Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I've devised and algebraic equation to judge the quality of a good Splatter flick. If you take the amount of fake blood, measured in gallons (G), divided by the budget (B), and multiply THAT by pounds of latex used (L), divided by lines of dialogue (D), you'll come out with a pretty decent gauge of said movie's worth. Again, that's G/B x L/D. Basically, the less dialogue and budget, the better, and the more blood and latex, the better. Try it sometime. It works.
Hollywood has completely dropped the ball when it comes to the Splatter Equation, but I'll tell you who's got it down: Europeans. Many of my favorite Gore flicks came from Europe (especially Germany), and those cats can really stretch a dollar when it comes to special effects. Case in point: the five movies listed below. All were produced on very little cash and a whole Hell of a lot of imagination, and as a result, go down in my book as some of the best Horror films ever made.
Just more proof that Americans suck, Hollywood is out of ideas, and the Almighty Dollar has finally been exposed as the evil impostor that it really is. Here we are, dropping millions on bogus crap like "Race To Witch Mountain", while some teenager in Berlin is saving up his allowance to film an awesome Splatter flick in his back yard.
Man, we suck.
5) EVIL ED (dir. ANDERS JACOBSSON, SWEDEN, 1997)
"Evil Ed" is the story of mild-mannered Edward, a film editor cutting scenes for the "Loose Limbs" Horror series. After too much time alone with these gruesome flicks, Edward goes a bit mad, and soon begins acting out the brutal killings from the film. Becoming the eponymous "Evil Ed", his bloody rampage from the film studio to the insane asylum leaves a trail of mutilated corpses and slapstick comedy not soon to be forgotten.
Obviously an homage to several Horror films (especially the "Evil Dead" trilogy), "Evil Ed" is a celebration of all things gory and ridiculous, a true classic despite the fact that director Anders Jacobsson was working with a semi-decent budget. "Evil Ed" may not qualify as "no-budget", but the sentiment is there, from the corny, ESL dialogue, to the campy "film-within-a-film" plot. I'm surprised Sweden doesn't produce more movies like this, what with all the rad Death Metal bands they've given us and all. Odd.
This was actually the only trailer I could post out of these five movies. The other ones either don't exist or contain tons of nudity. And this is a FAMILY blog.
4) VIOLENT SHIT 1-3 (dir. ANDREAS SCHNAAS, GERMANY, 1987, 1992 & 1999)
Director Andreas Schnaas is a master of the "no-budget" Splatter flick, and though the original "Violent Shit" (reportedly made for the U.S. equivalent of $2000) is a masterpiece of the genre, its sequels went downhill as their budgets inflated (in accordance with the Splatter Equation, I might add). I stumbled accross this one at Old Town Video in Eureka, and instantly picked it up on the merits of its title alone.
It did not disappoint.
"Violent Shit", a straight-to-video winner, follows the exploits of Karl The Butcher Shitter, a massive, insane serial killer with a dark past who I would take over Freddy or Jason any day of the week. Karl went through some fucked-up shit as a kid, and although the "Shitter" part of his name is never explained, his Butchering is well-documented.
The fun in this movie is watching the cast at work, a bunch of dirty German Hessians in denim jackets with D.R.I. backpatches, running around in the woods hacking up mannequins and spraying each other with fake blood. They are obviously having a blast making this movie, and you can't help but get caught up in their enthusiasm as the viscera starts to fly. This movie is hard as fuck to find, but if you ever stumble accross it, for God's sake snatch it up, no matter the cost.
Plus, you can't beat the (subtitled) dialogue. One disgruntled worker, at one point, turns to a co-worker and grunts, "Man, this job is fucking me to shits".
Well played, sir. Well played.
3) MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY aka CANNIBAL FEROX (dir. UMBERTO LENZI, ITALY, 1981)
I could easily write a lengthy post on Italian cannibal movies alone, but I decided to lump this, the best one of all, in here with the rest of these European masterpieces. Again, director Umberto Lenzi (left) had a modest budget to work with (the film was shot on location in the Amazon, after all), but the spirit of this film definitely marks it as a low, LOW budget slasher, as the gore and special effects seem to be either improvised or altogether ludicrous. "Make Them Die Slowly" (also known as "Cannibal Ferox" in Italy), much like Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo", documents the trip of a small group of Europeans into the wilds of the Amazon jungle, a trip that soon turns horrific when they are confronted by a group of hungry cannibals.
This movie has it all, from insane amounts of gore and nakedness to creative death scenes to graphic castration to dialogue that could find a home on just about any good Death Metal album. Take, for example this tasty little nugget (I wanted to use this sample somewhere, but Mortician beat me to it): "They tied him to a stake, then they castrated him with a machete, and then they... ATE HIS GENITALS!!!"
Damn. Can you even imagine how difficult it would be to castrate someone with a machete? Damn.
2) NEKROMANTIK & NEKROMANTIK 2 (dir. JORG BUTTGEREIT, GERMANY, 1987 & 1991)
If you're at all familiar with the Horror genre, but haven't seen "Nekromantik" I or II, think of it this way: if the goriest film you've ever seen up to this point can be considered a "romantic comedy", "Nekromantik" can be considered the sickest, most disgusting butthole-porn ever made. These movies are FUCKED UP, as if the guys from Cannibal Corpse decided to make an "erotic thriller". Dismemberment, necrophilia, decapitation with shovels... How can you go wrong!?
Jorg Buttgereit (left) went on to direct many more low budget Horror flicks after this one, and has established himself as the father of the German slasher movie. But "Nekromantik" is definitely his defining work, a film so dark and sick that it's impossible too look away. I could go on and on about this one, but my Mom reads this blog sometimes, and I don't want her to think I'm a miscreant.
Because I'm NOT.
1) PREMUTOS: LORD OF THE LIVING DEAD (dir. OLAF LITTENBACH, GERMANY, 1997)
Wow. "Premutos" has to be the MOST ambitious low budget splatter flick ever made. Part period piece, part comedy, and ALL horror, "Premutos" tells the tale of the eponymously named fallen angel (the FIRST fallen angel, predating even Lucifer), and his trip through time, from Biblical days to WWII-era Russia to modern day (1997) Germany. Upon his arrival in the present, he unleashes a legion of zombies, whose gore-drenched killing spree rivals even "Dead Alive" for the bloodiest scenes ever committed to film.
Full of decapitations, exploding heads, pyrotechnics, dismemberment, chainsaw murder, and all manner of grisly, stomach-turning DEATH, "Premutos" (like "Nekromantik") is one of those must-be-seen-to-be-believed movies, the Holy Grail for any gorehound on the prowl for blood-curdling cinema.
I have no higher recommendation to give. Children should be forced to watch "Premutos" in kindergarten. 'Nuff said.
Posted by Shelby Cobras at 12:18 PM