Tag Archives: movie

Dværgen (The Sinful Dwarf)

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I discovered The Sinful Dwarf (1973) in one of these “top 10 most shocking, weird, disturbing, nasty movies of all-time” YouTube videos. As I had never heard of this movie title, let alone of the film genre “dwarfsploitation” itself, I decided to give it a try.

To be honest, I am not even sure if there has ever been a sub-genre called “dwarfsploitation” or if some clever people just invented the term in order to build a cult around some crappy movies. Just in case there are other ones, please tell me in the comment section below.

The premise of The Sinful Dwarf is crystal clear from the beginning and there is not much to reveal. To sum it up, it’s all about a mentally retarded, physically disabled and vertically challenged “Jack Black” (thank God he isn’t an African-American Jew too) who, together with his alcoholic and ex-showgirl mother, runs a slavery junkie brothel concealed as a cheap pension.

The movie is a perverse, sleazy, dark and grim exploitation flick, composed of the same repetitious, monotonic patterns which always eventuate in graphic ’70s softporn scenes. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but I have to admit that the main character, Olaf the dwarf (Torben Bille) doesn’t work for me and consequently renders the primitive movie structure ineffective. Director Vidal Raski’s aim was to portray a sadistic and depraved, giggling little man who treats women like mere objects and who should prompt loathing and hatred but in the end he only manages to grate on my nerves extremely fast. Nonetheless, there is something about the movie which made me feel a bit mal à l’aise. Not that I was “shocked” by the movie’s outstanding level of perversity, but the grungy setting and filthy ambiance combined with the sex-slaves’ (Anne Sparrow, Jeanette Marsden, Lisbeth Olsen, and Jane Cutter) rape scenes achieve their effect, and the latter ones almost couldn’t have been more humiliating towards women.

All in all, I don’t recommend this movie because of the failure of the main character. I am pretty sure though that a lot of viewers won’t agree with me and will get the full exploitation dose by watching Torben Bille as the sinful dwarf. Personally, I think that if you are interested in what these drug addicted sex-slave exploitation movies are all about,  you should watch the Swedish rape and revenge movie Thriller-En grim film as it is the better evil. Decide for yourself!

Tell

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Last week was pretty intense and quite stressful for me and I didn’t find the time to watch and analyse a whole movie. I even promised a friend to re-watch Von Trier‘s Antichrist, to review it and to note down some of my thoughts  but yeah, I simply couldn’t balance it. Nonetheless, I don’t want to disappoint you by not posting anything, so I decided to recommend you a movie instead of reviewing it.

Tell (2012) is low-budget, 32 minute psychological horror film by writer, director and editor Ryan Connolly who is probably best known for the internet shows Film Riot and Film State. Tell is loosely basesd on Poe’s short story The Tell-Tale Heart and was made available via YouTube.

“Connolly’s do-it-yourself pragmatism is evident with almost every aspect the film: a single, readily available location, a small cast, no showy special effects.  It’s the amateur filmmakers handbook played to perfection, relying on classic methods of suspense to grip the audience–the kind of flick where you cover your eyes with your hands, but still peek through the gaps of your fingers. Connolly specifically chose to shoot the film on an HDV camera with a letus 35mm adapter as opposed to a big sensor DSLR in order to capture the grain of old-school horror movies. It works. The mood of the film is precise; the cinematography and color grading are both technical high points. Contributing to the overall mood is the film’s score, a fantastically eerie soundtrack from UK based composer, Daniel James. Upon completion of the project, it took Connolly 6 months to locate and finalize his post audio team. The wait was worth it.“ Ivan Kander via shortoftheweek

I absolutely agree with Ivan and even though Tell  is not perfect, I refer to the cast which (besides the main character) is quite weak, the foreseeability and the few lengths,  its cinematography and the score are simply amazing! Give it a try!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

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Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new winner in the category “most annoying masked men/women in media ever.” With the release (and hype) of Daft Punk’s disco record Random Access Memories I thought that nobody could threaten their leading position but I was wrong. A few days ago I saw a retro (coincidence?) film which hid in a dusty, dark corner for nearly 2 decades just to ambush and slay me with its power. Sorry disco dudes, this stuff hit me deadly and I have no other choice but to call my decision off.

The new winner is Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie from 1995 and a “we had no idea what we were doing” life-time award goes to director Bryan Spicer and his wonderful writers Arne Olsen/John Kamps. I am aware of the 90s children super-hero movies being mostly a clever move in order to sell even more of the shitty franchise products. Children are great customers and you should try to keep them at it but this film is a farce and I feel personally affronted by this incredible masterpiece of crap.

