Let’s Get Nasty: The Burning(1981) and, Cannibal Apocalypse(1980)



The Burning is and shall remain a part of my regular rotation of films, because it is a virtually perfect slasher film…even though it is a total rip off of Friday the 13th…which itself was a total rip off of Italian Giallo films. For anyone who is getting tired of me making references to Giallo films, seriously…GO WATCH GIALLO FILMS, and see where North American Slasher films found their mojo. I already reviewed the film for my #31DaysOfHorror project: (https://doctorhavok.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/31daysofhorror-october-2nd/), so I thought this time i would delve into the censorship history.  Most films on the Nasty list as reasonably self explanatory in why they were targeted. Usually these films have Cannibals, Zombies, Rape, and other assorted perversions…and they generally seem to be European-made. How then did an American-made slasher make the grade? It seems the whole thing was due to a mix up. The uncut version has two scenes which the BBFC asked to be trimmed,  specifically,  Cropsy’s frantic mass-murder spree in the raft massacre sequence and the sight of a pair of scissors piercing a woman’s flesh in the post-title sequence. The Brittish Video Label Thorn-EMI was happy to release a trimmed version in order to receive certification, but released the uncut version by mistake, leading to this being one of the films that was successfully prosecuted.


2001 saw an uncut version released in the UK, and Scream Factory has released a special edition Blu-Ray/DVD (http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/216909). As expected, nobody Stateside seemed to have much of a problem with the film and it has been available uncut since it’s initial release. If you enjoyed this film and want a thought provoking companion piece, check out the 2009 Documentary “Cropsey” (https://doctorhavok.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/cropseys-gonna-getcha/)



Cannibal Apocalypse is better known as Apocalypse Domani, and most accurately as Invasion of the Flesh Hunters. If anything can be said of the events in this film, they certainly aren’t Apocalyptic. Sounds like someone was trying to cash in on Cannibal Holocaust.

The film opens with a Flashback to the Vietnam war, where a soldier named Hopper(John Saxon) is bitten by a POW named Bukhowski, who happens to be infected by a virus which makes those infected crave human flesh.


Years later in Atlanta, Hopper is haunted by nightmares of the war. He is contacted by Bukhowski out of the blue. Hopper blows off his old buddys request to go for a drink so he can almost bang the slutty neighbor girl. Meanwhile, Bukhowski pulls the crazy Vietnam Vet routine, goes nuts, fucks shit up, and the craziness spreads.  In a lot of ways, it kind of reminds me of the plot of First Blood… Moral of the Story: Leave Vietnam Vets the fuck alone!

The biggest crime in the film is that the slutty little neighbor bitch didn’t get exploited more. all she gets is a little nibble on the leg? C’mon! At least fuck her to death then eat her corpse! What a waste. Well, not a total waste. The film definitely has it’s charm and is well worth a look.


Visually, the film looks great. The technical side of things is top notch, and the gore is awesome, even by today’s standards. Saxon was cast due to his initial interest in the unusual story twist. Unaware it was an Italian exploitation movie on cannibalism, he soon lost interest when made aware but had already signed and committed to the picture. He has claimed never to have watched the movie and was fine with its banning in the UK, claiming it was foul and in bad taste. It is also claimed that Saxon’s subdued performance in the picture was due to his recent divorce and financial strain thereof. I think it was disappointment at not getting to fuck the neighbor slut.


“Wer” has this film been all my life?




When i was very young, probably in the first grade, I came across a book examining the history and folklore surrounding Werewolves. For the life of me I cannot remember the title, but this was my first exposure to the Legends and Superstitions surrounding Werewolves, making them more than just Movie Monsters to me. Here were different superstitions from all around Europe, “Historical” accounts of some rumored to be Werewolves, like Peter Stubbe, a chapter on how to become a Werewolf, even going so far as to describe an elaborate ceremony to conjure evil spirits with whom to beg to be made a Werewolf(Wait, what? Seems a little heavy for a children s book), and also Chapters describing diseases that might explain some of the Werewolf hysteria, such as St. Anthony’s Fire, and Porphyria. Ever since then, I have always believed that even though the Movies may not have gotten it right, that Werewolves really do exist.

WER is a much needed shot of adrenaline to the Werewolf film genre. It’s greatest trick is keeping the wolf element to a minimum and focusing on the madness within men.  The film opens as Found Footage, showing an American family camping in the French Countryside, soon they are attacked and brutally slaughtered by a savage creature, leaving only one survivor barely clinging to life.  We snap back to traditional film style and learn that due to a bizarre description given by the surviving woman, what was originally considered an animal attack is now being investigated as a Homicide. Through exposition, we learn that a very large and strange looking man who lives in the vicinity of the camp has been arrested under suspicion of the crimes. And here we meet Talan Gwynek.



I won’t spoil what happens next, as you really should check this out for yourself, but what i CAN tell you is that a good portion of the film plays out like a crime drama. We see the defense team for Talan trying to prove he could not have commited these crimes by proving that he suffers from Porphyria, and also examining how this couples with the Lunar Effect. When things finally do get savage, we see a decidedly non-lupine Werewolf on a rampage.



Throughout history there have been numerous accounts of Werewolves and similar creatures  from all over the world. These stories are drastically far removed from the Werewolves we have seen in films. It’s nice to see a film finally bridge the gap in a way that makes it easy to suspend disbelief…well, except for that whole “Fall-10-stories-and-be-fine” part…

We’re going to the Grindhouse, and you’re riding SHOTGUN!



