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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Compilation of Shorts I've Worked On

One of my goals in life is to make my very own full length horror film. I write constantly, but mostly due to financial reasons, and I guess having no real movie-making experience, I haven't been able to really make one. Obviously it's hard, but you can still create entertaining stuff with very little, or no money. This is what this compilation is... a bunch of shorts I worked on, all of which I couldn't have done with out my buddy Tyler Aucoin. I'll provide a bit of commentary to these and I'll go from oldest to newest, but other than that, sit and enjoy.

So Ty and I have been making shorts since High School, and looking back, we should have at least a dozen of them uploaded. Sadly, a lot were lost over the years, and most of the ones I'm mentioning below were made within the past 4+ years. A friend of ours, Steve, had a ton of his shorts online. Some featuring myself, and a ton featuring Ty, but sadly, he took them all down a few years ago, and those would of been great to add. Luckily, I do have a very old one to share. Starting out this segment, TICS (2008)

Ty and Jake circa 2010

TICS (2008)

TICS is a short horror film Directed by Lindsey Marble (Brodeur). It was made for a horror film festival that Ty and I put on at our high school, and featured Bob Brodeur, as the killer, and the victims played by Wyatt Adams, Ty, and myself. This was filmed in an abandoned mill in the woods behind St. Andrew Bobola Church in Dudley, MA. I love how silly this is, and it's crazy to think that it's been ten years since this was made. The Mill was always a great go to for filming locations, but sadly it was demolished back in 2012.

S.U.N. (2013)

With boredom, comes art... and nonsense. I think the basic plot to this was "what if the Sun gave off radioactive waves that turned people into bloodthirsty psychopaths?" This was back when Ty and I went by the moniker "Red Mist Productions", and this is the only video on the defunct Youtube channel. Wondering why I added this? Well, some work was put into it. Mostly the sound design thanks to Ty.

Offering (2015)

Again, with boredom, comes art. Just like S.U.N., this was completely made up on the spot, but I was pretty impressed with the end result. This was filmed in Ty's backyard in Dudley, MA. I think this was around the same time I started watching some weird art films. Mix that with a bunch of pot, and we come up with this sacrifice sequence. Zero budget film-making at its finest. Also, around the 38 second mark, you can see the shadow of my arms, camera, and tripod right in the center of the shot. Hilarious.

Evil Dank (aka, the head crush test) (2016)

So this short was made to test out a head crush special effect we wanted to use in THE MASS MURDER. Thanks to my small collection of "Make Your Own Damn" Troma books by the great Lloyd Kaufman, I figured out how to make the cheap effect. A cantaloupe, a wig, and blood. That's it. It wasn't intended to be shown at the premiere of THE MASS MURDER, but some people thought it was funny and it was shown after our main feature.

The Mass Murder (2016)

I guess you can say this was our first "serious" short. Ty wrote the script based around guy who lost his mind and murdered a bunch of people inside of the old Hewitt Restaurant in Sturbridge, MA, and it was directed by an acquaintance of ours, Chris Latour. It was the first time we had a crew, with lighting, decent cameras, and a solid location, but this said crew wasn't too knowledgeable about making horror films. It was filmed on location at an abandoned Days Inn, and it was perfect. It was also the first time I only acted in something, and I'm not the biggest fan of being in front of the camera. I do have a few issues with the film, but all in all, it was a fun experience. About a month later we showed this film to a group of people at Starlite in Southbridge, and got a bunch of laughs (Mostly due to Ty's head exploding). The film wasn't intended to be funny, but a laugh is better than a "BOOOOOOO".

Analog Undead (2017)

So back in December of 2016, I was laid off from my job. Being the kind of guy I am I was going absolutely fucking nuts doing nothing in-between my job seach, so I figured I would try and make a short movie. Analog Undead was written on the fly, but it was left unfinished when I found a new job. I did everything on this, and it's the first time I made a movie without Ty, or anyone for that matter. I think it still has a lot of potential, and I did write much more to it. I even made fingers for a scene in which the possessed VCR bites them off. Who knows, I may bring this project back from the dead when I get a bit of a budget going.

