<![CDATA[Ginger Nuts of Horror - FILM GUTTER ]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:14:54 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: CAPTURE KILL RELEASE (2016)]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:24:45 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-capture-kill-release-2016BY ALEX DAVIS 

Dir. Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart,
​Canada, 96 mins

There's a lot of random movies that I stumble across at Film Gutter, and this is one of those cases. Never heard of it, didn't know the first thing about it but looked the right sort of film with the right sort of flavour. It's apparent in the opening minutes that we're entering the world of found footage once again, which is a double-edged sword – although I'd say that there's more bad than good for me personally. But as always I was determined to keep an open mind and not approach it with too many preconceptions.

And I have to say it wasn't bad. Not wonderful, certainly, but not bad. The movie follows young couple Jennifer and Farhang, who – at some point before we enter the narrative – have decided they are going to kill somebody. We certainly don't launch into that willy-nilly at all, and I think it's quite interesting to see the serious planning and build-up to what they are going to do. We see them at the hardware store picking out the best axes and saws for the job, getting good-size tarps, plotting what they are going to do with the bodies after the fact. It's practically a military operation and the two are happy, excited even to be working towards this end game.

The first tensions arise when Jennifer proposes a victim, a businessman of some kind who is rude and unpleasant to her on the street. Farhang was keen to avoid any personal connection, so is keen to stay away for this gentleman, even though he follows along on their stakeouts to find out more about him. And eventually Jennifer decides he is right and brings them home a homeless victim...
I won't say too much more about this one plot-wise. It's pretty gruesome in places, the effects are realistic enough and I think the performances are OK from all involved. The two actors even keep their own names for the characters. The highlight of the movie is the real unease and relationship trouble that actually committing the act causes, as Jennifer revels in it and Farhang feels pangs of conscience. That's probably a more interesting angle than the actual violence and death, which is no bad things.
 
However I can't give it a hugely high rating, and here's why – in fact it's something I intimated at earlier. They obviously have had a conversation some point beforehand about deciding to kill a totally random person. And it just left me wondering why? The two don't seem especially unpleasant, or violent, or psychopathic. And that's what jarred me the most of all – if these two pretty normal folks are just going to wake up one day and say 'hey, why don't we kill someone' I would love some more motivation and justification. Without that, it just feels a bit like 'Five Go and Commit a Murder', like it's all some wonderfully jolly jape and a big adventure they'll look back on and laugh. Characters need motivation, and ultimately that's what we're missing here – and that does have a genuinely detrimental effect on the movie. Capture Kill Release does a number of things right, but in doing this major one wrong very much limits what it can hope to achieve as a movie.
RATING: 5/10. Capture Kill Release is a strange misnomer of a title, now I think about it – the first two are certainly happening but I didn't see anyone getting released here at all. Anyway, there was promise here and the found footage style was used better than in many movies. The acting wasn't stunning but it was certainly believable, and the relationship element and the impact that their decision to kill has on the relationship is pretty effective. However the fact that there's simply no motivation for their actions and nothing in their apparent characteristics for why they would do it is just a massive stumbling block for me on a personal level. It's something fundamental to storytelling they seems to be egregiously missed here, and it loses several marks for that, so it's only a fair mark of 5/10
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: BODY MELT]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-body-meltby Alex Davis 

Dir. Philip Brophy, Australia, 81 mins

Australia is a nation that has produced some very decent horror movies over the years, and has a pretty fair pedigree in terms of extreme horror as well. The Loved Ones remains a firm favourite of mine, and with other offerings like Wolf Creek and Hounds of Love to boot it's certainly seems to be a lively scene down under. This one had pretty much passed me by, but on a hunt through the body horror section of Shudder I thought this one sounded like it could be some fun. That's not often a phrase that I apply to body horror – a subgenre that has served up some of the movies I've personally found very hardest to watch, including the horrible Thanatomorphose. Thankfully this one wasn't anywhere near as hard as some of its bedfellows, and in fact was pretty enjoyable.
 
To be fair, the story is pretty disjointed, but it fundamentally follows the residents of Pebbles Court, Homesville. The characters are pretty broadly-drawn but suffice perfectly well for the plot in this one, which concerns a local health farm and pharmaceutical company who are producing a highly experimental drug. We see its first victim – a former employee who tries to go and warn the good folks of Homesville – die in a pretty gory fashion, and that's a precedent for what comes next as the denizens of Pebbles Court are slipped this new drug by one means or another, and gradually find themselves bursting, exploding, melting and plenty more besides.

