BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE LAWNMOWER MAN

By Nick Durham

It’s been a while since I’d seen The Lawnmower Man, actually it’s been quite a long time. So long in fact that I remember more of the video game (yes there was a video game tie-in to the film) than I do the actual film. In fact, I remember the promotional material for the film more than I do the actual movie itself. I distinctly remember trailers and TV spots that had a tagline that was something similar to “from the mind of Stephen King” or something to that effect. Well, turns out there was a short story from King called The Lawnmower Man, but that’s pretty much where the similarities between prose and film come to an end. In fact, King even sued New Line Cinema over attaching his name to the movie because he knew this had practically absolutely nothing to do with his short story, and actually went back and forth with the studio in court over it before they finally removed his name. Off-screen drama aside, the film has made it’s Blu-ray debut (here in the States anyway) thanks to Scream Factory, so let’s dive on in.

Released in 1992, The Lawnmower Man revolves around scientist Dr. Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) who uses virtual reality to increase the intelligence of chimpanzees. The company Angelo works for (which is actually funded by “The Shop”, which Stephen King lovers will instantly recognize) seeks to use his VR work for military purposes, whereas Angelo wants to help the world. Angelo manages to convince simpleton greens keeper Jobe (Jeff Fahey) to be his human subject in an effort to increase his intelligence, and things appear to be going well…but of course that doesn’t last long. Soon enough, Jobe has gained all kinds of crazy abilities from reading minds to manipulating objects, and things escalate from there, leading to a virtual reality showdown between Jobe and Angelo courtesy of early 90s CG effects which were weird looking then, and are now just flat out hilarious to look at.

While The Lawnmower Man means well in the department of wanting to deliver some genuine thrills, the whole film feels haphazardly slapped together. Not to mention the fact that this is another case of smart people (namely Angelo) doing pretty damn stupid things and being surprised at the end results of which. Despite all that though, 25 years later the film is still somewhat fun, even in spite of itself. Brosnan and Fahey are actually pretty good, and horror stalwarts Geoffrey Lewis and Near Dark hottie Jenny Wright are here in supporting roles as well.

Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of The Lawnmower Man is packed to the brim with extras, including two versions of the film: the theatrical cut, and the 140 plus minute director’s cut; both of which have been remastered in 4K. There’s a commentary track on both cuts featuring director Brett Leonard, as well as new interviews featuring Leonard, Jeff Fahey, and more of the film’s crew. There’s a bunch of deleted scenes, trailers, TV spots, conceptual sketches and artwork, and more besides as well. Scream Factory really poured a lot into this release, which is a very good thing for fans of this flick. For those of you that have never enjoyed this film though, there’s nothing here that’s going to win you over.

All in all, Scream Factory’s release of The Lawnmower Man is a must own for fans of the film to say it lightly. As for the quality of the film itself, that’s pretty debatable. I know it’s a piece of shit and I enjoy it regardless, and chances are I’m not the only one that feels that way. If you’ve never seen it before, check it out for some 90s cheese and marvel at Pierce Brosnan’s earing if nothing else.

Rating: 3/5

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW: EVIL ED

By Nick Durham

1995’s Evil Ed is one of my favorite foreign horror films of the 90’s just based on the fact that it’s so damn ridiculous that if you’ve never seen it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Making its way to our shores a few years after its initial release, Evil Ed is a Swedish horror/comedy hybrid that satires the harsh censoring that films were subjected to in Sweden from 1911 to 1996. Knowing this information helps going into Evil Ed, as it becomes much easier to appreciate what the filmmakers were going for here in terms of the sheer over the top carnage and screwball hilarity that follows.

The story of Evil Ed (not to be confused with Evil Ed from Fright Night) follows relatively conservative film editor Ed, who gets charged with cutting and editing the Loose Limbs slasher film series. After going through numerous scenes and cuts that feature copious amounts of blood, gore, dismemberment, nudity, and the voice of the great Bill Moseley (who is a hoot whenever his voice is overheard), Ed begins to slowly lose his mind. Eventually Ed goes on an ultra gory rampage, culminating in a showdown with film geek Nick along with the cops too. In between all that is plenty of zaniness, slapstickery, and plain old bloody fuckery to boot.

