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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Repugnant Review: Anthropophagus (1980) - Joe D'Amato

You know... Severin Films is one hell of a company. Over the past year, I've purchased several of their movies, and I have yet to be disappointed. The quality of the transfers blow me away, considering a bunch of these films have been gathering dust in some storage box somewhere. Anthropophagus is an incredible example of the work that the guys at Severin put in making these films look incredible. I remember seeing this movie as a teen, in the shittiest quality on a cracked vhs tape. It was awful. I couldn't make anything out half the time, and everything was so dark. I guess I should note that this was most likely a bootleg, and I apologize on behalf of my high school buddy for having such a horrible fucking transfer. When I found out that Severin was releasing this on blu-ray, I had to get it... but I didn't. It was Christmas time, and I didn't have too much money to spend on myself, so I slept on the awesome sales that were going on at the Severin website. Here's where my awesome girlfriend comes into the picture. We generally ask each other what we want, cause it's much easier, so when she asked me, I immediately told her about Anthropophagus (and another Joe D'Amato flick, Beyond the DArkness.) How fucking cool is she? Thanks to her, I got one of the most notorious Video Nasties to ever grace the world. I figured I'd add a little personal touch to this blog, cause you know... it's a BLOG. Anyway, on with the review.

Anthropophagus is an Italian splatter film directed by Joe D'Amato and written by Joe with George Eastman (who also plays the cannibal in this film.) Zombi 2 actress Tisa Farrow stars in this film, alongside The New York Ripper's Zora Kerova, and George, who's also written and starred in Sesso Nero, and Porno Holocaust, which were also directed by Joe D'Amato. The film follows a group of tourists who take a trip to a remote off the coast of Greece, only to find that the town has been deserted, or so they thought at first. They happen to see a women in one of the buildings, but before they could reach her she disappears and leave's a note saying "go away". They soon run back to the boat, only to find it out at sea, without anyway of reaching it. As they go back into town, Tisa Farrow's character recognizes a house where one of her friends live in. When they search the house, they find one of the daughters in hysterics and waving a knife around. After this girl, who we then find out is blind, calms down, she goes into a panic about a supposed mad-man running around the island. After some of the tourists go out to find supplies and more people, they start to get picked off one by one in the most gruesome ways imaginable.

When I say gruesome, I mean fucking g-r-u-e-s-o-m-e. There's one scene, where one of the tourists, who's pregnant, is strangled, and her fetus ripped out an eaten by the Cannibal stalking the island. The gore is gross and slimy, making any gorehound like myself go "YUCK" with a big grin on their face. The story is very interesting too, and I don't want to spoil too much, but when the tourists begin to discover the secrets behind the island and the cannibal, it's so satisfying. I've seen a bunch of these Italian splatter films, and they're fun and all, but they lack a solid plot sometimes. Anthropophagus adds such a intense thriller aspect to the film, that makes it interesting, and the gore is just frosting on the cake to an already creepy and unsettling horror film. That's what I really loved about this movie. It has an unsettling vibe from the beginning, with a desolate village and a maniacal killer stalking the streets, looking for anyone to savagely dispatch and consume. George Eastman as the cannibal has got to be one of the most disturbing villains to ever be put in an Italian splatter film. That ending alone is still etched in my brain, and it's just so fucking iconic. You might know what I already mean, especially if you're into these kind of films, but I won't ruin it for those who want to see this.

If you'd like to see Anthropophagus, purchase it at SEVERIN-FILMS.COM! You truly won't be disappointed. Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think! Also, if you have any suggestions to what I should check out next, shoot me an email at: jakethegoreguy@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Return of The Repugnant Playhouse Podcast!

Happy Halloween motherfuckers! lately I've been putting my podcast back together, but instead of the Mystery Science Theater style I used to do, this is just straight up movie reviews. In the new episode of the revised podcast, I chat about the new Halloween film, SOV classic GORE WHORE, zombie splatter flick BONE SICKNESS, and Troma's latest release SLIMED. Enjoy and let me know what you think! More to follow!


