Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More on The Bunny Game, Human Centipede 2 and the BBFC...

So I’ve read this document I got off of the Facebook page of Adam Rehmeier who directed The Bunny Game that is a study conducted for the BBFC (who’ve banned and cut a slew of horror films in recent years, including The Bunny Game and Human Centipede 2) on sexual violence and sadism in films done on a study group in the UK.  I’m way too lazy to bother looking for the link, it’s on Adam Rehmeir’s FB page if you’re really interested in it.  The general purpose of the study is to justify censorship.  But I so enjoyed reading it.   The films discussed in the study include Antichrist, Wolf Creek, Martyrs, the Killer Inside Me, I Spit on Your Grave (the remake), A Serbian Film, Human Centipede 2, the Bunny Game, and the Japanese film Grotesque.  All these films were either given 18 certificates, massive forced cuts in scenes, or in the case of The Bunny Game and Grotesque, completely banned in the UK altogether.     I haven’t seen Wolf Creek or the Killer Inside Me, I will have to check those out.  I’ve seen the original I Spit on Your Grave, but I did not have any intention of seeing the remake, but since it made it into this stupid BBFC study, I will now have to go and check it out.   I didn’t like Grotesque that much when I saw it even though the BBFC had banned it, but I may have to give it another shot, based on reading this report.  All the films on this report in a sense are classics by the mere fact that they made it on to this preposterous report.  Don’t get me wrong- I loved reading this report.  It’s like a who’s who of contemporary horror cinema.  I could spend hours and hours re-reading the plot synopsis again and again of many of my favorite films.  You know how serial killers get excited re-living their own crimes and such?  That’s how I felt reading descriptions of scenes from all those horror films.  I was always kind of into horror films, but when I really got into horror films was when I moved to Vegas because I found this place the Sci-Fi Center where I work now that screened them for five dollars.  That’s around the time that Martyrs and Human Centipede and those kinds of films started coming out, so I have a real affection for some of these films.  I’m a little surprised that Dead Snow did not make the list, that’s a good one.   Are those films vulgar, repulsive, or sinful if you want to be religious about it?  I would probably say that they are if I really thought about it for a while.  That does not in and of itself give reason for such films to be censored or banned.  The people who made those films did accomplish what they sought out to accomplish in making those films which was in essence to make intense and terrifying horror films.  I’ve read Tom Six quoted as being upset about the since lifted ban of Human Centipede 2 in the UK, but it would almost seem the highest honor a film of the kind could receive.  I do feel to be honest a kind of impetus to move on and do other things. I’ve gotten sick of being the Human Centipede review guy.  What I have learned from putting out books that didn’t sell at all in my 20’s is that now I post based on what gets the most hits and that’s ended up being for the most part horror movie reviews and right wing internet radio.  I did get a fair bit of attention from writing on some of these very same films discussed in the study, in some cases overseas and from some fairly serious art world and academic types in Germany and the UK.  Based on that I suppose in that sense I was able to get a kind of prestige and sense of reward out of it. So are these immoral films that I regret having watched? Yes and no.  That film Martyrs is really good.  Antichrist is a good film.  Human Centipede 2 and A Serbian Film, I could certainly see where people would find these films objectionable but there is actually a certain artistry that is there.  Members of this stupid BBFC study groups suggested that the films may lead to a glorification of sexual violence, particularly in young men.   I hate to inform the BBFC, but people commit rape and films do not commit rape. The UK, of course, banned conservative radio show host Michael Savage from entering the country, so their little fetish for censorship doesn’t stop with horror films featuring rape and/or torture sequences.  They also suppress political material on the grounds of being “hate speech”, so it is really a very serious issue.  The state apparatus perpetuates its own existence by such censorship.  That’s true especially if it’s someone like Michael Savage who spends a lot of time challenging the appropriate place of government.  So the British government doesn’t have a leg to stand on with any of this. The closest I’ve ever come to being offended by Adam Rehmeier is when he posted that he didn’t like Prometheus, which is one of my favorites.  I have always admired Adam Rehmeier, Human Centipede 2 director Tom Six, and Michael Savage for being banned in the UK.  I was able to tell Adam Rehmeier this personally on FB, which he thanked me for.   They have effectively spat in the face of political correctness and for this they should be applauded.    I’ve also always admired Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin for being called out in the MIAC documents. Hey, I’m a libertarian, I don’t like socialist censorship. I also watch hours and hours of horror films and listen to hours and hours of right wing radio. You know I have to, it’s the way I charm the ladies.  There are those two things, and being extremely closed minded about a very slim number of either old gothic/industrial type bands or older metal bands being the only bands worth listening to.   I mean, how else do you attract women other than being able to listen to hours and hours of right wing radio on end and being obsessed with the Bunny Game and Human Centipede 2?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Asian Horror: The Uninvited/Coming Soon/Into the Mirror

