Green Inferno (A delayed reaction…)

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the-green-inferno

Green Inferno (2014)

Director: Eli Roth

Writer: Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo

Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns

Damsel Bruja and I decided to watch Eli Roth’s much talked about film, Green Inferno (2014) together. It was on Cinemax. It was a Saturday and we were bored just sitting there on our respective couches, so we decided to text each other throughout the movie. The exchange below is the result.

What can I say about this film that hasn’t already been said ad nauseam? Well, it’s moronic. I mean. People are killed by CGI ants and marinated in marijuana before being eaten. If I had to grade this movie, I’d give it a C+. It wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but it certainly wasn’t the best. I expected more. The political hullabaloo surrounding the release added to the hype. It was fun viewing, if only because there was NOTHING ELSE on TV.

Was it offensive? I can see why others would think so, but I was too busy laughing at poop and dislodged eyeballs to take this half-baked splatter fest seriously.

There is swearing. There is spoilers. We weren’t being politically correct. You have been warned.

 

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Women In Horror 2016!

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Yes indeed! It’s Women in Horror Month. The wonderful time where we get to appreciate women who contribute to the horror genre.

Last night in London, Jonathon Hughes(British gamer and Horror Enthusiast) put on a special night of  showcasing horror films made by women from across the globe. This special even was called “United In Blood”. Hughes has said,

“It has always been an ambition of mine to promote independent films. I have also wanted to make ‘Women in Horror Month’ truly relevant here in the UK, so what better way to do so than to host a night in honour of the ‘Femmes Fatales’ of the independent horror scene.” 

God bless you, Sir! Anyway, Damsel Cannibal and myself were unable to attend this shindig, but we were able to get our hands on a short film directed by Patricia Chica titled “Serpent’s Lullaby”.

This is a beautiful film about loneliness, loss, and love. One thing I do enjoy about horror is that it can make you feel more that just terror or gross you out.

“Serpent’s Lullaby” is about a mysterious and wealthy woman and how she may know the reason for the disappearances of infants in a small town. Through her eyes we see her loneliness and sorrow as she covets over what other women have and what she will never obtain.

I hope you have a chance to catch up on Women In Horror now matter the format. Also keep your eyes out for the following films also featured at “United In Blood”!

Kitty Kitty by Blair Bathory An Independent Short Horror film that utilises all practical effects and a creature suit to share the horrific fate of a girl who lies to get what and who she wants.

Vintage Blood by Abigail Blackmore. At a quirky vintage shop, owner Izzy must cope with a curse that threatens her boyfriend’s life.

The Paper Round by Katie Bonham. A psychological short horror that uncovers the gruesome reality behind a continuous cycle of events.

She by Chelsey Burdon. SHE follows a young couple who share a loveless and dispassionate relationship; no communication, affection or indication of attachment.

Seize The Night by Emma Dark. Renegade vampire assassin Eva has escaped from a secret bio-research compound. Hell bent on revenge she learns a terrible secret that may force her to unite with the devil she knows in order to defeat the greatest of all evils.

INK by Andy Stewart. A man takes the path of least resistance (and cost) in an attempt to turn his body into a work of art.

El Gigante by Gigi Saul Guerrero. A sadistic family captures a Mexican man who was crossing the Mexico/US border illegally.

Gimp by Kate Shenton. Black comedy about a gimp, a dominatrix and an alarm clock.

Call Girl by Jill Sixx Gevargizian. In one man’s attempt to exploit his date night via video-chat, he ends up sharing something far more disturbing. Some people like to watch. Do you?

Dys by Maude Michaud A strange disease is plaguing the city. Hoping to escape contamination, Eva and Sam, an estranged married couple, are forced to barricade themselves in their apartment despite the palpable tension between them. Now forced into isolation in their small living space, they struggle with their own frailty in a world that can only offer the worst horrors imaginable.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

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Sorry for the delay! I’ve been having a little too much fun with Instagram. That’s right, The Damsels have dabbled with that gizmo everyone uses to share pictures of their meals with people who don’t give a damn. Anyways, I realized that sometimes a picture can relay a meaning better than words.

