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Let’s Talk About Fulci

Lucio Fulci 1927-1996

It’s been a few weeks since my last post but that’s because I’ve been waist-deep in Fulci movies. If you’re a gore lover like myself I urge you to explore the films of Lucio Fulci. Known as the Maestro, or Godfather of Gore. An accomplished Italian filmmaker, director, cinematographer, screenwriter, and actor- he was a true artist and visionary. Besides Dario Argento, no other Italian filmmaker has attained such acclaimed status among horror fans. His films span nearly five decades and although he produced comedies and Westerns, he was most notably revered for his giallo and horror films. Among horror enthusiasts Fulci has attained cult status as one of the true masters of the genre. Every scene, every camera angle, every word was carefully crafted by this man. He has influenced countless directors in the genre and you can find nods to his work in many modern horror movies. He is a legend in the horror industry and as a horror fan I needed to explore his work.

Admittedly, I watched House by the Cemetery first, not realizing it was part of a series known as the Gates of Hell trilogy consisting of three incredible films. There is some debate that there are technically four films in this series ( If you include Zombie (1972- also known as Zombie 2, Flesh Eaters or Woodoo) but most critics agree on three. This series is a MUST SEE and MUST OWN for gorehounds and die-hard horror fans. The first of which is City of the Living Dead (1980)

A reporter and a psychic race to Massachusetts to close the portals of the damned after a priest commits suicide tearing open all seven gates to Hell. The pair have just three days before the dead begin rising from their graves. I have to say the gore effects are FANTASTIC! The zombies are disgusting and putrid. No lumbering cheesy zombies here. Over forty years later, the zombies are STILL terrifying. The effects are NOT AT ALL what you’d expect from a 1980 horror film. It contained some exceptionally gruesome bloody death scenes the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Scenes like bleeding from the eyes, entrails oozing out of people’s mouths, and craniums being torn open like watermelons on Canada Day- exposing seeping, slimy brain matter! 👍 Most grotesque. Highly recommend!

Next was The Beyond (1981), (my personal favorite of the bunch) the follow up to City of the Living Dead. A woman inherits a mansion from her uncle in Louisiana. Sure, it needs repairs but the real issue is that horrific murders have occurred here, oh, and it’s built over an entrance to Hell-(oops). As she renovates the home it stirs up some horrifyingly dark mysteries. This movie stunned me and I think it’s safe to to say it’s quickly made it’s way up to my Top 10 Horror Films of ALL TIME. The overwhelming sense of gloom and dread, shocking gore scenes, a waking nightmare. This movie really encompasses all things Fulci. Right down to the color scheme of ‘The Beyond”, which is sort of an afterlife. So much thought was put into this film and it really comes through when you watch it. Truly an experience.

The third and final instalment in the Gates of Hell trilogy is House by the Cemetery also released in 1981. A family relocates to Boston so the husband/father can conduct scientific research. The son begins seeing a ghost girl leading him to dark evil secrets of the basements and the true nature of the house and how it all ties into a series of murders happening in the city. The English dub on the boy, Bob, is just awful but it was tolerable because the movie was phenomenal! So much gore tied into a perfectly told story. There’s a harrowing, bordering on annoying, bat scene, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Again, some of the most uniquely done death scenes, makeup and special effects for that time. It’s SO impressive. MUST WATCH!

The series as a whole was incredibly good. I was in awe at many of the death scenes. And there are many- the death counts are often high in Fulci films. What impressed me most though was the whole story, how it developed and progressed throughout the three films. Fulci was an incredibly thoughtful, meticulous and articulate artist, and this shows through this series of films. At times it’s easy to forget you’re watching films from 1980/81, the effects are THAT good.

After consuming the Gates of Hell I needed more Fulci. I delved into Aenigma from 1987. This was another movie I ABSOLUTELY LOVED! Another MUST OWN for your collection. Have you ever seen anyone die by snails? If you’re curious about that, this may be the film for you. An unpopular girl is harassed in her boarding school leading up to a terrible accident leaving her comatose. Enter a new student. The comatose student then possesses the new girl to exact revenge on the miserable assholes that caused her accident.

This isn’t your average revenge story. It’s bloody, it’s gruesome. It’s full of “holy shit they went there!” moments, and trust me when I tell you, you’ll definitely want to check out that death by snails scene. Oh so much gore! Fantastic!

