I randomly picked out Frankenstein to watch, my expectations were nil, as if nothing, maybe even burdened by the idea it being bad and having to stop watching it. I happy to say that I started to get into it rather quickly from the beginning. To me when I think of Frankenstein I think of the stereotypical one you see on the Munsters, and is very much identified with Halloween. But this movie managed to display something real, something tangible, many perspectives available to perceive this character.
We run through the experimentation, bringing life to the dead. They bring about life to a corpse, or whatever kind of aesthetic they use, it’s uncertain how about they got the body all together. Unless it was like Andy Warhol’s, Flesh for Frankenstein, where they harbor dead corpses to bring to life. Whatever they have brought to life a man, whose intelligence is that of an infant. He is apparently very strong and although susceptible to pain, he seems to endure a great bit of torture and still manages to carry on.
What I like so much about the movie is that, Adam, he rummages through the real world with a infantile perspective. It isn’t until he meets a homeless man, that he begins to learn and grow more intelligence, this is also where you start to hear him speak like a narrative throughout the movie. He makes a conscious effort to support his relationship with the homeless guy, and if not for an awkward proposal for sex, they might very well have been better off. Through the whole movie, Adam is trying to reacquaint himself with whom he calls mother. He wants love, he is a “monster”, but he does have a strong human desire for love.
Even with his best effort, he is ran off by the townspeople and police. Everyone thinks of him as a worthless disgrace. This is something that I found a great parallel to our own society. We find a majority, a herd, and people will blindly attack anyone they deem a monster. Isn’t this the truth with human beings. We harbor so much hate and disgust with our own species, even if our conception of truth is hearsay. We don’t want truth, we just want somebody to hate. Somebody to lynch and humiliate.
I find movies like this particularly interesting not because of the actual style or presentation, but more to do with the psychology of the character, in this case Hollis Wallace (Michael Beach in the real life – third watch tv series) who makes a living picking scrap metal, and then trading it in for money. You don’t get much of any kind of backstory on him, he is a mystery, and it seems anyone who manages to intersect into his private life, will tell you ahead of time, that he far from an open book.
He has mother living with him, and they have a nurse/baby sitter type, who watches his mom while he is out scrapping metal. A lot of the scenes and scenarios you he encounters seem a little overboard, and pretty unbelievable, particular in regards to sexual and bizarre bdsm. In this case, Hollis finds a girl will change his life forever. The character who portrays the sexual deviance, is Aiden Gillen, you might recognize him from Game of Thrones or a favorite of mine he plays in called Buddy Boy.
Throughout the movie you get this idea, that his systematic kind of living, and his lack of any sort of human relationship, aside from his mom and their caretaker. Eventually he meets up with the girl was gagged and tied up in the basement of Aiden Gillen’s character. She recognizes him, and vice versa. They get into a discussion about her lifestyle, and then his defense of scrapping metal for money. Throughout this exchange of conversation, she is convinced she wants to help him scra, and he is very much against the idea. Eventually he is coerced into helping him.
Throughout their time scrapping metal, and her eventually living with him. They develop a relationship. In what I think was life changing experience for Hollis. For a man who is alone, and unaware of his own depression, she offers a peace or comfort to him.
This wasn’t great, it wasn’t terrible, it was definitely entertaining enough to watch. But to me it rests somewhere in the middle. I think it would have been better if there was a little bit of a backstory to our protagonist. Worth a watch if you are into independent films.
One thing that cannot be emulated is the vintage quality of older films, sure you can deteriorate quality to branch a similar view, but we are all none the wiser to tactics as such. I bring this up, because film makers like Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino and Rob Zombie all have this love for old classic b-movie, sleaze films. I cannot stress enough the interest, that I also have for films of the past, particularly in the regard to vintage cinematography. If you’re wondering what the hell I am talking about, do yourself a favor and go watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cannibal Holocaust or the first two Evil Dead movies, all of which display accurately what I am talking about.
The movie that I am going to discuss today, is Eli Roth’s new Green Inferno, a homage to Cannibal Holocaust. The movie begins in such a way, that you gain a interest in the roles of each character. Much of his films, I think develop a interest in the characters, so that it is all the more painful to watch said characters getting butchered. And he follows this formula hook line and sinker. Our character of interest is Justine, a college freshman, who is interested in “causes”, all of which make her feel better about taking a stand against the viles of reality. So she naturally gets involved with a group of social justice warriors. The intention is to exploit the destruction of jungles, by using their phones and satellite link, to expose the ravaging.
I like the idea of the exploiting of persons who are interested in “causes”, and they are more interested in getting their name out in social media. It’s like doing a job, and then somebody pays you to take credit for your work. It’s all about blind dedication. So with this in mind, it wasn’t terribly painful for me to watch the killings of this group. Albeit, you never really get to know any of them except for Justine. But one thing that does come into fruition is the evil intentions of their “leader” (I don’t know what to call him?), a selfish instruction, for profitable gain.
