<![CDATA[Ginger Nuts of Horror - FILM GUTTER ]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 09:52:22 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEW: LONG PIGS (2007)]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-review-long-pigs-2007FILM GUTTER

Come on in, the water's meaty...
Dir. Nathan Hynes and Chris Power, Canada, 81 mins
Found footage has certainly been a mixed blessing for the horror genre – while it has enabled a wide range of movies to be made that once upon a time would have been impossible, some of which use the device very effectively, it has also seen a slew of pretty poor movies and also become what I would argue is a pretty tired cliché. With all that said, there are certainly a few I've liked – Skew and Exhibit A chief among them – and over the next few weeks I'll be taking a look at some extreme examples of found footage horror, kicking off with the 2007 Canadian offering, Long Pigs.
It'll be no surprise from the title that this one is all about cannibalism, and is a mockumentary that follows serial killer Anthony McAlister as he kills, butchers and proceeds to eat his victims. While there are some gruesome moments, there wasn't any sense of things becoming overly gratuitous – indeed as the film wore on I found myself very much interested in the character and the life that he had led. This is one of those movies that, for me, does a good job with the milieu of found footage – it keeps the visuals and the story very simple, it lets the action play out in front of the camera with a believable mixture of 'up close and personal' moments as well as longer shots and also gives a neo-explanation for what we are seeing in the shape of interviews with the police and behaviour analysts. Emotionally it certainly goes beyond what I had expected also, with the moment in which McAlister's mother dies packing a surprising punch and another very powerful scene where the camera crew – with Anthony in tow – go to visit the father of one of the cannibal's female victims.
 
While it's not a splatterfest, the effects on the whole look very good and the subject material remains pretty disturbing without it 'just' being a film about cannibalism – we see more to the central character and – dare I say – our lead becomes almost likeable. There are parts of the story that feel a little off – Anthony's relationship with his best friends never really seems to ring true to me – and the ending is pretty telegraphed, but I feel like this was among the better found footage horror films that I've seen. It's sparse and bare bones, and I think very often that can work to the favour of the subgenre – if you have the story and character to back it up. While neither were flawless, I was certainly engaged and interested all the way through.
 
RATING: 7.5/10. Good found footage movies tend to play to the strengths of the concept, and I feel Long Pigs does just that. It's presented as a documentary, which means it can shoot straight and doesn't necessarily move story forward in a linear fashion – which makes it feel more like real life. There are quieter spells, but in these we get to know our lead better and develop a picture of a cannibal in a more rounded way. Splice that in with scenes that do offer variety from the 'let's follow a killer with a camera' and you have a pretty likeable mix all told. So it's a very solid 7.5/10 from me.
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<![CDATA[THE GATEWAY MEAT (2008)]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 06:41:24 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/the-gateway-meat-2008Review by Alex Davis 

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

THE GATEWAY MEAT (2008)
Dir. Ron DeCaro, USA, 69 mins
So, here's hoping everyone enjoyed last month's series of top 5 lists, but for May we're back to the serious business of reviewing! This week it's a movie that has been on my radar for a long term, but frankly is pretty hard to come by – Ron DeCaro's The Gateway Meat. Now, while I know this is the third of a trilogy, it's so often mentioned as one of the most disturbing movies out there that I simply couldn't resist a look at it first. Odds are I will come back to Eating Razors and The White Lie at some point, but for now I'll be looking at the conclusion on its own merits.
 
We begin with one of those hardcore content warnings – which I'm sure are just pretty much red rags to a bull for most viewers – before we meet the family at the heart of their story. They're just getting over the death of Markus's father, a renowned Satan worshipper, and Markus (played by DeCaro himself) is trying to figure out how to carry on his dad's work. We meet some of his dark and strange friends along the way, as well as his very supportive wife and young daughter (indeed played by DeCaro's own daughter) as they finally decide to move house into Grandpa's old place in an effort to open a portal to hell in the basement.
 