Ok, so what else can I find in my subscription services? I found The New York Ripper next.

The New York Ripper (1982) falls into the giallo genre. Giallo were movies that took serious subject matter, like a murder and tried to solve it. Think of them as visually stunning, sort of sexy detective novels come to life. Young attractive women are being brutally murdered in New York City. NOTE: This is a highly sexualized film which made it not so popular among critics. There are eviscerations, brutal stabbings, one woman gets stabbed to death in the crotch with a broken bottle, someone else is suffocated with a plastic bag. Lots of gore and the body count is high in this one. Fulci himself makes an appearance as the Chief of Police trying to keep the murders out of the press.

The killer is identified as missing two fingers from his right hand and talks to his victims via the telephone in a Donald Duck voice. The duck voice is a little off-putting until you understand why the killer does the things he does. According to the documentary, Fulci for Fake (2019) by Simone Scafidi which includes never before seen footage and interviews with those closest to Fulci, he had originally written this film differently. A horse riding accident that left his daughter Camilla bed-bound for some time altered how he approached this film. I won’t give away spoilers but Fulci’s grief about his daughter’s accident plays a very large role in this film. I thought it was great. A really gross and perturbed whodunnit.

The most recent film I’ve watched was The Black Cat (1981). Based on the Edgar Allan Poe story. An American photographer teams up with a Scotland Yard inspector to solve a series of murders. The suspect? A man’s cat. A great tale in it’s own right but with a Fulci spin. Easily overlooked but definitely worth a watch. Lots of blood, a creepy atmosphere and a killer opening scene.

Although many viewed him a serious, often cranky man, I’m not sure fans realize how difficult his life was. Besought with tragedies like the suicide of his first wife, rearing two daughters on his own, his own health (heart and diabetes) issues that he battled with silently in fear that he would never work again. In addition, he was an extreme perfectionist with his work, refining scripts and redefining special effects. If he deemed an actor not good enough, Fulci would step in himself. He was highly respected by his peers as a filmmaker but his gory movies were quickly going out of style as filmmakers like Dario Argento gained popularity with his technical abilities and arthouse style films. Argento was Fulci’s rival for many years as his films often toppled Fulci’s at the box office. It wasn’t until 1994 that the two met at event where Argento was being honored. Fulci, despite the rivalry, stood up- with great pain as he was very ill- to give Argento a standing ovation. The two would team up together for Fulci’s very last film, The Wax Mask- a remake of the 1953 Vincent Price classic, The Waxwork Museum.

Although he passed away in 1996 alone in his sleep, today he has a legion of fans that simply cherish his work and contributions to the genre. His legacy lives on in close to 30 movies and this horror fan is determined to see them all.

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Lucio Fulci B&W

Lo Squartatore Di New York Movie Poster

The New York Ripper Movie Poster

Aenigma Movie poster

Zombie Movie Poster

The Gates of Hell

The House by the Cemetery

The Beyond

City of the Living Dead

What is the Beyond?

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Deconstructing Herbert West: Re-Animator

The last Lovecraft piece I did was on Color out of Space which you can find here.

For this one I familiarized myself with the original story by H.P Lovecraft, originally published in 1922 as a serial story for the publication, Home Brew. You can find it here if you don’t have a copy.  I always recommend reading the source material before watching the movie and Lovecraft’s writing style is just so flawless.  His work is literally beautiful to read.

I then went on to watch:

Re-Animator (1985)

Bride of Re-Animator (1990)

Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

and finally

Herbert West: Reanimator (2017),  by Italian filmmaker Ivan Zuccon.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

~The Original Short Story~

I think most films that center around the idea of Necromancy can easily be traced back to Shelley or Lovecraft.  I’ve often wondered if Lovecraft was influenced by her work. Although Shelley’s version, Frankenstein (1818) involved a misunderstood creature that at heart wants acceptance and love; a more romantic idealization of reanimation. Whereas Lovecraft’s version, involves a certain amount of madness and soullessness. 

“West was a materialist believing in no soul and attributing all the working of consciousness to bodily phenomena ; consequently he looked for no revelation of hideous secrets from gulfs and caverns beyond death’s barrier.” (How the narrator describes Herbert West).

