Archive for April, 2012

Macabre (Do you feel it?)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2012 by splatterpictures

There is something about foreign horror that always seems to make me gravitate towards it in the store. Today was no exception as my eyes caught Macabre sitting there among countless other DVDs. I had never heard of it before but the box said it all. A creepy woman looking out at me with a fork in her hand, skewered on the utensil was a severed finger and the tag line “evil has a mother” We’re off to a good start. Macabre is the first horror film I’ve ever watched from Indonesia and I had no idea what to expect but sometimes it pays to take a risk.

Macabre or as it’s known in Indonesia “Rumah Dara” was released in 2010 by Gorylah Pictures and directed by the Mo brothers. The film stars Shareefa Daanish and Julie Estelle.

The premise is something that is familiar in the most basic sense, a group of young people are packed in a car to see off a married couple Adjie and Astrid who moving to Australia. Along the way they visit Adji’s sister Ladya (Julie Estelle) who they convince to come aswell. While on the road they run in to a strange girl named Maya who tells them she has been robbed and needs a lift home. They agree and she leads them to an isolated villa in the middle of nowhere. When they arrive Maya introduces her to her family. Head of the household is her mother Dara (Shareefa Daanish) a strange and ethereal woman.

The group decide they’ll stay for dinner but find out too late that their food was drugged, they all pass out and when they awake Dara and her family’s true intentions become clear. The group is to be harvested for meat because they believe that cannibalism holds the secret to immortality. Are they just a bunch of crazies or is this more than just a deranged cult?

Movies that have the theme of a cannibalistic family, cult or whatever in the middle of nowhere is something that I have a love hate relationship with.  On the one hand I try to watch as many of them as I can but on the other hand films like this end up being horror that I watch once and then am done with. Macabre on the other hand is something that I can’t wait to sit and watch again.

This film starts off quickly and becomes relentless in its brutality. When characters are fighting for survival they are fighting back hard. Fights are gritty, gruelling and nobody just stays down with one hit. I honestly kept wondering how some of these characters could still be alive after some of the punishment they take. This is amplified by the special effects and tight editing. If you’re a gore-hound, this movie has enough blood to satisfy your urges. By the end of the movie the entire house seems washed in crimson.

One of the films highlights is easily the Chainsaw versus sword fight. Both Ladya and Dara are soaked in blood with body parts and gore everywhere. Or another beautifully cringe educing scene involves the heel of a shoe and that’s all I’ll say.

Even though this film doesn’t hold back at all in terms of what it’s willing to show I didn’t feel at any point that it was too much, even though this film has been reportedly banned in certain countries. Then again I’m not exactly sure what I would consider “too much”. Scene where somebody is for example dismembered with a chainsaw is actually handled rather artistically. Yes I did just say that.

Daanish steals ever scene she’s in. Her character of Dara is hauntingly creepy as a mother who is obsessed with strength and the idea of living forever. She is subtle and restrained until the final moments and then she just lets loose and when she does it’s so damn effective.

I can’t praise this film enough. It’s honestly one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time and hands down my favourite in the sub-genre of “Cannibal family” horror. Do yourself a favour and watch it now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

A special thanks. (Splatterpictures: One Year Later)

Posted in Updates on April 13, 2012 by splatterpictures

A year ago Splatterpictures launched for the first time. It was a small idea; I wanted to write about horror. I wanted to talk about the weird movies I watched at 1 AM as a kid when I was supposed to be in bed. So many great memories of my childhood are speckled with horror and sci-fi. Staying up with my mom every Saturday night to watch Tales from the Crypt or watching a weird monster movie with my dad.

Splatterpictures has really given me something to be proud of and it’s all thanks to you guys. And that’s really what this post is about. I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped me get Splatterpictures off the ground. My family and friends have been extremely supportive of this endeavor and I owe them a lot for that.

My regular readers have gone above and beyond with their donations and it has only made me want to work even harder to ensure you guys get regular and quality content. The internet is a funny beast and it is really as free as you want it to be. I have some fantastic stuff coming up in the next few months.

Looking back on some of my first posts and looking at my latest one it’s funny to think about how much the site has changed over the last 12 months and it really makes me excited for how much farther it can go. Oh, and just incase you’re worried I’ll run out of movies.

No this isn't all of them. Just most of them 😛

Thanks again!

Deliverance from Evil (we’re gettin’ Indie!)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by splatterpictures

As I’ve said many times on this site. We love independent horror on Splatterpictures. That being said it opens us up to some things that can be pretty awful. Thankfully Deliverance from Evil manages to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that just make things with a smaller budget impossible to enjoy.

Deliverance from Evil is brought to us by the good folks at Pumpkin Patch Pictures. It’s directed by Indie horror veterans the Quiroz brothers. The film stars Angel Avoles and Jose Rosete.

The basic idea is that a couple move in to a new home with their young son who is taking a bath. Suddenly a mysterious force causes the boy to drown and it triggers a chain of events that forces the devastated parents to uncover the mysterious and tragic history of their new home and banish an evil force before it destroys them all.

The film never loses focus of its story and that is one of the strongest aspects of it. Both Avoles and Rosete do a fine job portraying a couple who has just lost their son in a seemingly sudden accident. I think they both start off as likable characters that come off sympathetic and sincere in their portrayals. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. The special cameo by Friday the 13th writer Victor Miller was also a nice little treat. He plays the sort of soothsayer mailman.