Plot-wise there's not much more going on than that – it's slim but it works well enough, as this is a movie much more about the disturbing content and the gore. There are actually some really nice visuals along the way as well, but there are graphic scenes of dismemberment, torture and murder that guide us along this twisted journey. Most of the effects look good, and while the acting isn't perfect you feel each character is played to the actor's strengths to make everyone feel believable. It's a little disjointed – very possibly deliberately – and some of the bloodshed is accompanied by distorted visuals and sound to further amp up the unease factor.
 
Does it really live up to the hype as one of the most disturbing movies of all time? Yes and no. There are certainly moments that leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth, and some of the gore scenes are pretty imaginative, for want of a better word. However for me it didn't have the truly disturbing context of some other movies I've watched, although there would be many a viewer who would find this too much for them. I'd certainly say it's on a par with something like August Underground for shock value – and the two movies do often get compared – although would fall short of something like The Vomit Gore Trilogy. It's certainly worth a look for any serious gorehounds out there – if you can get your hands on it – as it has some interesting flourishes and certainly left me wanting to check out the rest of the trilogy.
 
RATING: 7/10. Not a flawless movie by any stretch – the storyline felt a bit thin and there were some scenes that fely a bit superfluous to it. With that said, the acting was generally very solid, the effects were good and there was a spark of intelligence and inventiveness in here that lifted it above many of its cohorts in the subgenre. A very good effort, and one for any serious gore fans out there rather than your 'casual' extreme viewer. 
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<![CDATA[TOP FIVE MOST DISTURBING MOMENTS IN EXTREME CINEMA]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/top-five-most-disturbing-moments-in-extreme-cinemaBY ALEX DAVIS 
Well, here at Film Gutter we know you all love the stuff that really, really disturbs us. We've looked previously at some of the most disturbing films – a list that will probably be updated some time soon – but never explored those individual moments that have leave us uneasy or possibly just queasy. So here are Film Gutter's Top 5 Most Disturbing Moments in Extreme Cinema...
Five – The Enema Scene, Debris Documentar
Way back to where it all began for Film Gutter, and one of those movies I had heard of in terms of all the controversial content. But the scene in which our lead visits a prostitute who gives herself an enema and allows all the fluid and excrement to pour into a bucket before our main character proceeds to dip his head into the bucket like some lunatic version of bobbing for apples. There's an almost magical moment in which the actor has an expression that says 'Am I really going to do this? Did I really agree to this?' before breathing deep and going for it. I said at the time it would 'haunt me forever' and that's a fairly accurate assessment all told.
 
Four – Eating From The Jars, Vase De Noces
Ah yes, the movie also known simply as The Pig F***ing Movie – I kid you not. I'd put this one off for ages but, in the light of David Cameron's alleged indiscretions of last year I simply couldn't resist the effort to be topical. And weirdly, the bestiality is not actually the most disturbing thing in here. Our unnamed lead early in the movie keeps all this faeces in jars rather than flushing them down the toilet, and had gathered quite the collection. But when his porcine lover is sadly lost to him, he rather loses the plot and proceeds to empty his jars by eating the contents. I had a quite retch to myself and managed to keep watching – barely – through this one...
 
Three – The Entirety of Beyond the Madness
Probably the hardest movie to sit through from start to finish of all my experiences with Film Gutter, this 'horror porno' from Italy I will better remember for being far more disturbing that arousing. The continuous use of dead animal parts throughout this one certainly did nothing to get me going – I suppose skulls, wet eyeballs and organs just aren't my bag. I was blessedly relieved when this one came to a close after an hour of me saying – often out loud – 'oh no, don't do that...' I was ultimately left with the thought of 'I hope I never meet the person who found that a huge turn on...'
 
Two – The Rape Scene, Irreversible
When I was initially scribbling thoughts on this list, the rape scene from Gutterballs leapt to mind – those who have seen it will know what I mean when I call it disturbing. However having only recently revisited Irreversible, I can safely say I'd rather forgotten just how crunching, unpleasant and hard to watch the scene in the underpass was. The unmoving camera gives you a horrible sense of being a powerless spectator to the anal rape of Alex, played by Monica Bellucci, who genuinely looks as though she is suffering horrible in this scene. The physical abuse is topped by a barrage of verbal abuse, and when her attacked is finished he simply kicks the hell out of her before basically leaving her to die. It's an infamous scene in cinema history and rightly so, because it is one that has left many audience shocked, numb and hollow.
 
