Archive for gore

Outrage

Posted in Japanese Cinema with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Cristina Blackwater

Outrage – 2010

 

plot: The boss of a major crime syndicate orders his lieutenant to bring a rogue gang of drug traffickers in line, a job that gets passed on to his long-suffering subordinate. The plot concerns a struggle for power amongst Tokyo’s Yakuza clans, today just as likely to be playing the stock market as shaking down pachinko parlors, over which the Sanmo-kai clan holds sway in the face of constant betrayal and ever-changing allegiances. Sanmo-kai chairman Ototomo (played by Kitano himself) learns that his henchman Ikemoto has struck an alliance with the drug-dealing Murase family, and is not best pleased, to say the least. The ensuing retaliation triggers an orgy of killings, territorial invasions and score settling while law enforcement officers, too corrupt to intervene

 Kitano is fucking back with a vengeance. let’s all bow and thank the japanese film gods. after laying off the yakuza genre for nearly 10 years, master Takeshi Kitano brings us Outrage, once again starring himself as the main character. Outrage follows the ins and outs of Yakuza politics of revenge and atonement between bosses, brothers, and cohorts, and an unstoppable backstabbing bloody avalanche of awesome.

 

 

 

the winning recipe here is the ultra violence topped off with irresistible black humor. you gotta love it when the fatalities and horrible, blood filled yakuza situations you are presented with also make you let out an out loud chuckle or two. i mean there’s a reason why Tarantino loves this guy so much, right? right.

 

 

one way Outrage differs from Kitano’s other notorious yakuza movies, is that his character, and generally the story itself, lacks his distinctive outcast-inner struggle, the nuances in the people involved are put aside for a more straight forward kind of story telling, but after all, as Kitano remarked publicly about his making of Outrage, he is giving the people what they want – no pretense of artistic embellishments, but rather blunt, cruel acts of violence of the professional criminal devoid of any romanticism.

 

 

so sit back and enjoy the bloody ride, and then, if you’re hungry for more, remember this is the same guy who brought us masterpieces such as Brother, Hana-bi, and Boiling Point. it’s never too late for a good re-ash.

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Bellflower

Posted in Strange Love with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2011 by Cristina Blackwater

Bellflower – 2011

plot: Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. Literally all their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang “Mother Medusa”. While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.

Let me start off by saying words can hardly explain how much i loved this movie. so pardon me if this will be perhaps yet another very partial pretend-review of a movie, but after all, this is my damn movie blog so you guys deal with it or leave now. Bellflower is up there in the top 3 movies i have watched this year, next to Drive and I Saw The Devil. it touched me in so many ways. so many real, raw, visceral ways. but let’s start with a little back story.

Bellflower is an indie 2011 movie written and directed by Evan Glodell, who is also the protagonist of the movie. it’s essentially, at the poster says, a love story. of many kinds. first and foremost we have Aiden and Woodrow (Evan Glodell), two best friends who move to LA from Wisconsin, with a common passion for Mad Max and homemade pyrotechnics. they are set on building their own homemade flamethrower and a replica of the Medusa car, in the hope that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang

in the meantime, you know, they’re just boys being boys. there’s lots of partying, laughing, fighting, and especially drinking. tons and tons and tons of it. then there’s the girl. there’s always a girl, isn’t there? Woodrow meets her and instantly falls for her, and then shit starts hitting the fan. you could very easily compare her to a Fight Club’s Marla of some kind, or even better, to an Eternal Sunshine’s Clementine. the girl is wild and young and carefree and  nutty on the side. the two of them, on their first date, decide to go on a spontaneous road trip to Texas, and are pretty much inseparable since.

this seemingly strange but mostly romantic movie turns progressively (MUCH) darker as their relationship crumbles, and the rest is a voyage that takes on surreal, truly apocalyptic notes that more than one reviews rightly describes it as a generational statement. the people in the movie try to find themselves, and try to find something bigger than themselves, something to believe in even in a post apocalyptic fucked up world that seldom offers means to grab onto reality.

and what a grand journey that is! Evan Glodell worked on this movie for years, shot it with a non existing budget and a crew of 11 dedicated people and built most of the props, including the flame throwers and muscle car. also, at some point in the movie he grows a beard and is a total fucking babe. but i digress. Glodell not only wrote, produce, directed, co-edited, and starred in his movie, but he also built a custom camera for it, a “Coatwolf Model II digital cinema camera who looks like a steampunk wet dream, from the old-school bellows on the front to the hand-machined nameplate on the side”

what more do you need as an invitation to hurry up and watch this? how about a hot beard picture?

alright, i lied. that wasn’t for you. it was entirely for my pleasure.

seriously though.. this movie is awesome. i hope this is the start of a very long, brilliant career for this young director who managed to make yet another indie gem out of virtually nothing. and to hell with the huge hollywood blockbusters.