It's all pretty silly, but it sets its stall out early enough in that respect. You know what you're letting yourself into in the space of a few minutes, beginning with the stunningly retro computer graphics and then more firmly established in our meeting the absurd dramatis personae. There are a few chuckles to be had along the way – the cast of 'rednecks' (I know it's technically Australia not America, but I can't think of a better word) are a stitch, as are the bonehead teens on the block – and the deaths are generally pretty inventive and interesting. It's hard to be horribly shocked by anything, given the context, but the effects are good for the time and there's some pleasure to be had in wondering what the next extravagant death will look like. The fact the characters are basically 'shreddies' means that you don't miss them, or really feel for them, but again given what this film is trying to do it doesn't make too much difference.
 
Body Melt isn't especially cutting, or visceral, or hard to watch as so many of our entries in Film Gutter have been before it. I don't think it's going to prove to be that memorable either. What it is – and I don't get the chance to say this enough -  is a fun piece of horror that plays with some extreme ideas but keeps the humour and the outrageousness at the heart of it. There are plenty of flaws, sure – the story jumps all over the shop, giving almost the sense of a portmanteau rather than a full movie, some of the acting is hammy – like beyond the kind of hammy you'd like too see  - and there's little to stir any sort of emotional response. But it was an enjoyable way to spend 80 minues, and on those grounds it's worth a nose as an antidote to the more gruesome and distressing offerings  we often encounter.

RATING: 7/10. Body Melt almost feels like a movie out of time, as it would have been a perfect fit for the 80's style of horror. Even for when it was made it was likely retro, and looks even more so now, but it holds up in terms of effects and approaches its slim idea with enough energy and verve to make for a chaotic but ultimately pretty funny experience. It's not unmissable, but you could certainly do a sight worse if you like your extreme horror on the less serious side. 
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: KUSO (2017)]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 07:46:57 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-kuso-2017BY ALEX DAVIS 

FILM GUTTER
Come on in, the water's baffling...

Dir. Flying Lotus, USA, 105 mins

To begin with, it's worth saying this is a film I had been looking forward to for some time, and hats off to Shudder for picking this one up – it's a bold choice given what has been said about this movie prior to its release. Apparently enduring a host of walkouts during its screening at the Sundance Film Festival, and later being described online as 'the grossest movie ever made', this one screamed Film Gutter from the very get go. And given some of the talent involved at Brainfeeder Films – talent that certainly has a reputation for the bizarre – I was buzzing to get stuck into this one.
 
In many ways, it was everything that I expected, and really rather hard to describe adequately without actually watching. Kuso's framework is an occasionally-referenced earthquake that has caused a strange series of events to occur, which allows for a sort of montage style that provides a lot of creative freedom. So just what is it about? It's about a man who enters into a three-way relationship with a talking boil that has developed on his girlfriend, which we unfortunately get to see the consummation of. It's the story of a woman descending into hell to save her baby only to find herself physically attached to another woman. It's the story of a man determined to cure his fear of breasts by undergoing a trippy treatment after a cockroach, Mr Quiggle, emerges from his doctor's ass and squirts some sort of medicine (kind of) into his mouth (starring George Clinton and male porn star Lexington Steele, no less). It's about a woman who discovers she's pregnant by a creep that emerges through her toilet to say hello and the two bears (again, maybe not a perfect description) with TVs for faces that she lives with. It's about all of those things and an awful lot more, but that probably gives you some sense of just how odd this piece of work is.

I think whether this is to your taste or not, the craft and care that has gone into Kuso is undeniable. All the make-up work is meticulous, the visuals are breathtaking for the right reasons in places and all the wrong reasons in other – veering from glorious to horrifying – the soundtrack is wonderful (as you would expect from anything associated with directory Flying Lotus) and there is a freshness and originality here that is hard to deny. The film's detractors might argue a case that it is trying too hard to be different, but as any of my regular readers will know I prize originality in horror above a lot of other qualities, so you won't hear any complaints from me in that respect. I have a deep suspicion this is also a movie that will improve with repeat watching, as so much Adult Swim television.


And as I wrote that, I realised the best way I could describe Kuso is if Adult Swim decided to make a horror film, this would probably be it. It's relentlessly original, continually disturbing and takes pleasure in keeping its audience distinctly unbalanced. Just when you think you've figured something out, wham – we're onto the next thing. For me, it is entertaining and it kept my attention held tight all the way, but then Adult Swim has always produced some of my very favourite TV, and generally the stranger the better for me. But I think any reviewer would probably be wise to say this is not a movie for everybody – in fact Kuso is probably something that will be truly enjoyed by a small minority. Surreal, hilarious, artistic, sickening, energetic, twisted, intense, discombobulating – Kuso is all this and much more.
 