Before i get too far into this, I feel i need to say that this is quite possibly one of my favorite films EVER! Not only have a seen the film many many times and surely many more to come, but i make sure as many people as possible watch it as well. In fact, I’m reasonably sure i barged in on two friends who had JUST finished having sex, popped the dvd in, and made them watch. Fun times.




Prior to the release of the Rodriguez/Tarantino helmed Grindhouse double feature, word had spread that several “Fake Trailers” would be created for exploitation films that did not exist. Producers also opened a contest for fans to submit their own “Fake Trailer”, with the winning entry being tacked on to select screenings of Grindhouse. Emerging triumphant was a gritty, low-fi entry entiltled Hobo With A Shotgun, directed by Jason Eisner from Dartmouth Nova Scotia. For anyone who hasn’t seen the original… http://youtu.be/1LlazPgxKrA

After gaining a buzz and some backers, production began on a full length feature. Oh yeah…RUTGER HAUER agreed to play the Hobo with fantastic results! After arriving in Hope Town via riding the rails, the Hobo quickly learns why the locals call it Scum Town. Scum Town is controlled by a violent psychopath named The Drake, and his two sadistic sons, Slick and Ivan. Everywhere he looks, the Hobo sees violence, and chaos. Confessing “People don’t go wrong like they do here”, eventually the Hobo can stand it no longer and gets himself a shotgun. He sets out on a mission to clean up the streets and deliver justice…one shell at a time!!!


Aside from the absolutely awesome senseless violence and copious amounts of blood, this film can boast a few genuinely sweet moments. The Hobo befriends a hooker named Abbey who ends up being an amazingly strong character.  The Hobo seems to suffer from some degree of mental illness, and after being shown kindness by Abbey, he deduces that Abbey should be a school teacher to “teach people about beautiful things, and miracles”.  Not wanting to beg for change, and desiring a chance to make an honest living for himself, the Hobo desires to buy a second hand lawnmover and start his own lawnmowing service with Abbey joining him. Most of the sweet moments are depicting the characters covered in blood, so it doesn’t let you stray too far away from the point.


Where the film truly excells is its insane dialogue. With lines such as “Well you better cut one to Mother Theresa, so you can give it to her while she’s finger-banging you in Hell!”, and “WOOOOOO! It’s a beautiful day for a SKATE RAPE!”, you can see why the villains of this film wind up stealing the show and adding hilarity at every turn.  Insanity, strange lighting, Canucksploitation, and rampant violence drip from every frame. Setting the film in the 80s was absolutely the right move as it adds a fantastic bloody authenticity to the film. And who can forget…THE PLAGUE!!!



The Plague is a mysterious hit squad used by the Drake. Not much is revealed about them, other than how incredibly badass they are…but their appearance gave me an idea… Since the finale sees the Hobo gunned down by police, the credits roll with us assuming he has died…but what if The Plague take him? What if they make…ROBO-HOBO?!? After what we’ve seen so far, would that really be much of a stretch? That is a sequel i eagerly await…but won’t be holding my breath for.



It’s Just A Dirty Black Summer



“Someone had to go this far…” -Marilyn Manson


Every so often you’ll run into a horror fan who thinks they are all badass because they could sit through Cannibal Holocaust. August Underground’s Mordum is what i make them watch next. Mordum is the sophomore entry in the AU trilogy, and is notoriously known as the sickest entry. Presented as the depraved home videos of serial killers and shot by the killers on shitty handheld cameras, Mordum is a disturbing ride through the depths of hell. To go over the plot would almost be futile for two reasons. 1) Most of the plot concerns the commiting of unspeakable attrocities…well, Actually, I’m perfectly comfortable repeating them, I just think the film is best viewed for yourself. 2) The details of the plot…really don’t matter that much as the film flows from one unsettling and disgusting scene to the next. 


If depictions of graphic violence, brutal murders, wanton mutilation, rape, incest, cannibalism and necrophilia aren’t enough to make your skin crawl, the filming technique blends seamlessly with the special effects to make what we are seeing hyper-realistic. For all i know these could have been the most basic gore effects ever seen…but when filmed with Mom and Dads shitty Handicam, you can’t tell the difference. One can easily be forgiven for mistaking this film for an honest to goodness Snuff Film.  In fact…While traveling to Canada to attend the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in Toronto, co-director and writer Fred Vogel was arrested, pending charges of transporting obscene materials into Canada, when copies of Mordum and its predecessor were found by customs officials among the merchandise he had intended to bring to the convention. The charges were dropped, after Vogel had spent roughly ten hours in customs prison, and his films were sent to Ottawa for further observation. He should have gone to Vancouver instead. I’m sick of Toronto always getting the cooler Festival of Fear over Vancouver!!!


The exploitation film database The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre has Mordum ranked as the third most “vile” film viewed by the website, below Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, and The Angel’s Melancholy. The review of the film (which is categorized as “worthless”) referred to it as “pointless hardcore depravity”. I really can’t argue against that too much. Having said that, I suppose the point is the shock itself. It forces you to feel something, whether it be disgust, contempt, mirth, or arousal…it is impossible to watch this film and not be effected. The August Underground Films are to Horror Films what GG Allin is to Punk Rock. Sometimes we need some crazy-blood-drenched-shit-smeared rebel to make such a disgusting and visceral display, if for no other reason than to show us that what we previously thought was too far, is nowhere near far enough.