Saturday, July 14, 2012

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK: Tromeric Counts 'Em Down and Puts 'Em Back

When Dr. Terror asked me to contribute to Italian week I was honored, excited and yet worried because I had no idea what to do. I didn't want to just do a review of a film everyone had already seen. I racked my brain and came up with everything from taking bath salts and watching Fulci's Zombie to a top kills list which I realized would be the longest list ever so I opted a more traditional path. I give you twenty five(well more if you count the ties) favorite Italian films. Of course the classics had to be on here but I hope I have included at least something new to you or even something you didn't enjoy initially that you revisit and try to see through my drunken eyes. This is all opinion, and drunken opinion pulled out my ass at that. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am. We can discuss it over a bottle of whiskey. 

25. Bay of Blood: Mario Bava- Also known as Twitch of the Death Nerve a title that thrash kings F.K.U. twisted for one of their greatest songs Twitch of the Thrash Nerve. Regardless of how you feel about this movie it arguably created the slasher. Friday two even directly ripped some of the kills. For its time it is gruesome and awesome yet still has somewhat of a creative storyline.

24. Antropophagus:Joe D'Amato- The Grimm Reaper will fuck you up. This is overall not most peoples favorite film in the world of Italian sinema. I have always had a soft spot for it. Sure it is kind of slow and some of the effects are pretty laughable. I don't care. I get sucked in every time I watch it. The pacing almost reminds me of a Herzog film but with more baby eating.

23. Tie- Piranha II: The Spawning: James Cameron- This like the sequel to the Piranha remake is mostly looked down upon. Before James Cameron made a 3D version of Fern Gully he went to Italy to make this and from what I have heard was fired for being a cockadoodle. Ovidio G. Assonitis is rumored to have taken on some of the directorial duties while he is still uncredited. I love this movie. It is kind of a piece of shit. I get it. The thing is Piranhas fly and it always makes me spit whiskey out me nose.

Troll 2: Claudio Fragasso(as Drake Floyd)- What can I say about Troll 2 that you don't know. This movie has been written about so much and now even has its own documentary. It basically created the so bad it's good category or at least cemented what Ed Wood Jr. started. Bologna, pissing on hospitality, vegetarian goblins(yeah goblins), and some of the worst acting this side of Keanu Reeves. NILBOG 4EVA!!!

22. Monster Dog: Claudio Fragasso- It starts and ends with one of the greatest music videos ever made. Alice Cooper like you have never seen him. This again is not a good film. The middle is slow and basically throws every aspect of good film making out the window. Good thing I am not basing this list of of good. I am basing it off of awesome and this movie kills me every time I watch it.

21. Short Night of Glass Dolls: Aldo Lado- This is an overlooked gem that I don't really want to say anything about. If you haven't seen it, get your ass up and go get it. It is a fine example of a great Giallo and is usually overlooked.

20. Contamination: Luigi Cozzi- Italy's answer to Alien is full of some of my favorite slimy oozie goodness. Cozzi is also the man that directed the best Hercules movie where Hulk throws a bear into space. Contamination may be nothing new but the it holds a place in my heart just for the effects and the music alone. I can't help but doing a little groove when the score gets going.

19. Cannibal Ferox:Umberto Lenzi- Probably the second most infamous Cannibal movie. Also known as Make Them Die Slowly. A lot of people prefer this to a certain other Cannibal movie. There is some truly mean spirited moments in this and it has that sleazy feel I love but I think of it on its own level. The hooks through the breast scene is unforgettable and would make Pinhead cringe.

18. Tie- Demons: Lamberto Bava- Demons may not be the smartest of films but you're god damn mistaken if you think it is badassary to the core of the earth. I put Demons on when I want a blast of awesome to the face. Gooey gore in a movie theater with a kick ass metal soundtrack. Demons didn't change the game but it picked up the board and threw it the fuck out the window and said we make our own rules.

Demons II: Lamerto Bava- Fifteen years later Scream 2 took the basic idea from Demons for their opening. This time it is a doc about what happened in the theater and full of New Wave/Goth/Death/Rock bands. It has it's similarities and that is why I can never decide which one I like more. They just go together in my head. If I watch one I have to watch the other.

17. The Night Porter-:Liliana Cavani- It's like Romeo and Juliet with better sex and Nazis. Not easy to watch at points but an interesting character study that deserves the time if you can stomach it.

16. House on the Edge of the Park: Ruggero Deadato- I didn't all in love with this the first time I saw it. I was a huge Last House fan and loved Deadato but this didn't quite do it for me. A few years ago I revisited it and god damn I realized I am a horrible person and do love it. This movie is sleazy. Just looking at the box makes me feel like I need a shower. It is mean spirited and brutal. I guess I am a masochist because I have grown to like that. It makes me wanna go all Family Portraits and scrub my flesh off with a steel wool pad. The music is awesome and the shower scene gives Jim Wynorski a run for his money with how ridiculously long it is, and made me. I mean. Yeah. This is only for the sickest bunch but if that is you lets get a beer and watch some shit.

15. The Church: Michele Soavi- Demons, witches and bad ass. Originally suppose to be Demons 3 but not even kind of like the first two. Get your Gothic boner on.

14. Jungle Holocaust: Ruggero Deadato- Before he made his masterpiece Deadato warmed up with this. It is like a popcorn cannibal movie for me. I love to put it on and just watch some crocodiles and anacondas eat each others asses(not in the sexy way) and some Cannibal lite scenes.

13. Blood and Black Lace- Mario Bava- One of the granddads of yellow. For being in the sixties this has some truly amazing scenes of sexy half naked woman and some killer gore. A must watch.