So follow our Instagram: dwchorror

Come see what shenanigans we’re up to!

Chastity Bites (2013)

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Chastity Bites (2013) A delightful parody of vampire genre films with a feminist twist!

Director: John V. Knowles

Writer: Lotti Pharriss Knowles

Starring: Allison Scagliotti, Francia Raisa, Louise Griffiths

So I knew nothing about this movie going in. It was on TV and I had time to kill. I recognized the starring actress, the ever snarky Allison Scagliotti from the SyFy’s “Warehouse 13.” Her character, Leah, is a ball-busting student journalist who suspects the new abstinence program at her high school keeps all the girls virgins so to feed vampires.

“Chastity Bites” is silly old fun. Yes, there’s gore and the expected dead, slutty teenager tropes. What makes this movie stand out is how they balanced out this trope with satire and a refreshing feminist edge. The horror wasn’t scary per se, but nor did it try to be. The one-liners from Leah kept me laughing and I was impressed with the lesbian supporting character. She wasn’t just thrown there to titillate a (mostly male) audience with girl-on-girl action. Actually, if you’re looking for gratuitous girl-on-girl action, or hell, sex for (mostly male) consumption, you won’t find it here. Refreshing! I don’t mind sex in horror movies but it is so often one-sided.

This movie doesn’t punish the teenagers who have sex. Getting laid actually saves Leah’s life!

I recommend this movie for anyone who makes fun of sparkly vampire movies. It was campy but enjoyable all the way through. Might have to give this one a “B”.

Audiences…How Important Are They?

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For the past couple of weeks I’ve been giving audiences a lot of thought. Damsel Cannibal and I had a small talk about what our next projects were going to be and, trust me, there were journals filled with page upon page of ideas. From sex mutants to aztec gods we threw our ideas around until it came down to “Who is our audience?”. Was is it LGBT? YA? Maybe Horror or Romance? Maybe all in one? This ugly question really forced us to realize how important a demographic is and, as much as we want to believe that we can bring good literature to the minds of the general public, it all comes down to if someone wants to read it or not.

Now let’s talk about the picture of Teen Wolf. Why did I post that? Well my niece begged me to watch this show with her since she’s a die hard fan. So I watched the past four seasons and learned something about audiences. This show is geared toward hormonal teenagers, horror fans, and young twenty-somethings who just want to stare at hot guys. As much as I enjoyed the horror bit and the comic relief(aka Stiles), I honestly couldn’t get past the angsty teen love scene. The constant whining and pining of these teenagers bugged me so much that I had to fast forward the romantic parts. Even when they have a mature adult werewolf(Derek Hale, the one character that was holding my attention) he doesn’t get enough screen time. In fact his character got demoted from series regular to guest star.

What does this tell us? Well since I just turned 27 on Saturday, this show really isn’t for me or I’m forced to be part of the “young twenty-somethings who just want to stare at hot guys”. I can’t relate to these teenagers anymore because I’m a grown ass woman. The only thing that is keeping my interest is the hot shirtless men and the Monsters running around Beacon Hills. Now for someone like my niece, who is still in high school, she can’t get enough of it. It’s like she can speak the language while I have to watch with subtitles.

So for all you who want to actually see your shows, movies, comics, and books being enjoyed by the general public, please consider who your audience is. I’m sure that in college there are plenty of classes that tell you this, but sitting in a class and experiencing it are two different things. Trust us, it’s a pain in the ass to put your blood, sweat, and tears into your work and get a rejection because publishers don’t know which category it belongs in. It’s easy to think that you’re the exception to the rule but you’re not. Please don’t fall into that trap!

That’s my humble opinion.

Earthlings (2005) The most graphic movie I’ve ever seen

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>>>>Trigger Warning: Graphic Violence To Animals <<<<<

Consider this your last warning before I jump into my review. Don’t be a hero. If you’re disturbed by graphic, non-fictionalized torture, do not read on or click the trailers. Okay?