Endless Way (2017)

Endless Way is a short film written by Ty, and it's about a young man battling his inner demons and addiction to opiates. We both have had friends and family who have gone through addiction, and Ty came up with this idea for a PSA disguised as a horror short. I find it pretty impressive, and I'm quite proud of the cinematography and sound design. It was also the first time I filmed with my Iphone 7s and the quality was superb. The Old Man is played by Ty's dad, and this was filmed on location at Westville Park in Sturbridge, MA.

Garden of Evil (2017)

Garden of Evil has been something Ty has been talking about since the 10th grade, and obviously a passion project of his. One day we just figured we would make an extremely short version of it for shits and giggles, and I think it came out pretty well. The original story is hell of a lot more fleshed out, but with no money or other people, this is what we came up with. Ty's dad comes back to get whacked by a lawnmower, and hilarity ensues. I really want to go back to this one, and hopefully turn this into a feature length movie.

And there you have it. Like I said, a lot has been lost over the years, and even finding TICS was a surprise considering how old it is. It just blows my mind, thinking about how far back all of this has gone, including my long friendship with Ty. Hopefully someone more stuff pops up, but I'm pretty content with the material we have made over the years. There will be more to come in the near future, and they will just keep getting better and better. Let me know what you think, and enjoy!

J.R.

Repugnant Review: Demons (1985) - Lamberto Bava

What do you get when you combine the deranged minds of Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento? A stunningly insane splatter flick with demented demons and a kick ass metal soundtrack! For me, this movie the the pinnacle of 80's splatter, with it's outrageous gore effects, memorable characters, solid but simple story, and a list of metal tunes you can bang your head to while you watch a theater of people getting ripped apart my demons. But let's dive deep into the Bava directed, Argento produced splatter shocker that still has folks squirming with gore-soaked glee. This is DEMONS.

After having the shit scared out of her, and mistaking a masked weirdo handing out tickets for some deranged stalker, Cheryl accepts the ticket offer and meets up with her friend, Kathy. It takes a little convincing, but Cheryl gets her friend to go to this new theater that just opened up. Once in the theater, we are introduced to a huge array of characters. Some of the notable ones include two preppy dudes, George and Ken, who immediately begin hitting on Cheryl and Kathy. There's a blind guy and his daughter, who I always thought was his wife for some reason, a couple of the geekiest but innocent teens out on a date, and my favorite, the pimp and his two hookers. In the lobby of the theater is this samurai warrior riding a dirt bike, holding a sword, and a silver mask. One of the hookers puts the mask on, but gets scratched by it. Once everyone enters the theater, they are treated to a horror film about a group of teens breaking into the tomb of Nostradamus. The teens in the movie only find a book, and a mask that looks exactly like the one in the lobby. At the same time, the hooker who got scratched by the mask starts to get sick, and goes to the bathroom. This is when shit starts to go down.

The scratch on her face begins to puss and ooze, and she begins to transform into a heinous demon. The other hooker goes to the bathroom to see if she is okay, but she is attacked and thrown through the movie screen. Hooker number two begins to transform, and holy fuck it's gross. When I say gross, I mean that in the best way possible. The transformation scenes are so disgustingly brilliant, that even I was squirming in enjoyment. The hookers teeth begin to be pushed out by the new fangs replacing them, and if you're like me, anything with teeth really freaks me out. Teeth and fucking nails, can't stand it. One by one, the audience is either butchered and maimed by the infected, or they become Demons themselves. Even the theater is cursed, with all of the entrances being walled up by bricks, and no one is able to exit. It isn't until a bunch of coked up punks break into the theater to escape the police, which they soon meet their demise by the Demons, and then said Demons escaping into the city, causing more havoc.