There are a bunch of Asian horror films about ghosts that are sometimes on the lengthy side, don’t always make that much sense, and in some cases have something or other to do with mental illness.  As that with this blog I have gone more and more with horror film reviews being is that that’s all people read on here for the most part, I feel it is worth discussing these films a little bit.  However, it may be the case that reviews of these kinds of films will not get hits.  Even though these films are extremely violent and grim, they do not involve snuff films (Snuff, A Serbian Film, etc.), or feature women being raped and impregnated by a monster of some kind (Inseminoid, Humanoids from the Deep, Xtro, The Beast Within, etc.), or were banned in any country (Human Centipede 2, The Bunny Game, or A Serbian Film, etc.) which means this review is likely to yield a smaller on-line audience.  The Korean film The Uninvited is in the Asian Ghost film genre.  I asked the other people watching the film if it made any sense after the credits, and they agreed that it did not.  After I watched it I went back to a plot synopsis to see if I could make sense of the film of if I had seriously missed something.  The film still doesn’t really make much sense.   The Uninvited is that one with the guy who is about to get married seeing the two little girls in the subway and it turns out that the girls were poisoned by their mother.  Protestantism took off in a big way in South Korea which plays into the film-the main character’s dad is a pastor at a Protestant church.  There’s a whole thing about a woman with narcolepsy who can see the ghosts of the little girls that haunt the main character, and this whole bit about her best friend throwing her baby out the window.   In describing this film I’m making it sound as though this film makes a lot more sense than it in fact does.   It’s very convoluted.  There’s some weird fixation with infanticide and people jumping out windows that carries through the film.  It’s relatively non-linear, if you’re looking for a real concrete a-then-b-then-c sort of structure it doesn’t have one, or at least it doesn’t have one that works.   If you’re a film student or something and you want to psychoanalyze a bunch of weirdness about Korean women killing their children, then this is the film for you. Coming Soon is a Thai film. Spoiler Alert!  It plays with the notion somewhat related to the idea of a snuff film of a real death being caught on camera and used in a film.  The film starts with actually a fairly extreme sequence about a woman who removes the eyes of children she kidnaps.  Local villagers find her and hang her.  The story line revolves around the people working at the movie theater. The old woman in the movie comes out of the movie to kill people.   There’s an interesting little plot twist about the movie within a movie being based on a true story- but the ghost turn out not to be the real woman the film within a film is based on, but rather a woman killed during the filming of the hanging scene in the movie-within-a-movie.  Unfortunately, the death caught on camera used in Coming Soon is an accidental death that is kept in the film and not a deliberate murder on camera.  The definition of a snuff flick is a film made of a murder for purposes of commercial distribution of some kind.  It is unfortunate that the death on camera that appears in Coming Soon because then the film would be a film about snuff flicks, and reviews about films involving snuff flicks in the plotline are a large source of hits, largely from people looking for real snuff footage.  That being said, Coming Soon is a pretty decent film.  Here’s a tangential bit: when I was watching the films Coming Soon at the Sci-Fi center here in Vegas, a guy showed up with a t-shirt for the Norwegian black metal band Dark Throne.  It’s funny, if there is one thing I regret doing blogging it’s doing a bunch of reviews of obscure black metal bands no one really cares about.  Part of the reason for that is that in recent years there’s been that dumb little trend of art world and academic types becoming obsessed with black metal.  I think if you try to analyze and interpret black metal in an academic or a high brow art type of context you don’t really understand it.  There’s no reason to anyway.  Even if many of those Norwegian black metal bands were more or less certifiable, if you read interviews with them, their intentions have always been more or less clear.  The whole black metal thing is what it is.  Those black metal bands were all trying to sound like Venom sort of.  Venom is pretty good.  Into the Mirror is another weird little Asian ghost movie, this time once again from South Korea.  Speaking of academics, the Lacan people would love Into the Mirror because they have their big fixation with cinema and mirrors.  There’s a bit about a mental patient in Into the Mirror as well.  Into the Mirror is about a mall security guard conducting investigation into a series of murders that are actually carried out by a ghost that lives behind mirrors.   Into the Mirror is alright. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Caroline Pierce+Allen Dusk/The Perfect House/Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer

