Tuesday, January 31, 2006

no future

What is next in horror? Crap probably, but don't worry about, I'll find some good stuff to talk about. Today alone I found two blogs with fresh new links to us here. Links from us to them coming soon, for they are both of interest.

I don't think I'll be able to make any horror movies this semester.

I'm waiting on a box of tapes to arrive with much anticipation, nearly more than ever before, but I always say that. In the meantime I went to dig through the bins at DVD Planet in Huntington Beach. Not many bargains, but I did find a budget DVD of a movie I really am looking forward to watching. Here are some NOT WORK SAFE
teaser images for my upcoming discussion of Tanya's Island, a movie I though would never show up on DVD. By all accounts it is a masterpiece.

Remember that hardcore sucks today, listen to the music and
see the kids dance. It's the 2nd lamest video I've seen on-line. Next time I'll post the number one worst douchebag-moshing-in-the-bedroom video on the net.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Invisible Dead (1971) Pierre Chevalier - vhs on Wizard Video

I've got the Wizard Video edition of this movie that originally came in the big oversized box, though my copy's cover is cut to fit a smaller plastic case. It's got the same artwork on it as this tape I've got pictured here - though I can't be 100% certain that this is the Wizard version that I'm showing you. There is a DVD available now as Orloff and the Invisible Man as part of the EuroShock Collection. Director, Pierre Chevalier, has not made very many well known films. The Invisible Dead is often though of as the Jesus Franco film that Franco never made so as you can imagine it is not a masterpiece of European art cinema, but something more thrown together and padded with some sleazy material. Frequent Franco star, Howard Vernon, plays Dr. Orloff, a character he often played in Franco movie, even as late as Faceless in 1988. I also recognized the overweight and mustached Fernando Sancho, who played a funny investigator in The Swamp of the Ravens.

To make this here Wizard tape they did not bother with the pan n' scan to make up for the change in aspect ratio from very wide to televisions size. We get lots of shots where faces are cut off by the side of the TV, sometimes even a face on either side! This is especially noticeable since this is a very slow and sluggish picture with not a lot of cuts, so the shots tend to hold for a while. There are quite a few weird cutaways in the movie where the camera moves to an inanimate object (like the fire place) after the dialogue stops and holds on it for a seconds before the cut.

This movie was marketed as a zombie pic with it's Invisible Dead name, but really it is more of a traditional gothic horror with the villain being an invisible man. It's not awful, but it is slow as I mentioned before. Surely it is most notable for it's full frontal nudity where the camera gives you much more than a moments peek and one of the three females is subjected to a lengthy rape at the hands of the invisible man. Since he is completely transparent, the female being raped in the dungeon on a pile of hay is completely exposed for what seemed like several awkward, but very memorable, minutes.

Effects are decent, with objects being moved about be barely detectable strings when the invisible man is up to no good. Unfortunately, one effect, where a wall is meant to be closing in on a character, but is in reality just being zoomed in on slowly by the camera, does not work at all. A sound effect, a zoom, and a close up of a face in pain, do not, a closing wall trap make.



Cub Speaks this week contains spoilers about the nature of the invisible man in this movie, but it's worth a read anyway in my opinion.

Cub, I think that the scene where the invisible man raped the girl for sooo long shocked you? Didn't it?

The rape scene certainly shocked me. And you though "i spit on your grave" was brutal... just cause this time it was an invisible ape raping doesn't make it any less messed up cub.

Cub, you know when we saw the invisible man, and it was an ape-type man? Dr. Orloff said he had created a superior race to rule over mankind. Cub, is ape superior? As I have often hinted at this, there may be some truth. Was I right all along and humanity will fall?

I am still not convinced that the ape is a superior race, well maybe Kong was, but the invisible ape comes nowhere close.

Why, Cub, why did you not fall in love with the invisible 'man' - when it was ape - like so many people fell for King Kong in the Peter Jackson movie. Are some apes, it seems, more equal than others? Please tell me that you are still obsessed with fairness, among man and ape.

Kong is in fact an ape one can fall in love with, he's sweet, cute, sensitive, strong, and kicks ever other male's butt to show off for his woman (what else could a girl possibly ask for?)Kong is certainly superior to all other apes, cub, sorry but it's true.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pizza Man (????) Obscure slasher from the way underground!