-H.P Lovecraft

The character of Herbert West was originally written as an awkward, highly intelligent doctor whose fascination lies in the idea that as long as a corpse is fresh enough and there’s no physical damage to the body or brain tissue- it can be reanimated using a specific serum that he’s carefully developed.  I have to wonder if Lovecraft modelled the character of Herbert West after himself in some ways; awkward, no social skills, methodical, even the physical description of West, a slight spectacled, socially awkward man- sounds a lot like Lovecraft himself.

Over time, West has tweaked the serum to accommodate different organisms.  It’s described as a thick oozing liquid that’s injected into the corpse.  Starting off with animals, he works his way up to humans.  He doesn’t work alone in obtaining his specimens and carrying out his highly unethical experiments.  Luckily, he has a friend, the narrator. The one friend that’s been with him since studying at Miskatonic University. He not only respects and supports his work, but he acts as the voice the reason frequently, which seems to be lacking in Herbert West. He’s also a little afraid of Dr. West compelling him to stay by his side.  Herbert has no sense of humility, or humanity in general. Thinking that the only thing one needs to bring someone back to life is purely physical, neglecting the emotional aspect of humanity altogether.  His reanimated corpses lack a soul and reasoning. Naturally his experiments end in abysmal failures- creating a multitude of horrendous, bordering on blasphemous, zombie-like creations.

*Note the 2018 Italian version of the Re-Animator films is the only one that’s NOT a horror/comedy. 

Re-Animator (1985)


I am embarrassed to say I haven’t watched any of these movies.  I’m not sure I would have appreciated them until now to be perfectly honest.  The 1985 version was the most entertaining of the bunch and has the slight edge in ratings getting a strong 4.5/5 on Rotten Tomatoes. The two sequels only garnered a 3/5.  Jeffrey Combs plays West flawlessly.  He’s cold, almost in-human, methodical, brilliant, mad, and all about science. This movie is pure entertainment from start to finish.  It stays fairly close to the source material other than the fact that in the movie, Dr. Halsey (Dr. Hill in the original story) is more of a villain than the character of Dr. Allan Hill.  In the story, West had more respect for Hill, (Halsey) other than the fact that he looked at West’s work with disdain, he actually wanted approval from the esteemed Doctor.  The characters themselves are entertaining in their own right.  We have West (Jeffrey Combs) and his loyal friend, Dan Cain, (Bruce Abbot), there’s Dr. Hill’s daughter, Megan, (Barbara Crampton) who just happens to be dating Dan much to her disapproving father. There are creature effects, great action sequences, a lot of boobs (it was the 80s so the sexploitation and gratuitous nude scenes are plentiful).  Finally, oh so much blood.  The special effects department reportedly went through 24 gallons of fake blood for this movie.  It’s classic 80s style horror with a lot of gore as well as some humor.  It’s an experience. Five knives out of five.

Bride of Re-Animator (1990)

Bride of Re-Animator

The plot roughly follows episodes “V. The Horror from the Shadows” and “VI. The Tomb-Legions” of the Lovecraft story, and follows doctors Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) as they attempt to create a living woman from dead tissue. It’s about eight months after the events that took place in the original movie.  Dr. West and  Dr. Cain are now Medics in the center of a bloody Peruvian civil war.  It’s here where Dr. West has ample access to corpses to further his research.  After an attack at their base, the pair are sent back to Miskatonic University where West sets up shop in Dan’s basement.  West can now reanimate individual body parts so he finds the heart of Meg, Dan’s original love interest, Dr. Halsey’s head ends up being reanimated making for some serious cringe and comedy. This movie is crazy from start to finish. I laughed A LOT in this one.  A zombie detective who’s still in hot pursuit of West for turning his wife into a zombie.  A reanimated Dr. Halsey’s head, relying on a zombie guard to transport him everywhere until he makes bat wings for his head for readier mobilization.  He then leads an entire zombie force of West’s former test subjects to hunt down Dr. West.  There’s A puppet zombie dog, some crazy action sequences, and a shitload of gore that may not be for everyone, but I liked it.  The forever loyal assistant, Dan is frequently, sometimes hilariously, shirtless and has to decide between his Peruvian love interest, journalist Francesca Danelli, and the newly reanimated woman containing the heart of his true love, Meg. This all leads up to a very interesting cat fight.  Although this movie wasn’t received as well as the first it’s still a cult classic, it continues the original Lovecraft story. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a villain that consists of a head and bat wings leading a zombie army? Three knives out of five.