This movie is just berserk, and I'd give you more but I really don't want to spoil anything besides the basic premise. It's just that enjoyable. DEMONS is an unrelenting splatter movie that keeps your eyes glued to the screen from beginning to end. Whether you think the story of movie-goers being stuck in a cursed theater, and getting killed by hoards of demons is corny, it's full of incredible special effects and camera-work to keep you fixed into a daze of pure blood lust. Grab a group of friends, get a bunch of snacks, and pop in a copy of DEMONS. You won't regret it, and if you're like me, DEMONS will be part of every marathon you have in the future. I have the uncut version that Anchor Bay put out over a decade ago, but this has been re-released a bunch of times since then, and I don't think you would have an issue finding it. Let me know what you think, and enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2018

'Brutal Massacre: A Comedy' is Ridiculously Underrated

It's always fun to go through the horror groups on Facebook, or find small indie horror forums, just to find the one person that references the horribly underrated mockumentary BRUTAL MASSACRE. Whenever I mention it to other friends and cult movie goers, 95% of them have no idea what I'm talking about. It just blows my mind that a lot of people are unaware of this movie, and I'm writing this because I want more people to check it out. Honestly, it's got to be one of my favorite comedies ever made, so here's a completely biased review of BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY.

BRUTAL MASSACRE was released in 2007, written and directed by Stevan Mena. You may know Stevan from his other work such as Malevolence and Bereavement, two solid slasher films that, if you haven't already, should watch. But I'm not talking about his horror films, I'm talking about his comedy about a horror filmmaker trying to make his next big film. This movie stars David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) as Harry Penderecki, a horror filmmaker struggling to create his new "masterpiece" after years of failure, and his film crew which consists of one of the best cast lineups in any cult movie. Brian O'Halloran (Clerks), Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Ellen Sandweiss (Evil Dead), Betsy Baker (also Evil Dead), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), and Gerry Bednob (The 40 Year Old Virgin). The movie has horror film nostalgia all over it, and that's where most of the comedy comes from in this. If anyone has ever made a short film, or a full on low budget feature length film, you already know all of the bullshit that goes into making a movie. BRUTAL MASSACRE is essentially breaking down ever aspect of the film-making process, well, as if every bit of the making of this movie was doomed from the start. Everything from pitching the film to some rich asshole who wants to change every bit on the script, to casting, pre-production, inexperienced special effect techs, etc etc. Anything that could go wrong on a film set, happens in BRUTAL MASSACRE, and it is hilarious from beginning to finish.

Fangoria Magazine refers to this movie as "The Spinal Tap of horror films", and that's essentially it. The offbeat humor and dry delivery of the dialogue is what makes this movie so great. David Naughton is just so awkward and goofy, and just completely unaware of his surroundings. Every time he takes one step forward, his film and crew take five steps back, and he spends most of the movie trying to round up his crew without committing suicide in the process. Other than David Naughton's portrayal of Harry Penderecki, Gunnar Hansen as the drunken Vietnam vet was the funniest character in the movie. He has some of the best one liners I have ever heard, and I quote them all the time. Even the other day my girlfriend was asking me to go to the store to get some things, and we joke around a lot so she was pretending to be a major asshole. That's when I yelled "I WAS IN THE NAM, PUSSYFART. I'LL TWIST YOUR HEAD OFF AND GO BOWLING". She didn't know what to say, and I was just cracking up... I mean as all 26 year old man-children would after yelling "PUSSYFART".