One of the biggest problems I had with the film was the lighting. Supernatural horror relies on many things to create tension or fear. Actors have to do their part, music is also very important but you can’t ignore the lighting. Many of the scenes (in fact almost all of them) take place during the day or in well lit areas. In supernatural thrillers I often tease about how dark the films always are and how even when characters turn on a light it often makes little to no difference. As cheesy as the perpetually dark rooms can be there is something to be said for the atmosphere they create. Ghost stories like this rely on our imaginations to fill in a lot of the blanks. When you’re in a dark room your mind can play tricks on you and shadows can suddenly take shape into something horrific.

Scenes where I felt there should have been a lot more tension just didn’t work because it was bright as day. The film did have more night shots towards the end and when certain scene were going on at night or in dimly lit rooms they were noticeably more effective.

The special effects were great. I was glad to see some practical stuff which always looks much better than CGI when you’re dealing with smaller budgets. There is a great scene with a pillow indenting as if a head is reading on it that looks great. The effects on the ghost were decent as well but I would have liked to have seen more instances where the characters were encountering the ghost as oppose the just us as the audience seeing him.

All and all the Quiroz brothers offer up well thought out character driven supernatural horror that is defiantly worth a look. The complaints I have are pretty minor and by the second half of the movie they are mostly fixed. The ending especially has a great creepy spin on it that sticks with you. Check it out!

Killer Klowns From Outer Space (Holy Sh**!)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by splatterpictures

The 1980’s has seen its fair share of ridiculous crap. I’ve spoke often about the horror boom of the 80’s and how it’s shaped how we look at horror nowadays. The interesting thing about Killer Klowns from Outer Space is not how 80’s it is but how 50’s.

Watching this movie I couldn’t help but notice how it felt as if I was watching a 50’s B movie in the drive in. Well not that I would even really know what that’s like since the drive-in went the way of the dodo before my time but I have seen a lot of films from that era and they all have the same “feel” to them.

Killer Klowns was written, directed, and produced by Chiodo brothers. Just three guys who loved science fiction and horror and wanted to make something that could be scary and silly at the same time. I think the final product was a lot sillier than anything else, but if you have a phobia of clowns or something this movie is probably your worst nightmare. The film stars Grant Cramer John Nelson and Suzanne Snyder. Snyder of course doing pretty well for horror in the 1980’s being in both Night of the Creeps and Return of the Living Dead II.

Well, I am not sure I’d even need to explain what this movie is about. It’s in the friggin’ title. There are space aliens that come to earth and kill people for food. They don’t just grab them and munch away; first they cocoon them in cotton candy which apparently makes them dissolve into a liquid that the alien clowns then drink. (with a silly straw)  The whole gimmick is of course that these aliens just so happen to look like clowns. Not only do they look like clowns but ever aspect of their technology is also circus themed. They have big top space-ships with pastel interior colour schemes. They have pop-corn guns, acidic pies, and giant wiffle-bats.

I remember wondering how much political debate would it have taken to get an entire society to stick to one theme like that. It probably took years of campaigns. I mean imagine if all of a sudden it became law for us to dress like clowns and then all of our technology would have to be changed to perpetuate the overall theme. I wonder if their home planet has outlaws that don’t dress like clowns…you know what? I’ve officially over analyzed this.

This is one of those movies that I’ve heard as many negative things about it as positive. I like to look at it from the perspective that it’s paying homage to a genre of films that in themselves weren’t exactly great. That being said a lot of its charm comes from the very fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously (honestly how could it?) Sure things are goofy but they’re supposed to be.

The special effects are pretty good all things considered. The clowns themselves look creepy as all hell. The entire time I was watching the movie I was wondering how anybody could be fooled into thinking they are actually people. Not only are they disproportioned they all have fucked up faces that would make me not want to go anywhere near them. A lot of the gags are based around killing unsuspecting people with clown-like shenanigans. My personal favourite was when they rolled up to a security guard in a clown car and then a bunch of them all get out one at a time, while the guard stands there completely confused about what he’s seeing they pelt the poor guy to death with pies. After the guy is a melted pile of ice-cream one of the little clowns puts a cherry on top. I was dying of laughter.

"Anyone who spells "Klown" with a "C" gets the pie!"

As I said before this is a tribute to 50’s movies and the one that it gets compared to a lot is the Blob. The only similarity really is the overall premise of teenagers running around while adults refuse to believe them. This is brought to outrageous proportions by the town’s police officer Curtis Mooney (played by the late John Vernon) he just crosses his arms and refuses to believe anyone even as the phones are ringing off the hook. He hates teenagers and is always just looking for excuses to arrest them. It’s pretty great.

Another similarity to The Blob I noticed was the inclusion of a theme song specifically for the movie.  (The Blob from 1958 had a catchy jingle aswell) Killer Klowns got the novelty song treatment courtesy of the punk group The Dickies (Later to be called Dill Pickles) The song “Killer Klowns” is fantastic and just sets the entire film up as the campy mess it ought to be. The rest of the music was scored by John Massari and every moment is just filled with slightly twisted and silly little circus jingles.

Early word has it that by next year the Chiodo brothers will be adding a long awaited sequel called The Return of The Killer Klowns From Outer Space. As much as I was amused by this film I’m not sure that a sequel should be made even with the best of intentions I like Killer Klowns as it is; a weird oddity that exists on its own.

Sadly, I don't think you can eat your way out of this one.