Terrifier 2 (2022)

Terrifier 2Terrifier 2, or A Nightmare on Terrifier Street 2: The Clown Master as a fitting alternative title, starts right off where the previous film ended. And if you haven’t already seen the first one, here comes the spoiler of the century: Art the Clown (still with an energetic and dedicated David Howard Thornton behind the costume) survived, even though he’s got a big hole at the back of his head after a gun shot, which means the supernatural aspects are already well established. To start off the film with the right tone, he slices the coroner’s throat, and finishes him off by crushing his face with a hammer. And if that wasn’t enough, he rips one of his eyes out and plays with it for a few seconds, and places it in his own eye socket. Art hasn’t changed one bit since we saw him back in 2016, that’s for damn sure. As his costume is drenched with blood, he pops into the nearest laundry center where he encounters a twisted, little girly version of himself, also known as The Little Pale Girl (portrayed by the child actress Amelie McLain.) They quickly bond together where it’s like creepy uncle Joker finally meets his creepy, little niece Harley Quinn, to put it that way. It’s a kinda cute little moment they’re having, actually. Kawaii.

 

But there is no time to waste, and Art heads to the next scenario, with his bag of torture tools which he is carrying over his shoulder, to continue his journey of spreading some cozy family-friendly Halloween spirit. Just kidding. Just like in the first film: get ready for more of the same, just on a much bigger platter packed with a full menu of pain, suffering, goreghasm, worms, wasps, insanity and utter chaos – nicely spiced with a deranged and pitch black sense of humor that requires a certain level of sick cynicism to fully enjoy. After the first ten minutes we already know that this is a grindhouse flick in the purest sense, made only for us sub-humans of horror ghouls and hardcore-fans in general. But the more average surface-horror-goers are welcome, of course. Art likes everyone, you see. Just play with him or at least give him some candy and you’ll have a slight chance to survive.

 

After the batshit opening sequence we meet the stressed widow mom Barbara (Sarah Voigt) with her two teens, Sienna (Lauren LaVera) and Jonathan (Elliott Fullam) , living in a middle-class suburb. Sienna has been working on her Valkyrie-like Halloween outfit for months, a passion project based on an illustration made by their deceased dad. And when the nerd-looking Jonathan isn’t busy with interviewing aging rockstars, he’s obsessed with serial killers. Especially with a certain clown that has hit the news after the massacre in Miles County, which took place in the previous film. There’s also a mysterious sketchbook that their dad left behind after committing suicide. It’s filled with drawings of monsters, but the most weird of all: Art the Clown and his earlier victims. What connection their dad could have to Art, who knows, but we can assume that this sketchbook is the equivalent of the Necronomicon/Book of the Dead from The Evil Dead that eventually brings them to our killer clown. Already filled with more questions than answers, it all begins when Sienna starts having bizarre lucid nightmares about Art. During her dream, her bedroom is also set on fire which burns the wings of her costume to ashes. Later Jonathan gets chased by hallucinations/visions of Art and his little pale girl, and this all happens before Hell is about to get real.

 

Terrifier 2

 

As minimal as the first one was with basically no story or character development, other than to show us the demented nature of Art, a showcase of competent gore effects, technical competence, this one pays for it. Watching them now back-to-back makes the first one more of a prologue, a warm-up, if you will. Without spoiling anything, we get a tiny nugget of the history about the pale girl we saw in the beginning, which I hope we see more of in the next sequel. Art however… well, we learn that his alias “Terrifier” is attached to a haunted house attraction. More questions than answers, as I earlier said, and don’t look for much logic. The acting is pretty solid and I was a little surprised to even see Felissa Rose (that girl from Sleepaway Camp) acting like an A-lister with the little screen time she had. Lauren LaVera is great as the “final girl” and knows how to kick some clown ass. I also like the “Phoenix Rising” symbolism behind her costume. The chemistry between her and her mother and brother is believable in the middle of all the madness, which shows that Damien Leone is able to depict more in the script other than how Art is going to dismember the next victim.

 

The first film had a budget of 35.000 dollars, while this had the price of a crowndfunded amount of 250,000. Money well spent, especially on the prosthetic gore effects which is also made by director Leone. The guy has clearly learned from the best. With a much larger budget we also get a more polished look, although Leone has kept enough of the rawness to make it look like the film is straight from the mid 80s to blend with the universe of the first one. The visual esthetics with its use of vibrant color and contrast screams Halloween all the way through. And the retro synthwave soundtrack just fits perfectly.

 

While the film has a cartoonish and sometimes surreal look to it, the effects make a stark contrast and look as real they can get. I think we have to rewind back at some of the titles from the New French Extremity wave from early 2000’s to find something in the same gritty, realistic nature. It’s also filled with references from probably every single slasher film from the 80s. The most notable is the scalping from Maniac which Art takes to a whole new level of extreme ghoulishness. The infamous “bedroom scene” is the wildest shit I’ve ever witnessed on the silver screen, which have earned the hype alone. The serial killer buffs will also take notice of the homeage to one of the crime-scenes of Jack the Ripper.