One – Stamping on a Pregnant Woman, Snuff 102
In the first paragraph of my review for this, I said 'I can't see anything more shocking or disturbing than this getting any kind of release.' Those are big words, but I stand by them. This movie is horrible, grimy, misogynistic and bound to leave a sour taste in your mouth. And when I first conjured up the idea of this list, I knew exactly what would be top, because this very short scene still makes my stomach knot up and a little bile rise in my throat to think of. It's a very brief moment in which our masked psychopath drags a pregnant woman to the floor before proceeding to stamp on her stomach – and it genuinely left me absolutely shaken to my core. It's so short because it actually cuts away to an artistic message I forget the exact content of, but nothing has ever topped it on a personal level.
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<![CDATA[​TOP FIVE DIRECTORS IN EXTREME CINEMA]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/top-five-directors-in-extreme-cinema
Extreme horror is a field that often requires a unique vision and a courageous approach to film-making, not taking any prisoners and making bold decisions that other branches of cinema would often shy away from. Directors will often come back time and time again to the area and produce new and daring work. So here's Film Gutter's top five directors of extreme cinema – which comes with a caveat of this one being purely personal...
 
 
Five – Jorg Buttgereit
Germany has always had a strong line in extreme cinema, and one of the earlier directors in the field was Jorg Buttgereit, who left a distinctive impression in the late 80s and early 90s and an undoubted legacy for future filmmakers. Whilst movies such as Nekromantik and Schramm were distinctly shocking and controversial, there was also an element of artistry as well and his films still hold up well today.
 
Four – Lucifer Valentine
One of the most infamous directors working today, Valentine is one of very few people who can claim a truly unique cinema vision. The Vomit Gore Trilogy are well among the sickest, most twisted movies out there, genuinely pushing the envelope of what is acceptable to show and screen and testing its viewer to the maximum. For all that, they are incredibly powerful pieces of work that you're not liable to forget in a hurry, and for me there is a message in there if you're willing to give them a chance.
 
Three – Marian Dora
Another great extreme director to emerge from Germany, Dora is another name who has left an indelible mark on the subgenre. His magnum opus, Melancholie Der Engel, is really something to behold and remains a staple feature of the majority of 'most disturbing film' lists. It also encapsulates so much of what Dora is about – beautifully shot movies that also don't shy away from truly sickening content. While some of his other work doesn't reach that level, there are plenty of other strong movies such as Cannibal and Debris Documentar well worth watching.
 
Two – Tom Six
Those of you who have read my reviews and know my feelings on The Human Centipede movies will not be surprised to see Tom so high up on this list. All three movies stick with the same core concept but offer something very different, from the mad scientist horror of part one to the truly shocking body horror of the sequel, wrapping up with the darker-than-dark comedy of the third and final part. Never a director to settle for the same thing again or self-censor (although many film boards have decided to do that for him), I'm genuinely hoping new movie The Onania Club can find a release one of these days...
 
One – Phil Stevens
One of the newest names on the scene, Phil Stevens crashed onto the extreme horror scene with the brilliant Flowers – a brutal, surrealistic nightmare in sepia without a word of dialogue. Stunningly artistic and extremely complex, this is a movie that has borne many watches and lost nothing with each repeat. Even more impressively, Stevens followed that with the equally fantastic Lung II, every bit as strange and wonderful and disturbing as its predecessor. Paradise is in the works and I can't wait to see what this great talent offers up next.
 

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<![CDATA[TOP FIVE MOST HARROWING ENDINGS]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/top-five-most-harrowing-endings

Sure, there's plenty of extreme horror out there with deeply upsetting moments all the way through, but it's those that deliver a truly horrible finale that so often stay with us as viewers. So here's our countdown of Film Gutter's Top Five Most Harrowing Endings.
 
