Ladies and gentleman, there are pussy's among us. We, the horror loving, blood sucking, skull fucking, dreamers of the nightmares, have friends and family, fans that don't like gore. (NO!... yesssssssss). So what, right? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Any fan can dislike anything and opinion is personal and a matter of taste. It can't be wrong; it's just different then your "high on your own horror" opinion. Just because all the horror nuggets don't like gore doesn't make them inferior or less of horror fans or wrong or... Submitted for your consideration:
Kind of like there's no crying in baseball. Unless of course your having your eye pulled on to a sharp splinter of wood by a member of the undead; then there's crying but since you'd also be dead it's karmic. What I'm getting at is that you should try to appreciate every aspect of a film for what it is. You shouldn't balk at the sign of a gory film. There are plenty of reasons to tape your eyes open and take the batteries out of the remote and keep watching oh, say City of the Living Dead by Fulci. Just because a very nice lady is throwing up her intestines doesn't mean the film isn't going to have a moment or two that will give you the honest to goodness willies rather than send you running for the bathroom.
Maybe call this little article "Gore Appreciation". Hell, if someone were so inclined we'd have a week dedicated it to (even though Italian Horror Week at the Blood Sprayer pretty much covers it). We need to figure out how to keep you mamsy pamsy horror fans in your seat through the juicy bits. After all, gore is a chance for the hard working special effects and make up crew to pull of a tour de force performance and you might not even be in the room. For new horror fans or the uninitiated, a gore picture is one with its focus surrounding the removal of muscle, organs, blood and bones from a body on screen, preferably in mass and quite possibly with no other point beside. Some movies might fall under the dreaded label "torture porn"... movies designed to show you nothing but blood bath after blood bath with minimal narrative that seek to set the bar just a little higher for the vomit bag setters. Others are clearly out and out, no question about it Italian films... zombie and cannibal fare would be a typical place to find gore fests but you might also catch your share in American knock off action films or demon/devil related pictures as well. Then of course there's the phrase recently used by Jesse Bartel of Blood Sprayer fame to describe Laid to Rest 2, GORE PORN. That's probably the genre descriptor that best resembles the obscenity, "motherfucker". Similar feel. Of course there are also "real death" flicks like the Faces and Traces of Death. These are great for the adrenaline junkies among you. Moving on.
So body parts are flying. Spines are being ripped out and used as instruments or as tooth picks. Blood covers more of the cameraman's lense then not... you feel queazy. YOU'RE NOT A FAN OF GORY MOVIES... This is an opportune moment to sack up or call the wambulance (Horror Hospital style). When the gross out comes your way there are a few things you might consider trying before you hit eject and miss out on some of the best horror you might ever see...
1. Breath. simple as that... maybe you've just worked up the autopsy scene too much in your mind. That yellow shit he just pulled out of that cadaver, It's just that Big Mac saying "hello" to the camera i.e. fat.
2. Do not pull out the vomit bag or run for the bathroom as doing so might just encourage your ralphing (pussy) tendencies. Be calm which goes along with breathing. Again, just a movie, you don't need to get sick. Those maggots aren't squirming around in your underwear even if they just rained in like a plague of out of the Bible.
3. Make a joke - Ever been nervous when your about to pork or be porked by your significant other? You crack a joke or role play your way into a comfortable state of mind and pretty soon you've committed a mortal fucking sin and will go straight to Hell (do no pass Go. Do not collect $200). Rather than shutting off a movie because its too gory, make yourself and friends laugh. A "That's what she said" joke will most likely do the trick, get popcorn thrown at you, but keep you in the room and the VCR, DVD player or Blu Ray running till the next chainsaw battle.
4. Look past the gore and see the rest of the film. Too gory is not a reason to shut off a movie that has redeeming value or is extra-special creepy. There are plenty of legit reasons to turns a movie off, but a gore ain't one. Wait out the gore sequence. Gore (typically) doesn't last the whole movie and doesn't have to be the focal a point of the entire picture. If you've elected to watch a "torture porn" film or "gore porn" film then you should be prepared for what you've chosen. Pussing out in the first five minutes is down right prejudice. Don't judge a film by it's first vaginal impalement.
5. Eat meat. Eating meat or wormy looking food during a disgust-o fest is like a self inflicted dare. You've gotta make it through the flick and keep your cookies in the cookie jar (yes, you!). Watching fucked up movies like the Guinea Pig series is the film equivalent of riding a loopy roller coaster. If you can stand on line for an hour to get on your favorite coaster, you can push yourself extra hard for a film. This is also a good way to keep up your strength for your horror-thon. And remember,"it's only noodles, Michael".