RATING: 9/10. If I were reaching for one word to described Kuso, it would probably be wild. This is a group of filmmakers well and truly let loose to create something that makes no concessions to its viewers or the film industry it is a part of. It is gross – not as gross as some movies we have watched, although Royal the Boil was a singularly queasy moment – but it is a flat-out assault in the sense with its off-the-wall imagery and mini stories it tells. I might have to watch it a few more times to be sure, but it might just be genius and I think is bound to gain a real cult status in years to come. I enjoyed it heartily, and although it certainly isn't a movie for everyone, it was undoubtedly a movie for me. One of the craziest rides ever here at Film Gutter and worthy of a great 9/10.
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: ​LOVE OBJECT (2003)]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-love-object-2003BY ALEX DAVIS 
FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: ​LOVE OBJECT (2003)
Dir. Robert Parigi, USA, 88 mins

I happened to stumble across this DVD (along with a host of other very good horror DVDs) for just 50p at a completely random charity sale. It's a movie I hadn't seen for a while, or even considered for a fair bit, but the minute I saw it I had a recollection of it being something I had really liked. In fact I distinctly recall renting it from Blockbuster (I know some of your out there will remember those) and really enjoying it. But would this one have stood the test of time? An hour and a half later I was relieved to be able to answer yes – Love Object still has plenty about it as a movie and remains high in my estimation. While it's not as flat out visually disturbing or gross as some Film Gutter entries, it plays with some very odd and somewhat shocking ideas in a subtle and clever way.
Love Object follows the story of Kenneth, a fairly ambitious but also very buttoned down young employee at a technical manual writing company. His boss is really pleased with his work and decides to give him a major job on a tight deadline. But he also gives him a deputy on the task – Lisa, a new temp at the company who'll be doing some of the typing and transcription (I think? It's a little ill-defined). Shy Kenneth initially doesn't want to work with a beautiful young woman, and asks to work alone, but his boss insists that he needs the support to deliver on time. And from there starts a dangerous obsession and a very dark journey.
 
You see, this is not only the story of will they/won't they between Kenneth and Lisa, but has a much darker element. When one of his colleagues at work introduces the idea of an anatomically correct, personalised sex doll Kenneth is intrigued and a little excited by the concept. So he goes home, empties his bank account and orders his very own doll in the very image of Lisa, which he dubs Nikki. But Nikki isn't there to just be subservient, and before long seems to take on a life of her own...
 
The central premise probably sounds a bit cheesy, and when I first watched it back I was a little nervous of how it would be delivered, but it's really well done. It's not presented a la the ridiculous Annabelle – all of Nikki's movements either happen while Kenneth is away, or asleep, or are presented in a chaotic fashion to give a sense of movement without any actual movement going on. Or course that brings up the question of whether any of this is real, or is the whole thing is in Kenneth's repressed and fragmented psyche. The love story with the real-life Lisa so nearly happens, but the final twist to the movie is pretty horrible and is in part what makes this worthy of mention on Film Gutter.

It's not uncommon to hear comparisons to American Psycho, which I can sort of understand. As much as I unequivocally love that book, it has to be said Love Object is much better than the poor movie adaptation of American Psycho. The whole thing is played in a pretty understated manner by lead actors Desmond Harrington and Melissa Sagemiller, the plot unveils steadily and in a logical fashion with very good high points and low points, and the threads of work stress and romantic entanglement an sexual frustration all tie together really well. I suppose those American Psycho comparisons come from the flashes of black humour throughout, which do lighten the mood nicely without jarring from a tonal viewpoint. The ending – which I won't spoil – is pretty effective too.
 
I've never quite understood how this movie seemed to pass so many people by, or never get more credit than it has. I can't find much not to like – it's a creepy concept with strong central performances and is one that I would certainly recommend checking out.

