Thursday, 19 October 2017

Three Ways to Re-Animate: Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator (1985) is Stuart Gordon’s loose contemporary adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s 1922 short story Herbert West – Reanimator, which was written as a parody of Mary Shelley’s most famous work, the 1818 Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Thanks to the ingenuity of its SFX, Gordon’s film features imaginative and extremely gory set-pieces that show us just how disgusting the human anatomy really is. It also has a pitch perfect balance of body horror and black comedy, which makes for a campy and surreal experience. It is not particularly scary, but it is immensely grotesque, hilariously absurd, and shockingly disturbing in places. While the director’s vision gets to grips with the source material’s intended ridiculousness by Lovecraft, it is hard to imagine this batshit craziness working half as well if he had not put together such a great ensemble cast. There are three cuts of the film, and of course, only one is the true version.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Clive Barker Has Such Sights to Show You: Hellraiser (1987) - 30 Years of Pleasure and Pain [Part 1 of 2]

Clive Barker’s 'Hellraiser' came along at a time when cinematic horror desperately needed to be taken more seriously again, needing not only groundbreaking innovation, but also it needed to go beyond our limits of what we consider taboo. While the film’s theme of sadomasochism may seem like old hat these days to desensitized genre audiences, it still stands up strong today as an imaginative experience in supernatural fantasy body horror that is as chilling, disturbing, and disgusting as it was when first released in 1987.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Visiting the Perverted: Visitor Q (2001)

'Visitor Q' ('Bijitâ Q', 2001) is director Takashi Miike’s contribution to the Love Cinema series, which is made up of six ultra-low budget straight-to-video releases by independent filmmakers. They were made as an experimental project that explored Digital Video, in order to highlight the medium’s benefits for filmmakers in being cost effective and easy to use – low-lighting conditions, more mobility, etc. This is the last entry of the project.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Tobe Hooper Hated Us: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Tobe Hooper made 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' (1974) with one specific intension in mind - to hate us and ruthlessly attack us, both psychologically and emotionally. The film’s sole intention is to drive us mad with its insane sights of the macabre - a ferocious, gruelling, waking nightmare that authentically captures the syntax of one; Hooper’s superior artistry with pitch-perfect execution pushes our boundaries beyond limits. Everything depicted here causes an impact so deep in our psyches that we will not soon forget what we just experienced - sheer horror, as we suffer from anxiety, despair, and fear from the psychological mindfuck that it relentlessly hits us with, and our emotional response is to squirm with immense discomfort. 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' is an uncompromising exercise in cruelty and savagery entailing torture, mutilation, and murders. It features five prolonged sequences of maddening terror, and all its horrid events are encapsulated in a constant thick atmosphere of dread.