While Evil Ed on its surface may not appear to be anything too special, deep down this film is a gem. It’s well shot, well-directed, and the scenes of carnage and nastiness are well done as well, with some pretty good effects and makeup too. The English dubbing is hilarious to listen to, and only makes the film more enjoyable in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that the few times Bill Moseley’s voice shows up in scenes wherein Ed is working are worth the price of admission here alone. Even though the film kind of begins to fall apart in the beginning of its third act, Evil Ed is still a totally enjoyable horror hoot regardless.

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release of Evil Ed, dubbed the “Special ED-ition”, is a wonderful limited edition set. The first two discs of the set are the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the new 99-minute cut of the film, and features an introduction by writer/director Anders Jacobsson and editor Doc. There’s a long featurette that details the making of the film and the trials and tribulations associated with making a splatter film in a film industry that was ruled by censors, which is very interesting to watch. There’s also retrospectives on the careers of the filmmakers pre and post-Evil Ed; as well as deleted scenes, trailers, and a video on how this new cut of the film was assembled. The third disc of this set is a Blu-ray featuring the oringal 93-minute cut of the film, as well as a three-plus hour long documentary on the making of the film which is ridiculously in-depth and informative. This set is rounded out by the typical collectible booklet featuring new writings on the legacy of the film which have become standard issue for Arrow’s bigger-ticket Blu-ray sets as well. 

It goes without saying that Arrow’s Blu-ray release of Evil Ed is most definitely worth picking up. The film itself isn’t for everyone to be sure, but Arrow’s Blu-ray set is flat out wonderful. If you’re a fan of the film, it goes without saying that you should definitely pick this up, and if you’ve never seen Evil Ed before, there’s no better time to do so than now.

Rating: 4/5

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW: BRAIN DAMAGE

By Nick Durham

Frank Henenlotter has been one of my favorite directors seemingly forever now, and as much as I love his schlock classics Basket Case and FrankenhookerBrain Damage has always had a very special place in my heart. A gory allegory of drug addiction that was notoriously edited upon its original 1988 release, the film managed to gain a small following throughout the years, eventually leading to a fully uncut release and finding a new generation of fans. Arrow Video has given the film the long awaited Blu-ray treatment, and it’s certainly a sight to behold to say the least.

The story of Brain Damage revolves around Brian (Rick Herbst) who becomes the newest host for a brain eating parasite named Elmer (or Aylmer, voiced by the recently departed TV horror host John Zacherle). Elmer injects Brian with an LSD-esque fluid that brings him massive amounts of euphoria, while in return Brian supplies Elmer with a steady stream of victims. This causes Brian to become withdrawn from his girlfriend and brother in the process, and eventually leads to some horrific and disastrous results for everyone involved. 

While Brain Damage‘s allegorical themes are easy to point out, the film offers its fair share of over the top comedic moments as well. Combined with some wonderful practical effects work and some really, really gnarly gore scenes, Brain Damage is an absolute blast. Two of the film’s most infamous scenes: the blowjob surprise and the brain-pulling scene, remain hilariously horrific and startlingly iconic to this day. The acting itself, outside of Rick Herbst as Rick and the wonderful John Zacherle as Elmer, is fairly pedestrian to be honest, but you’re not watching a Frank Henenlotter movie for the acting, so this isn’t too big a deal. That being said, there’s a surprising moment of poignancy in the film, namely when Brian realizes what he’s gotten himself into and attempts to “quit” Elmer cold turkey in a run down motel room as Elmer looks on, awaiting Brian to come crawling back when he can’t take the withdrawal any longer. As someone who has had their own addiction issues, I can say that this scene strikes a chord with me, and I honestly think this may be the most well-acted scene that Frank Henenlotter has ever crafted in his whole career. Were it not for Elmer sitting on a sink taunting Brian, you wouldn’t know this scene took place in a horror splatter film.