Let me get into focus the main interest points I had in expectation of watching this film. First being the gore, I was enticed to see what modern film can do to a brutal movie like this. And I was rather disapointed, I see nothing here that could be a “trump” or 1up, in comparison to the original Cannibal Holocaust or really any other prolific exploitation, or sleazey b-movie. Don’t get me wrong it does have some pretty unique and terrifying displays but they are all rather mundane, when filmed in a hollywood mass media appeal. As I mentioned earlier the ingredient to an Eli Roth film, is to get yourself semi attached to the characters, and then find yourself guilt ridden when you see them devoured by death. Much of what people say nowadays about movies like this is “torture porn”, or whatever the hell you want to name. I personally think that is silly to say, considering there is next to no nudity in this film, yes you might peep a nipple, but even when in distress by the cannibals, they still manage to keep just enough clothing to void any really nudity.
One thing that I found interesting about the movie, was that the characters find themselves in some pretty shameful and taboo situations. For starters the bathroom scenes in the jungle. You will see a girl have a diarrhea fit, and a their noble group leader try to rub one off, while sitting among his traveling crew. Little things like this, are not necessary, but he included them, to keep a level sleaze I think. Something to emulate the films of old. In ‘Cannibal Holocaust you would witness some very human situations, that were not shy about getting in film.
Well, I don’t know if I made a coherent enough review, but in closing, I have to say that I was disappointed with Green Inferno. I respect Eli Roth for his interest in the b-movie classics. But he garners no real appeal or value, when trying to stand toe to toe with the classics. He fails miserably in trying to deliver anything even remotely commendable, it just downright spirals into shit. There were some elements to like about the film, for me the most important was the exploitation of social justice groups. Much like hipsters, if not to join the two together as is… the whole idea of these groups just makes me fucking sick. And if cannibalized, it leaves little on my conscious to witness. So in closing, the movie is entertaining enough to watch, but as far as trumping or even developing a cult status, it definitely is not in that caliber. It comes off as very unauthentic, and almost trivializes any serious effect.
One thing I have never really cared for is a Troma film, it’s not that I don’t appreciate what they do, but I think at times their minuscule budget and lack of talent, really leaves me with a disinterested response. Like I said before, it’s not that I don’t like what they are doing, I just personally cannot typically get into a lot of their films, it’s just below b-movie for me, and more like public access, or camcorder delivered. With all that being said I was a great deal swayed in wanting to watch Combat Shock, once I saw it was distributed by Troma Films. But after conversing with a group of bmovie, sleaze and gore fans, on facebook, the deliberated with me and guaranteed a good time if I watch it, so I did just that.
The film begins in Vietnam, and is narrated by our lead character Frankie. From this we learn he was a captive of war, and obviously a veteran of war. We soon fast forward to his present life, and begin to see another grim and depressing scene, something that very well parallels with the horror of war. An apartment that looks uninhabitable, a nagging wife, a crying deformed alien baby… and a steaming pot that just whistles and adds to the agonizing reality of a life, without money, food or really any hope to carry on. This assembles him to face the streets and begin his search for a.) food, b.) money/job. We also are introduced to a small gang syndicate on the streets, that we find out Frankie owes money to, he is pardoned for a day to pay them back. We also find his friend who is a severally wasted heroin junkie. A lot of the characters we meet on the street are poorly acted and portrayed, very unconvincing and almost comical in appearance. It’s all forgiven because Rick Giovinazzo does a commendable job, as a desperate man who is down and out and just on the brink of crumbling from the realities of urban life.
So yes, basically the whole movie is summarized with Frankie wandering the streets and receiving blow after blow, figuratively and physically. It’s absolutely the depressing tale of a man crumbling into insanity. Some of the scenes seemed kind of pointless, but it did help attribute to the dark depressing tone of the movie. Something I found funny was when he was in the employment office and the guy says “life is hot Frankie, and because it is hot, I am compelled to remove my jacket…”. I read in an interview with the director, he said he had the scene of the junkie friend “skin popping”, the heroin… and then it launches to the scene of the employment office with the guy taking the pills… both addicts. There was nothing positive at all in this movie… it was great. Its made me want to check out more movies from the director. And with the baby, I can see the similarities with Eraserhead. He was definitely influenced by lynch on the movie.
Here we have a slasher gem from the 80’s that runs in the similar vein of Maniac (around the same time period), where we meet a psycho killer who attributed their ill nature from a traumatic childhood, or event. Most namely, in the event of a family member traumatizing the said individual. I find this evident in other movies, but I think Maniac is one of the best examples.