12. Deep Red: Dario Argento- Also known as Profondo Rosso or The Hatchet Murders. One of Argento's best. The music as per usual will make you want to murder a hooker than dance on said hookers corpse. A creep ass kids song makes this killer go bat shit and we get to see the destruction.

11. Tenebre:Dario Argento- Probably my favorite score of any of Argento's and that is saying something. A bit slow moving for some but it sucks you in stabs you in the gut and plays with your blood covering its black gloves of awesome in it. Saxon is amazing along with the rest of the cast and I would let Tenebre stab me anytime anywhere.

10. City of the Living Dead: Lucio Fulci- Also known as Gates of Hell. A Priest hangs himself and shit gets real. Zombie like creatures start eating more brains than Brother Lynch eats babies. There are so many brain rips in this seriously. The maggots are in the millions, the music is great and there is a drill that has nothing to do with Abel Ferrara or a slumber party.

9. The New York Ripper: Lucio Fulci- Arguably the sleaziest, dirtiest, most appalling of all of Fulci's work. There is little going on besides some ladies being fucked with a knife and Donald Duck is the madman. This is for true gore hounds and if you want plot and depth try something else but if you want to see the biggest moose knuckle you have ever seen and hear Donald Duck while bitches get their guts ripped out this is for you.

8. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom:Pier Paolo Pasolini- Not a straight forward horror film by any means but if you can watch it and not feel like you have been raped in every hole in your body let me know. Based of the book by the Marquis de Sade this has everything from little boy trains to shit eating. It is more of an experience than a movie.

7. The Beyond: Lucio Fulci- Also known as The Seven Doors of Death. It is full of blind girls, Dogs, and spiders that eat the shit out of eyeballs. Raimi used bits of the spider scene in his big budget Spider Man film. Great score, great kills and all the usual Fulci trademarks make this one of the best of the Italian splatter party.

6. Opera: Dario Argento- One of the last Argento films I truly loved. Betty is given needle glasses that force her to watch the murders in a variation of Clockwork Orange. Great music and great kills including one of my all time favorites which involves a bullet and a peephole.

5. Dellamorte Dellamore:Michele Soavi- Also known as Cemetery Man this one stars Rupert Everett as the cemetery man who has to keep the zombies under control. He meets possibly the most beautiful woman in the world outside of her pizza nipples and falls in love. Lots of weird shit happens and along with his friend Gnaghi, who is one of the best characters I have ever seen deals with each problem as they keep coming. This is a very odd film and definitely stands out when compared to its other Italian brethren.

4. Zombi 2: Lucio Fulci- Also known as Woodoo, Lucio Fulci's Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters and about a thousand other titles. Fulci saw the success of Dawn of the Dead or Zombi as it was released in Italy and went with it. A slow start with a great score ends with some of horror's most memorable moments. A zombie takes on a mother fucking shark which Send More Paramedics along with other bands have used as inspiration for songs, hell it even ended up in a Microsoft commercial. My favorite scene is the slo mo eye gouge which caused one of the most epic arguments I have ever had with my mom. She was pissed because she woke up to screaming in the middle of the night. I told her that it was irrational to be upset because she would scream too if a splinter was being shoved into her eye in slow motion. She of course saw the error of her ways. 

3. Torso:Sergio Martino- Often overlooked but holds a place in my heart and my pants. The ladies in this are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It is off the wall and full of great kills and the trailer is one of my favorites of all time.

3. The House by the Cemetery:Lucio Fulci- Third in the gates of hell trilogy this is not most peoples favorite. I know I am in the minority. I just love this movie. Frankenstein rip off maybe but with bat attacks and some great kills. The score owns my soul and I would mortgage my life for it. 

2. Suspira: Dario Argento- While making this list I struggled with putting this at number two as I always go with Fulci over Argento when talking as a whole, however as a single film goes I just could honestly put this any lower. This movie is perfection on film. The music is so iconic and never ceases to give me goosebumps. Witches and hanging and the best use of color I have ever seen. I just recently saw a 35mm print of this and my pants were so wet after, from semen not urine. I have some class. 

1. Cannibal Holocaust: Ruggero Deadato- I knew right away it would come to this. This is one of the most controversial films ever made. Deadato was asked to show up in court with the actors to prove he didn't actually kill anyone. A girl gets banged with rock so hard she dies(I mean in her vagina), cannibals eat the fuck out of a bunch of douche bags and this is all done while the most beautiful music you have ever heard is playing. The totem pole girl is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I could never figure out how it was done than come to find out it is just a bitch on a bicycle seat. It is the original found footage film and Blair Witch took a lot of inspiration from it. There is real animal torture which is the only problem I have with this but it was a different time and while it is despicable not watching it isn't going to bring back Donatello.

In the heyday Italians were kings of the horror world. They put out the ballsiest, the nastiest, the best looking , the sexist films with the prettiest ladies and the best soundtracks. Get yourself a bowl of spaghetti a bottle of wine and pay tribute to these madman.

- Tromeric 

TROMERIC can be found sitting in a dark room watching Homeward Bound followed by A Serbian Film. He found a secret potion called the grog. It is similar to The Gummi Bears Gummibear Juice but instead of making him bounce from here to everywhere it gives him the ability to endure movies such as Blood Freak and The Room on a regular basis. When he drinks the grog he also has the ability to have more references that you don't understand than Wikipedia. In the off chance he is taking a break from the grog you can find him drinking coffee from a cup with half of the Black Dahlia pictured on it eating Count Chocula and making lists about whether The Taint has a better soundtrack than Voyage of the Rock Aliens.Find his blog Guts & Grog over HERE!!!