If you decide to create a super-hero group franchise for children with the goal to con money out of the parents all over the world, you have to follow a few important rules. The most important one is that every single child should have the possibility to identify with one of the heroes. Write and develop at least 4 different characters: the geek, the clown, the introverted and the extroverted. If you want to increase the degree of difficulty and prejudices you can play with colours and gender in order to make the whole show more “realistic”. Secondly, you should place value on the fact that even though everybody is a respected and important individual, the heroes gain even more power by teaming up. When everybody has their part to play, the circle of friends unfolds its great magical power and the impossible can be achieved. To conclude, you have to include some “monsters”, preferably some silly but mean adults, do product placement of the products you have available in your shop and want to sell, pick some awesome costumes and weapons, make everything look cool and advertise like there is no tomorrow.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie tries to follow these “instructions” but as everybody involved in this movie is a terrible miscast and unable to fulfill his job, the result is absolutely disastrous. I would never let my children watch a film like that. Not because of moral or ethical reasons but because it is completely absurd, extraneous and dumb.

Watching a super-hero movie for children with the kids is like going to the local Mc Donalds. It is not the healthiest thing but there is nothing wrong with it as long as you take their education seriously. Watching Power Rangers with children, however, is like getting them an empty happy meal bag from which the toy is missing.

Banana Motherfucker

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The movie title stands on its own and if you are into fun splatter flicks, you can easily skip the review and just buy the dvd for 4-5 euros HERE.

If you are not familiar with the Portuguese independent film crew The Clones (even though this is our third review after Papa Wrestling and BLARGHAAARHGARG!!), I am going to drop a few lines. Banana Motherfucker is commonly described as “(…) the harrowing tale of a group of filmmakers who unleash a new form of evil – Bananas! What starts off as a small scale attack becomes a total world-wide domination by this delicious fruit, resulting in about 80 deaths jam packed in 15 minutes.” (twitchfilm.com). Still not convinced? Well, I think you simply won’t like the movie then.

Banana Motherfucker (2011) again is a low-budget comedy splatter with a lot of do-it-yourself special effects/props and this time the clowns ehrm…Clones threw some really nice classic horror movie homages in. I won’t spoiler too much but every horror fan will recognize some Nightmare On Elm Street, Terminator and Jaws here, some King Kong and Cannibal Holocaust there but in the end Attack of the Killer Tomatoes probably is the most obvious one. Even zombie movies are attacked with the black guy, who dies in every zombie flick, randomly and completely out of context appearing just to die!

It is the whole concept of Banana Motherfucker which makes this 15 minute short flick that attractive. The mentioned above homages, the over-dramatized and hilarious bad acting accompanied by typical ’80s horror music. The Portuguese language with every second word being caralho (dick) and a nice filho da puta (son of a bitch) from time to time. But what I really like about the Clones and their movies is the love for detail when it comes to the death scenes. Although they are all DIY, they look amazing. There are decapitations, seperated extremities, impaled heads, eyes, guts and blood, in short everything a fun splatter needs. And the most important thing: you always have a huge smile on your face and this throughout the whole movie.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA-vcDlTmeA]

P.s. If you are afraid of ever getting attacked by fresh fruit and especially bananas you should join the Monty Python self-defense course.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piWCBOsJr-w]

Microwave Massacre

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In the whole trash horror movie scene it was at one point very popular to label the movies with quotes like: the worst movie ever done, so bad that it is good , the worst horror movie you have ever seen and stuff like that in order to hope that the flick gets a cult following (c.f. Troll 2, Troma stuff). It is the same as nowadays people lable their movies with Tarantino’s favourite movie, Tarantino farted during the intro or Tarantino ate a burrito with his best friend when this movie premiered 1000 miles away. The Tarantino just as the „worst movie“ slogans have something in common, they are simply meaningless and often a lie.

Microwave Massacre (1983) is one of those movies where marketing people try or tried to merchandise and promote it with a worst horror movie of all time slogan. In this case it is inappropriate because most of the time the movie is simply not “that” bad that it is really good or funny again, except for the really genius beginning. The writers tried hard, especially with the dialogues but in the end, I think this is the problem, they tried too hard. Even for 1983 most of the dialogues are simply bromidic and often consist of pseudo trashy one-liners (some of them can be read here)  (I still have to admit that I smirked 2 or 3 times but this is simply not enough). Microwave Massacre is again one of the movies where you simply expect a little more just because of the title.