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release of Brain Damage improves on Synapse Films’ out of print DVD release from 2007, featuring a pretty good transfer. There’s a brand new commentary track from Henenlotter, as well as a new documentary on the film featuring a slew of interviews with Rick Herbst and various members of the film’s production. There’s a featurette starring FX artist and Elmer creator Gabe Bartalos, as well as other features detailing the film’s gory visual effects. There’s even more included here, including revisiting the film’s shooting locations, an interview with superfan Adam Skinner, a recorded Q&A session from 2016, and an animated short that includes John Zacharle’s final performance. There’s an assortment of even more features packed into this set as well; all of which makes this an absolute must own.

All in all, Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release of Brain Damage is a must have. Like many of their best releases, this is of course a limited edition set, so you’d better get your hands on it while you still can. Whether you’re a long time fan of the film or have only heard about it through word of mouth and want to see what the fuss is about, now is your best time to set your sights on this flick.

Rating: 5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: EXTERMINATOR 2

By Nick Durham

1980’s The Exterminator is a wonderful, low-budget exercise in exploitation/revenge cinema, and deserves to be discovered (or re-discovered) by one and all based on these merits. Its 1984 sequel though…ugh. Produced by the lovable shlock studio Cannon, Exterminator 2 somehow manages to be both awful and incredibly fascinating; mainly because of the production drama that surrounded it. Feeling cheaper in terms of quality and overall design, Exterminator 2 somehow still manages to be enjoyable in spite of itself, even though the whole thing is a total mess. Scream Factory has given the film a Blu-ray release, which goes along nicely to Synape’s Blu-ray release of the original film a few years back.

Exterminator 2 picks up some time after the events of the first film, with our war vet turned vigilante John Eastland (Robert Ginty) still at large dispatching the criminal scum of New York City. This in itself is odd considering his identity was leaked in the first film and he was even targeted by the CIA, but I digress. This time around Eastland has a dancer girlfriend named Caroline (Deborah Geffner) and another old war buddy named Be Gee (Frankie Faison) that drives a garbage truck. Eastland ends up being targeted by a gang led by X (Mario Van Peebles) after Eastland torches his brother, and the following results are pretty damn predictable. By the time it’s all said and done, Eastland is taking down the gang, culminating in a final showdown with X.

Though the film’s central plot is extremely formulaic and definitely predictable, Exterminator 2 ends up being kind of fun. That being said, it can’t hold a candle to the original film in terms of overall quality, so this sequel instead tries to up the ante on the graphic violence. Doing this is what began a whole series of drama behind the scenes during the production of the film, as Exterminator 2 was heavily edited for its violent content. To make matters worse, the film was plagued with re-shoots, re-edits, and even firing the director at one point as well. Star Robert Ginty wasn’t happy with the film, and scenes of Eastland taking down baddies with his flamethrower are performed by Ginty’s stunt double wearing a fire proof mask. The fact this film was cut to shit is very apparent upon viewing it, as it’s a largely uneven mess from beginning to end. Even though the film is fairly entertaining for an 80s exploitation/revenge flick, it flows like utter hell.

Scream Factory managed to give Exterminator 2 a pretty good video transfer and a few special features, chief among them is a commentary track from director Mark Buntzman and actor Mario Van Peebles. It is insightful enough and they even discuss the film’s troubled production. There’s also a handful of TV and radio spots as well, but sadly there’s no deleted/alternate scenes anywhere to be found. This isn’t surprising considering there’s never been a fully uncut version of the film that’s been officially released, but fans of the franchise would have absolutely loved to have something here. Maybe one day down the road we’ll get some kind of ultimate cut of the film, but I’d say there’s probably little to no chance of that ever happening sadly.

All in all, Exterminator 2 is definitely an inferior sequel to a grindhouse favorite, but it does manage to be a fun ride regardless. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release is worth picking up if you can find it for a good price. If you’ve never seen this sequel but enjoyed the original, don’t go in expecting much here. However if you’ve never seen either film, pick up the first one before you go diving into this.

Rating: 2.5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: TALES FROM THE HOOD

By Nick Durham

Tales from the Hood is an odd little movie given the era it was released and the talent involved in it. Released in 1995 and having Spike Lee as an executive producer, Tales from the Hood is what the title implies: a horror anthology film with an urban flavor. It’s managed to develop a cult following in the two decades since its release, even though it went largely unappreciated upon its original release. This wasn’t helped by the fact that after the film was released on DVD in 1998, it went out of print and it seemed the film would never see the light of day again on the home video market. Thankfully, Scream Factory has given the film a well-deserved Blu-ray treatment, and it’s more than worth your time.