First: In the last month I wrote an essay about how 70's exploitation movies were nastier than the movies of today and then an essay about how the movies of today are nastier than even the sickest 70's exploitation film. Is this proof that my blog is endless rant of nonsensical bullshit? What is the truth?

The truth is that horror movies today are less shocking than in the past, but mainstream blockbusters can get away with the graphic murder and deliver crazy lifelike slaughter that slips past the rating board because these movies have better reputations, big names attached to them, and are generally considered to have more noble intentions than just pleasing the teenage gore-seeking audience.

Next: The webmaster from slasherama.com told me to check out his
gore gallery for stills from The Prowler, Maniac, and Cannibal Ferox, etc...

Now - Pizza Man reviewed:

Finding out about this movie on the internet was really tough, mainly because there is no info about it on the DVD case (it's a bonus movie on the 3 Sickxty disc - a movie that is obscure enough on its own) and because there is no imdb page on the movie. The websites on the DVD case are gone and 3 Sickxty does not have an imdb page either. I took some notes off of the movies closing credits and those got me somewhere. Website, thepizzamanmovie.net is dead, but the internet wayback machine delivered some remnants of it from 2001 and 2002, which gave me some idea as to when the movie may have been released. Also, I now had the directors names, Greg Carter and Byron T., and could now do better searches.


year unknown

Pizza Man can be watched at a service called CinemaNow, for a paid $2.99 download - I took a look around this site and they offer Hollywood features alongside Polonia Brothers movies and consumer camcorder fair like Pizza Man - interesting. It says the length is 1 hr and 33 minutes, but that is a lie, the movie is about 45 minutes long, but I still consider it a real movie. This site shows me a more accurate Pizza Man graphic since the picture on the back of my DVD shows a Domino's delivery guy in a store bought Michael Myers mask and that's not what he looks like. On screen, Pizza Man is a big long-haired white guy in trucker hat with a circular saw blade at the end of a stick. That's like a pizza wheel, get it. The 3 posted reviews on CinemaNow are negative. Here is one:

Poorly thought out story that is totally hokey throughout...bad acting, cordless phones that work when the electricity is out...99% of the script is pointless babbling about mother f- this, mother f- that. Whoever wrote this movie is in serious need of some basic lessons. The story is centered around a group of annoying thugs who are busy getting high...crazy pizza man comes and kills everyone. Pretty simple...very boring. Characters who see dead bodies act like nothing's wrong and make jokes...it was completely laughable. Avoid at all costs if you ask me...The film IS only 45 mins long...despite what the page says.

Pizza Man is yet another movie that I find inspirational as a film student, sorry if I keep gushing over these movies when I know the readers want to read negative reviews. I'll keep give you clippings of other people's trash talk, ok?

I don't know if I can recommend the download to the casual fan, but maybe for those looking for strange horror with unanswered questions. Why is one of the characters only shown in scenes where he is vomiting in the upstairs bathroom? Why do we get his death, the death of a man jerking off, and the death of a very fat man on the shitter? Is the Pizza Man punishing those who release bodily fluids? Also note, a man is mocked early on in the film for climaxing too soon during sex.

Is the Pizza Man the one who stole the kidneys from the man who wakes up in a bathtub full of ice? Yes, this movies discusses urban legends quite a bit, as well as discussing drug dealing. I did not see the characters dealing with death as lightly as the reviewer above claims he did. There is humor, for example, one man cannot help but refer to women as "bitches" or "ho's" even when he should no better because he is trying to get some action. Also, the overweight gangster who plays video games mostly, takes a whole pizza for himself, even though there are only two for the whole party.

What motivated the Pizza Man? It is suggested that not paying him because he showed up late was what set him off, but how does that explain his other victims? I may have missed something.

I have a couple of criticisms, like I did not go for the whole cocaine dealing subplot (there is a HUGE stolen bag of coke) and would have preferred more subplots centered around going out to the club or recording rap records (it's "urban horror" which means rap music and a mostly black cast) or stand up comedy or something like that as one of the characters is a performer. Also, the movie would be a rough download because even on DVD, on a full television, it is tough to watch because of the darkness and I think it would suffer even more on a flat screen monitor. If you can find this movie in a store, it's probably only as the bonus to 3 Sickxty which I'm not gonna watch, so I can't tell you if it's worth it to throw down for a full price disc. If Pizza Man were really 1 hr and 33 minutes long, or longer, I'd say buy it for sure, to make it part of your DVD library.

