Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cannibal! The Musical

Director: Trey Parker  Running time: 95 min  Year of Release: 1996

Fans of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will find much to enjoy in this silly, spirited musical about real life cannibal Alfred Packer. Although the subject matter is obviously grim the film itself is quite lighthearted with tongue in cheek musical numbers that are quite catchy at times (namely the hilarious "Trapper Song").  The absurd humor isn't nearly has crude has Parker and Stones later work, which may disappoint some. Cannibal! also takes a while to get going, but patient viewers will be rewarded once things start to go sour for the ill fated characters. While shot on a micro-budget the film makes good use of the snowy outdoors locations which give the proceedings a surprisingly  authentic feel (but must have been hell for the cast and crew). Overall Cannibal! The Musical won me over with its tasty blend of absurd humor and quality musical numbers.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Abcs of Death

Running Time: 124 minutes   Director: Various    Year of Release: 2012

The Abcs of Death takes an original approach to the horror anthology; instead of the tired and true use of a wrap-around story containing three or so separate tales, here we have 26 bite sized macabre micro-films dealing with a particular way to kick the bucket has it relates to a letter of the alphabet. Blood and bodily fluids fly has a host of characters meet bizarre, messy and sometimes hilarious ends.The results are astonishing, if a tad uneven. At it's best, Abcs of Death is a horror film like no other brimming with mad brilliance such has the zany H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion, the sonically and visually stunning D is for Dogfight, the gleefully perverse L is for Libido, the clay animation wonder that is T is for Toilet or the full length feature worthy sci-fi epic V is for Vagitus. Then there is F is for Fart and Z is for Zetsumets, two utterly bonkers Japanese entries that defy description. There are weak entries however, namely the entirely uninspired G is for Gravity or the pointless M is for Miscarriage. All in All The Abcs of Death is a winning anthology that I personally am very fond of. Give it a shot, it's easy to find and I guarantee there will be no B is for Boredom.   

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Serbian Film

Director: Srdjan Spasojevic Running time :103 minutes(unsure if that is cut or uncut) Year of Release: 2009

This notorious piece of cinema follows a retired porn star who makes a deal with an eccentric, wealthy and evil man to shoot one more flick that will push the boundaries of art and pornography, little does our ex-porn star know he is about to enter a hellish, deadly world of sadism and sexual depravity that will threaten to consume not only him but the lives of his loved ones.
I can't say I enjoyed this film, but it was a cinematic experience I'll never forget. Intense,disgusting,explicit,depraved and provocative are words that come to mind when thinking of A Serbian film; a movie that takes you places few in any horror films dare to go...into the greatest depths of the dark side of the human experience. A beastly sexual nightmare. I don't recommend it; seeing it's a choice one has to make entirely on their own.

Rating 4.5/5

Available on Region 1 DVD and Blu-Ray CUT. If you can handle it's worth tracking down the uncut version.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Directed by: James Sbardellati Running Time: 80 min Year of Release: 1983

Churned out of the prolific Roger Corman factory; Deathstalker sought to capitalize on the swords and sorcery craze of the early eighties with predictably cheesy, low budget results. The story follows the titular warrior, a muscle bound man of few words and fewer brain cells, as he finds himself on a quest to defeat a tyrannical sorcerer. Deathstalker is a treat for camp enthusiasts and B-movie lovers alike, its fun and lightweight as it goes through the required motions of its sub-genre, which it does with zest: scantily(or not at all) clad maidens? check, a variety of villainous baddies? check, Bloodletting swordplay and magical hocus pocus?Check. A buxom female warrior love interest? check, A eyeball eating sock puppet..wait what? In short, if your in the market for a low rent Conan that pulls its genre tropes off with campy verve; just call on Deathstalker.

Grade: 3/5

Available on (out of print) DVD from New Concord. If you have the cash, it's also exists bundled with the worthy sequel Deathstalker 2.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Santa Sangre

Director:Alejandro Jodorowsky Year of Release: 1989 Running Time: 122 min

The son of two circus performers is institutionalized at a young age after his adulterous father dismembers his mother in a fit of rage. Years after this scarring event, the boy, now a young man, reunites with his armless mother who manipulates him and uses his arms as her own. The two become inseparable, and any woman who tries to come between them meets a bloody end.

A masterpiece like no other, Santa Sangre is a unforgettable, powerful experience that stays with you long after the credits roll. Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Holy Mountain) is a cinematic genius whose films touch every end of the spectrum in their stunning imagery; the mystical and profane, the beautiful and grotesque. They are unlike any other movies out there and Santa Sangre is his masterwork. A must see.

Rating: 5/5

Available (legally) for the first time in region 1 thanks to a marvelous dvd and blu-ray release from Severin.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Diector: Andrzej Zulawski Running time: 1 hr 57 min Year of release: 1996

A self absorbed anthropologist begins a passionate, ill advised affair with a unstable, nymphomaniac college student while becoming unhealthy obsessed with the remains of a ancient, recently excavated shaman, eventually leading to madness and bloodshed. I tried so hard to like this film, something made incredibly hard by the fact that most of the screen time is devoted to two loathsome individuals having sex or when there not having sex(which is once in a blue moon) acting boorishly: the man is a regular asshole and the woman is gratingly obnoxious and batty. When the time came for the (literally) blood drenched finale I had long since stopped caring about the fates of anyone in this film (the exception being the man's fiancee, who gets treated like dirt).Watching Szamanka was a real endurance test, not because of the highly toted graphic content but due to the fact that it was a painstakingly dull, pretentious film with awful characters. I'm sure theres a message to be found in this film, weather the characters are metaphors for political institutions, commentary on human sexuality ect. frankly it's not worth suffering through this film in order to try and decipher it.; there are much better films out there with similar messages and themes.

Grade: 1.5/5

Availability: Notoriously hard to get a hold of in the states until now. Mondo Vision has just released it in beautiful packaging that rivals Criterion.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs

Directed by: Yukio Noda Year of Release: 1974 Running Time: 88 min

This legendary "violent pinky" film from Japan is a good place to start for viewers wishing to brave the lurid waters of Japanese explotation. The Japanese authorities enlist the help of a imprisoned renegade female police officer (armed with the titular red handcuffs) to save the daughter of a high ranking government official who is being held for ransom by a demented (aren't they all?) gang of murderous rapists. What sets Zero Woman (and quite a few other J-exploitation films) apart from the standard exploration pic is how genuinely well crafted and artfully shot it is. Like a seedy manga (which this is actually based on) sprung to life, ZW is a real blast; full of sleazy thrills and deliriously violent even by today's standards, this pic is a guilty pleasure of massive proportions. They don't make 'em like this anymore!

Grade: 4/5

In print and available from Discotek