What else can you expect from the movie? Well, the actors are as talented as a paraplegic doing ballet, there are a lot of hookers and logically nudity and even more fake, plastic body parts accompanied with an incredible cheesy synth soundtrack and really awful props, loosely based on the formula of one wise man: “In order to sell your B-Movie, you have to include blood, boobs and a beast”. In the end, just imagine a bad cannibal B-Movie that lives up to nearly every single superficial cliché you know and concentrates on a man killing/eating his wife, then switches over to hookers and prepares the meat in his microwave.

To conclude, let’s say that Microwave Massacre isn’t a must see but rather an amusing can-be seen which, I personally think, you should watch with a few male (!) firends, lots of beer and pizza. Finally, as so often, do not forget to put your brain on standby and the flick may work. If you are a fan of trash give it a try.

Bikini Blitzkrieg (Fake Trailer)

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During the last days I was wondering what happened to the Bikini Blitzkrieg Project. In 2011, Fred Neuen (in co-production with radar and remedia.lu) released a Fake Trailer called Bikini Blitzkrieg;  a Luxembourgish attempt to jump on the modern grindhouse, exploitation, trash bandwagon. Sadly that’s all it was: an attempt.

Luxembourg was never known for its movies or their histoire du cinéma but what is presented with this trailer is quite an impudence. I thought a lot about how I should approach Bikini Blitzkrieg. Should I write something or just ignore it? In the end I decided to do it the honest way by sharing a few of my thoughts with you.

First of all there is absolutely nothing original nor innovative about this trailer. The whole nazisploitation genre died years ago and even modern attemps (especially combining it with the zombie sub-genre) failed 99% of the time. Guns, boobs and blood are the 3 holy ingredients of nearly every B-Movie so I don’t give Fred and his crew credits for discovering and using those. The rest of the ideas and the plot (??) are not even worth mentioning.

In the description of the youtube video, the uploader writes about the help of talented and dedicated friends, which first of all is a massive slap in every actor’s face, and second a simple lie. The people may all be friends, I won’t argue about that. They may also be dedicated, which nevertheless is quite hard to believe and I even bet that none of the actors has ever seen an exploitation or grindhouse movie (to which, after all, Bikini Blitzkrieg wants to pay homage) but they are for sure NOT talented. Ok, you may claim now that I already wrote a lot about trash movies with fucked-up actors (like Troll2, Terror Firmer, Dead Dudes in the House) and that I liked them. You are right, B-Movies do not need talented actors but they have to work with heart, so please do not take your audience for a fool and stop lying.

Furthermore it took Fred and his crew 2 days to film the whole stuff, now you can ask yourself what the hell took them so long. Post-production took them one year and here the result is even worse. In fact, it is the post-production, with the visual effects and the CG 3D models, which ruins everything. If you compare the Bikini Blitzkrieg effects to a SYFY CGI trash pearl like Mega Python vs. Gatoroid the latter one looks like the new Hobbit. To be honest I wonder why they even put that much of this stuff in the trailer but, as I said before, the people involved in this trailer have probably not seen too many grindhouse flicks and have never dealt with the subject and the genres but just copied. Making B-Movies is a life style not a hyped style. The director and co.  should have focussed more on the story and on self-made props rather than on computer stuff because in the end this is some of the worst work I have ever seen.

To conclude, I hope that this project will never become a full-length movie and there is absolutely no excuse for doing such a trailer, even not that they are from Luxembourg and had no fundings. If you, nevertheless, are interested in the trailer, watch it here and now.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCMiGSsLZ9c]
Keep it independent!

Interview with Steven C Miller

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The first Steven C Miller “movie” I have ever seen was his short film Granny which was a really good start and impressed me a lot (read my review here). After Granny I lost sight of Miller and his work. Although I heard of his TV movie Scream of the Banshee (2011) I have never seen it. At this time I fell deeply in love with trash and B-movies and wasn’t really interested in anything else but then, by accident I read about him doing a remake of the 1984 slasher classic SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and he immediatly got my attention again. First of all because I am a huge fan of his very unique style with high recognition value and second of all because I just started getting into the oldschool slasher movies. After I saw SILENT NIGHT for the very first time I got the chance to do an interview with director Miller. Read on to find out what it is all about.

El Gore: Hello, thank you for agreeing to an interview. For those who don’t know you yet, could you introduce yourself?

Steven C Miller: Hey no problem! Sure. I am Steven C Miller, director of the film Silent Night.

E.G.: You are a horror movie director but also a father of a daughter. What are your thoughts on nowadays, modern, really brutal/gory horror flicks and children watching them? What is your opinion on censoring movies?

