Alex and Jane just graduated college with an uncertain future ahead of them. In financial debt with no aid from their family because of their lesbian relationship, Alex can’t shake the uncomfortable sensation that her life spirals down an unknown path. Jane’s optimism stems from the upcoming reboot woodland retreat with friends. Booze, drugs, and a whole lot of sex is planned to escape reality’s harsh unforgiving grip. There’s only one problem. A creature lurks in the woods, sniffing out the moment of vaginal penetration, and ripping to shreds the naked, sweaty bodies that were entangled in raunchy passion. A jock, a cheerleader, a geek, a stoner, and a pair of lesbians are the familiar horror film tropes fighting for their very lives in a grisly battle against a ghastly man-beast.
“Don’t Fuck in the Woods,” an alluring cavalier horror film title, is the indie project from writer-director Shawn Burkett. Burkett’s crowdfunded low-budget venture doesn’t piddle around the subject matter with interpretive titles or undertone stories. Burkett, with every intention, aimed his sights on developing the most proverbial scenarios of horny young folk in the woods being stalked by an inhuman monstrosity and achieved great success while also topping his film off with a sexually explicit cherry, defining “DFITW” as every young boy’s wet dream with gratuitous nudity and blood splatter mayhem! In fact, nudity, at least in my belief, outweighs the creature in screen time with the majority of the female cast baring more their breasts than the creature bares it’s teeth.
Brittany Blanton and Ayse Howard lead in the lesbian roles of Jane and Alex and are the only two actors to have characters to have some meat on their depth chart. Hence, why they’re in the lead role shoes. Blanton and Howard alternative style spills into the rest of the cast pool. Roman Jossart, the stoner, naturally gushes with wit and delivery that makes the sweaty, large, and overly perverted character very likable. Then there’s the inexplicable Nadia White. The “Give It To Me Grandpa” actress (look it up in Google) wears many shameless hats off screen, from modeling to fetish porn, but the stark blonde who once wrapped herself completely in duck tape except for her massive boobs, dons a hardly uncharacteristic character whose attached to the hip of her tall, dark jock boyfriend Conor, played in a debut performance by Brian Cornell. Hannah Herdt picks up the geek trope with credulous rant about iconic scream queens and their rise to fame without having to bare it all on screen. Kayla Stone, Brandy Mason, Derek Wehrley, and Scott Gillipsie in a dual role as Luke and the creature round out the rest of the “DFITW” cast. What I love about this cast is the fact they’re not these super slender and fit individuals with four, six, eight-pack abs you typically see in horror films. Instead, each one has their own little mid-section cupcake pudginess or pooch and that’s okay!
Above paragraphs contain praise for admiration and passion toward everything that’s right about “DFITW,” but there’s also plenty to dislike and many viewers, and reviewers too, have spoken publicly their harsh negativity. In a more constructive criticism, the first point is that Burkett’s film has no real logical story structure. Why should we care about these characters who trek into the woods, bone like rabbits, and then become lunch meat for an anti-fornication fiend? Secondly, the editing and special effects need firming as some kill scenes felt unnecessarily rushed and prolonged terror scenes didn’t really induce the terror, requiring that edit to break apart the monotony of the scene. The cheaply made creature passes, but the imperfections in the latex, or whatever material it was constructive of, can be clearly captured. Which leads me into the Alfred Hitchcock quote at the beginning of the film, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” The anticipation of the creature was sorely absence as much of the film focused on the group and their shenanigans and didn’t give the creature much hype, reducing it to a powerless vessel until rearing that jacked up Ninja Turtle head into the campers’ den.