Byron T., there is little know about, but Greg Carter is taking off with lots of talk about him on the imdb. His next movie, in pre-production, The Black Man's Guide to Understanding Black Women, is not exclusively for genre fans. Not sure that he made any other horror movies, but he definitely made some shot on video films about gang bangers and crime. Anyhow, one of these days, someone else will shoot a slasher movie about a pizza man gone crazy and it will show up on the new release wall at your local Blockbuster. You and me will know though, that these guys put one out first! Kind of like Mr. Ice Cream Man (1991) and then that shitty Ice Cream Man (1995) with Clint Howard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Spielberg or Cannibal Holocaust?

Before I dismiss horror movies and sell out big time, let's take a look at the changes of note in the horror blog world.

Stacie Ponder,
The Final Girl, got a monthly column at pretty-scary.net.

Groovy Age of Horror was nominated for Best Website at the Rondo Awards.

now - the essay: gore movies vs. big budget movies with gore

The video nasties, banned in the UK! Movies that bring gore and sex in graphic detail just for the sake of selling more tickets. Cannibal films. Women in prison exploitation pics. I love these movies and review them here because they deliver a shock you just can't get from your mainstream horror like Halloween 4, I Know What You Did Last Summer, or Army of Darkness. Old 70's b-movies and today's cutting edge Asian imports deliver sickness on a level that the casual horror movie fan has not experienced, or so I usually believe - until I step back and look at the bigger picture.

Never mind mainstream horror, let's look at something even more normal than that, the movies of perhaps the most famous director of all time, Steven Spielberg. Take first, I movie that I really dislike, Saving Private Ryan. Now it does end with a force-fed feel good message meant to please the masses and that is the opposite what a sick shocker would deliver, but how about the opening war scenes in this movie? Real life veterans have said that Spielberg captures the horrors of the battlefield accurately with his graphic battle scenes. Gore fans, I ask you, what could be more splatter-filled than being in the middle of a real war? Perhaps nothing, other than working in a slaughterhouse or witnessing a terrorist attack.

Life ending brutally in an instant, could anything really be scarier? Death by zombie attack? Never going to happen and if it did you would see it coming from a mile away. Death by serial murderer? Improbable and if it did happen there is nothing that a slasher could do to you that an enemy soldier or terrorist would not. Death and rape occur in wars too.

On to Spielberg latest film, Munich, a movie that does NOT allow it's disturbing moments to be dismissed by an oversimplified morality lesson tacked on at the end. I don't think I've ever let a movie affect me as deeply as Munich did. The vivid bloody slaughter, some of it historically accurate, some of it fictional, left me hopeless. It's not the most graphic movie ever, but when it is graphic it feels more real than anything I've watched in the horror or exploitation genres. One factor is the extremely high budget a Spielberg movie has, but the other factor is Spielberg himself and the other A-list people who put this movie together. Face it, Spielberg is better than Joe D'Amato, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and even Takashi Miike. I may prefer their movies over his and spend my money on their movies other than Minority Report, which I don't cart to see, but I know that it is in most ways a superior product.

In another way Spielberg totally sucks. Could AI be more bloated and awful? When a mainstream movies falls, it falls hard and is worthy of much condemnation. When a smaller budget genre films is awful, well that's no big deal, I might like it anyway. Horror movies get a pass because they don't aim as high. At the same time, nothing ventured, nothing gained, but at the same time as that, what do I care about ambition, I'm a horror fan first and foremost. I don't even watch non-horror films very often because cinema is where I go to escape the emotions of day to day life, not a place I go to be profoundly effected and manipulated by a good production. Take Brokeback Mountain for example. Thanks but not thanks. The movie was excellent and brought me close to tears, but I didn't want to go there. I was left feeling down. Munich may have been worth it, because it opened my mind and I think the movie brings good ideologies to the table. As for Brokeback Mountain, I've been exposed to these issues before and did not need another reality check. I already know that gays have it rough, so subject someone a little less informed to this tale of longing and loss.