Please note the following list contains spoilers.
Five: Landmine Goes Click

An unflinching rape revenge movie, featuring an American backpacker in Georgia stuck stood on a landmine and unable to move as his friend is abused and assaulted by an unhinged local. But when our backpacker turns up at the house of his friend's rapist, we're treated to a tense, unnerving finale with a brilliant moment at its finale. Our lead threatens to shoot the man's daughter in a game like Russian Roulette, but when the bullet actually goes off its a genuine moment of shock that has great impact. Everybody in the scene looks stunned, and that absolutely transmits to the viewer.
Four: The Woman

The arrival of a feral woman into a young family living in the countryside brings a host of issues among them to the fore. Tied in a shed, and with attempts to 'civilise' her failing, The Woman finally breaks free of her bonds and destroys the hideous mysogny that exists at the heart of this seemingly wholesome family. There are plenty of dark moments all the way through, but when you realise the depth of hatred and dysfunction at the heart of the story it's hard not to be taken aback.
Three: Requiem For A Dream

For what is a relatively mainstream movie – with a fine cast including Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto and Ellen Burstyn, as well as being directed by the superb Darren Aronofsky – this has what has become renowned as one of the most depressing final sequences of any film ever made. Following a group of people all troubled in some way by the challenges of life in the inner city, this crunching montage show all four of our lead characters suffering the nadir of their character journeys. The composite effect is not likely to leave you quickly, if at all.
Two: Thanatomorphose
 
One of the hardest movies we've ever had to watch at Film Gutter – and one we won't be coming back to in a hurry, if at al. Following one woman's hideous journey as her body and mind decompose, coinciding with a desperate increase in her sexual appetite, Thanatomorphose is visually grotesque and comes to a screeching, nightmarish crescendo in its final scene. To quote the original review, “When the final scene concluded I had my hands on my ears asking myself 'Is it over? Is it over?'. Because I honestly thought I couldn't survive another minute.”
One: Megan is Missing
 
So what tops that? Well, it's the movie that left a genuine sense of depression and malaise for the days that followed, the movie that without exaggeration took a week or more to get over. Megan is Missing follows two friends, Megan and Amy, and as implied on the title Megan vanishes when she goes to meet a young man she chats to online. Amy sets out on a quest to find her, but what she discovers is even darker than her worst imaginings. The final twenty minutes of this are just disheartening, destructive cinema. I mean, the final ten minutes are literally a still camera shot of a teenage girl trapped in a barrel pleading for her life while her captor digs her grave outside. It's both brutal and brutally effective, and left an indelible mark for a long time.

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<![CDATA[TOP 5 EXTREME HORROR MOVIES ON NETFLIX UK]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/top-5-extreme-horror-movies-on-netflix-uk
Netflix has been changing the way we watch TV and movies for a long time, and with its range and variety of content growing all the time, Film Gutter is proud to bring you its list of the Top 5 Extreme Horror Movies on Netflix UK...

5:  Would Your Rather


While it's fair to say that Would You Rather doesn't necessarily tread a lot of new ground, it's a very entertaining take on what can be a tired subgenre. A group of strangers arrive at a mysterious dinner, having been invited with the promise of funding being given to them – which each of them desperately needs for various reasons. The dinner is hosted by Jeffrey Combs, who is in fabulous form in this movie, and the classic party game of 'Would You Rather' goes in a distinctly dark and different direction. It's not liable to win any awards, but for those with a macabre sense of humour this one is tremendous fun.

4: Green Room

You could argue this is more of a thriller than a horror movie, but it's certainly a very violent movie and also a hugely intense viewing experience. You can almost feel the claustrophobia and the walls closing in as an unwitting band find themselves caught in a nightmarish scenario, held captive by a group of white supremacists determined not to see them escape. One of Anton Yelchin's final movies, this one also features some great performances from a stellar cast. Well worth a look for those of you who enjoy films loaded with tension and drama.

3:  The Human Centipede II – Full Sequence

Now, the full trilogy of Tom Six's demented body horror is available on Netflix UK, and regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for all three of these movies. But for the most extreme, most horrific, darkest and most challenging of the three I have to plump for the middle entry. This is a black and white nightmare to match Eraserhead, with Laurence R Harvey sublimely creepy in the lead role. If you thought the first movie was disgusting, you'd better brace yourself for the sequel, which truly shows what the original so often left implicit. Recommended only for those with a strong stomach!