The wraparound story of Tales from the Hood revolves around three gangbangers that go to the funeral home of the super eccentric Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III) to pick up some drugs that he’s acquired. During their stay, Mr. Simms relates four horrific stories to the trio. The first story is a tale of revenge from beyond the grave, as a slain African-American city councilman (Tom Wright, aka the homeless hitcher from the final segment of Creepshow 2) uses an alcoholic ex-cop (Anthony Griffith) to lure the three racist cops (Wings Hauser, Michael Masse, and Duane Whitaker) that murdered him to their demises. The second segment (and probably the best one) involves a young boy named Walter who learns how to vanquish the all too human “monster” that’s been making his life a living hell. The third story finds a racist senator (Corbin Bernsen) getting his comeuppance via the souls of murdered slaves in the form of little dolls, which is probably the most entertaining of the four segments. The fourth and final story a violent gangbanger receiving an experimental treatment to alter his behavior, which ends up tying in to the wraparound story and its absolute hoot of an ending.

I’ve always enjoyed Tales from the Hood, even if it is uneven more often than not. Directed by Rusty Cundieff (who also appears in the film), the film delivers in terms of gore, shocks, and pure entertainment; making it pretty damn enjoyable overall. Some of the stories feel as if they should have been longer (the second segment in particular), but considering they’re all crammed into a 98-minute film, we should be glad that they’re as solid as they are and don’t feel rushed or patched together given the film’s running time. 

Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of Tales from the Hood features a pretty good transfer of the film. There’s a new documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with Cundieff, producer Darin Scott, and actors Wings Hauser and Corbin Bernsen among others. Alongside this is a vintage featurette from 1995, as well as a commentary track from Cundieff and Scott. There’s also the typical handful of trailers and TV spots as well, rounding out the package. 

All in all, if you’ve never experienced Tales from the Hood before, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Even if urban-flavored entertainment isn’t your thing, but you dig horror anthologies, you should at least give this a look. For those of us that have fond memories of this film playing late at night on HBO in the 90s, this Blu-ray is definitely worth your money. 

Rating: 4/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: PUMPKINHEAD 2

By Nick Durham

Do you enjoy needless sequels to beloved horror films that have no right to exist and only serve to squander any promise or good will that was made with the first one? If so, you’re gonna be head over fucking heels with Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings. Released in 1994 (and filmed in 1993) and directed by Jeff Burr (who knows a bit about needless sequels since he also directed Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and The Stepfather 2), Pumpkinhead 2 features more demonic small town shenanigans that seem to have little to do with anything that took place in Stan Winston’s original film, other than the titular vengeance-driven creature, who looks nowhere near as creepy or scary here, despite featuring effects work from KNB. But really how bad can this movie be? Well, Scream Factory has decided to give it the Blu-ray treatment, so let’s find out.

Pumpkinhead 2 focuses on small town sheriff Braddock (Hellraiser‘s Andrew Robinson) who returns to his home town along with his wife and teenage daughter Jenny (Ami Dolenz, suffering from 90s hair). Soon enough, Jenny begins hanging out with a crew of 90s cool kids/bad kids/toolbags (including Return of the Living Dead 3‘s J. Trevor Edmund and Punky Brewster star Soleil Moon Frye) who end up running afoul of a local old witch (not Haggis). Soon enough, Pumpkinhead is reborn thanks to the soul of a tortured deformed teenager, and he begins taking out those responsible for killing him back in the 50s before focusing on the crew of 90s toolbag teenagers. Got all that?

