Visions of Evil From a Disturbed Mind. “Lung” review!

An unidentified man, wearing medical scrubs and gloves, wanders through town, encountering hellishly gruesome scenes of death.  He wanders barefoot through a  ghastly journey that might figuratively expresses his back story of how he came to witness such visions and be relatively undisturbed by the horror they represent.  The filthy, gory, and ill-fated moments might also be hallucinations brought upon by a traumatic occurrence that wrenches him out of reality and into grisly purgatory.  Either way, the nameless man is a lost soul with no ambition, no emotion, and no direction to guide him through an inner conflict of blood-soaked entombment.

Unearthed Films’ 2-disc collector’s edition of “Lung I” and “Lung II” continues with the distribution company’s legacy of delivering the best underground cinema to the forefront of home entertainment.  Phil Stevens, director of positive-reviewed “Flowers,” writes, stars, and directs both feature films about the wandering man in a foggy, distorted haze, but “Lung II” is not a sequel to “Lung I.”  Instead, “Lung I” is the softcore version of events whereas “Lung II” is a hardcore redux – think along the lines of “The Evil Dead” and “Evil Dead II” – that’s much more detached from rationality and by collaborating with “American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock’s” Marcus Koch seizing upon the special effects, you can damn well count on “Lung II,” and certainly “Lung I” as well, being bare-faced dark, violent, and twisted. In more a sequential reality, “Lung” is part of the Phil Stevens’ proposed trilogy entitled the Violence of Dawn with “Flowers” leading the horrific charge. This review will focus more on “Lung II.”

Stevens stars as the unnamed lead, waking up lost under a creek bridge, dressed in medical scrubs, and haunted by unspeakable, bloody post-violence mayhem while continuously battling his evil doppelgänger self. Is this just a strange nightmare or a telltale sign of this man’s troubled past? Then, again, Stevens’ impassive take feels more like wandering through one hell of a dream, an endless journey into one’s post-traumatic warped mind rather than spelunking into one of a murderous soul’s, even if one of the moments of trauma could be his wife – or girlfriend – cheating on him and he catches her in the act with ill-fated consequences. Characters also related to the medical profession, such as a psychologist (David Copping) and quick flashes of a nurse (Angela Jane), are a part of this visceral vision quest. Finally, we come to The Exile character. The Exile might sound familiar if you’ve read my review on “Flowers” as he’s the only character, portrayed once again by Bryan W. Lohr Sr., that connects the two films. The Exile continues to mystify us about his presence, an extremely large and intimating brute with a deathly blank stare and a “don’t fuck with me” attitude.

Unlike “Flowers,” Stevens went the devoid of color route, constructing a black and white feature that, like “Flowers, goes without as much as a sentence of dialogue. Actions, expressions, and every sense of the word “art” tell the story. Non-linear editing and brutally realistic scenes of savagery in the confines of special effects exercise and sparks your brain’s neurons to try spitfire pieces together to cement a coherent narrative. Stevens is almost able to re-tap into and revitalize the silent film genre with “Flowers” and “Lung”, and with the help of a vehement brooding score by Mark Kueffner, I believe this type of experimental horror story telling can fascinate just about anyone without a weak stomach.

Unearthed Films and MVDVisual’s 2-disc DVD collector’s set a beautifully monochrome piece of art with roached infested severed heads, a halfway decomposed homeless man, and a pile of refrigerated sexual organs meshed together like something out of Brian Yuzna’s “Society,” but more gnarly. Im interested to see how Paradis, aka Paradis III, comes to conclude the trilogy and see how Unearthed FIlms releases Phil Stevens’ visionary tales. The Borderline Cinema and Extreme Horror Cinema “Lung” is comprised of two discs that entail “Lung I” Feature Film, “Lung II” Feature Film, Directors Commentary, Editors Commentary, Isolated Sound FX Track, Making of Lung 2 (which is very informative and fun to watch underground cinema come to the fold), Mark Kueffner: Lung Composer Featurette, Martin Trafford: Artwork Featurette, “Cats” Short Film, “Descent” Short Film, and Unearthed Trailers. “Lung” will not tickle everybody’s taste; surely sick and part of a niche network of darkly persuaded and humored people will most likely get it, but there’s still very much to appreciate here from director Phil Stevens and his eye for detail and disturbia. This gore and shock is worth a look and worth a chance.

