Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Silent House [2010]


The Silent House, or more natively known La Casa Muda, is most likely a film you've heard rumblings about since it's 2010 festival tour through Cannes, Sitges and Stockholm, or stumbled upon after hearing of a US remake . Marketed as being filmed in one continuous shot and rumoured to be as shakey cam scary and as groundbreaking as Blair Witch and REC, none of which is true. But hey, it's a fuckin' horror film Uruguay...Urrrruuuugauuuuuay...ya. Fuck...I'm sure I've ate their soybeans and cheered against their soccer team so I felt like I owed them a once over.

Are those two mosquito bites under your shirt or are you just slightly happy to see me.

Laura and her father are a phenom tandem of house cleaners who prefer to sleep in arm chairs and show up to work up a day early. There next assignment is running a gambit with swiffers and schtickies on Nestor, a friend of the family's uninhabited country home. After Nestor leaves 'em be, they crank the clock radio and tuck it for the night.


Laura's awoken by some strange noises upstairs, which totally irks her because Nestor said don't go up there, so instead she wakes her dad and sends him up to investigate. He dies, she cries, and all the doors and windows are locked, yay. And this is where the fun and confusion starts.

Don't do it bitch, Nestor said "No.".


She tramples around the house looking for a way out whilst avoiding the entity that killed her father, hiding when necessary but not even a bird can hide in the shit-hole of a cottage. When she does an end up escaping Nestor finds her and drags her back to the house! Classic horror unrealism!



The rest of the movie is reminiscent of REC's final scenes of limited sight and flashes of attempted explanation of the lead-up of events and inevitable conclusion. But this time, first time director Gustavo Hernandez goes rogue and presents it devoid of terror, purpose and coherency.


I applaud the filmmakers for getting their creation out of the armpit of South America and into the depraved collections and film queues of horrors fans in the rest of the air-conditioned world, but that's about it.

5/10

ps - Make sure you stick around after the credits to be gifted with one more final scene of glorious ineptitude!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Apology & Jess Franco's Brilliance

First off, I'm sorry for my most recent bout of absentitis.  This time around I've had an unhealthy addiction to the Olympics, compounded by the misfortune of yet another RRSP season, and the snowballing demands of a pregnant wife.  Oh the trials and tribulations of growing up!  I promise I'll get to finishing the ever intriguing filmology of Eric Stanze and then start bangin' out posts again. 

All that aside, I HAD to post this email I received this morning...why would I not join in on the naked and gory fun of a Franco film?!?!?!  


Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave [2001] - Eric Stanze Week

If the title doesn't divide the horror masses - Spit n' Piss's content surely will.  Eric Stanze's follow up to the ultra-controversial indie masterpiece-of-shit Scrapbook (and that's a compliment I swear!) is either the maturation and evolution of a once young and up-and-coming filmmaker - or a promise kept to Emily Haack after being mounted and pissed on for an hour and a half.  Either way, I bought my ticket - now let the road to degradation begin!

Some four-eyed Betty's car breaks down; and while mulling over her inconvenience a guy in a red bandana appears (never good).  The obviously really bad ass dude chases her down and kills her (like I said, never good).  During the investigation really bad dude's gonna-be-bad-sooner-or-later younger brother tries to help cover up the crime but winds up in prison himself.

The now really bad younger brother summons all the badness of his brother's badass red bandana and breaks out of jail with a little revenge on his probably once mulleted mind.  He kidnaps his former girlfriend (Haack) along with 3 others who wronged him at the trailer trial.  And just when you think you know where you're heading - wammo!  Haack turns the tables on him in a surprising plot twist not even a monologue insinuating it was going to happen would lead us to believe!  But let's say you got lucky and saw a red herring amidst a red herring parade coming...Stanze then blindsides us again by conveniently adding past violations of the 3 captured unto Ms. Haack...and payback's a mutha-fuckin' broomstick!  

Stanze formulas Spit n' Piss with similar foundations as Scrapbook.  He utilizes the same successful nuances as his previous effort (exploitative gore, sporadic death metal, irritating synth, a grimy setting) but also tries to correct it's flaws and underachievements with minor tweaks and slight variations (turning the victim to victimizer, adding a deeper story, polishing production, hiring better actors, and going just a tad further in schlock).  But you can't make the same delicious dish with different ingredients and serve it to the same guest with hope of getting the same results.  As the saying goes, you can never get a second chance at a first impression - so Spit n' Piss just comes off as an overthought and lame sequel.

(No...please...don't put it...no, c'mon...PLEASE...ahhhhhh, uuyuck)

But for horror fans seeking the most depraved and sickest shit this side of 2 girls 1 cup - Spit n' Piss is definitely worth a go around - maybe just for the final rape/revenge scene alone.

5/10

Finder's Keepers

Some new "must haves" for the collection.

Eden Log (2007), a Cube-esque sci-fi masterpiece.  