What I am saying is that gore movies do not have much of an effect on me. They please me to watch, I take an active interest in them and collect them, but they do not blow my mind in an emotional way. It's like I am a mortician looking at his 300th car accident victim and enjoying my work with out being disturbed by it. Show me a movie that connects with me on an emotional level and then throw in some graphic gore to that mix, that's like when the mortician sees that the mutilated corpse in front of him is that of his lifelong best friend, the carnage effects him again. I'll pass.

I recommend Munich to all. Critics love it, but the public has been less receptive because they think it's soft on terrorists. America really believes strongly in an eye for an eye, even if it means everybody includes ourselves gets blinded eventually. Call me selfish, but I don't want to die in some terrorist attack that was done in retaliation to some military action I had nothing to do with. All these pro-military types live out in states that the terrorists are not going to attack. How easy for them to back attacks on countries that might spread anti-American sentiments?

See the negative Munich reviews from American boneheads at
Yahoo's movie site.

the worst of the worst, I will not post his username:

WOW! What a long, boring "I cant believe Spielberg produced it" piece of crap this movie was. Ten minutes into the film Spielberg shows us an agent sodomizing his pregnant wife, which is something my mother and 3 children did not have to see. There is barely any mention of the fallen athletes, just flashbacks of them being killed. Finally, after 90 minutes of this dribble we got up and walked out. My advice for Spielberg fans: Stay home and rent ET!

Sir, there is no sodomy in this movie, it is just a sex scene where they do not do it in the missionary position! Anyway, the movie is obviously Rated R, I can't believe you expected ET! Blame yourself for taking your mother and 3 children to the most disturbing movie of the year - and it's the violence, not the sex, that is gonna give your kids the nightmares.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

horror consumer activist

You guys may have heard that Takashi Miike's short Imprint is not playing on Showtime's Masters of Horror series as was initially promised. The reason? Too graphic, but have no fear suckers, you will be able to buy it totally uncut on DVD from Anchor Bay. Never mind that you may have purchased the premium Showtime network just to watch this series! Boy am I glad I didn't.

Article at
bloody-disgusting.

You may be the kind of idiot who has to buy every Masters of Horror DVD when it comes out because VHS recordings of the show are not good enough?!? Oh, the DVDs will include extras... I see. I hope they are worth the money when you buy the whole series two episodes at a time.

At least Anchor Bay can be guaranteed good sales for one of their DVDs, the highly anticipated, and I mean more highly than the others, Miike episode.

It better not turn out (it has not yet) that some of these were cut for cable and will be available for the first time uncut on the DVD. If so, someone ought to be punched
.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

"No one touches me. I don’t exist. I was never born."

We watched When a Stranger Calls, the original vision, not the one that will be coming up your ass in the near future from the maker of Con Air. Unfortunately curiosity will get the better of me and I'll waste some money on a pair of tickets to this one. I'm trying to boycott crap, I really am.

The 1979 original is the first movie from Fred Walton who brought us the good April Fool's Day and some perhaps bad TV movies like The Stepford Husbands. I really did not like Stepford Husbands. Stranger Calls stars Carol Kane and Charles Durning both still act frequently today and returned for the Walton directed TV sequel, When a Stranger Calls Back (1993), that I have yet to see. I'm surprised the two are not appearing in cameos for the remake, like I heard Michael Berryman will be doing for the Hills Have Eyes remake.

The role of the chilling killer in the original, one Curt Duncan, was the last to be played actor Tony Beckley who died in 1980. It's his voice that really did it, as the most memorable sequences in this movie involve telephone calls. I'm not so sure what this remake is going to do that Scream didn't. The phone-play scares in that movie are really still fresh in audiences minds since Scream sequels and rip-offs followed that movie on into the early 2000's. Ten years since Scream, but it really feels like ten minutes.



Are you ready to be subjected to my prank calls? "Why haven't you checked the children?" or worse "Why haven't you checked the bunny?"

Your voice hunny is too distinguishable. The pranks would not work. Plus, Buns would be sleeping right next to me in bed, so there would be no need to "check the bunny".