Concept Media and Shawn Burkett’s “Don’t Fuck in the Woods” is a horror homaging and referencing machine, spitting out as much time-honored horror movie no-nos and final-girl conventionalism as one film can, but the story feels hollow inside and doesn’t offer worthwhile character development in neither protagonists or antagonist. Definitely the title, and even the film as a definitive whole, borders that thin line of becoming a ridiculously bad, but very interesting, parody porn, exploiting the rules of the slasher genre and having little-to-no girth of a plot. Roman Jossart’s hilarity, notable “Predator” references and remarks, and the fair amount of fair skin saves this exploitive film from being a total loss and, as well, the overwhelming communal participation and support to have this film see the light of day is absolutely amazing as a title like “Don’t Fuck in the Woods” would financially scare the money bag pants off any potential backer. You can see “Don’t Fuck in the Woods” on Vimeo On Demand by clicking the link below!
Fun-loving couple, Jen and Farhang, seem like your average young twosome. Underneath the common surface, they plot a sinister murder of a random stranger. Toying with hardware store supplies and dissecting the knowledge of the human anatomy, Jen and Farhang are well prepped to tackle the abduction, the murder, and the disposal of a human being, but when Jen’s obsessive nature can’t hold back her desire to kill any longer, the couple’s relationship will be harshly tested when a hesitant Farhang is unexpectedly confronted with Jen’s opportunity to kill a kind-hearted dinner guest and decides to pull out from their ghastly thought out preparations that results turning a potential grim bonding experience to a deadly relationship fallout.
“Capture Kill Release” is the 2016 Canadian film from co-directors Nick McAnulty and Brian Altan Stewart. McAnulty also penned the script. The handheld POV thriller has a story that places Jen and Farhang’s union in a familiar, yet deceiving manner, coupling routine relationship quibbles and desires with an unorthodox principles shared amongst them. While acting upon their romantic affair in the archetypes that include one-sided back rubs, jointly frustrating shopping adventures, and an infinite amount of trivial bickering, the dynamic between them feels no different from ours with their interaction with each other in their isolated internal pact being very relatable for audiences with partners or had the experiences with former partners. Enormous, thick tension sets the foundation for “Capture Kill Release” that continuously mounds an already pressurized and emotionally compromised partnership, strained to the brink of chaos that’s hard to dig out from under.
McAnulty and Stewart cast unknown Jennifer Fraser as Jen, much of the cast keep their namesakes with their respective characters, and Fraser, placing aside her remarkable beauty, inarguably locks in Jen’s sociopathic charm. Jen’s manic personality, jumping from conversation piece to conversation piece without smooth transitions and unable to focus without the determination to kill on the mind, contrasts sharply with the more reserved and constant Farhang, a role awarded to Farhang Ghajar who has worked on the directors’ prior film, “Uncle Brian.” Farhang’s conservativeness bares an ugly unconfident image that Jen wholeheartedly exploits, nearly forcing Farhang to go along, or play along, with Jen’s disturbed fantasy. Farhang Ghajar simply plants his character in a shot without much a change between appearance or delivery whereas Fraser frequents and embraces more everyday changes, including even minor ones like her hairstyles that seem to change every scene. Polar opposites, homeless guy Gary and ‘Rich guy’ jerk, round out the significant characters with actors Jon Gates and upcoming “Exorcism of the Dead” star, Rich Piatkowski.
In retrospect, “Capture Kill Release” feels rather depressing. The angst that’s imploding from within the Jen and Farhang bubble touches upon the everyday relationship attributes where couples fight or couples unite in not so extreme measures. Jen shows no empathy or sympathy for anybody with the exception of Farhang, a grappling, fleeting emotion to cling on someone who loves you for you. To further the depression, the recent hike in POV films beats into us the obsession with vanity. The camera, no matter the capacity, is a vain concept and McAnulty and Steward’s thriller spares no expense of arrogance when Jen can’t put down the camera, no matter how much Farhang pleads and persuades her, but If I were an amateur plotter toward killing an absolute stranger, I wouldn’t be a complete novice and record my handy work. This is where McAnulty builds in an unspoken caveat that Jen has a passion for filmmaking, dreaming big of directing, one day, her own feature, a notion that’s explored more during her rooting of her mother’s stored VHS collection from Jen’s childhood. The filmmaking approach to Jen’s obsession loosely bounds the implement of the handheld and feels forced like a last minute decision, especially when genuine home videos of Jennifer Fraser are cut into the story that’s out of place.