 

So overall, there’s no doubt in hell that writer and director Damien Leone is a die hard fan of the video nasty-era of VHS horror, and Terrifier 2 projects that to the fullest. But I’ve also got an other theory; that the guy is actually sent by a phone booth-shaped time machine from the 80s, sent by Rufus himself to save us from all the modern watered-down and glossy PG-horror that’s been dominating the mainstream for god knows how long. And not to mention the more recent attempts to adapt them to the “current times” of “checklist” movies, which have been nothing but failed flops thus far. Let’s only hope that Terrifier 2, with its global success, has opened the golden can of killer clowns that makes room for a new wave of more extremity like this to hit the mainstream silver screens. If not, well, at least Damien Leone has created his own universe here with a lot of  potential to evolve as a lucrative franchise that could be an (annual, if I dare say so) highlight for years to come.

 

And finally, here’s the million-dollar questions everyone are asking:

Is Terrifier 2 too violent, even for horror fans? Will the film make me puke or faint? Will it cause a heart attack, or even a miscarriage? Will it make my botox lips explode? Will it make my dick fall off?

Terrifier pin & Barf Bag Yes, to all of them. Joking aside, let’s be serious for just a few split seconds; being concerned if a slasher film is too violent is like expecting a porn film with less porn, even though this is mainly nothing but a cheap, yet effective, marketing strategy that’s been used since the birth of horror cinema and seems to work every time. And thanks to its enormous hype, which I haven’t seen for a slasher at the mainstream surface since way back in 1996 with Wes Craven’s Scream, it managed to sneak its way to the silver screens in our narrow penis shaped home country Norway of all places. My only concern was the unusual long runtime for a film like this, with its 2 hour and 18 minutes, but both I and Miss Ghoul had a blast. The movie theater was almost packed with only kids from Gen Z on a Friday night, where we kind of stood out a little as being old enough to be their parents. The audience reactions should be interesting. A group on the row in front of us giggled nervously here and there, but otherwise it was an awkward dead silence. The best way to describe it as a collective movie experience was to sit on a roller coaster through the Big Gory Mountain with a bunch of mute people. So if any negative physical reaction is to expect, it will slice your vocal cords. So, there’s the only warning, I guess. But just in case, we got handed a barf bag and a cool pin before the screening. Barf bags are a common gimmick, but I cant remember it having been provided in Norway on such an occasion. Not even with Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D, which is objectively the goriest film screened on a regular movie theater in our home country, twelve years before Terrifier 2 broke that record. So, who’s next?

 

Terrifier 2 Terrifier 2 Terrifier 2

 

Writer and Director: Damien Leone
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Lauren LaVera, David Howard Thornton, Jenna Kanell, Catherine Corcoran, Samantha Scaffidi, Kailey Hyman, Chris Jericho, Casey Hartnett, Katie Maguire, Amelie McLain, Elliott Fullam, Sarah Voigt, Felissa Rose, Jackie Adragna, Griffin Santopietro, Charlie McElveen
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt10403420/

 

Related post: Terrifier (2016)

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angst (1983)

Angst
I just love it when women shiver in deadly fear because of me. It’s like an addiction, that will never stop.”

That’s a real quote said in front of the judge by the Austrian triple-murderer Werner Kniesek, which this film is based on.

 

In Angst we follow a young man on a crispy day in November as he gets released from a ten years-prison sentence after killing a 70-year old woman. We don’t know his actual name, so we just call him K (short for killer). And prior to this he’d already been behind bars for four years after a failed attempt to kill his mother with a knife. The film starts with his last minutes in prison before he gets released to the society. We hear a voice-over narration that speaks his thoughts while he walks through the streets of the local town. We learn about his dark past, how he started off killing animals as a kid, and that he’s the same killer he always was. And he’s eager as a kid on Christmas to find a new victim. That’s all that matters. To torture someone.

 

Not a single form of treatment seemed to have been given to this man. It’s as if Ed Gein was to be released the day after he got prosecuted, only with a quick slap on the wrist, hoping he would behave and finally clean up his house. Ha-ha! If this was a subtle message to the psychiatric healthcare in Austria, I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be surprised if so.

 

Anyway: Mr. K is already scanning the surroundings for a new victim. There’s no time to waste other than visiting a coffee shop to eat a big sausage with a chunk of mustard (serial killers have to eat too), while giving two young ladies some creepy death stares. He then jumps into a taxi, and after a clumsy and failed attempt to strangle the female driver with a shoelace, he runs out and flees hysterically through some wooded area, like a headless chicken. As most of the serial killers come across as calculated and with a certain sense of control, and a manipulative charm to their great advantage, this guy is the straight opposite. He’s a frantic loose cannon with zero social skills, driven by a legion of inner raging demons, probably on crystal meth mixed with a toxic cocktail of explosive compulsive disorders and the intense urge to terrorize whoever he can – and make his victims feel what he chronically seems to feel: Angst.

 

But it seems to be his lucky day, after all, as he breaks into a house where his three new victims live. Needless to say, it gets really ugly from here on.