Admit it Cub, you just want to see the new one in the theater so you can hold hands with me in the dark.

Yes, the reason I want to see the new movie is so we can hold hands in the dark. ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Boogeyman (1980) Ulli Lommel, not that 2005 bullshit.

First of all, I'd like to say, I've been doing some thinking and some reading, and none of us who don't own a house now will never be able to afford one. They say the market will go bust, because there are more houses out there than rich folk, but I think they forget that the richest can buy bunches of houses, own them all, and makes us all permanent renters. The only way out of the peasant class will be to see the world by joining the army for Bush. I just can't ship out to Iraq soon enough.

This is not a review of last year's Sam Raimi produced feature that we've all seen the preview for a thousand times, but hopefully avoided for real. As far as I can tell, that Boogeyman has nothing to do with this one.


Horror art sucks today. The new Sony DVD version of the 1980 classic vs. the original art on a poster I bought on ebay.

The Boogeyman, it rips off The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror so it probably was pretty much trashed by critics upon its release, but today it holds up for fans of the 70's and early 80's. Ulli Lommel, he's fallen from grace and makes shot on video movies today. Why? The Boogeyman was certainly a professional effort. It's got style, blood, John Carradine (a bit), and a bunch of memorable deaths, my favorite being the french-kissing-skewer death. This movie was a joy to watch.

Lommel's fall might, or at least should - if there is any justice, have something to do with the Boogeyman sequels. One of them is free on the new nicely priced DVD. It's Return of the Boogeyman or Boogeyman 3 and pissed me off to no end. Cub called it worse than "that island movie we saw...", she meant House of the Dead. Lommel is credited as co-producer. It's a shame. I'd say 80%, some estimate more - some less, of Return of the Boogeyman is footage from the original Boogeyman with poorly synced ominous music playing over it and terrible narration from a psychic in a trance describing in detail what is going on in the screen. It's like The Boogeyman with audio Cliff Notes for a two year olds - you can predict her next lines with astounding accuracy. The climax is the climax from The Boogeyman, with the annoying narration going on, and then that's it. Well, we get a bad final scare with the "man with no-face" appearing in her rearview mirror and then crappy video credits. Worse, they try to imply, with some nonsensical dialogue, that her vision of this shit going doing is what enabled the original survivors of The Boogeyman to make it, though she does not intervene in anyway. What a cheap way to attach importance to this nonsense. I watched some in fast forward and I was still yelling at the screen.

Oh yeah, they recap these Boogeyman recaps multiple times and in nonlinear order to really nail shit home.

The bathroom death in Return of the Boogeyman, the only new death shown (about a million times) and the only memorable sequence other than going into trances for flash back narration, is reportedly from another Lommel movie as well.

Boogeyman II, there is a DVD, I have not seen it, but the reviews of it are just as bad as the ones for Boogeyman 3. What do they say? They say it's a movie mainly made of footage from the original Boogeyman! To commit this same crime twice! Lommel is credited as director.

typical review 1:

I thought I was watching a special feature when I started this movie, and was surprised that it was the feature. This is not a sequel, this is one of the worst DVDs of all time. Thankfully, I only rented it and am only out the rental cost. Everybody, be warned, you barely see anything of the actual Boogeyman sequel, just scenes in fast motion. There should be some kind of law because this DVD is slickly packaged and is a complete and total rip-off. Everybody involved with the making of this DVD should feel ashamed. Those who bought it deserve their money back.

typical review 2:

All you need to know is that it is just a ripp off with old footage from the 1st movie.

DO NOT PURCHASE.

In Lommel's defense, word is that there is an actual Boogeyman II full movie (on tape? in theaters?) and that he hated it. People call this DVD Boogeyman Redux as it is a director's cut of The Boogeyman with the only salvageable scenes from Boogeyman II (some novel deaths) stuck into it. Confusing. More confusing, reportedly are the trailers included for other Boogeyman movies including Boogeyman 5 that is just footage from other Lommel sci-fi movies. Some wonder if the DVD is Lommel's joke on people that liked The Boogeyman series, a series that he himself hated to make. Who knows? I wanna know.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"Humans, they're living garbage!"