Midnight Releasing has released “Capture Release Kill” as a high definition online streaming video feature. I was supplied with a screener and can’t comment on quality or bonus features, but the co-directed film is available on these formats: iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vudu, XBox, FlixFling and more. Even with the brief moments in gore, the blood runs extra thick with sickeningly realistic and shocking scenes of butchery. Gory found footage, such as “The House with 100 Eyes” or the more viscerally vigorous “The Butcher,” have been gaining momentum in their popularity with the handheld camera bringing a little authenticity to grisly murders that are on the other side of the spectrum of being a very anti-Hollywood concept that less sensationalized, but devilishly effective, on a budget. Throw in a handful of motivated and talented actors, such as Jennifer Fraser and Farhang Ghajar, in this semi-exploitation gore-thriller and you can strike gold with “Capture Kill Release” that’ll please even the harshest of found footage or handheld camera critics.
In an alternate universe, Charles Manson didn’t get incarcerated for his heinous cult murders. Instead, the sect creating and drug taking Manson goes deep underground with his acolytes after committing a vile crime that becomes the foundation of a nationwide race war. Manson’s followers preach hatred and distain for the blacks and rape their own white women to produce an inbred underground white community. When Manson falls ill and dies a violent and horrible death, he leaves behind a sole child, Kendra Manson, in the most intolerant racist hands of Dan who raises Kendra with a flood of mind altering hate for non-whites. When Dan receives a subconscious message from Charles Manson to surface from the bunker and rule the world with white supremacy, they’re met with a surprise that black people are the majority and whites, known derogatorily as albis, are the lower, socially mistreated class subjected to the same race discrimination during Charlie Manson’s above Earth reign. Separated from her bunker family, Kendra becomes lost in what she perceives as an upside down world, but has is opened her eyes to the real subject matter on race?
“Honky Holocaust” is without a single doubt a Troma masterpiece. Director Paul McAlarney’s shocking bizarro world of racial social commentary is just not another run-of-the-mill message of inequality, but an contemplative insight of role reversal. The mirroring of the nastier portions of race discrimination from 1950s to 1980s has been set in the present day and extends beyond the usual racist America regions, that are typically Mississippi or Alabama, with the film set in San Francisco; perhaps the most tolerable and friendly city in the world set in the most liberal state that is California. While McAlarney’s spews the carnage and the vulgarity that’s very Tromaville worthy, the Boston director has written a thought provoking concept that’s masked in dick jokes, sex and drugs, and a girth of gory practical effects.
Maria Natapov takes the lead with her misadventure role as Charles Manson’s bunker daughter, Kendra. Natapov acts dumb and plays stupid when face-to-face with the very race her character’s been bred to hate for more than 30 years while maintaining Kendra’s naivety through the heat of racially tension moments. The restaurant scene comes to mind that’s a real eye opener in where Natapov walks amongst a barite group of black patrons and the scene sells the powerful reversal with Natapov’s unflinching performance. “Honky Holocaust” has a romantic side when Kendra comes under the safe haven wing of the racially suppressed Lucius, played by softly charming Constantine Taylor, and they team up to stop Kendra’s stepdad Dan, a role fitting for the film’s producer Lucas Fleming. When Flemings on screen, racist ooze just seeps from his portrayal of Dan, even if Dan didn’t sport a gaudy swastika belt buckle. Other characters pop in and out, some memorable, some not. Krisoula Varoudakis, Mauricio Viteri, and Thomas Delcarpio costar.
