a jaded viewer reviews the world of horror, splatter, gore, cult, grindhouse, trash, b-movie, indie, asian and exploitation films
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Japan's Suicide Forest is IRL scarier than anything that has ever come out of Japan
Insano Steve sent me this little Vice documentary on YouTube during work hours which I watched in it's entirety in one sitting. Truly fascinating stuff in a weird, morbid way. I had heard about Japan's infamous Aokigahara forest and did a bit of research myself and found the most disturbing pictures which you can find here. There are more graphic photos just by Googling.
The documentary is fascinating in it's tale. According to the description via Vice:
The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses.
Clearly this must have been the inspiration for Ryûhei Kitamura's Versus as convicts escape to a forest full of Yakuza zombies and do battle.
Other Japanese movies (some by Takashi Miike) have shown bullying in Japan is catastrophic more than it is in America. What's baffling is the men and women who've taken their lives were inspired by a the novel Kuroi Jukai, in which a young lover commits
suicide in the forest which resulted in people started taking their own lives there at a
rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year.
We'll never know why one does the unthinkable but the remnants of these lives in haunting pictures will without a doubt leave a lasting impact.
In the doc, they visit the forest in the day and I must admit, I'd be scared shitless to do that. What's more scarier are the ribbon trails so people wouldn't get lost. Would you follow a ribbon to the end?
If I ever visit Japan, I know one place where I'm NOT GOING. Such a peaceful place to have a horrible reputation.
I recently read this article on Cracked.com entitled 5 Geek Fantasies You Won't Believe You Can Buy and the horror fantasy camps seem mega cool. Experiencing a zombie apocalypse at a mall? Yes please. Experience a marathon run with zombies chasing you. I'll take an order of that. But that's just PG-13 stuff. Because every spring in NYC, horror camp takes a turn for the WTF when Blackout Haunted House invites you to partake in it's invite only spring haunt. A few select men and women will go through this madness ALONE and for 45 minutes not know what the hell may happen.
I of course am now a veteran of it all. I've been to the last 2 Halloween haunts and survived last year's spring haunt. But they change it up from year to year. It's never the same and creators Josh Randall and Kris Thor revel in the fact they can amp it up into more fucked up extreeminess.
Running from zombies and shooting zombies with NERF air guns seems pale in comparison to the devlish deviousness of this haunt. It's horror camp for adults and it's paying to be Joe Horror Victim #1. The fact there is a safety word to end the experience says it all.
I'm scheduled to attend Saturday evening on May 19th while my fellow Survivors are scattered throughout the weekend. There is now even a support group on Facebook for all of us. Clearly, we all know what we signed up for.
But for the lucky few, going to horror camp is a once in a lifetime event. I retell my story in a disoriented way stating "this one time at this haunted house..." and get the most puzzled looks. For all the veterans, have fun. For all the noobs, it's time you horror camp up. Safety isn't an option.
If you're in NYC, you might want to try it no? Here is what they wrote in one of their most recent e-mails.
Although more regular off-season events will begin to take place starting
the first weekend of June, this is the only time this year that we will
be offering this specific event. We suppose you should consider
yourselves lucky, but who are we to force anything on you.
Would you try your luck at horror camp?
Want to know what the deal is? Check out the reviews and walkthroughs below.
10 Things from 70s Times Square that exploitation movies need to bring back
Exploitation and grindhouse movies these days are no longer that exploitative. Sure Tarantino and Rodriguez can call their movie Grindhouse, but somehow if I'm not offended by it, it's not really exploitation. Planet Terror, Death Proof, Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun are all solid flicks but these as you would expect are sanitized Hollywood flicks for the masses.
70s Times Square could care less about the masses. They catered to the guy with the fedora, large sunglasses and trench coat. The true grindhouse films wanted to shock the shit out of you for 70 or so minutes. Bad dubbing, recut and edited foriegn flicks, and retitled films were the standard. But you'd have a wide selection of the WTF and outrageous. Movies that would offend you, test your limits and obliterate your tolerance for the absurd.
Clearly we've all grown up from our 70s scumminess and we'd hope to be a more tolerant and equal society. But a tiny part of me wants to see some exploitative absurdity, something that goes waaaay extreme that you can't believe what you just saw. A millennial Pink Flamingos if you will.
Will we ever see any of these things/subjects ever made into a feature to call themselves real exploitation?
1.) Super duper racist films
Fight for your Life was completely nuts. Thing about this plot. 3 escaped inmates, a white trash redneck, a Mexican and an Asian violently assault a black minister. You've offended every race in America in one movie. Movies like Goodbye Uncle Tom supposedly cashed in on the blaxploitation craze but 70s grindhouse cashed in by being so offensive, you'd think a race riot would happen in the theater. 2.) Sexually violent deviousness
Ahhh clearly the 70s grindhouse could care less for women. Boobs, butts and skin all to be killed off in horrific fashion. I think of the ridiculousness of Patrick, a movie about a comatose man with psychic powers uses them to manipulate a hot nurse. The kills were wickedly hypnotizing and spawned an even more sexually violent sequel from Italy!