RATING: 9/10. There's so much good about Love Object, with only a few minor quibbles about some of the side performances, that I can only give it an excellent rating. It's neatly constructed, carefully and skilfully paced and I loved the central relationship and chemistry between the two lead characters and actors. Throw in some genuinely creep-out moments alongside some genuinely funny moments and you have a winning combination. On top of all that, it'll basically guarantee you never have any wish to but a sex doll. It gets plenty of love from me for a 9/10.
PURCHASE A COPY HERE
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: BLACK MASS OF THE NAZI SEX WIZARD (2015)]]>Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:18:57 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-black-mass-of-the-nazi-sex-wizard-2015BY ALEX DAVIS 
Dir. Lucifer Valentine, Canada, 66 mins
There are times as a reviewer where you are slightly limited by the form itself. Those moments are blessedly rare, but in turning to review the fourth part of Lucifer Valentine's Vomit Gore 'trilogy' there is a certain sense that I can't really, truly convey what it is like to sit through one of these movies. Emotionally, psychologically, sometimes even physically, these movies are a pure and utter assault on the senses. And I don't mean that in any enjoyable, lively, colourful way – everything about these films is unpleasant. Lucifer Valentines has a following in spite of – or perhaps because of – making these films a living nightmare for the viewer. I'd even argue Valentine sees you as his enemy and the whole series - and this film in particular – is an attempt to break you.
The other challenge in reviewing Black Mass of the Nazi Sex Wizard (I'm abbreviating to BMOTNSW from here on in for expediency) is that there's just nothing to compare to. There are movies I have slogged through and almost turned of – Thanatomorphose and Vase De Noces spring to mind in particular – but these are least made concessions to the traditional art of filmmaking. They have plots, if they are a bit vague in places. They have characters you can recognise and follow the arc of. They follow something linear in terms of timeline and chronology. BMOTNSW throws everything you know about movies out of the window, which I think makes it an even harder watch. As with the opening three movies, I feel like there is something going on here, some message, although putting your finger on it after one watch is extremely tricky. And, if I'm honestly, I don't think I could stomach going back for a second look. So what you have here is something unique, and I can't look you in the eye and say 'it's a bit like this' or 'it's a bit like that'. Vomit Gore is Vomit Gore, and I don't think anyone has delivered anything like it before or since.
 
In that lies Lucifer Valentine's strengths – I've long espoused the virtues of originality, and movie makers trying to do things that are new and challenging. And Valentine has always done that in spades. Coming back to do a fourth movie in what has always been widely acknowledged as a trilogy is a bit unusual and fairly brave as well – I suppose it's never stopped Hollywood before, with that said. But BMOTNSW might just be Valentine's magnum opus, and this one justifies the return to the subgenre that Valentine created and remains the only exponent of.

And therein lies the final problem in presenting a review of this movie. It's so hard to watch, such visual and audio torture, that it's taken me a long time to build up to actually watching it. The vast majority of the first three movies remain firmly etched in my brain in a little corner I rather try and forget about. If you don't at least cringe at some point, I don't know what's wrong with you. I consider myself a hardened extreme horror viewer, and I wasn't coming to Vomit Gore not knowing what to expect (although the clue is rather in the title). Yet I not only cringed but shouted, watched through my fingers, gagged – yes, actually gagged – as well as being on the verge of tears at one point. That's the mental and emotional effect this movie has. An hour and six minutes has never ever felt so long.
 
And how do you rate something that makes you feel that way? What's more, who on earth do you recommend it to? If you have a few worst enemies maybe you could pop them a copy, but this is purely and simply for the most hardcore of readers out there. If you struggled with A Serbian Film, or Martyrs, or Guinea Pig, or Nekromantik, then you'd better turn back now. BMOTNSW is practically in a league of its own when it comes to being disturbing, and remains territory only for those with the strongest of stomach and the bravest of mindsets.

To say a bit more about the film on its own merits, we revisit the world of runaway porn star Angela Aberdeen – played in the first two movies by Ameara Lavey and in the third by Hope Likens, but this time depicted by Sister S. We open with her disclaimer – practically a tradition for these movies – where she says she took part in everything of her own free will, not to copy any of the scenes at home and that fundamentally it shouldn't be watched by anyone who could be fragile or unstable. That's followed by a written disclaimer, so you can't say you haven't had fair warning if you're going to dive down this particular rabbit hole.

The story – such as it is – is kind of a montage of flashbacks, fantasy, dreams and memories as Angela Aberdeen kills herself and goes much further back this time to Angela's younger days and the Nazi ritual that made her and the 'master' who broke her. Sound horrible so far? Good, because what you seen on screen is much worse than that. As always there is a shedload of vomit – with girl shoving their fingers down their throat to bring up more and more – combined with some extreme murder scenes and gore. There are oddly lucid moments, little times where things settle down and the onslaught of hideous imagery recedes for a while, which as a viewer you have to make the most of – they don't last long at all. There's also some pretty bizarre Japanese (I think) cartoons and Christmas cartoons spliced in, which when combined with the sickening visuals and grating soundtrack somehow enhance the unpleasantness of the viewing experience. It'll certainly make Christmas this year interesting (must avoid flashbacks, must avoid flashbacks...)

I've made the bold statement that I consider this Valentine's magnum opus, and I will stand by that. First up, I think Sister S is the best version of Angela Aberdeen we've seen as yet – and some of the things she does to deliver the role are pretty questionable but certainly show a strong commitment to it. Secondly, the style feels a bit more restrained – I don't mind that the symbolism or the amount of repulsive content is toned down, but it feels a bit less over the top and ridiculous than the other did in places. And although the film is effectively a bizarre sort of montage, it feels better constructed and more of a whole than any of the first three did. It's tighter, leaner and for me remains much more on point than its predecessors. The ending is also pretty effective and for me feels a fitting closure to the series as an entirety.