 

On paper, Angst seems as a pretty straight-forward home invasion thriller/slasher with few surprises. That being said, what makes this one stand out is much thanks to Erwin Leder as Mr. K. I haven’t seen a more perfect individual playing a role like this. He makes an electric performance and looks like a sickly and more ghoulish version of Bill Skarsgård, and his face alone with its intense, creepy eyes is an epitome of horror. An interesting trivia is that Erwin grew up in a mental institution where his parents worked. Throughout his childhood he would play and hang around with several patients, and there’s no doubt he must have taken some inspirations from these experiences. The most surprising thing is that he was able to keep his sanity. Or did he, really..? He has before and since this film been a dedicated working actor, most known on the mainstream surface with Das Boot as an mental unstable mechanic, and as a mad Lycan scientist in Underworld.

 

Another strong aspect is the visuals. Director Gerald Kargl and the cinematographer Zbigniew Rybczyński experiments a lot with the camera which is mostly handheld. In several scenes the camera is attached to the antagonist which gives us a view of him in all angles. A pretty unique technique that also gives us a sense of the chaotic, frantic nature of the killer. The soundtrack by Klaus Schulze (RIP) from Tangerine Dream enhances the bleak and isolated atmosphere with the use of ambience and electronic tunes.

 

Overall, Angst is a raw, nasty, morbid  and frantic experience with not a single moment of peace. It’s filled with an atmosphere of bleakness from the very start, which expands quickly into a downward spiral of dread, nihilism, misery and pure hell with uncontrolled mental illness on full display. It will, regardless of how prone you’re to the genre, trigger one or another angst-related emotion in you. For my own part, as the cynical misanthrope I am, I couldn’t avoid to feel mostly for the dog, the family’s little dachshund. He sporadically shows waddling around in the house while the killer is causing hell. He’s just a random, defenceless observer, trapped in the middle of the mayhem, and all you can do is hope for the best. That dog seemed to be a champ during filming, and also earned his own IMDb page, credited as Kuba. The rest of the few actors also does a great, convincing job, by the way, considering buckets of pig blood was used during the most brutal scenes.

 

Director Gerald Kargl stated that he did his very best to avoid any form of entertainment since his view is that such elements through stalk & slash would be cynical. Huh, okey… if this is entertainment or just pure anti-entertainment, is always up the the viewer to decide. Gaspar Noé, the master provocateur himself, is a huge fan, if that tells you something. But anyhow, if the sub-genre of home invasion is your thing, this will for certain entertain and thrill you for sure. If Henry: Portrail of a Serial killer (another great film in its own right) was more than enough for you to handle, you wouldn’t sit through this one, I can bet my angsty, sweaty balls on that.

 

The film has been an obscure rarity for decades, but is now available both on Blu-ray and DVD from Cult Epics, packed with extra stuff. Note: The booklet only arrives with the Blu-ray.

 

Angst

 

Director: Gerald Kargl
Writers: Zbigniew Rybczynski, Gerald Kargl
Country & year: Austria, 1983
Actors: Erwin Leder, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Silvia Ryder, Karin Springer, Edith Rosset, Josefine Lakatha, Rudolf Götz, Kuba, Renate Kastelik
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0165623/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)

The film starts off with a quote from Jack the Ripper that says The Jews are not the men to be blamed for nothing.”  Then we see some silent and grainy black and white documentary footage of the September 11 attacks, as we hear a little girl’s voice saying “Just you wait a little while, the nasty man in black will come. With his little chopper, he will chop you up!

 

And after this quick, cryptic segment we see some images of some freshly dead young women, drenched in blood, in some kind of torture room, just to gives us a foretaste of what to expect during the next 90 minutes.

 

In Murder-Set-Pices we get the pleasure to meet The Photographer, played by the German actor Sven Garrett. He’s a muscle-build pussymagnet, who during the daytime spends his time with his airhead of a girlfriend, and by night roams the streets of Las Vegas to photograph young naked models. And from what we saw in some glimpses of in the opening sequence, The Photographer is a cold-blooded, emotionless serial killer who, after having threesomes, rough sex orgies and anal-raping his models like a gorilla, ends the ritual by murdering them in some grisly fashion, and sometimes tortures them in his basement.

 

And if that’s not enough to shock and disgust you, he also mutilates them and eats their flesh. And just to place the rotten cherry on top, he’s also a neo-Nazi who listens to speeches of Hitler while he’s pumping iron and thinking about his next victims. Doesn’t sound quite family friendly, but even though 55 gallons of fake blood were used on a kill count of 30 victims, Murder-Set-Pieces is way too amateurish to do its purpose.

 

Gunnar “Leatherface” Hansen pops up in a quick cameo as a car mechanic so The Photographer can buy a gun. He then goes to a stripclub so we can enjoy some fresh nudity before it cuts right over to a rape scene. Then we see some flashbacks of The Photographer as a kid where he cuts off the dress of a barbie doll. Then it jumps to a scene where The Photographer is getting a blowjob in his car by using a severed head. Then we see Tony “Candyman” Todd in a cameo as a desk clerk in some adult book store, which escalates into a messy robbery scene, and it’s the only scene here that’s got some tension and entertainment value. But guess what happens next: more rape scenes, a pornographic photo session with two lesbians, a drawn-out torture porn scene that seems to last beyond the running time, before we the film completes The Unholy Trinity of Cameos by Edwin “The Hitchiker” Neil.

