Saturday, June 07, 2008

Gangrene Cuisine #1: Frank's Kraut Juice

Here's a new feature I'm going to try out. Going to start dealing with some strange foods I don't understand on the grocery store shelves.

Monday, June 02, 2008

where is my site? has disappeared somehow. i must investigate this right away.

update - looks like my domain name expired. Trying to get this fixed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

In conjunction with this month's B-Master Cabal "Man-in-a-Suit" roundtable, I'm investigating another Bigfoot classic. If nothing else terrifies you about this movie, wake up screaming with nightmares of those curtains hanging from your windows.

You can view the video here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chilling Classics #5/50 - Witches Mountain (1972)

director: Raul Artigot
cast: Cihangir Gaffari, Patty Shepard

Synopsis: A young couple traveling through the Pyrenees stays overnight at an ancient Spanish castle, only to discover that it is the headquarters for a coven of witches.

Whoah! Beware, viewers, beware! This one wins so far for most unwatchable film in the collection, and you know that is saying something. Apparently this particular coven of witches is headed up by the Mother of Boredom, and their spellcasting ability is limited to putting an audience to sleep. Throw into the mix a couple most unwelcome love songs and a seemingly endless string of long car rides.

I can't believe the original film is this poorly edited, because every time something happens that involves actually seeing the witches, it is so badly cut that you cannot tell what is going on. Seems as though there may have originally been a sprinkling of violence and nudity, but these elements have been trimmed so harshly that you can only ponder what was intended. The witches don't do anything, they just appear and stand around a glare at you, or sometimes dance around in a slightly pagan way.

Getting to the end of this film is like hiking through quicksand after downing a bottle of Nyquil. I think this is the first time I've actually fallen asleep while FAST-FORWARDING through a movie.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gangrene Widescreen joins B-Masters Cabal!

With the support of Ken Begg of Jabootu, Gangrene Widescreen has been inducted into the B-Masters Cabal - an elite task force working together to deal with the international threat of terrible movies.

If you enjoy my reviews, check out some of the sites here. These guys and gals have been at it a lot longer than I have. There is a Grand Index of reviews posted for easy reference to the content available for all the Cabal sites.

Jaded horror fan forced to turn off DVD

Inside (2007)
director: Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury
cast: Beatrice Dalle, Alysson Paradis

I'm not a fan of the current so-called 'torture-porn' films. I've never seen Hostel or its sequel. That sort of thing just doesn't appeal to me in the least. That being said, I did enjoy French director Alexandre Aja's High Tension, as well as his remake of The Hills Have Eyes. High Tension's initial killing spree, which seems to stretch on for like a half hour had my ex-wife and I literally breathless on the edge of the futon.

Well now the French have come up with this new film, which is quickly garnering a reputation for its harrowing brutality and gore. As you can see from the cover, I questioned whether or not this was something I needed to see, but as it has been repeatedly compared to Aja's work, I had to check it out. Sometimes, you just get the urge to be pummeled by a full on assault to the senses.

My Netflix envelope appeared almost instantaneously. As the opening credits rolled over what appeared to be a wash of afterbirth, I had only myself to blame.

Essentially, the movie focuses on a pregnant woman being terrorized by a mysterious female assailant who breaks into her house just as she is about to go into labor. Various people show up to the house and are killed off. This is a film that cannot really be laughed at, as most slasher flicks can. People do not behave in grossly unbelievable ways. People do not wander into dark hallways exclaiming, "Is anybody there?" No one goes skinny-dipping. In fact, the heroine calls the police straight away, and they come to the house to investigate. How many times do you see that common sense plot element? Not so often.

Watching a man on a staircase get stabbed with a pair of scissors about thirty times did not phase me, even as the shears repeatedly jammed into the groin area of his trousers, accompanied by crunching noises. Blood sprayed and squirted. The effects look quite good, and suitably sickening.

Shortly afterwards, the terrorized woman has locked herself into a bathroom, with the crazed lady waiting outside the door, sitting on the carpet. The pregnant woman's cat comes purring up the steps, presumably avoiding the pools of blood everywhere. The cat jumps into the killer's lap and begins rubbing against her. The killer holds up the cat, looks from the cat to the locked bathroom door and then smiles.

That's when I turned it off.
I thought to myself, "This movie WILL go there and I don't wanna see that."

Afterwards, I imprisoned the DVD securely back in the Netflix mailing sleeve, and searched the house until I found Ichi sleeping peacefully in the laundry basket, her tail twitching listlessly. I poked around the reviews on Sure enough, the mostly 5-star opinions do mention the disemboweling of a cat amongst Inside's grotesque attractions.

Everyone has a line I suppose, and animal cruelty is over that line for me. A dog is killed off-camera in the aforementioned Hills Have Eyes, but something in my guts forewarned me that Inside would relish in the senseless butchering of that kitty. I imagine that woman in the bathroom is subjected to the drawn out sounds of the cat screaming from beyond the bathroom door. She would be powerless to stop it from happening. Reaching out to stroke the STOP button, I, however, was not powerless.

Animal cruelty and rape. Those are my lines. In my humble opinion, no movie has ever benefited from graphic depictions of either. For this very reason, I freely admit I have also never seen such genre staples as Last House on the Left or Cannibal Holocaust. If that makes me less of a horror fan, than so be it.

It is a shame too; now I will never get to see the remaining untold acts of violence Inside could have provided me.

UPDATE - My friend let me borrow the DVD and I did return to finish this film. I simply skipped the offending kitty death with ye ole TRACK FORWARD button.

To be honest, I felt like the film got increasingly silly as it went on. I hereby retract my previous statement about people not 'behaving in grossly unbelievable ways.' Why are the responding police officers so concerned with restoring the power -- just get out of the house!!! There were numerous points where I felt like our heroine could have escaped, and I found myself rolling my eyes by the time the disgusting ending arrived.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Black Demons (1991)

Six black slaves rise from the grave, grab up some weapons, and begin killing white people, in another zombie romp from director Umberto Lenzi. Features include, "Waking the Dead for Dummies," "Zombie Film Cliche List," and another music video from Grady. Jessica gets all the best lines...