Dutch Avant-garde is the Next Evil on the Butcher’s Slab! “Meat” review!

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-8-50-29-amA young and beautiful butcher shop assistant succumbs to the middle-aged butcher’s sexual advancements and fantasies at the workplace after she catches glimpses his sorrow, but when the butcher ends up naked on the shop’s floor with his throat cut, the assistant becomes the number one murder suspect for an inspector who coincidently looks almost identical to the deceased butcher. As the investigation deepens into the assistant, the inspector’s solemn, solitary life blurs to an assimilation into the butcher’s and his suspect turns from being a prime target to being a crucial part of the his physical and mental altering integration into the dead butcher.
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“Meat” is a powerful transcending film seismically barreling through a Lynchian structure consigned to provoke the consequences of unhappiness and the consequences of poor choices during unhappiness. Directors Victor Nieuwenhuijs and Maartje Seyferth have orchestrated a moderately expressionistic arthouse Dutch drama told in a spiraling sexual context. The meat in “Meat” and the sex in “Meat” clearly share a correlation, peppered as motifs from start to end, and the positive and negative dimensions of the two are so obscured that pinpointing the differences between them are impossible, but both are for sure the last hope for the butcher and his assistant Roxy to embody the essence of sex and meat for opposite reasons. Whereas Inspector Mann simply drags wholeheartedly through his existence, expressing his numbness toward his mundane job and harshly breaking up with his lover without an ounce of compassion. Its until the butcher’s case lands in his lap does the Inspector shows signs of life again.
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If you notice that lead actor Titus Muizelaar’s dual roles have purposefully generic labels. The butcher is credited as just the butcher while the Inspector has a proper name, but the name Mann is just as indistinguishable as if the character was christened Guy. The synonym character was intended for blending, to blur their personas, and to transform one into another. To explore the transformation, “Meat” begins a parallel between the butcher who, in a metaphorical sense, has his cake and eats it too and the inspector painstakingly limps from one spot to another. A contrasting experience between the two firmly establish their individualities. Then, the film shifts gears midst a catalyst with the butcher’s mysterious death, forcing the female assistant, an uninhibited role performed uninhibitedly by Nellie Benner, to be the resilient gateway for the inspector. Third gear shifts into the inspector being more and more intrigued, if not extremely envious shown very subtly, by the butcher’s seemingly unchained facade. Each character emits an expressionless stature with a deep-rooted ugliness burrowed inside and each desire a change in their turmoiled lives, whether it’s sustaining love, seeking love, or able to love in order to battle every aspect of oppressive depression.
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The uncomfortable open and intimate relationship between the butcher, Wilma Bakker’s Tiny, and the shop owner and the psychosexual workplace harassment involving the enthusiastic, video-documenting assistant filets the juicy bits from the bone with numerous innuendoes and explicit carnal exhibitions taking brazen residence within the animal blood stained walls of the butcher’s small meat market. You’ll never look at steak, pork chops, and leg of lamb the same way again! Only when “Meat” transitions into that second gear does the erotica becomes less erotic and more forced and horrifically exploitive. Scenes of undisclosed rape and of blatant genitalia speak upon that aforementioned correlation of raw meat and sex; no choice is given to the cow when the cow is killed and slaughtered for the cow’s delicious beef and the same can be said in sex as it’s taken without much consent and it’s being reaped for the benefit of others.
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Graphically infrasexual and skewed beyond simplicity, “Meat’s” refreshingly loaded with unpleasantries and basted moistly with an outer layer of perversion that drips into an oven of thriller surreality. The Artsploitation team lives up to the moniker by, after being long overdue, crafting a home video release of 2013’s “Meat” aka “Vlees” onto DVD and on digital home video. The digital screener provided for review doesn’t give much insight into the audio and video qualities or speak to the testament of the special features. However, “Meat” is a phenomenal film that’s well-aged and ready to be rubbed, tenderized, devoured in all senses of the meaning.

Buy “Meat” on DVD!

Living Alongside Evil. “A Plague So Pleasant” review!