This post is composed of brief reviews of a number of different films that showed at my work place the Sci-Fi Center in Las Vegas recently, except for the film called Slaughter Disc where I just got a promo DVD at a Sci-fi Center event.  In all cases, people involved with making the films were on hand to answer questions and do promo for their projects.  I have decided to include the reviews together to give a sense of the general vitality of things going on specifically at the Sci-Fi Center and also the general vitality of things taking place in the world of independent horror production.                                                               
Caroline Pierce who is best known as an adult film star, although she has collaborated with a guy named David Quitmeyer (who also just put out a novel about killer bed bugs called Shady Palms recently under the name Allen Dusk) on some more horror oriented films.  I got two DVDs free at the event, Slaughter Disc and Tales from the Carnal Morgue (an anthology disc of three shorts), and a copy of Shady Palms.  These films actually came out a number of years ago, but they are new to me and would be to a lot of people.  Slaughter Disc is yet another film that plays with the whole snuff flick death on video kind of thing.   It’s a little bit different from other murder caught on film/video type films in that this one involves a supernatural element, with people getting sucked into television screens, as in the 80’s film Poltergeist.  I suppose I should warn audience that a good portion of the film is essentially pornography sequences, and is arguably as much or even more so a porno film than a horror film.   Well, how is it?   I must be honest I’m a horror film person and not much of a porno person.  This one kind of addresses that kind of an impression of pornography though, because the main character has a very clear addiction problem with pornography. The main character is sort of odd, he chooses masturbating to pornography over spending time with his real girlfriend, for which she dumps him at the beginning of the movie.  That’s the one thing that is very interesting about the film- it’s a porno film about an individual destroyed by pornography.  I actually feel the depiction of pornography addiction in this one is psychologically dead on.    He comes across this haunted DVD and Caroline Pierce plays an evil female demon/ghost/whatever.  The filmmakers did not have a whole lot of money to work with, but the film is fairly gory.  The soundtrack music is actually pretty good- apparently it was done by Peter J. Gorritz the bassist for the goth band The Last Dance. At the Sci-Fi center event we screened two films from Tales from the Carnal Morgue, Mail Order Bride and Sustenance.  Mail Order Bride a guy orders a robot woman on-line, the robot woman is shown violent film footage which screws with her programming and then she kills the guy of course, it’s comedic in tone.  The other film on the DVD that was screened at the Sci-Fi center was Sustenance. Sustenance is about a woman who enters into a weight loss program where she is put in a kind of solitary confinement and fed her own flesh.    Fans of extreme horror will most likely enjoy the third film on the Carnal Morgue disk.  People who are fans of Caroline Peirce for her work from adult films will likely prefer Slaughter Disc.  I’m an extreme horror guy and not a porno person, so I preferred Sustenance. I haven’t gotten around to reading Shady Palms but it looks pretty decent.                                                                                                               
  The Perfect House is a recent horror film.  We had one of the directors Kris Hulbert and the producer Andrea M. Vahl and over and screened the film.  This is actually an excellent film.   I had initially identified the film as an anthology style film, but I was corrected and told by one of the director Kris Hulbert that sequels are planned in which the details of the storylines in the film become clear.  The general gist of it is that you have a couple looking at a house for sale, and they are surprised that the price is as low as it is, but this because a series of highly violent events have taken place in the house stretching back from the 200’s to the late 60’s which are shown in flashback.   One of them involves a dude killing his neighbor’s entire family in front of him for not returning his weed whacker. There’s another one about a family with a disturbed mother. Another one involves a guy who keeps a woman prisoner in small cage in his basement and brings down other people he kills because he enjoys having the prisoner watch.   It is the only film I’m aware of in which a victim with multiple stab wounds is thrown in salty bathwater, which is one of a few prolonged torture sequences in the film.  As you can tell, this film is obviously released by Disney. Family fun for children of all ages!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer is a comedy more than anything else.   A bunch of guys from Denver, Colorado made the film and dropped by the Sci-Fi Center.  The main character Atom is leader of a bowling team, who through a head injury suffers from hallucinations that he is surrounded by zombies, and starts hacking them up, but it’s actually just real people.   There are a number of other plot elements that have to do with the rival bowling team and their leader who steals Atom’s girl.   The theme music was done by the Las Angeles punk band the Radioactive Chicken Heads.   The violence in the film is strictly cartoonish slapstick, and there is a fair bit of gross-out bathroom humor.   It’s pretty funny.  Good times.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Voivod/Innocence of Muslims