McAlarney’s 2014 offensive exploitation amusement ride starts gnarly enough with the director going through a monologue about how to make a film surrounding racism; all the while sitting on the can. Through his comfortable exposure of his manhood and the exaggerated flatulence filling the audio air, he painfully yells into a microphone about the birth of his idea as he discharges chocolatey waste into the toilet and sends off an unforgettable farewell by reaching behind him, scooping up some backside waste, and licking it into his mouth with the statement, “that’s some good shit” quickly following. McAlarney has successfully set the tone for “Honky Holocaust.” Troma’s renowned celebration of their bread and butter of tasteless cinematic garbage (which Its Bloggin’ Evil adores) certainly incorporates this social commentary gem, but McAlarney is more than what meets the eye. Beyond his thought provoking story, McAlarney has a talented production eye. With a micro budget being filmed mostly in the streets of San Francisco, McAlarney was able to construct an alternate reality and leaving behind a flawless perception that whites are truly the scum of the Earth. I’m not totally onboard the McAlarney train, however, as I became a bit lost in the character development near the end, especially with Kendra Manson, but I did like the path the character took, mowing down and massacring the primeval in order to rebuild a better future for all.
Troma Entertainment and CAV Distributing proudly introduces Bloddy Hammer Films’ “Honky Holocaust” on high-definition Blu-ray via a MPEG-4 AVC encoded 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The image quality is a mixed bag as none of the quality is consistent, familiar to other early grindhouse imitated features, but the unbalanced hues and, sometimes, lack of popping colors battle back and forth for quality domination. Early on, noticeable aliasing can be caught during the lynched scene, leaving less defined objects and creating chaos in the pixels. As the film progresses, outlines and textures get better, more consistent. The dual channel LPCM audio mix suffers horrible as the dialogue track is sorely underfoot with the ambient LFE overlaying place it’s robust boot right on the dialogue’s neck. Soundtracks are inconsistent as well, being too loud for comfort or being too loud for the rest of the implemented tracks who become lost. Bonus features have substance with a “Behind-The-Scenes Honkumentary” that’s a twitching handheld camera look at some of the film’s best scenes, deleted footage labeled “exterminated scenes,” and a video containing director Paul McAlarney pledging his allegiance to Tromaville. There are the usual Troma bonus pieces about protecting the environment and the film’s theatrical trailer along with Troma’s president, Lloyd Kaufman, giving his usual satirical introduction. The obscenities in “Honky Holocaust” mingle regrettably well with story’s racial social inequalities in a chaotic melee, pointing out the senseless violence and asinine nature in social jest. Paul McAlarney knew what he was creating from within the belly of the beast of his darkest comedy, even if the punk parader’s LSD-inspired trip through hell seems misconstrued on the surface.
A pledge group of amateur, hippie Satanists on a LSD-induced drug trip have their nationwide havoc reeking voyage come to a screeching halt when their dilapidated van breaks down at an equally dilapidated small quarry town with an isolated population of 40 residents. Squatting in a vacant hotel, Horace, the clique’s leader, dangerously lets his followers indulge in their whims while under the powerful hallucinogen. Their brutal run in with a local girl causes a stir of attempted reprisal amongst the girl’s family, especially with her grandfather who aims to remove the hippies from the area, but when the elderly man is beaten up and given the a taste of LSD, a whole new can of meat pies is opened up! Looking for retaliation for his grandfather’s battering, the grandson withdraws blood from a rabid dog he killed earlier in the day and spikes the town bakery’s meat pies that were to be specifically purchased by Horace’s gang. The combination of rabies and LSD turns the deranged Satanist into foaming at the mouth and infectious killing machines set loose amid the town’s 40 person population.
Let it be known that Satan was an acidhead. That shocking phrase serves as a prelude of the horrible acts to come in David Durston’s “I Drink Your Blood.” The 1970 Jerry Gross produced exploitation and infected horror video nasty, notoriously labeled an X rating solely for the graphic violence, is a quintessential staple of Americana horror. Shot in upstate New York and based off true, and disturbing, events, Durston’s written and directed feature is a horrific tale harnessing every unspeakable evil in the unholy book: rape, drugs, murder, abortion, promiscuity, cannibalism and even touches a little upon racism. Durston flaunts a scattered-brain and raw edit that fluently rides along with the script’s crazed atrocities.