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In the zombie post-apocalypse, the human discovered that by not firing their weapons allowed the flesh eating hordes to calm their desires, resulting in the protection of the zombie species and institutionalizing laws against the killing zombies for fear of another undead swarm attack. One of the many survivors Clay has lived in a zombie cooperation world for over a year after the initial outbreak along with his sister Mia, whose boyfriend Gerry didn’t survive, but still roams the Earth as the walking dead. With no one truly dying, the whole idea of existence becomes meaningless and where people, like Mia, won’t move on when they’re loved ones still feel very much alive. When Clay discovers his sister’s attachment to undead Gerry, he takes it upon himself to kill Mia’s zombie boyfriend, releasing a zombie swarm post-apocalypse apocalypse on the his town.
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Unprecedented and gushing with rage, “A Plague so Pleasant” redefines the way audiences would view the zombie since 1968, constructing still a vicious species of man-eating undead while domesticating them to a lumbering land fixture much like the way pigeons amongst the birds. First time directors Benjamin Roberds and Jordan Reyes triumph amongst the modern zombie competition, spilling their heart and soul onto the script and onto the screen. With a story to match, a Romero-inspired social commentary zombie film held true to form by instilling normality to a post-apocalyptic world. Zombie and man living together. What was that Bill Murray line in “Ghostbusters?” “Cats and dogs living together… mass hysteria.” Clay and Mia were living a mundane life while the dead remained alive and protected, socially poking fun at how society maintain a normal livelihood with zombies: the U.S. Government made killing zombies a national felony, companies were mandated to go through a yearly undead awareness program as a formality, and there’s a guarded visitation area full of the undead much like a graveyard without graves.
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Stunning cinematography added much needed life to “A Plague so Pleasant” which settles into an already over saturated zombie genre. Starting in black and white, Clay introduces his life in a offscreen monologue, conveying much of the post-apocalyptic and zombie information. The black and white symbolizes how simple and plain life has become with the living with zombies regulations. When Clay breaks the law by offing Gerry for good, thats when the movie turns to color and creating complications in a black and white life. The once unvarying and shuffling zombie nuisance goes into full berserk mode with “28 Days Later” sprinters thirsty to tear into anything with a heart beat. Only when the zombies turn calm is when life goes back to being black and white, considering the option that normality needs to be simplified to live peacefully.
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The special effects by first timer Tyler Carver are a great effort clashing together a classic European Giannetto De Rossi style with Carver’s own settle flair by not being overly gruesome. There’s not an over-the-top, chart-topping special effects moment that defines the “A Plague so Pleasant,’ but there the solid effects subtly throughout satisfies. The zombies overall look are the usual stock type, yet they’re exhilarating to watch with an army of intense actors who are no doubt from the Athens, GA Halloween attraction named Zombie Farm where Tyler Carver has a connection. Not everything about the creation of a frightening zombie was accomplished as much of the audio tracks were out of sync and just too gaudy.
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Actor David Chandler as Clay does a fine job portraying a bored survivor and a clueless big brother while also performing the second zombie swarm nearly without speaking during the entire engagement. Mia, played by Eva Boehnke, resembles the gorgeous Lebanese-American porn star actress Mia Khalfia with her giant nerdy glasses. Boehnke creates a free spirited, yet delusional, persona in Mia whose holding onto the past and coping the only way she knows how and that’s by not separating from her undead boyfriend Gerry. We round out the cast with Todd played by Maxwell Moody. Todd becomes the catalyst of the coming events by placing the idea of him and Mia being a couple and putting a bullet into Gerry’s rotting brain. Chandler, Boehnke, and Moody on paper are amateur actors in an estimated $1,500 budget, independent movie, but they own their performances and shine through budgetary constraints.
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Another awesome release from Wild Eye releasing that would make a worthy and unique edition to a zombie fanatic’s movie collection. Don’t judge to harsh the production value with the slight aliasing, the out of sync zombie audio tracks, and the muffled off screen Clay character monologue. Instead, focus on the cinematography, the actors performances, and the genuine story telling of a socially awkward scenario. Let “A Plague so Pleasant” infect, let it sink it’s teeth deep, and let it help turn your undying attention unto a lively concept.

Evil. On Repeat! “Blood Punch” review!

