Tuesday, July 16, 2013

V/H/S + V/H/S 2

  The anthology film has been a staple of horror cinema that dates back as far as the 1940's with a slightly earlier and eerier kind of British invasion that came in the form of a little chiller titled The Dead Of Night (1945).  More horror anthology pictures have crept into the public peripheral throughout the years with notable classics such as Mario Bava's Black Sabbath (1963), Trilogy Of Terror, Creepshow, Tales From The Crypt: The Movie, Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, Tales From The Hood, Twilight Zone: The Movie et cetera.  In 2007 a soon-to-be horror anthology sleeper hit, Trick 'R' Treat was born then immediately shelved by distributors due to lack of interest.  In 2009 Trick 'R' Treat was rightfully disinterred and once again re-animated the horror anthology film for younger audiences and elder KVLTIST'S alike.  Fast forward to 2012 and we have V/H/S, in our midst.  It's a retro take on that old horror anthology chestnut and was unleashed upon the world with much internet hype and endless miles of ad campaigns in all of our KVLT-approved horror magazines that promised an experience of genuine terror... and it actually delivered.

  V/H/S blends the recent wave of found footage films with the classic horror anthology seamlessly, creating something that feels new while towing the line of the retro vhs aesthetic into the digital age.  Younger audiences may find this hard to look at, but much like the graininess of horror classics like Night Of The Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the fuzzy, washed-out-vhs-look only adds another layer of depraved ambiance to the scenes of terror on-screen.  Much like the horror anthology flicks of yesteryear, V/H/S offers a series of seemingly unrelated stories with a wraparound segment to tie it all together.  The KVLT would love to blab about its favorite parts of each individual segment, but half of the fun of V/H/S is in not knowing what's going to happen next and especially its shock and twist endings.  All the KVLT can reveal about V/H/S is that it was made by young and up-and-coming directors of indie horror hits like The Signal, I Sell The Dead, and House Of The Devil and it's one mean-sprited little anthology flick that is guaranteed to leave a slimy coating of real horror residue on the viewers brain that lasts days, even weeks after seeing it.

This will be the last time he ever meets someone who posts in the craiglist personals section. 

  V/H/S 2 once again features the found footage format happened upon by two private investigators who are tracking down a student who has recently gone missing.  Trying to trace the whereabouts of the student through clues left on a laptop and curiously marked vhs tapes the detectives unwittingly unleash a veritable Pandora's Box of malevolent spirits, zombies, bodily mutilation, a suicide KVLT, alien abduction, and a wraparound shock ending that left a grin of satisfaction on this KVLT leaders face as the credits rolled. 

They practice hard year in and year out but just can't seem to get the Olympic Summer Games to approve Russian Roulette as a team event. 

  So dust off what some consider to be a dead format and check out V/H/S and V/H/S 2.  The KVLT's seal of approval comes wholeblackheartedly with both V/H/S installments and do heed the warning of "be kind rewind" or else you just may end up as the victim in/of a segment in V/HS 3.


V/H/S has already been spoofed in a 2013 short called Laserdisk.

Be Kind Rewind Or Die!

Be Kind Rewind Or Die Twice!

Monday, July 15, 2013

MANIAC {2012)

In 1980 William Lustig's American slashterpiece Maniac "warned you not to go out tonight." 
  In 2012...
the warning stills stands.

  Even for the most astute KVLT VISONARY'S life is full of a preponderance of enlightening as well as soul-shattering questions.  Why are we here?  Does true love, good and evil, actually exist?   Will we ever live to see the fabled Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie?  What's life like after the Shire?  What would it be like to see a film where Elijah Wood goes on a killing spree and talks to mannequins? Why have French directors been making the best horror films over the last decade? These questions and more will be answered in this article.

  Meet Frank zito, a deranged young mannequin restorer who is prowling internet dating sites and the city streets in search of the perfect woman.  Or rather pieces of the perfect woman to add to his collection.  The trophied items in this macabre menagerie also happen to be the scalps and hair of young women that he murders night after night.  He then brings the scalps home to lovingly adorn the mannequins that inhabit his home and business.  Meanwhile, a beautiful young female photographer named Anna, who is unaware of Frank's ghoulish night-time activities, notices his restoration shop and wants to use some of his mannequins in an upcoming photo shoot.  Frank obliges and immediately becomes obsessed with Anna, stalking her and murdering anyone who gets in his way in hopes of adding her to his grisly gallery. 

 Go get your haircut at the local cosmetology school, they said.  It's free and you're helping college kids gain experience and earn grades, they said. 

  So you're saying to yourself, "sounds like every slasher movie ever."  That's partly because this is a remake of the infamous 1980 video nasty original, but with an incredibly interesting casting choice of none other than Elijah Wood to play the mentally disturbed character, Frank Zito.  Then, instead of making a shot-for-shot remake, the ghastly story is told entirely through painstakingly accurate first-person POV cinematography that puts you directly in Zito's bloodstained shoes!  That's right KVLTISTS, you get to see each horrific murder in graphic detail through the killer's unflinching perspective all the way to the end of the film!  And being that this is a remake of a horror film that is over three decades old, you get a more updated modern city backdrop and hip characters to relate to just before they are slashed into bits and scalped right before your very eyes to the sleazy, pulsing, and amazingly apt, lo-fi electronic score by a surnameless French composer who goes only by Rob, that harkens back to the glory days of John Carpenter and Goblin.

Looks like Frank Zito and his lovely new date will be staying in for a romantic double feature of Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On The Move, like they do every night.  

  You may also be asking yourself, "Who are the red-handed culprits behind what sounds like a true tour-de-force of modern terror and a real contender for the best wide release horror film of 2013?"  Well, they are none other than the French film-making team behind the much-heralded modern horror classics like High Tension (2003) and The Hills Have Eyes (2006), with blessings and a producers credit from the director of the original Maniac, Willaim Lustig.  Also to be noted is that this movie actually caused test audience members in Los Angeles to faint, become nauseous, and in one case vomit.  The director took this as a compliment.  If you do decide to venture out into the world to catch a screening of Maniac in it's limited run, don't go alone, maybe consider wearing a helmet or other forms of protective headgear, afterall "He warned you not to go out tonight."


Silence Of The Lambs fans will notice that Buffalo Bill's favorite song, "Goodbye Horses" by Q Lazzarus is played during one of the first murder sequences in Maniac. 

Fans of the original Maniac will notice a quick reference to the original and very controversial movie poster art in Frank's reflection in a parking lot. 

Mannequin 3: On The Prowl For Scalps