CAT SICK BLUES (2015) Dir. Dave Jackson, Australia, 101 mins
Regular readers of this series will know that one of the things I most value in a film is originality. Horror cinema as a whole is a field riddled with archetypes, stereotypes and clichés, and extreme horror can also suffer that to some extent. The attempt to be transgressive and challenging tends to invite more originality, but there are plenty of gory slashers and movies focused on extensive torture and human suffering that equally risk treading a path well trodden. Australia’s Cat Sick Blues is, in a sense, a slasher, but I would argue is genuinely unlike anything you’ve seen before. Gloriously odd, sometimes hilariously funny, other times cuttingly serious and dark, this movie has shot high up the list of my favourite extreme movies. It might even be a top ten already.
The Greasy Strangler (2016) Dir. Jim Hosking, USA, 93 mins
It's not uncommon that I get requests for reviews here at Film Gutter, but if there is one that has come up time and time again it has to be this one. Many a conversation has strayed to the topic of this movie with a refrain of 'Oh, it'd be perfect for Film Gutter!' It's of course been a movie I was aware of upon its release, especially given some of the names attached as producers – Elijah Wood and Ben Wheatley both supported this one to its 2016 release. It's even brought to us by a British director in Jim Hosking, so there's simply no excuse for putting this one off any further. By popular demand it's time to look at The Greasy Strangler.
In what I hope will become a semi-regular feature here at Film Gutter, we’ll be exploring some of the great extreme horror projects out there looking for crowdfunding and support from the community. There’s a huge array of work in the subgenre that is only made possible by this kind of funding, so if you like what you read then drop by the crowdfunding page! Even if you’re not able to pitch into the project, a share on social media alone can be a huge help to people trying to get their projects off the ground.
Today the focus turns to one of the most exciting artists in the field of extreme horror, Martin Trafford, who has recently launched his Hung, Drawn and Slaughtered book on Indiegogo.
Over the years, reviewing and interviewing here at Film Gutter has enabled me to do some very exciting things. I've had the chance to natter over email, and occasionally in person, to some fantastic actors and directors. This year one of the most thrilling opportunities yet came my way when Starburst Film Festival called to ask if I'd be interested in putting one some extreme horror screenings for the event.
The indiegogo campaign for Song of Solomon is live now on Indiegogo If you like what you read, check it out and support it if you can!
Those extreme horror fans out there with long memories will no doubt recall the Japanese series Guinea Pig, which exploded onto the splatter scene in the mid-80s and ran for several years, serving up everything from hardcore torture and dismemberment to bizarre comedy through to disturbing character pieces. Even if you haven't watched the originals, you might well be aware of the furore that surrounded the earlier movies in the series, with director Hideshi Hino famously having to prove Flower of Flesh and Blood wasn't a genuine snuff film following an FBI investigation...
Hate Crime (2012) Dir. James Cullen Bressack, USA, 73 mins
Welcome back to Film Gutter, and today's offering is another one of those movies that has been on my radar for a while but has taken me a while to get to. James Cullen Bressack's found footage movie has certainly developed a reputation for being pretty shocking in both its physical violence and was as the verbal abuse thrown around by its characters, and having been through the ordeal that is Hate Crime I can report that's a reputation that is well justified.
Dir. Nathan Hynes and Chris Power, Canada, 81 mins
Found footage has certainly been a mixed blessing for the horror genre – while it has enabled a wide range of movies to be made that once upon a time would have been impossible, some of which use the device very effectively, it has also seen a slew of pretty poor movies and also become what I would argue is a pretty tired cliché. With all that said, there are certainly a few I've liked – Skew and Exhibit A chief among them – and over the next few weeks I'll be taking a look at some extreme examples of found footage horror, kicking off with the 2007 Canadian offering, Long Pigs.
Well, here at Film Gutter we know you all love the stuff that really, really disturbs us. We've looked previously at some of the most disturbing films – a list that will probably be updated some time soon – but never explored those individual moments that have leave us uneasy or possibly just queasy. So here are Film Gutter's Top 5 Most Disturbing Moments in Extreme Cinema...
Extreme horror is a field that often requires a unique vision and a courageous approach to film-making, not taking any prisoners and making bold decisions that other branches of cinema would often shy away from. Directors will often come back time and time again to the area and produce new and daring work. So here's Film Gutter's top five directors of extreme cinema – which comes with a caveat of this one being purely personal...