I understand that most people wouldn't get the humor or the film-making process, especially when all of the inside jokes refer to horror films, but BRUTAL MASSACRE even seems to be underrated in the horror community, and I don't get it. You'd think with a cast like this, and a story as funny as a low budget film-making crew making a ridiculous movie, would appeal to the typical horror nerd. Of course, like I mentioned, this is completely biased. I saw this movie when I was in high school and it just stuck with me. I personally find it hilarious, and as someone who has made a few short films, I just got it. I think it's just one of those niche films, where you really got to be into horror culture and film-making to really get it. Maybe you don't either, and you like off-beat, dry humor. I've read a bunch of negative and positive reviews, and usually it's directed towards the humor aspect or the self-deprecating of the indie film-making process, so I can see it as a movie that you either like or dislike. But, I'm one of the guys who loves it. I'm a nerd who's into making movies, and that kind of humor, so whenever I interact with other horror fans I always like to reference BRUTAL MASSACRE to see if they know what I'm talking about. I'm a fan, what can I say.

I know you can find this movie cheap on amazon and other streaming/rental websites, so if you have the couple extra bucks to blow on a movie, definitely pick up BRUTAL MASSACRE. I think it's just a great movie for the typical horror nerd, or the aspiring film-maker, or someone who just enjoys a good comedy. I'll post the amazon link and trailer below, and if you purchase it, let me know what you think! I'm always wondering how all of you react to the movies I like to write about, and if you want to chat and discuss more movies, you can always follow me on twitter or instagram as @jakeisrepugnant. Hope you enjoyed this completely biased, ultra-fan review of BRUTAL MASSACRE, and I hope to hear form you soon. Thanks!

J.R.

BUY BRUTAL MASSACRE

Sunday, June 24, 2018

VHS//Sunday: H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnamable (1988) Jean-Paul Ouellette

I figured since I was going to revamp this blog, I would add some weekly and recurring segments to spruce it up a bit. Here comes VHS//Sunday, an article dedicated to those who want to relax with a good tape. It's always been a ritual of mine. I would make myself a coffee, pack myself a bowl, and pick out a few tapes to watch. It can range from some obscure horror film to old nostalgic cartoons, but since this is primarily a horror and exploitation blog, I'll stick with the gruesome shit in my collection. And for this blogs first VHS//Sunday post, I wanted to watch the obscure horror classic THE UNNAMABLE, based on the 1925 short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

I'm a sucker for anything related H.P. Lovecraft. Whether it's based on his work, or influenced by, there are a handful of films based on his work that I just absolutely enjoy (Re-Animator/From Beyond comes to mind.) But The Unnamable is one that has eluded me for some time. Luckily, a few months ago, I found The Unnamable at the Dudley Flea Market and payed just a buck for it. Just a few weeks after that, that same flea market closed due to pipes exploding and destroying everything inside. I was lucky as fuck to have found it, because I guess it's fairly hard to find. After I moved into my new apartment, I finally took the time to go through, and watch a bunch of tapes that I've been neglecting. The Unnamable was the first to catch my eye, amidst the stacks of old VHS I've been collecting for years. I got prepped with my pipe and snacks, tossed it in the VCR, and hit play.

The Unnamable is a 1988 horror film written, produced, and directed by Jean-Paul Ouellette. The VHS I have is the VIDMARK original uncut version, which I saw on Ebay for about $20 to $30. I was lucky considering I spent a measly $1 on it, and the quality of the film and box is superb. The film is essentially a haunted house movie, with the basis of the original Lovecraft story being about two college men going into an old and cursed house in a cemetery, and being attacked by some indescribable beast. Of course with all film adaptations, the filmmakers are going to change a few things. Take the haunted house story, and add a few teenagers, blood, and some great creature effects, and you have Jean-Paul Ouellette's version of The Unnamable.

The Unnamable begins in the old Winthrop house, where Joshua Winthrop tries to calm this screaming creature that he keeps locked up one of the rooms. He fails, as he's brutally murdered by the creature. Skip to about 300 years later, and we have three men sitting in a cemetery talking about The Unnamable, an entity that haunts the old Winthrop house near Miskatonic University (sound familiar?) Randolph Carter, who in the Lovecraft mythos is mentioned a few times, gets his friends going about this supposed creature named The Unnamable. His friend Joel is eager to go into the house. When Randolph and their other friend Howard refuse to go into the house, Joel sets off on his own. After Joel doesn't come back for some time, Randolph and Howard go back to the Winthrop house to find him. Add a small love triangle and a couple more teenagers who want to bang inside the house, and now you got the making for a monster-slasher movie.