To put it bluntly, Pumpkinhead 2 is a slog to get through. It shifts between being boring and unintentionally funny, with plenty of cliches and predictable story twists along the way as well. It lacks the emotional depth that the original film had, and we don’t care one ounce about any character’s fate. Hell, in all honesty, I was flat out hoping that everyone would seriously fucking die. Not to mention the fact that the look and feel of the film comes off as being cheap. Now I know the original Pumpkinhead didn’t exactly have a large budget, but it overcame those limitations thanks to the fact that the film had heart and soul to it, where as Pumpkinhead 2 has the heart and soul of being a cheap knock off, which is exactly what it is. Between unlikable characters, shitty plotting, atrocious dialogue, and a score that sounds like someone gave a four year old child a bag full of sugar and let him go apeshit on a Casio keyboard, this movie is one pure fucking turd. Genre stalwarts Kane Hodder and Linnea Quigley (I recognized her by her rib cage I swear) are here in blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos, but even they don’t help this amount to being anything other than a turd of a sequel that no one asked for.

Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of Pumpkinhead 2 features a half decent transfer of the film, as well as a handful of special features. These features include an interview with director Jeff Burr, and a retrospective about recreating the monster featuring Greg Nicotero. It seems everyone involved thought the film would turn out to be more fun than it actually was, but at the end of the day, did anyone really expect an unwanted sequel to Pumpkinhead to be anything more than a steaming turd of celluloid?

Even though Scream Factory gave the film a half decent Blu-ray release, I implore you to skip Pumpkinhead 2. It’s a needless sequel that no one was clamoring for, and it isn’t helped by the fact that the film is a cheap mess from beginning to end. You know what’s worse though? There’s even more needless Pumpkinhead sequels out there, and even those pieces of shit are better than this fucking train wreck.

Rating: 1/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: MANHATTAN BABY

By Nick Durham

When you think of horror director Lucio Fulci, what films automatically pop in your head? Zombi 2? The Beyond? House by the Cemetery? City of the Living Dead? New York Ripper? Cat in the Brain? (for your sake, let’s hope not). Anyway, one of Fulci’s films that often gets overlooked is Manhattan Baby. Is it an underrated and overlooked gem? Or is it just a hidden turd that should stay relatively buried? The fine folks at Blue Underground have given the film the Blu-ray treatment, so let’s find out if it’s worth the trip or not.

Released the same year as New York Ripper, Manhattan Baby is a strange film to say it lightly. The plot revolves around an archaeologist named George and his family vacationing in Egypt. He’s approached by a weird blind woman and is given an amulet, and before you can say holy plot device Batman, George is struck blind after checking out a tomb. He and his family soon return to New York, and it isn’t long before weird and non-sensical shit starts happening to George’s family. There’s interdimensional portals, scorpions, snakes, and the customary Fulci cameo abound; all of which amount to a head scratching, and just plain unsatisfying, conclusion for everyone involved.

Compared to Fulci’s more well-known films, Manhattan Baby just isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable as the flicks I mentioned in the opening paragraph. It’s not a bad film really per se’, it’s just something I’ve never really enjoyed too much, and upon watching it again after quite a few years, my opinion on it hasn’t changed. The gore effects are pretty good and there is a bit of inventiveness to the film’s otherwise nonsensical story (then again, it’s a Fulci movie, we’re not here for much that amounts to an actual story are we?), but the rest of it just feels kind of empty. Not to mention the fact that honestly the film is honestly  just kind of boring and actually a bit predictable, and that’s really its biggest sin.

Oh, and there’s something personal I need to get out of the way right now in regards to this film. That kid that played the annoying little bastard Bob in House by the Cemetery plays George’s son. He’s not as annoying here, mostly because there’s a different dub actor voicing him, but no matter what, Bob still rubs me the wrong way. Yes I know his real name isn’t Bob and is Giovanni Frezza. No, I don’t care. Fuck Bob, fuck Bob in the ear.

Blue Underground’s Blu-ray release of Manhattan Baby features a bevy of bonus material. There’s a long and interesting interview with Fulci’s longtime composer Fabio Frizzi, as well as a live studio performance of Frizzi performing the film’s self-titled suite. There’s a handful of more interviews as well that feature actor Cosimo Cinieri, makeup effects artist Maurizio Trani, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, and author and Fulci expert Stephen Thrower. There’s a booklet featuring new writing by Troy Howarth, and a bonus CD soundtrack. As much as I dislike the film, I do enjoy Fabio Frizzi’s soundtrack, so the CD itself is worth picking this up for alone. This is a pretty well assembled Blu-ray release, regardless of the quality of the film itself. 

