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August Underground's Penance (2007)
Looking for a disgusting Holiday movie? Then Merry Christmas!
The shock film, August Underground's Penance, is the pinnacle of holiday filth. I suggest using your Christmas stockings once you run out of barf bags, you'll definitely need them for this movie! T'is the season for child molesting and baby killing! The August Underground trilogy is a collection of snuff footage filmed by the murderers, one male and one female, themselves. The first August Underground is disturbing in the way that it depicts a snuff film so accurately. August Underground's Mordum, as far as I am concerned, is the most disgusting and upsetting movie ever made. So what does the latest installment have to offer? Pure unabashed gore! Blood, guts, intestines, nails through the head, disembowelment, cigarette burns, limb sawing and heads being opened like Christmas presents! Thanks to the special features section in Penance we learn that real pig intestines were used in the film making the actors sick to their stomachs! Yes, these poor psychopaths actually got immortalized vomiting nearly constantly during the taping. The effects in this gore-fest are so realistic that the Toe Tag crew decided to use a better quality camera then in their previous movies to show off their skills and attention to detail. This film shows the character development of the killers and adds that touch of humanity to contribute to the realism to this movie. And, while Penance may not be as disgusting as Mordum, it does manage to supply a generous amount of its own sickness to the trilogy.
Which brings us to the only thing worse than Christmas carolers; home invaders! Focus on a standard suburban family. Let's call them the Cleavers. Each of the Cleaver family is beaten, raped and killed all on Christmas day. It's better to give then to receive! Of all the atrocities committed on this family the worst by far is done to sweet baby Jane. After the killers viciously beat and rape the sweet lass, her butcher delivers one of the cruelest lines in cinematic history: "Kill it." Did you get that? Not her - "it."
Another offensive scene which actually triggers the emotion of one of the killers highlights a very realistic looking fetus being ripped from a mother's womb. The female slayer finally breaks down and cries once she realizes they've finally go too far. The dead mother-to-be experiences the one instance where it's not better getting your present too early! Taking violence to another level all together. It is chilling the way these serial killers are portrayed so believably. August Underground's Penance also has an ending that has to be seen to be believed! The final scene might leave fans a little choked up.
August Underground's Penance is a shockingly gruesome movie filled with anger, torture, and ejaculation. It looks like it will be a White Christmas after all! This film is a holiday must own for any true gore-hound like me!
A Review by Tim Wambolt
This Halloween I chose to review Ronny Carlsson's new avant-garde short "Récompence". Shot in HD and widescreen format, the film is given a professional look that stands out from Ronny's previous experimental shorts. Récompence is a silent film filtered in hard black and white with the Adjustment Levels balanced to eliminate any gray color, lending well to the contrast of Mariette's eyes. The background music is eerie and beautiful, strengthening the atmosphere of the film, (one track even reminded me of the Cannibal Holocaust theme, a personal favorite of mine). Ronny carves his vision into his film palette like a fresh pumpkin ready to expose his fire inside. And like his previous films, Ronny leaves the story open for interpretation, allowing every viewer to take something different from the experience. Récompence explores themes of loss, fear, love and acceptance in a non-linear time line. And of course for those with no patience or imagination there is plenty of gore and nudity to provide both tricks and treats for everyone.
Ronny keeps insisting that I point out every little flaw in the film to avoid sounding biased towards my friend, leaving me no choice but to nitpick. Thanks Ronny! Personally I would favor cuts instead of fades and only one transition shot at a time for better pacing. And I could also do without the scene where Mariette walks towards the camera to the beat of the out-of-place techno music, (she appears to get bored with the length of the shot after a while, itching her nose, flipping her hair, and looking away from the camera. This may have been intentional though, remember Bizarro is the keyword here). But to point out jagged carving cuts is to miss the point of the overall great art on display here. And if I were to go pumpkin smashing over petty things like that I would never be able to enjoy any film again. This is another reason why I respect Ronny, what other filmmaker would ask a reviewer to find and point out flaws in the film? Ronny reviews bizarre movies every day so he knows what it takes to create a truly surreal experience for the viewer and Récompence is proof of that. You'll never know what to expect next in this film. A very ambitious project for a short film. And just when you finally start to admire the growth and beauty of this pumpkin, Ronny cuts it open and rips out it's guts! (Don't forget who's making this film)! Récompence has the pacing and strangeness of an Alejandro Jodorowsky movie with a unique filtered look that separates it's visuals from most films, leaving you with a final eye-catching design for a jack-o-lantern worthy of repeat viewings. Happy Halloween!
Philosophy of a Knife (2008)
The GORIEST movie I have ever seen!