Beyond Reanimator (2003)

Beyond Re-Animator

The movie starts off with Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) in prison for 13 years because of a murder committed by one of his unfortunate experiments- (zombies- he made zombies). Continuing his scientific research in prison, using whatever he can find around the facility, he has now discovered the missing element in the reanimation process. The “NPE” (Nano-Plasmic Energy), it’s an energy that can be extracted from the brain of a living organism through an electrocution-like process and stored in a sparkly chip.  Using this in conjunction with his serum can possibly eliminate zombies altogether as it would not only restore the corpse, but also restore memories, skills, almost like their old selves right?

A new young doctor named Howard Phillips (Jason Barry)– (a nod to the author himself, H.P) is introduced as the new prison physician and the two quickly form a bond as West is assigned to assist him.  They continue Dr. West’s research because Dr. Phillips, it turns out, is the little brother of one of West’s victims and watched the good Doctor being led away in handcuffs 13 years prior.  He’s both fascinated by the research but contains higher morals than Herbert which keeps West from actually following through with experiments.  Enter journalist Laura Olney (Elsa Pataky) who’s doing an article for her newspaper on the prison.  Dr. Phillips and the pretty Laura develop a relationship and fall in love.  The evil warden of the prison also fancies the pretty reporter and through a brutal attempt at making her his own, Laura ends up dying. It’s here where the moralistic Dr. Phillips turns to Dr. West to bring her back.  I’m not going to give away spoilers other than this: there’s a little less gore in this movie but still some very cringey moments.  There’s a considerable amount of violence that eventually erupts in a pretty bloody riot at the prison.  It doesn’t really follow the original Lovecraft story but rather just another chapter with Jeffrey Combs playing the often comedic Dr. West.  It’s generally not well received, it’s not scary but has a few shocking bits.  If you’re a fan of the series, it’s definitely worth at least one watch. Two knives out of five.

Herbert West: Re-Animator (2017)

Herbert West: Re-Animator

This is a unique adaptation by Italian filmmaker Ivan Zuccon.  This is a much darker version of the tale. Starring Alessio Cherubini as Dr. West who tragically loses his daughter, Eleanor, a gifted student.  This adaptation was my personal favorite.  It’s dark and eerily shot, and goes deeper than the other films.  The cinematography was beautiful.  A true piece of art.  The story takes some artistic liberties with the original Lovecraft story but the end result is a unique, beautifully told, incredibly dark story.  It contains love, violence, some gore, but not over the top.  It’s more of a slow burner, of course there are subtitles but I assure you it’s worth the watch.  This Dr. West is devoted to his daughter and his love leads him down some dark paths.  The film was recently released on Amazon and I highly recommend it. Five knives out of five even though it’s not totally reliant on the original source material, it was creative and very well produced.

*NOTE: I was able to find all four movies on myself for free, I’m in Canada so it may differ from country to country.

H.P Lovecraft

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Re-Animator (1985) Movie Poster

Bride of Re-Animator (1990) Movie poster

Beyond Reanimator (2003) Movie poster

Herbert West: Re-Animator (2017) Movie poster

Mary Shelley Frankenstein book cover User:

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Let’s Talk About Possessor

Possessor 2020 Brandon Cronenberg

4 Things:

There were some film sequences with flashing lights and colors that made me physically nauseous. So beware.

If you like David Cronenberg (Dad) films, you’ll probably like this.

If you like Black Mirror, you’ll probably like this.

A lot of stabbing. Like, A LOT of stabbing.

Possessor is Brandon Cronenberg’s second outing – his debut was 2012’s Antiviral.

Cast includes

Jennifer Jason Leigh ❤

Andrea Riseborough, who you might recognize from the 2020 version of The Grudge, Mandy and Black Mirror.

Sean Bean. He lives up to his meme in a deliciously gory way. Such a fine fire poker bludgeoning hasn’t been seen since Beverly wielded the tool in the men’s washroom in 1994’s Serial Mom.

Christopher Abbot. I’m gonna be honest, I don’t recognize him from anything. Sorry Chris.

Possessor falls into a few horror categories. Science fiction horror, psychological horror and also body horror.

The plot involves an unknown agency that has the technology to transfer a person into someone else’s body – allowing them to control the host. Unknown agencies being the nefarious organizations that they are, the hosts are used to perform assassinations. The victims are high-profile targets of ill repute.