2: Landmine Goes Click

A movie that arrived with little fanfare but was doubtless one of my favourite extreme horror films of recent times. When out on a trip, one of a group of American travellers steps onto an unexploded landmine, beginning a nightmare that will lead to a brutal attack and an even more vicious revenge to follow. The final scenes of this one pack a massive impact, and really stayed with me for a number of days. It's a fairly simple plot, but extremely well done and is more than worth your time if extreme horror is your thing.

1: The Woman

I've long spoken of this as one of my favourite extreme horror of all time, and nothing in my rewatches have shaken me from that assertion. The story follows an wholesome, all-America family – at least on the surface – but when the father brings back a feral woman (brilliant played by Pollyanna McIntosh) from one of his hunting trips, he sets off an powderkeg of tension within the family unit. Again, the movie packs an explosive final punch with an ending that absolutely left me breathless. An essential piece of viewing for those who like their cinema at the edge.
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: REGOREGITATED SACRIFICE (2008)]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 03:54:59 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-regoregitated-sacrifice-2008BY ALEX DAVIS

Film Gutter
Come on in, the water's sickening...

ReGOREgitated Sacrifice (2008)
Dir. Lucifer Valentine, Canada, 65 minutes
It's very rare that there's a movie that I truly put off watching. Those of you who have followed Film Gutter since 2015 will probably sense I'm fairly hard to shock and where it comes to extreme gore and violence, I think I'm made of fairly stern stuff. But having virtually back-to-backed two installments of Lucifer Valentine's luridly titled Vomit Gore Trilogy, I was anything but keen to complete that repellent triptych. Still, I think I would be doing myself, the director and all my fellow gutter dwellers a disservice to ignore it. Welcome back to the disturbed mind of Lucifer Valentine for ReGOREgitated Sacrifice.
 
First off, the eagle-eyed among you will notice this is the second movie of the trilogy and that I have somewhat made a mess of the order. So here there's no Hope Likens, with the focus (to some extent) on Ameara Lavey and even more so on The Soska Sisters. Yes, those Soska Sisters – Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary etc. That's not to suggest that any of the content here is softened at all – what we have is actually even more sexualised than either of the other installments, and the vomit comes thick and fast yet again. If you seriously can't stand to hear people retching and gagging, do yourself a favour and duck these movies.
 
If anything, this movie is probably the hardest of the three to make sense of – no mean feat in and of itself. We see the feature character of the series, Angela Aberdeen, very little as we focus on 'The Black Angels of Hell' (depicted by the Soskas) as they go on a grotesque rampage of murder, physical abuse and sexual depravity. Even more this one begged the question of 'how did you get people to agree to that?' because this one has a larger cast, with a wide range of victims seen and debased in all sorts of ways. There's golden showers, people puking on each other, lashings of blood and gore and – most strangely – a man vomiting into a hollowed-out head whilst wearing an octopus on his own head. Feel free to take a moment to take that in. That, of course, is the repulsive Hank Skinny – somebody who strikes a little note of fear into me every time he appears on the screen. In fact, I struggle to think of anyone I less want to see on a screen that him, because it's a cue that what follows is going to be truly horrible.
 
The plot is practically non-existent, eschewing anything traditional in favour of the kind of montage that you might get to enjoy if you end up actually going to hell. The sound effects are crunching and unpleasant, the visuals are unremittingly extreme and upsetting and basically the whole thing is just there to make you feel bad as a viewer. It's one of those movies which it's kind of hard to go back to real life after. Even at an hour and five minutes it feels too long, because a part of you just wants it to be over. The whole trilogy is a unique endurance test that makes no concession to watchability, to decency, to traditional filmmaking or indeed to traditional morality. I dread to think what it would be like to watch the whole set back to back – you might never get over it...
 
For all that, and as I said of the previous, there is something compelling and fascinating here. Part of you wonders what's next, what can be next, what boundary will be crossed in the next few minutes. And part of the fascination is trying to find the meaning beneath the madness – something I'm not sure I was really able to do this time, despite my best efforts. That doesn't mean it's not there, but I'm not quite sure I can come back any time soon to delve deeper.
 