 

And as you’ve probably figured out by now, there’s is none to zero plot to find here. The film is a mishmash of a bunch of random scenes that are stitched together with no relation to each other. There’s no start, middle and end, no track of time, no progress, and the whole film feels more like a 90 minutes montage of deleted scenes from a film that never got finished.

 

The most noteworthy and head-scratching thing is that writer and director Nick Palumbo managed to raise 2 million dollars from investors, which at that time was the highest budget to an independent slasherfilm. Quite impressive, though, for a young underground filmmaker. But then the big question is: where did the budget go? There’s zero style or any form of production value to see here, and The Human Centipede, which had a lower budget than this, looks like a David Fincher production in comparison.

 

Murder-Set-Pieces is also filled with controversies. Palumbo claims that this is the first film in the history that’s been thrown out of three laboratories, producers were arrested, and cast and crew were arrested numerous times. Sounds like one of those disastrous film productions where a four hour long behind-the-scenes documentary would be far more interesting and entertaining than the movie itself. But if this sounds interesting enough, be sure to avoid the US release from Lions Gate where 20 minutes have been cut out, and instead look for the European director’s cut version.

 

Murder-Set-Pieces Murder-Set-Pieces Murder-Set-Pieces

 

Writer and director: Nick Palumbo
Country & year: USA, 2004
Actors: Sven Garrett, Cerina Vincent, Tony Todd, Gunnar Hansen, Edwin Neal, Jade Risser, Valerie Baber, Destiny St. Claire, Maria Keough, Renee Baio, Lauren Palac, Andrea Mitchell, Jessie DeRoock
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0422779/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violent Shit 4: Karl the Butcher vs Axe (2010)

Violent Shit 4: Karl the Butcher vs Axe

Less Violence – more Shit.

 

Karl the Butcher has been dead for 25 years, and now spends his time in Hell, chained to a chair in a dark room. He gets a message from Satan that he has to go back to Earth to kill a new potential Butcher (known as Axe). “Make a wish”, Satan says. Karl wants his mask back. A naked blond chick gives him his mask whom he then rips the head off, before he resurrects on the surface. Of course, what else did you expect?

 

It’s now the year 2023 and world has become an apocalyptic wasteland which has been split into gang communities. Among them, we get the pleasure to meet the female trinity gang led by the complete unfunny nutcase Queen Scara, who captures and ties up men, attaches their dick to a tube connected to a “sperminator” that drains them from sperm (of course) which Scara drinks while she gives the worst and obnoxious performances I have probably ever seen from a woman. It’s actually so bad in the most painfully cringy way possible that the witch from Troll 2 is Oscar worthy in comparison. The two other ladies, and rest of the cast for that matter are just as awful, but Scara really sticks out, and this trinity gang has a lot of unnecessary screen time with scenes that really drags on and on. I didn’t even chuckle once, and it’s obvious that they act bad on purpose. It looks like something you would see on a bad unintentionally unfunny YouTube film/skit.

 

Where was I… as soon as Karl the Butcher (played by Andreas Schnaas as usual) emerges to planet Earth, he wastes no time to hunt for Axe and other victims. He kills a random naked chick with some really big, solid boobies before he enters one of the gang communities. The word that Karl the Butcher is back from Hell spreads fast, and the female trinity and some other gangs comes to hunt him down. And yeah, who’s this Axe person, you may ask. He’s just some dude who lives with his lady in the woods (played by co-director Timo Rose). He also wears a mask and has a funny-looking axe which looks like a cheap Halloween prop from some Walmart discount bin, and there’s nothing interesting about him. When he finally stumbles upon Karl, the whole premise takes an unexpected turn when The Butcher and Axe rather decides to team up and become buddies, when they realize that the gangs is out to kill them both.

 

It took two long decades before Andreas Schnaas finally gave us the not-so long anticipated Violent Shit 4: Karl The Butcher vs Axe, co-written and co-directed with Timo Rose. And I have to say I was a bit curios to see what two directors would come up with in the so far final chapter in the Violent Shit series. And it still looks like shit, as it’s probably meant to be, with overall inept directing, and still amateur hour all way through. The biggest sin here is that it’s mostly boring. It’s also the least violent of them all where it’s too far between the killing scenes, or the Violent Shit, if you will. Instead we get less Violence and more Shit with yawn-inducing and terribly written dialogue scenes where the “actors” seem to be bored out of their minds.

 

The film isn’t completely hopeless, though. It has it’s Snchnaas trademark moments with limbs getting ripped apart, static close-ups of beheading, castrations, bad choreographed fighting scenes with goofy, cartoonish sound effects, and of course some fresh nudity. It’s nothing new to see, but better than nothing, I guess. The final act is the most entertaining part with gunfights, silly video game-style fights, and of course when Karl the Butcher drinks some green liquid and becomes the Super Butcher, just like Super Shredder from Turtles 2. And his jacket-up bicep-costume looks something like this. Yes, really.