Thirst (2009), a somewhat disappointing experience for this Park Chan Wook fan - but none the less, still a great film.

If you're in the mood for blood and drugs, booze and boobs - look no further than Donkey Punch (2008).  Caught this at it's Canadian premiere at the 2008 Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

An under the radar, far from the norm horror from my Northern homeland.

A ridiculously fun documentary on the often forgotten exploitation films from down under.  I guarantee that this film will have you jottin' down titles left, right and center.

Probably the coolest DVD promo item I've ever seen - huge kudos to my favourite DVD label Dark Sky Films.  I can't tell you just how thrilled I was to get my hands on it from up here in Canada.


Tonite - look out for my continuation along the filmography of Eric Stanze with I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave (2001).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Scrapbook [2000] - Eric Stanze Week

Scrapbook is a wretched wrath of repugnancy - a rape of reservations.  If I wasn't already severely scarred from a lifetime of distasteful DVD dung, I surely am now.

Leonard is your regular everyday guy - molested and beaten as a child - only finding gratification from taking a life as a teen.  Now as an adult, he has perfected his post-pubescent pursuit of pillaging and polishing off poon.  The catch in this one?  He's more scrapbook hooked than your Aunt Ruth or arts and crafts nooks.  With only a few pages of documentation left, he has his eyes on a 15mins of fame prize and just one last victim in his sights (Clara).

If Scrapbook isn't the grandaddy of "torture porn", then it's got to be pretty damn fuckin' close - having beat August Underground by a year and Hostel by a half decade.  Although not as depraved as August... or as well roundedly produced as Hostel, Scrapbook out-engages the former and out-bitch-slaps the latter.  All thanks to it's indie nature - a nature that is truly it's handicap and it's upper-hand.

In typical indie fashion, Stanze works with a basic budget of bubkis.  The outcome...sparse gore (for a torture film), amateurish and atrocious dialogue at best, cheap audio effects, and minimal style filmmaking.  But all that forces Stanze to get creative - focusing on fear-setting physical acting, location soiling, basic yet spine-chilling synth score, and a brilliant yet anti-climactic conclusion.

What's in store for ya?   There's urination humiliation, point-of-view pedophiliac fellatio, death via polaroid camera, toe chopping, tit slapping, pornographic photograph wallpaper, a booze bottle turned bloody dildo, and a 5 mins chase across a farm with a left tit hangin' and floppin' out of a wife beater...priceless.  Scrapbook, without a doubt, is one of the most gut-churning films I've ever had to cower through.

7/10



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lookin' A-head: Like Medieval Execution Crowds


Soon to be blogged about shizzle:

Just got my screener copy of the underground sensation Evil Things (2009) from director Dominic Perez...so I'll be hitting this demon in the rough right after...

Eric Stanze week. I'm currently bewildered and scared shitless trekking through the filmography of this insane fucker! Those upcoming reviews include:

Deadwood Park (2007)
China White Serpentine (2003)
I Spit on Your Corpse, I Piss on Your Grave (2001)
Scrapbook (2000)
Ice from the Sun (1999)

Last and possibly least is the much celebrated Canuckian Pontypool (2009).

Stay tuned!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Paranormal Entity [2009]

Now before any virgin sniffin' nerd can pube up enough sack to belt out a comment like "Dude, don't you mean Paranormal Activity" - I'd like slide the pin back in that grenade - NO!  I leave the box-office hoggers to the pop-author bloggers - FearFinder aims to deliver the goods on shit you aint seen yet.

If Captain Obvious hasn't let you aboard the boat yet, Paranormal Entity is as blatant a ripoff as you can get.  But don't write off the trip just yet.  This copycat of the mockbusters of the film world actually aint that fuckin' bad (as it sounds).  Let me begin.

The actor formerly known as employed.

Samantha, an oatmeal lovin' hottie you'd just as happily fuck as punch, has got a bad case of the ghosties.  And no help to her are her should be on Intervention mom and unemployed yet 4-handycam ownin' brother.  Not to mention Dad's in an urn in the basement and might've touched her growin' up.  Anyway, Dad's back to do some raping and dog gone it, no video camera is gonna stop him.

Ya, it's thievery...but it wasn't MY fault.

Not exactly telling of it's ripoff-ness I know - but believe me.   If it isn't the spooky attic venture, mysterious footprints, moving furniture, closing and opening doors, poster art, sheets pulled off, day and time updates...it's the false hope and no backstory.

But Entity has at least some redeeming qualities to it's (porn-like stolen) name.  Activity's victim, Cankles McGee, is replaced by a hotter (ie a more interesting) Jennifer Carpenter knockoff (gotta stay consistent The Asylum might say!)

AND

, she's given less annoyancees and even less clothes,

a better ending that may actually be director approved!, sleepwalking into attics is way cooler than backyards, and what's scarier than a killing ghost...than a raping, then killing ghost...even if the ghost as haunted you before...and even if they couldn't hire a proofreader.

6/10