3.) Midgets and Freaks
Have you seen the movie Freaks? It was made in 1932 and starred actual midgets and freaks. Clearly we have to be PC about our little people and visually challenged these days. But the ironic part is this film is actually pretty good, shows them as normal people and featured a part of our society that would have been ignored.
4.) Pimps and Hookers (in Atlantic City)
The only time you see pimps and hookers is on HBO's AC Hookers. Oh what fascinating lives these two groups lead and somehow, yes somehow this could be exploited into some awesome movies if you think of it.
5.) Cannibals a Go Go
It's not like there are anymore cannibal tribes in the world anymore right? Right? I mean even if you stereotyped some tribe to be killer cannibals, it's not like they'd actually see the flick. It's the genre I miss the most. Devil white man gets comeuppance for trying to civilize the savages. It's the formula with a message and the gore.
6.) Mondo Schmondo
Have you seen the footage of Filipinos crucifying themselves on Easter Sunday? No? Then YouTube it. This shit still happens. All countries still have some crazy, wacky rituals and I don't think we've seen them all.
Film School 101: Analyzing a film student's vintage 90s short film
When you start working at a new job, you have no idea who your new coworkers are. They could be vigilante's at night for all you know or weekend serial killers. But the more I learned about my new coworker, the more things start being revealed. So one day during an early morning case of slacking he revealed he was an actor in a short film while in college. Having directed me to the YouTube link, I got to watch this entire short while eating a delicious salad. In what may have been the best lunch time viewing since I started this job, I witnessed a short film that had me on the fuckin floor.
Yes fellow jaded viewers, it's called "A Fall from Grace". And it's so horribly bad that it's fuckin awesome. It makes The Room look like Citizen Kane. It makes Birdemic look like The Birds. This short has elements of all that is perfect in this millennial age. It's vintage 90s (or it maybe circa early 2000s I actually have no idea so I'm gonna say late 90s), its made my college film students and it utilizes the now archaic Internet communication of the time (it's AOL Instant Messenger!).
Now you to can witness this masterpiece of cinema and get those warm nostalgia fuzzies of 90s filmmaking. I too participated in a few college produced horror shorts when I was at school and I have no idea what's happened to the footage. But my coworker has his live on YouTube, where I will help to make it go viral and establish it as the next found footage brilliance. Is this the next Tommy Wiseau Room-ish cult phenomenon?
You decide. Check out my analysis while you watch. Enjoy.
Here is a running log of my thoughts.
0:01: Cue 90s soundtrack
1:30: It's the establishing shot footage. Vintage Kevin Smith filmmaking!
1:55: It's random slo mo effects!
2:05: Note to self. Be careful of random guy asking to sit next to you in a room full of empty seats.
2:20: Dan and Ned are going to be BFFs 4 life......
2:28: Ummm that's some weird shit to say 5 seconds into meeting his new friend.
2:45: The dialogue here is absolutely brilliant. What kind of man are you? Huh Ned? Fuckin pussy Ned.
2:59: Look at that face. Would you trust that guy?
3:43: Beware of screenames that start with "Cute". They be "spam bots".
3:45: Cue Green Day....
3:50: IM-ing was the Facebook of the 90s. I remember I would have warn wars with my friends back in the dot com days. Ring!
4:08: There is nothing that compares to the action scenes of somebody typing on screen and IM-ing somebody. Fuckin exciting!
4:28: That laptop had 128 MB of RAM and a a Pentium II processor. It's like it's from the future.
4:45: Random Kinkos product placement!
5:00: Best line of the short: "Don't fuck this up" God bless Dan and is overall douchebaginess.
5:22: Oh damn did somebody just fuck up?
5:25: There is nothing wrong with one dude giving another dude a card. Remember this was the 90s.
6:28: 90s sped up date montage! You can smell the awkwardness!
6:45: You know what's fun for a first date? Sliding on ice and almost cracking your skull.
7:37: In the 90s, you didn't go eat when you went on a date.
7:47: A kiss on the cheek was like 3rd base in the 90s.
8:13: OH SHIT!!! MOTHERFUCKIN TWIST!
8:40: Ominous note footage equals you got played Ned.
9:15: Oh here we go again. Damn you Dan/Mike!
So what did you think? My coworker tells me he was in more shorts so the search continues to find them.
This is the funniest "it's so bad, it's good" shorts I've seen in a while. It must be enjoyed by all.