Bedevilled

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by Cristina Blackwater

BEDEVILLED – 2010

plot: Hae-won is a beautiful single woman in her thirties who works at a bank in the Seoul city. She leads a busy life until she becomes a witness to an attempted murder case, and at the same time, things get complicated at work. When things get out of hand she is forced to take a vacation so she heads for ‘Moodo’, a small undeveloped island, where she had once visited to see her grandparents. And where she had befriended a girl named Bok-nam who stills writes to Hae-won asking her to visit despite the fact that Hae-won never bothered to reply. Upon arriving at the island, Hae-won is shocked to see everyone treating Bok-nam like a slave. As practically the only young woman on the island, she is a plaything for all the men and a free laborer for the women. Sick of all the inhumane treatment, Bok-nam had tried to escape the island several times in the past but had failed each time. She begs Hae-won to help her escape the place, but Hae-won remains indifferent not wanting to be involved in complicated situations. When Bok-nam realizes that her own daughter will follow her footsteps, she tries to escape the island with her daughter. But something horrible happens. And when she loses the only thing that had kept her going because of Hae-won’s negligence, Bok-nam takes a sickle in her hand for revenge.

IGNORANCE IS BLISS.

How many times have you heard these words (besides listening to a certain Face to Face album..) and silently nodded, making them yours, agreeing that indeed “bless them, cause they have no idea?”

well, think again.

Bedevilled is the 2010 cinematic debut of south korean director Jang Cheol-so,  and stars 2 heroines, Yeong-hie Seo as Bok-nam and Ji Sung-won as Hae-won. Two women to fulfill roles that lie at opposite sides of society, the glamorous, metropolitan lifestyle of Seoul vs the rural simple-minded living of a remote island. Both women have been subject of violence and abuse at some point in their lives, but Hae-won escaped that world as a little girl and became a tough, kind of bratty single woman living in a big city, while Bok-nam remained on the island, forever a victim of domestic violence and constant humiliation.

Bok-nam has a daughter, an innocent little girl who is the only thing to keep her going despite all the verbal and physical abuse. Her mind is set on freeing her daughter from that horrible life and taking her to “magical” Seoul, where she believes her life will change and be peaceful just like her friend’s, Hae-won.

But turns out Hae-won is not willing to help. The past difficulties in her life turned into the kind of person that will walk away and keep quiet in front of danger. Bok-nam reaches the point where she is desperate to escape and save herself and her daughter, and while trying to do so, something horrible happens. And when she loses the last thing that kept her from falling into complete madness, she walks right in the hands of the cold-blooded path of revenge, sickle in her hand, her thirst unquenchable.

This is where the fun part starts (and will keep you glued to your seat until the end):

in the first half of the movie, you are forced to watch a woman receive an unacceptable amount of abuse of every kind and as a woman myself, all i wanted was to step in and fucking scream “somebody fucking do something or i’ll blow all of your fucking brains out!!”. But hey, she gets the drift eventually, and starts shedding blood left and right. We are now in front of a heartbreaking drama suddenly turned into epic motherfucking slasher.

BLISS!

you see this? this is the face of revenge, bitch.

this movie was so good, so exciting and so entertaining that brought me back from my (way too) long silence.

not good enough of a reason to make you hurry up and watch it? here’s another hint: the woman gives the most epic blowjob to a knife (yes, you heard me, a fucking knife) you will ever see in your life. interested now?

there is much more that i could say about the events in the movie but i don’t want to be too spoilery.

i guess i should also mention the (very few) negative notes: towards the end, the movie gets a bit sloppy, and offers a little too many “shocking” revelations, that are typical of the asian cinema “twist” ending. but all in all, this was only a matter of literally 5 minutes out of over 2  hours, so i’m gonna give it a 8.5/10 and very eagerly suggest that you find yourself a copy right NOW.

You will thank me later.

because ignorance is NOT bliss, motherfuckers.

 

The Human Centipede

Posted in Other Cinema with tags , , , , on July 14, 2010 by Cristina Blackwater

The Human Centipede – first sequence – 2010

plot: The film tells the story of a German doctor who kidnaps three tourists and joins them surgically, mouth to anus, forming a “human centipede”. Having completed the operation, the doctor begins training the centipede, while attempting to hide his actions from the attention of the outside world.

To apologize for my un-excusable absence from regular posting, here I bring you something that has been murmured and talked about for months: The Human Centipede, a 2010 dutch horror film written and directed by Tom Six. Is it really the most shocking movie of all time? no. If anything I would say shockingly boring, but I will get to it later.