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Milton was a mild mannered, bright young man with a promising future in chemistry until he was busted for conducting a meth kitchen on campus grounds and ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation center. With a little over four months left on his sentenced term, a fast-talking, drug-selling beauty Skylar walks into his life and offers a get-rich-quick scheme to Milton that involves partnering up with her and her psychotic boyfriend Russell. The challenge is to cook up a large amount of Meth within 24 hour window for an all around bad guy named Archer. Before lovestruck Milton can make choice in the matter, he’s dragged into the precarious undertaking located at an isolated cabin in the woods where the trio’s fate takes a turn toward an endless course plotted for blood, death, and various treachery.
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Finally, a B-movie horror with a novelty story that continuously inflicts old school thrills, gratuitous violence, and black comedy. A sheer guessing game for the character outcomes from the beginning to the rolling of the end credits, which, in this loop-upon-loop story, covers possibly every single last fate that could be bestowed upon them. “Blood Punch” stands as this generations’ even darker version of “Groundhog Day.”
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The cast and crew deliver on both sides of the spectrum. The lead actors are all native New Zealanders, who have previously worked on prior projects together, embodying vibrantly into their roles with precision and passion. Milo Cawthorne as Milton has a persona similar, in physicality and in acting, to Jesse Eisenberg; a slender built and facetious individual whose smarts can and will obtain devious potential in order to come out on top. I prefer Cawthorne over Esienberg because Milo is well less pompous. Milton’s chemistry with Skylar is of a stellar black and white origin. Skylar portrayed by “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” child star Olivia Tennet embarks on the daunting task of being chain-smoking wench whose had to grow up quick from, at least, the age of 12. To round out the dynamic cast and to add a contrast character to Milo is the muscular and handsome Ari Boyland as the loquacious and psychotic Russell; Boyland’s frighteningly impulsive and insane, making him a great adversary to the logical Milton.
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The person who wrote these characters and the person who directed these characters would assumably be well versed in the horror or dark comedy frame work. The overall intrinsic mayhem of “Blood Punch” is synonymous to a genre experienced writer and director. However, “Blood Punch” is oddly unique and not just on bonded paper but also for whom the director and writer are and their attributed credits. Director Madellaine Paxson and writer Eddie Guzalian are experienced, long time writers of children television series and films. Yes, at the helm is a crew that wrote and directed a bloody, foul-mouthed, carnage-soaked film also worked on projects like “Kim Possible,” “Power Rangers R.P.M.,” and “Lilo & Stitch: The Series.” “Blood Punch” is their first horror film together and completely knocked it out of the park; perhaps, due in part to their creative imagination when the majority of theirr work is animation where basically anything goes – just ask Wild E. Coyote. Paxson has such an eye for the littlest details that almost every scene, which were well edited together, stood on their own without any support or exposition. The ongoing debate about time and time warps will be an agonizing one, but Paxon and Guzalian wrap our characters’ timelines in a detailed manner, which nearly through me for a loop – no pun intended.
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Even if being a film released from 2013, “Blood Punch” lands near the top at being one of my favorite movies released this year on DVD courtesy of Midnight Releasing. The 16:9 Widescreen presentation is near amazing with a flawless, colorful picture, comparing well against a Hi-Def release. The stereo 5.0 mix works well with the soundtrack and ambiance tracks, but can overcome the dialogue track only by a little. Extras include deleted scenes, outtakes, and test footage. “Blood Punch” is 107 minutes of pure, unadulterated roller-coaster thrills where there’s no waiting in line to jump right back on.

Candarian Evil is Back! Evil Dead remake review!

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Some moviegoers pride themselves as being a purist especially hardcore horror fans who are looking for an excuse to bash the shit out of anything that isn’t already the horror norm. Remakes are notorious for being made and resulting to being just a money-hungry cash-in and being an absolute piece of garbage bringing shame to the original crew of the original movie. Only once in awhile, a remake will come along to excite and thrill while still being true and respectful to the original movie. Evil Dead is very true and very respectful.

