What is it about our obsession with sex and violence? Certainly, there have been many scholars over the years that have equated the two has being closely linked in terms of our psychological responses and synapses. But how does extreme blood, gore, and nastiness figure into all that. Horror movie fans are, perhaps, the most devoted fans in the entire world. Arguably, they are an even more devoted legion that comic book lovers. And when it comes to horror movies, you have your fans of slasher flicks (Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street are good examples), then you those specifically devoted to splatter flicks. The most blood and gore a horror movie has--the better, say some horror nerds. Which that in mind, we here at TVSO has seen our share of blood and guts horror movies. And we've assembled here a list of five that we think particularly stand out above the rest. Certainly, others have come along in recent years that have tried to do things so over-the-top that it almost isn't gross, it's just plain funny. These represent, what we think, are the best, and the original innovators of the blood and gore horror genre.
Brain Dead (1992)
Before Peter Jackson lost a ton of weight and spent a decade skipping around in Tolken's shire with his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, he had actually made a very impressive string of genre-based horror films that were just as raunchy and gross as anything that had come before him. A perfect example of this: Braindead aka Dead Alive (Dead Alive was the US title of the film), which featured a Rat-Monkey that is infected with a virus. It bits someone and turns them into a zombie-like ugly face and that spreads across Jackson's native New Zealand. It's insane. A brilliant movie that is sick, trusted, dark, and just plan gross. Watch for a sequence, in which our hero mows over a gaggle of the brain dead with a lawnmower. Gross to the max.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
An Italian movie with American actors, Cannibal Holocaust might be the grossest horror movie of all time. The Story: a film crew heads into the Amazon to film and study primitive tribes. Then they disappear. What survives is some film footage of that the missing crew shot. To investigate a crew goes into the Amazon looking for them, but what they find is only trouble. The primitive tribe attacks them, one tribesman even bits the penis off of one of the explorers. A naked woman, is run through a spike, which is then placed in the ground, making her to look as if she was a muddy, naked, dead lollipop on a stick. The whole thing is disturbing and was banned in a few countries when it was released. Certainly, the found-footage aspect pre-dates The Blair Witch Project and is a hundred times better than Eli Roth's recent rip-off of the film, The Green Inferno.
The Wizard of Gore (1970)
Directed by the "Godfather of Gore," H.G. Lewis, a Chicago-turned-Florida independent auteur, Lewis pioneered the gore horror genre in the early 1960s when he created, on his own, a string of extremely over-the-top, gross-out, blood and guts movies about men who set out to down pure harm to small communities. Shot in Chicago, The Wizard of Gore is about a magician, who in his stage show, hypnotizes volunteers from the audience who be part of his tricks. But he also hypnotizes his audiences to think that the tricks that they are seeing are false, when in reality, he is actually killing women on the stage with his tricks; he saws a women in half for example, and all of her blood and guts come out of her landing at his feet. The audience are amazed, but not when people start reporting missing women to the local police. This one will make you so sick you might have to stop watching it.
A highly-disturbing German independent movie made in the mid 1980s by film-maker Jorg Buttgereit, Nekromantik is about a man who brings home dead bodies so that he has his wife (who is alive) can have sex with them. But, once he gets fired from his job, the wife leaves him so that she can continue on having sex with one of the dead bodies that she has. What makes Nekromantik so disturbing--well, obviously its the fact that these two people are having sex with the dead, but in addition, it's not really a horror movie, per say. It's not scary, it has no chills, no jumps or anything of that nature. The movie plays out as if it were a melodrama or some romantic comedy o something. It's absurd, and very very disturbing.
Burial Ground (1980)
Directed by Italian sleaze-meister Andrea Bianchi, Burial Ground, often times called: Night of Terror or Zombi 3, is pretty much your run-of-the-mill Italian zombie movie. That means that it has a ton of flesh ripping, arms being bit into, people being stabbed etc etc. In reality, the gore of Burial Ground isn't much different today than what you'd see on a Sunday night episode of AMC's The Walking Dead. However, what causes us to list Burial Ground on our list of Top 5 Gross-Out Movies of all Time is the weird, incestuous relationship that two of the characters have in the midst of this house they are staying in being attacked by a plague of zombies. A mother and son, two close for comfort for any audience watching the film--you get the sense that they are closer than they should be. The disturbing aspect is that it's not sexual, at least to the mother that is. She has a husband or boyfriend that is with them. It's the son, played by Italian actor wunderkind Peter Bark that has googling eyes for his mother. He's a sort of miniature Peter Lorre, but Italian. And what's equally creepy about Bark is that he says the most bizarre things ever. He talks of clothing smelling like death. He watches his mother and her lover get it on in a bedroom, and in the end, when he's bitten, and about to turn into a zombie himself--his mother, as a means to soothe him, perhaps grant him his dying wish even as adult man who looks like a dwarf--allows him to suckle her breast. This of course, turns out badly because as he is suckling his mother's breast, he turns into a zombie, and bites her breast off! No good. Gross, profane, insane, weird. A must watch.
Labels: Peter Bark, Peter Jackson, Top 5 Gross Out Horror Movies, Top 5 Gross Out Movies