Tag Archives: Cannibal

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen

Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary

Leatherface is nuts

So last night I got to see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen. The movie was shown at the Treehouse Cinema in Gulf Breeze Florida and hosted by local horror group Nightmare Theatre. This was my first time to actually see TCM on the big screen, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered  40th anniversay edition is absolutely beautiful. I’m not going to get into technical specs about sound, video, aspect or whatever because I’m not that guy. I will just say the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary version looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful and it is worth seeing on the big screen.

I have been a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre since before I can remember. As a kid I saw the movie posters in the local theater, but never saw the film itself there. I’m not even sure it ever actually played there. TCM doesn’t sound like a good match for a small town theater in rural Mississippi in the 70s. I cant even remember when I first saw the movie. The commercials for it, and the sequels always intrigued me, but they also scared me a little. Okay, they scared me a lot. They promised blood, gore, and horror. Which was masterful advertising, since the first film has so little blood and gore.

Marilyn Burns in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre  remastered 40th anniversary

The Late Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition

What The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre did have, that it’s gorier remake doesn’t have is insanity. The remake is bloody, it’s violent, and it’s gory. The characters are evil and they are unbalanced. But compare the families, the Hewitt family versus the Sawyer family of the original. Although they really didn’t get a family name in the original, it works for here. The original family was absolutely insane. Look at the cook, played by the late Jim Siedow. “I dont take no pleasure in killing” he says, completely serious one moment, and the next he is cackling, and urging Grandpa on in his attempt to kill Sally Hardesty. The whole dinner scene is insanity. People like this are capable of anything. This is horror, this is what modern filmmakers don’t get.

It’s one thing to show people doing bad things, doing horrible things, but show people doing insane things and it’s scary. Jason Voorhess is evil but his movies are no longer scary. Why? Maybe because he’s predictable. Is he insane? Probably? Crazy? Not so much, if anything Jason is predictable. Come to Crystal Lake and he will chase you, slowly, catch you and kill you, especially if you are having sex. Leatherface? Well now, Leatherface will chase you at high speed. He will chainsaw his door to pieces, even though he could probably just open it, or cut through the lock. Leatherface will put you in a freezer and sit down and have a moment of self doubt. Leatherface will spin in the road with a running chainsaw. Leatherface is fucking nuts. Even worse, he’s possibly the sanest member of the family.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition with the Sawyer family

The family is even crazier in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition

Probably the coolest thing about seeing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen was seeing, and hearing people’s reaction. It was a small crowd, which was sad, but there were people there, and at least a few who had never seen the movie before. It is nice to know with all the crappy PG films, with all the horrible CGI, that the meat hook scene can still cause a reaction. Yep, some one exclaimed out loud, not the loudest shriek, but a reaction nonetheless. Call me naive, but I think a proper release with full studio promotion this film would draw. Yeah, I’m naive. Kids today are too jaded, they wouldn’t give it a chance, but if they did they would walk away happy, and maybe a bit scared to go down those lonely deserted roads.

So if you get the chance check out the Texas Chainsaw remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen, or just buy the DVD. It really is a wonderfully restored version, and well worth having without even touching on the extras. This is probably the best the film will ever look. But even beyond the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition, if you are a horror fan, support when these films get shown on the big screen. Support the few small local theaters that still exist, and support your local horror community. For those of us living in the Lower Alabama, Florida Panhandle that is Nightmare Theatre and the Tree house Cinema in Gulf Breeze.

Nightmare Theatre will be hosting several cult horror films during the month of October, including Army of Darkness and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you are in the area I urge you to make the trip over the bridge and support these films, and the people hosting them.

 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition is availbale now on DVD and Blu Ray, and playing in select theaters

Countess Perverse- I Don’t Speak No Spanish Review

Lina Romay- Countess Perverse

Lina Romay as Sylvia in Countess Perverse

A Word About My Countess Perverse, I don’t speak no Spanish review

For this review of Jess Franco’s Countess Perverse, I am going to do something slightly different. What’s that you say? Am I going to do a review that covers the technical aspects of the film, as well as it’s deeper meaning in society? Hell no, if you are looking for that go elsewhere. Am I going to refrain from off-color remarks, or sexual and anatomical humor? In a Franco film, get real.