“I Drink Your Blood” never cashes in on one headlining actor to fulfill a star lead; instead, calculated characters fill the void where needed, an endearing homage attested by the structures invested by George Romero who used a similar blueprint for his pioneering, black and white horror classic “Night of the Living Dead.” Bhaskar, aka Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, tops the credit list. The India born actor stars as the sadistic Satanist leader Horace, one of the handful of ethnic roles whose character background mingles more on the Native American side. Every so often, Bhaskar’s native accent filters through, but the actor’s devilishly brilliant performance reassures a radically raw and physical undertaking that forgiveness for such a small concern is automatically defensible. Other prominent roles were awarded to John Damon (“Blue Sextet”), George Patterson (“God Told Me To”), Rhonda Fultz, Arlene Farber (“The French Connection”), Iris Brooks, Richard Bowler, and a young Riley Mills has the rabies-revenger Peter Banner. However, another cast member, in a minor, less dialogue role, has overshadowed many of her costars in light of her legacy since then. Lynn Lowry, known for her role in George A. Romero’s “The Crazies” and more recently in Debbie Rochon’s directed exploitation film “Model Hunger” that was reviewed here at Its Bloggin’ Evil, plays a mute hippie turned rabid killer in a memorable video nasty-warranted scene involving a, then, antique electric knife, like the ones you plug into the wall.
In the glory of “I Drink Your Blood’s” sickest and most stunning special effects that include the poignantly severed limbs and heads of likable characters, a synthesizing score also gnaws at your gut-riddled nerves. During intense moments, harmless butterflies fluttering against your stomach’s inner layer, tickling your core’s coy innocence, violently alter through a bone-chilling metamorphosis, evolving into gut-busting vampire bats with razor sharp talons and flesh ripping fangs. Your whole whitewashed body will clench during Clay Pitt’s one of a kind visceral score, pitched in an ear piercing vortex during high anxiety segments such as when a diseased oppressed Horace and a shaken dam worker are toe-to-toe in a deadly standoff in the hotel’s attic. The jarring soundtrack pulses up until the end which stands as my only gripe for Durston’s film. The climatic ending has it’s formidable bubble popped when the tense scene immediate concludes while obvious questions still remain, such as what happened to Carrie, Lynn Lowry’s character, that goes unexplained?
Australian EX Films presents a monster of a high definition bundle release for David E. Durston’s “I Drink Your Blood” that includes two Blu-ray discs bundled with a VHS clamshell of the film. Inside a reversible artwork case, the first disc is an all region BD50 that stuns in a vivid 1080p in an 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Image quality maxes out with vibrant blues, yellows, and, especially, blood red, your three main colors in technicolor. The second disc gets even better with two bonus films, Del Tenney’s 1964 usual associated doubled bill feature “I Eat Your Skin” and David Durston’s 1969 erotic “Blue Sextet.” Over the course of the two Blu-ray discs, there are a slew of extras including a commentary by David Durrston and the late Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, four never before seen scenes, video interviews with Lynn Lowry, Tyde Kierney, and Jack Damon, along with stills, poster, and home video art. You’ll also get rare footage of Bhaskar performing “The Evil King Cobra Dance”, the original trailer with two radio segments, and much, much more. Dolby Digital two-channel track vibrates constantly with forefront dialogue, hardly any disruptive damage, and well balanced levels amongst all tracks. The limited edition bundle includes a PAL formatted cassette of the original double billed films, as aforementioned, inside a reversible artwork housed clamshell. And that’s not all! Lastly, this bundle includes a Horror Hypo Needle and LSD Blotter Art tabs, featuring the artwork from “I Drink Your Blood.” Check out the image below to get an inside look. Even though “I Drink Your Blood” beats around the bush with social depravities such as gangbangs, drugs, and a quick stint of Satanic activity, this overall mega fan package from EX Films is a must own for the true video nasty collector or aggregate aficionados of unhinged horror.