Still, that's the full Vomit Gore Trilogy watched and survived! Achievement Unlocked!
 
Wait, what? There's a fourth movie...?


Uh-oh...



RATING: 7/10. It's likely these movies will always hold a place in extreme horror folklore, and are probably the bellweather against which so many other disturbing movies are judged against. 'You thought that was disturbing? Well, you should check these out...' Literally nothing here is made easy to watch, either visually or aurally, and brief moments of candid talks from characters feel like glimpses of precious respite in the maelstrom of abuse, murder, violence and bodily fluid. Nobody has ever dared go here since, which is possibly some sort of indication of the dent these movies have made in the horror consciousness. It was still hard to turn away from, despite it all, and all three are grimly fascinating in a way I still can't quite pin down. This one felt more disjointed, and lacked some of the rawer emotional punch of the other two, so it falls a bit short of its bookends with 7/10.

And yes, I will come to Black Mass of the Nazi Sex Wizard at some point...
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<![CDATA[FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: GERMAN ANGST (2015) ]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 05:55:16 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/film-gutter-reviews-german-angst-2015BY ALEX DAVIS 

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

GERMAN ANGST FILM REVIEW
German Angst (2015)
Dir. Jorg Buttgereit/Michal Kosakowski/Andreas Marschall, Germany, 112 mins
Any of our regular readers will know just how much German cinema we've enjoyed in these pages, and how many very good extreme horror movies the nation has produced. So as soon as I heard about this one I was really excited to catch it – the return of Jorg Buttgereit to directing was obviously a key hook for me personally, as having emerged as a leading light in the field in the 80s 90s there's been very little forthcoming since. And although it's taken a while to get round to this film, it was well and truly worth waiting for.
 
German Angst is a three-part movie, with a section delivered by each of the directors involved which are basically unrelated apart from the fact that they seek to explore something uniquely German. We begin with Buttgereit's entry, Final Girl, which is a grisly tale of revenge taken out by a young girl. I could have told you this was Buttgereit's work without even being told – the visual panache is still there, and it's certainly a grim tale which is weirdly – but effectively – peppered with  information about guinea pigs. It all ties together beautifully and the gore – whilst not ducking the issue entirely – isn't as gratuitous as might be expected.
 
The second of the trilogy comes from Michal Kosakowski, a relatively new name on the cinema scene, and his Make a Wish plays with the concept of Nazism and wider German racism. The story begins with a deaf couple in love, exploring an empty house in the middle of nowhere, when they are interrupted by a group of thugs – three men and one woman. Obviously communication in the first instance is difficult, but the intention of the group to hurt the interlopers is delivered in a pretty universal language. Make a Wish as a title refers to a strange amulet that the deaf man gives to his partner, which can enable people to switch bodies – something that proves a critical weapon in their dangerous situation. This one is very tense and uncomfortable to watch, and while some of the acting is a bit over the top overall it's a likeable entry into the movie.
 
The third piece of this triptych was the one that really worked best for me, director Andreas Marschall's Alraune. In fact I'd have loved to see this as a feature film in its own right, I enjoyed it so much. We follow a charismatic male lead in the shape of Eden, who meets a young girl after a falling out with his wife and is immediately and almost uncontrollably drawn to her. What follows from there is part nightmare, part erotica and part fairy tale and Eden is drawn deep into a secret society he simply has no understanding of and that will impact his life in ways that he cannot imagine. The confessional tone works well throughout, and the acting is very good all around in this piece. A little dig around and you can find this one is based on an old German myth (and subsequently a 1911 German novel) and it has that feel to it, with a more extreme edge, which is fairly little seen.
 