Buy LUNG at Amazon!

Good. Evil. I’m the Guy with the Gun. “Ash vs Evil Dead” review!

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Ash is back! The chainsaw for a hand, fouled mouth, Deadite destroying retail stock boy returns to face Evil with his boomstick once again after the last monstrous incident some 30 years ago. Trying to stay under the radar and not make waves amongst the ignorant living, Ash has sunk low into the drunken and fat state of barely living until he accidentally reads from the pages of the Necronomicon during a night of irresponsible reefer madness. Now, evil forces thrust Ash into an impossible position to which he’s unable to remove himself from and with the help of his enthusiastic co-worker Pablo, a loyal immigrant sidekick, and the pessimistic Kelly, the orphaned daughter of Deadite victims, Ash and his gun-toting, ass-kicking haphazardness crew will take the terrifying show on the road, tracking down a way to destroy this Evil and the Necronomicon before it swallows the world and release a demonic wrath that’s never been seen before!

Many horror fans thought the day would never come. A number of us believed the rumors were a myth, a hoax, or a bamboozling viral campaign set forth to stir up fandom and the water cooler conversation. Then, a trailer was released and Starz! brought “Evil Dead” back to audiences’ who wanted to relive the the havoc Kandarian demons, to an audience who wanted to expand more upon the mythology of Sam Raimi’s epic hero, and delivered to an audience who don’t even know who Bruce Campbell, the legend, is and why he’s important to the horror community.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” blends seamlessly into the series’ saga, pitting once again our chainsaw wielding hero against a body-possessing force that’s more vicious and blood thirsty than ever. Any and every soul is up for the shredding and ripping grabs when Kandarian demons are concerned while also new, unseen variations of Kandarian demons make a fashionably late appearance. This time around is slightly different than before as, unlike Ash and his unlucky bunch caught in evil’s clutches, Ash has willing assistance in Pablo and Kelly to form a battle trio and take on this evil head on. Ray Santiago (Pablo) and Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly) are a fresh contrast to an aging Bruce Campbell, but Campbell pizzaz and rudimentary quick-wit dialogue manages to steal the scenes. Campbell, Staniago, and DeLorenzo are joined by a fourth; an actress reuniting with Bruce Campbell from long ago in her own fantastical series “Xena: Warrior Princess.” None other than Xena herself Lucy Lawless dons a mysterious Ruby Knowby who holds a deeper understanding of Necronomicon.

Sam Raimi also makes his grand and spectaculr return to his rightful spawn. Raimi, Campbell, and long time Evil Dead collaborator Robert Tapert’s production company Renaissance Pictures, along with Starz!, are the chief production companies on the television series that was originally meant to be the third sequel installment of the “Evil Dead” franchise. However, the zany-comical horror writing and directorial style that only Sam Raimi can deliver was reproduced for the first episode of season one to recreate the devilish “Three Stooges” slapstick atmosphere bred for a brooding, yet hysterical, Starz original series. A handful of directors take the helm of nine more episodes after Raimi, with one of the “Xena: Warrior Princess” directors Rick Jacobson being the most recognizable name among the list, and once the story expands further into the season, a loss of slapstick buffoonery that trademarks Raimi so very well is lost, but doesn’t slow down the blood spattering carnage.

Starz! and Anchor Bay Entertainment’s 2-disc Blu-ray edition of “Ash vs Evil Dead” season one is available today at your local or online retailer! Presented in a HD 1080p widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio with an English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and a Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0 mix, the 10-episode, 294 minute runtime, unlimited goriness will soak into your funny bones right before shattering them into axe-cleaved pieces! Special features include an audio commentary on all episodes, Inside the World of Ash featurette, How to Kill a Deadite featurette, and the Best of Ash featurette. Plus, the release comes with a lenticular slip cover. Bring on “Ash vs Evil Dead” season two! Hail to the King, Baby!


Evil Lends a Helping Hand! “Bloody Knuckles” review!