So, with everything I've already said in mind, it's fair to say that most people wouldn't want to watch this. In fact, I expect many of you are happy for me to suffer through that experience oon your behalf. But if you are this far along the review and thinking 'Man, I have to check this Vomit Gore stuff out!', then I would suggest this one. It is effectively a prequel – so it wouldn't be out of order – and I stand by that it's just better than those before it. And if you can't endure this one, then the others are certainly not going to be for you either. But BMOTNSW feels like a director finally nailing exactly what it was he set out to do, and is a fitting conclusion to probably the most notorious film series of all time.
 
RATING: 9/10. Paradoxical, right? I'm going to justify my rating in three ways – firstly, it is better made, better shot and better constructed than anything else in the series, and I gave those 8s and 8.5s. So I can't say it's better and rate it anything less than a nine. Secondly, the originality of the director in producing such a singular vision of what a movie can be I have to laud. It's wild, unpredictable and truly like nothing else on the market. Thirdly, this series more than any other cuts right at the question of what Film Gutter is about. In most quarters, claiming that a movie is an ordeal and that you never want to watch it (or even think of it again) would result in a horribly low rating. But this is Film Gutter, and this is our ball park, and most of what we cover is intended to be unsettling, disturbing and confronting. And, as a piece of disturbing cinema, BMOTNSW is about as disturbing as it gets. Or, to put it another way, if you want to make your movie an ordeal for the viewer, make it the best damn ordeal you can. Valentine polishes this series off to near perfection here, so I'll be giving it a 9/10.
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: CAT SICK BLUES (2015)]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-cat-sick-blues-2015BY ALEX DAVIS 

FILM GUTTER
Come on in, the water’s cute…

CAT SICK BLUES (2015)
Dir. Dave Jackson, Australia, 101 mins
Regular readers of this series will know that one of the things I most value in a film is originality. Horror cinema as a whole is a field riddled with archetypes, stereotypes and clichés, and extreme horror can also suffer that to some extent. The attempt to be transgressive and challenging tends to invite more originality, but there are plenty of gory slashers and movies focused on extensive torture and human suffering that equally risk treading a path well trodden. Australia’s Cat Sick Blues is, in a sense, a slasher, but I would argue is genuinely unlike anything you’ve seen before. Gloriously odd, sometimes hilariously funny, other times cuttingly serious and dark, this movie has shot high up the list of my favourite extreme movies. It might even be a top ten already.
The story follows Ted, a young man who has just lost his black cat Patrick. We see in a bizarre scene that he fed his cat so much that it physically exploded, and that juxtaposition is something that sums up this movie. It’s somehow both sad and funny all at once. But Ted is deeply affected, and refuses to lose his feline companion quite that easily. So he freezes his pet before setting out on quest for nine human lives…

Our other lead is Claire, owner of the Youtube cat sensation Imelda. But darker times are coming for her when an obsessed fan drops by her house – she doesn’t have the heart to turn him away – before proceeding to throw her cat out of the window(!) rather than give her back to her owner, then raping Claire. Unfortunately all of this is caught on Claire’s video camera, and there’s some comment on the cult of internet personalities and Youtube here – actually featuring a fictional review from my favourite Youtuber, Otoobach, which really made me smile.

The two are drawn together at a meeting for people suffering from grief having lost pets, which is another extraordinarily strange scene as Ted suffers one of his many seizures – not medical but psychological. Ted and Claire are strangely drawn together and end up going out to dinner and sleeping together. All the while they get to know each other, Ted continues his killing spree, all the while wearing a black cat mask in tribute to Patrick and, even weirder, a huge dildo with a few barbed spikes on it. Maybe someone out there can confirm for me this is what a cat’s penis looks like, but I’m sure as hell not going to Google it. The dildo is his weapon of choice, which certainly gives for some pretty twisted and gory scenes.

That’s the set-up, but I’m reticent to give the ending away – it’s kind of too good and too off-the-wall for me to spoil. It’s one part bonkers, one part freaky and honestly a third part really sad – and that was the part I certainly hadn’t expected. Then again, this has to be one of the most unexpected 100 minutes of cinema I’ve had the pleasure of encountering. If I had one complaint the pace does lag a bit in the middle of the movie, but ultimately it’s clever, it’s different, it’s funny, it’s dark and it’s a movie you should go and hunt down and watch. Unless you’re a big cat lover – there’s a chance it might not speak to you quite as much…