 

And of you still haven’t gotten enough Violent Shit and the murderous adventures of Karl the Butcher, there actually exists an Italian remake from 2015 of the first film, called Violent Shit: The Movie.

 

Violent Shit 4: Karl the Butcher vs Axe is available on DVD from Synapse Films.

 

Violent Shit 4: Karl The Butcher vs Axe Violent Shit 4: Karl The Butcher vs Axe Violent Shit 4: Karl The Butcher vs Axe

 

Directors: Timo Rose, Andreas Schnaas
Country & year: Germany, 2010
Actors: Andreas Schnaas, Timo Rose, Magdalèna Kalley, Eileen Daly, Eleanor James, Marysia Kay, Marc Rohnstock, Mario Zimmerschitt, Marc Trinkhaus, Timo Fuchs
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt1517076/

 

Related posts: Violent Shit (1989) | Violent Shit II (1992) | Violent Shit III: Infantry of Doom (1999)

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikos the Impaler (2003)

Nikos the ImpalerWe’re supposed to be somewhere in Romania during the middle-ages, where some evil iron-masked barbarian named Nikos (embodied by Andreas Schnaas) is ready to be executed in a cave by an angry mob. The tone is set in stone already during the first seconds with its horrendous bad lighting, grainy muddy images, bonkers acting with cartoonish dialogue deliveries, and the sheer atmosphere of zero-budget reeking all over the place. It’s what to expect from Andreas Schnaas, if you’re already familiar with his home-made and chaotic splatter films. And just forget about any thick Romanian accents, here they speak fluently American. God bless. Anyway … before they cuts out his entrails and sets him on fire, we get dialogues such as:

 

– Nikos, today you die!

– I. shall. not. DIE!
– I. never. DIE!
– I will return…to seek my revenge!

 

And of course,  Nikos was a man of his word. We jump to present day, all the way to New York City, where Nikos’ iron mask has been stored in a museum as an ancient artifact. Things go straight to a violent shitshow when a robbery goes wrong and some blood gets spilled on Nikos’ mask. He is then resurrected and wastes no time to find new victims to kill in the most brutal ways possible. And lucky for Nikos, the museum is already filled with visitors, ready to be body counted.

 

This is the eighth film of Andreas Schnaas, and it’s pretty established by now that he isn’t a technical, competent director, to put it mildly. There’s isn’t much of an improvement to point out, and Nikos could easily fit right into the Violent Shit series. Nikos has the same level of amateurish look and the the same paper-thin plot as the Shit series, filled with gallons of fake blood, hilariously bad acting, lots of messy low-budget gore, insanity and a lot of shit. Most of the film happens indoors and at night time, and thus suffers from inept lighting and a camera with a lens that looks like it was rubbed by a thin layer of butter. Its blurry, ugly and looks like more shit than ever, and I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment, to be honest.

 

Nikos the Impaler

 

But even though Mr. Schnaas never seemed to have the desire to make it to mainstream Hollywood, he rarely fails to entertain. There’s always some raw energy behind his films, and Schnaas  just seems to have one big, wild party while making them, as the madman he is. How much we actually laughs with or at the movie is not easy to tell, but that just makes it even more funnier.  We also see Nikos goes on a murder-spree in the streets of New York and causing mayhem by using his sword to shoot laser against cars. And the explosions looks like something from a Nintendo 64 game. It gets to the point where it’s just so-bad-it’s-good, really.

 

The acting isn’t much to talk about, it’s only stick figures just set up to be killed, played by a bunch of amateur actors. Some of them have some funny dialogues between the kills to keep us entertained, at least. The cult-actress Felissa Rose (that girl from Sleepaway Camp) is maybe the most familiar face among the bunch. Nikos also walks into a VideoTape store (back in a time when they still existed) so we can have some funny cameos from Tromaville, like Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon – and last but not least the porn actress Darian Caine, who was comfortable enough to be slaughtered in a messy shower scene with a lot of fake blood pouring down her tits.

 

Nikos the Impaler is available on eBay after the limited editions flew out of stock years ago. It’s also on YouTube, but with crappier image quality.

 

Nikos the Impaler Nikos the Impaler Nikos the Impaler

 

 

Director: Andreas Schnaas
Country & year: USA, 2003
Actors: Joe Zaso, Felissa Rose, Andreas Schnaas, Antonio Tomahawk, Frank Franconeri, Daniel Alvaro, Mike Marino, Hugh C. Daly, Erotida Cruz, Fred Cerniglia, Abbandandolo Brenda, Joseph Michael Lagana
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0309916/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violent Shit II (1992)

violent shit 2

We are in an open field somewhere at the countryside, where a drug deal between two gangs is about to take place, which quickly goes terribly wrong and ends up in some ridiculous martial-art fight scenes. Suddenly another threatening figure with an iron mask appears on the horizon, and finishes the whole match by cutting the throat of the last man standing with a machete, before he breaks the fourth wall by introducing himself with a guttural voice in the most beautiful German: Du Warst Gut! Aber Ich Bin Besser! ICH BIN KARL THE BUTCHER JUNIOR!!!