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Travis, an underground shock comic artist, stirs up a world of trouble with Chinatown crime lord and illegal pesticide seller Leonard Fong when his latest issue of Vulgarian Invasion makes the criminal kingpin a colorfully filthy farce. In response, Fong and his goons table saw Travis’s writing hand off. With his livelihood separated from the rest of his body, Travis falls into a depressive slumber to where he doesn’t leave his apartment, find new work, or even take a stand for revenge. The same cannot be said for his decomposing hand that suddenly revives and confronts Travis. Looking to settle the score with Fong and his gang, Travis and his appendage join forces with a true to life S&M superhero based of one of Travis’s caricatures and take up arms (get it?) against Fong’s criminal syndicate.
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“Bloody Knuckles” is vulgar, distasteful, and offensive – I loved every minute of it! Director Matt O.’s (Matt O’Mahoney) debut feature film from Canada makes “Idle Hands” seem weak and childish in comparison. The “Addams Family” Thing is a cutesy puppy dog whose sporting a knitted winter sweater while the “Bloody Knuckles” Hand is cracking skulls as it’s cracking it’s own bloody knuckles in a spiked leather jacket. This Hand is more like the Ash’s evil hand from “Evil Dead 2!” There hasn’t been this much fun in a film in awhile and I’m considering the Matt O. film to be one of my favorite horror Blu-ray releases of 2015 from Artsploitation Films. “Bloody Knuckles” has it all: limitless violence, scrupulous comedy, glorified gore, a penchant for the politically incorrect, nudity, a living severed hand, and a gay S&M badass looking to spank to death the opposition.
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Mainly, the underlying message of “screw censorship” hits, in a good way, the main artery for this reviewer as our lovely site, Its Bloggin’ Evil, is all about pushing the boundaries, divulging the full story, and leaving everything out on the table for all to bare witness. Being crass is nice too and that’s “Bloody Knuckles” schtick; a unique stance that most films and filmmakers won’t risk due to the fear of their work not being picked up and released, shunned and stored deep in the depressing closets of death and disparity. “Bloody Knuckles” splays the notion of artistic freedom throughout the duration and in many different formats from comics, to the press, and to shock art.
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The special effects were top notch quality and handled by the Academy Award-nominated company Image Engine of Vancouver, who had their hands mixed into major studio work such as James Gunn’s “Slither,” HBO’s highly praised television series “Game of Thrones,” and the prequel to John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” The Hand, whether as a live hand with makeup or a prosthetic one, never looked underfunded or cheesy. The Hand was given a Frankenstein life and was appropriately made into a sympathetic character. Even though Hand is part of Travis, Hand is actually a woman’s hand, Krista Magnusson’s hand to be exact, and not even for a second will you be able to tell. The rest of the effects don’t disappoint; the exaggerated gruesomeness of certain effects shots brings back memories of watching “The Stuff” and “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky!”
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Aside from Krista Magnusson, the lineup of actors and actresses were destined to portray these character roles. Kasey Ryne Mazak as the ruthless and merciless Leonard Fong had pegged perfectly the well-dressed with an oversized ego but with a short stature stereotype. Dwayne Bryshun as Homo Dynamous, a Travis’s gay S&M superhero, brings to life such as an extravagant character, turning a simple gay caricature into a living and breathing bondage Bond. Lead actor Adam Boys as Travis could turn on the charm, the sarcasm, and the girly scream on a dime and so naturally that Travis instantly becomes a likable character. The witty and gritty banter between all the characters, even Hand using the type-to-speech function on Travis’s computer, is well written and doesn’t bog down the blitzkrieg story.

I can’t say I’ve yet to come across a poor release from Artsploitation Films. Aside from a controversial and entertaining subject matter of the films, the Blu-ray’s 1.78:1 aspect ratio has great quality that can outshine many competitors. The Blu-ray of “Bloody Knuckles” contains a clean and sharp image that doesn’t become murky in the darkness to which the film is mostly set, whether being night outside or in dark inside quarters. There’s slight posterization during the a few pitch black night sequences, but I found that everything was nicely outlined or visible without little interference from it. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is the preferable option if you have the equipment; the dialogue is at the forefront which is key for this film and the rest of the tracks are well-balanced. Other audio options include a 5.1 Dolby Digital and a 2.0 Dolby Stereo. There are tons of extras clocking around 130 minutes worth of content and the icing on the cake with the whole release is a portion of Travis’s comic Vulgarian Invasion on the reverse side of the Blu-ray cover art. Hands down, “Bloody Knuckles” is a must own!