No what I am going to do is review this film, in my own style, having only watched it in it’s original language, with no dubbing or subtitles. Why? Because that’s the only copy I had on hand, and come on, it’s Jess Franco. The dialogue isn’t really that important is it?

I have tried to watch foreign films on their native language before. A good film should be enjoyable even if you aren’t able to understand the language. Acting is more than just speaking, and a movie is more than just dialogue. I always get lazy though, and run back to my comfort zone. Not having a fall back bunker for Countess Perverse left me with two choices. Watch the film, or don’t watch it.

I watched it. Having read a short synopsis, I wasn’t totally blind, still I found myself wishing I could speak Spanish. Basically Countess Perverse is a retelling of The Most Dangerous Game ala Jess Franco. Which means lots of sex and nudity. Lots of nudity. Lots. Did I mention there was lots of nudity? Anyone with much familiarity with Franco would expect a large amount of nudity, and Countess Perverse delivers.

Countess Perverse

Countess Perverse opens up with Bob (Robert Woods) and Moira (Tania Busslier), finding a nude girl washed up on their beach. They take her back to their house where she wakes up screaming. Boy does she scream. It’s annoying to, so much that you tend to forget she’s naked and just hope for her to shut the hell up. I’m pretty sure the English translation of “AHHHHHH” would be pretty close to “AHHHHH”, so I was getting a clue some bad shit had went down.

Then in flashback she tells of washing up on another island (bad fucking day for her, huh?), this time fully clothed. I’ll add here that fully clothed is usually still pretty sexy in a Franco film. There she is taken in by the swank and stylish Count and Countess Zaroff (Alice Arno and Howard Vernon.

Relativity in Countess Perverse

Relativity in Countess Perverse

One look inside their house and you realize that M.C. Escher apparently was a set designer. Seriously the inner house is almost an exact copy of the Escher Relativity piece. I sure at some point some of the Spanish mumbo jumbo had to translate to “dig that crazy staircase.”

In the house they serve the water-logged visitor (Kali Hansa) a special meal before taking turns raping her. Turns out the couple are cannibals who enjoy a good raping before hunting and barbecuing their guests. Guess it goes to show you that not every weird couple, living in a creepy ass house, on a deserted island can be trusted.

Of all the rapes I have ever seen on film, this was probably the most erotic. Don’t hate on me, I know rape is evil, no means no, but it is what it is. While the Countess goes down on her she moans, and thrashes (trying to get away? Hell most of the time she isn’t even being held down). Then the count takes his turn. While I do admire Franco for his liberal use of nudity, I could have done without Vernon’s ass and balls in my face as he thrusts away.

Flashback over we are treated to another round of Kali’s annoying screaming. Thankfully Bob shoots her up to calm her down and she passes out. They then decide to take her back to the island. OH NOES!!! They are in league with the evil Zaroffs.

After dropping of Kali, we find out that the next intended lunchable is Sylvia, played by the ravishing hot Lina Romay. If you aren’t familiar with Lina Romay, she is a Euro goddess, husband to Jess Franco and star of many of his films.

Bob and Moira pick up Sylvia for some hot ass loving, which is actually pretty boring. Especially the more explicit scene between Busslier and Romay. Did I just say lesbian sex involving full nudity was boring? Yes, sadly I did. There was absolutely nothing exciting or sensual about it. It just looked technical and overly directed.

More than boring it was actually a bit annoying as the sounds didn’t even seem to match the on-screen action (and I use action very loosely). Maybe it was the language barrier, but like “AHHHH” I would assume sucking and slurping sounds don’t lose a lot in translation. The only thing to hold my attention was Busslier’s enormous “welcome to the jungle” bush. I just kept wanting to comb it, or pick it, or apply some Dapper Dan, anything to tame it.