After Thomas’ voluptuous wife’s immaculate beauty falls victim to a horrifying and scarring fiery car accident, the sex-addicted womanizer, fueled by a constant stream of strong alcohol, dumps his maimed wife and obsessively hops from one unchaste woman to next, but in the darkest shadows lurks a hidden danger toward his newfound, unrestricted fast and loose lifestyle. A sinister plot of revenge against him begins to quickly unravel and Thomas’ stretch of unscrupulous carnal behavior is about to be ‘cut’ short because, as the ancient saying goes, “hell has no fury like a woman scored.”
Alberto Barone’s vengeful sex-thriller “Gelosia: Vendetta D’Amore” is a short film laced with irrepressible desires and consequences, doused in pure hatred and nihilism, and packaged as a vibrant grindhouse homage garnished with a tightly-knotted black bow. Milton Welsh stars as Thomas, a man on a bulldozing sexcapade, and with Welsh’s raspy, baritone voice and slick back, greasy hair makes him, on screen, the perfect, middle-aged creep, hooking up with the shameless, uninhibited women. The German born Welsh has indistinguishable looks and talents with the impeccable “Doom” and Rob Zombie “31” actor Richard Brake that brings a lot of despicable enjoyment to not only the performance, but also with the monologue by Welsh throughout the short film. Welsh’s previous credits include the 2011 remake of “Conan the Barbarian,” “Aeon Flux,” and, one of my personal favorite Norman Reedus films, “Antibodies.”
Welsh’s performing cohorts makeup solely of very well-endowed, very offensive-embracing women that include a porn star, a dominatrix, and a couple of veteran genre actresses starting with the Southern France born Manoush (actress in Marian Dora’s “Cannibal,” “Philosophy of a Knife,” and, most recently, “The Curse of Doctor Wolffenstein”) as Heidi, Thomas’ discarded wife. This dominating role didn’t feel quite right, slightly forced, from the possibility of this role not being in Manoush’s native tongue, constraining the gushes of violent emotions that should be exploding from within the character outward. Manoush directly interacts alongside “German Angst’s” Kristina Kostiv, as a very seductive Eastern European escort girl in a manner that blurs the motivations of the characters, but we’ll discuss that later in this review. Rest of the cast fills every man’s, sometime woman’s, prominent fantasy with sacrilegious Nunspolitation and naughty nerd girl scenario roles, respectively donned by Tara Rubin and German porn star Lana Vegas. Both Rubin and Vegas steal from “Gelosia’s” root message with their provocative performances that leave almost nothing to the imagination. Tattoo model Alexa van Unique gets kinky in a brief scene of dominance that’s short and sweet and gets the message across.
“Gelosia” is Italian for Jealousy, but Alberto Barone’s written and directed film doesn’t hit hard with one of humanities irrational and vile attributes. More in line with the subtitle of “Vendetta d’Amore,” aka Revenge of Love, Barone tells two-stories: One of the monologuing, sex addict that objectifies women more than he wishes to understand them and a vengeful wife with a dastardly plot of deadly retribution against him. I just don’t see jealousy as the major player this short film is titled after and that, at least for me, dilutes much of the radical content supporting the story including the naked women, the gruesome violence, and the admirable cinematography.
“Gelosia: Vendetta d’Amore” is sexy with shock value. Produced by Ingravisione, the exploitation thriller seeks to debut in late 2017! Overall, Barone’s ultra-exploitation leaves an indifferent residue with me as I’m still hung up on a few difficult to ignore hiccups, but I love the short’s perverse freedom as a whole that’s vivid and modern while staying classic in style. “Gelosia: Vendetta d’Amore” is starting to hit festivals as I type this, bringing all the castrations and sex to an arthouse theater near you!