So yeah, saying that Manhattan Baby is one of the weaker films in Lucio Fulci’s long filmography is saying it lightly. Blue Underground’s Blu-ray release however is pretty damn good, and definitely worth picking up for Fulci fans. They obviously poured a heaping amount of effort into this release, and that in itself makes it a worthwhile purchase, regardless of the film lacking in the enjoyment department.

Rating: 3/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: DEADTIME STORIES

By Nick Durham

Not to be confused with the no-budget anthology films that bear George Romero’s name that came out a handful of years back, Deadtime Stories is an oft-forgotten horror/comedy anthology film from 1986. It’s something that offers up way more laughs than scares and doesn’t take itself too seriously in the least, which is actually half-refreshing, and half-frustrating given the potential of the film. Scream Factory has decided to release the film on Blu-ray for the first time, and now a new generation can discover the film for the first time.

The wraparound story of Deadtime Stories involves an annoyed uncle telling his young nephew some bedtime stories. He gives a handful of fairy tale bedtime stories the horror treatment, all of which are told with the utmost glee. Our opening story deals with a coven of killer witches, and is probably the least enjoyable of the trio of tales, even though it features the best makeup and gore effects. The second story is a take on Little Red Riding Hood, finding our voluptuous heroine running afoul of an asshole werewolf. The third story is a take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears (and features future Oscar winner Melissa Leo) in which a psychotic (and psychic, and sexy) Goldilocks teams up with the Baer (no, that’s how it’s spelled) family to cause chaos and carnage. 

While Deadtime Stories may be classified as a horror anthology, it’s definitely more of a comedy anthology. Tongue is planted firmly in cheek here, and the film’s tone is definitely nothing serious or scary in the least. In fact, the film’s soundtrack features a number of original songs featuring self-aware lyrics that will make you laugh your ass off. It’s obvious that writer/director Jef Delman wanted to do something fun here, and he succeeded. Granted the film as a whole is quite uneven and occasionally drags in spots, but that aside, it’s still a welcome diversion. 

Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of Deadtime Stories features some interesting supplements. There’s a new commentary track from Delman as well as a brand new interview featuring him as well. There’s also new interviews with Melissa Leo, as well as actors Scott Valentine and Cathryn de Prume as well. There’s an interesting alternate cut of the opening story segment, as well as a handful of deleted scenes and the usual trailers and still gallery. The film itself has received a new HD transfer, and this is undoubtedly the best the film has ever looked. It’s good to see Scream Factory putting in a pretty good effort for a film that not many may remember all that well.

All in all, Deadtime Stories is far from the best horror anthology film you’ll ever see, but for what it is, it’s pretty damn entertaining. You’ll definitely laugh more than get any kind of thrills from scares or gore here, but that’s all well and good, and doesn’t deter from the overall enjoyment of the film all that much. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release is pretty good as well, so if you can find this at a good price, I’d say pick it up.

Rating: 3.5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: TRAILER TRAUMA 3: 80s HORRORTHON

By Nick Durham

I’m a sucker for horror trailer compilation DVDs and Blu-ray’s, with my current favorite series being the Trailer Trauma brand from Garagehouse Pictures. This third installment, Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horrorthon, is just what its title implies it to be: a massive collection of horror trailers from films of the whole decade. The films covered range from being super widely known to films you may not have heard of to films you may have totally completely forgotten about. 

Trailer Trauma 3 covers the decade of decadence known as the 80s, and the amount of film trailers collected here is absolutely staggering. There’s over 250 trailers compiled here, ranging from the Friday the 13thHalloweenNightmare on Elm Street, and Evil Dead franchises, to other favorites like Fright NightVideodromeThe ThingHouse by the CemeteryMotel HellAn American Werewolf in LondonThe ShiningJaws 3DMs. 45Day of the DeadRe-AnimatorReturn of the Living DeadAliensDemons, and many, many more. All together the trailers amount for a close to 7 and a half hours running time, which is utterly insane to say it lightly, but in a very, very good way that is.

In terms of special features, Garagehouse Pictures has included a full audio commentary featuring practically the whole crew, and even more trailers for other releases from them. Each of the trailers have been digitally remastered in 4K and the sound has been remastered as well, with quite a few of the trailers being presented here in all their redband glory with gore and boobies aplenty.  This collection, just like the previous two Trailer Trauma releases, has been a true labor of love to say it lightly.