Call it a propaganda film if you like, but the real brutality depicted in Earthlings (2005) is gripping, intense, and undeniable.

Earthlings (2005)

Writer and director: Shaun Monson

Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with music by Moby

This is an animal rights documentary. You’re wondering how a vegan propaganda film justifies space on this indie horror blog, but I’ll assure you the horrors revealed here are worse than any pulptastic, splatterfest film out there. Because the violence is all true. The images are real. And while this documentary is not perfect and teeters cartoonishly on the edge on self-righteous fervor, there is an undeniable truth in its message. The goal of this film is to disturb you. Watch the trailer and I assure you it will.

Shaun Monson’s unflinching “found-footage” style combined with Joaquin Phoenix’s pleasant, unnerving narration creates a potent reaction. After debating whether or not to include the trailer, I decided to post it for you. But DO NOT WATCH if you don’t think you can handle the sight of a helpless fox, tortured and skinned alive or the boasts of an “animal trainer” who clubs a screaming circus elephant for fun.

“This is horrible but it doesn’t affect me–I don’t do this to animals” is what you’re thinking. But you do. You’re complicit in ways you probably aren’t even aware of. We all are. And that’s what’s so fucking terrifying about this documentary.

The end message wants you to be vegan. And I say, fuck that. Don’t be vegan unless you really, truly want to. Omnivorism isn’t evil. How humans strip other living creatures of dignity and respect by torturing and brutalizing them is. Veganism is just one solution, not THE SOLUTION to lessen animal suffering. You don’t have to be a vegan to boycott Sea World, zoos, and circuses, or not buy products tested on animals. You don’t have to be vegan to take the extra two minutes to grab the certified humane eggs at the grocery store. You don’t have to be vegan to not wear fur. You don’t have to be vegan to support your local farm and butcher, and reject factory farming. You don’t have to be vegan to choose sustainable fisheries over cheaper, mercury-laden seafood from Asia. You don’t have to be vegan to not support fishing that fuels the Thai fishing slave industry. For fuck’s sake activism isn’t an all or nothing exercise!

Where this documentary falls short (as all/most vegan propaganda films do) is providing practical steps for omnivores after delivering its message. Because of that, I can’t give this movie an A. The highest I can rate it is a B. That said, I still encourage you to watch it. Especially if you aren’t aware of any of the issues I previously discussed.

Full disclosure: I had been a vegetarian for ten years prior to watching Earthlings. But after watching it, I became a vegan. So there you go, Mr. Director, Mr. Shaun Monson. Add another “convert” to your roster. As a new vegan, I won’t tell anyone else to follow my path as I became a vegan because I was already attracted to it and had been warming up to the idea for many, many years. Like I said before, you do not have to be a vegan to be a credible ally for animal welfare.

Earthlings isn’t for everyone, although I do think everyone should watch it.

Submission Call! Interfictions

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Have a New Weird cross-genre rotting on your hard drive? You have until 8/31 to submit it to Interfictions Magazine. Up to 5,000 words, paying .10 cents/word.

Rather than defining “interstitial” for you, we’d like you to show us what genre-bending fiction looks like. Surprise us; make us see that literature holds possibilities we haven’t yet imagined. We’re invested in helping to foster a diverse and inclusive literary culture, so work from writers of traditionally underrepresented backgrounds is welcome. Previously unpublished stories only, please. We prefer stories under 5,000 words, but are open to submissions of up to 10,000 words long. Pay rate is 10 cents/word USD. We accept simultaneous submissions. Please submit only one story during this window.

A little froufrou, yes, so I recommend checking out archived issues before submitting. But 10 cents/word is not bad, fam! Good luck!

Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf Live Tweet

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Which shark-themed SyFy movie is your favorite? There’s Sharknado 1, 2, and 3, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda and Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus…are there any more?

I’m live-tweeting my reaction (@DWCHorror) to Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf at 2pm central time. Feel free to join in and laugh along. I’m rooting for #TeamWhalewolf. #TeamSharktopus is going down.