 

Then the  opening credit sequence rolls with some heavy metal tunes with vocals performed by the director himself, Andreas Schnaas, as we see clips from the first film which gives a clear prediction that you should expect much of the same (violent) shit.

 

After the opening scene, the movie switches to some unexpected, and out-of-place documentary-ish mode in Hamburg, where journalist Paul Glas investigates a variety of brutal murders that is out “of the ordinary”. He gives a quick history lesson of the city and of  course mentions the greatest, infamous, tourist attraction star, Fritz Honka. He interviews some random people on the street, who obviously think they are in a legit documentary about serial killers and not in some amateurish, zero-budget, shits-for-giggles, underground splatter titled Violent Shit 2, (a.k.a Violent Shit II: Mother Hold My Hand) made just to piss off the conservative bureaucrats at the censor boards in Germany. Hardy-har-har.

 

Anyway, a new killer is on the loose and Paul Glas is seeing similarities between Karl (I forgot his last name, but he was the killer in the first film), and ask an anonymous informant who supposedly has some secret information about the killings, and blah, blah, blah… To just cut it short and get to the point; Karl The Butcher is Son of Karl Senior and he’s out on a mission to avenge his father by wandering on a murderous rampage and kill everyone in his way with his machete. That’s everything we need to know, and enough of a plot that a film like this is able to comprehend, especially if you’re half-drunk while watching this shit already.

 

Violent Shit 2

 

After the halting docu-sequence, we’re back at the countryside where Karl Junior lives with his deranged mother. She has a murder fetish, and looks like Hillary Clinton with Freddy Krueger make-up. And of course, she has taught her boy to become an equally retarded, redneck sadist just like his father, so he can entertain her with torturing and killing random victims to feed her fetish and get her pussy wet. Afterwards she drinks the blood of the victims from a bowel that Karl serves her. Karl also forces one of the victims to eat his own shit, just to make us pretty ensured once and for all that it’s still Violent and it’s still Shit, and still one of the most self-aware titles ever.

 

And from here it’s basically the first film all over again, just with a longer runtime. So if you liked the first one, you’ll love this one, for sure. It’s gag-reel after gal-reel with close-ups showing limbs getting sawed off, heads shoveled off and blown to pieces by a handgun. Entrails getting ripped out of the victims stomach, and we get a pretty nasty scene where someones ballsack gets ripped apart by a hook. Andreas Schnaas is also very careful to shoot the scenes in broad daylight so we can enjoy some of  of the nasty details among the muddy image quality. We get a little time to catch our breath with a training montage, Rocky-style, where he levels himself up to hunt victims at a more rapid pace. The film also slips into pornographic territory with some fugly vagina-close-ups just to give the final middle-finger to Germany’s censor board.

 

Violent Shit II is available from Synapse Fims and has been remastered with some silly, cartoonish sound effects, and replaced the copyrighted music from the original VHS version with its new, own soundtrack. The added subtitles are as hilarious as the first one. It’s also stretched to widescreen to reduce the raw, unfiltered and amateurish home video quality. It still makes Bad Taste look like a glossy Hollywood production by comparison, though.

 

Violent Shit 2 Violent Shit 2 Violent Shit 2

 

Director: Andreas Schnaas
Country & year: Germany, 1992
Actors: Andreas Schnaas, Anke Prothmann, Claudia von Bihl, and a bunch of friends of Andreas Schnaas
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0105759/

 

Related posts: Violent Shit (1989) | Violent Shit III: Infantry of Doom (1999) | Violent Shit 4: Karl the Butcher vs Axe (2010)

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malignant (2021)

malignant After going through a traumatizing event, Madison starts having visions of grisly murders which are carried out by her childhood imaginary friend, Gabriel. Having believed that Gabriel was just a figment of her own imagination, she must try to figure out who he really is and why he has come back to torment her and those around her.

 

James Wan, after an absence from the horror genre since Conjuring 2 (as a director, at least) he is now finally back with a brand new movie: Malignant. And while most people connect James Wan with haunted houses, ghosts and demons (because of the Conjuring and Insidious movies), he stated early on that Malignant would be something completely different. And that, indeed, it is.

 

At the movie’s opening, we go back to 1993 and witness a large, gothic building which is some kind of medical research facility, where the researchers are struggling with a patient called Gabriel, who kills and maims the nurses. We get a slight glimpse of this “Gabriel” fellow, and then we fast forward to present day and meet Madison, who lives in a beautiful victorian house with just the right exterior and interior for a proper creepy atmosphere. And of course, we step right into James Wan-ish territory with creepy hallways and things moving in the dark. While building up at first to be somewhat Conjuring-esque, it shifts and mixes in what is an obvious homage to giallo films (for those who don’t know, “Giallo” is a term for murder mystery thrillers with lots of blood and gruesome murders, mixed with detective/suspense elements).