The struggle occurs when the main character, Tasya (Riseborough) encounters Colin: her next victim. Colin is dating the daughter of her next target. They end up fighting for control of Colin’s body and mind.

Give me back!

This film also explores how Tasya begins to fall away from her herself, forgetting who she is. She’s guided throughout by Girder (Jason Leigh), who interviews her after each job. Girder provides trigger objects to Tasya to gauge where she is mentally. As the interviews progress, Tasya seems to care less about the objects. At one point she expresses guilt over something she did as a child, but by the end, that guilt is gone. You can never tell if Girder actually cares for Tasya or whether she’s trying to completely disconnect her from herself and make her the ultimate assassin.

There’s an interesting thread throughout the film that focuses on dishonesty. Almost all of the characters in this film were dishonest with themselves and the people around them. The parallel drawn to our lives on social media is noted.

The film is aesthetically stunning, the gore scenes were done really well. I did have a couple of problems with this movie. I feel like there were a lot of unanswered questions and I had to actually research the ending to fully understand what happened. I get it now but…

I like bleak films, but this was bleak from start to finish. Par for the course for 2020.

Because I felt like something was missing, I’d rate this film 4 knives out of 5.

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Movie Poster-

Fighting for Control –

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Let’s NOT Talk About Cannibal Holocaust


Fuck no.

Just no need.

Who is this for?

I wanted to do something fun and different. Explore some new forms of horror. First stop: Italy. I like gelato. I liked Suspiria. Why not?

I researched the big names: Argento, Barva (Mario and Lamberto), Fulci and Deodato.

Italian horror basically breaks down into four subtypes:

Exploitation : Lots o’ titties/ vibrant colors ❤

Giallo : Over-the-top bloody murder mysteries where the formula is : hot chick, titties, blood. ❤

Nunsploitation: I mean the Vatican is there. I get it, but still… weird.


I remember seeing a gruesome poster for Cannibal Holocaust when I was a teenager somewhere and thinking, “What in the actual fuck?

I needed to know more.

I would later regret this.

I learned that ALL the animal violence in the film is REAL. That’s a big fuck no. I can handle gore if I know it’s fake. I absolutely draw the line at animal violence, fake or otherwise. Nope.

I learned that the actors had no idea what they were getting into when they accepted roles in this film. The lead actor, Gabriel Yorke (Alan Yates) was never even given a script throughout the filming. Yorke, in particular, feared that he had unknowingly signed up for a snuff film.

This film pushed the actors to their absolute limits, and I think Deodato was a fucking sadist. I’m all for artistic liberty but quite frankly, I feel movies like this serve no one except for the director’s ego. Where do we draw the line? Films like A Serbian Film or Human Centipede? Are we sure we’re not just pandering to someone’s depravity?

Instead of including pics to promote this atrocity of a “movie”, I’m going to include an interview with the lead actor from the film. You can see that this man is fucking haunted.

This putrid piece of gratuitous shit aside, it seems like Italian horror regurgitated formulas and once they reached peak saturation and sophisticated, psychological horror movies like Silence of the Lambs came onto the scene, people were no longer seeking the shock, gore and exploitation films. Everyone needs a break. Trends die – thank God.

I am not rating this film because I never finished it. I saw enough and I don’t wish to promote it.

Next Stop: Korea.

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Let’s Talk Lovecraft & Color Out of Space

Color Out of Space 2019 Directed by Richard Stanley

As a life-long horror fan, I only recently realized that many of my favorite films have been heavily influenced by H.P Lovecraft. Movies like The Thing, The Void, In the Mouth of Madness, Event Horizon, and Prince of Darkness always stuck with me and remain some of my favorites to this day.

I love the concept of how minute and insignificant we are as humans in the vast expanse of the unknown. Where do we really fit in? I love movies that showcase the frailties and imperfections of people. Lovecraftian horror is sometimes referred to as Cosmic horror because there’s often an element of what would happen if we were to encounter alien life? How would it affect us? Would it be horrific? Gory? Would it cause madness?