Here is an update on two posts that did fairly well on here, even though they are both sort of peripheral to the one subject that does really well on here, which is horror cinema.   About a year ago, I think I dug up some artwork by Voivod’s drummer Away.  This was, as far as the text blog as opposed to the radio show, a fairly popular blog.   I have to admit to being an avid Voivod fan having been exposed to them on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball when I was in 6th grade.  I re-discovered them when I was in my 20’s.   The new single sounds exactly like Voivod sounded in the 80’s.   For a while they used old guitar tracks that the late Piggy had left behind, but they have a new guitarist who sounds just like him.   Jason Newstead of Metallica played base for them during the 200’s, but the current bassist is the original bassist Blackie. The new single is called “Mechanical Mind”.  “Mechanical Mind” sounds like an outtake from Nothingface.   If you want to see what the pinnacle of rock and roll really was, there are really two sides to it, as far as I can see.   One side would be those really classic early goth bands- Joy Division, Bauhaus, Christian Death, Sisters of Mercy, Souxsie and the Banshees, The Cure maybe, early Cult.  The other side of that would be the original Voivod line-up.   That band the Templars are pretty sweet- a really underrated band would be Blitz who put out both an early oi punk album and an early goth album and did both very well.   However, with regards to Voivod, that’s really the original Voivod album I’m speaking of, really.  I like to remember them as young, as they were.  The release last year of To the Death 84 last year was a bigger deal in my mind.  I have very odd and very specific musical taste.                                                                                                                                                  

  Elsewhere in the news, we have an update on the Innocence of Muslims saga.  The filmmaker has been identified as an Egyptian Christian named Nakoula Nakoula- although with the response to his filmmaking in the Muslim, his new name should be Dead Dead .   Nakoula Nakoula has been arrested.  Before you get your panties tangled up about the first amendment, he was not directly being arrested for making Innocence of Muslims.  Uploading the video to YouTube is what he is in jail for, because he was violating terms of probation.  He was previously in trouble for bank fraud and wasn’t supposed to be using aliases or the internet.  He’s a freak. Oh yeah, the killings at the US embassy had nothing to do with the Innocence of Muslims trailer, it turned out later.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Innocence of Muslims Trailer

I can assure you this movie is not coming to a theater near you anytime soon. 
I’ve written on here about some controversial films.  But Serbian Film, the Bunny Game and Human Centipede don’t come anywhere near the level of controversy of Innocence of Muslims.  The U.S state department said this got the U.S. Ambassador to Libya assassinated without having any kind of theatrical release.  The producer of the film’s identity is unknown and the actors involved with the film are in the media saying that they were mislead as to the film’s content.   That is probably a very  good thing for them to say as soon as possible for their personal safety.  Innocence of Muslims is a weird, anti-Muslim propaganda film in which the Prophet Mohammad engages in pedophilia and homosexuality, brutal murder, and fabrication of the Quran for the sake of defrauding his followers.  Michael Savage was banned from entering the UK for making statements about Islam far more moderate.  People like Salmon Rushdie and the makers  of South Park received death threats for much less provocative statements about the Prophet. 
It may seem a mote point, but based on the trailer, the film also probably doubles as one of the worst films of all time.   The costumes look like they were taken from some kids’ Christmas pageant at some church somewhere.  They shot on blue screen and edited in the desert badly.   You have likely seen better acting in pornography.  The thought that this is art worth dying for is sort of hilarious.  The filmmakers appear to be mostly successful at coming up with an excellent way to get your head blown off- for whatever cinematic value that has.  
I don’t know in what form we may ever see this film released in its entirety- perhaps on some sort of hate webpage somewhere.  Based on the trailer I doubt I will not dedicate time to watching the film in its entirety. The only case in which I can see their being reason to do so would be if someone was a real specialist in U.S/Middle East relations.

