Ginger Nuts of Horror
Come on in, the water's malleable...
AMERICAN MARY (2012)
Dir. Jen and Sylvia Soska, Canada, 103 mins
A film that's probably been long overdue a review, American Mary emerged in 2012 and announced the arrival of the Soska sisters to the directorial scene in a big way. This one all came about whilst the Soskas were trying to sell what would be their debut film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, and was a movie that came together in a remarkably quick time – shot over a period of just 15 days, getting this film made at all was an achievement in itself.
Born in January 2015, Film Gutter burst onto the extreme horror scene with a host of reviews looking at some of the most disturbing and disgusting cinema out there. Now, in January 2016, Film Gutter is coming to an e-reader near you...
Yes, after a hugely successful 2015 which saw more than 40 reviews and interviews with some of the biggest names in extreme horror, Film Gutter is taking its next step with the Film Gutter: Volume 1 e-book, released by Ginger Nuts Books. With a complete set of reviews and interviews from 2015, a new introduction from the author and a host of exclusive content never to be featured on the site, this is a not-to-be missed title for regular readers of the series and any fans of the darkest fringes of horror.
Film Gutter Volume 1 includes:
Cover artwork by Phil Stevens, director of Flowers
New introduction from Alex Davis
Full set of reviews from 2015
Full set of interviews from 2015
Eight exclusive reviews (including May, Sweet Movie and many more)
Exclusive interview with Eric Falardeau, director of Thanatomorphose
Guinea Pig retrospective
Film Gutter's (much requested) top 10 most disturbing film list
All told it's 50,000 words that sums up a year exploring some of the most revolting and twisted movies ever committed to celluloid out there. What's not to like?
Film Gutter Volume 1 will be hitting virtual shelves at the end of January.
Come on in, the water's plentiful...
Voyage to Agatis (2010)
Dir. Marian Dora, Germany, 73 mins
Welcome back to Film Gutter, and today we're getting into what look like distinctly treacherous waters. Marian Dora is a titan in the field of extreme horror, an elusive figure who creates work that continually pushes boundaries in a way matched by few other directors. Most renowned for his masterwork Melancholie Der Engel, we've so far enjoyed the flesh-cutting, blood-laden beauty of Cannibal and the flat-out depravity of Debris Documentar. Today's offering is 2010's Voyage to Agatis, another movie that comes to us with a fair reputation for its disturbing content. But is it going to provide a wondrous viewing journey?
So, with 2015 being the inaugural year of Film Gutter and the year in which I delved into some of the most disturbing and most challenging of horror cinema, I thought that this would be a good point to compile the traditional 'best of' list. It's been a fascinating trawl and has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, the can't-turn-away to the completely unwatchable.
These are the best five extreme horror movies I've watched and reviewed in 2015 – not all of them are movies made or released in 2015, but this list covers the films that I've enjoyed(??) the most...
Come on in, the water's simply edible...
FEED (2006) Dir. Brett Leonard, Australia, 101 mins
Well, it seems almost fitting to go from a film all about cannibalism to this particular piece all about the art and consequences of overeating. We're off to visit our Antipodean cousins out in Australia for the first time for this twisted thriller, a movie I'd been aware of for a number of years and somehow never gotten around to watching. I was hungry to see this one, so let's Feed...
Come on in, the water's tasty...
The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story (1993)
Dir. Danny Lee and Herman Lau, Hong Kong, 96 mins
Welcome back to Film Gutter, and today we're paddling back towards an area that has a strange feel of familiarity to it – oh yes, it's all suddenly looking very cannibalistic again. Welcome to The Untold Story, apparently based on true events that took place in 1985. This one comes with a heavy reputation for violence, gore and rape – often featured on 'most disturbing movies' lists, I was fascinated to see whether this particular movie lived up to its notoriety.
Shaye Saint John: The Triggers (Short Films)
Dir. Eric Fournier, various years, various lengths
My brain hurts so much right now, because I've just watched 20 or so short films by Shaye Saint John, many of which make up the collection 'Triggers'. I don't know what these are supposed to trigger other than a complete sense of disorientation or a suspicion that you have completely lost your mind in record time.
Dir. Arthur Cullipher, USA, 85 mins
Welcome back to Film Gutter, and today we're exploring new vistas and new waters, as we head back to the dark waters of the USA. I'd love to say it's going to be cosier and calmer than usual, but bearing in mind we have Headless as this week's offering I doubt that's going to be true. The movie purports to be a 'lost slasher' from the 70s – shot as a glorious homage to the era – and a feature that claims to be 'The most shocking film you've ever seen'. Well, Headless, we take that as fighting talk around these parts. So let's hop to it shall we?
Come on in, the water's lovely...
Dir. Fabrice Du Welz, Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 88 mins
So, welcome back to another week of Film Gutter! We've never been afraid to wade into unfamiliar waters – after all, very often that's where the excitement lies. And as such, this week we're going distinctly European with this tri-country collaborative effort. France certainly has a fine reputation for harrowing extreme horror, so how will the Belgian-led offering Calvaire (The Ordeal) fare today? It's a move that has drawn distinctly mixed reviews in the decade since its release, so let's see what we make of it here...
Come on in, the water's shadowy...
Welcome back to Film Gutter, where the waters are distinctly murky this week. We're back to one of our favourite haunts, Canada – the nation which brought us the genuinely upsetting Thanatomorphose, among others – for another grim and grimy dip. The film we're exploring this time is Collar, the latest offering from Gutterballs director Ryan Nicholson and a suitably dark experience it is too.