RATING: 9.5/10. It’s one of life’s great pleasures to stumble across a gem of a movie you have literally never heard of – in this case I was literally just drawn in by the title! But from a relatively early stage – in fact when Ted first reveals himself as the ‘Catman Killer’ – I was absolutely hooked. This is a blend of so many different elements that just shouldn’t work, but somehow they all dovetail beautifully to present a movie that does stacks of different thing. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll rage, you might even have your heartstrings pulled a little here or there. Hats off to all involved – this is extreme horror as it should be. It’s a fantastic 9.5/10 from me.
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<![CDATA[Film Gutter Reviews: The Greasy Strangler (2016)]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-the-greasy-strangler-2016By Alex Davis 
Film Gutter
Come on in, the water's greasy...
The Greasy Strangler (2016)
Dir. Jim Hosking, USA, 93 mins
It's not uncommon that I get requests for reviews here at Film Gutter, but if there is one that has come up time and time again it has to be this one. Many a conversation has strayed to the topic of this movie with a refrain of 'Oh, it'd be perfect for Film Gutter!' It's of course been a movie I was aware of upon its release, especially given some of the names attached as producers – Elijah Wood and Ben Wheatley both supported this one to its 2016 release. It's even brought to us by a British director in Jim Hosking, so there's simply no excuse for putting this one off any further. By popular demand it's time to look at The Greasy Strangler.
The story follows an elderly father and son duo, with dad 'Big Ronnie' allowing his son Braydon to live with him. The two are deeply interested in disco and run pretty dubious tours around the city concerning the history of disco, most of which sound like total BS. In fact 'bullshit artist' is basically this movie's catchphrase. It's fun, though – it works as you watch it through. But there's about to be tension between them as a love interest, Janet, emerges on to the scene. She's immediately taken with Braydon – for reasons that are never entirely clear to me – and what ensues is a strange sort of menage a trois.

Oh yeah, and did I mention there's a killer roaming the streets? That's right, The Greasy Strangler has been out there strangling and killing those that cross him. I would say if grease or oil freaks you out then you'd better skip this movie, because there's plenty of it here. It's no secret that Big Ronnie is The Greasy Strangler – that's more than evident in the first killing – but it takes rather longer for Braydon to cotton on that his grease-living dad might be a serial killer. This all plays out while Janet falls in love with Braydon, then falls for Big Ronnie, before finally falling back in love with Braydon again.
 
The good in this movie comes in no small part from its weird, off-beat nature. It has cult favourite written all over it from the very get go. The humour is quirky and weird, the characters are awkward, the dialogue is exaggerated and the whole thing has this gross quality to it that will leave you cringing more than once. It's a unique experience, that's for certain, and no doubts at all it's played for laughs, a sort of homage to the horror comedies of the 80s – it has that look and feel to it to boot.

Now I wanted to love this movie. Just ten minutes in I thought 'I am going to love this movie.' But as it wore on I found myself liking it but certainly not loving it. The storyline is pretty meandering, some scenes don't really achieve anything – and I know it's more of a comedy but things can still be moved along without resorting to comedy 'filler' – and for me the quirky sense of humour does start to wear thin the longer we get into the movie. It doesn't feel like it has enough fresh ideas to sustain the length of movie it is – I wondered to myself if trimming 15 minutes off this might have been a good idea just to tighten it up a bit.
 
So yes, I liked it, but it wasn't quite the earth-shattering movie I had been reassured it would be for me. It's interesting, it's unusual and there are a fair few chuckles as you go along. But equally I felt like it was too much of the same thing as you went along, and the layers on layers of bodily function humour just started to feel a bit tired. The finale is unexpected – I think that's the best word for it – and will certainly take a bit of figuring out as well. It's a decent enough way to while away 90 minutes, and it's apparent that lots of people have loved this movie but equally it has been kind of polarising in terms of opinion. I'm afraid I'm basically going to fall slap-bang in the middle of those two schools of thought.

RATING: 6/10. The Greasy Strangler was OK, ultimately. There's some fun to be had with it, but it feels a bit thin for a feature film and I felt like it could have done with some judicious editing. There are funny moments, and surreal moments, and gross-out moments, but despite all that being true I still found it didn't really grab and hold my attention throughout. Plenty of points for originality but less point for execution, so on reflection an above-average 6/10 seems far.
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<![CDATA[SPECIAL FEATURE -MARTIN TRAFFORD’S HUNG, DRAWN AND SLAUGHTERED]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:08:23 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/special-feature-martin-traffords-hung-drawn-and-slaughteredBy Alex Davis 
In what I hope will become a semi-regular feature here at Film Gutter, we’ll be exploring some of the great extreme horror projects out there looking for crowdfunding and support from the community. There’s a huge array of work in the subgenre that is only made possible by this kind of funding, so if you like what you read then drop by the crowdfunding page! Even if you’re not able to pitch into the project, a share on social media alone can be a huge help to people trying to get their projects off the ground.