Let’s break it down into simple words and pictures:

We have the crazy german, Dr. Heiter, who’s only interesting feature is the pimping combination med coat + shades:

Two random American broads, dumber than the definition of dumb itself:

and The Japanese Dude, whose name is not even important, nor does his presence in the flick

dr. Boring kidnaps Dumb Broads and Japanese Dude to realize his dream of creating a Human Centipede, after briefly mentioning he already accomplished the mission with canines, and he is now ready to take the next step

a few minutes of lesson, Japanese Dude screaming (in Japanese, of course, which is the only thing he does throughout the whole movie) , and quick nip/tuk later, here we have it, the money shot.

TA-DA!

From this point on, a bunch of random boring things happen, dr.Boring has the police on his ass because they’re looking for missing Dumb Broads, Japanese Dude keeps screaming in japanese, and.. wait. no. That’s really all there is to it. Nothing else happens. And at this point you are forced to sit through an hour and half of nothingness.

This movie fails on so many levels I can’t even start to list them all, so “everything” will have to do.

It’s slow, boring, the actors are awful, the story is so not interesting you’d be better off watching pictures of dust for a couple of hours. The problem is that the flick takes itself seriously. It could have been much, much better if it just took the comic road, the over the top nonsense splatter (awesome) gore of the japanese movies ala Tokyo Gore Police, everything Troma, and so on. The fact that the story pretends to have any kind of logic appeal to it is mindblowing.

As if it wasn’t enough, “First Sequence” means this is only the first installment and that we haven’t seen the last of the Human Centipede yet:

Wikipedia states that “A sequel, titled The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) has been planned for theaters in 2011, with filming starting in London in June 2010. Full Sequence will supposedly include a centipede composed of twelve individuals. Tom Six has stated that the first film will get audiences used to the idea of a human centipede, preparing them for the idea of a much more graphic and disturbing sequel, First Sequence being “My Little Pony compared with part two.”Tom Six has claimed that he is developing ideas for a third part, but wants to see what will happen with the second part first

OH MY GOD I CAN’T WAIT!!! (…………)

Epitaph

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by Cristina Blackwater

Epitaph – 2007

Plot: An old doctor, circa 1979, discovers that the Ansaeng (Safe Life) Hospital, one of the most modern medical facilities in the colonial period, is about to be demolished. This sets off reminiscences of his internship days at the hospital in 1942, when he got caught up in a number of supernatural episodes

Alright kiddos, now we’re talking! back to business with a damn good korean horror piece.

Epitaph is the 2007 debut film of the Jeong Brothers (and let me tell you how happy i am to finally discover some korean “brothers” in the filmmaking industry!).  it’s a refined, intelligent and surprisingly effective Gothic horror.

hooray! not all hope is lost when it comes to contemporary asian horror. first of all let me tell you that this movie looks fantastic: stunning visuals, great soundtrack, and good acting. the whole package. plus, it’s actually scary! i was pleasantly surprised to be shaken up by some parts of the movie.

let me try to break it down briefly, tho: because for some people, especially those who are not used to the typical flashback, time-lag structure of many asian flicks, the narrative might seem quite confusing (but really, it isn’t)

The story is roughly divided into three segments. In the first, the young Jeong-nam/Masao finds himself attracted to a stunning-looking young girl’s dead body, allegedly a victim of a failed double suicide.

The second segment, flagrantly influenced by OldBoy (it even repeats a key line of dialogue, “I love you, Ajjeossi” — a generic Korean word for a man some years older), is a tale of Asako , the only survivor of a fatal car crash. Asako is haunted by the awful ghost of her mother, and Doctor Lee , convinced that this is the working of her survivor’s guilt, attempts to cure her.

Finally, the hospital’s surgeons Dr. Kaneda and Dr. Kim Dong-won find themselves wrapped up in some serial murders of Japanese soldiers.

here’s a picture of the three doctors at work

the second segment, the tale of little Asako, is the most effective one, and is also the one that will give you the shivers.

so here you have it, a good, beautiful horror movie that will keep you entertained on your next movie night.

Suicide Club

Posted in Japanese Cinema with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by Cristina Blackwater

Suicide Club – Jisatsu Circle – 2001

Plot: In Tokyo, when fifty-four high-school students commit a collective suicide, jumping from a platform in Shinjuku Station, the police force leaded by Detective Kuroda has no clue to follow. Then he receives an e-mail from a young woman, The Bat, advising that there is a site where red dots mean the number of persons that died. Kuroda and his team investigate the deaths going nowhere

Suicide Club aka Suicide Circle aka Jisatsu Circle is a very popular 2001 movie directed by Sion Sono. This is exactly the kind of movie i used to just love as kid, because it was so gruesome and nonsense, and so typically Japanese. As i grew up and my taste for strong storytelling developed, i am now reconsidering my opinion a bit, and i’m gonna try to briefly explain why in the next couple paragraphs.