This was honestly a very fun movie. The acting was very good, especially Mark Kinsey Stephenson who portrays Randolph Carter. It has that bleak Lovecraft gothic atmosphere and the sets are very solid. I also wasn't expecting it to have lots of blood and gore, so it was a surprise to see people get their throats ripped out, beheaded, and heads smashed open. The special effects were pretty remarkable, especially when it came to the monster suit, and I have give the actress Katrin Alexandre a lot of credit for her incredible portrayal as the monster. The Unnamable is a great watch, and I'm surprised that many people are unaware of it's existence. It's a solid horror film with a great cast, and a lot of great gory gags. I highly recommend this to anyone who can find it, or if you wait a little bit, you can find it soon on Blu-ray when Unearthed Films releases it in October! I'll post the links and trailer below, and let me know what you think!

J.R.

UNEARTHED FILMS

Friday, June 22, 2018

I'M BACK - A Return to Repugnance

Hello everyone, how the fuck is everyone? If you're wondering what I've been up to since last posting in January, continue reading.

This year I officially moved into my new apartment with my girlfriend, and recently found a new job. It's been a bit chaotic lately, but I couldn't be any happier. I finally have room for all of my shit! And now that I have the internet back, I can get back into watching and reviewing fucked up and ridiculously distasteful movies. I've been dying to get back into this blog, and I miss sharing my love for these kind of films all over. It's been a blast connecting with others on Twitter and Instagram with the same devotion to the vulgar, bizarre, and brutal films of the world, and I'm going all in with the content I'd like to bring to you with The Repugnant Playhouse. The second half of 2018 is going to be one hell of a time, and I promise to deliver on the REPUGNANCE.

MORE GORE. MORE VULGARITY. MORE NEKKIDNESS.

J.R.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Repugnant Review: The Black Gestapo (1975) - Lee Frost

Written and Directed by Lee Frost

Starring Rod Perry and Charles Robinson

Written and directed by Lee Frost, The Black Gestapo is a Blaxploitation film about The People's Army and its struggle to regain power in the city of Watts. A White mafia terrorizes the city by extorting money out of local Black shop keeps and business owners, and The Peoples Army, led by General Ahmed (Rod Perry), try their best to keep things civil in their hellhole of a city. General Ahmed's right hand man, Colonel Kojah (Charles Robinson), asks his leader to form a more aggressive protection group to scare away the White Mafia. It works, but Colonel Kojah gets power hungry, and starts tormenting and extorting the people he once protected. With Nazi-inspired clothing, and hateful rhetoric, Colonel Kojah is now the big boss in Watts, and it's up to General Ahmed to fix both his oppressed community, and the originally peaceful People's Army that he once led.

I bought this film just by title alone. Kind of a social oxymoron, don't you think? Black. Gestapo. Normally, black people are the last thing I think of when I think of "Gestapo" or Nazi's, but it definitely plays out that way. I mean, these people didn't really kill anyone based on race or religion, but they did terrorize a city that they vowed to protect, and terrorized their own people to gain more power within. The only real similarity to anything Nazi in this film were the costumes. Typical Nazi uniform with arm bands and such, but other than that, I wouldn't really call them "Black Nazi's", but fascist to a degree. I really enjoyed the character General Ahmed. He was a real middle man in this whole story. He not only wanted to protect his people from this wretched mafia, but he also wanted everyone to get along, and to keep drugs off of the streets. With Colonel Kojah abusing his own people, General Ahmed stood up for what's right to keep things civil, both for the city of Watts, and his fellow oppressed African brothers.