Today the focus turns to one of the most exciting artists in the field of extreme horror, Martin Trafford, who has recently launched his Hung, Drawn and Slaughtered book on Indiegogo.
Having worked with some firm Film Gutter favourites such as Jorg Buttgereit and Phil Stevens, I’ve already put my order in for the book and can’t wait to receive it. So, what’s it all about? ‘Essentially it's a collection of a bunch of my favourite or better known pieces – be it VHS/ shirt/poster or DVD art – I've done over the last six years mainly, but I've been producing underground artwork for about 20 years now!’ says Martin. The book will be released as both a paperback and a hardback, both full of lavish illustrations.

If you’re not familiar with Martin’s work, I’d very much suggest dropping by his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Traffart/ and taking a look for yourself. If you’re a fan of extreme and underground horror, you’ll probably see at least a few things you’re familiar with. Martin is known for his work on the comic-book sequel to the Nekromantik movies, which gave him the chance to work with renowned German director Jorg Buttgereit. ‘The nekrocomic was a real labour of love for me,’ says Martin. ‘I'd had an idea to follow the story of Monika and her son who is alluded to at the end of Nekromantik 2. To see where these characters were now, how messed up they possibly were! I wanted – as a fan and for the fans – to show some form of sequel to these outstanding movies of Jörg’s.’

Personally, I first encountered Martin’s work in exploring the world of director Phil Stevens, creator of the brilliant Flowers and Lung, which remain two of my very favourite extreme flicks of recent years. That’s a feeling Martin share. ‘Once I saw Flowers I was in love with it completely… and being lucky enough to be on the journey to creating Lung with him gave me a real insight into how he works, how he creates. It's just like he throws out this net and trawls in this beautiful flow of conciseness and drapes it over a bare bones framework. Things constantly shift and change, it's an exciting kind of creativity to be around as an artist! For me his films are bleak but beautiful and that's my favourite kind of film. I've included pretty much all the pieces I created for him in the book.’

We’ve not seen many underground art books of late, so what was Martin’s inspiration in putting this one together? ‘I love those VHS cover art books, you discover so many more movies you missed out on by flicking through them. So in some sense I want THAT… I want people to flick through and connect with what's on offer in the scene, discover a movie that might have passed them by, or just dig the gory artwork and be interested enough to check out the director. It struck me there hasn't really been an underground cover art book and thought it would be cool with the amount I've produced to give people that.’

I’ve been following Martin’s artwork for a while now, and if you’re a fan of this column and the kinds of movies we review, there’s a good chance this book will be just right for you. I’m expecting something both horrible and beautiful to be landing on my doormat in the near future. If you want to check the project out, just visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hung-drawn-and-slaughtered-movies-horror to watch the trailer and check out all the awesome perks up for grabs. That ranges from a thank you in the book, up for grabs at just $5 Australian – three British pounds where I come from – to a headline ‘… presents’ on the front cover of the book for $500 Australian, still a steal in its own right!

Look at for the next of our special features, where we’ll be highlighting more exciting extreme horror projects!




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<![CDATA[DIRECTOR JORG BUTTGEREIT COMES TO THE UK THIS AUGUST!]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 06:10:33 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/director-jorg-buttgereit-comes-to-the-uk-this-augustBy Alex Davis 

Over the years, reviewing and interviewing here at Film Gutter has enabled me to do some very exciting things. I've had the chance to natter over email, and occasionally in person, to some fantastic actors and directors. This year one of the most thrilling opportunities yet came my way when Starburst Film Festival called to ask if I'd be interested in putting one some extreme horror screenings for the event.

 
That was a question that took about two seconds of thought to answer, of course, and one of the things that came up soon after was the question of special guests. I had a few ideas, but top of my list was one of the most fascinating directors to have ever worked in the field – Jorg Buttgereit. His work in the late eighties and early nineties was wonderful, genuinely boundary-pushing and largely receiving the dubious honour or being 'video nasties'. And he was also a name fresh on my mind having recently watched German Angst, an anthology film from three German directors taking in Jorg, Andreas Marschall and Michal Kosakowski. That's well worth a look, by the way, if you haven't seen it as yet, and Jorg's opening installment was a cracker.
 
So, a few Facebook messages later (and I have to say Facebook has been a godsend for all things Film Gutter!) and Jorg and I are in touch and throwing around the idea of doing something at Starburst – and I can confirm that not only will Jorg be here in the UK for the full weekend of Starburst Film Festival in Manchester, but will also be stopping off in my very own hometown of Derby as part of QUAD's Fright Club screenings! Suffice to say I'm really excited to have the chance to welcome such a great director here to the UK, and really excited for some great screenings and Q+As.
 