RATING: 9.5/10. To be honest, if you don't like these sort of montage or portmanteau type pieces, then German Angst is probably not going to be for you. For me, as someone who rather enjoys a short film, this one was something of a treat. Each is different in its own way, and as per the advertising does have its own uniquely German feel or connection. The veteran Jorg Buttgeriet kicks things off in solid fashion, but Andreas Marschall is the star of the show in closing the movie – I feel like Alraune will stay with me for a long time. I'd happily welcome a sequel, or even a TV series (Netflix, could you get on that for me? Thanks!) to see more of this sort of thing – there are still plenty of hugely talented directors in Germany to consider getting involved. Overall, this one is  very nicely produced and offers plenty of variety throughout for a very strong 9.5/10.
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<![CDATA[EAT THE SCHOOLGIRL: OSAKA TELEPHONE CLUB, DIR. NAOYUKI TOMOMATSU]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 05:19:53 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/eat-the-schoolgirl-osaka-telephone-club-dir-naoyuki-tomomatsuBY ALEX DAVIS 

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

EAT THE SCHOOLGIRL: OSAKA TELEPHONE CLUB (1997)
Dir. Naoyuki Tomomatsu, Japan, 60 mins
Welcome back to Film Gutter, and today's movie came with the sort of bonkers title that I simply couldn't resist checking out. Japanese cinema can have a propensity for being fairly on the nose with the names of its films, but the significance of this one is simply lost on me. There was some phone sex, which I suppose explains the latter part of the moniker, and maybe one of the girls featured was a schoolgirl, although if that was the case it certainly passed me by. But if the sole function of a title is to grab a viewer, then I suppose it was job done...

 
Anyway, away from such ridiculous semantics and onto the content of the actual movie! This one follows two young men who work for the Yakuza, obviously a pretty dubious line of work before you say anything else, but add in the fact their work is basically to help create snuff films and you're on an even darker road. Even worse, the two of them both have a strange sexual quirk – one can only get off on phone sex while the other is aroused by the sight of dead bodies. So when you throw all that into the pot you should have a pretty unpleasant end product. Right?
 
Hmm... yes and no. This film is a very strange melange, a series of scenes that it's often hard to detect any strong connection between. There are some very dark montage scenes of bloody murder, one notably unpleasant scene in which one of the snuff films is being created – with what (I think and hope) is a fake enema scene. There's also a double rape that isn't quite hardcore pornography but leaves little to the imagination. Finally, there's a pretty grisly murder towards the end of the movie, and some of the sexual content is pretty off centre.
 
Ultimately it does have some of the problems that Japanese cinema of the time has – these kind of 90's Japanese splatter features are often near incomprehensible, and have paper-thin plots that are basically more justifications for violence and sexual violence. At least this one has a semblance of plot, unlike numerous others I could name – the flat out torture porn of Guinea Pig 1, Guinea Pig 2 and Tumbling Doll of Flesh well among them – but it's slim at best. I suppose at the time this kind of gore and torture was far more extreme and cutting edge, but many of the features from this era don't seem to have dated well to me. That's not even to say it's just effects, but something more about style, approach and generally the degree of thought that goes into them. There's something that ultimately feels lazy and exploitative – the poor characterisation makes even the most gratuitous acts on display little but macabre spectacle, not really something that rocks you or shakes you the core the way it probably should. I'm certainly not trying to be deliberately unfair, but these were early days for this kind of film-making and the 2000s and beyond have bought far better as this subgenre has grown. Without movies like this we would never have had the likes of Audition – and that's a movie I would have hated to have missed out on.
 
RATING: 4/10. It's a strange experience watching some of these Japanese splatter movies, as the seem to almost have come from a time capsule and only really reflect a pretty short period in time and in film-making. This one has some interesting visuals, for sure, and if you're a real fan of disturbing content then this one should keep you watching for an hour. But it's not one likely to live long in the memory – there's not enough by way of characterisation, plot or genuine intelligence to really make the sort of impact it could. If you're a fan of these kinds of movies, you'll probably be happy enough, but if you like extreme horror more generally I'd say give this one a miss.
 
 
 

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<![CDATA[RAMPAGE: PRESIDENT DOWN (2016)Dir. Uwe Boll,]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 05:08:40 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/film-gutter/rampage-president-down-2016dir-uwe-bollBY ALEX DAVIS 

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

RAMPAGE: PRESIDENT DOWN (2016)
Dir. Uwe Boll,
 
Canada, 99 mins
Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Uwe Boll, shortly after the release of Anger of the Dead, and one of the things that I was very keen to talk about were the two Rampage movies to date. Both were pretty good, in my opinion – I felt that both had a certain charged political power and energy that came through in the lead character, Bill Williamson, ably played by Brendan Fletcher. In fact having by choice dodged Boll's video game adaptations (as I would anybody's video game adaptations – the medium does not have a good record) I have a pretty decent impression of his work as a director.
 
