Published on January 30th, 2015 | by SgtKaiju0
Cult Of Consume – Vol. II
Greetings and welcome to my little dark corner of Need To Consume, THE CULT OF CONSUME. This is where we look beyond the frontline of film, deep into the DVD racks, into the VOD void and around the back into the alleyway of re-releases. This isn’t the place for your blockbuster drudgery. I’m going to be bringing you hidden gems of the cult world, lost classics and certainly some films that have been forgotten for good reason.
There will be zombies. There will death. There will be terrible acting and set that move when touched. There will be nudity, violence, aliens, gods, gangsters, madmen and femme fatales. Come with me…
The New York Ripper – Fan Edition
And once again, we return to the gift that keeps on giving, the Video Nasty. Made in 1982, banned the same year and finally released in 20o2, The New York Ripper is a fat slice of italian horror, with the distinction of being set in New York rather than the traditional Italian setting. Directed by Lucio Fulci, the infamous Godfather of Gore, the film is packed with moments to shock, from the donald-duck voiced killer, the disembowelment of a early victim, a crotch-to-stomach cut with a broken bottle or the sexual humiliation of the psychologist in a run-down bar. This is not a film for the faint hearted.
As with a lot of the Video Nasties list, the aura around the film is greater than the film itself. The New York Ripper is exploitation in it’s lowest form, from the seedy settings to the faux-emotional ending. The characters are unrepentant in their violence or dysfunction. More than any film in this month’s Cult Of Consume, this one will leave you feeling clammy and dirty, in need of a wash. This is a film for complete-ists of the genre only.
The disc from Shameless is rebuilt with previously lost and cut scenes and is a surprising good quality given the age of the film and the budget!
Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation Of Toxie
Let me tell you a story. There I am, a wide-eyed and innocent 14 year old boy, growing up in the run-down part of Reading. Up until now, my cinematic diet had mainly consisted of Disney films and whatever was on the ABC on Friar Street. Then one day, out of nowhere a shop opens up on the high street, selling racks upon racks of remaindered stock VHS. And what was my first purchase? THE TOXIC AVENGER. That film spawned my love of the cult as well as a 4 part series of film.
With the re-release of parts 3 and 4 (see below), it’s great to these often forgotten instalments getting the HD treatment. The film itself follows well-worn tracks of superhero movies, that of the hero forgoing his responsibility for personal reasons, before being reminded of his duties. Think Spiderman 2 with toxic powers, Dark Knight Rises with a blind musician fiancee who wears nothing but lingerie. As with all Troma releases, the exploitation elements are cut with a ‘message’, often the hazards of chemical dumping but this one brings on a element of anti-corporation vibe, with the suitably titled Apocalypse Inc. If you like your superhero films a bit more off the wall, well worth a watch.
But the real star here is the disc itself. Stuffed full of extra, you get commentary tracks from Joe Fleishaker and Lloyd Kaufman, as well as interviews with the crew, behind the scenes docs, bizarre and strange music videos and much more. A must-own for an any Troma fan.
Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie
And so the Troma bandwagon rolls on! Toxie 4 does away with the continuity of parts 2 and 3, pitching itself as the straight sequel to the 1984 original film. The story is as a madcap as Troma films ever are, with Toxie sent into an alternate dimension, swapping places with Noxie, his super-villain evil twin. And thus cue much gore, violence, nudity and more gore.
On the note of the gore, it worth saying that is not Hostel-style Gornography, this is very much silly over the top violence, with gallons of blood and and terrible terrible VFX. This is not gore to be taken seriously. And the same can be said of the rest of the film. Troma films are reknown for poking at all of society’s hot buttons, from the very un-pc it handles learning disabilities, obesity, lesbians, masturbation, alcoholism and so on. This is not a film to be taken seriously.
With all this in mind, Toxie IV is a film that lives or dies by your tolerance for it’s style. It is a balls-out shockfest of a film, with moments of pure spectacle overwhelming any story or plot sensibilities. I loved it, I think you will to, if you give it a chance.
The disc itself is once again crammed to the rafters, with several commentaries, a great behind the scenes documentary and many little featurettes. If you have anything more than passing interest in indie films or film-making, the Troma extras are a goldmine.
And my favourite film of this month, a brilliant release from Metrodome, Coherence.