SCM: I’ve always thought horror was pretty brutal and have been very careful what my daughter sees and doesn’t see. All kids are different. Some mature faster and can handle the material at an earlier age. I think it is a parent’s job to teach their children that movies are a form of entertainment and should not be looked at as reality. Because it is the parent’s job, I feel censorship is weak and movies should not be edited for society’s sake.

E.G.: How did your most recent movie,  the “remake” of Silent Night, come to be? Was it a thing you’ve always wanted to do or were you approached by a studio?

SCM: I’m a huge fan of the original, so I went after the project for a few years. It bounced around from different producers and finally ended up with Richard Saperstein. Richard happened to be at Dimension when my first film (Automaton Transfusion) was bought there. After Richard left Dimension, he took the rights to Silent Night, Deadly Night with him. He was a fan of mine and gave me a call when he got a script done. I pitched him and Shara Kay my take, then off we went.

E.G.:A question you probably can’t hear anymore but what were your experiences working with the great Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange) and the wonderful Jaime King (Sin City) in Silent Night.

SCM: Both were amazing. Jaime is such a fantastic lady and always comes prepared. She loves to be as involved as she can be with the evolution of her character. It’s really great to see her get so into every emotion she has on screen. Malcolm is just a badass. He really is the nicest guy and the most professional. He gets the genre and knows how to embrace it. I love watching him work. He is an icon.

E.G.: Most of the time you can read that your flick is a remake of the 1984 Silent Night, Deadly Night but lets be honest: there is not much left besides the sadistic Santa, the title and the deer-head kill. What was your reasoning behind omitting most of the content from the original?

SCM: Well, honestly it was already like that when i got the script. But that was a huge draw for me. I didn’t want to make the same film everyone had seen or even attempt to do something that felt dated. I wanted to give the series new life and re-imagine this classic for a new audience.

E.G.: Has everything turned out exactly how you wanted it? What were the biggest challenges?

SCM: No. I think in independent film it’s close to impossible to get it exactly how you want it. We shot this film in 17 days and that was immensely challenging. The biggest would have to be the woodchipper day. I literally had 4 hours to shoot that entire chase and kill sequence. Its a massive set piece and I wanted to make sure I did it justice. Luckily I had an amazingly fast crew and great talent to keep it moving quickly!

E.G.:Before shooting, did you watch the original again?

SCM: Many times. I really do love that flick. I mostly watched Friday the 13th part 2 though. Was a huge inspiration for this film.

E.G.:I read that you wanted to do a sequel? Are there any plans yet and why do a sequel in the first place?

SCM: I would love to do a sequel. There is talk if the movie is received well and the numbers make sense. I think it would be fun to expand on the mythology and really take this Santa to a place we haven’t seen before. There is a ton of possibilities for this series and I feel it’s worth exploring.

E.G.:Silent Night had a very limited theatrical release on November 30th. Are you happy with that limited release and the fact that the movie came out on DVD pretty fast?

SCM: As a filmmaker you’re always happy your film is seeing the light of day, no matter what the size. But I will say I was disappointed because I felt the film deserved a much wider release and I thought the fans would have really turned out to see this one on the big screen.

E.G.: I noticed that you inter alia paid homage to the iconic “Garbage Day” scene from Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. Generally speaking, is it important to you to include such little details that only fans of the originals understand?

SCM: 100%. There are many of those in the film. Including one to the original Black Christmas. I want the fans to know I’m also a fan and I’m not trying to ruin their beloved film. Im just trying to have fun and give a new generation something different.

E.G.: The colors and the light worked really well and made this film to something really special. Was this something you put a lot of focus on or rather a natural process?

SCM: Joseph White (the DP) and I really focused on colors pretty heavily in pre-production. We wanted the film to stand out from other modern slashers and have a very vibrant feel. I love color and it is apparent in this film that I feel horror films can be shot this way and still have a great creepy atmosphere. I just love cinematic movies and that was the goal on this film.

E.G.: What can you tell us about your future projects like Motel Hell?

SCM: Motel Hell is something that has been in development hell for a while. Hopefully MGM will remember it’s there and figure out what they want to do with it. Other than that my film Under the Bed will be hitting theaters summer 2013 and I’m working on a few other things that I’m hoping get green lit very shortly!

E.G.: Anything else you would like to add?

SCM: Just to thank everyone for supporting the film and indie horror. Its because of the fans that films like this will continue to be made. Really appreciate everyone!

As usual we want to thank you for spending your time answering our questions. To all the readers: If you are into oldschool horror but are open towards modern stuff, you should absolutely give Silent Night a try. Check out the trailer below and buy the movie here.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhLw3GmHQqA]