For this one, I decided to read the original short story, The Colour Out Of Space (1927) and then watch the film, for comparison. The film is loosely narrated seemingly by Lovecraft himself. I have to say the film stayed fairly close the source material which was impressive. With the exception that in the short story, Nathan, or (Nahum) has three sons, no daughter. Of course reading the story and watching a modern film based on that story are two entirely different experiences. The story was dark, eerie, with un unnamed narrator explaining what happened in the small fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts when a meteor crashes and essentially poisons ALL life. Vegetation becomes inedible, animals are basically driven mad as they undergo horrific physical changes, and the people go insane and die.

It’s important to note that this was one of Lovecraft’s most popular short stories and one of his personal favorites. The story has been adapted into several movies over the years; Die, Monster Die! (1965) The Curse (1987), Color From the Dark (2008), The Colour Out of Space (Die Farbe) (2010) and then this most recent adaption starring Nick Cage with a modest twelve million dollar budget.

Now for the review:

When the meteorite first hits the Gardner farm

Rotten Tomatoes gives this film a score of 86% on the TomatoMeter and an audience score of 82%. Not bad. This was the first time in a while that I didn’t pause the movie to go get snacks or go to the bathroom. Visually, this movie was STUNNING. The use of the magenta-like color was not only gorgeous but eerie as fuck. As the Gardner’s land becomes increasingly contaminated with this bizarre color it mirrors the level of madness in the characters. Nathan (Cage) becomes increasingly crazier (Cagier) throughout the film. I have to say, Nick Cage was PERFECT for this role, and I’m not usually a fan of his work but he did a superb job in this movie. There’s also a memorable performance by Madeleine Arthur who plays daughter, Lavinia. I found her character the most intriguing as she struggles between her teenage life as a young quick-witted Wiccan and what’s happening around her. Part of her feels responsible for what’s happening to her family after performing a well intended ritual for her mother’s cancer. She seems to be the only one in the family, besides her stoner brother, Benny (Brendan Meyer) that knows they have to get away from this farm. You really root for her but then…

Poor Lavinia

There’s some pretty great shocking scenes in this film. A staple for Lovecraftian horror. The more shocking and unsettling, the better! But let’s just say there’s a scene involving Mom/Theresa (Joely Richardson) and young son Jack that will haunt your nightmares for years to come. It’s gruesome, it’s shocking, it’s spectacular! Totally Lovecraft.

And if this hasn’t made you want to watch just yet, I should mention that Tommy Chong has an unexpected yet welcome appearance in this film. Reading the character of Ezra, (Ammi) in the short story, I don’t think anyone could have played that part better than Tommy Chong who absolutely nailed it.

Tommy being… well… Tommy

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this movie AND short story. I wasn’t this happy with a film since The Void. I keep thinking about it. That’s how you know you’ve watched a good movie, you’ll replay it for days in your head. I would definitely watch this again. Since, I have picked up the book, The Complete Fiction by H.P Lovecraft. I am currently devouring it.

5 knives out 5.

If you’d like to read the original short story, here’s a link where you can find it.

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Let’s Talk About The Void

(2016) Directed/written by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski. Produced by Jonathan Bronfman and Casey Walker (The Witch 2015)

Last week I asked for some movie recommendations, an Instagram friend suggested this. He told me if I liked 80s horror movies like John Carpenter’s The Thing and Hellraiser – with a Lovecraftian element – that I should give this a try. The Thing? Hellraiser? Lovecraft? SOLD! I love my horror with a touch of science fiction that explores how frail we truly are as human beings. I researched it immediately. I learned it was Canadian- bonus. I wondered how this title slipped by me as a Canadian, and as a horror lover. I learned it had only a budget of $82,000 – crowdfunded on Indigogo. This movie has so many fantastic and impressive special effects that I’m floored they were able to pull it all off on such a tight budget.

I don’t want to run a play by play and spoil this experience for others but I will give you the jist.

The movie starts off with a guy, James (Evan Stern) fleeing a house and escaping into the woods. His female companion isn’t so lucky. She’s gunned down by “the father and son” and then set on fire. Deputy Sherrif Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) stumbles across the guy, who appears to be pretty shaken and beaten up. Carter takes him to a nearby hospital. The building is on the verge of closing due to fire damage. It’s narrowly staffed.

Also in the hospital are:

A woman on the verge of giving birth.

Maggie and her grandfather: Ben.

An intern named Kim (Ellen Wong).

Cliff : Some random bloke who’s just there.