Telling the tale of a group of friends over the course of one night, as a comet passes over, the film is reminiscent of Primer or Safety Not Guaranteed in it’s low-fi sci-fi feel. Very soon, thing start to go awry for the group and I can’t really say much more without massive spoilers! Suffice to say it has one of the most tense and also most satisfying endings I’ve seen recently. One of the big draws of Coherence is it’s cast, the appearance of Nicholas Brendon of Buffy fame as one of the main characters. He very much plays against the Xander type, but with elements of his own life there too, a ex-tv star, drink issues. The performance he puts in is nothing short of revelatory, bringing depth and pathos to what could have been a very one-note and disliked character. But the real stand-out star is Emily Foxer. Coming off a string of bit-parts and guest starring roles, she embodies the main role here, tinging her sadness with elements of hope and a cold steely edge that comes into play in the closing act of the film.
All in all, not only the best film in this months Cult Of Consume, one of the best Sci-Fi films I’ve seen in a long time
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
The Girl Who Knew Too Much is one of the those films that falls into the odd category of being important rather than good. Coming from the fevered mind of Mario Bava, this is hte film that birthed the entire genre of Italian giallo films. For the uninitiated, Giallo Cinema refers to a genre that merges thriller, sexploitation, murder mystery and often mafia. The are so named after the yellow covers (giallo being Italian for yellow) of the pulp paperbacks that were popular at the time. They tend to come with a darker edge than the sillier US cult films, with morally grey characters throughout. This film focusses on Nora Davies, an American tourist in Rome who witnesses a murder. Disbelieved by all around her, she sets out to solve the mystery herself.
As said at the start, this is a film more important than good. Looking back with modern sensibilities, the film is fun but nothing impressive or overly memorable. Much like Citizen Kane or the deplorable Birth Of A Nation, it’s worth comes from it’s place in film history rather than it’s content. The whole of the Giallo genre was born out of this film and that makes it a must-see for all fans of the cult, but it will probably be lost on on the casual viewer.
As always, the remaster from Arrow Films is excellent work, and the disc includes a copy of Evil Eye, the US recut of the the film as well as a very interesting commentary from a Bava biographer and a documentary exploring the legacy of Bava and The Girl Who Knew Too Much.
Ah, Nekromantik. If ever there was a film to divide audiences…
This film tells the story of Rob Schmadtke, a hapless crime scene cleaner who likes to take souvenirs home from work. Body part souvenirs. But soon, he ups his game and brings home a complete rotting corpse, that he and his girlfriends then proceed to have a threesome with. Yeah.
From here, the film descends into a liturgy of necrophilia, cannibalism, murder, prostitution and suicide. Think Serbian Film but without any levity and made on no budget.
As said, Nekromantik is a dividing film, some will praise it’s taboo-breaking content, that the violation of what is often considers ‘beyond the pale’ its worth praise alone, other will dismiss it as shock cinema with no redeeming quality, a film for the disturbed. I’d say I fall somewhere between the two on it. You can’t run this column and be squeamish about gore and taboos, but much like Hostel and Human Centipede, this fails at being more than that. This is shock for the sake of shock alone. One for the gorehounds only.
The disc itself is most impressive. A 3-Disc set that is as complete a behind the scenes as I’ve seen since Lord Of The Rings. You get several documentaries, music videos, Polaroid pictures, a soundtrack, short films, commentaries, out-takes. A fan of film would be in perfect Blu-Rau heaven.
A darkly comic tale of a psychotic slasher and his less-than-likable victim. Opening with the main character, Lance, forced to kill his own brother with an axe, it soon descends into Hostel-style torture but without the Eli Roth lack of humour. The nameless and apparently wronged villain spends most of the film slowly taking body parts from Lance, or getting various other folks to lend a hand.
The gore here is well done, with some grossly over-the-top moments, including the opening killing, Lance’s ever-decreasing fingers and eye-watering scene with a bowie knife, an mourning lesbian prostitute and Lance’s genitals. But please don’t think this is just another torture-porn snuff film, the script is clearly shooting for Shaun Of The Dead or Tucker & Dale territory. And whilst it makes a crucial misstep in making the main character the comedy relief rather than the straight man (a technique Edgar Wright uses and gets right across the entire Cornetto Trilogy), there are many good laughs to be had here.
Overall, a good film and certainly a fun one to watch with a drink or two. The main two characters are good to watch, but the side-characters tend to get a short shrift, especially Tanishaa Mukherjee as his wife and Elina Madison as the prostitute. Worth checking out.
Out now on TheHorrorShow.TV