The lesbian triste is broken up by Woods (FINALLY) and we see the first hints of jealousy between the threesome. After he gets his fill of hairy Eurobabe, the three take off for the island where they go skinny dipping. Romay and Busslier frolic in the surf showing their plump, edible asses, but are soon joined by Woods. Dong alert!

When they tire of tanning their privates they venture up to the house to meet the Count and Countess Perverse. Once again they are served what appears to be almost raw meat. The count himself is gnawing on a ridiculously large bone. Bob doesn’t appear to be enjoying his meal, and soon angrily leaves the table while Romay picks at her food.

Bob and Moira leave Sylvia and head back to their own island. Later that night Sylvia and the Countess engage in some lesbian sex that is far more interesting than the earlier scene with Moira. Unfortunately it’s still boring when compared to what’s easily available on the internet.

Later, wandering around the house, nearly nude in a sexy borrowed lingerie, Romay walks in on the perverted pair as they are butchering Kali. Realizing that the couple are cannibals, and finally noticing the mounted human head on the wall, she collapses.

When she wakes up, she is outside the house completely nude (except for shoes). Realizing that shit just got real she takes off running. Soon the countess, nude except for shoes and a quiver comes after her with a hunting bow. The chase through the bush is on. There has to be a good bush joke here, but I’m not willing to work for it right now.

Meanwhile back on the other island, Bob appears still tortured about leaving Sylvia to her destiny as a main course. Apparently he is in love with Romay, and who can blame him? Her boobs are much bigger than Busslier’s, and her bush is much more under control. He breaks it off with Moira by choking her to death. The betrayal is so shocking, that Moira doesn’t even let her arms drop after she dies.

Back on the island of Countess Perverse, the hunt goes on. Fortunately for the viewer, the hunt consists of a lot of close up shots of Lina Romay’s round, fine, ass as she crawls through the brush. That mixed with shots of her running with big bouncing breasts, and full frontal shots of the much less follicularly challenged Alice Arno keep it exciting.

Bob reaches the island as things are coming to a head. He too is armed with a bow and arrow, but thankfully both he and the count are fully dressed. One can only assume that the bows are a result of gun control on nearly deserted Mediterranean islands. The Countess catches up to Romay and shoots her in the back of the shoulder. Bob then tops the hill and shoots Arno in the back.

Bob goes to the dying Sylvia, as the Count appears. He picks her up, crying and marches into he surf with her, walking until they are both soon underwater. Meanwhile the Vernon stares at his dead wife, wondering how best to prepare wife stew.

Ok so I really can’t comment on the dialogue or much of the actual plot of Countess Perverse since I could only understand a couple of words in the entire movie. However plot and story are almost always second to style in Euro films. I have only seen a few of Franco’s films, but this is one of the most beautiful. Even discounting the acres of nude female flesh, the film is beautiful. His camera catches the beauty of the island paradise. It also, combined with the score sets a creepy mood with scenes that otherwise might be just the opposite.

Approaching the house in Countess Perverse

Brooding in Countess Perverse

Still the main draw to this film are the lovely ladies. Romay is a Franco staple, and what a sexy staple she is. The fact that her, Busslier, and Arno spend more time completely nude than dressed doesn’t hurt at all. The film is basically a soft core porno, with lots of female crotch shots and several penile displays. The most commonly available versions actually have hardcore inserts (pun intended) added at the behest of the producers. I can only hope these real sex acts aren’t as boring as most of the suggested sex actually in the film. Only the rape scene has any real interest as far as titillation ( DONT HATE ON ME), and that’s the worst thing about Countess Perverse.

Outside of the bouncing breasts and crotch shots, it’s actually pretty boring. True that’s a harsh assessment for a viewing in a language I didn’t understand, but I can’t see the dialogue being that big of an influence. It is a Franco film, not a Tarantino after all. There is also very little violence or blood for a film that deals with cannibals. The deaths at the end are completely bloodless, and only a few scenes with any blood at all. The ridiculous mounted head trophy inspires more giggles than chills.