First of, the strong points: we have the always appealing schoolgirls (in uniforms!) butchering themselves deal, you know, that sort of thing that is just eye candy for the horrorhounds.

the opening sequence is one of the most impressive in J-Horror history, with over 50 little schoolgirls cheerfully singing and holding hands as they prepare to jump under a speeding train.

then we have that fascinating, typically japanese, over the top nonsense part, where a pseudo underground terrorist j-rocker doing his best David Bowie impression – complete with high heels and sequined suits – takes lead in a scene and just starts.. to sing a song. about suicide. about how suicide is good for you and death survives everything and stuff. I mean come on.. beat that:

now, the movie even goes deeper into the social propaganda, exploring the realms of disaffected youth and existentialist wonders. what is the meaning of life? are we all linked to each other? do these bonds still exist after we die? things that work in theory, but that are not played out at best as the story unfolds. The main problem is that  Suicide Club follows a pace that is remarkably slow, something that i don’t mind most of the times but in this case there’s a couple moments where the movie becomes simply boring.

I mean, at some point you’re just waiting and waiting for the next crazy gory scene to shake things up a bit. But it’s all good, because from time to time here we go with those bleeding schoolgirls again

Sono soon announced that this movie was going to be part of a trilogy, but so far we only saw one sequel: Noriko’s Dinner Table, that depicts events from before and after the happenings of Suicide Circle, and gives more insight on several plotholes of its predecessor.

Briefly, the weakest point of the flick is all the unanswered questions. But all in all this is another classic, and fits perfectly that J-Cinema revival i was just talking about.

Zombie Cupcakes out!

Zombie Cupcakes Select: Movie Bites

Posted in French Cinema, Japanese Cinema, K Cinema with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Cristina Blackwater

bentobjects.blogspot.com

bentobjects.blogspot.com

Brains! Conquer!

Now that we’ve successfully brought 2009 over to the zombie side, here’s a little recap of the bloody gems the now old Mr Oh-nine entertained us with, in no particular order.

Thirst (Bakjwi):

First and foremost, Park Chan Wook’s new masterpiece. Thirst wins pretty much everything, with his absolute brilliance, cruelty, beauty, you name it, the list is almost endless. Almost as long as my epic wait for it through most of the year. Thankfully it was more than worth it! Park Chan-wook came back with this amazing picture and reminded us what vampires are really like (as in they don’t sparkle, people!! they just don’t!! no.no.no.), with their classic tragic sense of romance, internal struggle, irresistible sexuality, and a taste for Revenge. Full Review: here


Drag Me To Hell:

Sam Raimi.Gypsy curses. Exorcisms. Green gooey fun. Need i say more? When this movie came out, it was a little bit like christmas. Like horror movie jesus was born again to make us cry tears of bloody joy. Personally, i never gave up on Sam Raimi, but i know of a few people who did, and when Drag Me To Hell came out he just crushed everybody’s dirty mouth with his Mighty Fist. No, seriously. Every little movie geek like me who grew up with bread and Evil Dead, knew this day would come. Here’s my idea of how much this movie kicks ass. Full Review: coming soon


Martyrs:

Technically a 2008 movie, but the majority of us really discovered it in 2009, after its Dvd release. I like this movie so much it made me talk about it nonstop for months. It’s the journey of Anna Assoui down the terrifying spiral of abuse and torture. She suffers inexplicable pain. She’s a martyr, a fighter, a survivor, and pretty much my hero. Many labeled Martyrs as a “monster”, but here at zombie cupcakes, Monsters are good, and we love them plenty. Perfect 10. Full Review: here


Paranormal Activity:

There’s 2 very distinct school of thoughts for this movie; those who screamed amazing and those who screamed what the hell was that, also known as “i want my money back”. I  side with the amazing group. Maybe because I’m a believer. The movie is the modern Blair Witch Project. The story of a young couple haunted by a mysterious presence at night. Absolutely real and terrifying. I couldn’t sleep at night after i watched it, and i don’t care if you’re in the Poo-on-paranormal-activity party. Poo on you. I hope that demon comes for YOU next. Full Review: here


Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl:

Yoshihiro Nishimura teamed up with Naoyuki Tomomatsu of Stacy-Attack of the schoolgirl Zombies. These two need no introduction. They also don’t need a plot whatsoever, apparently. But we absolutely don’t care! Zombie schoolgirls, incredible gore, raining blood!! Fun for the whole family! This movie is the tale of two girls who like the same guy and bite to conquer his heart. But i digress. Did i mention unbelievable amounts of blood and gore? Featuring Eihi Shiina (from Audition) and Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On saga director), Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girls is not out on dvd (or on the net) yet, but it will be soon. In the meantime, try other Nishimura movies like Tokyo Gore Police, or Machine GirlFull Review: coming soon

What about you? What was your favorite this year?

Zombie Cupcakes out!