Pissing on a girl's face? They can't show that in Hostel! People, no matter what the director says about their film being a "hard R", you are not going to see the kind of violence at the movies that you can see in the comfort of your own living room. I've been watching a lot of low budget DVD's and for what the lack in polish and production values they make up for in explicate acts. If you can't make out what the image is on the screen cause it's too fuzzy, well it better be gore and sex that you are trying to see, otherwise it's just not worth it!

I
reviewed volume 1 of the All Night Long trilogy not too long ago. Well volume 2 was gross, but the last, All Night Long 3: The Final Chapter really takes the cake. Are you a dust collector? Have you ever dumpster dived? I suspect some of my readers have. Me, I loved picking through the boxes in the trash room in the dorm at boarding school. I even applied for a job at the recycling center so that I could have a go at the entire campuses used magazines. Well, I got that job, but my supervisor was so laid back that he told me to not bother showing up for work the entire semester, I'd get the credit anyway. Seemed nice at the time, but think of the goods that I missed out on!

So we're dust collectors, but wait a second, no we are not! A dust collector, it would seem, not only keeps the salvageable good, but also stuff that I certainly would not even want to touch on accident. Pubic hairs, soiled underwear, and bloody pads - these catalogued in binders or or taped to the wall and dated to determine exactly what days the menstrual cycle is heavy or light. Half eaten food? The fact that the bites in the sandwich were made by the object of our obsession makes them test better. No, I've never done this, I really was grossed. It's the hair collecting that got to me the most - then taping it to the vaginal area of a crude female marker drawing. The extremely wet and bloody deaths that followed washed away some of the icky feeling I'd developed from watching weird perverts in action, but I'm still disturbed.

Celebrity actor in All Night Long 3: The Final Chapter - Tomorowo Taguchi of Tetsuo as the older dust collector. I read of this, I have not seen Tetsuo.

Humans are garbage is what Katsuya Matsumura's antisocial series tells us, and that is a very different message from that of Andrew Copp's Mutilation Man. This one is rough on the eyes as it's shot on 16mm and is at times employs effects that blur or obscure the images. What we end up with is a story of someone coming to terms with his pain via his self-mutilation touring show. In the end he walks away with an angel so I guess the "Life is Beautiful" tagline attached to this movie is not meant to be ironic. Of course along the way we get lots of gore and sex and pain and stock footage or real life atrocities and murders from wars past. Copp's not nihilistic, he thanks God and his parents in the closing credits. I would say that this movie shows excellent editing skills, though I don't know if I recommend watching it. The wasteland looks and awful lot like rural Ohio and the Mutilation Man's rabid followers look a lot the director's heavy metal-listening friends. Copp appears in a couple of Jim Van Bebber's movies, My Sweet Satan and The Manson Family, which is getting a lot of press right now, and some negative press from me right
here. Van Bebber is billed 3rd in Mutilation Man, he's in here as the Mutilation Man's abusive murdering father, the source of all of his pain.


Mutilation Man (1998)

Everything is explicate in this movie - nudity, porno, gore, real pissing, carnage. There is almost no dialogue. From Sub Rosa, probably a cut above all the rest of their shot-on-video fair.

Off topic: Extreme gore can often become cartoonish no matter how high the budget. I don't think Murder Set Pieces is cartoonish, but some viewers, beaten over the head with the nonstop increasing violence in the film, find it hard to take seriously. One friend told me that A History of Violence had what felt like cartoonish violence to her, though I found it to be convincing. Hostel's scene with the dangling eyeball? That did feel very Toxic Avenger to me - the effect failed.

What's next? Aftermath, #2 from the
Top Ten Sickest Movies. My friend Larry has this movie and next time I'm over there I'm going to see it. Hopefully this movie will remind me of the beauty of gore. There is such a thing, when good is simulated well it can be visually stunning and pleasing to the eye. Both the films I discussed tonight were ugly to look at, which doesn't necessarily mean that they failed, it might mean that they succeeded.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hostel (2005) Eli Roth's escape from castle wolfenstein

First: The super sick video for the Captain Ahab song is up here at http://www.lawrenceklein.net - I'm doing Larry's web site. You have to watch this video, but warning - IT IS NOT WORK SAFE and the music is full of profanities. Wait till you get home before you watch the obscenity. Oh yeah, you might need Quicktime 7 and the video can also be downloaded at the Captain's site.