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Repugnant Review: The Devil's Honey (1986) - Lucio Fulci

The Devil's Honey, written and directed by the "Godfather of Gore" himself, Lucio Fulci. Although, this movie wasn't the "normal" Fulci film that I'm used to, considering it didn't have... well, gore! That's not an issue with The Devil's Honey though, because I honestly found this completely interesting, and it's probably the most emotionally complex of all the Fulci films I have ever seen. Yes, I bought it cause it was advertised as "sleazy eurotrash", but I felt it went above and beyond, truly showcasing Fulci's film-making versatility when it came to the erotic thriller genre. I feel that the Devil's Honey is a deep, and brutal film about dealing with abuse, remorse, and revenge... and I'll explain (of course this is all my opinion, and I mean, what do I know, Fulci could of just been going for the sleaze-fest that it was advertised as.)

The film's main characters, Johnny and Jessica, are absolutely in love, or I guess, in lust with each other. Johnny is a sax player, and a perverted sex maniac. Every time Johnny and Jessica have a moment alone, they just begin fucking, and taking part in other sexual acts. Probably the most famous scene in the movie is when Johnny gets Jessica off by playing a sax solo directly into her pussy. It's insanely erotic, but a lot of that lovey dovey stuff takes a dark turn, and that's when we begin to see the perverse side of Johnny. He was sexually abusive, making Jessica do things that she didn't want to do such as record home videos, and there's even a nasty scene involving forced sodomy. During this brutal affair, we are introduced to Dr. Simpson, a surgeon who is in a crap marriage, and spends most of his time either banging hookers, or focusing on his work. Between the wretched romance between Johnny and Jessica, mixed with the manic adulterer Dr. Simpson, The Devil's Honey takes a brutal turn for the worse.

During a motorcycle ride with Johnny, Jessica is forced to play with his ding-dong while he rides. As soon as they get back to their place, Johnny begins to fool around on his bike, teasing Jessica. One bad turn and Johnny falls off the bike and strikes his head on a rock. All is well at first, but then he passes out at a recording session, and is rushed to the hospital. While this was going on, Dr. Simpson's wife tells him that she wants a divorce, and this absolutely throws off the doctor. This is when we find out that Dr. Simpson is the one who's going to operate on Johnny, but due to the stress of the soon-to-be divorce, he fucks up, and accidentally kills Johnny. Overcome with grief, Jessica vows to get revenge on the doctor that took her love's life. This is where the film gets very interesting in my opinion, because this is where we get to see the inner thoughts and confusion with Jessica, and her battle between revenge, and dealing with the trauma of her relationship with Johnny.

So Jessica eventually kidnaps Dr. Simpson, and ties him up at her house. It's quite a vicious display, with Jessica making the doctor eat dog food, whipping him, and teasing him with her body, as she is basically naked throughout these torture sequences. Meanwhile, she keeps looking back to her relationship with Johnny, and slowly realizes how cruel and perverted he truly was to her. This was my favorite part, because I think she was really able to get over the pain that she built up over the years being with Johnny, and coming to the realization that this revenge plot wouldn't of done a damn thing anyway. An interesting thing about the Doctor is that he kind of begins to fall for his captor, and really sympathizes with her. Eventually, both of these tortured souls embrace each other, and the film ends of sort of a good note. i mean, that's what i got out of it.

The Devil's Honey was just great. It was beautifully shot, and that's one thing that I've been noticing with a bunch of Fulci's less splattery works. The story won me over, as it was emotionally complex, and Jessica was just the most sympathetic character in any movie I've seen in awhile. I honestly felt for the girl, and I think this movie tastefully showcased the horrors of a toxic relationship, and the grief involved with someone living with sexual PTSD or what have you. One man's sleaze, is another man's deep emotionally driven thriller. I loved it, and I am definitely going to watch it again. This is the perfect movie for a Fulci fan who is unaware of his less gory works. You can actually get this movie in gorgeous HD thanks to Severin Films, so pick up the blu-ray, watch it, and let me know what you think!


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!


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!



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!