Some moments are actually a bit silly. Like why the meat they are eating always looks rawer than the meat cooking on the fire. With lack of an understandable dialogue, I can only assume the rawness was meant to add a somewhat gruesome note to the movie.

Don’t watch Countess Perverse expecting a hardcore, violent cannibal tale like The Hills Have Eyes. Don’t watch it expecting a thrilling action adventure films or hot lesbian action either. If you watch Countess Perverse, watch it to see one of Franco’s most beautifully filmed movies. Watch it to enjoy the voluptuous Lina Romay Watch it to marvel at the 70s Euro bush on full display. Most of all watch it to step into another age and style of film making.

Cannibal House in Countess Perverse

The House on the Hill

Countess Perverse (Original Director’s Cut)


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Cannibal Holocaust

My original review of Cannibal Holocaust originally post on Lord Dixie’s Dark Domain a few years ago

http://lorddixiesblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/cannibal-holocaust.html

A lot of films lay claim to the most disturbing movie of all times, even more are labeled that by fans, the media or groups protesting violent or disturbing films. Many times the label is applied by the films marketing team in hopes of stirring up interest, since any publicity is good publicity. While many films vie for this title and many deserve mention here there is one film that is generally agreed to by all that have seen it and many who haven’t, as the king of all disgusting films.

It’s a film so disturbing that the director has apologized for parts of it and said he would never make a film with that content again. It was a film so controversial that the director was arrested and the film has been banned in many countries from one time to another. The movie was Cannibal Holocaust.

Cannibal Holocaust was released in 1980 and the basic plot centers on a group of journalists who disappears into the wilds of the Amazon to film the natives who are suspected of practicing cannibalism. The group disappears and a New York. Anthropologist, Professor Monroe, goes into the jungle to locate them and find out what happened. With the help of local guides he finds the bodies near the encampment of the feared cannibal tribe. He is at first feared but eventually the tribe welcomes into their camp and invites him and his guide to a feast. He bargains for the film canisters and has to take part in the feast that involves him participating in cannibalism in order to get them. He returns to New York with the recovered film.

The bulk of Cannibal Holocaust  is this film, showing the film crew’s journey into the jungle and their descent into depravity and eventual torture and death at the hands of the natives they sought to film. Monroe brings the film back to New York where the local television station wants to broadcast the footage. Monroe insists on watching the film first after hearing that the film crew had a reputation of brutality toward locals and also a reputation of “setting up” atrocities so they could film it. After seeing the footage he recommends it be burned. At this point we watch along as he screens it for the execs and watch as the brutality unfolds.

We watch as the three men and woman embark in the Amazon and begin the trek into the “Green Inferno” as the locals call it. Almost immediately bad luck befalls them as their guide, Felipe, is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies soon after. The team continues on eventually encountering a group of the Yacumo, one of the tribes they set out to find. Deciding the best way to find the tribes camp is to follow them, they callously shoot one of the tribesmen in the leg to slow him down so they can follow. Arriving at the camp they resort to intimidating the tribe and set fire to one of the main buildings filled with tribesmen in order to film an “attack” on the peaceful tribe by cannibals. The leader of the team is so aroused by his murderous act that he roughly has sex with the female member, Faye, in front of the surviving tribesmen , while the last member, Andres, secretly films it.

Leaving the tribe they come upon a forced abortion by the side of a river and the ritual stoning of the women. They comment that it is most likely a ritual punishment for adultery. At this point we switch back to New York and Professor Munroe. He has seen the last reel of the film, that details the groups death. Once again he argues that the film should be destroyed, but the executives will not agree until they have seen the footage. Munroe again starts the film and we are thrust back into the jungle.

Several days have apparently passed since they left the Yacumo and the film crew states that they are in a different part of the jungle. They are in search of the feared Yamamomo tribe who they blamed the slaughter of the Yacumo upon. Suddenly they come across a young female member of the tribe and for unknown reasons they attack her and take turns raping her while filming the attack. Unknown to them another tribe member is watching from the tall grass as the scene plays out.

