on screen more. Without giving away spoilers, I thought the ending was great! Absolutely loved it! I can actually remember getting a huge smile on my face as it happened! This is a must see for fans of Hodder and Moseley.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Dementia (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Dementia (2015)

By Dixielord

Newly released on VoD is Dementia, the latest film from IFC Midnight Films and director Mike Testin. Dementia stars Kristina Klebe (Proxy) and Gene Jones (The Sacrament). The plot revolves around Jones' character George Lockhart, a veteran of the Vietnam war, who has memory issues, and after suffering a stroke is no longer able to care for himself. Jones has a rocky relationship with his son and grand daughter so he is placed in the care of Michelle, a home nurse, played by Kristina Klebe. Klebe seems to be a kindly person eager to help Jones, but he eventually finds himself trapped in his own home and at her mercy.

Dementia with Kristina Klebe

Kristina Klebe in Dementia

Dementia at first glance seems very similar to Stephen King's Misery, starring Kathy Bates and James Caan in the film adaptation. However most of the similarities between the two are only surface deep. As the viewer gets deeper in the similarities drop away, making Dementia a truly unique story, but none the less brutal and horrifying. Eventually all your preconceived notions of how this is going to go fade away, and as the final credits rolled, I was still half waiting on a new revelation.

Dementia starring Gene Jones

Gene Jones in Dementia

Like Misery it is basically a battle of wills between captor and captive, showcasing the talents of Jones and Klebe, both seriously under rated actors. They carry the weight of most of the film, and they carry it well. Both play their roles well, Klebe as the wolf in sheep’s clothes, and Jones as the confused vet, who isn't sure of anything around him. It's so well done that at the beginning, I thought it might actually all be Jones confusion. Was he being tormented, or was he doing it himself in his confusion?

 

Kristina Klebe with a gun in Dementia

Kristina Klebe, caring nurse, psychopathic killer, or something else in Dementia

Soon however we see that Klebe is, in fact a vicious killer, who is doctoring his medicine. But is she just a crazed person looking to get her jollies by torturing a helpless man, or is it something deeper. Dementia takes the usual hero/villain dynamic and turns it on it's head. I really don't want to spoil this film. It's too good and needs to be enjoyed spoiler free. It's not an M. Night wild twist out of nowhere. Astute viewers will know something is up, and the clues are all there. Clues that everything isn't as it appears.

Gene Jones in pain in Dementia

Dementia tortures Gene Jones

Dementia isn't an extremely gory film. It's horror relies on our fear of getting old, of losing our memories and being at the mercy of someone with no mercy. The fear of estrangement from family and loved ones. Then it turns slowly turns it around. Kudos to Jones, Klebe and the rest of the cast on doing a film that is more than it could have been. Dementia could have stayed on the safe straight path of a Misery clone, but it went for more and succeeded. 9 stars out of 10 from me.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

By John Roisland

Collector 4

In 2009, Marcus Dunstan, who brought you such titles as Saw IV and Saw V, brought you his clever game of cat and mouse, The Collector. This 90 minute sleeper, released by Vivendi and Genius Entertainment, unfortunately didn't do much at the box office, but was a bit of a hit with the rental market and with me!

Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises , The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) stars as Arkin, an ex-con turned handy man who is trying to make good in life as well as make good to the loan shark that his wife racked up some hefty bills with while trying to stay afloat while Arkin was in the joint. Arkin offers to settle up by doing a job in his wealthy client’s home since he and his family are preparing to leave for a family vacation.

Both parties agree, but unfortunately for our star, someone has laid claim to this house first. Only difference is, this guy’s not there to rob them of jewelry; he robs them of lives. The Collector, played by Juan Fernandez (A Man Apart), has already settled in and transformed the house into a giant booby-trap full of torturous devices making it nearly impossible to escape.

Arkin arrives at the house to steal his new wealth, when he comes across the homeowners who are being held captive...in a giant foot locker. They warn him of the intruder and try to sneak out only to find themselves encountering deadly trap after deadly trap. You see, our new found collector, collects bodies. Tortures, murders, keeps them for his...collection.

I will say that there is a feeling of the Saw series present in the film. Even though this may not be as over the top or action packed as Saw, and sometimes it gets kinda slow, they did a good job with it. The film and lighting captured the feel of desperate people caught in their own home transformed into traps as well as the feel of The Collector’s driving need to collect. Some of the torture scenes were pretty original and gory. I have got to give props when they are due. While having a good blood and gore level, the film still held a nice atmosphere of suspense for its audience.

The film I thought ended perfectly into the ending credits...yes, also leaving it open for a sequel, that I'd rather not even discuss!

This one is a great watch. It keeps your interest without overdoing it. The acting, while maybe not being spot on by all of the cast, most still give a worthy performance. I do certainly enjoy this film, and suggest that if you haven't checked it out, that you do so!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Strangeland (1998)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Strangeland (1998)

By John Roisland

Strangeland

October 2, 1998, was a time when people were still learning about the Internet and body modification was really breaking through. Director John Pieplow brings us Strangeland.

The story is about “Captain Howdy” (played by Dee Snider of rock band Twisted Sister, who also wrote and produced the film), a sadist Internet predator who invites other internet friends over for a party, where they soon meet their end.

Kevin Gage (Heat, Blow, G.I. Jane, Laid to Rest), the town sheriff, is quick on the case after his daughter, played by Linda Cardellini (Grandma’s Boy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Freaks and Geeks), falls to the hands of Captain Howdy.

The chase continues to find Howdy, and the scenes of the torture with his victims and his own self-mutilation are actually pretty impressive. A few scenes are actual textbook history of how different cultures used different devices to either torture or elevate one to a higher sense of body limitations.

Now I’m not saying its the best film ever made…it’s not. At moments it’s actually kinda slow. But I will give Dee props on his first attempt and writing, producing and starring in….he put forth a very valiant effort. At the box office, this film actually lost money. If not for its huge impact as a cult classic…it would have been a complete bomb!

It offers a pretty impressive cast, aside from Dee Snyder, Kevin Gage, and Linda Cardellini, it also stars Elizabeth Pena (Jacob’s Ladder, Down in the Valley, Things Behind the Sun), Brett Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Wishmaster, Urban Legend, 2001 Maniacs, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon), Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Crank, Just Friends, Starsky and Hutch) and Robert Lasardo (Death Race, The Human Centipede III, Anarchy Parlor, Nip/Tuck). Now with this line up, one would expect a little more…but they only acted in it

For those headbangers out there like myself, the film did have a pretty kick fucking ass soundtrack though: Bile, Pantera, Megadeth, Coal Chamber, Anthrax, Soul Fly, and Hed PE – to name a few.

I can’t say this is honestly on my every year must watch Halloween films…but it is always this time of year when I do think about it the most. Does that count?

I REALLY want to say better things about the film, but sadly it is what it is, a great idea, that just wasn’t executed to its fullest potential.

images1677001P

“So much flesh…so little time”- Captain Howdy

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments