The Evil Doctor is in! “Doctor Butcher M.D. (Medical Deviant)” review!

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New York City hospitals are being terrorized by a crazed maniac or maniacs stealing the body parts of the deceased and local authorities are discovering the half eaten remains of torn apart bodies in the streets. When a medical orderly is caught in the act of cannibalism by nearly devouring a corpse’s heart and then commits suicide by diving out high rise window, the Doctor’s assistant and leading anthropologist Lori Ridgeway recognizes the tattooed symbol of Kito on the orderly chest, a symbol from a long forgotten tribe in the Moluccas Islands. Worshipping a cannibal God, the primitive tribe still practices the form of anthropophagy. Lori’s colleague, Dr. Peter Chandler, has been placed on a research team to root out New York City’s recent cannibal problem and when the Kito symbol clues him and his team of a possible lead, an expedition team forms to travel to the Moluccas Islands in search of the existence of inhabitants. Dr. Chandler rendezvous with a long time acquaintance, Dr. Obrero, whom has lived on the islands for years. When Dr. Obrero arranges a boat and his right hand man to accompany the expedition, Dr. Peter Chandler and team step foot into a hellish nightmare, bloodied with unspeakable and aggressive cannibal acts. Just when nothing could be worse than flesh hungry cannibals, hideously disfigured zombies frighten even the primitive locals. The island holds a dark secret and Dr. Chandler aims to unveil it no matter the cost!
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Finally! The definitive 2-disc edition of Aquarius Releasing’s “Doctor Butcher, M.D.” aka the Italian cut “Zombie Holocaust,” from the Flora and Fulva Film production companies, has been released and, oh, how glorious the Severin Films release is with a super sleek Blu-ray reversible cover art – “Doctor Butcher, M.D.” title as the main cover and “Zombie Holocaust” title on the reverse side – and the high definition gore that hasn’t been gooier and oozier than ever and all in thanks to the upscaled 1080p full HD resolution transfer. Uncut with eye-gouging effects, eviscerated and mangled bodies, and packed with a slew of medical terrors and oddities, the Marino Girolami’s directed video nasty from 1980 just might get itself banned once again by the international censorship boards.
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The schlock runs thick through a plot that’s eerie similar to Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (aka Zombie 2) with many of the locations and sets repurposed for the Girolami picture involving exotic land cannibalism, a mad scientist, and, you guessed it, zombies. Yet, “Doctor Butcher M.D.” rightfully receives being a detached entity, an “Annabelle” to “The Conjuring” of sorts, even when both films star Scotland-born leading man Ian McCulloch. With uncanny and grisly disemboweling special effects that turn a stomach inside out and give you a reason to make use of that barf bag provided by Severin Films as a bonus insert, some death effects didn’t go quite as planned such as, in example, when the cannibal orderly dives out a multistory window and the stunt-dummy loses an arm when crashing onto the floor. The next scene has the actor, with arm intact, lying in a pool of blood. Another scene involving Doctor Butcher and his cranium saw nearly doesn’t sell the effect when the saw itself isn’t spinning at all during close ups of a cranium cap removal. However, none of these miscues matter as the rest of the special effects trumps any other gore film of this decade.
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The American bought rights to “Zombie Holocaust” were destined to be re-edited as the film had to bulk up on Americanized tastes, slightly targeting specific, well versatile audiences of New York City’s infamously sleazy and exploitive 42nd Street, which is now defunct. The additional and pointless scenes that were intercut from a scrapped Roy Frumkes’ horror anthology, “Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out, at the beginning of the film didn’t transition seamlessly enough to cause an unfavorable reaction, but only added on to the powerful zombie train that spawned from George A. Romero and the Living Dead films. The antics of Terry Levene, an American producer and 42nd Street icon, led to guerilla marketing, an overlapping score from the late “Blood Sisters'” composer Walter Sear, and the superbly cut trailers had guaranteed butts in the seats at Levene’s, amongst others’, circuit theaters. Plus, the T&A from cult Italian actress Alexandra Delli Colli might have had something to do with putting butts in seats as well.
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The story hadn’t changed much between the alternate film versions of the Romano Scandariato screenplay and the story itself is wound looser than a turn of a century Gary Busey. Thin motivations drive characters to do the stupidest things possible such as go on an expedition to a cannibal island, go to a cannibal island without state of the art weaponry and more bodies than a modern day NFL football roster, or go straying away from the safety of your group to stroll through the island’s bush alone. The obviousness is aggravating to say at the least, but omit the blatant stupidity of the characters and no one would die a horrible and gruesome death that fastens our morbid tastes to the screen. The story’s spontaneous and adventurous nature appeases thrills of a long-lost culture on an island of hell that’s ready to be explored and re-discovered and ready to taste fresh blood and organs once again.
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Severin Films have outdone any previous release of the reconfigured “Doctor Butcher, M.D.” and the original “Zombie Holocaust” when discussing the video presentation. The 1080p performs at a high bitrate with a vibrant display of natural colors that diminish much of the natural grain and negative damage and exhibits finely tuned and leveled darker tones from the original 35 mm negative; a HD presentation that, and this goes without saying, naturally outperforms the the transfer from Shriek Show’s “Zombie Holocaust” DVD release in the early 2000s. The English DTS-HD Master 2.0 audio mix on “Doctor Butcher, M.D.” performs greatly without many given distortions or loss of audio while the “Zombie Holocaust” on disc two has the same DTS-HD Master option, but also gives an alternative with a linear PCM Italian only audio mix without subtitles. Walter Sear’s Stateside score and Nico Fidenco Italiano score tribute their respective nations clearly through the mastered audio mixes with Fidenco’s score surfacing here and there on the Aquarius Releasing edit. Severin Films provides an impressive list of new bonus material on each disc, with the first disc having insightful interviews with Aquarius Releasing’s Terry Levene, editor Jim Markovic, filmmaker and documentarian Roy Frumkes, “Temple of Schlok’s” Chris Poggiali, Gore Gazette editor and Butcher Mobile rider Rick Sullivan, and Gary Hertz all discussing their involvement “Doctor Butcher M.D.” and their ties to 42nd Street. The second disc focuses more on “Zombie Holocaust,” interviewing male lead Ian McCulloch and McCulloch sings “Down by the River” in another segment, FX masters Rosario Prestopino and Maurizio Trani, actress Susan Buchanan, and a look at New York City then and now piece where “Zombie Holocaust” shot certain scenes.

Buy the 2-disc Definitive edition of “Doctor Butcher M.D.” from Severin Films today!

Syfy’s “Z Nation” S1Ep3 ‘Philly Feast’

Living in the Philadelphia area, the “Philly Feast” episode was quite the treat to see the “City of Brotherly Love” be taken over by the undead. Once again, Syfy and The Asylum grotesquely explode every bit and piece of body part in this episode never letting dismembered zombie appendages get old.

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Z-Nation writers didn’t wait too long to bring in the cannibal group. Every apocalyptic show has a cannibal group. Z-Nation just happens to reveal them in episode three under the ruling thump of Tobias Campbell played by Rick Rivera (happy National Hispanic Heritage Month, Rick). Now, I love me some good cannibal groups because they’re always the wild card, but this group lacked pizzaz and notoriety. Pisay Pao’s Cassandra character couldn’t quite play up Tobias’s long pig enthusiasts. However, the ending result of the full on assault on Tobias’s camp was well executed in a ‘classical’ fashion. Cassadnra’s backstory now looks to be wrapped up tight and we won’t have to explore that anymore in the foreseeable future, but I still feel she has more to hide or she has more up her sleeve with her new found friends in Addie and Warren.

The scene with the Liberty Bell had me rolling with laughter and giddy with the sight of zombie bashing mayhem. Z-Nation continues to make the implausible plausible and yet somehow make it look totally believable with the ridiculous zombie fraggings and though I do like all the characters, Nat Zang’s 10K has to be one of the standouts. His sniper character is the hardest the kill and I’d like him to reach his goal of 10,000 kills.

Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

Trailer: Evil Feed

Gore and shock. You don’t see too much of this genre anymore. Today, I received a trailer for “Evil Feed” which reminds me a lot of the “Guinea Pig” films. Directed by first time feature film director Kimani Ray Smith, this complete and utterly gory film is packed filled with action, boobs, death matches, cannibals, and much, much more.

Steven spent his entire life being the good son, dedicated all his time to the family business, The Long Pig Restaurant, known in the underground world for cannibalistic cuisine. When Steven hears that his father would rather sell the business to a stranger than pass it down to his own son, Steven has no choice but to chop off his head. With his father’s head safely displayed in a cabinet, Steven and his nymphomaniac girlfriend have big plans for The Long Pig. They capture elite MMA fighters and force them to battle in the restaurant’s new “Pit of Gore” where blood thirsty customers get to watch their meals being tenderized. Steven calls this, “Tendertainment!”

Meanwhile, Jenna returns to her father’s karate dojo and discovers him missing. Calling on the help of his students, they set out to find their Sensei, kicking ass and taking names. Their quest takes a turn for the worst when Jenna is kidnapped by the Triads. She awakes in a holding cell at The Long Pig Restaurant only to discover what Steven serves for dinner… her father.

Continuing the hunt for their Sensei, the trail leads the boys to The Long Pig, where they grusomely witness their Master being chopped up and marinated for the evening’s meal. Under pressure to save Jenna, our heroes get captured and are forced to fight for their lives in the Pit of Gore. One by one, Jenna watches her friends being slaughtered by sadistic gladiators. After witnessing her boyfriend being skinned alive, Jenna seizes an opportunity to escape. In order to survive, she must fight her way out of the restaurant or become the next main course.

Check out the trailer below and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Don’t forget to grab a copy of “Evil Feed” set to hit retail shelves September 16th.