Side Note: While watching Traces of Death II with a buddy of mine I purposely ate a roast beef sandwich piled high as could be with meat. He looked over at me, the sex change began... he was in the toilet praying before you could say Pastrami on Rye. I still chide him about it to this day and I always recommend the gross out contest to your "non horror fans" They'll beat you at sports and give you a wedgy, you'll make them puke at your horror films and they'll still give you a wedgy. Gore pictures and gambling make strange bedfellows.
6. Watch the goriest of gory films as soon as possible. This works well if you are going to watch a gore fest with some buddies, but you don't want to look like a used tampon in the toilet (... ask me about the childhood memory that inspired that friggin' visual). Desensitize yourself. Watch it a few times more than you can stand and then, comment on the special effects and discuss (with yourself) the finer points of the make up crew's efforts. Cannibal Holocaust over and over and over again, say high to your pet turtle, read about how they got that darn pike up that lady's whooo haaaa... then watch it again. You could also watch Cannibal Holocasut and then the Mock Turtle scene from the made for TV Alice in Wonderland starring Ringo Star. There's a good chance you'll think the cast of Holocaust are killing a the guy who sang "Yellow Submarine". Maybe you're comfortable with that.
7. Watch the "making of" feature on the DVD. Watching the effects performed may give you a deeper appreciation for the gore your just not into. Maybe you'll see the make up fellows as artists. It's a great way to get over your weak stomach or do some of that desensitizing we just talked about. There are some truly amazing effects folks out there. Some names to check out include: Tom Savini, Dick Smith, Rick Baker, Rob Bottin to name a couple.
8. Your girlfriend/boyfriend doesn't like gore pictures? Tell them it turns you on and you want to be eaten alive like that zombie just did to Linnea Quigley on TV. Hopefully you'll be watching more gore pictures in no time and making your own "gore" porn (kinky minx!).
9. See the bloodiest flick you can find in the theater. Now Hollywood is releasing shit in the way of theatrical gore pics, so you'll have to go indy or old school. Plenty of double features, drive-ins and grindhouses around to be certain. Watching these movies on the big screen with other folks will have you routing for the antagonist in no time and enjoying some serious brain eating.
10. Take some Pepto and don't order the Special at intergalatic diner... usually leads to something unpleasant. This is really just good advice in general and has nothing to do with gore pictures with the exception that drinking Pepto (combined with Vodka) may ease your tummy.
(Take the "Pepsi Challenge" with some of these gruesome flicks)
Blood Feast - Ancient Egyptian Christmas Dinner? That doesn't even make sense.
Dead Alive - Lawnmowers... not just for grass.
Zombie - Only your ophthalmologist knows for sure.
Mermaid in a Manhole - For the Brave.
Men Behind the Sun - My Personal Favorite. Get your $.99 vomit bag ready... maybe even your $1.99 one.
Day of the Dead - Seeing this as a kid goes along with the whole desensitization part of the blog.
Cannibal Holocaust - Words that make me sick: Manwich. Queef. Turtle.
City of the Living Dead aka Gates of Hell - Ipecac ain't got nothin' on Fulci
Remember guys, if you say "yuck" that means the filmmakers did their job. If you turn off the movie (pussy) the MOVIE WINS! I suppose not liking gore films potentially means that your fairly well adjusted, but if you're already a horror fan, chances are good that there's at least one screw that needs tightening in that big ol' brain of yours. Gore pictures are meant to be offensive, but few filmmakers are trying to discourage your from watching their film. They really want to make you puke, so despite all this talk about not puking maybe the greatest form of flattery you might pay your entertainer is to let your own guts spew out to the porcelain gods.
You could always try to puke before you watch the movie. Maybe a little pre-emptive gut churning will settle you down and let you focus on the second most important thing in a horror flick. Boobs. Happy Goring!
"You're loyal to the gore... well that's good" - The Creep, Creepshow 2
-Dr. Butcher M.D. (aka Terror in a Manhole).
DISCLAIMER: Making yourself puke can lead to any number of rather unpleasant neuroses not easily cured. Maybe skip that step unless you want to turn into a stark raving crazy person, a skeleton or worse, Karen Carpenter... We've only just begun...