It has finally happened. It took nearly 16 years for it to happen but it has now officially happened. An impressively long cinematic record held by Braindead since 1992 has at last been broken. Andrey Iskanov has created, (in my opinion) the most violent movie ever made. This is not an opinion, the film is over 4 hours of pure torture, consisting of the sickest and most explicit violence imaginable. During World War 2 a research laboratory was created by military police of the Imperial Japanese Army for researching epidemic prevention and developing weapons of mass destruction. Within these facilities a unit of chemical and biological warfare research team called Unit 731 committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by conducting torturous and fatal experiments on Soviet and Chinese prisoners with estimations resulting in around 200,000 casualties.
General Shiro Ishii lead experiments such as the vivisection, or experimental surgery of a living pregnant woman without anesthesia. The doctors impregnate her then infect her with diseases and remove her organs and fetus while she is still alive, simply to study the results of these diseases before her decomposition. After this Andrey brings us to the infamous teeth yanking scene that you may have caught part of in the trailer for the film. If not, you should know this, the victim's teeth are not just pulled out, they are painfully twisted and bent and hammered out of her gums one by one, as she screams and bleeds until every last tooth is removed from her mouth.
Throughout the film survivors of the incident such as Anatoly Protosov, a former military translator for the USSR, are interviewed and reveal insider information, such as the incident of authority figures being convinced that Ishii's testing facility was actually a lumber mill, causing Unit 731 to often jokingly refer to their test subjects as "logs". After several scenes of vile experiments are depicted, such as the one involving a kid's face boiling from exposure to x-ray radiation, or the scene where a woman is experimentally raped by a man with syphilis for research before the man is slowly gassed to death, or the scene where the researchers strap a woman to a chair, cut her forearm wide open and then shoot her in the neck, it is then that we see their "joke" being taken one step further as these "logs" are chopped apart with axes and thrown into the fire.
Even watching Men Behind The Sun 1 and 2 back to back probably will not prepare you enough to view Philosophy of a Knife. The film is presented without any restrictions or censorship issues towards it's depictions of excessive violence or graphic nudity and with this Andrey Iskanov enters into territories that neither Tun Fei Mou or Godfrey Ho dared to or were allowed to venture. For example, in one particular scene a woman is stripped naked and tied to a chair while a large cockroach is forced inside of her vagina in graphic detail. After several hours of the cockroach moving around inside of her, the doctors cut and peel off her entire face and the cockroach exits from her mouth. They then put her face back on her head and carry her off to the chopping room. As the experiments continue, a man's face is slowly burned off, a woman's forearm is cut open and sawed in half, and a screaming pregnant woman's unborn fetus is ripped out through her bleeding vagina with pliers, piece by piece, along with parts of her own organs and intestines. The next scene features a woman being hung by her arms and electrocuted with cables shoved in her mouth, as the doctors cut open deep, wide gashes into her biceps and face. After this, they pull out her tongue and cut it in half with a knife. Following this scene is a very long and graphic autopsy. Then another woman experiences a similar treatment but this time her back is cut open until her vertebrae is exposed and the electrical cables are forced into her open wounds. Which leads us now to that compression chamber that made Men Behind the Sun so infamous. This time we get an up-close-and-personal glimpse of a boy being exposed to so much pressure that his limbs cave in and his head bursts apart in an explosion of blood.
Gorehounds and historians are guaranteed to be both fascinated and disgusted by all the newly discovered evidence, interviews, photos and video footage of the actual atrocities that took place, presented for the first time in this film! Andrey Iskanov was actually investigated by the KGB regarding his research for the film. They searched his property and confiscated his computers, along with all of his evidence and film footage. He was arrested and taken to a Military base for interrogation and locked in a concrete cell without a toilet. He was given very little food and was made to sign consent forms for search and seizure of all of his property. The incidents at Unit 731 were hidden from the public for so long and even to this day, as you can see from Andrey's imprisonment, extreme measures are still being taken towards covering up the truth. It makes you wonder what else is going on today that we may never know about for years to come when someone else finally decides to risk everything just to make the truth known to us. In a way this makes Philosophy of a Knife one of the most powerful films ever made, it simply can not be ignored any longer. A must see! Highly recommended!
My Monster (2009)
A Literal Mind Screw!
Ronny Carlsson of Film Bizarro, has a new film out called, "My Monster", the continuation of Ronny's debut short film "Video Geisteskrank", but I promised Ronny that I wouldn't give anything away...
So how do I write a review without giving anything away? Well, maybe it's better that I don't give anything away just yet because I believe that everybody will probably get something different out of this film, interpreting it in their own way. But I just have to say that he did a great job and it is very apparent that he is a born filmmaker. The underground is alive and unique! Props to the talented and tolerant lead actress, Amelie Malmberg and producer and critic Preston Carnell for his sharp eye for detail. I was really impressed by Ronny's editing and the all of the beautiful cinematography, the psychotic music (courtesy of Porcelain magGot), and all of the symbolic metaphors throughout, (many of which I can not understand and do not know if I am supposed to understand). The film is also full of August Underground homage, slasher movie suspense and gruesome gore! And man is this movie ever a mind screw!