Update: without getting into it all, it has since turned out that this video was made by a guy named Nakoula Nakoula who was in trouble for white collar crime.  The video had nothing to do with the murders at the U.S. embassy in Libya, it also turned out.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Extreme Asian Torture Double Feature: Marebito and Infection

These two films, Marebito and Infection, were shown together (with subtitles) as a double feature at the William Powell’s Sci-Fi Center in Las Vegas.    I have to be cautious about what films I take the time to review on here because my schedule is becoming increasingly full and I only have time to review films that will attract public interest, if I can, which is by no means the kind of films that interest me much, but these films seem to be the kind that a review could attract some attention.   Those Japanese are sure to come up with some sadistic horror films given the opportunity- the Guinea Pig videos back in the 80’s actually had people thinking they were real snuff films,  Grotesque back in 2009 was banned in the UK outright.  If you want to talk about body horror, more recent Japanese horror cinema goes there in a big way.  Some of these ultra-sick and disturbing Japanese films are going to work better than others, obviously.  I strongly preferred Infection over Marebito.  Don’t get me wrong, Marebito is actually pretty good, but Infection is amazing.   Marebito I would be willing to sit down and watch again just to get a clearer sense of what is going on in the film, if such a thing is possible.  I don’t think you can necessarily sit down and map out the plot of Marebito and have it all logistically make sense really.  The main completely crazy and it is strongly suggested that what is going in the film is actually going on in his head.   The general gist of it is that the main character discovers an underground tunnel system beneath Tokyo in which he finds a woman that has never had human contact and lives entirely off of blood.  First he feeds her his own blood (which he says he enjoys and appears to get off on sexually) but then begins killing people to feed her.    This plot synopsis is a vast oversimplification but I hate writing out a plot synopsis for films in a review and, again, this film I would be willing to watch over because a lot of it didn’t appear to make sense to me much.   It is suggested at one point that one woman he kills is actually his wife and the strange woman that only drinks blood he finds underground is actually his daughter.   Obviously, this a wholesome family film that should be shown to children in elementary schools, especially around the holiday season.  Infection is hot.  It actually scared me.  This hospital in Japan is running out of money, not clear if there is some sort of economic depression going on, but that is sort of the implication. This hospital is running under budget and with inadequate staff.  There is an ambulance headed to the hospital with a mysterious illness.  This one becomes another one in which it is not clear how much is actually going on in the character’s minds.    There is an incident in which by making a mistake, one of the patients, a burn victim, dies, and the doctors and nurses involved discuss the ways to conceal the error.  Meanwhile, the ambulance has dropped off the mysterious patient which has a contagious infection which first effects the brain and then causes the internal organs to dissolve into green slime.   It is suggested that the disease is actually a disease that takes place in the mind, and has something to do with the death of the burn patient.  The answers are not given conclusively in the end, without spoiling too much.  A woman in the audience actually screamed during the screening of Infection.  It’s pretty sweet.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last Days Here Review

It makes sense for me to review this film now just because the DVD came out a few weeks ago and I just happened to see it.  I am not going to lie and say this is an amazing film- it is not.   It’s a documentary about the lead singer of the 70’s doom metal band Pentagram Bobby Liebling who spent years smoking crack in his parents basement.  He- I don’t know- Pentagram is a really good band but I am not crazy about this Liebling guy.  He’s really not especially insightful or interesting.  He’s a weirdo, and not really in a positive way.  He gets sober by the end of the film.   The film is similar in tone to the documentary about Arthur Kane of the New York Dolls except Arthur Kane had vanished from music and become a very serious Mormon, which is a lot more sympathetic.  Bobby is pretty annoying, he vanished from music to smoke crack in his parent's basement.  But who is really annoying is his wife.  He marries one of his young fans in the film.  This is an ugly crackhead who lives with his mom. First of all, she becomes romantically involved with a particularly ugly crackhead because he was in some band in the 70’s, which reminds me a lot of the woman who said she wouldn’t date me because I wasn’t a skinhead in high school.    Secondly, if you watch the film, the strong argument could be made that she was more of a hindrance to Bobby’s recovery than a help.  The documentary doesn’t even play that much Pentagram in it.