Hostel: Boy does Eastern Europe seem creepy. I know Cub's ancestors come from there, and that is why she is so beautiful, but still, I will have to watch out for my girl from now on.

Eli Roth's Cabin Fever was loved by some horror fans and hated by others. As far as I can tell, Hostel is receiving the same response. Mainstream critics are calling it average, but horror fans either are crazy about it or citing it as everything that is wrong with horror today. You either get it or you don't. Me, I get it. So far Roth can do no wrong in my eyes, at least as a director. Sure you could say these movies try to be clever like all those annoying scream clones, but Roth ups the dose by bringing in 80's excess, an obvious love for extremely violent 70's horror, and today's Takashi Miike movies. Roth's films are not typical 90's mall movies even if at a casual glance they appear to be. If taken at face value they might appear to be nothing special, but they go the extra mile to shock and I connect with that exploitation/shock element. Then again maybe Roth is a pulling a fast one over on the audience and is exploiting us. Maybe he is not so brilliant and worthy of hype and but that's the real beauty of it. I'm beginning to think it's the Great Horror Movie Swindle, might as well side with him because your giving him your money anyway.

My art history teacher once said that he did not think the paintings of Andy Warhol were art, but that the man himself was an artist, in that he created a persona to manipulate the press and public. Eli Roth? Not quite, because the public is not some much into his personal antics on red carpets and VH1, but still, he is getting people talking.

The movie reminded me of The Beach, the movie and the superior book by Alex Garland. That is a horror story about hedonistic backpackers in Thailand. In an anthropology class we had a bunch of readings that painted these young college backpackers in a bad light, though they certainly feel that they are more down to earth than wealthy tourists, they actually bring very little money to the area. They don't buy the souvenirs the locals make cause they won't fit in there backpacks. Instead they spend some on drugs making illegal drug dealing a lucrative business for the locals and then stuff goes to shit. The tourism industry becomes the drug and sex industry. Yeah, they spend on hookers too.

I don't want to say much about the specifics of Hostel expect for dropping these two spoilers one you.

semi-spoiler: Notice the scene where the ankles get sliced like in the final kill in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance? Eli Roth stated that the Chan-wook Park film was a direct influence on Hostel.

Eli Roth vs. Nick Palumbo

final death spoiler: Nick Palumbo, director of the straight-to-DVD gorefest Murder Set Pieces is going to be pissed when he sees the final toilet kill in Hostel that is much like the tub-drowning and throat-slitting scene in Set Pieces that is hands down the sickest. I'm telling you people, watch both scenes, they are similar and there is no way Roth did not see Murder Set Pieces because word is that Nick Palumbo talks shit on Roth's Cabin Fever in the Murder Set Pieces director's commentary. I have not heard the commentary, but I watched the DVD of the movie. It is a professional looking film with one hell of a villain (also Eastern European), but there is not much of a story. There is hinting at disturbing underground worlds of Nazis, smut peddlers, and child pimps, but we are not immersed in the sick like we are in Hostel which takes us to a foreign land. Set Pieces is just violent episode after violent episode in the killer's life - so if you ask me it can't compete with Roth's movies that are more engaging. Hostel even has round characters, something rare for a teen slasher. As I said, Murder Set Pieces has got one scary male lead, but he's basically the American Psycho guy with a job as a porn photographer instead of an executive.

On Nick Palumbo's movie:

Murder Set Pieces is for gorehounds only. Some say it is pornography for those who get off on gore rather than sex. I give it credit for pushing the envelope by having young children onscreen during brutal murders, though one infant crying child was too young to be acting. I must say that scene (where the child's real life mothers acts and looks dead) made me uncomfortable as did the real September 11th footage of the towers that only serves to remind us that all the crazy blood and guts in this movie is simulated. Seeing a real mass murder scene in this movie only serves to make everything else - as sick and well executed as it was - fairly cartoonish by comparison.

