Howard and Eli, the killers from the first Video Violence movie, are back and are now hosting their own TV show. Broadcast secretly from their basement, the show looks a the fine art of ... See full summary »
Gary P. Cohen
At a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a hopeful hair-metal band seeking inspiration to record their upcoming new LP will soon find themselves in a furious confrontation against the Prince of Darkness himself.
A renegade doctor is shot dead and entombed with his fiendish experiments in the basement of an abandoned wing of a mental hospital. Twenty years later, a mysterious woman is admitted with ... See full summary »
Stephen Gregory Foster
Three college girls on their way to a jazz festival crash their car in the isolated woods during a rainstorm, and are taken in by a mysterious family in an old mansion. Little do the girls know, the family has a dark, murderous secret.
A husband and wife open a video store in a new town, and come to find out that the locals only rent horror films and the "occasional triple X'er", and make their own snuff videos.Written by
Ari Rosenfield <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The movie was edited over the course of eight hours at a local access cable station. Originally, Gary P. Cohen had contracted the station's editing equipment for two midnight-to 6:00 am time slots, but after the first night the station owner informed Cohen that he would not have given him permission to edit the movie there had he known its content. Rather than renege on the contract, however, the station owner simply cut down Cohen's time slot to 12 am to 2 am. See more »
This is some kind of schlock madterpiece. That sounds like a contradiction in terms, but the wild entertainment and at the same time genuine raw power on display is that Gary Cohen has a real satirical point to make. We do live in an American hyper-violent culture, and there is less and less real cinephilia among regular "folks" in towns like the quasi-suburban Jersey place that the main characters (one a former movie theater owent the other with a good office job in New York City). Why get the Woody Allen or a classic Abbot & Costello when you can watch some hapless transients (or, yknow, people that just want to leave and do other things with their lives) get tortured and slaughtered in disgusting displays of carnage? At its core, it's not just about violence but about what kind of society we want to live in.
But one must not discount the schlock part, at least to the extent that Cohen is trying for it. What I mean is he has his cast of people who may or may not have limited acting experience or training, but as far as local people available it has that same realism one might see in The Florida Project. You believe without question that guy works at the deli or even the local sheriff or deputy or whoever the discount M Emmett Walsh is who discounts everything the video store owner claims as BS. So when people do make really ridiculous and over the top facial expressions, you can't help but laugh. It's hard to say how much of this is genuinely funny or unintentionally so, but I was pleased by how much was in the former category.
Cohen is after the overvlown and even silly in some of these violent set pieces... Other times, in partucular the female hitchhiker, the violence is shocking more for the lead up and how it's first about sexual humiliation and that the objects of the slicing and stabbing involve breasts. It's also that, unlike say Meir Zarchi in I Spit on Your Grave (or dare I say Craven with Last House on the Left), Cohen is an effective filmmaker who knows how to use time and pacing to draw out suspense and eerie foreboding. I even got into the musical score, all in synth but all done for an approximate, chilling effect in scene after scene.
And I'm not arguing this is some great piece of art. It's what Brad Jones would call a "Shot on S***eo" product, where's it's totally crude and proud of it. Matter of fact. I'm not sure if by the end it finds more to say than 'eh, screw it, let go and accept how violent as hell this is." But I really appreciate that there *is* thought put into it, that Cohen's protagonist is someone that isn't completely again st all violence in movies but just when it is ALL people watch (with the occasional porn of course). He is even I found kind of a sympathetic guy, one who we know will have to meet a tragic fate but is only, oh, 20 to 25% deserving of it. Of course for some that may vary.
The point I'm making is a movie called Video Violence shot with a budget that was likely literally from the change one finds under the car seats, didnt have to try this hard as far as attention to staging and characters and even damn mis en scene, but it did. For what it set out to do, it's a miracle it works and has such a potent sense of how everyone is shaped by that filter of "it's only a movie." It's like a less polished Twilight Zone episode at its best, and high grade trash at its worst.
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