Given all of the above, it was hard not to already be fascinated with a third part to a trilogy about a man trying to bring down the established world order by any means necessary. But the plot thickened in this one for two reasons – first up, Boll announced this would be his final film as a director, in part fuelled by an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign and of course that video... you know, the one in which he told Hollywood and film viewers to basically go f*** themselves?
Say what you will about his output – and many critics have said plenty – Boll is a larger-than-life character that I think the film industry will miss in time. He has fans and viewers – he wouldn't have such a long back catalogue if he didn't – and aforementioned critics will no doubt have to find someone else to poke fun at. Not that Boll has ever backed down from bad reviews or negative opinion in the slightest – his stand on his work is forthright, often bombastic, going as far as to challenge critics to boxing matches (and win many of them). He is a singular character in a cinematic world that desperately needs unique characters, and I'll admit right here, right now I'm sorry to see the man retire.
 
And I would love nothing more than to say this one ends that career on a high note. Sadly, I'd be lying to tell you that's the case. President Down certainly has some of the assets that made the first two movies work, but there's a sense that the film drifts along slightly and maybe – just maybe – given all that had come before, that the director's heart may not have been completely in it. With that said, the ending works very well and is a suitable way to round off a trilogy that I overall did enjoy.
 
This time we find Bill in his characteristic position of hiding out, this time in the middle of the woods. He has a partner and a child now, which for me slightly softens him and takes away from what had made him work so well previously as a character. All the bluster and diatribe is still there, but it doesn't quite have the sound and fury it held in its predecessors. We are told – rather then being shown, oddly – that Bill has gone out and shot the President, Vice President and Secretary of Defence. That's some serious business, and while the FBI and the three agents therewith we follow look to pin it in terrorists, they eventually figure out Bill was behind it and look to seek him out in his forest lair.
 
The downside of all that? It takes practically an hour before we get to the serious action of the movie. Prior to that it's a pretty slow and rickety FBI investigation by three fairly bland characters, some bits of Bill's domestic bliss, and much more of his preparation for what he feels will be his final confrontation with the authorities. It takes a long time to really go anywhere, and not that what we see is tedious, but you are kind of itching for something bigger and better to be going on given the action-oriented nature of the first two movies. Very possibly the aim was to deliver something more thoughtful, find out more about what our main character is truly about beyond the 'bring down the system/kill the rich' rhetoric. But I can't help but wonder if earlier in the trilogy would have been the time for that...
 
As I say, the ending is fairly redemptive, as we see Bill finally meet his end in a scene that isn't overplayed, there's a fine video from Bill to his child (for them to watch when they grow up) and the unexpected conclusion of Bill's death finally bringing about the kind of revolution he has always craved. Everybody loves a martyr and Bill Williamson is just that to his own cause. So the last 15-20 minutes are pretty satisfying, and do leave us on a good note after a pretty steady first hour.
 
Is it classic? No. Is it the best of the three? No again. It feels a little aimless, and perhaps could have been tighter at a shorter runtime or with more plot developments seeded into the first half. But the closing section is everything I would have wanted as a viewer and fan of the first two, and for that I'm willing to forgive it some flaws.
 
RATING: 5.5/10. If you haven't watched the first two movies, some of this third part might well be pretty lost on you – I can't see it really functioning as a stand-alone. It needs you to be aware and to care, which those who have watched the whole trilogy may well do. Yes, it drags a little, and maybe there's a sense of the fire and the incandescence that infused Parts 1 and 2 has been slightly lost in the circumstances surrounding this one. But the ending left me happy and basically did everything I would have hoped for, and left me ultimately feeling satisfied. So it's a fair enough farewell at 5.5/10.
 
I'm sure almost every horror fan out there will have a Uwe Boll story of some kind – something they hated, something they loved, something that shocked them – and never for a moment was it dull. So long, Uwe, and thanks for the memories...

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