The Black Gestapo was a pretty entertaining flick. Lately I've been looking for more obscure Blaxploitation, and a few people suggested this to me on Twitter. Found it on Amazon (came is as a Double-Feature with The Black Six) for about $5, and even though the quality kind of sucks, it was still a very decent watch. It's cheap, and incredibly low-budget, but it worked so well. The actors were fun, the violence was great, and the whole "abuse of power" story going on was very interesting. The People's Army may not have been as brutal as the Nazi's, but I wouldn't want to fuck with them anytime soon. Colonel Kojah was absolutely ruthless, and if you're sensitive about genital mutilations or torture, there is a scene in here that you might want to skip. Low budget, blaxploitation greatness that more people need to check out. I'll post a trailer and link below, so if you're interested, check it out, and if you've seen it, let me know what you think. Enjoy!

BUY THE BLACK GESTAPO ON AMAZON

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Repugnant Review: Camp (Kyanpu) (2014) - Ainosuke Shibata

Directed and Produced by Ainosuke Shibata

Starring Miyuki Yokoyama, Rei Ayana, and Peach Momomiya

"Camp" is a Japanese "rape and revenge" thriller (a la I Spit On Your Grave) directed by Ainosuke Shibata. The film is about two sisters who wind up at an abandoned camp-site after they crash their car. At the camp, they run into five men who happen to be escaped mental patients who have uncontrollable sexual fetishes. They all go by small nicknames that link them to their particular fetish. There is Pyro (pyrophiliac), a psycho who can't get it up so he rapes women with a grill lighter; Hypo (hypoxiphilia), a retard who gets off at depriving his victims of oxygen; Necro (necrophilia), who only has sex with corpses (duh); Copro (coprophilia), a very silly weirdo who loves to drink piss and eat shit; Lastly, we have Thanatos (thanatophilia), the more sympathetic character who is obsessed with pain and death. Our two victims are tortured mercilessly by these men in incredibly sadistic and depraved ways, and it isn't until one of the sisters escapes (with the help of Thanatos), and finds help in murdering these psychos from the help of the mysterious vigilante Misaki (played by porn-star Miyuki Yokoyama, who ironically has no nude/sex scenes).

The great Troma Entertainment released this film as a double feature with Hitch-Hike (another film directed by Ainosuke Shibata) called "From Asia with Lust Vol. 1". The only gripe I had with this is that it was marketed as a Japanese "pink" film, aka, Japanese soft-core porno. I mean, if I was to think this was erotic in anyway, I think I would question my mental state, because I didn't find this erotic at all. Other than that, this works really well as a traditional American "rape and revenge" movie, very similar to (as I stated before) I Spit On Your Grave. The scenes of rape and sexual torture were genuinely disturbing and pretty damn disgusting. There were also some moments I giggled at, and it was all dialogue based. There was one line that made me laugh in particular, and it's when the shit eating deviant Copro says, "I can't stop thinking about the younger ones stinky butt, It looks so good! Excuse me miss? Can I take a peek at your flower? No, No! It's ok! I just want to lick away that shit from your butthole!". It's fucked up, but the inner man-child at me thought it was a little funny.

I was surprised. It wasn't that bad, at all. The torture and rape was brutal and hard to watch at times, and the ending revenge towards the sickos was pretty fun to watch. There were a couple digital effects in there that looked way out of place, but it's a low-budget feature that nailed everything else. Decent acting, fun violence, beautiful women, and fucked up villains. If those aren't the ingredients to a fucked up Japanese sexploitation flick, then I don't know what. If you want to check this film out I'll link the Troma store to this flick down below. I'm sure it's on youtube for free somewhere, but you'd be a great fucking person by buying it and supporting independent art. I'll get around to the other film on the Dvd, Hitch-Hike, eventually, but I got a lot of great stuff to watch in my endless stack of movies. Let me know what you think, and send me some suggestions!