Nurse Beverly, head doctor (Kenneth Welsh)

…and of course the Deputy Sheriff’s wife? Ex- wife? Estranged? We don’t know yet. We know her name is Allison. (Kathleen Munroe)

The film goes for it and we’re suddenly confronted by a bloody scene involving Nurse Beverly and Cliff. Poor, innocent Cliff. (spoilers)

As Deputy Sherrif Carter tries to radio for help, he is confronted and surrounded by a bunch of hooded cultists forcing him back inside the near abandoned hospital. That’s never good. Next thing Nurse Beverly has “re-emerged” as some sort of tentacled creature. Enter “The Thing” vibes. The Father and Son arrive and they seem to know what they’re doing.

This movie really has it all. There’s blood, there’s gore, there’s creature effects, a cult, a man who thinks he has the power of God, a gory birthing scene, love, and another dimension. What else can you ask for?

I was thoroughly pleased with this movie, it was exciting from start to finish. I give it 5 knives out 5.

Images from IMDB Photo Gallery
Images from the IMDB Photo Gallery

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Let’s Talk About Peter Jackson’s Dead-Alive

Dead-Alive, Directed by Peter Jackson, 1993.

This film goes by two titles with two covers. There are many cuts of this film depending on where you live due to the gore. It was originally released as Braindead (1992) in New Zealand, but was relased under the title of Dead-Alive (1993) in North American. A distribution company was concerned it would be confused with another film with the same title, so Dead-Alive it became.

In the UK and Australia, it was released in its full 104 minute totality. The Brits and Aussies found the gore to be light-hearted and comical so they had no qualms with the gore scenes. Two different cuts exist in Germany: The 94 minute cut removed most of the grislier bits. The uncut version is actually banned in Germany. It is also illegal to publicly exhibit the film in Germany. (wikipedia) The over-the-top gory violence also means the film has been banned in South Korea and Singapore. In Finland, the film was unbanned and released uncut in 2001. On Rotten Tomatoes, Dead-Alive ranks at an 88% Tomatometer and 87% Audience Score.

Original New Zealand Release 1992

This was my first experience with a Horror/Comedy style film. A few friends and I rented this back in 1993. We all piled into my small room and waitied. We probably should have reconsidered eating snacks during this screening.

The story contains an overbearing smothering mother, who ends up getting bit by a Sumatran rat-monkey while spying on her grown son at a zoo while he makes time with a local hottie. Vera is a cautionary tale of what can happen when you’re too overbearing and controlling as a mother.

This film contains zombification, dismemberment, unintentional cannabilism, and one gruesome lawnmower scene that reportedly used 80 gallons of fake blood shooting out five gallons per second! It really is one Supreme Splatter fest!

Yes. This is the same Peter Jackson that did Lord of the Rings.

Quite possibly the most disgusting dinner scene ever!

Mmmmm, delicious creamy custard, just how I like it.

I think it was about here when we set down our snacks.

The spectacularly bloody, gruesome and very wet lawnmower scene!

A real lawnmower was used for this scene. The main actor, Timothy Balme had to be super careful not to lose a limb himself or hit the other actors while filming. They fed wax limbs into the mower blades for maximum gore and splatter.

I can sincerely attribute Dead-Alive as my introduction to Gore Horror. I loved the effects. I feel like if a movie makes you want to vomit, the effects team has done their job. It truly is an art form. After this I went on a life long spree of watching and collecting gore films. Dead-Alive is truly one of my all time favorites!

When Lord of the Rings came out I was like, Peter Jackson? Really??? Who knew?

Thanks to Bloody Disgusting for some cool new info! Check out their piece as well!

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Let’s Talk About Gore

In Sequence from top left: Misery 1990, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2006, Hostel  2005, The Hills Have Eyes 2006, The Thing 1982.

In Sequence from top left: Misery 1990, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2006, Hostel 2005, The Hills Have Eyes 2006, The Thing 1982.

I’ve always had a fascination with Gore scenes in Horror Movies. I see it as an artform. If you can make the viewers sick to the pits of their stomachs, CONGRATULATIONS! You Win!

Today, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite, most gruesome, goriest scenes that have stood out in my mind and haunted my dreams for decades. Scenes that have made me shudder with disgust and horror. One scene even made me vomit. Nice work Hostel.