Needless to say we find our psycho killer (as an adolescent) at the beginning of the movie starring at his father, and a women (maybe a prostitute?), who appear to be engaged in some BDSM fun. For whatever reason, George (our killer) doesn’t particularly enjoy seeing his dad being slapped by this women and he proceeds to hack them up with an axe, (the end will reveal more about this scene) and that begins our movie… off to a good start if you ask me.
George is hospitalized for several mental illness in the vein of schizophrenia, and the list enumerates on and on. His illness appears to be controlled with medication, and they prepare him for a release on the basis that he be relatively monitored and remain in a “half way house”. Of course George does what comes naturally, and he proceeds to a xxx theater, and he continues to see flashbacks of the time he murdered his father and lover, this will often time give him seizures, where he convulses and foams at the mouth, ya know? a seizure.
After this we find him escaped from the regulatory maintained requirements of his release from the hospital, and he murders a women and then proceeds to find the house of where his crime was committed in time past. This also proceeds to show the hospital, getting frustrated and demand that they find George before he murders more and all hell brakes loose. I think its funny that the man always smoking a cigar, sounds distinctly like a women. I mean he is obviously a man, you can see by his physical features, particularly the dead ringer of a mustache. Anyway this has nothing to do with, well really anything, but I just found it comical, him sounding a lot like a female.
Later on in the movie we are introduced to a family, with a particular trouble maker named CJ, between him and George it really makes up, and surmises the rest of the story. A lot of people will think CJ is a pain in the ass, but if you really think about it, he is just an adolescent out to have some fun and cause mischief. Albeit, some really fucked up practical jokes, but nonetheless he maintains a very independent and strong features about himself, and later you find him truly become the protagonist, or anti-hero if you will, but all the same a credible, and in the end a almost likable character.
I don’t want to dig too much more into the story, without revealing too much and spoiling it for those who have not seen it yet. But all in all, I think this is definitely a credible slasher in the horror genre, namely because of CJ and the quintessential creepiness of George. Not much gore in this movie, and because of CJ it almost takes away from the horror elements and lands it into a almost comedic story. But one thing is for certain it does offer some good gore, especially for the time period. Halloween is right around the corner, and this is good flick to pick up and check out.
(insert now cliche, but obligatory reference to
Ebola in the states) Meet Kai, a otherwise ordinary man who likes the finer things in life, particularly raping dead African woman, making love to a chicken breast, oh and using collapsible objects as weapons. We meet Kai right in the beginning of the movie, having sex with his bosses wife, naturally the boss returns home and all hell breaks loose. Kai almost gets castrated, but he escapes unscathed leaving a bloodbath and one severed tongue behind him (penis intact*). There is also one minor but significant detail that needs to remain fresh in your minds, and that is the daughter in the apartment, that remains alive. This beginning scene also gets you accustomed to some of the classic and funny dialogue that comes out of Kai’s mouth.
Lets fast forward 10 years to Johannesburg, South Africa, where Kai gets a job as a lowly restaurant employee. Poor Kai just cant catch a break his bosses girlfriend is constantly picking on him, for no apparent reason. Before American Pie, Kai was making love to poultry, and not even thinking twice before serving his semen fused chicken breast to customers, this kind of ill behavior can be seen throughout the entire movie.
Kai and his boss get the brilliant idea to save some money on pork, by going out to a tribe of Zulu natives who unbeknownst them are dying from the Ebola virus. The sight of dying villagers and strange voodoo rituals does not scare them one bit from saving a little extra money on pork. The buy their meat and our on their way, but not before brilliantly running into a tree (very softly mind you), and the truck just dies. While the boss man is fixing the truck, Kai is found raping a dead african women, (he never loses his class) where he contracts the ebola virus. This where all the real mayhem begins.
After contracting the virus, we learn Kai is 1/10 of the individuals who can supposedly contract the deadly virus and be a carrier of it, but not be fatally effected by it. Once his boss learns of the potentially fatal condition of his employee, his only concern is keeping him around because of his hard work and cheap pay required. All the while his girlfriend is plotting to get rid of Kai (she really hates the guy). This then leads to the murder and cannibalizing of them, then leading to a complete and total outbreak of the Ebola virus. Kai robs them and jumps ship to Hong Kong, where he continues his sexual deviance and murderous rampage.
Something I forgot to mention earlier is that the girl who witnessed Kai murdering her mother and father, was later found at the restaurant of Kai in Johannesburg, and she has the weird premonitions of him, because of his scent. This drives her back to Hong Kong to try and put a stop to him.
There is so much disgustingly wrong with this movie, that you would think its grotesque appearance would be a great deterrent to most, from watching. The thing about this movie is that the humor is so strongly evident, that you cant ever take the film too seriously, and I think that fact, intertwined with the sadistic and taboo acts in the movie, make it entertaining enough. It also has some really good musical scores throughout the film. Anthony Wong’s performance is always worth the admission price, I liked him also in Bun man. He just puts on an outrageous and funny performance, which is wrong on many levels considering the nature of the movie.