Jorg will be at QUAD in Derby on Thursday 24th August, introducing 1991's Nekromantik 2. While the movie follows on from the first in some respects, it also stands alone as a disturbing exploration of one woman's dark obsession with a fresh corpse she digs up from the graveyard – whilst also trying to maintain a relationship with her living, breathing boyfriend. Jorg will be chatting with QUAD's resident cult cinema expert Darrell Buxton before the film, with the event starting at 8pm. You can check out all the info and booking at

http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/film/fright-club--nekromantik-2--18--s--director-q-and-a.aspx
 
Jorg will then be headed to Manchester for the full weekend of Starburst Film Festival, which runs from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August and already has a huge array of films confirmed – and I'll be talking more about the extreme horror offerings there shortly. I'll be interviewing Jorg about his extreme cult classic Nekromantik before an evening screening, which will be a great addition to a weekend schedule that is shaping up to be absolutely fantastic! You can find out everything you could hope to know about the Festival at http://www.starburstmagazine.com/filmfestival/, and check out an in-depth bio of Jorg at

http://www.starburstmagazine.com/filmfestival/index.php/2017/05/30/guest-jorg-buttgereit/
 
I hope we'll see lots of our Film Gutter readers and UK extreme horror fans at these events – rest assured I'm buzzing for it myself! And if you want to get in touch with any questions at all, feel free to drop me a line at alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk
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<![CDATA[AMERICAN GUINEA PIG – SONG OF SOLOMON SPECIAL FEATURE]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/american-guinea-pig-song-of-solomon-special-featureBy Alex Davis 

The indiegogo campaign for Song of Solomon is live now on Indiegogo  If you like what you read, check it out and support it if you can!

Those extreme horror fans out there with long memories will no doubt recall the Japanese series Guinea Pig, which exploded onto the splatter scene in the mid-80s and ran for several years, serving up everything from hardcore torture and dismemberment to bizarre comedy through to disturbing character pieces. Even if you haven't watched the originals, you might well be aware of the furore that surrounded the earlier movies in the series, with director Hideshi Hino famously having to prove Flower of Flesh and Blood wasn't a genuine snuff film following an FBI investigation...
These are movies with a place in extreme horror folklore – and when it was announced that Unearthed Films and Stephen Biro would be launching a new series, American Guinea Pig, there was a lot of buzz to go along with it. This was a chance to bring a more modern take to the originals, and the first two movies certainly delivered. Bouquet of Guts and Gore was an effective updated version of the aforementioned Flower of Flesh and Blood, while the second piece, Bloodshock, was a stunning reimagining of the experimental angle of The Devil's Experiment which genuinely left me speechless on first viewing. A black and white nightmare with a cleverly-constructed soundtrack and a nihilistic finale, it's a movie I can't recommend enough to fans of the extreme side of horror.
 
But you can rest assured that American Guinea Pig certainly isn't done there. Next on the horizon is the third entry into the series, The Song of Solomon. I was fascinated when I first heard of this one as an extreme take on the exorcism movie – a horror subgenre that had enjoyed some mainstream success and was surely overdue a more visceral take. The first trailer for Song certainly hints at it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6fTNoCncvs – but the next trailer doesn't leave anything to the imagination. Check it out when it hits and you'll see what I mean. And with a cast featuring cult icons Jim Van Bebber and Jessica Cameron, this one promises to be as unmissable as the first two installments of AGP.
 

The IndieGoGo campaign is running as we speak, and there is some absolutely awesome stuff up for grabs alongside the DVDs and limited editions – you can land yourself a range of signed goodies and props from the movie to boot. And the great thing with this IndieGogo is that the movie is already in the can – all the money raised will be going towards the next couple of movies and continuing this awesome series. When the campaign hits $25,000, that will also unlock the fourth movie in the American Guinea Pig series – Sacrifice – which is looking like the most brutal of an already vicious bunch. The directorial debut from Poison Rouge, Sacrifice is going to be pure, pull-no-punches, dark and disturbing cinema.
 
I've already got my copy of Song of Solomon in the bag via Indiegogo, and I'd encourage any Film Gutter regular readers to give this one a look. In fact, this one gets the official Film Gutter seal of approval. Stephen Biro and the whole crew at Unearthed Films have been leading the way in extreme for a long time, and American Guinea Pig is pushing new boundaries in creating incredible films for those brave enough to take them on. So swing by the IndieGoGo at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/american-guinea-pig-the-song-of-solomon-horror#/ – even if you can't pitch in or pick yourself up any perks, even giving it a share on social media is a great way to support and help American Guinea Pig keep rolling!
 
Film Gutter will resume regular programming next week...
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