Misery 1990, based upon the riveting novel by Stephen King, or as I refer to him, (God), directed by Rob Reiner. The story finds the author, Paul Sheldon being held captive by superfan, Annie Wilkes. Literally one of the BEST female antagonists ever written. After Wilkes finds that Sheldon has escaped his room and snooped about her home she finds a solution. Hobbling. Hobbling a person is the act of crushing the bones in a person’s ankles and feet so that they may not walk; it is mostly used as a form of torture. When Annie got that club out… Well, it made for one MASSIVE gasp in the theater. Ouch!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2006. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. I literally walked out of the theater after seeing this thinking to myself, “What did I just gain from watching this?The Beginning was FILLED with gut-churning, vomit-inducing gore. One of the most violent films I have ever seen. Infact, there’s a censorship report on this movie. Several different cuts of the film exists depending on the country you live in. The most memorable and barf-worthy scene for me was the leg amputation of Uncle Monty. Watching that chainsaw rip through Uncle Monty’s legs as the blood spews forth made me set my suddenly unwanted popcorn to the floor. I left this movie feeling quite nauseated, I questioned whether I could even watch another horror movie after that. Imagine!

Hostel 2005, directed by Eli Roth (Quentin Tarantino’s protege). I actually really enjoyed this series despite the gross factor. A unique story based upon three young men traveling abroad. They stay in a Hostel only to discover there’s something far more sinister going on in the Slovakian city they chose to stay in. (Supposed to be hot ladies there or some shit) The scene that really stuck out was the torture of Kana, the young Asian woman that is eventually “saved” by the film’s “hero”, Paxton. She’s held and tortured in the worst ways. The eyes; I can’t handle eye stuff, and this was one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever watched. Watching that blow torch edge towards Kana’s eye until it basically explodes and oozes down her face made me run to my bathroom and vomit, just a little bit.

The Hills Have Eyes 2006, directed by Alexandre Aja. He had a lot to live up to from Wes Craven’s 1977 classic. The 2006 version however takes gore to a whole new level that simply couldn’t be replicated in the 70s. This was a truly violent and distubing film. A family takes an RV vacation and ends up stalled out in an empty canyon. What they don’t know is that they’re surrounded by a bunch of inbred mutants exposed to Agent Orange that have been residing in a highly radioactive area that was used for nuclear testing by the US Government in the 40s. There’s a violent sexual assault scene that literally made me furious. There’s so much gore in this movie it’s hard to pinpoint one moment. The best part was when the film’s heroes, siblings, Brenda and Bobby, with the help of Brother-in-law Doug finally reach the mutants full of rage and loss, the payback is horrifically delicious. I highly recommend this film if you want a thrill ride that leaves you feeling like you need a therapy session or two.

Last, but not least, is one of my first ever experiences with gore. John Carpenter’s The Thing 1982. Starring the forever handsome Kurt Russel as bad ass RJ MacReady. Wow. This is literally one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Horror movies. Set in remote Antarctica, a team of research scientists get more than they bargained for when taking in a stray dog that’s being shot at and pursued by a helicopter. (Thanks Clark) We soon learn that this “dog” is by no means a dog but rather an alien lifeform that can replicate any living being. An alien lifeform that threatens the future of the ENTIRE PLANET! What?! No! But yes, after teammate Vance Norris becomes one of these things, MacReady takes the flame thrower to him. What happens next kept me sleeping on my parent’s bedroom floor for the next three months. As the Norris thing’s body starts to burn, the Norris-Thing’s head tears itself away from it’s shoulders and slowly slides down the side of the table onto the floor, where it extends a long tentacle from it’s mouth and grabs onto a desk before slowly pulling itself underneath it. It then grows six spider-like legs and pair of insect eyes on stalks, thus becoming the Head Spider. After the men put out the fire with extinguishers, the Head Spider tries to scuttle away while they aren’t looking, but is unfortunately spotted by Windows and Palmer, the latter making an incredulous statement which alerts MacReady who turns around and incinerates the Head Spider before it can escape. (Excerpt from who explains it far more eloquently than I, and a site I have visited countless times over the years)

That Spider head gave me nightmares for months. I would look under my bed every night (I was 8 or 9 when I saw this movie) before jumping on top only to lay there wondering if my cat was actually a cat or…

What gore scenes stand out to you? What movie left you somewhat emotionally scarred? Let me know in the comments!

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