A quote from Nick Palumbo (interview at
reallyscary.com) about Cerina Vincent who starred in both Cabin Fever and Murder Set Pieces:

And now, Cerina Vincent, who plays The Beautiful Girl, wants her name taken off the film! Her agent actually cussed me out after the screening and won’t take my calls. She was told what the movie was about – a serial killer who murders women and children – but she only read the part of the script her character was in. Actually, when I first talked to her agent and told him about the movie, he asked me “What are you trying to make? A serious horror movie like Cabin Fever? I tried so hard not to laugh and told him that Murder-Set-Pieces was WAY beyond Cabin Fever. His reply, and I still can not believe he said this, was “If you can come close to the horror that IS Cabin Fever, you would really be doing something.” Oh my God.

Cub speaks on Hostel:



Cub, no doubt Hostel is the story of your travels in Europe. Being a slutster I suppose... Perhaps someone should have taught you a lesson, crappy American Cub.

Yeah that better have been a joke. Crappy American? Hmmm.. were you merely describing yourself? For you know I am 100% European, and no I will not sit with you in a spa with everything hanging out those those Euro girls in the movie. Keep dreaming.....

Cub, you are not really American, see I was joking, you are Polish. Did you hear about strange Hostels back in the old country? Perhaps you have some extended family members who work at these places? How sick.

As for my ancestors in Europe running any of these strange places, I am sad to tell you that they don't exist. I know you don't believe me and want to go to Europe to scope things out yourself, I guarantee you will be extremely disappointed, you sicko. And if they did exist , i would never see you again, cause you know how it all ends. I get your head sent back via Fed Ex, saying "Greeting from Poland", and ....ok you get my drift. So, cub remember that curiosity killed the cat, and I want my cub alive and well to live happily ever after with me!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Captain Ahab music video premier the other night downtown

The Lawrence Klein video should be on the web before the end of the week. I'm going up to Los Angeles tomorrow to help him get it on-line so it could be up tomorrow, but of course there may be delays in getting the domain name transferred and that kind of stupid shit. It's a must see for those who like gore and bodily fluids and obscenity. The crowd reaction to the video being projected on a big screen at The Smell the other night was terrific. The video is nothing but nonstop money shots that will make you squirm. Check back and I'll have a link for you.

Captain Ahab's music... I don't want to offend anyone by describing it incorrectly, so I'll just take what it says of the myspace page, "Pop / Electronica / Post Hardcore". I've got the old album and it is sweet, but the new demos are more memorable, more diverse in style (booty bass, 80's pop, power metal?) and more memorable lyrically. The
website has 4 mp3s and the myspace page has another 4, but you can't get all the new hits that the kids at the show all knew. I think that these can be found on a secret demo webpage that I'm not allowed to post a link to. Maybe if you ask somebody they will hook you up - I know we all tend to be passive internet users, by contacting someone can go a long way.

After "I Can't Believe it's Not Booty" screened we were treated to a full Captain Ahab set and now I am a believer. I mean it's just guy singing along to tapes off of his laptop and his buddy Jim dancing, but you get a real show out of that alone. Here come the pics:


"He said captain, I said wot" - bad post punk reference


the dancing...

That's it for now.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Fuck GIANT VILLAGE!

New Year's Eve - I was not close enough to the Giant Village bullshit in downtown L.A. to be affected by it - none the less it does indeed blow that the world's largest New Year's rave is held here. I'm lucky I did not get killed by one of those drunks on my drive back to the O.C., though I probably deserve to die for living here! (Note: I heard that Giant Village was cancelled - millions of hard-up dudes are pissed - no dropping rohypnol into drinks to the beats of John Digweed.)

My new year is guarenteed to be better than the last, though I started things off pretty well last January with my engagement, the next few months after that I spent in obscurity, accomplishing practicaly nothing. These days mental illness is on the decline. I am no longer a very sick person and am just sort of sick. I can drive a car now, it is true, but this blog is for horror. If you care about my personal life you can read this
blog with it's fairly infrequent updates.

When Cub gets back, I'll check out the poorly recieved Wolf Creek, Kong, and hopefuly check out Hostel on opening night. Eli Roth, hero or jackass? The jury is out on that one. I'll make the call... soon.

Reveiws... I've got tons of out-of-print horror tapes to watch. I can't review them all, but I'll focus on the most interesting, which means reviews of the best lost treasures and worst partial-birth abortions.