 

While it definitely felt good to be able to see another horror movie directed by James Wan, I can easily see how people might be a bit divided regarding their experience with this movie. Those who expect James Wan to have done another movie in the same vein as his haunted house flicks, might be put off due to this being something completely different. In fact, while we were watching it at the big screen, there were some people who left the theater when the first bloody murder scene was shown. Clearly, some people didn’t expect the movie to take that route, despite it having been given a strict R rating…but perhaps they thought that this rating was given because of titty scenes or something (which there are none by the way). Who the fuck knows.

 

James Wan did indeed do something very different with Malignant, and to be honest it was quite a pleasant surprise. Therefore, my advice would be to see this movie and not expect some kind of “Conjuring 4” or whatever. This isn’t a new haunted house flick, it ain’t another jump-scare carousel. It’s a throwback to the late 80’s/90’s slasher/thriller/giallo films, and if you’re familiar with these kinds of movies you’re most likely going to take a lot of the references (like the color usage, the killer wearing black gloves, etc.). Malignant is a decent slasher with atmosphere and creepy scenes, and a good amount of effective blood ‘n gore.

 

Malignant Malignant Malignant

 

Director: James Wan
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jean Louisa Kelly, Susanna Thompson, Jake Abel, Jacqueline McKenzie, Christian Clemenson, Amir AboulEla, Mercedes Colon, Ingrid Bisu, Ruben Pla, Jon Lee Brody, Ray Chase, Mckenna Grace
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt3811906/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Sick Blues (2015)

cat sick blues

It’s a quiet evening and two young ladies are chilling, smoking bong and watching cat videos on YouTube, like most of us do. Then they hear some noises on the roof that sounds like their cat. When one of them goes up to check, she gets surprised by a tall, skinny person wearing a cat mask. She’s too high to get scared, of course, and laughs it off as if it was a prank. He chops her head of with a shovel and throws it down the stairs, and strangles the other one.

 

We then learn that the person behind the mask is a young man named Ted, who’s turned into a homicidal maniac after losing his beloved cat.  When he’s not out killing, he spends his nights jacking off to a cam girl, who’s dressed as a cat. Of course. And he really worships his cat more than anything and wants it back. And to do so, he got the genius idea to kill nine people, collect their blood, to resurrect his cat. He later extends his cat persona by adding a big strap-on dick with spikes (supposed to be penile spines, I guess) because … well, why not.

 

We then get introduced to Claire, who owns one of the many viral cats on YouTube. She gets an unexpected visit from an obsessed “fan” that you wouldn’t want to get near to. Stupidly enough she invites him in, and he (take a wild guess) rapes her, after he accidentally breaks her cat’s neck and tosses it out the window. She attends to a pet grieving group where she meets Ted. They start dating, fucking, and they have a chemistry like two lobotomized potatoes with a relationship that goes in a bizarre direction which you’ll never see coming. And when Ted is not dating Claire, he’s out body counting.

 

As a cat-person myself, I was hoping to get an antagonist to feel or at least root for. But no, Ted proves to be just a deranged and complete soulless, cold-blooded serial killer from the very start, who clearly enjoys raping and killing innocent young ladies for the hell of it while feeding his morbid, obsessive fetish fantasies. And when even fellow cat persons gets body counted by him, that’s a big  no-no, from me at least. He also kills the cam cat lady we saw earlier for no reason. There’s a lot of sadistic cat killers out there, by the way. Why not hunt some of them, in Dexter-style, which no one would miss anyway? Before I take this shit too seriously I’ll just point out that the idea itself for Cat Sick Blues is pretty genius and unique, just too bad we don’t get any depth or backstory of the killer.

 

On the more positive note, the film is overall  pretty entertaining for what it is, a pure demented serial killer slasher. If you’re in for the gore and kills, you will not be disappointed. As a low-budget film, and the debut feature of Dave Jackson who made it by crowdfunding from Kickstarter, it looks pretty impressive. While there’s some clearly experimental stuff going on with slow motion and scenes that slip into some out-of-place artsy moments, the killing scenes are straight to the point, with some nasty visuals that will probably get your dick as hard as Ted’s strap-on. Also a great use of practical effects with heads smashed to pieces, and chopped off, and of course some throat slashing with some sharp cat claw gloves. Even Selena Kyle would be intimidated by this maniac. And as little as there is to wrap one’s mind around Ted’s deranged head, I have to give actor Matthew C. Vaughan some credit for his acting-style and use of energetic cat body language while he goes hunting for victims.

 

Cat Sick Blues is available on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.

 

Cat Sick Blues Cat Sick Blues Cat Sick Blues

 

Director: Dave Jackson
Country & year: Australia, 2015
Actors: Matthew C. Vaughan, Meg Spencer, Jeni Bezuidenhout, Danae Swinburne, Rob Alec, Mahalia Brown, Shian Denovan, Smokey, Rachel Rai, Noah Moon, Matthew Revert, Andrew Gallacher, James Arnold-Garvey
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt4185862/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

Willy's WonderlandA quiet drifter finds himself in a situation where he’s stranded in an isolated little town. His car is in need of repairs, but he’s not able to pay for it…however, he gets an opportunity to pay for the expenses by spending a night in an abandoned family fun center called Willy’s Wonderland, by cleaning it from top to bottom and thus preparing it for its supposed re-opening. While locked inside the place, however, he finds himself in battle with a bunch of possessed animatronic mascots whose obvious intent is to rip him apart.

