Ginger Nuts of Horror
By Alex Davis
All through March we had the chance to focus on some movies from Unearthed Films, who have always been one of the leaders in the extreme horror field. Of late the company has continued to expand and grow, blazing a lot of exciting trails, and it has just announced its latest venture – the Unearthed Films Extreme Horror Channel on Vimeo.
For those of you unfamiliar with Vimeo, it's a video streaming service on which independent filmmakers can showcase their work across a wide range of genres, either for free, for rental or for you to buy. I've used it a number of times in the past – in fact it was the first place I saw the incredible Tras El Cristal – and always found that it runs like a dream.
What's especially exciting about the Unearthed Channel is that it allows the films to be presented in an uncensored and uncut format – something that is rarely achievable on other popular platforms, who shall remain nameless here. So if you want the full glory of the Unearthed back catalogue, then this is the place to get it.
There's a good amount to choose from to begin with, and lots more content – taking in both new films and bonus features – will be going live as time goes on. But here's a few recommendations from me to get you started...
Flowers: I lose track of how many times I have raved about this movie, and I'll basically evangelise for Phil Stevens' incredible feature at every chance I get. So here goes again – if you haven't found a way to watch this yet, you can rent is for about £3.50, and you should really treat yourself. This is a sinister experience in sepia, claustrophobic, nightmarish, darkly beautiful and all delivered without a single line of dialogue.
American Guinea Pig – Bloodshock: My personal favourite of the four so far, Bloodshock is a dystopian torture experiment in black and white. Using a host of subtle but clever effects to crank up tension, and with one of the most breathtaking finales I think I've ever seen, this is a tough watch in places but well worth the effort. The physical and psychological suffering depicted in the lead by Dan Ellis was a great factor in this movie working so well – be sure to check it out.
Collar: Ryan Nicholson's sleazy, grimy feature is wonderfully shot and tells the various tales of a completely dysfunctional and almost utterly unlikeable cast. A strong and unflinching vision of the darkness lying at the fringes of urban life, Collar catches something that fans of bleak cinema might well like.
Lung: It's that man Phil Stevens again! This is a sort of spiritual sequel to Flowers, if not necessarily bearing any direct resemblance, it follows much of the style and flavour of its predecessor whilst bringing something new to the table. This confusing and abstract journey of a man through a broken city – and his broken memories – is another wonderful offering for fans of arthouse with an extreme edge.
Madness of Many: Another very arthouse feature, this time from Danish director Kasper Juhl, MoM might not quite be up to the incredible standards of Your Flesh, Your Curse, but it is very good in its own right. This dark fable follows a young girl into the afterlife, showing us more of the suffering that she had to endure in life – often beautifully shot despite so much challenging, confronting content, I feel like this one marked the start of a really exciting phase in this director's output.
There's numerous films I'll be checking out myself – Dreaming Purple Neon and Lilith's Hell certainly stand out as ones I'm excited for – although recommending them pre-watching might be a bit too bold! However there's bound to be something for an fan of extreme horror, so it's worth checking out an parting with a few quid for some of the very best contemporary work in the field.
Just drop by https://vimeo.com/channels/unearthedfilmsextreme/ to see more!
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