It felt like some naked guy came running up to me with his nut sack bouncing off his thighs and then he shoved his dong in through my ear and creamed all over my brains. And then another butt-naked guy dropped out of the sky ass first, swallowing my entire head inside of his butt hole like a Venus fly trap, leaving a trail of green excrement in my hair as he slides down the side of head. And then suddenly, the first guy's ding-a-ling comes out of my other ear and catches this second naked guy in the butt hole, hanging him from his penis like a jacket on a coat rack as he then begins penetrating the danger zone, thus mixing the green poop with the white semen until it all looks like guacamole. (The first guy is black by the way, that is why his penis is big enough to go all the way through my head and into the second guy's butt hole.) In fact, (wait, why the hell am I hungry for guacamole now?) Anyways, in fact, not to be racist but let's just say for the sake of argument that the second guy is black too, that way this hump-sandwich can become some kind of metaphoric Oreo cookie, with the two black, naked gay guys that are butt-humping each other representing the chocolate outside, and all the sperm in the inside and the outside of my head can act as the white filling in the center. That's how big of a mind screw this movie was!
I apologize to Ronny if I have given away too much already and I apologize to anyone who's wiener ends up going limp while having sex with their girlfriend as a result of picturing two sweaty, butt hole naked homosexual, black men making love to my head.
But actually now that I think about it, "mind screw" is an understatement, it goes beyond that, so to better understand the sexual metaphor you must also picture another naked black guy pulling his butt cheeks apart to reveal the pink goatse center of his stretched out anus while he is sharting. Think about it!
Great job Ronny!
La petite mort (2009)
A Review by Tim Wambolt
Imagine a film similar to "Hostel", but made in Germany by the true masters of splatter, from the director of Tortura, the special effects master of Dard Divorce and presented by the director of Torched. Happy New Year! Last year director Marcel Walz made a movie called "Tortura" featuring a group of psychopaths with a sadistic blood lust. They snip off a man's fingers, cut off his nipple, saw off his foot, wrap him in plastic and leave him to bleed to death in an alley. After that they abduct three girls, ripping out the first girl's tongue and forcing her to slit her own throat while they disembowel her. Then they peel the skin off of the second girl's arm and rip out her eyeball. Then, they force the third girl to stab the second girl to death. It was a very violent movie! And now with "La Petite Mort", director Marcel Walz takes torture to new heights with help from the master of gore himself, Olaf Ittenbach! In La Petite Mort, three friends, Simon, Nina and Dodo are traveling to the beautiful city of Mallorca in Spain for their summer vacation. Along the way, their flight gets delayed in Frankfurt Germany where they end up getting mugged. Depressed, they stop in for a drink at the "Maison de la petit mort," (meaning house of the Little Death, a metaphor for a sexual orgasm). A torture-for-profit place of business run by Lady Boss Madame Fabienne (played by the talented actress Manoush) who, along with her two crazy daughters, inflict acts of terror too unspeakable to mention by any decent human being with morals. That being said, I shall now mention some examples.
To start things off, one of the victims is silenced with a mouse trap on the tongue while another victim is getting stabbed in the arm with hundreds of needles. After that, Olaf Ittenbach kicks the gore factor into high gear as we witness a man getting his eyeball stabbed and cut out with a knife. Luckily for him now he won't have to witness his manhood being taken away as the killers graphically cut his penis in half and rip out his intestines! And if that wasn't enough for you, another victim gets brutally scalped until her brains are exposed like a Hannibal Lector lobotomy,leaving her alive just long enough to scream one last time before her throat is sliced open! Next on the menu, a woman's arm is shoved into a meat grinder, and she is forced to drink her own blood while her hand is being mangled into a mess of bloody ground beef. Meanwhile, another victim is beaten repeatedly with a hammer until brain matter is falling out of the victim's skull, similar to the bludgeoning in "Seed" but minus the CGI.
Without giving anything else away, La Petite Mort, needless to say is a must own for gore hounds and fans of Olaf Ittenbach's special effects! Presented by Ryan Nicholson, filmed in high definition on a hand-held camera in widescreen letterbox format and color corrected in a cinematic green tint, La Petite Mort adds a professional motion picture look to the underground gore scene. My screener came boxed and signed by Manoush herself! If you thought Tortura was very violent movie you may (or may not) be happy to know that Marcel Walz outdid himself with La Peite Mort! I can't wait to see what kind of sick, depraved filth he comes up with next!