Four friends watch over a drug recovering addict going cold turkey in a woodsy remote cabin. They happen upon the Necronomican – a book bound in human flesh and inked in human blood – and release soul possessing and feasting demons that bring bloody havoc upon group of friends.
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With Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell backing and producing complete the remake project helmed by newcomer Fede Alvarez, you could call this movie a slam dunk and was from start to finish. Right from beginning, the blood begins and, boy, did the blood keep flowing. Raimi’s The Evil Dead intended to be a frightening movie with lots of gore with very little campiness. Alvarez’s Evil Dead just amplified the scary and quadrupled the gore with little to no campiness while keeping Raimi’s story practically whole through the film’s duration and even putting little tidbit easter eggs in film much like Raimi did with placing Freddy Kueger’s blade claw in the tool shed to show respect to Wes Craven and Nightmare on Elm Street.

Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead is it’s own monster when being compared to the original film while still being a “Video Nasty.” I’d call Evil Dead a proud and gruesome spawn based off the original intent of Raimi’s The Evil Dead. If you’re Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness fan, you can completely forget about any humor being portrayed here; all the fun and games will be left out until Evil Dead 4 makes some kind of potential wave.
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Call me impressed by Fede Alveraz who has all short films under his belt. I watched his robo-apocolyptic short Panic Attack and thought he had an eye for detail and the details for Evil Dead are right on the nose – the Cabin, the overzealous fog, the controversial woods scene, – but Fede did add his own. For example, there is no Ash (which might piss some people off more than the rest), the whole reason for being at the cabin, the explanation of the Necronomicon, the ending. Yet all these elements make the movie stand on it’s own two evil feet. It is mindless, it is gory, it is sick and it is fun – just like the original.

Evil Arachnids from Space! Spiders review!

Spiders creep me the hell out. Eight legs, hairy, lots of black eyes, fangs – Spiders are frightening creatures of nature especially if you’re an insect. Spiders can hunt probably better than any human can as they can spin a web to capture their pray, dig holes to create traps for passing by prey, and can inject poison to paralyze their soon to be meal. I’m so fascinated (and frightened) of spiders that I had to review a copy of Tibor Takacs film simply
entitled Spiders.
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A disabled Soviet Union space station once harvested alien DNA that would only combine with the genes of spiders. The station was abandoned and 20 years later, the station orbits earth until a crumbling meteor slams into the station breaking off portion and sending the space junk into the atmosphere and crash landing into New York City’s metro underground. The mutated spiders lay eggs inside their prey and grow six inches every hour. A massive military cover up exposes the greed behind a rogue colonel’s intentions and its up to a metro controller and his estranged ex-wife, a city health inspector, to bring the surface the truth of the colonel malicious reign and to stop the mutant spiders from taking over the city.
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Director Takacs isn’t new the giant spider genre as he directed the 2007 TV movie Ice Spiders which didn’t fair too well with audiences, but who doesn’t love man-eating monstrous spiders? 2013’s Spider’s feels like David Arquette starred Eight Legged Freaks with the terror among the community in an old fashion creature feature, but Spiders does stand on it’s own eight legs by making the spiders alien in origin. Adding the once softcore porn actress Christa Campbell doesn’t hurt either. Campbell is accompanied by Patrick Muldoon who might remember from another arachnid type sci-fi movie Starship Troopers as the fleet pilot Zander. Muldoon also appeared in Ice Spiders – the guy has a thing for spiders.
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Takacs surprises me with the quality of Spiders and his other recent work. The story and the effects are okay and passable, but not as creatively outstanding as 1987’s The Gate – the film that had boosted his career as well as Stephen Doriff’s. These computer generated spiders are awkward when crawling and their razor-teeth filled mouths are even more awkward when stretched out to devour the next victim. However, Takacs knows how to keep an adventure and the action going and continuous, but seems to lack character motivation at times. I struggle to comprehend and begin to question our hero’s (Muldoon) and heroine’s (Campbell) choices in handling the spider chaos and the military’s cover-up. Also, I’m finding difficulty understanding that Muldoon’s character can outwit a giant Queen spider which is three stories tall while an entire military force can’t even handle the baby 4 foot tall male spiders.

With Spiders you will have to stretch your imagination beyond the limits of logical thinking, but with most creature features, you kind of need to and with that said, Spiders fairs well among the latest in the monster spider genre which has been severely neglected over the last five years. Spiders is also available in 3D if you have the capabilities! Thank you Millennium Films and Nu Image productions for a terrifying arachnophobia experience.