As the countdown to Halloween wears thin and we bask in the post 40oz glow of our recent Spooktacular, i've been getting a common question from many listeners; what's the goriest movie you've ever seen?
It's a fair question, but a hard one to answer. After all, gore's a big part of the horror genre and I've seen a lot of it. Let's not forget, I'm also a Troma fan! So gore comes part and parcel with the fandom. Forced to think on what the goriest movie I've ever seen is, it's hard to put a finger on it. Put a finger in it? Maybe that's a better analogy. Regardless, thanks to dear old dad, I was exposed to some of the seedier side of horror films at an early age. Many of the b-movies we used to watch back when he got his first VCR had quite a bit, but generally it was never too over the top. Until the day he introduced me to The Faces of Death.
I had quite possibly the worst first exposure to The Faces of Death series that I can think of. I was an impressionable thirteen years old when my dad announced he had found something special for us to watch. He gave me the break down, a documentary style film showing ACTUAL deaths on screen! I'll admit, I was worried about watching it. I'll also admit, I bought every bit of it. In hindsight, I was also quite gullible at the age or thirteen, a fact that my wife is always happy to remind me of. Knowing now that a good chunk of the movie was special effects work, wrapped around a stock footage and actual animal deaths, I sometimes feel a bit silly about how gravely the movie struck me at the time.
Dad and I watched Faces of Death that night, while eating dinner. As I stated earlier in the month, my dad could be pretty cruel when it came to his sense of humor. That night, we ate hamburgers, that he made sure to cook bloody rare. Needless to say, I ended the night quite nauseous and still hungry. The scenes that played out before me were shocking and grueling and stuck with me for years to come. I wouldn't call the scars that were left behind as scars in the usual sense. They weren't something that I felt stemmed from a traumatic experience and left from a wound. More so, they felt like calluses that built up over that sensitive side of my brain and left me with a tougher skin, able to accept and appreciate the gorier side of horror a bit easier for years to come.
As the years passed and I saw the rest of the series, I began to come across more and more films that featured gore as central focus. I firmly believe that thanks to my exposure to those extreme experiments in film at an earlier age, I was much better equipped to deal with ghastly scenes as I came upon them. You could certainly call it desensitizing me to some of this cruelty, but I never performed cruel acts as a result. I just found myself able to appreciate the artistic side of a gory film and the work that goes into them to give us a gruesome finished product.
When I discovered films such as Braindead, I found myself able to laugh at the over the top nature of the on screen massacre, something that Peter Jackson was certainly aiming for. Instead of a churning stomach and a run to the bathroom to throw up, I found myself wondering how they made that giant momma creature come out of the top of the house. I marveled at the idea that they could make all of that disgusting pus come out of real live human beings! It was exciting. When I found other studios that specialized in gore such as Toe Tag Films, I was able to actual take in the story presented while reacting to the brutality on film, instead of reeling away from it. That's not to say I never had limits however.
There are still films today that I feel either go to far, or breech subjects that I have no interest in watching. Redneck Zombies was one of the first films I had to turn off because I felt they just went too far. They touched on a very sensitive subject for the Mrs. and I at a time and it was just too much to watch. In other cases, some films are themed on subjects that I have zero interest in. I've got a problem with vomit, it makes me...well...vomit. You can guarantee I'll probably never watch something like Slaughtered Vomit Dolls because I already know it's not going to work well.
That's not to say I have problems with those films though. They just aren't for me. Are they for you? That's fine, enjoy yourself!
In the meantime, my little horror movie marathon for the month of October presses on. The list I'm at 68 films for the month, that I plan on advancing to 70 before we hit mid day Thursday. On the big day itself, on Friday afternoon, I'll be adding at least 8 more films to the list before cutoff as I have a very special marathon planned. If you know your franchises, you'll know what I'm planning, but keep in mind I think number 3 doesn't count.
Full Moon High
Oddly enough, I can't find a trailer for this gem, only a clip! But let me tell you this; Full Moon High is one of the corniest werewolf comedies you'll ever see. That said, I can't help but love it! Adam Arkin is great, his dad Alan Arkin is great, it's full of dry humor and it's just flat out strange. I highly recommend, which is good for you, because it's on Netflix Instant.
I watched Wolf Creek the first time back when it came out on DVD. I didn't like it. I thought it was slow and kind of dull and I just didn't get the excitement over it. Recently, Netflix has been recommending the sequel to me every time I logged in, but I couldn't remember much about the original. It didn't leave an impression. So, I decided to venture back and check it out again. Turns out that this time around? I can kinda dig it. The tension is good and they play with the typical slasher/final girl conventions so it was a good change. I take back my original comments!
Wolf Creek 2
Wolf Creek 2 on the other hand? It mostly just felt like more of the first movie. Some of the most jaw dropping violent moments in the first film get repeated straight away. They also repeat the genre breaking conventions they played with the first time too. So in that aspect, it was kind of dissapointing. It's not a horrible film, but since it feels so much like the first, the pace feels plodding and you just kind of want them to get through with it because you know where they're headed.