Faye tries to protest the rape but she is held back. It’s not clear if she is upset more about the rape or about her boyfriend Yates taking part. The film cuts and we see the team surrounding the young woman who has been impaled on a large stake with the end protruding from her mouth.. Yates is seen smiling at first, then strikes a concerned look for the camera as he explains that the girl was probably killed for a violation of the tribes sexual taboos. While it is not clear who killed the girl, we are strongly led to believe it was the film team. We then cut to the team once again in the jungle. They find themselves surrounded by natives in apparent anger over the attack on the girl. The team fights back as the tribe attacks but one by one they are caught and brutally killed. Yates, the last one killed keeps filming, seemingly taking more interest in the film than his friends lives. In the final shot Yates is speared and drops his camera, then falls dead in front of the lens.

Back in New York the executives are shocked and disgusted. They agree with Munroe that the film should never be shown. The tapes are destroyed. As Monroe walks out of the building and down the street, the last words of Cannibal Holocaust were “ I wonder who the real cannibals are.”

The brutality of the film crew on the natives and the filming of the crews death are disturbing enough. What really sets this film apart and causes it’s notoriety though is the animal slaughter. Throughout the film several animals are brutally killed for the film. It is real, it is not fake and it is brutal. The animals include a snake, a spider, a monkey, a pig, a turtle and a ferret. The turtle killing is especially is hard to watch as the team pulls it from the water, and viciously slaughters it. The scene goes on for several minutes.

Another scene involves a monkey. It is reported that the director actually had a fake monkey, but that the natives insisted on using a live monkey, since monkey brains were considered a delicacy. The scene took two takes so two monkeys were killed.  Director Ruggero Deodato now says he regrets the animal slaughter. They are the reason the film is still banned and considered  controversial.

Ironically the director was arrested for the scenes involving the human actors. Apparently because the animal scenes were so real some authorities believed that he actually had the actors killed for the film. He had the entire cast sign non disclosure agreements and non publicity agreements as a way of gaining publicity for the film. The apparent disappearance of the actors lead fuel to rumors of their death. Deodato was forced to break their agreements and summon them to appear or face charges of murder. Like wise the young girl who was impaled was compelled to appear . The director also had to explain exactly how the scene was done, which involved her sitting on a mounted bicycle seat and holding the point of the spear in her mouth.

What is interesting to me is that none of the human death scenes in Cannibal Holocaust look particularly real. I think the unrelenting reality of the animal deaths simply made the human deaths look more real. What is not known to many people who have watched the film is that there is actual footage of humans being killed in the film.

At one point a “documentary” is shown that has supposedly been shot by the film team before their journey to South America. The film shows actual executions from Africa and South East Asia. Professor Munroe is told that the film crew apparently set up these atrocities. This gives us insight into Yates character before we see his actions in the jungle.

Deodato has said he was making a film purely for shock value. If this is true than he accidentally made a film with deeper meaning . I can in no way condone the animal slayings, and while I have seen it once, if I ever watch it again it will be a censored version. Still the slayings add a rawness that otherwise would not be there. I think the human killings would look silly without them.

It is interesting that the “cannibals” are not guilty of as many atrocities as the “civilized” film crew, at least on-screen. Also since the sickening animal slayings almost all come from the film crew, we have little sympathy at watching their obviously fake deaths.

Deodato effectively points the camera at us and says we are the true savages. We go about our everyday life taking no concern over the brutality all around us. We automatically assume that anyone not as civilized as us has no worth. Who are we to judge our lifestyle as superior to theirs? True we don’t practice cannibalism but we have devalued human life to the point that death no longer affects us. We routinely step on others to get where we want to go and never consider those we harm in the process. In our race to civilization have we lost our humanity? Maybe we all need to get back to the jungle .

Cannibal Holocaust is available in R rated and Unrated versions. It contains graphic male and female nudity, sex, scenes of violence including rape and other sexual violence, profanity and actual animal slayings. Be warned though, t is not for the squeamish.

 

 

 

 

Cannibal Holocaust (Unrated)


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