Full movie streamed HERE.

Snowpiercer (2013) Great if you like trains, meh if you don’t.

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Director: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, and Kang-ho Song

 

Korean movies/dramas are another guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve been watching Kang-ho Song since I was a wee kid. Loved him in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Gwoemul (2006). Didn’t know he was in Snowpiercer (2013) until that first snort of kronol. A happy revelation, to be sure, because Chris Evans’ halfhearted “I’m not a leader!” proclamations (despite being the only white dude with the most lines/action sequences and prophetic-like story arc) was starting to bore me. Can we also give a hand to Octavia Spencer and Ah-Sung Ko? Well-done.

This is a KOREAN movie. Don’t let the big-name American actors fool you. The phenomenal, racially diverse cast are a refreshing change of pace. The fighting sequences are glorious, the wacky plot gnaws on big ideas concerning class and privilege, and Tilda Swinton was bloody fantastic. And there’s trains. And pregnant ladies with machine guns. And Ed Harris. What’s not to like?

Well, there’s quite a bit not to like after 2/3 of the movie. The ending was phoned in. I rolled my eyes several times. The story isn’t great, OK? But who cares? It’s an action movie masquerading as transgressive filmmaking. Just roll with it (pun intended…cuz we’re talking about trains, remember?)

I don’t know whether to give this a B or C. Snowpiercer aimed too high and missed the mark for me, but I was never bored while watching this film and despite the plot-holey ending, I enjoyed the ride. Oh, hell. Let’s just give it a B. If you’re in the mood for a peculiar and funny thriller, Snowpiercer (2013) is for you!

Cannibal Holocaust, Eli Roth, & Riz O

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This iconic scene from the movie, Cannibal Holocaust (1979) was so troubling to Italian authorities, the director, Ruggero Deodato was forced to prove the images were fictitious in court and explain to law enforcement that he hadn’t actually killed anyone.

I’m not reviewing Cannibal Holocaust (1979). That’s been done to death and also I just don’t feel like referencing the faux outrage and calls for censorship of Eli Roth’s upcoming remake, Green Inferno (2015). My review today is about the soundtrack from Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1979) composed by the great Riz Ortolani.

But since I’m on the topic of Eli Roth’s new movie, here’s what I’ll say about it for now. When I see it, I’ll compare it against Deodato’s version and write up a gratuitous review for your enjoyment. Trailer below:

Do I think Eli Roth’s movie should be banned? Do I think a movie about white, social justice warriors getting brutally massacred by brown people is offensive? Ha. What do you think? More often in horror movies, brown and black characters are slaughtered without dignity for white entertainment. Our bodies are still first to be jeopardized onscreen and off…so am I supposed to wave torches and pitchforks over fictionalized, reversed-racial horror? You’ll find out when I watch Green Inferno.

But I digress. Let’s listen to the maestro, shall we?

What made Cannibal Holocaust so great was the off-kilter soundtrack. I use “off-kilter” ironically, because in truth, there is nothing off-kilter about it. It’s fucking beautiful. I adore horror movies with a full orchestral score and my absolute favorite composer for that sort of thing is Bernard Herrmann. However Riz Ortalani’s score is a must for any horror movie buff, too. Not only is the soundtrack beautiful, but when combined with scenes from the movie, the result is a strange, horrifying cognitive dissonance. Modern horror filmmakers alert audiences to the horror with music that is meant to frighten us. But Riz doesn’t do that, here. Instead, he uses sweeping violins, folksy guitar, and funkadelic pops of the synthesizer. By listening to the soundtrack alone, you would never know it accompanied such a gory, controversial movie.

There are 10 tracks in all but my favorites are Adultress’s Punishment (the infamous impaling scene) and Savage Rite. If you write horror, I strongly recommend you try listening to the Cannibal Holocaust soundtrack to get you in the right mood.

Have you watched Cannibal Holocaust? Green Inferno will come out September 25, 2015. Place your bets which one will be better. Whadduya think, fam? Should we all be outraged?