 

Willy’s Wonderland starring Nicolas Cage as the quiet/mute janitor, is a ridiculous yet entertaining horror movie, with a premise that probably rings some bells if you’ve ever heard about the game series Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNaF). While I haven’t personally played any of the games, it’s also about killer animatronics (although they only come alive at night) and a security guard that needs to survive the nights. Other than that there appear to be several differences, but since I haven’t played any of the games I can’t really delve too much into any of that.

 

Now, the plot itself is kind of ridiculous, but it actually works pretty well for a movie like this. Willy’s Wonderland, before its abandonment, was a typical Chuck E. Cheese type of restaurant aimed for children, with animatronics who would happily sing songs like Head, Shoulder Knees and Toes, and everything seemed to be all fun and pleasantries. Except that the place was run by a child killer, and the employees had the same urges as he did. When the police got on to what they’d been secretly doing at the place, that’s when all hell would break lose.

 

As for performances, Nic Cage is, well… Nic Cage, he pretty much plays himself and there’s nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t deliver a single line during the entire movie, and his lack of surprise towards the murderous animatronics (despite going in full Cage-Rage mode and smashing them to bits and pieces), somehow implies that he knows fully well what’s going on at the place, and can make you speculate whether he might be a a sibling to one of the children that were killed at the place in its hay-days, or something like that, and has seen it as his mission to take on the child killers once and for all. We don’t know anything about his character (not even his name), which makes you wonder if a sequel (or prequel) has ever been in the plans. The other characters provide decent performances as well, but everything is pretty much carried on Nic’s back. Now, as for the animatronics…they actually look pretty good, and were played by stunt people in costumes (with the exception of Ozzie the Ostrich, which was a puppet).

 

With some fun practical effects and a silly yet entertaining plot, Willy’s Wonderland is a campy cheese-fest filled with whimsy and blood spatter, and definitely not for people who want their entertainment to have a more serious tone, but pleasant enough for those of us who every now and then like to watch a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s fun and cheesy, and sometimes, that’s enough.

 

Willy's Wonderland

 

Director: Kevin Lewis
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner, Kai Kadlec, Caylee Cowan, Jonathan Mercedes, Terayle Hill, Christian Delgrosso, David Sheftell, Jiri Stanek, Jessica Graves Davis, Taylor Towery, Chris Schmidt Jr., Christopher Bradley, Duke Jackson, Billy Bussey, BJ Guyer
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt8114980/

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Count (1986)

Body Count
Hey, take a look at this: An 80s teen slasher made by the director of Cannibal Holocaust himself. Wow, you don’t say… This has to be something else, right?

 

Well…

 

The plot could be summarized as the first drafts of  any Friday The 13th film synopsis: In Body Count we meet (surprise, surprise) a group of teenagers who’s on their way to a campside to party and do stupid random shit. And guess what: a serial killer is on the loose who wears a ghoulish Halloween mask and body counts the teens one by one.

 

I wasn’t expecting much when it came to the visuals, after watching the trailer. It’s as trashy as it’s looks with some really shoddy editing choices which I refuse to believe was done by a sober person. The killing scenes are lazy and not much to be excited about, and the acting is just laughable. I can especially mention one scene where one of the dudes finds his recently murdered girlfriend,  and reacts as if he was watching his favorite football team losing. Hilarious!

 

It’s quite impressive that it took five screenwriters to come up with such an unoriginal plot and screenplay like this. Anyone with half a brain could make this on a long weekend, and not let the director’s name fool you. Ruggero Deodato either made this as a quick, half-baked attempt to cash-in on the 80s slasher mainstream, or just for shits and giggles and a a big portion of ironic distance. Not easy to tell. The film’s only strength is the simple, yet catchy soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti, with its distinctive 80s-electronic tunes.

 

I had a fun time watching Body Count, though, much thanks to the funny-bad acting and its sheer schlocky sillyness. It has enough so-bad-it’s-good moments to pick apart while watching it, and I honestly got was I was hoping for. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

It’s (as we speak) available on streaming at Filmrise, Tubi TV, Hoopla (and for us Norwegians) on Amazon Prime. The original title is Camping del terrore!

 

Body Count

 

Director: Ruggero Deodato
Original title: Camping del terrore
Country & year: Italy, 1986
Actors: Bruce Penhall, Mimsy Farmer, David Hess, Luisa Maneri, Nicola Farron, Andrew J. Lederer, Stefano Madia, John Steiner, Nancy Brilli, Cynthia Thompson, Valentina Forte, Ivan Rassimov, Elena Pompei, Charles Napier, Sven Kruger, Lorenzo Grabau, Stefano Galantucci, Clelia Fradella, Fabio Vox
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0090788/

 

 

Tom Ghoul