Now from a personal standpoint, as amazingly assembled and staggering a collection that Trailer Trauma 3 is, I still prefer the previous releases more. This is mostly due to the fact that the film trailers on those releases I found more interesting and entertaining because they featured quite a few films I hadn’t seen at that point and were my first glimpses at them. I can safely, honestly say that nearly every trailer included here is for a film I’ve seen already, so that little bit of magic is lost on me. This isn’t a bad thing at all and doesn’t detract from the fact that this is an amazing set mind you, it just means I probably watch way too much of this shit and I’m ever so closer to staring into the mouth of oblivion and weeping profusely at the endless void that is my life…but at least it will be filled with gore and boobies, so there’s that at least.

All in all, Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horrorthon is a spectacular compilation of horror trailers that deserves your time and attention. If you’re not into trailer compilation discs, this really won’t do much to swing you, but for the rest of us that love, eat, drink, and breath this shit, this is a must own. Grab it while you can, Garagehouse has released this Blu-ray as a limited edition set, so go pick it up now before it’s all gone and you’re stuck with the jerk offs on eBay selling it for hundreds of bucks.

Rating: 5/5

BLU-RAY/FILM REVIEW: WE ARE THE FLESH

By Nick Durham

You won’t see many films like the Mexico-based We Are the Flesh, and to be totally honest, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I went into this film not knowing much about the film’s plot or content, only hearing that it takes a supposedly new level into transgressive film-making. After viewing the film and taking the time to come up with a well thought out response to what I’ve witnessed, I’ve come to one solid conclusion:

This is some wild fucking shit.

Written and directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter, We Are the Flesh takes place in the aftermath of an unknown apocalypse. Siblings Lucio (Diego Gamaliel) and Fauna (Maria Evoli) have traversed the wasteland in search of food and shelter, and eventually come across the very strange Mariano (Noe Hernandez). Mariano lives in a run down building and appears to be doing some kind of work on an underground cavern, and he offers sanctuary to Lucio and Fauna…but at a very steep price. Boundaries are broken, taboos are smashed in the face, and some just plain old weird shit follows. I really don’t want to give much more than that away about the film, because regardless of my personal opinion on the film, I feel that you really should see this shit to believe it.

If I could compare anything to We Are the Flesh, it’d probably be compared to the works of Gaspar Noe. Noe’s films (Enter the VoidI Stand Alone, Irreversible, Love) often explore taboos, are visually stunning, sometimes feature unsimulated sex, make little sense, and occasionally disappear up Noe’s own asshole. We Are the Flesh does all of that in the span of its relatively brisk 79-minute run time. If anything, we should be thankful that Minter’s film does all this in less than an hour and a half, where as Noe’s films often take more than twice that long to do just that. It’s a psychedelic head trip that isn’t as psychedelic as one would hope, and whatever visceral thrills and images it offers up come off more as cheap shocks than anything as profound as the director believes he’s presenting. It’s pretentious, isn’t nearly as provocative or intelligent as it thinks it is, and any of the “artistic merit” that is attempted to be drummed up by the time we reach the film’s stinger of an ending comes off as being something crafted by a bargain basement David Lynch.

Arrow Video has brought We Are the Flesh to Blu-ray here in the States, and it features a small handful of extras. There’s interviews with the director and the three principal actors, as well as a video essay, trailer, still gallery, and two short films as well. Everyone involved here (based on their interviews) seems to believe that this film is the next big thing in arthouse cinematic buggery, which in itself is kind of interesting I guess. 

I really wanted to like We Are the Flesh, mostly because I actually do enjoy films like these that push and break barriers and go for shock value but defend doing so by labeling themselves as being an arthouse film, but I just couldn’t. The film has its share of critical acclaim, so maybe it’s just lost on me. I think you should give it a look regardless, mostly because you won’t see many films like these from anyone that isn’t Gaspar Noe and doesn’t run almost three fucking hours. That being said though, don’t expect anything profound in the least since this film is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is.

Rating: 2/5